Madam Ovary is giving a psychic reading to a middle aged, grey man who is clutching a brief case to his chest and balancing a bowler hat on his lap.
“The mist is clearing from my mind, my spirit medium is here, in this room with us.”
“I don’t see him.”
“Obviously not, he’s dead and I’m a medium.”
“You look more like an ‘extra-large’ to me.”
“Please spare me the music hall jokes, this is a difficult business, and I must concentrate, my spirit guide tells me that I am in danger!”
“Oh why, oh why am I threatened, oh spirit guide?” chants Madam Ovary. She closes her eyes for a moment and then; “The spirits tell me that somebody close to me plots my downfall and doubts my power.”
“That would be me.”
“I’m a Trading Standards Officer here to enforce the new Consumer Protection Regulations. If you charge people for your services you must be able to prove they are genuine and you are not attempting to gain money through deception.”
“It is my opinion that you have no more chance of contacting the dead than I have of captaining England to the next World Cup! Unless you can change that opinion I will be obliged to stick you with a rather large fine!”
“What if I was to make an insightful reading about you?”
“It would have to be convincing.”
Madam Ovary goes into a trance and begins her reading.
“You have a job in local government which you hate. Your boss annoys you and you know you could do his job better. You lust after a girl in ‘accounts’ who is young enough to be your daughter. When you get home the mundane, banal pap on the television drives you mad. Your wife thinks you are a weak minded, anally retentive, boring failure and your children show you no respect. How am I doing?”
The officer wipes a tear from his eye.
“That’s spot on Madam Ovary, I don’t know how you do it. Just don’t tell anybody ok?”
“Yes, ok love.” She takes ten pounds from his trembling fingers and shows him to the door.