Earlier this week, I went on an outing with colleagues at work to an attraction here in Southern Wisconsin. I won’t tell you just where it’s located to ensure some bit of anonymity on my part, although I hope to go back there again on a solo trip so that I can sing its praises here (it’s an amazingly beautiful locale, though a bit dark in places). While I was there, I came across a working vintage fortune-telling machine, complete with an animatronic figure in the window dressed in fortune teller’s garb (she looked quite beautiful, for the record).
This was the very first time I recall encountering, let alone using, a fortune-telling machine. Its setup and operation was rather simple to describe: Insert a coin (or in my case, a 25-cent token), then watch the figure in the window move around and “conjure up” your fortune, which comes out on a card or slip of paper from a slot below the figure. The fortune can be anything from “seeing” how good a person you are now to “predicting” what the future holds for you. I use quotes around “seeing” and “predicting” since, well, it’s just a machine and it doesn’t really know who you are or what your fortune may be. I mean, these machines aren’t sentient or entirely all-knowing, so it’s best for one to take their results with a grain of salt, especially if the says at the end, “Drop another token in the slot and maybe my net prophecy card will suit you better.”
But there was something about the prophecy “produced” from the machine that left me pleasantly surprised. Oh, yeah, I’m taking most of it with a grain of salt, but I felt that the reading read me pretty good, though not perfect. Let me give you a rundown of what the card said, some of which I’ve edited for grammar (hey, the machine isn’t perfect):
“There is very little that I can tell you…” Well, that didn’t sound promising. Oh, wait, that sentence isn’t finished yet:
“There is very little that I can tell you, because you are so good.” Oh, my goodness, the machine is making an impression on me with its flattery. Okay, machine, you got me hooked.
“You have a great gentleness, and pure moral principles…” Well, I try to do good for others, and I stand on a principle that everyone should treat others with respect.
“You have a merciful, affectionate, and constant heart…” Yeah, it’s all that wanting to do good for others I mentioned above. Affectionate? Well, if adoring and supporting my nieces counts as affectionate, I guess so.
“You’re slightly melancholy.” Slightly melancholy? I do admit I let my mind get a bit pensive and wistful over the four saddest words in the English language: What might have been.
“You have an inventive genius in mechanical arts…” Okay, here’s where the fortune swings and misses: I’m not really inventive (outside of pulling off a weird outfit), and I’m not mechanically inclined (and, no, working on a computer every day doesn’t count).
“You are independent and have little patience with conventional ways of living.” Well, I am quite adept at working independently on my job. But I don’t mind “conventional ways of living” too much; I may not be entirely hep to new technology, but I’m not dismissive of it.
“You’re a lover of music…” If you’re talking about changing the presets on my streaming app regularly while I’m at work, then, yeah, I guess I do. (Note to self: See if you can finally get around to writing that post on the music you grew up on.)
“Your opinion is very changeable.” Do you mean “open minded” when you say “changeable opinion”? If so, then yeah.
“After middle age, you will inherit a fortune, which you will have to defend in court.” Uh, okay, this is kinda creepy. Inheriting things means getting something from someone after they die. And I don’t know if I’ll inherit a fortune since my folks have never been made out of money. And if I do inherit a fortune, “defending” it in court doesn’t sound fun.
“I predict that you will have great success in life in general.” Success is in the eye of the beholder, but I guess I’ve done okay so far (peaks and valleys notwithstanding) and hope and pray and wish that I’ll still feel the same when I’m old and gray.
“Very small changes in your daily routine are necessary to bring you to the top of the ladder.” Hmmm… I gotta think about what the machine is talking about there.
So, all in all, I think the fortune-telling machine read me pretty well, about half right. A colleague used that same machine before I did, and while she didn’t divulge what her card said, she hinted that it read her pretty well. I guess there is some magic in that device.
Oh, my fortune card gave me one more thing: “One of your lucky numbers is 4.” Guess I’ll have to keep that in mind the next time I play the lottery. I just wish it told me what my other lucky numbers were.