Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Palm Reader Exposed as Fraud

Oakland, CA
Madame Esmeralda of Oakland, CA has been reading palms for more than forty years.  Her lucrative business has been in the Fruitvale district since 1970, behind an impressive green awning that reads "Psychic" and a flashing neon sign in the window advertising "Palm Readings $8. 

Since 1970, Mme. Esmeralda has read an estimated 100,000 palms and her shop has become something of a local institution.  Last week, a shocking accusation by customer and Fruitvale resident, Richard Lopez, shook the otherwise occasionally peaceful Oakland neighborhood.

The very next day, Mme. Esmeralda announced the decision to close her doors, leaving some loyal customers doubting the validity of the futures that had been promised them.

"She told me five years ago that I was going to make it big in the entertainment industry," complained Lopez.   "More than one hundred humiliating auditions later, I finally had to consider that these talent agents were right when they told me I had 'no talent whatsoever' ...That's when  I started doubting  Mme. Esmeralda.   I marched down to her shop to confront her directly.  I called her a big fraud."

The Rotting Onion spoke with Mme. Esmeralda just minutes after the shocking accusation.

"You know, it's kind of a relief," she said, in a pronounced New Jersey accent,  "All this time, pretending to be someone I'm not.  Finally, I can be myself, Dolores Busch, from Atlantic City...  I'm tired of the whole thing, the clothes, the fake Gypsy accent.... Enough already!"  And what about those 100,000 palm readings?  "Now, you look here. My name may not be Esmeralda, but I give a good reading," Busch insisted, "Back in high school, I read an entire book on palmistry."  Upon further inquiry,  a frustrated Busch spat back, "You seen one palm, you seen 'em all.  Gimme a break."

And what of her other 999,000 customers?  Many are now speaking out, some with a sense of dismay and betrayal, and others surprisingly supportive.

Steve Jobs, Co-Founder of Apple Inc.
Steve Jobs, of Palo Alto, CA, had this to say, "I'd be nowhere without Mme. Esmeralda.  Back in 1974, when I was 19 years old, her words touched and inspired me like none I'd ever heard.  She said, 'Steven, you're a complete loser and you'll never amount to anything.' Within a few years, I'd helped to design the Apple II series.  I just had to show Mme. Esmeralda that she was wrong about me. I came back in 1981 and she said, 'Steven, you got lucky.  But from now on, it's nothing but downhill for you.'  What a woman!" 

Other customers fear that the bright futures Mme. Esmeralda promised them will never materialize.

"Two years ago, Mme. Esmeralda told me my small business would be a giant success, " said customer Nancy Frey.  So, I quit my job at NASA to focus full-time on marketing my designer nose hats.   Needless to say, they haven't really taken off.  I should have never taken advice from that quack!"   

What lies ahead for Dolores Busch now that Mme. Esmeralda has been exposed?  "Well, I'll probably take a little time off, you know, to let all the hoopla die down.  Then,  I think I'll get into past life regression therapy, where my creative talents could really be utilized."

Written by Diana Shapiro

Photo of Mme. Esmeralda courtesy of
Photo of Steve Jobs courtesy of wikipedia


  1. Can I get her number? I want a consultation!