The Mystical Practitioner

by Adam Acidophilus

A mystical practitioner came to town and set up her tent in the marketplace.

“Getcha fortunes!” she cried. “’Orroscopes! Two for the price of one! Crystals! ’roma ferapy! Ay-ur-vedic heal-in’!” she sang in a piercing treble that rattled windows and swept pigeons up into the sky.

And the people of the town rushed to her tent and formed an orderly queue.

“Piss keys? You’re gonna be poor … ” she told a customer. “You’ve got a prolapsed aura … Wear this round your neck and don’t forget to hum NEXT!”

And the queue shuffled along, and the register ker-chunked, and the card-reader bleeped – for she also took contactless payments.

“Well, will you look at that?” sighed the old town sweeper. “I thought I would never live to see the day! That card reader joke has gone almost unnoticed. This is bang out of order!”

So the sweeper went to the office of the Olde Community Outsourcing Consultant.

“There’s this mad old biddy set up in the square fleecing the whole town,” he told her. “It’s a sort of New Age mystical thing – do you know what I mean?”

“Yes I do,” said the consultant. “I outsourced her, she is in fact the new integrated mobile community wellness module.”

“But she’s a quack,” said the sweeper.

“She is a success,” said the consultant. “She has built that business up from nothing and put in a very competitive bid – bit better than being a sweeper, eh? Innit?”

So the sweeper went on his way, in search of the police.

“Chinese herbals!” sang the mystical practitioner. “Lucky conkers! Cures anyfing!”

“Are you the police?” the sweeper asked of the Community Regulation Monitoring Operative.

“For all intents and purposes, yes,” said the Community Regulation Monitoring Operative. “Have you got any community regulation that requires monitoring?”

“Well,” said the sweeper. “I thought you should know that a vile and detestable quack healer cum fortune telling homeopath and child killer has set up in the square and is in the progress of fucking the town over.”

“Hmm,” said the Community Regulation Monitoring Operative. “Have you got a postcode?”

“Alas no, I live under my barrow,” said the sweeper. “But she’s in the town square as I speak and I think you should intervene.”

“The town square, eh?” said the Community Regulation Monitoring Operative. “But surely this is a Monday? We only do town squares on alternate Tuesdays, except after bank holidays, of course, in which case we do paperwork – unless there’s a prosecution in progress in which case we all go along – make a day of it, if you like – and have sandwiches after where the fuck did he go?”

“Anti-vaccinations!” wailed the mystical practitioner. “Three for a tenner!”

The sweeper now approached the final arbiter: the Editor of the local newspaper.
“And you feel – ” said the Editor – “that you would prefer a male doctor?”

“No, no, I don’t feel that at all,” said the sweeper. “I know that this woman is a confidence artist who is actually committing a crime as we speak.”

“Right,” said the Editor, “as an elected spokesperson for a religious minority, you – ”

“No,” said the sweeper.

“As a veteran of two world wars – ”

“No,” said the sweeper. “Just as myself.”

“As a leading celebrity who has struggled with awful tragedy – ”

“No,” said the sweeper. “As a witness to a crime – ”

“ – from the University of – ?”

“Nowhere,” sighed the sweeper –

“ – you feel that we should run a special feature giving both sides of the argument, with perhaps a live Q&A event in the Town Hall, with a celebrity facilitator – one of the ladies off Channel 4 News, perhaps? – with each of the parties giving a multi-media presentation, and some kind of non-binding poll afterwards? If we can get a sponsor?”

Fortunately, the town sweeper was also charged with the keys to the olde town wood-chipper (just like the one at the end of Fargo – the original movie, not the inferior TV spin-off). In no time at all he had chucked the Editor, the Community Regulation Monitoring Operative, Community Outsourcing Consultant and the Mystical Practitioner herself – along with some of her more devoted customers – through the wood chipper and off his immediate agenda.

Moral: Anyone for mince?

© Adam Acidophilus 2020