Jane Bland, Episode 5

Man, I gotta get myself off that Maternity Mall mailing list. Last year when my daughter-in-law was pregnant, I ordered some clothes for her from that site. All the sudden, now, I get emails from them on a weekly basis. Problem is, they always come in during the work day, then I forget about them until later. *ding* email! Always a nice little break during the working day; the disappointment to find out it’s advertising sends me right back to work.

I’m Jane Bland, and I’m too old to have a baby.

Unsubscribing from mailing lists is one of those chores I always put off until “later”. And usually later never comes. Once a week or so I sit down with my email program and purge everything. I sort by sender and scroll thru, and things like ads and such are knee-jerk deletes. It’s just like anything else you have to clean up. Like throwing away the rubber bands that come on the newspaper. If I kept all those, I’d need a special drawer just to keep them in. They are automatic deletes.

I like living in a neat, well kept house, with a neat, well kept yard. Problem is, I don’t like the maintenance part of it. And now that spring is here the yard needs to be mowed weekly, and the garden needs weeding, and you add all that to the vacumming that has to be done because in the spring the dog sheds like crazy, and vacuuming is way down on my list. It’s right down there with cleaning out my hard drive. Because as you all know, the computer is just one more thing that has to be cleaned up on a regular basis. And all this intereferes with lying about on the sofa reading trashy novels from the library. Or writing silly stories. Or shopping on the internet, which leads to promotional emails, and the vicious cycle continues.

I’m Jane Bland, and all I want is a neat and orderly life.

The other night when I was watching teevee I noticed that Miss Cleo has a website now. I’m particularly fond of Miss Cleo. She’s bright and entertaining, and as a student of the Tarot for twenty five or thirty years now, I can see she has quite a talent. So just for fun and to avoid doing the after dinner dishes, I cruised over to her website for a little entertainment. In order to get into Miss Cleo’s website, though, you have to enter your email address. Oh, I knew it was a mistake the minute I hit “send”, but sometimes the thought of mindless entertainment overcomes my better judgement. Now, you guessed it, I get regular urgent emails from Miss Cleo regaring an important message which will improve my life. And of course, my first reading is free, and, in tiny print, for entertainment purposes only.

But unfortunately for Miss Cleo’s enterprise, I do know how this works, because you see I too was a phone psychic once. I lasted for about three days. I had lost my job selling mobile homes in December of 1994 and came across a help wanted ad in the local paper. A company out of Northern California was hiring Tarot readers to be telephone psychics. I gave them a call and they sent me some information and a contract in the mail. My only expense was having a dedicated phone line installed into the house, so I figured what the heck, give it a go. The pay was excellent. And I could work from home, choose my own hours. All I had to do was log into their system through their 800 number, and sit back and wait for calls to be routed to me.

At first I took the job seriously. I believed I would be “helping people with their problems.” (At $4.95 a minute, visa and mastercard accepted.) But lordy lordy, the calls I had to field. I began to get very literal with the callers. Oh sure, I did what I was supposed to do. I’d get a call, and shuffle the cards, and lay them out, and do a reading. (And keep the good folks on the phone as long as I could…$4.95 a minute, you know.) But after several dozen of these phone calls, I started feeling really slimey. The fact is, most of the people who called really did have problems that couldn’t be solved at $4.95 a minute. And the rest of the folks were well represented by the jerk-off twenty-two year old from Florida who called in on his mother’s credit card and whined about not having a fulfilling life. When I asked him what kind of job he had, he replied that he didn’t have one. “Well, get a job!” I said, and slammed down the phone. Or the woman from Virginia who called and demanded I tell her the name of the woman that her boyfriend was cheating on her with. She confessed that she was on welfare, and I was the third phone psychic she had consulted that night. Three days of that and I consulted the cards and decided phone psychic work was not in my future.

When I called the company to tell them I would no longer be a part of their enterprise, I was told that my work was excellent (they had thrown in some dummy calls to see how I was doing) and that what I should do is “dip my fingers into some lavender flowers to dispell the negative energy I was feeling.” I told them I’d meditate on it and get back to them.

I’m Jane Bland, and I know what’s in your future. hee hee

Well, it’s lovely Saturday morning. The lawn needs mowing, the house needs vacuuming, weeds are poking their little heads up in the garden. My in box needs cleaning out, and my desktop looks like somebody blew chunks all over it. Better check my horoscope in this morning’s paper to see what’s in store for me today. Hmmmm….looks like a good day to lie on the couch, reading another trashy novel.

Until next time, I’m Jane Bland, over and out. (This column can be read for free, and is for entertainment purposes only.)

Beth Lock

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