I don’t believe in the Long Island Medium because if this woman who seems completely unbearable is the only person you can communicate with after you die, the universe is truly a cruel and unforgiving place. I want to believe in a tolerable afterlife and therefore the Long Island Medium has to be full of shit. If you don’t know who the Long Island Medium is, picture a mullet but tall attached to a church lady but extra small. Her hair is so big because it’s full of spirits screaming for her to shut the fuck up and listen.
This mythical creature with the talons of an eagle and the hair of Nikki Sixx had a show that ran for fourteen seasons on TLC. She’s also written several books including 2014’s You Can’t Make This Stuff Up – Life Changing Lessons From Heaven. It’s a self-help book written by a con-woman whose fingernails could comfortably hold two full tablespoons of salsa.
Sorry, I said Theresa Caputo wrote this book, but what I meant was that it was written by Spirit, the word she uses for guidance from the afterlife. According to her, Spirit strings together themes during her live shows and when she was writing this book it was “as if Spirit were organizing the book’s material for me.” Theresa has found a fantastic way to circumvent the labor shortage– ghost labor. This book was ghostwritten by actual ghosts! And also a real, living woman named Kristina Grish.
Theresa doesn’t just speak to ghosts, though; she’s also spoken to God, angels, and saints. Which means of all of the people God could have spoken to, he chose this obvious grifter. Not, like, Michelle Obama or Sonia Sotomayor. The Lord God could have taken a few minutes to tell Ann Coulter or the Nesquik Bunny to stop being evil, but no, he was too busy hanging out on Long Island with the one person no one would believe who casually defies Him with necromantic sorcery. I’m sorry, but if God has the ability to go anywhere I somehow doubt He’s hitting up shitty wizards at a Long Island manicurist.
Most of You Can’t Make This Stuff Up is the same weak platitudes Theresa gives people on her TV show. She sandwiches together the most commercial aspects of Catholicism and mysticism in a very marketable way. She says that people are reincarnated, but it’s all guided by God, and we’re meant to learn lessons each lifetime that allow our souls to grow, but those lessons are outlined by God. So, before you were born, you and God had a video conference and decided it was fine for you to stay inside wearing sweat pants and playing video games for the last few years. It’s all part of God’s plan! The kickass part.
The thing is, while she’s trying to make this delicious sandwich of all the best parts of the big superstitions, when you think about the minutiae of what she’s describing… the afterlife sounds absolutely terrible. For instance, ghosts have to be on call 24/7 to show up and help anyone who might need them. It doesn’t matter how good or important you were in life– you’re a slave to the needs of the living as evidenced by the fact that Mother Teresa showed up during a nap Theresa Caputo took at an acupuncture appointment:
Mother Teresa should be doing something fun in heaven, right? In an ideal afterlife, Mother Teresa is snowboarding with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, or smoking weed with the ghost of the whale that played Free Willy, or something, right? She’s not schlepping to Long Island to watch Antoinette do acupuncture wrong.
Also, The Infant Of Prague isn’t a dead person. It’s more of a Catholic church-authenticated haunted doll. It’s a creepy looking statue of Jesus as a baby that can supposedly perform miracles, but if it were standing over me for any reason I don’t think I would be able to feel very relaxed. Here’s what it looks like:
In Theresa Caputo’s version of the afterlife, haunted dolls aren’t the only ones working for her. She’s also got two angels on call. Their names are Solerna and Chief. I have to wonder if Chief got to pick his own name or if it’s more of a nickname situation. Did Theresa Caputo forget his name and start calling him Chief so he wouldn’t notice and now she’s stuck with it? Probably.
In the chapter called “Angel’s Walk Among Us” Theresa explains that Angels are real and their purpose on earth is to do menial labor for humans. Can you imagine being so self-absorbed you think powerful, invisible beings that can manipulate our lives exist, and instead of finding it terrifying you’re like, “yeah and they exist to get my cabs and shit?” That’s all they’re for.
Angels are our unpaid interns for the rest of time. I call on my highest angels and guides to bring me coffee! Sometimes I feel like I need to give them something to do; otherwise they’re sort of hanging out looking bored and I feel bad. Angels, deliver unto me a punchline. Oh no, my angel said, “I don’t just have a period, girls. I have a full ellipsis followed by an exclamation point with an umlaut!” Ugh, how long ago did this fucking lady die?
Theresa Caputo doesn’t shy away from the idea that she’s the Jeff Bezos of the ghost labor market. We all have the power to access these ghosts, and none of them have the power to unionize! So Theresa’s just out here bragging about putting the literal God of the universe to work helping her make minor business decisions.
It’s such a good subtle dig at Oprah. Sure, she’s great, but can Oprah talk to God and Spirit? You should clearly be taking your life advice from a woman who has enslaved God.
There’s a subsection in chapter nine, “The Best Gifts Keep On Giving” called “When FedEx Delivers From Heaven.” Yes, all of the chapter titles in this book are that stupid. Most of them are puns… the worst is “You Got 99 Problems, But God Ain’t One.” Anyway, “When FedEx Delivers from Heaven” is about ghosts bringing gifts to their loved ones. In some cases, gifts can mean unwanted human children.
So there is one ghost superpower, and it’s the ability to get anyone you want pregnant. Technically Chris Hemsworth also has that superpower. Thanks punchline angel; I like that one. I probably don’t need to explain why a baby is a bad surprise gift. There are tons of PSAs explaining why you shouldn’t give dogs or rabbits as gifts and babies seem like more of a responsibility than either of those. Deciding someone needs a kid and filling them with fertile ghost sperm are both calls you should not be making for other people.
The phrase, “Grampy’s secret is out,” has never been more upsetting. I guess it’s slightly better than hissing, “your Dad got you pregnant,” which I feel was probably written in this book at some point but somebody came in during the editing and was like, “Let’s make this sound more like a gas station T-shirt slogan and less like a sex crime.”
On top of the weird incest necromancy, the self-help in this book is not that helpful either. There are chapters called, “Come On, Get Happy,” and “Just Do You.” The typical advice that every Instagram Mom posts under pictures of herself wearing a hat that’s twice the length of her body, or doing a prayer pose in front of her father’s casket, or whatever.
It’s mostly a boring book written by an idiot’s ghostwriter pretending to be a ghost, but every once in a while, Theresa drops a nugget of afterlife wisdom that shakes you to your very core. If you look at it from an alive person’s point of view, Theresa’s version of the afterlife rules. Ghosts exist to follow you around, do your chores, comfort you, and send you signs. If you look at it from a dead person’s point of view, it’s, you know, a swirling realm of celebrity slaves and amateur fertility doctors.
…This article was brought to you by our fine sponsor and Hot Dog Supreme, KNM: Who can harness the ghosts of the dead and damned for kickball purposes only.