“Ask Swami” Fortune Teller/Napkin Holder

Submitted by Douglas Wood February 24th, 2010
Certifikitsch Winner

This 1950s fortune-teller machine slash napkin holder might’ve been the inspiration for the one in the classic Twilight Zone episode with William Shatner in a diner. Place a penny in the slot, pull the lever and get a piece of paper with an answer to your yes/no question (such as, “All my sources point to YES”) as well as (on the reverse side) a fortune such as, “The ace of diamonds means someone near is thinking of divorce. The two chief causes of divorce are matrimony and alimony. You only mumble a few words in church and you are married– and mumble a few in your sleep and you’re divorced. The only way to eliminate the divorce evil would be for folks to stay divorced.” When I bought this at a garage sale, it was locked. I actually paid about $50.00 to have a locksmith open it up and create a key and was pleased to find all the original paper fortunes inside.

9 Responses to ““Ask Swami” Fortune Teller/Napkin Holder”

  1. Allee Willis

    I have a couple of these. It’s amazing how many of them are still around.

    That’s great you found yours with the fortunes still inside.

    I used to love anything that had a punch hole in it as I loved the sound that little clicker scissors looking thing made. I used to hang onto the fortunes and used them in the background of the lot of the art I was making in the ’80s.

    By the way, none of this stuff ever came true.

  2. windupkitty

    oh wow, i’ve never seen something like this before! i’m so glad you got it re-keyed! that’s admirable commitment to kitsch! i definitely need one of these,diner or no diner…though, Nessa, yeah, maybe you should open one…you need to display your stuff!!!!