Lady Fantastica, Eighty Percent Accuracy

by on October 31st, 2010
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Henry Murphy was napping in his recliner when Belle returned from her visit with the psychic. “Wake up Hank, I’ve got to tell you about this!” she bubbled.”

“Another psychic adventure?” he asked sleepily.

“This one has all the others beat hollow! Wilma and I went to see the most fascinating one yet!”

“Tell me about it,” he replied listlessly.

“She’s wonderful! She made so many predictions. Wilma wrote them down. Her name is Trudy, but everyone calls her Lady Fantastica. She’s famous for her accurate predictions; eighty percent. It’s been proved. Can you imagine?”

“I’m glad you enjoyed yourself, dear,” Henry said. What did she predict?” His interest had been slightly piqued by the eighty percent figure. As a mathematician, he respected accuracy.

“Let me read the paper, especially the last one. You’ll be blown away!” Belle said. She pulled out a sheet of folded yellow foolscap from her bag, opened it, and held it close to her eyes. “She said there was a birthday in my future soon. That was a hit! It’s yours, of course. August 3, only three days from now.

“Yes,” he said. “The odds against being that close randomly are poor. It would have been better, though, if it had been your birthday.”

“She said there would be a call from someone I haven’t heard from in a long time. We’ll need to be alert for that one.”


“The stock market will have a big day.”

“This one is a little vague,” Henry objected. “Our joint account has lots of stocks in it.”

“We’ll find out!” she stressed. “You’re going to like this next one. We’re going to buy a car that has a name beginning with H.” “Yes, I like that one a lot! Henry declared “We’ve been thinking about it but haven’t had the money.”

“And here’s the answer to that one,” Belle exclaimed excitedly. “A lottery ticket will win three million dollars for us within ten days!”

“We don’t buy lottery tickets,” Henry commented. “Well, we’d better start today,” Belle responded. “We don’t want to miss this bonanza because of cheapness.” Henry smiled broadly. He was losing his skepticism rapidly. “Lucky thing we found out about this before it was too late,” he said. “This is the answer to all our money problems!”

The pronouncement about eighty percent accuracy kept reverberating in Henry’s mind. He began buying Big Reward lottery tickets that the state was offering. On his birthday, he got a call from Stanley Thorn, an old Army buddy. Henry had not heard from him for over ten years. On August 4, Pretty Penny Mines, gained six percent in one day because of a good earnings report. On the following day, Henry visited the Honda dealer and purchased a top-of-the-line Honda Pilot. There was no sense dickering, he thought. Within a few days he’d win more money than he could ever use from the lottery tickets he had been buying.

As the days in August went by, Henry’s mood began to change. He began to get irritated. With each passing day, it got worse.

On the last day of August, Henry had bought thirty-one lottery tickets all of which had won nothing. He exploded with an anger he hadn’t experienced in all his forty-seven years of life. “Give me that woman’s number, he called out to Belle. “I’m going to tell that impostor that people gave her the wrong nickname. Instead of being known as Lady Fantastica. Her name should have been Ms. Charlatan Quack-Quack!”
He picked up the phone preparing to dial.

At that instant, he froze rigidly in place. He realized he could not do this. Four of her predictions had come true. The one about the lottery had not. Four out of five was four-fifths. That represented eighty percent accuracy. He had no right to phone and call her that ugly name.

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