Friday, October 31, 2008

October 2008

by Fernando Magnifico

Hallo and buongiorno to all my friends! It is I, Fernando, and I shall be your astrologer today for the Lady Asterisk is unavailable after an unfortunate accident with an egg whisk.

My friends, Fernando this month has the good news! You may remember that last month Fernando's heart was like the finest red rose beneath the foot of a golem -- utterly crushed -- as his star charts had mysteriously disappeared, although Fernando was fully paid up with the Thieves Guild. But do not fear, for Fernando's dearest friend Vicki has found the star charts for sale in a pawn shop in Sator Square. (Fernando sends his thanks, and will be around next week with his fig-leaf for another sketch.) Fernando now is able to make the horoscopes again.

But Fernando is worried, for there is only one possible explanation for the mystery of how the charts were lost: Fernando's nemesis, Carlos. Fernando does not wish to speak of Carlos, and yet he must, for it is his duty to warn Morporkia, who has taken Fernando to her magnificent bosom, of Brindisi's shame. Carlos is everything Fernando is not: vain, conceited, a shameless despoiler of women and corrupter of the youths, a thief who steals wives from their husbands and young men from their fiancees, and a terrible dresser too. If ever a fiend took on human form, it is Carlos. Fernando is greatly feared that Carlos has followed him to Ankh-Morpork. But do not worry my friends, for Fernando shall not rest until he has learnt what mischief Carlos is up to. But first, Fernando shall see what the stars have to say. Ciao bella!

The Adamant Hedgehog 21 Mar - 20 Apr

The stars this month are saying that this is a good time for Hoggers to demand a promotion. Fernando knows that every month is a good time for Hoggers to demand a promotion, for the Hogger personality is spiky, short-tempered and demanding, just like Fernando's Aunt Maria, who is the terror of her nephews including cousin Luciano who once ate an entire cow and is eight inches taller and 350 pounds heavier than her. Fernando has learned much from Aunt Maria. But this month is especially good, for the stars smile upon the Hoggers in their business dealing. For Hoggers who are self-employed, it is a good month to start a new business, or perhaps to take over a rival's business.

The Half-Eaten Sandwich 21 Apr - 21 May

Sandies, or Munchers, are still experiencing some left-over influence from Gahoolie the Vase of Tulips. Fernando knows that it is the remnant of Gahoolie that gives Munchers the enthusiasm to go out to Forn lands and convert the heathen this month, and from the Half-Eaten Sandwich the sense to choose which heathens to convert. The stars suggest that this month is a good time to go to the Brown Islands or Slakki, where the natives are easy-going and friendly, and not such a good time to go the Tezuman Empire or Krull, where they have their own opinions about who are the heathens.

Herne the Hunted 22 May - 21 Jun

This month the stars tell Fernando that it is the auspicious time for Hernians and romance. This fills Fernando with the happiness, for Fernando knows well the joy of romance and he likes to see others also joyful. But Hernians are sometimes shy and retiring, and need encouragement, so Fernando has asked the stars for espeziale advice.

For those wanting to romance the ladies, the stars they say that flowers or small gifts will be very appropriate, except for those ladies born with Great T'Phon in the cusp of the Flying Moose. For those ladies, they may have an unfortunate tendency to eat the flowers, and the stars suggest a gift of jewellery instead. A gift of a small pet is also good: the stars suggest a small puppy or kitten, or for the more adventurous, a swamp dragon, but if you really want to make the good impression and you can afford it, the stars suggest a Ring-Tailed Ocelot.

For those wanting to romance the gentlemens Hernians, the stars recommend taking an interest in their favourite footsball team, unless they are the supporters of Quirm, buying them tools, or if all else fails, turning up at their door wearing a large coat with nothing underneath. Fernando is especially fond of that last one.

Fernando can also help with personal tuition for any Hernians wanting to learn more about the romance and the writing of love-letters and other related activities.

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

Traditionally many wizards and quite a few witches as well are Staffies, and for them Fernando does not have good news, for Fernando is not like some of those other astrologers who will tweak the horoscope so it only gives the good news. You can trust Fernando's horoscopes, for like Fernando himself, his horoscopes are upright and honest and how you say, meticulous. The stars this month warn that it is not a good month for magic: this will be no hardship for senior wizards, but student wizards with examinations in the next few weeks will have to work twice as hard.

Bilious, God of Hangovers 23 Jul - 23 Aug

This month is a good month for Bilians, for Fernando knows that so say the stars. But Fernando also knows that the typical Bilian is nervous and pessimistic, very different from Fernando, but life would be boring if everyone was the same. Fernando is never boring -- surprising, adventurous, romantic and skillful in many of the arts, but never boring -- and he thinks that the world is molto exciting for the many differences we have.

For Bilians, this month will be in general the good month, a small taste of la dolce vita as we say in Brindisi. You should expect the small things to go right, and the big things to not go wrong.

The Celestial Parsnip 24 Aug - 23 Sept

This month Snippies should beware of their health, for the stars warn that they are at risk of illness. Fernando's mamma would always make sure Fernando wore a warm coat in Brindisi winters, but of course Brindisi winters are not like Ankh-Morpork winters.

Snippies, the stars warn that you are at particular risk of the gurgles, chicken pox, duck pox, buffalo pox, and most worrying of all, caledonia nervosa, the morbid fear of becoming a Nac Mac Feegle. The best prevention for that last is to actually meet the Mac Feegles -- one "Crivens" from you and you'll receive such a kickin' that you'll be cured of any fear of turning into a Feegle. It may be replaced by a morbid fear of meeting the Feegles again, but as Fernando knows, that is perfectly normal and nothing to be concerned about.

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

Boring'uns can expect a mixed time this month, like the vino Fernando's Uncle Alfonso makes. First comes the sweet, for the stars predict that the beginning of the month will be quiet, peaceful and blissfully safe for Boring'uns. The stars predict the most frightening thing will be a run-in with an unusually sharp asparagus spear.

But Fernando is sorry for the Boring'uns, for just when you are enjoying the quiet the most, the stars will turn things around on you. Like Uncle Alfonso, whose first batch of vino for the year is sweet, but then he partakes of a little too much vino himself and the second batch of vino is sour, you can expect interesting times in the second half of the month, as the Agateans put it. The gods like their little surprises, but the stars warn about visits from in-laws, pineapples, tax audits and a mix-up at the Thieves Guild. Fernando recommends you get a copy of your Guild voucher and carry it around with you at all times. It won't stop you being robbed, but it may prevent that second thump on the head.

Androgyna Majestis 24 Oct - 22 Nov

For Andies this month, you should beware of family arguments. You can expect to see a molto grande mountain grown from the piccolo ant hill. Fernando knows how it goes: a brief comment or a passing remark, a reply, another reply, and before long somebody is saying "You'll bring That Woman into this house over my dead body" or "If you knew what your brother said about you, you wouldn't be sitting there so calmly". Fernando knows very well how it goes, for nobody argues and loves with so much passion as a Brindisian family! Fernando remembers when he was a boy, Uncle Nino (mayherestinnapeace) and Uncle Rafael fighting in the street over what Uncle Salvatore had said to grandmamma Angelina about cousin Tony (not cousin Tony who makes the yellow water who I have talked about before, Uncle Angelo's boy Tony, the one with the squint) and his fiancee Rosalinda the daughter of Francesco the barber, while their wives cheered them on, until Aunt Maria hit them both with her broom.

The Spoons, a.k.a. the Greater and Lesser Spoons, 23 Nov - 21 Dec

This month Spooners will find that it is a good month for the cooking and the food. With the stars giving you assistance, there will be no more burnt toast, meat burnt to charcoal, or rubbery eggs. Your pasta will be al dente, your salads fresh and not limp, and your soups thick and hearty and flavoursome. To be brief, you will cook almost as well as a Brindisian -- which probably means your family will ask "what's this foreign muck?" and go out for a plate of burnt lard swimming in grease or a sausage inna bun.

Fernando loves Ankh-Morpork, the sights, the sounds, especially the peoples, but he will never get used to the food.

Hoki the Jokester 22 Dec - 20 Jan

This month is a good time for Hokians to do the redecoration. Fernando has seen that this is so! Hokians especially understand the wisdom of Mrs Cosmopilite, "A change is as good as a rest", so if you cannot go away on holiday, redecorate your house instead. Whether you are repainting it, or replacing the rugs, or just moving the furniture around, the stars say that the prospects for redecoration are very good. As they say, "Give your house a new leash on life!", although Fernando has never understood where you are suppose to tie the leash.

Fernando's cousin Palomita loves to redecorate, or perhaps it would be more accurate for Fernando to say that Palomita loves to let others do the heavy lifting. Fernando has spent many long hours during the hottest summer days bare to the waist and glistening with the perspiration, dragging wardrobes from one side of the room to the other and then back again while Palomita sits on the couch and gives instructions.

The Rather Large Gazunda 21 Jan - 18 Feb

This month, the stars speak of debt for Gazundians. Fernando knows that there are debts that are owed, and debts that are owing, and there are debts that can never be repaid. If you owe debts, then this is a good time to pay them off, for Fernando hears from a man who knows a man who is tailor to Mr von Lipwig of the Ankh-Morpork Bank that interest rates are about to rise again. And if you are owed debts, the stars speak of using those debts as equity, and selling those debts to other lenders. What could go wrong?

Lesser Umbrage 19 Feb - 20 Mar

It is said that there are only two things certain in life, death and taxes. But Umbragians this month can be certain of something else: whatever you do, whatever you say, the Patrician will know it -- possibly even before you do. For the stars say that you have come to the attention of his Dark Clerks and their spies. The stars do not say why. Perhaps it was that incautious tirade against his Lordship out in the street after six too many of the Ankh-Morpork beers. (Fernando knows that the Patrician does not mind it when people make threats against him when drunk. It's the ones who don't make threats that need watching.) Or the suspiciously exact tax return. Or the barrels of scumble and the cart loads of fertiliser, and you with no garden. Or perhaps one of the Dark Clerks had a quota to fill and your name had the wrong sort of vowels. The stars do not say, but they do say that for the next month you should watch what you say, send no incriminating clacks, and for preference, sit very very quietly in a dark cellar with a blanket over your head, and you just might avoid having to help the Watch with their enquiries.

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