Tuesday, August 31, 2004

August 2004

Hello my cosmological possums, it's time for another month's horoscope. This month I have managed to acquire, at great expense and difficulty, a genuine Ankh-Morpork crystal ball that fell through a wormhole in L-space! With this marvelous prognostication aid, I can truly see into the future and tell you what your life is going to be like. Isn't modern thaumology wonderful?
-- Lady Anemia Asterisk

The Adamant Hedgehog 21 Mar - 20 Apr

The morning sun will wake you gently, but you'll shout at it anyway, just so it knows its place. Then you'll shout at the fawning servant who brings you your morning tea (even, or perhaps especially, if said fawning servant happens to be your spouse). After a suitably pacified breakfast, you will proceed to your place of "work", where naturally you are either the CEO or at least the head of your department, and bully your underlings. A helpful assistant will draw your attention to a potentially serious problem; pay no attention to him. After a corporate power lunch of blowfish squishi, you will attend a meeting. Or possibly not, since you will be waylaid by a cadre of angry, fed-up subordinates wielding pitchforks; this is the sort of thing that happens to a typical arrogant Hogger. Be sure to run, or there will be no point in getting out of bed tomorrow. Sometimes shouting just isn't enough.

Gahoolie, the Vase of Tulips 21 Apr - 21 May

Business is going to be good this month! Today is a good, nay, a wonderful day to set up your wares just off Sator Square, slightly out of the main drag so the Watch won't take too much notice of you. I'd tell you that the arcane art of shung fooey indicates that you should place your stall in a Turnwise direction to placate the earth-dragon, but the truth is that this is the best display angle to catch the attention of the wagonload of Quirm Ladies' Auxiliary daytrippers coming later this morning. Remember to eat an energy-filled breakfast, since you'll be chasing several shoplifters today. Also, the senior UU staff will be passing through the area between lunch and tiffin, so it's a good idea to hide those fake knobbed staffs that have been such a good seller recently. It pays to be vigilant.

The Two Fat Cousins 22 May - 21 Jun

What a fine day for explorations and experiments! Get out there and make the most of the lovely weather. Just take care to do it in your own body, astral projection is right out this month. You're going to meet a lot of sheep, so take a soft cloth for wiping off the lanolin. It's also time to make a small pilgrimage to bury some tobacco up on the moorlands, you know the place and the brand. And remember, it never hurts to carry a medium-sized frying pan, since certain, erm, troubles can tend to recur. Today a former adversary will bring you a basket of eldritch-shaped biscuits; be nice to her, but don't teach her any of your special tricks. Today will be an interesting day altogether, can you say - and spell - "susurrus"? (a note for Susan: you will meet a tall dark stranger. Don't forget to thank him for the woolly scarf he gave you at the last family get-together).

The Wizard's Staff and Knob 22 Jun - 22 Jul

Tomorrow the Queen will ask you to tea. You could at least try to look honoured, and don't badger her to toast the marshmallows for you herself. Also, remember your place: Pewsey is not a suitable playmate to bring along for a young Princess. A barrel of vintage scumble (yes, the one from three weeks ago) will explode next Wednesday, so be sure the roof thatch is well watered and that there will be at least one extra daughter-in-law on hand for the clean-up. Drop down to the smithy and ask Jason to make you a new pair of toenail pliers before your next bath - the ricochets are getting dangerous. You might want to lay in a stock of dwarf bread, since a certain amorous personage of inconsiderable altitude will be passing your way at the end of the week, and uncork that old bottle of Genuan perfume to let it breathe for a few days. Or just douse yourself in scumble, the effect is pretty much the same.

Bilious, God of Hangovers 23 Jul - 23 Aug

As soon as you wake up tomorrow morning, get dressed and go directly to the nearest apothecary shop. Once there, stock up copiously on emetics, anti-emetics, stomach soothers, gas dispersers, headache powders, nerve tonics, muscle tonics, eye drops, nose drops, sudden-blood-pressure-drop drops, every available medication to combat Klatchian Two-Step, rehydration powders, salt tablets, mood elevators, and a supply of clean cotton towels. Now you can go home and safely open the letter that will have landed on your doorstep: an invitation to the Reannual Growers' Wasters 'n' Tasters Ball. Be sure to have your medicines at the ready because the very opening of the envelope will set in motion a time-train culminating momentarily in - well, we all know about reannuals. In fact, you'd best be sitting down on the gazunda. Better safe than sorry!

Mubbo the Hyena 24 Aug - 23 Sept

Life in the Watch can be boring and repetitive, but it can also sometimes be dangerous and exciting (if your idea of "exciting" is being chased by a flame-breathing Draco Nobilis, or a man with a gonne, or an insane power-crazed mutant Golem), and tomorrow may well be one of those latter times. Yes, the Koom Valley Commemorative Battle Games are on again this year, bigger and better than ever (if your idea of "better" is more clubs, more axes, more skull-bashing violence than ever seen in Morporkian peacetime). Make sure there's extra padding in your helmet and make very sure to wear your Protective. But don't polish your breastplate - that only makes you a better target. Also, take along your copy of the Dwarf-Morporkian and Troll-Morporkian phrasebooks. A Dwarf-Troll phrasebook would be handy, but the troll translators have only made it as far as Aarghhh.

The Small Boring Group of Faint Stars 24 Sept - 23 Oct

You forgot, didn't you? Yes, you did, you forgot to feed Hex's mouse again. So don't look so surprised when you get to the HEM Building tomorrow and discover that that delicate calculation you left running overnight has not only caused Hex to overheat and spew charred paper and roasted ants all over the room, but there's also a multidimensional vortex open in the tearoom and it's in the process of eating the walls and furniture and the vats of trifle Mrs Scorbic prepared for the midafternoon Faculty snack. Dearie me, when you make a Situation you don't do it by halves, do you? Tomorrow is a good day for travel, particularly around 11 a.m. when the Archchancellor hears about your little oversight. I suggest you drop round to your slightly psychic elderly auntie's house for the day, as she'll already have a meal prepared for you. And do feed the mouse next time.

Okjok, the Salesman 24 Oct - 22 Nov

So you're feeling those unsettling pangs of existential angst lately? It might be your job getting to you. Life just isn't what it used to be. Back in the good old days, all you had to worry about was some enterprising younger colleague usurping your position - granted, the usurping generally involved horrible flaming death aimed at you while you were sleeping, but that went with the territory; nowadays there's a certain amount of job security, but it seems you can't turn around without encountering strange disturbances in the very fabric of reality before breakfast. Well, fear not. I am here to assure you that absolutely nothing out of the ordinary is going to happen this month! The Small Boring Group of Faint Stars is on the cusp of Okjok, and that means a month of blessed peace and calm. So go celebrate with a couple of extra helpings of trifle...oh, um, maybe not.

P.S. Go easy on that nice boy at the HEM Department, he means well.

Great T'Phon's Foot 23 Nov - 21 Dec

Have you hugged your dragons lately? I know, the pressures and duties of new motherhood can be time-consuming, but let's not forget where the true centre of your affections lies! You'll be receiving an albatross post on the 9th from XXXX, telling you of a limited sale of new stock from the rare Worralorrasurfa saltwater dragon breeding lines; don't forget to place an order by return post. On Wednesday you'll have to have your man fish a pair of Assassins out of the ornamental pond again, so tell Cook to bake a few extra rounds of scones (it's been ever so quiet on that front lately, hasn't it? Sometimes it's nice to know that one's husband is less popular in some quarters). Speaking of your dear husband, dear old Ronnie will irritate him more than usual when you have him round to dinner next week, so make sure to keep the fireplace pokers well away from the table. Prognostication is such a useful thing when it comes to greasing the wheels of social intercourse.

Hoki the Jokester 22 Dec - 20 Jan

I have some utterly wonderful news for you: this month, at long last, the stars are aligned properly for you to stand a chance at breaking out of your silvered prison! Yes, the real world beckons. But which real world? How many are there? Is there one where your sister isn't waiting to thrash your behind again like she did the last time? I see you'll be standing in front of your mirror-pane on the 21st, marshaling your powers, concentrating your endless, arrogant fury, and then, in one sparkling octarine-tinged moment, you will...erm, you will discover that the only way your kharmic aura can counteract the prisoning spell is if you truly and honestly renounce all desire to interfere in the lives of others and lose your urge to interfere in narrative causality...no, I didn't think so. Oh well, enjoy your stay.

The Rather Large Gazunda 21 Jan - 18 Feb

Two days from now, you will be hiding at the side of the Great Ankh Road when a heavily-laden posh coach comes by, and your cries of Stand and Deliver will cause a beautiful woman to swoon into your arms. Next Monday, you will be celebrating your haul in a Quirmian tavern when a bevy of beautiful women throw themselves at your feet. Next Tuesday, you will discover endless streets full of beautiful women, all admiring you. On Thursday, you will go for a long-overdue optician's appointment and be given a badly-needed pair of corrective spectacles. Five minutes after leaving the optician's shop, you will throw away your new glasses in horror and return to a life filled with beautiful women throwing themselves at you. The truth may set men free, but it has nothing on a shortsighted squint and a well-polished stepladder.

The Flying Moose 19 Feb - 20 Mar

In exactly two weeks' time, your life is going to take a new, exciting and satisfying turn. No more sneaking around practising in your Uncle Igor's surgery during the empty daylight hours! No more pretending that fetching new pair of blue eyes was the work of your Cousin Igor! No more laughter and why-bother lectures from Grandpapa Igor when you show off your latest piece of needlework! Yes, that's right, the Lady Sybil Hospital is about to move out of the Century of the Fruitbat and become an equal opportunity employer. So book your passage now to Ankh-Morpork, pack up your forceps in your old kit bag, and kithth your parenth and your Marthter goodbye, because you're heading off to a new career in the big bad city. And just think, after a few years' residency, you'll have enough reputation and money to open that Suture Self plastic surgery clinic in Bonk. Live the dream, Igorina. Live the dream.