The other day I was walking in London after a meeting, and a guy stopped me. He was pointing to his forehead, and he said, ‘I see that you are very lucky.’
Now, I initially thought, ‘this guy must be crazy,’ but he kept on speaking so I thought I’d at least give him the time of day. He explained that he was a student of astrology and horoscopes, showed me a picture of him with some old man with a beard, and proceeded to basically do this little mind-reading illusion.
He looked at my palm, then wrote something down, screwed it into a ball and gave it to me. He then asked me some questions while writing down scribbled answers on his notepad – the punchline was that he’d already written down the same answers on his screwed up bit of paper. He then proceeded to ask me for money so that I’d get the good luck he promised.
Now, I don’t know how he did the mind-reading trick – maybe it was sleight of hand, maybe he tricked me into giving him certain answers, maybe he had actually received the answer supernaturally beforehand (I seriously doubt that one – if that was the case he should have just told me straight away these facts that he knew).
Anyway, I was finding this mildly entertaining until he asked me for money – at that point his little performance lost all credibility for me. This guy who apparently could read my mind and tell the future firstly couldn’t tell that I wasn’t going to give him any money, and secondly was trying to convince me that the invisible astrological powers in control of my fate would be swayed by me giving him money.
Conclusion: he was a con man, and not a very convincing one.
And just for the record even if he’d proven beyond any doubt that he knew everything about me I still wouldn’t have given him any money.