Lieutenant Columbo Reads Your Aura: A Joint Post With Calvin Kasulke

Last night Calvin texted me “no evidence, just vibes” on the subject of Columbo’s “I’ve-got-a-hunch” Rube Goldberg confession-eliciting traps. From a simple premise, between two simple men, the rest followed naturally: A vibes-based Lieutenant Columbo. Calvin’s entries alternate in turn with mine, beginning with Calvin, then me, and so on. Allow yourself to experience this simple pleasure.

“You see your honor, his aura — and I hate to have to say this, I really do – but his aura, his vibe, if you follow my meaning, his vibes were very, very off. They were just terrible vibes, your honor.”


“You see, I went back and checked — my wife uses the Rider-Waite deck too, very popular — and wouldn’t you know it, the Hanged Man was inverted afterwards. [A grim pause, which Columbo allows to settle out into its full, terrible weight.] Afterwards, ma’am.”


“Well, see, that piqued my interest. So I went back to the county archives – you remember when I ran into you there? – anyway, what was I saying, oh. So I went down to the archives and I found her birth certificate, which listed many things, lotta information there, including the time of day she was born. And wouldn’t you know it, doctor, she’s a triple Capricorn. Now how do you like that?”


“You know, sir, it’s a funny thing. All my life I kept running into clairvoyant people. I don’t just mean precognitive, like you and the people in this house. You know what I mean. In school, there were lots of more spiritual kids. And when I first joined the force, sir, they had some very powerful seers there. And I could tell right away that it wasn’t gonna be easy making detective-oracle as long as they were around. But I figured, if I worked harder than they did, put in more time, studied the major and minor keys of Solomon, kept my third eye open, maybe I could make it happen. And I did. And I really love my work, sir.”


“It’s an Oracle deck, a — hm? Well it’s like a tarot deck, yeah, it’s kind of like that, but the cards, what they’re telling you — or what they’re trying to tell you, because me, I’m not so good at listening most of the time, that’s what my wife tells me — their meaning, of the cards, I mean, what they’re all about, well. It’s more up to interpretation, you know. Things aren’t always what they seem to be, sometimes. For example, let’s just use Mrs. Leonard’s handbag as an example, the one at the crime scene –”


“About that, sir. As it happens, sir, I came to suspect you about two minutes after I had met you. No, no, I’m not kidding you. From that very first night, when you decided to come to the restaurant directly after you were informed that Vittorio had been poisoned. [A pause.] Yes, I know you’d been instructed to come here by the police, sir, but what I mean is that you came right away, after eating dinner with a man that had been poisoned. You didn’t consult a scapulimancer, sir, and you didn’t ring for a member of the worshipful society of apothecaries. You didn’t even ask for a servant take a great onyon, make a hole in the middle of him, then fill the place with Mithridaticum or Triacle, and some leaues of Rue, Mr. Gerard, and that’s the damnedest example of good citizenship I’ve ever seen.”


“Oh, Mr. Stevens! I didn’t think you’d be – your secretary, she said I could just wait in here. Gee, I wasn’t expecting you back here until at least four, your secretary, she told me you were – hm? Oh, sure, that makes sense. That makes sense, yeah. Oh this? It’s just something I do to pass the time. It helps me focus, I’m always all over the place – distracted, you could say. And doing a reading, which is what this is called, standard stuff, the cross there, it’s not religious, you see, it’s about the sequence – here, it’s better if I just show you. Let me just – do you mind if I sit? I’ll just shuffle these and we can do one for you, it’s easier than explaining it and it really is a lot of fun, helps you reflect, or it helps me anyway, gets you thinking about what you want, what you’ve done, where you’re going – and you are going places, Mr. Stevens, I just know it.”


“You must have a lot of those, sir. Gut feelings, I mean. Because you had a gut feeling last night. Sure you did! When you asked for me to report to the Caldwell house. I did find out you asked for me, you know, when you first called in. What I mean, sir, is that the burglar had never harmed anybody before. Yet from your bedroom window when you called in, you asked for me. I was just trying to figure out how you knew the woman was already dead. You must have just scored off the charts if you were ever tested with Zener cards as a kid, sir. Your inner-sightedness, you know, your inner eye sir, it must be able to see an awfully long way off. They ever test you for remote viewing? No, of course, sir, of course, I’m getting a little far off from my original point. i have a tendency to wander when I astral project, too.”


“Hm? Oh, I’m so sorry, this must be distracting you terribly. It’s a bad habit — pardon? Oh it’s nothing, it’s a rose quartz, my niece got it for me. Strangest girl, she loves rocks. Not rocks I guess, it’s a crystal. She was telling me, my niece was, it’s supposed to have special properties. You believe that? Some little stone she probably got in, uh, in a gift shop someplace, a boardwalk or something, is supposed to contain magic or, powers or wisdom, or something. I mostly fiddle with it. I guess things have as much meaning as we give them, you know? Special rocks, or marriage vows. Human life. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to bother you with it. Let me just — there. Now, uh. Did you say you had something you wanted to tell me?”