Thursday, May 31, 2007

May 2007

by Lady Anaemia Asterisk


Many people wonder about why they have such difficulty dealing with certain household objects, machinery and the like, but that's because not many people know that inanimate objects can have horoscopes too! But milady Asterisk, I hear you ask, how can a "made thing" be born under the Sign of a constellation? Simple, my dear astropossums: Made Things are born when their inventors are first struck by the Inspiration Particles that inspire them - you know, those sub-resonic particles that sleet through the multiverse looking for suitable brains to inhabit. This explains much about why some people have so much trouble with certain objects; quite simply, they have incompatible Signs! So this month, I shall reveal some arcane and useful secrets about which Made Things to avoid and why avoiding them can enrich, or even prolong, your star-struck lives. "Careful with that axe..."

The Adamant Hedgehog 21 Mar - 20 Apr

THINGS THAT DON'T LIKE YOU: Carts; Dis-organisers

O Hoggers, never a cart-driver nor a cartwright be. In fact, you'd do best to even avoid travelling in carts, coaches, caissons, parade floats... hmm, looking at your chart, I think your problem lies in wheels. You should check your family tree for possible Tezuman herrydeterryness, and also avoid roller skates, couches on castors, and those eldritch shopping trolleys with the snow globes in them. Stick to sedan chairs and good honest footwear.

It's not at all clear that anyone can get along productively with a Dis-organiser, but you certainly don't want to touch one even with a ten-foot pearwood staff! If you don't believe me, just look at all the grief Commander Vimes of the A-M City Watch has had with them, and he's a Hogger born. The only "software" you can safely use the like of tablecloths, Sonkies and bouncy castles. If you need reminders or a calendar or alarm clock, delegate to your underlings. Hoggers are Life's collectors of underlings, so you'll have no problem there. Remember to shout at them - shouting works well on underlings but has no effect on Dis-organisers, which is why so many Hoggers who bought one inevitably smash it against the nearest wall or toss it out on the night-soil cart (though the former is a better idea, since it doesn't involve carts).

Gahoolie, the Vase of Tulips 21 Apr - 21 May

THINGS THAT DON'T LIKE YOU: Furniture; the Clacks

Typical Gahooligans have scarred lower legs from barking their shins on furniture, scarred arms from barking their elbows on furniture, facial scars from falling over furniture, and often an ever-growing collection of plaster casts from limbs, hands, feet and whatnot broken as a result from contretemps with furniture. This is in no way a series of coincidences or even ordinary accident-proneness; no, furniture doesn't like you. If you ever thought an occasional table was more than occasionally lying in wait to cause you pain of the wood-on-soft-flesh variety, you were absolutely right! - and likewise if you thought that drawers were deliberately sticking just so that they could suddenly unstick, causing you to go posterior over hedgehog when you pulled hard on them. And kitchen tables? - don't talk to me about kitchen tables. I know your pain. Massive, frequent sacrifices to the Goddess Anoia are a partial solution, but for a less hazardous life you should give up furniture altogether, sleep and eat on the floor, and pile your clothes in assorted corners of the room like you always wanted to anyway.

The Clacks is your other nemesis. While it won't cause immediate injury, you Gahooligans will most often be the ones who suffer as a result of missing, endlessly and mysteriously (and expensively) reduplicated, or confusingly - and sometimes dangerously - garbled messages: you know, when you send MUM SAID ALL FORGIVEN HOME IS BEST and it arrives as MOTHER DIED ALL FORSAKEN HOME IS LOST, or your pre-paid order for 6 bowls from Quirm gets you 60 owls from Wurmz (just be glad it wasn't 60 bowels; there's a branch of We R Igors in Wurmz). Stick with good old-fashioned Post Office letters or trained carrier pigeons!

Herne the Hunted 22 May - 21 Jun


Between you and me, I'd say you have a bit of a problem here. There's a good reason why most Hernians are shy, peaceful foragers, and these are it! Hernian farmers always find that their ploughs turn on them, that their furrows have more twists and turns than Empirical Crescent and that clods of earth (and ox or horse doings) unfailingly seem to hit them in the face when they're attempting to plough, even if their plough isn't connected to any beast of burden. Your best bet, if you insist on growing your own food, is to use a collection of large pots and be sure to sacrifice generously to the Summer Lady.

As for swords, they'll break at inconvenient times (e.g. in the middle of defending yourself from barbarian hordes sacking your peaceful village), and you'll find you can never get a sharp edge on them except when they fall out of their scabbards onto your foot. And there's no point trying to turn your swords into ploughshares, either, because they'll bend when the tempering process is nearly complete (and put the blacksmith in a foul temper in the process). Sensible smiths always ask the Sign of any meek-looking customer bringing in a sword for recycling.

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

THINGS THAT DON'T LIKE YOU: Roasting-spits; Laundry-mangles; Spellbooks

For a Sign so noted for its love of fine food (and plenty of it), the practice of the art of cooking is surprisingly ill-starred. Staffies may love their hot roast dinners but actually trying to make them is an exercise in culinary disaster - Staffies plus roasting spits plus sizzling suckling pigs (or sheep, or sides of beef or yak or camel get the idea) equal kitchen fires, the urgent need of skin grafts, and worst of all, roasts that are overcooked and underdone at the same time. If you must muck about in the kitchen, stick to jellies. Or those little sandwiches with the crusts cut off. Or salads.

You also don't want to contemplate washing your own grease-and-BCBs-drenched clothing. If you're lucky, the laundry-mangle will chew your best apparel to pieces; if you're not so lucky, your arms will get the same treatment. According to the A-M Office of Counting Things, persons born under the sign of the Wizard's Staff and Knob are disproportionately susceptible to death by drowning in laundry tubs. Now you know why. Send you clothes out for washing, or take up Naturism.

Spellbooks are not your friends. Even simple conjuring primers or household grimoires have a natural magickal ability to create discord in the fabric of the universe and must be used with care, but in your case using with care just means that that simple sock-washing spell (see? I told you to send your laundry out!) probably won't cause the Sun to explode. As the Wizard's Staff and Knob is the most prevalent Sign of those born to become high-level mages, this goes a long way towards explaining why senior wizards often seem so, um, differently abled when it comes to spellcasting.

Bilious, God of Hangovers 23 Jul - 23 Aug


You just knew I was going to tell you that, didn't you? Being born under the Sign of Bilious, God of Hangovers, means you're destined to spend your life as an end user if you know what's good for you! Not that Bilians are known for knowing what's good for them - although they know volumes - yards - Nebuchadnezzars about what's bad for them, and do what's bad for them anyway. Trust me, your hung-over lives are already miserable enough without adding the miseries of trying to distil your own potable poisons. Operate a still and you'll experience more explosions than the average Alchemist's apprentice, more poisonous fumes than are seen in Unseen University's Potions class, more corroded metal than is normally found in Copperhead mine tailings...and if you get any results that produce alcohol rather than disaster, you can be sure that they're best used only for paint stripping. Play it safe and give your custom to the local wineshop, or at least to a home brewer born under a different Sign.

Most people think Bilians make bad barmen because they drink more merchandise than they sell, but the real reason is that glassware doesn't like them. You Bilians know to your sorrow that beer glasses, whisky glasses, port glasses, brandy balloons, champagne flutes, cognac snifters, steins, tankards, shotglasses, Klatchian coffee thimbles and scumble tumblers have a habit of jumping off shelves and falling off bars and slipping out of hands whenever you're nearby. Optics crack, bottles fall over and even earthenware jars develop sudden tectonic instability (because earthenware is just glass that didn't make it to graduation). For that matter, more bar mirrors are shattered by the presence of Bilians than ever get broken in barfights. Wineskins all around for you lot!

Mubbo the Hyena 24 Aug - 23 Sept

THINGS THAT DON'T LIKE YOU: Iconographs; Brooms

The famous tourist Twoflower of Bes Pelargic took a lot of iconograph pictures on his travels. Most of them were terrible! The reason any of them came out at all well is because Twoflower is Agatean and his Agatean Sign takes precedence, or so the TingLingese astrologer Hung-Wan On tells me. As for the rest of you, your attempts at iconography will deliver little but hours of mirth and a huge bill for wasted ink. Unless you like decapitated family portraits, landscapes in the blurry style of the Genuan Impressionists, distorted noses, sheets of paper covered in black ink because you forgot to take the porthole-cover off, scary red eyes that belong to your nearest and dearest rather than to creatures from the Dungeon Dimensions, or beautiful, microscopically-detailed, crystal-clear pictures of your own thumb, you belong strictly on the other side of the imp.

Brooms hate Mubboons. Mubboons do not make ept witches, or ept History Monks, or even ept charladies. Just inept ones. Nuff said!

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


Admit it, you Boring'uns thought it was just that nothing likes you! But in reality your greatest threats come from chopsticks and socks. Chopsticks are dangerous: 200 million Agateans can be wrong. Consider what the word is made from - "chop" and "sticks"; things that can chop are potentially lethal, and things that are sticks can do all sorts of damage, from spearing an eye to being used for bamboo foot torture to being the dry tinder that starts a city-wide fire. What sort of foolishly brave lunatic wants to eat supper with a glorified pair of tweezers anyway, when there are so many nice safe rounded spoons sitting around completely failing to feature sharp pointy bits? They say a master of chopstickery can pick up a single grain of rice with them; bloody show-offs - everyone knows that a single grain of rice is more likely to get stuck in your windpipe and choke you to death! Never mind the chopsticks, you need spoons. Lots of spoons.

And what could be less dangerous than a soft, warm, fluffy pair of hand-knitted socks? Quite a few things, actually, for Boring'uns. Not only are socks well known for causing fatal slippages, but they also have a natural attraction for half-bricks, and a simple sock in a half-brick can change the fate of the world. Doffed socks lie in wait at night, seeking their opportunity to trip their feckless barefoot owners on a midnight trip to the garderobe. Dirty socks collect germs that could cause terrible infections. Woolly socks tickle and itch, causing their wearers to reach down to scratch at inopportune moments and invite lethal loss of balance; it's statistically proven that woolly socks cause more deaths by misadventure than woolly mammoths, and when you compare the weight and size of a quiescent sock to the weight and size of an angry woolly mammoth, socks are gramme for gramme unthinkably more dangerous. Go barefoot whenever possible and sacrifice frequently to the Small Gods of household woollens.

Androgyna Majestis 24 Oct - 22 Nov

THINGS THAT DON'T LIKE YOU: Projectile Weaponry; Mushrooms

Projectile weaponry, which includes gonnes, crossbows, javelins, throwing knives, slings, blowguns, longbows, boomerangs, Piecemakers, bolas, tea services and siege engines, are Not Your Thing. Just as Hernians make poor ploughmen, Andies make poor infantrymen - the only enemy you're likely to successfully attack will be yourselves, as the term "friendly fire" might as well have been invented just for you! Stay away from anything spring-loaded, since anything spring-loaded can technically be classed as a projectile weapon, even music boxes or those newfangled imp-free chronographs. Face it, you're cut out for gentler pursuits; put the gonne down and back away slowly...

Mushrooms... no, not the edible ones, but the needleperson's darning gadget... actually, any and all sewing accoutrements are on your "don't go there" list. Andies who attempt the tailor's life soon find that needles prick and stab, scissors slice and puncture, drawing pins have a penchant for missing the fabric and finding the soft tissue with the greatest number of nerve endings, embroidery hoops pinch fingertips...and do remember that a needleperson's mushroom is, after all, a blunt instrument. As are those cute little porcelain thimbles with A SOUVENIR OF STO LAT and rustic doodles on them; it's all fun and fingertip protection until some/one bruises an eye.

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

THINGS THAT DON'T LIKE YOU: Butter Churns; Forges; the Post Office
Sorting Machine

It is possible to overcome a strong cosmological handicap, to triumph over the influence of the Heavens, but it doesn't happen often. The celebrated cheesemaker Seldom Bucket overcame his inherent Footy butter-churn disharmony to become five-time winner of the Prix du Lat Excellence in Medium Fat Cheese award, but for most Footies faced with butter churns and related dairy machinery, only nightmares and rancid yoghurt will come of it (particularly disturbing nightmares, as this is, really, a form of lactose intolerance). If life deals you the card of farm worker, you'll be happier and safer mucking out the ox byre or tidying the slurry pits - or doing the ploughing for an unfortunate Hernian. Honest muck can be washed off (eventually), but the smell of soured milk is forever.

The village smithy is not for the like of you Footys. Nor is the urban smithy. Forges are big, hot, fiery things that exist for the purpose of smelting metals - that's "melting" with an S at the front - to turn them into swords and ploughshares and thimbles and stills. The shaping of hot metals is known as plastic deformation - that's plastic with a "deformation" at the back - which requires nerves of steel, white heat, muscles of steel, white heat, and did I mention the white heat? Melting, fiery, deformation... I don't think I need to say anything more. You should also avoid B.S. Johnson's infamous Post Office Sorting Machine for similar reasons. Then again, everyone should avoid the Post Office Sorting Machine. And any other machines designed by B.S. Johnson. If ever an inventor of Made Things was born under a bad Sign, he's the one.

Hoki the Jokester 22 Dec - 20 Jan

THINGS THAT DON'T LIKE YOU: Looms; Printing Presses

For Hokians, "loom in the room" spells doom and gloom. Your happy times it will consume; you'll feel you've played both sides at Koom. Given your exit-date from womb, you mustn't tangle with a loom! Your shuttle will scuttle, for which there's no rebuttal; if you meddle with a treadle, you'll suffer from your rigid heddle, whilst your warp and weft leave you bereft and you'll truly be knackered by your jacquard - I believe if you weave you'll wax wroth at your cloth. Raise you not a weaver's banner; heed your stars - become a tanner!

I must confess, a printing press sticks Hokians in a pretty mess; the - hold on an astrolabe-tossing minute! Why is this Horoscope entry rhyming at every turn? How strange. Now, where was I... there are up to 3,026 moving parts in a printing press, and for Hokians, any (or every) one of these exists in a state of imminent breakdown. Since the natural state of a printing press is one of imminent breakdown, mixing Hokians and printing presses is a non-starter. Most often, literally. And "literally" has to do with letters, and letters are the reason for the existence of printing presses. Stick with quills and paper; they have no moving parts.

The Rather Large Gazunda 21 Jan - 18 Feb

THINGS THAT DON'T LIKE YOU: Stringed Instruments; Sonkies

The course of true love rarely runs smooth, especially for Gazundians, and certain Made Things are the reason why. Where would romance be without the lute or the lyre? (...or for that matter the liar, but that's another story.) Many a young swain has wooed the latest (in a long line) of his true loves by melodiously plucking the strings of a mandolin, dulcimer or bouzouki, but pity the poor Gazundians who, when fighting for the hand of a maiden fair, have to fight not just other suitors, fathers, brothers and sometimes husbands but also their own stringed instruments.

And it's not just male Gazundians who suffer badly in the lists of love. The ladies do, too - and I don't mean because they have to listen to the discordant caterwauling of a lovestruck amateur musician. What happens after the music stops is, after all, the important bit, and for those ladies who don't wish to be seeking the services of a midwife some nine months after the walking-out that follows the caterwauling, Wallace Sonky's Best Rubber Preventatives are a Gods-send. But those of you born under the Sign of the Gazunda can expect more than your fair share of splits, holes, spills and diverf shall-we-say accidents. Plan ahead by stocking up on some of the more... unlabelled... herbal remedies - a dollar wisely spent beforehand can save you a fortune in nappy-laundering bills. It could be not you!

Lesser Umbrage 19 Feb - 20 Mar

THINGS THAT DON'T LIKE YOU: Knives and Forks; Tin-openers; Writs

It isn't the lack of hand-eye coordination or manual dexterity that causes Umbragians to accidentally poke a forkful of hot cabbage into their ears or spread butter over half the tablecloth - it's the astro-illogical antipathy of cutlery to those born under the Sign of Lesser Umbrage. Not all cutlery, mind you: just table knives and forks. An Umbragian who is all thumbs - and as Igors have long known, there's surprisingly little you can do with all thumbs - when cutting a baked potato or stabbing a sausage with a fork can turn into a virtuoso with a carving knife, oyster spear... or even chopsticks.

Tin-openers are one of those devices that emit a low-level maliciousness field even at the best of times. Trying to open a tin is an experience not to be repeated if at all avoidable! You run the gauntlet of stabbing yourself with the blade, pinching your skin in the hinge, and, if the tin holds beetroot, you will surely end up spilling indelible red liquid over yourself. So have a moment of sympathy for the poor Umbragian, who not only has to deal with the usual maliciousness of the tin-opener but also with its horoscopical contrariness.

Feegles have been known to run for three days straight at the mere mention of the word "writ", stopping only to empty any glasses of booze they come across. And Feegles (Umbragians all, or nearly all, and those of you who've been paying attention know why) are not alone in this, oh no: all Umbragians have terrible trouble with writs, whether they (the Umbragian, not the writ) be plaintiff, defendant, witness or even just the poor functionary stuck with serving 'em. The best you can hope for is a nasty paper cut, but a more typical experience is that of the Senior Alchemist Sincere Rampart (younger brother to Frank), who was called as a technical witness in a legal dispute over the meat content of C.M.O.T. Dibbler's Named Meat pies but ended up hanging upside-down in the Patrician's dungeon for Public Miming after a mix-up with the writ. Sic transit gloria Umbragii, which is Latatian for "you're hedgehogged!"


Blogger said...

Sprinter - DarKz (170BPM)

Blogger said...

I have just downloaded iStripper, and now I enjoy having the best virtual strippers on my taskbar.