THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX….I suppose it couldn’t hurt. The following just came across the fax machine in our office: “The Amazing Kreskin Offers His Talents To Help His Homestate of New Jersey During Transition: Mentalist offers to use abilities to safeguard against corruption.”

Apparently, there’s been a slump in demand for world famous mentalists lately. So Kreskin has decided to offer his services to the state of New Jersey in order to determine whether its leaders are lying or trying to cut unscrupulous deals. “If he detects dishonesty,” the press release says, “he plans to work with the proper authorities to correct any misdeeds.” It’s unclear whether Kreskin plans to donate his skills–although the fax does say “The Amazing Kreskin has never taken his gift for granted and has often used it for social good”–or whether he expects payment in return.

I have to say, it’s kind of cute that someone thinks you need extraordinary abilities to determine whether public officials are lying or not. I also try to use my skills for good and not evil, and I’m willing to offer them not just to the state of New Jersey, but to the entire country in exchange for nothing more than, perhaps, some snacks. We’ve run out of popcorn again in the office and we’re getting hungry.

Amy Sullivan

Amy Sullivan is a Chicago-based journalist who has written about religion, politics, and culture as a senior editor for Time, National Journal, and Yahoo. She was an editor at the Washington Monthly from 2004 to 2006.