You might call Ian Bliss the renegade psychic.
He curses, chain smokes, listens to heavy metal music and arrives for an interview in a black T-shirt, red plaid shorts and white socks.
That's not all. Just listen to him slam his fellow metaphysicians.
"Most of them are deadbeats," says the 45-year-old San Antonio spiritualist. "Communes aren't in anymore and they're lost. . . .Then there are these Madame Dorothy types."
For the past 10 years, he's organized psychic fairs around the country; his first in Baltimore -- featuring some 20 readers and crystal vendors -- takes place this weekend. (He makes roughly $1,000 per show, he says.)
Just what separates him from the psychic pack?
He claims near total accuracy and produces articles from the Milwaukee Journal showing that he correctly predicted the outcome of local political races and the Academy Awards (best picture, actor and actress) weeks before the events. He does, however, misfire occasionally. He forecast that AIDS would be wiped out in 1990.
Mr. Bliss, who grew up on Long Island, says genes account for his abilities. Both his mother and grandfather were psychics.
"I think everybody is a psychic, whether you want to call it gut instinct or women's intuition," he says. "It wasn't until kindergarten that I realized something was weird. I spent a lot of time with the school shrink. I was answering the [teacher's] questions before they were asked."
With the popularity of dial-a-psychics and street-corner fortune tellers, he worries that it's tougher for the public to distinguish between the gifted and the greedy. Credible psychics, he says, won't have people dependent on them. They won't talk about death and illness. And they will offer references if requested, he says.
As for the future, he says:
* President George Bush will win the debates and be reelected in November; Democratic nominee Bill Clinton will never run for president again.
* Woody Allen will get custody of his three children from actress Mia Farrow.
On the local front:
* Mayor Kurt Schmoke will have success fighting crime in the city, but his career looks uncertain. "His political future is kind of like my Mercedes," says Mr. Bliss. "And I don't have a Mercedes."
4 * John Waters will have a hit movie this summer.
* And prepare for a chilly winter, he says. Baltimore, which will have 12-inch snow storms in November and March, will get 20 days of snow altogether.
THE PSYCHIC FAIR
Where: Ramada Hotel and Conference Center, 1701 Belmont Ave.
When: Saturday and Sunday, noon to 7 p.m.
Cost: Admission is $5. Readings are $10.
% Call: (410) 265-1100.