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La Toya Jackson came up with one. So did Dionne Warwick. And Walter Mercado. And Celia Cruz. Never one to miss a trend, premier actor and recording artist Philip Michael Thomas has pounced on the infomercial-clairvoyant craze, promoting his own network of psychics on late-night TV. Presumably handpicked by the onetime Miami Vice star for their mystical abilities, these seers-of-things-to-come offer predictions regarding love, happiness, and wealth. "What I'm about to do is totally revolutionary," Miami's favorite thespian declares at the outset of his 30-minute program. "It's a place where dreams really can and do come true. And it is my gift to you -- the Philip Michael Thomas Psychic Connection."
The "free psychic reading" he plugs more than a dozen times during the program is indeed a gift -- for the first three minutes. After that it's $3.99 per minute. Then again, when your psychics are "the best in the world," it's worth every penny.
That's right, we couldn't resist the pitch. Below is a transcript of an honest-to-goodness conversation with an actual Philip Michael Thomas Psychic Connection psychic being. As you'll see, we learned so much about ourselves that we could hardly bring ourselves to say goodbye.
TAPE-RECORDED VOICE: Welcome to the Philip Michael Thomas Network. Now experience a real psychic reading for once from a true expert. Our psychics are real. You will be very surprised. So get comfortable and really enjoy yourself.
ACTUAL PSYCHIC: Good afternoon, welcome to the Psychic Network.
NEW TIMES: Is Philip Michael Thomas there?
NT: Philip Michael Thomas.
PSYCHIC: Philip Michael Thomas -- no, he isn't.
NT: Does he ever answer any of these lines?
PSYCHIC: No, he doesn't. He's too busy. He has other things to do, that's why he has all these psychics working for him.
NT: Well, what's your name?
PSYCHIC: My name is Patricia.
NT: Hi. My name is Jim.
PSYCHIC: How are you doing today, Jim?
NT: I'm a little hung-over. Say, is Philip Michael Thomas really psychic? I mean, he hasn't made some of the best career moves over the last few years.
PSYCHIC: He is very psychic.
NT: Have you ever met him?
PSYCHIC: Yes. Once a year we have a great big party where all the psychics get together, and he is there.
NT: And you feel that he is psychic?
PSYCHIC: Yes. Now would you like me to do a reading for you?
PSYCHIC: I need your age.
SYCHIC: And your date of birth.
NT: August 11, 1962.
PSYCHIC: Okay, now what I am going to do for you today is do you a Tarot card reading. I am going to lay out the cards, and once they are all laid out, I will do a brief meditation over them.
NT: Okay. Say, that's a lovely accent you have. Where are you from?
PSYCHIC: My family, they come from Romania.
NT: Are you a gypsy?
PSYCHIC: Ahhh, somewhat, yeah.
NT: Philip Michael Thomas is kind of a gypsy in his own way.
PSYCHIC: Yep. He sure is.
NT: Did you like Miami Vice?
PSYCHIC: Oh, I loved it. I never missed it.
NT: What was his co-star's name?
PSYCHIC: Don Johnson.
NT: No, that's not it.
PSYCHIC: In Miami Vice? It was Don Johnson.
NT: No, it wasn't. You know, it was that guy with the scruffy beard who was married to Melanie Griffith.
PSYCHIC: Don Johnson.
NT: No. I don't think so.
PSYCHIC: No, it was Don Johnson! That was the reason I used to watch it. I was madly in love with Don Johnson.
NT: You didn't like Philip Michael Thomas?
PSYCHIC: No, I liked him as an actor. But I was in love with Don Johnson.
NT: Say, how much is this costing me so far?
PSYCHIC: Ahh, I don't know. But I know how much it is costing you per minute A $3.99.
NT: Wow! So how are those cards coming?
PSYCHIC: I've been laying them out here, and, well, they are now laid out. The first thing that I see for you is that you are going to live for many more years to come. You have a long lifeline. I am also looking right now and see that you are a person that is very goodhearted, very kindhearted.
NT: Thank you. I try.
PSYCHIC: You don't like to hurt nobody or take advantage of nobody.
NT: Not me. Not unless I was sure I could get away with it.
PSYCHIC: That's right. But you never really were the type of person to wait around for others to help you. You have always been a very hard-working person.
NT: Sort of a self-starter.
PSYCHIC: Yes. In your life you have had a lot of good, but you have had more than your share of bad. But you always took the bad and the good together and tried to work it out. I'm seeing that for the past couple of years, there has been some hurt, there's been home disappointment, and there has been some heartache in your life.