Picture it. Tuesday night and Guido and I were in bed. I was having one of my eureka moments. No, not that kind, I’d had an idea. For some strange reason all of my best ideas happen in our bed. And I don’t mean those sorts of ideas either. Lights were out so all I could hear was Guido doing the weird thing he does with his lips just before imminent sleep. It’s a funny puffing noise as he blows them apart.
“Would you like to know what’s going to happen in the future?” I asked him from my pillow in the dark. “What I’m saying is, would you like to know what’s going to happen to you?
Guido slowly sat up rubbing his eyes. I cut to the chase.
“Let’s hire a psychic.” There was an ominous silence. I ploughed on regardless. “We could build a themed café night around it. Finger Food and Fortune Telling!” I added one of my legendary exclamation marks for added drama. “Throw in some prawn balls and I reckon we could be onto a real winner.”
I should explain. I’d seen an advert in the window of the newsagent’s the other day. Madame Valma Predicts. Unlock Your Future Potential. Groups Welcome. That’s all it said, except for a mobile number. I ask you, who could resist dialling?
“What I’d really like to know is what time you’re going to let me get some sleep tonight,” said Guido picking up the alarm clock and squinting. It was gone twelve thirty. “If I’d known I’d be having a nutty conversation with you after midnight I’d have stayed downstairs in the café and done something more meaningful – like baked a ham.”
Naturally I called Madame the very next day to check her availability. What, after all, did we have to lose? Only our fragile reputation, according to Guido. She answered straight off and when I explained there’d be a decent café crowd on a Saturday night and potentially free shrimp involved she said she’d come straight round to discuss her vibrations. Of course when she walked into the café I guessed exactly who she was. There aren’t many raven haired vampires residing in Bermondsey that I know of. Frankly, I was surprised she’d managed out at all in such bright daylight. Some customers actually stopped mid-bite ciabatta as she swept by them.
“I can feel a warm aura emanating near me,” she said. This wasn’t entirely surprising as she’d sat down right next to our baked potatoe oven. She rubbed her fingers into my palm. “You will marry a woman with auburn hair who will bear you four handsome sons.”
Goodness, I thought, suddenly predicting something altogether different myself. Trouble. Fortunately Gary stopped by for a latte so I introduced them. He was still wearing his flight attendant uniform at the time.
“I predict you will travel extensively,” was all Madame said before closing her eyes and going into what looked like a trance.
“I mean really, no shit Linda Blair,” said Gary talking to me out the corner of his mouth, “is the Pope Catholic?”
“Maybe she’ll cancel,” I said to Guido in bed yesterday.
“I sure hope not,” he said, “I’ve ordered a shed load of prawns and can you honestly imagine how ridiculous we’d now look putting a sign in the café window which reads –
Psychic Evening Cancelled Due to Unforeseen Circumstances.”