I am not really a superstitious person.
Well, in stating this, I must admit that I used to keep a small sheet of paper, dusted in cinnamon, with the numbers 4 and 8 written on it, folded eight times, inside my bra as this was the closest position to my heart. This because a white witch (long story) told me it would bring good luck to my daughter who was competing in Europe while I fretted at home. And I only did this two times. Okay. Three times if you consider I added the white candle smoke for Dresden.
But I am not a “don’t walk under a ladder”-- spook if you see a black cat kind-of-person. I don’t see any reason to walk under a ladder, but if a logical reason presented itself, I’m pretty sure I would scoot right behind it. If a feline, black or calico, runs across my path I am more inclined to wonder about its home life, as in ‘does it have one’, then to speculate that I may be at the cusp of a black hole in the asphalt.
Men do not like to ever be termed “superstitious”. They seem to think this may place them on the brink of wearing a Johnny Weir rose crown and sporting a Lycra onesy encrusted with Austrian crystals. Men usually like to think of it as being a “custom” or ‘’tradition”, as in “I wore my Ohio State sweatshirt for the last Ravens game and they won, so I have to wear it this week” or “we had lemon pepper wings for the last winning Giants game so we can’t have honey wings this week!”
So on Sunday morning, as I sit to peruse the last on the dinosaur newspapers left in newsprint format, I like to savor each bite. So I read the horoscope from our city newspaper with as much expectation as when I crack open a fortune cookie. Some writer is still making a living doing the horoscopes while researching for impending obituaries, or clunking area news for “What’s Happening”. I just want to make this clear-- I read it out of respect, not because I think I will get guidance on a pending stock option--or because I will trust my future occupation decisions to a four-line prediction.
So this week, on page 6 of the Arts and Entertainment section, under VIRGO August 23-Sept-22 it read: Today’s full moon may bring relationships into focus. You might be reminded of a song and think there are jokers to the left of you, clowns to the right and feel stuck in the middle with someone.
I read the other astrological predictions (I always do this anyway to see if someone has a better one and they rarely do) and, no, they are normal—During the first half of the week you may learn a new skill that improves your life; later in the week, avoid making arbitrary, impulsive purchases; since others respect your judgment, you might receive a public pat on the back.
My horoscope is based on a Stealer’s Wheel song from the early 70’s? Maybe rehashed from Quentin Tarantino’s movie ‘Reservoir Dogs’? Basically, if I believed this malarkey, I am being told I am “stuck” with someone, surrounded by buffoons and jugglers. And this becomes clear under the full moon.
Ah, I think. This is what happens to the news giants who downsize and lay-off the feature writers. There is no money for Nostradamus, or Madam Zora in lean times, so the copy editor, under pressure from getting the Engagement column, Ask Amy, and Restaurant Review print ready, asks her uncle Willy to come up with the Virgo horoscope for the week. And Uncle Willy, perhaps suffering from some early on-set arthritis, has been using some medical inhalants not currently legal in 48 states, whipped up this little ditty for those waiting for insight on how to conduct their life for the next week.
I’m not going to lie—I feel a bit cheated. The lions, the twins, the bulls, and the rams—well, they can read their four lines and go about their business. I am left asunder.
I have this cryptic message that I should be able to shake off. I should have started on the New York Times by now. I should be on page three noting the different political tones and bias comparisons in the headlines.
But I am stuck. In the middle.
Did Uncle Willy, or whomever penned the prose, mean to change the demographics? In the original song, weren’t the clowns to the left and the jokers to the right?
Is this more prophetic than it first appears? Is it not important to know where the clowns in your life really stand? And the jokers?
I sigh. It could be worse.
Uncle Willy could have been channeling Gordon Lightfoot.
Brown Eyed Girl