Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Lost Years 2001: James Randi to invade Chicago!

Editor’s note: The James Randi Education Foundation would have us believe that their first Amazing Meeting occurred in 2003 at the request of their forum members.  As this article from 2001 shows, our nemesis was planning for TAM much earlier than that.
Will James Randi and his skeptical foundation hold a convention in Chicago?  Eyewitnesses claim that a bearded man is secretly trying to organize such a convention.

“The guy kept talking about how great James Randi is.”  Said Paul Y. Thompkinson, an organizer at McCormick Place.  “He’s a great magician, hates psychics, knows Johnny Carson, and has a million dollars to spare.  I wasn’t that impressed, but hey.  He wanted to pay us money, and I wasn’t going to refuse.”

The mystery man, said Thompkinson, believe that Randi has made a great contribution to society.  The JREF wanted to hold a meeting as awesome as the man himself.  

“When I showed him an estimate, he wasn’t glowing any more.  I told him that union members have to put food on the table and still afford their dues.”

Thompkinson said the man decided not to rent McCormick Place.

“He said if they had 100 people at the second meeting, they might use us.  Nice guy though.  Wonder if I’ll ever see him again.”

Richard Saunders, an Australian origami artist visiting the US on a book tour, claims he was also approached by the mystery man.  According to Saunders, the man asked him to speak at “an adventurous meeting of skeptics!”  Saunders turned down offer, saying that he would be too busy with his web design job.

“Then he made sure I understood that they were committed to having a diverse group of men with beards and men without beards at this meeting.  That shows forward thinking.”

Saunders, who spoke to this reporter during a book signing, said the man wanted him to speak because he will be starting web based radio show focused on skepticism, and the Australian Skeptics will honor him with a lifetime membership.

“Things are going well for me, but I have a feeling the best is yet to come.”

During the interview, a thirteen year-old woman asked for his autograph, and if he had appeared in the Harry Potter movies.

“I haven’t appeared in a movie, but I can make Harry appear before your eyes!”

Saunders then made an origami Harry Potter.

The woman squealed, and yelled, “Hey Emmet!  Look what I got!”

Rebecca Watson, a visiting student from Massachusetts, said the bearded man approached her after she finished a street magic show.

“He asked where he could find the local magicians guild.  I told him I didn’t know because I’m not from Chicago.  I just put on a magic show to get some lunch money.  I’m really here for a future copywriters convention.”

The man then told her about the JREF and their plans for “The Astonishing Meeting!”  Watson didn’t know if she could make the meeting, but said the foundation sounded interesting.

“I don’t much about skepticism, but do know that Randi is the dude who took down Peter Popoff.  My magician friends are saying I should learn more about skepticism, so I want to check out this foundation.  I heard they have an Internet forum.  Maybe they’ll allow sock puppets.”

During the interview, a man yelled threateningly obscene insults at Watson, and accused her of trying to ruin street magic.  A large man, wearing a hooded robe and holding a wooden staff, yelled at the heckler and approached him.

“Leave the poor hippy chick alone.  Her act isn’t bad.”

“Why do you care about what I think of that (expletive deleted) (expletive deleted) (expletive deleted)!  She doesn’t need you to stand up for her and her (expletive deleted) act!”

“You’re right.  She can speak for herself, and I can speak for myself.  You are acting like an (expletive deleted) (expletive deleted), who gives all men and all fans of magic a bad name.  You’re an embarrassment to us all!”

The heckler laughed.  “So what are you going to do?  Fire a magic missile at me?”

The hooded man didn’t look up.  “No.  If you don’t stop harassing her, I’m going to (expletive deleted) your (expletive deleted) and then (expletive deleted) (expletive deleted) (expletive deleted).  When I’m done with your (expletive deleted) (expletive deleted), I’ll (expletive deleted) (expletive deleted) (expletive deleted) (expletive deleted) (expletive deleted) (expletive deleted) (expletive deleted)!  You know I’m big enough to do that.”

The heckler hurriedly walked away.

“Thanks.”  Said Watson.  “I guess.”

The hooded man replied.  “If that man bothers you again, let me know.  I’ll be upstairs with the other LARPers.  Oh, and don’t take the elevator.  Some of my fellow players haven’t bathed in a few days.”  The man then walked into the building.

“Why do I have a feeling I’m going to see that man again?”  Asked Watson.

The Chicago Association of Psychics released a statement saying that there was a strong possibility of “negative energy people” gathering in Chicago at least once a year.

“If James Randi tries to invade Chicago with his so-called skeptics, we will spiritually protest him!  His million dollar prize can’t deter us from using our extra senses!  We will see the greater truth and help others see that truth in exchange for reasonable fees!”

Please note: All articles on this site are works of fiction.

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