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Clarksville to consider repeal of strict rules for fortune tellers

fortune teller
Posted at 7:33 PM, Aug 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-01 20:33:04-04

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Chances are, no matter where you live, there are some rules on the books that you've never heard. A member of the Clarksville city council has just uncovered some of those. A footnote to a city code has a series of rules for fortune tellers. Some in Clarksville are weighing in on the attempts to repeal those rules.

"So, this is a magical lavender lemonade," said Stephanie Hoffman of Clarksville's Bubblin' Brews.

Owners Hoffman and Justin Sweeney have surprises as you walk in.

"Oh, that's Bones," laughed Hoffman, pointing to a skeleton in a t-shirt and ballcap resting on a couch.

In a place of teas and coffees, there's something else that isn't expected.

"We have authentic Chicago hotdogs," Hoffman smiled. "I was raised on the southwest side of Chicago. No ketchup. Hold the ketchup. We don't put ketchup on a Chicago dog. That's blasphemous! That's a forbidden dog."

Perhaps Hoffman's biggest surprise is one of her hobbies.

"I've been doing tarot readings for myself and other people for a very long time," she said.

Today, Hoffman and Sweeney are the ones getting the surprise.

"When I initially read through it, I just kept getting progressively more irritated how wild the regulation was," said Trisha Butler of the Clarksville City Council.

Butler discovered a 1986 footnote to the city code directed at fortune tellers in Clarksville. It requires a practicing fortune teller in the city to have been a Tennessee resident for ten years and a Clarksville resident for two years. It also requires a fortune teller to have a college degree, a clean bill of health from a Montgomery County doctor and be of good moral character.

"I don't even want to get into what they may have meant in 1986," said Butler.

"I just immediately thought of all those crazy laws that no one ever thought existed and are just hilarious," said Sweeney.

"That's my thing, is I just don't want it to be able to be used," Butler continued.

Butler has talked to the city attorney, and a repeal has been drafted up that will go in front of the city council this week.

"Why would you have all these crazy things for someone who is just intuitively reading cards for somebody?" Hoffman asked.