And The Sign Says

A Geezer’s Notebook, By Jim Foster

For no particular reason today I checked out my horoscope. I haven’t done that for years and for good reason. The last time I read one, I took it to mean I was destined for super-stardom and unbelievable wealth. We all know how that turned out. I am flat broke and the only stars I’ve seen were the ones circling my head when I misjudged the last step on the cellar stairs. A two and a half gainer onto a cement floor is not the best way to start the day.

As I expected, my horoscope is wrong. This is not a good day to make moves on the lady down the street. For one thing, it’s her husband’s day off and for another, the last time I walked by she sicced her dog on me. (I know ‘sicced’ is spelled wrong, but I don’t know the past tense of ‘sic’ and neither does the editor of the Microsoft dictionary apparently [ed. Merriam-Webster says you’re OK].) It is not a good day to start a new project unless it’s to have a nap. At my advanced age, it’s the only project I’m likely to finish. Even then, I’ll probably sleep through it.

This whole ‘sign’ business confuses me. Somehow an astrologer can tell how I will behave just from the movements in the heavens. Well, they are wrong, wrong, wrong. I am not argumentative, smug and pushy. I am extremely open to the views of others no matter how stupid they seem to us folks of superior intellect. I am modest in spite of my dazzling personality and considerable charm and certainly not pushy. If you don’t agree, perhaps we should take this outside. I’ll show you pushy.

I’m just pulling your leg. I am all those things and more.

It amazes me that some people still plan their lives around the prognostications of some fruitcake in a pointed hat. From the movement of the moons and stars he or she can predict how your day will go, or so they say. I never could get my head around fortune telling and the ability some folks claim to possess of foretelling the future. Reading the entrails of birds, maybe, but why should I panic if Venus is in someone else’s house. Unless the Venus the seer is talking about is Venus Williams and she is in my house whacking the crystal with a tennis racket.

I also have serious doubts about a man who has a telescope on his lawn — especially when his house is across the street from the two girls in apartment 22 who never remember to pull the shades.

Do you remember years ago when one dating strategy was checking out someone’s sign before you asked him or her out?

“What’s your sign?” used to be a good pick-up line unless her sign was ‘off-duty policewoman’ and then it got tricky. It was the Age of Aquarius back then and the entire cast of Hair ended up bare-naked — sort of like family day at the Tanbottom Nudist camp only with an orchestra. 

The Zodiac come-on never really worked for me. Probably since the last time I was out there looking, half the planets hadn’t been discovered yet. I could never remember what sign was supposed to click with what other sign and making the wrong choice could ruin one’s life forever. It didn’t work for Elizabeth Taylor. The poor dear went through almost all of them and she didn’t have enough years left to complete the set.

I am a Leo and it actually says on one of the astrology web-sites that my ego and arrogant nature can hurt the feelings of a romantic partner and cause frequent break-ups in the relationships. Obviously a jealous person who was born under one of the lesser signs wrote it. Like I, a Leo, the class of the Zodiac, would consider paying attention to a jerk like that. Although I do recall being dumped many times, so there might be just a hint of truth in it.

The funniest line I ever read about astrology was in a book by either Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens I can’t remember which one said it and I’m not going to read two books again just to give one of them a plug. An astrologer with one of Britain’s leading newspapers was fired. The editor began his termination letter with, “As you will no doubt have foreseen”. Now that is funny.

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