Skip to main content


Getting Carded at the Wine Bar

By Jerry Zezima

You don’t have to be clairvoyant — or even Clair Voyant, who was in my class in grade school — to know that there are two reasons why I am not a tarot card reader:

(a) I’m not playing with a full deck.

(b) I have yet to win Powerball.

But that didn’t stop me from seeing an actual tarot card reader who recently gave me some fascinating insights into my otherwise unremarkable life but, alas, not the winning numbers.

I went with my wife, Sue, to Bridge Lane Tasting Room, where we are wine club members, to see Michelle, who has been doing tarot card readings for 10 years.

When I made a reservation over the phone, I asked Delia, the very personable manager, why I had to register.

“Wouldn’t the tarot card reader know I’m coming?” I wondered.

“That’s a good one!” Delia replied. “I’ll pass it along.”

She did just that because when I was introduced to Michelle, Delia said, “Jerry’s the guy I told you about.”

Michelle smiled, shook my hand and said, “I predict this will be fun!”

Then she took me to a corner of the bar that was separated by a partition so we could have privacy. On the bar were candles, gold stars and, of course, tarot cards. Conspicuously absent was a glass of wine, which really would have gotten me into the spirit.

“Have you done this before?” Michelle asked.

“Sure,” I answered. “I come here all the time.”

“No,” Michelle said. “I mean, have you ever had a tarot card reading?”

“Yes, about 20 years ago,” I said. “I was told I would live to a ripe old age, which didn’t exactly thrill my children. I’m now officially a geezer, so I guess the reader was right.”

“Let’s see what the cards have in store for you today,” said Michelle, who asked me to cut the deck.

I divided it into two piles. Michelle picked a card and placed it on the bar. Then she selected three more cards and put them in a row beneath the first card.

“Your main card is a female figure,” Michelle told me.

“I have a feminine side,” I said. “In fact, I’m sitting on it.”

“This figure,” Michelle continued, “is gentle, smart and creative. She’s not confrontational.”

“That perfectly describes my wife,” I said.

“She’s the primary person in your life,” Michelle said.

“If it weren’t for my wife,” I said, “I would be either dead or in prison.”

Another card, Michelle explained, showed mentorship.

“A teacher is on the way,” she said.

“My wife is a retired teacher,” I told Michelle, adding that Sue was next in line for a reading. “But I can’t imagine any other teacher wanting to have me again. I was the class clown. I graduated because my teachers couldn’t wait to get rid of me. The only way one of them would come back is to revoke my diploma.”

Then Michelle pointed to the destiny card.

“It’s a great one,” she said. “Even if change happens that you’re not expecting, there is an eye out for you, a greater destiny.”

“I guess it was my destiny to marry Sue,” I said.

“Absolutely,” said Michelle.

“Since this reading has been more about her, what about me?” I asked. “Aside from very little, what do you think I do?”

Michelle thought for a moment and guessed, “Are you a reporter of some kind?”

“I’m some kind of reporter, all right,” I said, explaining that I am a syndicated newspaper columnist and the author of six books. “My columns have no redeeming social value,” I added. “And my books are crimes against literature.”

“I don’t think that’s true,” said Michelle.

“How old do you think I am?” I asked.

Michelle picked a card and said, “There’s no number on it.”

“That must mean I’m ageless,” I said.

“How old are you?” I inquired.

“I’ll be 34 in a couple of weeks,” Michelle said.

“You’re half my age,” I noted.

“Can you guess my birthday?” she asked.

I closed my eyes, envisioned a date and said, “April 8.”

“That’s right!” Michelle exclaimed.

“Maybe I should do a reading for you,” I said.

“Is there anything else you’d like to know?” she asked.

“Yes,” I said. “Can you pick the winning numbers in tonight’s Powerball drawing?”

“I’ll try,” said Michelle, who turned over six cards: 1, 2, 6, 7, 17 and 20.

“If I win,” I said, “I’ll give you a share.”

“If you win,” said Michelle, “you can keep the money. I’ll play my own numbers and win every week.”

I thanked Michelle and waited while she did Sue’s reading, which showed that my wonderful wife possesses strength, hope and resilience.

“Michelle also told me that wealth will be coming,” Sue said later.

“That’s because she gave me the winning Powerball numbers,” I said.

Michelle was terrific, but unfortunately, I didn’t even come close to being a multimillionaire.

“Oh, well,” I told Sue the next day. “It just wasn’t in the cards.”

— Jerry Zezima

Jerry Zezima writes a humor column for Tribune News Service, which distributes it to newspapers nationwide and abroad. He is also the author of six books, Leave It to BoomerThe Empty Nest ChroniclesGrandfather Knows BestNini and Poppie’s Excellent AdventuresEvery Day Is Saturday and One for the Ageless, all of which are “crimes against literature.” He has won seven awards from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists for his humorous writing.

Previous Post

Humor Writer of the Month: Rachel Grise

Rachel Grise, who won in the local humor category of the 2022 Erma Bombeck Writing Competition, is our Humor Writer of the Month for April.
Read More
Next Post


I drive a sensible car, a Honda, which is perfect for my sensible life. But while at a stoplight, a car slammed into my Honda and knocked the sensible right out of me.
Read More