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October 21, 2014

Adam Finley: Medium Rare: How the other side lives

by Joel Keller, posted Sep 10th 2007 3:32PM
Today, Monday September 10, 2007, TV Squad is remembering blogger Adam Finley who passed away tragically late last week. All front page posts will be staff picks of Adam's writing through the years.

Two of the things that Adam was great at was writing funny dialogue and making fun of TV psychics. This is a good example of both, from a column Adam created that was called "Medium Rare". If he had ever decided to write a pilot about a TV psychic with low self-esteem, he'd have sold it in a second.

Originally published on April 29, 2006.

PoltergeistIf we've learned anything from television psychics, it's that the "other side" is a very vague and confusing place. When loved ones contact us from that realm, it's never to say anything direct, instead they toss out random names, or, in the case of medium John Edward, they like to only give the first letter of a name, which is especially helpful for those of us who know people whose names begin with a letter, though somewhat unfortunate for my deceased Aunt 76875, who was named after the barcode on a box of Fiddle Faddle. Psychic Sylvia Browne has said that the "other side" has the exact same geography and topography as our world, which I can only assume means that world is populated by beings who lead the same day-to-day lives we do, but that it's frustratingly difficult to actually get anything accomplished:

Store patron: Yes, I'd like to purchase ... some socks?

Store clerk: Yes, I'm definitely getting some kind of "S" thing coming from you.

Store patron: Maybe a sled? Wait, now I'm seeing a flower.

Store clerk: Does the name Mary ring a bell? Or Mark? Mike?

Store patron: No.

Store clerk: I keep getting glimpses of Donald Duck now. Will there be anything else with your order?

Store patron: Yes, I'd like some french fries.

Store clerk: Thank you for eating at McDonald's, sir.

Last night on John Edward Cross Country John used what I refer to as the "auctioneer approach" to psychic reading. Essentially, he rattles off a bunch of things in rapid succession with the hopes that one of those things will ring true. It's like firing buckshot at a target, something is bound to strike the bullseye eventually:

John: Okay, I'm getting, like, maybe an older man in a truck or maybe a bus?

Person: No.

John: Pickle?

Person: No.

John: Cereal box?

Person: No.

John: The Battle of Gettysburg?

Person: No.

John: HR Pufnstuf?

Person: No.

John: A monkey wearing a top hat?

Person: No.

John: The last seven minutes of The French Connection?

Person: What?

John: Um... an object-shaped item?

Person: Holy crap, we used to buy those all the time!

Of course, if John does get a wrong answer he explains it's merely because he's being drawn to another energy or family in the audience. I would love to see this same excuse used in a court room sometime:

Lawyer: Did you kill your wife, Mr. Anderson?

Mr. Anderson: No, I did not.

Lawyer: Oh, I apologize. Apparently I was getting the "I murdered my wife" vibe from somewhere else in this court room. I guess you're free to go.

Judge: This court apologizes for your trouble, Mr. Anderson. You may take the insurmountable evidence collected against you over the last seven years and go about your day.

Mr. Anderson: Can I keep the chainsaw and the gallon of bleach, too?

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