Does your bottom leave nothing to the imagination?

Click to follow
The Independent Online

At a time of the year when we are casting around for new perspectives on life, the psychic gift of Miss Sam Amos, of Knottingley, West Yorkshire, as revealed in The Independent, is of particular interest.

At a time of the year when we are casting around for new perspectives on life, the psychic gift of Miss Sam Amos, of Knottingley, West Yorkshire, as revealed in The Independent, is of particular interest.

Sam is a bottom-reader. While others examine the palm or the skull, she discerns personality, revelations from the past and the future, even messages from the dead, in the individual dimples, creases and folds of a person's bum.

How this works precisely was not made clear in the article - perhaps an introductory bottom-reading manual should be commissioned by a publisher in the New Year - but Sam revealed a few basic guidelines. The left buttock relates to the past, apparently, and the right contains the secrets of the future. Loved ones who have passed over like to communicate through the same area. "The bottom is kind of like a channel," as she put it.

So another seasonal pastime is with us. Doubtless, in households across the country, at that moment when effortful goodwill gives way to tetchy ennui, revellers will turn to one another and say: "Who's for a spot of bottom-reading, then?"

Yet not every family is as morally sophisticated as they are in Knottingley. There will be many homes where buttock-examination will, for varying reasons, not be an option, and here other, less intimate methods of psychic self-knowledge will be required.

Personally, I believe that the ancient art of Christmas-card reading can be as revealing as the most eloquent bottom. All you need to do is divide them by category.

Ingratiating promotional efforts from shops, galleries and private companies: a preponderance of these self-serving, irreligious contributions suggests that your strongest relationships in the past year have been with credit-card companies, Harvey Nichols and Fortnum & Mason.

Optimists will argue that, by belonging to the caring consumer society, they are in touch with the spirit of the age, but they are fooling no one, least of all themselves.

Cards containing family photographs and boastful newsletters: you will gaze at the card, wondering how people can shamelessly use a religious festival to celebrate themselves; you will read the newsletter in a spirit of spiteful deconstruction. But your smugness is misplaced - to be thought a worthy recipient of these cards is as embarrassing as to send them.

Cards with scrawled messages from people you have never heard of: a few profoundly insecure people send out cards in the form of a mass, impersonal mailing, as if to reassure themselves of their own popularity - Michael Winner, for example, claims to have dispatched 850 cards, many of them to people he has completely forgotten. Those on the receiving end of this kind of postal bullying can often be sucked into an escalating card war and will one day wake up feeling like - or perhaps even looking like - Michael Winner.

Cards signed by pets; frankly these are almost the only cards worth having and should be treasured above all others.

Messages of specific ill-will: it is curiously bracing to receive a card that cuts through the fug of seasonal cheer with a vicious stiletto of bitterness. This year, I have only one card calling me a bastard, but it was appreciated and has pride of place on the mantelpiece.

If card-reading still leaves you unclear as to your own personality, gather all the presents you have received on a table and gaze at them for a few moments while alone. It will be a brutal, possibly humiliating, moment, but nothing reveals the way the world perceives you better than that Bob the Builder single, that power-drill, those slippers or the copy of Alan Clark's diaries.

If none of that works, you may have to resort to bottom-reading after all.

terblacker@aol.com

Comments