Monday, October 31, 2011

October 2011

by Fernando Magnifico

Buongiorno my friends, it is I, Fernando Magnifico, and I shall be your astrologer this month for the Lady Asterisk is unavailable due to an unfortunate conjunction of a minor planet and her figgins.

My friends, Fernando has the molto distressing news to tell you. Fernando's rivals in the Guild of Prognosticators, Soothsayers, Fortunetellers, Oneiromancers, Haruspices and Cunning-Men (divers wizards, witches, priests, priestess and Mrs Cake exempted) are yet again trying to have Fernando thrown out of the Guild. (Fernando senses the hand of the despicable Carlos behind this, but Fernando shall not speak of him again.) My friends, they are the incompetent horoscopers who do not even know the difference between a vigintile and a semi-decile! But do not be afeared my friends, for they could not find a map to their bottom if it were tattooed on their face, and Fernando has the no doubt that his position in the Guild is safe.

Fernando begs you to find it in your hearts to forgive these foolish ones, especially the Guild Secretary Mr. Weakley "Astral Weaks" Render, of number 37A The Hidings, and not to throw rotten eggs at them. For while Fernando has dedicated himself to the mission of bringing to you the most excellente horoscopes and astrological advice at the most affordable prices, their only cause is to cut down the magnificence of Fernando out of jealousy. They are more to be pitied than to have the fresh dog doings squeezed through the keyholes, no matter how much they deserve it.

My friends, we all need to follow a Cause we believe in. Some people are fortunate enough to already have the Cause they can follow. Fernando hopes your Cause is virtuous and of benefit to all, like the emancipation of goblins, or to wear the most perfect cerise silk shirt. For those of you who are still in search of your Cause, do not be afeared my friends, for this month Fernando has asked the stars what Cause will most suit you.

Ciao bella!


The Adamant Hedgehog 21 Mar - 20 Apr

Hoggers, Fernando has consulted with the stars and your Cause to follow is the introduction of the shoulder-block into the great game of footsball. My friends, Fernando is the great supporter of the footsball, like all Brindisians, and when it comes to the game he is the molto conservative, but unlike some other astrologers Fernando will always tell you what the stars say no matter the consequences. For although Fernando personally is not a fan of the idea to introduce the shoulder-block, it is very popular in the street footsball, especially amongst the Dimwell supporters. Perhaps it is an idea whose time has come? (Although probably not the Dimwell practice of using spiked shoulder pads.)


The Half-Eaten Sandwich 21 Apr - 21 May

Fernando is the famous patron of the arts, especially the Opera where he never misses the performance of the prima diva Christine, and of the excellente art gallery in Broadway with the transgressive modern sculptures inspired by traditional Howondalander carvings. (Fernando is molto fortunate that the Blackribboner artist Baroness Evangelika Lugubria Arroganta Barbina Solfami von Fledermausen allows him to pose for the sculptures.) And so Fernando is especially pleased to tell you that the stars recommend that the Cause for Munchers to follow is to improve the funding and patronage for the arts. May there be many more fig leaves for all!


Herne the Hunted 22 May - 21 Jun

Hernians, your Cause is to support the proposed Magic Registration Act, which would compel all witches, wizards, psychics and other magical people or creatures within the bounds of Ankh-Morpork to register with the Watch, or leave the city. Fernando will let the sponsor of the MRA, Lord Archibald Pinkler, speak: "How many times does a man have to have his socks spirited away into the aether by the wizards of Unseen University before Lord Vetinari sees fit to act on this threat to our fair city? I demand that the City Watch do something about this magical menace!" My friends, Fernando is not one to let his own personal opinions influence his horoscopes, but he must say that this is of concern to him, for there have been the many times that Fernando has been accused of the magic on account of his supernatural good looks and inhuman skills with the love-making. Fernando's magnificence is all-natural, my friends, but some people sadly will be envious.


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

Staffies, Fernando knows that the quality, and quantity, of the food you eat is a subject especially close to your heart, and so it is that the stars tell Fernando that the Cause you should take up is to have the Patrician pass the food purity laws. My friends, the Ankh-Morpork Chamber of Commerce has taken out the many advertisements in the A-M Times and Enquirer explaining that the Patrician's proposed limits on the amount of rat droppings in flour will bankrupt Ankh-Morpork businesses within the month, and that the Morporkians prefer their rabbit pies to be stretched with a little horse meat to keep the cost down (but only equal amounts of each: one horse, one rabbit). And what sort of sausage would you get without sawdust and gristle? My friends, you don't need to be the magnificent astrologer like Fernando to answer that question, you only need to have had primo quality Brindisian sausage in your mouth: you would get a much better sausage.


Bilious, God of Hangovers 23 Jul - 23 Aug

Bilians, Fernando wishes you the best of good luck for your Cause, for you will need it. Your Cause is to repeal the anti-mime laws in Ankh-Morpork. My friends, Fernando has the great admiration for those who take the unpopular stand. As the great Quirmian writer Saltaire once said, "I think you are wrong in what you say, but I think you should say it". (But remember my friends, the next part of his quote is often left out: "I could do with a good laugh.") In this case, the anti-mime laws have the support of the Patrician, the editors of both major newspapers, Sir Samuel Vimes, and the general population. Fernando knows that almost the only ones against the law is the Fool's Guild, and so the stars warn that your Cause will be the unpopular one, and having the law repealed will be molto difficile. Perhaps even as difficile as walking against the wind. Or doing other things against the wind which Fernando is far too cultured to mention here.


My Uncle's Nose 24 Aug - 23 Sept

With Ankh-Morpork in possession of the tens of thousands of golems, there are those who believe that other nations of the Disc have great reason to fear the ill-intentions of the city. Not Brindisi, of course, for Brindisi fears nothing, except perhaps being relegated to Division 2 of the Footsball Disc Cup, and also because of the long and most friendly special relationship between our two nations. But the other nations, no matter how friendly they are now, have the consideration that Lord Vetinari's successor may not be quite as interested in peaceful coexistence. Borogravia, it is said, has doubled the number of trolls recruited into their army. Klatch is training assassins (after all, they did invent the word), Agatea (so the rumours say) has built another 10,000 Barking Dogs, and Muntab is doing whatever it is that Muntab always does. My friends, Fernando is the believer in making the love, not the war, but even he can see that the existence of so many golems risks peace on the Disc. And so it is that the stars tell Fernando that the favoured Cause for Nosers is that of golem disarmament, for without their arms, the golems are much less to be feared.


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

Boring'uns, the stars have given Fernando the understanding of the nightmare you live in. You can hardly dare go out to eat at the cafe or ristorante, for who knows what they will put in the food? There could be herbs, or spices, or herbs and spices. Perhaps they use the garlic, or the black pepper, or even the hot spicy chilli favoured by Fernando's Aunt Maria. Or worst of all, the dreaded Quirmian avec! How can you eat out at the restaurant or the cafe when the most harmless, simple foods could contain such unexpected excitement? My friends, the stars say your Cause is to have the spicy foods banned, especially the traitorous Brindisian parsley, which looks gentle and mild enough for Boring'uns, like the Quirmian curly parsley, but in fact has the kick to it. The kick like a mouse perhaps, but still the kick. If you can't trust even the parsley, what herb can you trust?


Androgyna Majestis 24 Oct - 22 Nov

When Fernando first arrived in Ankh-Morpork, he was the saddened and shocked to see how many of the fine Morporkian people would get sick with the flux, also known as the colic or the griping of the guts. Sometimes all over the street. Andies, it is now the Year of the Pensive Hare and it is the disgrace that a city of Ankh-Morpork's statue should still have this problem! But do not be afeared my friends, for the stars tell Fernando that your Cause to follow is to eradicate the flux. Listen very carefully, for Fernando knows that there are the many crackpots who will lead you wrong with the false stories of "Zoons poisoning the wells", "too many vegetables in the diet", and "invisible biting demons in the Ankh water". Trust Fernando on this, for he knows that this is so.


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

Spooners, your Cause is the Right To Roam, the ancient Morporkian freedom to roam through public and private lands. My friends, many people know that Ramblers wander at will across the Sto Plains, through Lancre, and even the Forest of Skund (although Fernando must warn would-be Ramblers that sometimes the trees will follow you home). But let Fernando tell you that, although most people are not aware of this, Ankh-Morpork also grants the Right To Roam in the city. So with the heavy walking boots, a stout walking stick, and a large sledge-hammer for removing inconvenient walls built across ancient city streets and paths, it is every Morporkian's right to wander through Dolly Sisters, Nap Hill, the Scours, and number 37A The Hidings. Fernando encourages you to stand up for your ancient rights!


Hoki the Jokester 22 Dec - 20 Jan

Fernando often has the wonderment about where the rumours and stories come from. Who first started the rumours that eating the sausage inna bun would make your t*nker grow as big as the sausage? (My friends, Fernando has seen the typical Morporkian sausage, and such a thing is not much to aspire to...) Or the stories about the talking dog of Ankh-Morpork? Fernando has the much disappointment from these unbelievable stories. But Fernando does not judge, for we all must follow the path we have before us, even if that path is to spread the nonsense rumours. Hokians, the stars tell Fernando that your Cause is to be one of the "Borners" questioning whether Lord Vetinari is eligible to be Patrician. Fernando can do no better than to quote the leader of the Borners, Only Zats: "Is it true that Lord Vetinari was born in Genua, or perhaps it was Kythia? If he is actually a Morporkian, why is he never seen out on the streets throwing half-bricks at toffs?"


The Big Chicken 21 Jan - 18 Feb

Squawkers, Fernando has carefully consulted with the stars, and they recommend that your Cause to follow is to support the continued cleanup of magical dumping grounds in Unreal Estate. My friends, with the success of Thaumatological Park, and hardly anyone being turned into a spoon while visiting the site, many people believe that it is past time for the rest of Unreal Estate to be opened to developers. Fernando understands that Archchancellor Ridcully is against the idea, but what could possibly go wrong? Fernando hears that a consortium of business men have offered to buy the land from the University for $1 and a promise of immunity to lawsuits, and in return they will dispose of the old spells and magical waste by burying it safely in the Shades.


Lesser Umbrage 19 Feb - 20 Mar

Umbragians, the stars tell Fernando that your Cause to follow is to do something about the many undesirables in Ankh-Morpork. Fernando knows that Ankh-Morpork is the Queen of Cities, but she has the many beggars, urchins, gnolls, street theatre performers, soapbox prophets and teachers roaming the streets at will, bothering decent people and stealing chickens. My friends, Fernando understands that you are unhappy about this, and so your Cause is to have these people evicted from the city at dusk each night. Of course, Fernando also understands that the gates to the city are permanently open and there is no way to prevent people from just wandering back in, but it is the principle of the thing that counts. Something must be done, this is something, therefore it must be done.