Loyal readers of this blog will note that there is no one less trusting of authority figures than Julen Ibarra, and yet tonight via his cellular phone he welcomed police to the party* and called them “pal”! I cannot tell if he was luring them for some purpose or suffered a crushed and snorted candy cane overdose.

The actors leading the murder mystery dinner theatre at the Christmas party have proven themselves competent improvisers, entertaining guests while deflecting Mr Ibarra’s taunts.

Crystal Balque and I have tracked him to an air vent where he crawled inside and is now trapped, muttering to himself, “Come out and read cards, we’ll get together, have some laughs…”

I said, “Ibarra, is that you?”

“Just a fly in the ointment, Hans” he replied, though neither myself nor Ms Balque go by such a name. “A sticky, diseased-carrying, pissed-off fly.”

Ms Balque climbed in to talked him down, or she would have talked him down were she in any way verbal. Instead, she slapped him until he yelped. This is unsurprising, for as one of our mutual friends once said, “Only Julen can drive somebody that crazy.” I am alone. I hear him whisper to her but I cannot tell what he is saying.”

More to come, I hope.


Meanwhile, I will finally post on the topic of The Tower card of the Major Arcana.


The Tower card is also called Fire or Lightning or the House of God. Not all the illustrations for The Tower cards, even when they are called The Tower, feature a tower. Sometimes there are two naked or nearly-naked people exiting a door while wearing expressions of fear or despair. In some of these cards, it is heavily implied that they are leaving a burning building. In other versions, they are Adam and Eve being evicted from the Garden of Eden without their damage deposit.** There are also Tower cards that show lightning striking a tree. In other versions, the Devil, hot on the heels of his appearance in the previous card (one might call The Tower a sequel), plays drum in front of the gates of Hell. The Tower cards depicting an actual tower have it struck by lightning, with unfortunate occupants fleeing out doors and windows. The tower of The Tower is already in poor condition and the roof, the roof, the roof is on fire.


Right side up:

One might be tempted to think that The Tower, at least the ones that show an actual tower, refers to the Tower of Babel, but a sudden confusion of language between construction workers is not nearly as visually striking as, say, lightning. The Tower predicts chaotic disaster. It is the Murphy’s Law of the Major Arcana. Many card readers choose to believe that it signifies the falling apart of an old order to be replaced by a new and improved order, but if you give a friend or customer bad news, they may not come back to you for another reading, so take that with a grain of salt. Positive or negative, The Tower says (as my friend Danny Delaire once put it) “things go splat.”

The Tower may refer to catastrophe in a relationship or a project failing spectacularly. Something terrible, and terribly random, will happen at some point in the future, and no action of yours can prevent it from occurring. Take a deep breath when it does. Hold onto something. Brace yourself.***

The late, great S.A.U.C.E. elder Michel Nolastname once said of The Tower, “To the enemy’s enemies I promised to give my liver except I cannot keep this promise because my liver is holding people hostage, and it’s wearing my shirt!”

Mr Nolastname may not have been talking about The Tower, come to think of it, but his words are always worth remembering. All learned taroists agree that he was one of the great minds who will forever shape our understanding of art form like Marguerite Piedmont did in the eighteenth century or the legendary Boilsplat McFarland during the thirteenth.


Upside down:

As with many of the cards in the deck, The Tower reversed does not equal the opposite of its right side up counterpart, but rather an inversion. When right side up, The Tower tells us that something awful and random will hit us and disrupt our lives, but when reversed, it tells us that we will learn something awful and random. This is still potentially disruptive, but it is more of an internal disruption rather than an external one, and potentially useful in games of trivia.

If The Tower right side up predicts a cataclysmic storm, then reversed it could predict a cataclysmic brainstorm. Avoid the temptation of negative thought. Avoid the naivete of positive thought. Avoid thought. Avoid perception. Avoid the word “doom”. Under no circumstances should you allow yourself to have a nightmare. Sleep well.



**Due to fruit damage, a failure to adhere to dress code, and for giving their pet snake free reign of the place.

***Please note that The Tower card does not promote autoorthodontistry.


Classic The Tower deaths:

  • Volcano
  • Supervolcano
  • Fatal Jenga accident
  • Any combination of giant predator predicted by The Asylum television movies, including mutant sharks, spiders, bears, octopi, etc.
  • A fatally silent night


Wonderful news, gentle readers! Julen Ibarra did not lose his wits as we had hitherto feared but in fact employed cunning and confusion to stop a gang of thieves PRETENDING to be a troupe of murder mystery theatre actors. It was they who caused us be late to these festivities so that they might take our evening’s employment as their own and infiltrate the office building. Mr. Ibarra refuses to tell me how he knew these villains (plausible deniability, he says) but they are now in the long, hairy arms of the law. Our hosts, spared from being the victims of theft have offered us the payment they originally promised for the evening and also a bonus as a reward.

Julen Ibarra says, “It’s Christmas, Theo. It’s the time of miracles!”

When I impressed upon him that there was no person by the name of Theo at the party, Mr Ibarra laughed and promised to show me his favourite Christmas movie. I must now leave you to procure popping corn for tomorrow night.

Happy Holidays, Gentle Readers. May peace, joy, fuzzy socks, yule logs, mandarin oranges, cranberries, tangyuan, chocolate gelt, vibunzi and various things flavoured with cinnamon and/or peppermint be upon you.