A weatherman, an economist and a little old gypsy lady were attending a forecasters’ convention. After all the speeches and the events of the first day, they met in a bar and had a few drinks together.
As the night wore on, they challenged each other to reveal their worst forecasting errors.
The weatherman spoke about how he completely missed Hurricane Katrina. He didn’t think he would ever be able to forgive himself for that oversight.
“That’s nothing,” said the economist. “I blew the whole sub-prime mortgage fiasco and then completely underestimated the ensuing Great Recession. My career has been suffering ever since.”
That left the gypsy lady. “I failed to foresee I would be arrested for fraud and spend a year in jail.”
“That’s pretty bad, all right. How’d that happen?” said the weatherman.
“I had a client who was a judge. We had a falling out and he had me arrested. Judges can pretty much get away with murder in the legal system, you know. And who’s going to believe me over a magistrate?”
“There has to be more to the story,” said the economist. “He must have had some pretext if you were sent to jail.”
“I admit that I’m not really a good person. I was using some confidential information I had on the judge to try to bleed him dry financially.”
“So maybe you deserved to be arrested,” said the weatherman.
“It wasn’t really the money that bothered him. He didn’t like the fact I kept asking for his endorsement. He didn’t want his name connected with my crystal ball operation. From my side, I was trying to do everything I could to promote my franchise.”
“Sounds to me like he was justified in being upset,” said the economist.
“Maybe, but I still think he took advantage of his position. Anyway, I got my revenge. I put a curse on him the last time I saw him. Whether due to remorse, fright or bad luck, he had a heart attack and died within a week.”
“You mentioned blackmail. What was that all about?” followed up the economist.
“In the course of his many visits to my quarters, I found out certain things about the judge. To his community, he came across as a nice family man. But I learned he had a secret mistress and was taking bribes.”
“That’s terrible,” said the weatherman and he looked glum as could be.
“I know and I have decided to make amends. Later this week, I plan to turn all of my ill-gotten gains from the judge back to his family. My own guilt has overcome me.”
Now both the weatherman and the economist were looking deeply troubled.
“What’s the matter?” said the gypsy lady.
“Should we tell her?” said the economist.
“I guess we have to, now that it’s been done,” said the weatherman. “We’re the judge’s sons. We heard about the curse and we’ve been poisoning your drinks on the sly since you first sat down with us. You now have only a few minutes to live.”
All three of them looked morose and depressed.
“I didn’t see the events of this evening coming at all” said the gypsy lady.
“There have been a few disclosures I didn’t expect either,” added the weatherman.
“Seems like we’re all at the wrong conference,” said the economist.