By the Mysterious Professor Zoltar
Working at the Westmoreland News in 1994 was the best summer job I ever had. I worked for peanuts and had a two hour drive each way from Richmond, but I got to do it all at a small county newspaper where I was a reporter, feature writer, copy editor, layout editor and photographer (because there was nobody else to do those things). Best of all the paper’s editor, Lynn Norris, gave me the freedom to write whatever I wanted – way more journalistic and comedic freedom than anyone should rightly give a know-it-all 21-year-old writing for a weekly in the deeply rural Northern Neck of Virginia.
Astrologer’s Note: Remember what I said about quitting last week? Well, I lied. Partly, anyway. This week’s horoscope section is actually a “Do-it-yourself” kit to allow you, the reader, to interpret the puzzling signs of the inexorable motions of the stars and stuff like that. Then, having a guide to all of life’s little omens and portents, you can forecast your future yourself and you won’t have to shell out all 35 cents for a newspaper.
OMENS AND THEIR PROPER INTERPRETATION
Comet colliding with planet in your astrological constellation: Stay home in bed. But don’t panic yet; this is only the sixth sign of the seven to signal that the Revelations of St. John the Divine are coming to pass.
Comet colliding with planet in your neighborhood: This means you should have moved out six months ago.
Solar eclipse in your constellation: A time of great change. Nickles, dimes, and quarters will eerily appear throughout your room, as if by magic.
Lunar eclipse in your constellation: Time to change favorite radio stations.
Strangely reddish sunset: A time of reversal, with great chaos to come: gravity will fail, Hulk Hogan will be dethroned as World Wrestling Federation champion, Russian President Boris Yeltsin will appear as a character called “Spanky” on Seinfeld, and Westmoreland News horoscopes will become funny.
Strangely reddish sunrise: You’re either getting up too early or going to bed too late.
Black cat walks in front of your car: Time to rotate your tires.
Wild turkey walks in front of your car: Time to change bourbons.
Moose walks in front of your car: Time to hit the brakes.
On the eve of the Ides of March, meteor showers are seen, statues weep, and lions and flaming apparitions walk the streets: You will be asassinated the next day on your way to the Senate by Lucius Brutus and Caius Cassius. Your adopted son Octavian will eventually rule the Empire as Augustus, and you will be deified. Rome will encompass most of the known world within 150 years, but in time, internal decadence and external military pressures will force the splitting of the Empire. The city of Rome will be sacked by Alaric the Vandal in 410 A.D. and the last Western Roman Emperor will be deposed by Visigoths in 476. So you should probably stay home.
Your clothes are stinky: Wash them.
You take stuff that is supposed to be a joke in the newspaper too seriously: Don’t read it.
Ed McMahon appears in your constellation: This is the seventh sign. It’s all over.