Well Dear Acowlytes, the clocking over of the New Year is virtually guaranteed to bring out the loonies. Above is the cover from the new issue of some rag called Psychic Reader which I swiped off a stand at the local railway station this morning. In it, a ‘spirit medium’ alleges to have been channeling our old friend Rasputin. According to her, the Mad Monk is not just mad – he’s completely furious!

I’ll spare you the interminable claptrap that makes up the majority of the article and just give you the bare bones. Madame Zora, a clairvoyant of dubious credentials (she claims to be the reincarnation of Gilbert Einstein, Albert’s lesser-known brother) believes that she has become the chosen vehicle for Rasputin’s beyond-the-grave communications:

Rasputin came to me in a dream and told me that I was to bring his message to The Earthly Plane. He said that his penis is to be returned to him or he will visit his wrath on all those who have participated in its defilement!

Yeah, right. And I suppose Madam Zora speaks fluent Russian. Oh, wait – she doesn’t need to:

He sort of talks inside my head. It’s not in language – I hear his thoughts.

How entirely convenient.

Rasputin’s penis was removed from his corpse shortly after he was murdered on December 16, 1916, and has gone on to enjoy notoriety in its own right. According to Madame Zora, Rasputin’s spirit has been tagging along with it on its corporeal adventures and is far from impressed:

He is offended that it was put in a museum for all to see, and that it has now been cloned by Chinese scientists and is sold all over the world.

Madame Zora claims that in her dream Rasputin appeared wielding a huge knife and vowed to cut off the member of any man who has offended his name. She doesn’t specify what will happen to women who have crossed the Mad Monk.

Rasputin says, according to Madame Zora, that with her help he will find his penis wherever it may go. I guess it’s a good partnership – you obviously can’t hide the salami from a clairvoyant.

Seriously – how do people believe this stuff? It’s so implausible I couldn’t make it up if I tried.

With 2009 being as chock full of cretins and swindlers as it was, I’m really nervous as we head into 2010. Could this be the year that Scientology claims a US President and Shoo!TAG™ makes a cool billion on the NYSE? Could this be the year where homeopathy gets accorded WHO approval and Jasmuheen is granted credibility as a bona fide religious leader? Could this be the year when the followers of Catholicism exceed 1 billion in number? (Oh wait, that already happened…) As the world becomes more and more stupid, the possibilities are grim. But remember – when things look the very blackest, when the churning storms of the preposterous threaten to overturn your little boat of commonsense, Tetherd Cow Ahead will always be a lighthouse of rationality, reason and logic. And the lighthouse keeper will always have whisky. I hope 2010 brings each of you fulfillment, wisdom and contentment – all with a minimum of cash imparted to crackpots and mountebanks.

Oh, and in case it needs to be said… let the games commence!