Friday, July 20, 2012 | 12:42 p.m.
We all remember Dionne Warwick in those frosted purple glasses, coaxing us to pick up the phone. The answers, she said, were ours for only $3.99 per minute thanks to the Psychic Friends Network. Not bad for true love, big money and enduring happiness, right?!
That must have sounded reasonable to millions of callers, as Bloomberg Businessweek reported that PFN made about a billion dollars through the 1990s. But then there were lawsuits. And bankruptcy. The iconic infomercials disappeared. A lot of us thought PFN did, too, but it turns out co-founders Mike Lasky and his son Marc kept it on life support over the years. And this summer they relaunched as a publicly traded company with a new web platform and new celebrity cheekbones. (According to PFN those cheekbones belong to actress Vivica A. Fox, though in 2009, Fox claimed that the company's use of her likeness as an endorsement was not authorized ... still not sure what's going on there.) Independent contractors ranging from Inez to Midnight Magical Spirit now offer 24/7 video, voice or text services (for entertainment purposes only, reiterate disclaimers throughout the site) including tarot, numerology, astrology, dream interpretation and other "peeks" behind the veil of the universe, or whatever. While browsing their profiles we discovered that calls are still $3.99 per minute, and that PFN's address is in Henderson.
But it's not just anywhere in Henderson. It's the exact same physical address you see printed on the Weekly's masthead. Suite 400, which is right above us. We couldn't believe what we were seeing. Had the Psychic Friends been upstairs all along? I immediately ran down to the first floor to check the marquee. Maybe I'd missed the PFN logo somehow. Nope. So I got in the elevator, pushed the button for the fourth floor and held my breath. The first words I said to the receptionist were: "This is going to sound nuts." She listened, nodded, not even raising an eyebrow. Then she explained that the company actually occupying suite 400, InCorp, is a registered agency. What does that mean? Businesses designate (i.e. pay) InCorp to accept legal documents and notifications from a state office on their behalf. They aren't supposed to list its corporate address as their own, she said, but some do.
So this is where the subpoenas come, but I'm not going to catch Midnight Magical Spirit in the break room playing pinball. I wouldn't anyway, because he's not among PFN's reported three full-time employees (let's see, a billion divided by three is ...). But maybe I'll call and ask him if the office is hidden somewhere in the Luxor pyramid, which might explain a few things about that crazy beam of light.