Horrorscopes

Horrorscopes by Mark Elf

Mitt Romney is a drunken lunatic

Editor’s note: Mr. Mark Elf is a prognosticator of some renown. His long-running Astrological Column was published successfully for more than eight years in the much-maligned and sorely missed Vancouver Star Weekly. Mr. Elf takes no responsibility for the truth of his readings.

“For just over a week, I’ve been getting these terrible, splitting headaches,” stated Mr. Elf as he dipped another sheepskin into the huge vat of noxious chemicals at his new job. “I wouldn’t mind, but my continuous screaming is making the other workers eager to treat me like one of these skinned-out mutton hides. I don’t want to be dipped into the vat. Please, don’t let them dip me….”

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For the week of September 16–22, 2012.

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Aquarius

Jan. 20–Feb. 18

Mitt Romney is having a summit meeting with your tinfoil-hat-wearing neighbour on what to do about the space-based satellites beaming mind-control rays into the heads of the sensitive back on Mother Earth. While the former governor agrees with most of your neighbour’s beliefs, he will be asked to leave shortly because he’s just “too crazy.”

Pisces

Feb. 19–Mar. 20

In a moment, Mitt will come knocking at your door. Since he is no longer welcome at your crazy neighbour’s place, Romney the Romulan is going to set up his basecamp in your living room. Think of the excitement as all manner of teabagger and conservative talk show host arrives to chat with the GOP presidential candidate!

Aries

Mar. 21–Apr. 20

The problem is that all these pundits and their attendant video-crews are hungry and will eat you out of house and home. Just consider the mind-numbing amounts of crappy food it takes to keep a bloated gasbag such as Rush Limbaugh full. If you filled a shopping cart with junkfood every minute of every day for five years, you’d only be teasing him.

Taurus

Apr. 21–May 20

There may be no more gross or disgusting person on this entire planet than Limbaugh. Sure, people find it hard to believe the awful things he says — the vicious lies, the crazy rumours, the ridiculous conspiracy theories — but he is so absurd and so off-the-wall that Your Humble Astrologer is beginning to suspect Rush is a plant by the left.

Gemini

May 21–June 2

Like the other day, Rush was saying something so stupid about how the Whitehouse is manipulating voters that — oh, I can’t even remember what he said, it was so absurd. However, it made me think Rush is a shill for the left. Everything he says so discredits the political right in the mind of any intelligent person that he must be a joke. Romney, on the other hand, is completely serious.

Cancer

June 22–July 22

“I believe in an America where millions of Americans believe in an America that’s the America millions of Americans believe in. That’s the America I love.” Of course, when Mitt said this, he was very, very drunk. As a Mormon, he is unused to strong liquor and so cannot be blamed for such slips of the tongue.

Leo

July 23–Aug. 23

Every person who comes in contact with ol’ Mittens should take precautions to make sure his jug of moonshine does not “accidentally” fall into the hands of Romney. As a new drinker, he is having a hard time controlling himself and any opportunity to hoist a few is an opportunity for him to make an even bigger ass of himself.

Virgo

Aug. 24–Sept. 22

Sobriety is a great virtue, but lately Mitt has been so over the moon on the Kickapoo Joy Juice that he can hardly utter a sentence without telling several whoppers (usually passed on from Fox nonsense-makers) and insulting anyone who truly works hard to put bread on the family dinner table.

Libra

Sept. 23–Oct. 22

Milk would be a better drink for Romney than this high-octane hillbilly liquor that has so captivated the GOP candidate for the last few months. However, with his intolerance for lactose and the middle class, the former Massachusetts governor has so far stuck by his wish to remain inebriated till after the election in November.

Scorpio

Oct. 23–Nov. 21

Or could it be that the booze is just a mask for his more dangerous habit of bathing in the blood of the working poor? In today’s troubled economy, it’s not difficult for a very, very rich dude to buy up gallons of fresh human blood. But not even the CIA can prevent a nasty slip in the tub. It would be tragic if Mitt fell and drowned in a tub of workers’ blood.

Sagittarius

Nov. 22–Dec. 21

Rick Santorum also came up with a good quote the other day: “We will never have the media on our side, ever, in this country,” said the former Pennsylvania senator. “We will never have the elite, smart people on our side.” Of course, the gooey Santorum was not complaining; to the GOP, smart people are the enemy.

Capricorn

Dec. 22–Jan. 19

Every politician should be suspect. However, a group such as the teabaggin’ GOP has offered little in the way of actual policy; they just spout the same talking points and idiocy over and over again. At least with Obama, we have a good idea what he’ll continue to do if he is reelected. Please register and vote. Don’t elect a drunkard.

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Romney revealed to be dull alien

“Are the Teabaggers really serious when they say that allowing gay marriage will lead to humans marrying dogs?” asked Mr. Elf as he used a high-power hose to sluice the foetid juices from the floor of slaughterhouse five. “First off, from what I’ve observed, dogs don’t much care one way or the other about a person’s sexual identity. What they care about is what kind of treats the person has. Dogs are never going to marry humans. They are more interested in one-night-stands in exchange for a box of liver snaps. Dogs are — let’s face it — sluts.”

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For the week of September 9–15, 2012.

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Aquarius

Jan. 20–Feb. 18

Hardly daring to believe your good fortune, you will find a large, heavy, beautifully wrapped gift-box outside your door this Wednesday. Of course, you only realize that it was left for you by your crazy neighbour once the lid has been removed and you find eight kilograms of unseasoned deer intestine. Do not cook it up for dinner.

Pisces

Feb. 19–Mar. 20

Anytime you hear the wacko Republicans going off on Obama because he hasn’t done enough to fix the economy, consider this: most of the GOP members claim to believe in a Higher Power (usually Jesus) who takes an absolutely personal interest in the excruciatingly dull minutiae of their daily lives. That’s some freakin’ ego-trip!

Aries

Mar. 21–Apr. 20

Romney demonstrated that he has all the slick political savvy to make the U.S. a ridiculous laughing stock around the world. In just a week, he managed to insult both the British and Polish governments. Give that meat puppet actual ruling power and the great American experiment will effectively be over.

Taurus

Apr. 21–May 20

Perhaps Mitt means well, but he’s been so manipulated and bought-off by the fruitcake factor in his party that he has zero credibility with the rest of the world. Statistically, it’s a fact that the only industrialized country in the world with such a peculiarly fanatical and religiously naive population is the U.S. That is — or should be — a disturbing notion.

Gemini

May 21–June 2

Of course, about half the U.S. population does not believe the Bible is the holy word-for-word transcription of God’s booming bass voice. But even a majority of those more sensible Christians still believe in Jesus and the Second Coming and they worry that evolution is a godless lie, etc., etc.

Cancer

June 22–July 22

Is common sense so uncommon in America that the world should shut its doors and sever all lines of communication with the most powerful religiously bigoted country on our poor, benighted planet? We in the West worry about Muslim extremists, but the Christians in the U.S. are equally frightening to Your Humble Astrologer.

Leo

July 23–Aug. 23

So-called Christians seem to have completely misunderstood — or deliberately ignored — all the best parts of the New Testament. You know the stuff to which I refer: love thy enemy, love thy neighbour, peace is good, killing is bad, no one is without sin so don’t throw that first stone. That has been (conveniently) thrown aside by the GOP extremists.

Virgo

Aug. 24–Sept. 22

All the so-called Christian Right cares about is using Jesus as a tool to manipulate the dimwits who make up the majority of those living in the “real America” — a fanciful way of saying that uncouth swath of the country between New York and the West Coast. For the love of St. Pete, how did ignorance become a point of pride for these fools?

Libra

Sept. 23–Oct. 22

Little-brains may not read anything more intellectually stimulating than the Bible and the occasional Stephen King novel, but the whole-scale turning away from intellectual curiosity and scientific advancement as a society is truly frightening. Where do these boneheads think their high-tech lives come from? Jesus? The Magic Old Man in the Sky?

Scorpio

Oct. 23–Nov. 21

If I was to go around claiming I had a personal relationship with Santa Claus, that he was an actual person who once lived and breathed and now watched over us all for our entire lives and loved each one of us — plus Santa’s mother was a virgin — the authorities would lock me away.

Sagittarius

Nov. 22–Dec. 21

Very soon now, if someone like Romney is elected to the highest office in the U.S., the country will head into a spiral of such stupidity and brutality and heavy-handed officiousness that libraries will be closed, colleges and universities shut down, the craziest of the churches made into rule-making think-tanks.

Capricorn

Dec. 22–Jan. 19

Every day we grow closer to this nightmare. The U.S. right-wing Christian teabagging nutbars are on a path to total racist and fundamentalist purification. Neighbours will turn on neighbours, just as in Nazi Germany. Mark my words, friends. A vote for Romney is a vote for a perverse and unfree future. Unless you’re a teabagging asshole yourself.

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My hair is getting good in the back

“For most of this week, I’ve been holding back all the gases produced in my gastrointestinal tract,” said Mr. Elf as he held the ends of a dozen leashes, each attached to a dog weighing no less than 50 kilos. “I am hopeful that I can become self-sufficient energy-wise if I can just learn to bottle up the flammable gases that I produce. Now the problem is finding the right connector to hook myself up to a stove. And, damn, those brass fittings are cold!”

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For the week of September 2–8, 2012.

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Aquarius

Jan. 20–Feb. 18

Goodness knows why, but your tinfoil-topped neighbour has decided to share new-found knowledge of his psychic self with you. Since this mostly involves telling you at length about the amount of dandruff he’s been able to collect since he was 12 years old, be prepared to be hideously nauseated — but entertained.

Pisces

Feb. 19–Mar. 20

Up till now, the biggest worry you had was getting wine stains out of an old pizza restaurant apron. But Thursday you will find yourself with bigger fish to fry as a dozen Whirling Dervishes drop in on you and insist you learn their method of getting close to God. “Twirl! Twirl faster! Twirl till you can twirl no more!”

Aries

Mar. 21–Apr. 20

Mama mia! Prior to heading for Hong Kong, you should definitely think about what’s necessary for safeguarding your toolshed over the coming decades. If you don’t do it, you know it won’t get done. So begin gathering bricks and mixing mortar so all your shovels, spades, rakes and hoes can be sealed up securely for the next several centuries.

Taurus

Apr. 21–May 20

Boring beyond belief, your former boss will insist on buying you a beer one evening this week as he regales you with endless, pointless stories about how ridiculous you looked the time you split your pants retrieving some carnuba wax. It must be admitted, though, that the dullard is correct: your underwear was far too colourful for office wear.

Gemini

May 21–June 2

Yosemite Sam may have just been a cartoon character, but he was more real to you when you were a child than your own father. In fact, for much of your life you believed your father was Foghorn Leghorn, also a Looney Tunes character. Better you should be related to Pepé LePew. That suave French skunk had it all.

Cancer

June 22–July 22

In spite of your generally amiable nature, a frenzied mob of angry townsfolk will come hunting you with pitchforks and blazing torches this Friday. The reason for the sobering visit is that you’ve been keeping everyone up all night with your bathroom singing. Give it a rest, muchacho.

Leo

July 23–Aug. 23

Snails the size of VW Beetles will bear down on your lunchroom around noon on Monday. Their voracious, rasping mouthparts are watering to get at you and gently scrape away your outer layers of epidermis. Luckily, though they are large, these giant snails are quite slow and you will have several hours to dodge out of the way.

Virgo

Aug. 24–Sept. 22

Just when it seemed safe to visit your nearest church for some spiritual consultations, you will discover the Pope has put a hit out on you for a joke you told back in the ’80s. Yes, the Vatican keeps track of such things and, yes, that former child-Nazi in charge of the Roman Catholic Church despises you for your “funniness.” What are you gonna do?

Libra

Sept. 23–Oct. 22

Every time you think you’re out, they pull you back in again… It may be time to wash your hands of your entire family, especially that horrible brother of yours, the one who tried to sell you out in Cuba. I’m not saying that a bullet in Fredo’s head is the answer to all your problems, but it couldn’t hurt.

Scorpio

Oct. 23–Nov. 21

Science fiction is just one of the many imaginative forms of writing that have intrigued and fascinated people since the first such story was written, years before Jules Verne or Samuel Butler tried their hand as speculative fantasy. Of course, I’m talking about the U.S. Bill of Rights. Oh yeah, like that’s realistic….

Sagittarius

Nov. 22–Dec. 21

Unless you find a few minutes to spare this Tuesday, you and everyone else onboard the rush-hour bus will be blown to kingdom come. When you find the ticking time-bomb under your seat, remember that the red wires are bad, the blue wires worse and the yellow wires instant death. Leave the green wires alone, too. In fact, just get off at the next stop. Ding-ding!

Capricorn

Dec. 22–Jan. 19

Suzie Creamcheese, what’s got into you? That question, asked so many years ago by The Mothers of Invention, is still as relevant today as it was back in the day. In other words, nobody knew then what it meant and nobody today knows either. Best to just order up another short stack, pour on the syrup and boogie till the cows come home.

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Teabaggers gather for self-deluded smugness

“The U.S. presidential elections are fast approaching,” stated Mr. Elf as he shoved his arm deep into an African elephant’s oversized rectum. “I can almost reach the obstruction… Yes, Mitt Romney… And that foul creature he chose as his running mate… Hey, what’s that I feel? …I’d rather be talking about politics than pushing my arm into this poor creature’s fundament… Just a little further… Got it!” At this point, Mr. Elf wrenched free a good-sized chunk of undigested banana leaf from the behemoth’s bottom. The elephant trumpeted its thanks to our nearest Horoscopologist — from both ends. A fitting political statement, we think.

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For the week of August 26–September 1, 2012.

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Aquarius

Jan. 20–Feb. 18

Right now, your insane neighbour (the one who wears the tinfoil hat to deflect space-based mind-control beams) is hatching a plot so fiendish that its full import will not be appreciated by you until moments before your demise. Unfortunately, those moments are almost here, if your neighbour has anything to do with it.

Pisces

Feb. 19–Mar. 20

Only occasionally does one receive a second chance in life. You are being presented with just such an opportunity Tuesday, though you may not recognize the exact moment when it arrives. Keep a stopwatch in your pocket and use it to time your every action. Why? No reason. It amuses me to tell you this, though.

Aries

Mar. 21–Apr. 20

Married to some sort of half-human hybrid, you awaken next weekend in a state that does not resemble bliss so much as a scene from Silence of the Lambs. Your new spouse may not be able to properly speak, owing to the predominance of squirrel monkey genes, but your beau’s prehensile tail will come in handy for dusting the chandelier.

Taurus

Apr. 21–May 20

Never say never. Unless the question being asked has something to do with selling secret government documents to agents of a foreign power. Then, by all means, when they begin grilling you with fierce shouts and savage cries, tell them you never sold such top-drawer info to the enemy. Never, never, never… even if you did.

Gemini

May 21–June 2

Everyone who has gathered in Florida to speak at the truncated Republican National Convention — during which that idiot toe-rag Mitt Romney will be rubberstamped as the only alternative to Barack Obama — could very well be swept up in a furious wind of hurricane proportion and ripped to pieces as Jesus demonstrates his leftist leanings.

Cancer

June 22–July 22

Years from now, the remaining members of the human race will look back on these times and marvel darkly at how we refused to take seriously the harm we all do to the environment. When the last of us has taken to the high arctic — no longer frozen-cold, the final stand for people on this planet — we shall curse the people of today.

Leo

July 23–Aug. 23

Is there no way that a surprise candidate could be found to lead the world into a brighter future than the vicious cycle of ever-widening, ever-increasing eco-disasters that seem unstoppable? I’m thinking someone like Doctor X or maybe a cloned Alfred Hitchcock. Alas, both men are fictional and/or dead. Guess we’re all hooped.

Virgo

Aug. 24–Sept. 22

Some of the teabagging wankers attending the Florida GOP nonsense will be revealed this Friday as flesh-consuming aliens from the ultra-hostile M80 Nebula. Their mission is to confuse and obfuscate human political systems so they can quietly decide who would be tastiest for lunch. So far, Republican nitwits are the meal de jour.

Libra

Sept. 23–Oct. 22

And while we’re discussing Astrological Events as they relate to the GOP party, it is increasingly clear to all but the totally self-deluded that vice-presidential hopeful Paul Ryan has a completely empty skull. Yes, the man was born without a brain. However, he has a fistula in his lower intestine that instructs Ryan on what to believe. Figures….

Scorpio

Oct. 23–Nov. 21

Now, all the technologies being used during the Florida convention rely on science, from the giant video screens to the airplanes bringing the delegates. Yet whenever science is used to argue a fact the idiot teabagging christian fools disagree with, then science becomes whatever they want it to be. God, I really despise those right-wing swine.

Sagittarius

Nov. 22–Dec. 21

It’s just my opinion, but the GOP should be swept into the sea by good ol’ Hurricane Oscar. Come on, Oscar! Wash over the obscene peninsula that is phallic Phlorida and drown all the Republican scum! Best news Your Humble Astrologer could read next week would be of the bloated corpses of Christie et al. washing up on Cuban beaches.

Capricorn

Dec. 22–Jan. 19

The sad fact is that the convention will do nothing except give these mental cases a chance to slap each other on the backs and continue their ridiculous lies and deliberate attempts to stymie and forestall important and necessary government action. What a lot of bigots and simpletons. Wake up, America! You are losing your collective mind.

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Mr. Elf feels a psychic connection

“Being a professional Astrologer and Horoscopocologist means that I deal with not just the Supernatural, but the Extrasupernatural on a daily basis,” said Mr. Elf as he crawled into the dark end of a vast sewage tunnel beneath one of Eastern Europe’s busiest port cities. “Lately I have been receiving some very disturbing and urgent messages for a woman in North Hollywood. Her name, I believe, is Vantessa or Vanessa… Hey, can you hear that? Sounds like a million toilets all flushing at the same— Yaaaahhhhhh!”

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For the week of August 19–25, 2012.

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Aquarius

Jan. 20–Feb. 18

Gee, you’d think after a couple of years of taunting and torturing you, that crazy neighbour who wears the tinfoil hat would have tired of being so annoying. But he too seems to be getting an urgent psychic message about this Vanessa woman. At least, that’s the name your neighbour wants to carve into your forehead this Wednesday.

Pisces

Feb. 19–Mar. 20

Really strong Cosmic Vibes coming through the Aether this week. In my mind’s Third Eye, I am receiving a very strong picture of a pair of dogs… small dogs, but feisty. Could be Jack Russell terriers or possibly horribly foreshortened boxers. I’m picking up on the name Coke… Cokie? No, Coco. Definitely Coco.

Aries

Mar. 21–Apr. 20

Ordinarily, Your Humble Astrologer ignores these persistent bursts of Extrasensory Perception. I prefer to use my various Ancient Charts and Long-lost Scrolls to perceive what the Universe intends for all of us over the next seven days, but the Spirits are strong on this matter. It’s all about Vanessa… Coco… and another dog… Roger, I believe.

Taurus

Apr. 21–May 20

Unless I’m mistaken, the dogs are Coco and Dodger, not Roger. This Dodger-dog is very dear to Vanessa. There is a very strong connection between all three, but Vanessa’s surname is linked with Dodger… somehow. Perhaps Vanessa’s last name begins with the letter D. Or perhaps Dodger was a relative of Vanessa’s in a past life.

Gemini

May 21–June 2

Chocolate man? Chocolate men? A very weird impression of dusky-hued but sweet human males, possibly with amorous intentions, toward Vanessa. These images just keep tumbling into my consciousness, all unbidden. Perhaps these dark-skinned men work with Vanessa in the circus… I’m seeing high-wires, acrobats and someone French.

Cancer

June 22–July 22

Hot on the heels of that image comes a feeling of great thirst, as if Vanessa was trapped in a hot, arid part of the world… Arizona? No. Texas! Yes, a very strong impression now of Texas in my tiny mind. But the thirst continues. Vanessa believes there is only one way to slake this thirst. Find a restaurant… no, a bar… and order up a large Mojito.

Leo

July 23–Aug. 23

Ordering a tall, refreshingly cold Mojito will take care of the raging thirst, but for sheer mental fatigue nothing will do but a holiday. I see a pleasurable time being had in Florida — specifically Miami. Again, I am getting a distinct impression of these so-called Chocolate Men. But wouldn’t they melt in the Miami heat?

Virgo

Aug. 24–Sept. 22

Less is often more when it comes to makeup, yet Vanessa seems to use a lot of makeup. However, this may not be what it seems. While YHA sees a blonde, blue-eyed woman applying a lot of makeup — quite an extraordinary amount of makeup, to be sure — it is not on herself that this skin-paint is being applied; it is on others.

Libra

Sept. 23–Oct. 22

In fact, Vanessa seems intent on covering dozens of people thickly in brightly coloured pigments and various other makeups. Then these gaudily painted individuals are going out to work… no, play… no — a combination of both work and play… in front of large crowds of appreciative onlookers. YHA is mystified by what this could mean.

Scorpio

Oct. 23–Nov. 21

Vanessa seems to be in charge. She may be working for a French boss or a French company, but she has her own part of this business in which she is fairly free to practise her talent, her art. And she also seems to be mixed up somehow with people who… lie for a living… No, not lie. Pretend. These people may be actors or lawyers.

Sagittarius

Nov. 22–Dec. 21

Each image is so vivid, so clear in my mind that it is eerie. All of this seems to take place indoors, yet not. There is a circus-tent quality to these mental images. And the French people are somehow only half-French. The other half is some sort of bland, pasty race, quite similar to Americans yet more polite, more laid-back, more northern.

Capricorn

Dec. 22–Jan. 19

So strong… Vanessa is somehow connected with the Starsign of the Water-goat, with Capricorn, the horniest of all the Zodiacal Houses. As well, I’m feeling a connection with Christmas, but not quite… more like Christmas Eve. Very strange. Finally, it is important to work off all those Mojitos. Time for an advanced Pilates class. Yes, definitely.

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The burning ring of rubber

“My new job filling rusty old propane canisters is working out just fine,” said Mr. Elf as he sat on the curb of the pressurized gas-bar and lit a huge, cheap stogie. “As long as I don’t do anything ridiculous, this highly flammable product is as safe as milk. Ah, you’ll have to excuse me. I see a customer coming. I’ll just balance my red-hot cigar on the end of this rubber hose and ask if I can help…. Hey, do you smell something like burning rub—” It was at this point a fireball engulfed three-quarters of a city block.

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For the week of August 12–18, 2012.

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Aquarius

Jan. 20–Feb. 18

Devilry is in the air as your tinfoil-hatted neighbour has come to believe you are giving his precise coordinates to the government agents who beam mind-control rays from a geosynchronous satellite to his brain. Tuesday you’ll find your entire home tossed in a frantic search for your GPS device. Plus the nut has hidden a time-bomb. Tick tick!

Pisces

Feb. 19–Mar. 20

Oprah Winfrey might be off the regular airwaves, but her weirdly flatulent face continues to stare balefully from the cover of each issue of her self-titled magazine, taunting you at checkout counters. Oprah knows what is best for you, for all of you, and if you don’t get with the program, she will hunt you down and force you to dress for success.

Aries

Mar. 21–Apr. 20

Not in a million years did Your Humble Astrologer expect he would fall once more deeply in love — and at this late date! But it has happened, dear Believer, it has happened. My new darling, my angel, my delicate flower, my own beloved is none other than that very attractive new weathergirl on cable channel 347.

Taurus

Apr. 21–May 20

The fact that she can wave her hand over the Eastern Seaboard and cause huge tropical storms to rush toward land in a vicious path of wanton destruction or, conversely, make such storm-fronts vanish with a flick of her dainty wrist, these powers and more have earned this lovely young lady a permanent place in my careworn heart.

Gemini

May 21–June 2

Can you imagine having a girlfriend who can summon up huge weather systems at will? Why, I believe nothing would be beyond my grasp. I could hold the entire planet hostage. My god! The power! The power!!! I shall be rich beyond the dreams of Croesus! I shall be mightier than any Roman Caesar! I shall cause the rich and powerful to quake in fear!

Cancer

June 22–July 22

Right now, I’m looking at my honeypie as she does her little noontime report on the upcoming weather systems she may or may not unleash upon the unsuspecting public. Oh, they had better be nice to my darling or she will bury them in volcanic ash or send a Jovian-worthy twister into their hometown to pitch them around like matchsticks.

Leo

July 23–Aug. 23

Yes, soon there will be nothing to stop my sweet baby and I from ruling this pathetic little ball of mud. You will all grovel at our feet. I shall issue an edict that all former world leaders must come to our palace, kneel before our double-throne and beg to inform us why we should allow them to serve in the lowliest position in our mighty realm.

Virgo

Aug. 24–Sept. 22

For example, I will bring the leaders of Israel and Palestine into our palace courtyard. There, each man will find a long shaft with a razor-sharp half-moon blade on one end and a huge bulbous bludgeon on the other — not unlike the Vulcan weapons used in that old Star Trek episode in which Mr. Spock must get it on or die.

Libra

Sept. 23–Oct. 22

Orders will be given that the fate of the state of Palestine-Israel will hang in the balance as each man must utterly destroy his opponent. I shall arrange for a small musical combo to stand by in order to play the weird fight music from the old Star Trek episode. The arena space will be super-heated and much of the oxygen removed from the air.

Scorpio

Oct. 23–Nov. 21

Restrained but willing, the two combatants will circle each other, both feeling the weight of the mighty weapon they wield, the dense atmosphere, the oppressive heat. I shall make the Palestinian wear little latex points on his ears and I shall tear the garment worn by the Israeli. But there will be no help from Dr. McCoy this time. Oh no.

Sagittarius

Nov. 22–Dec. 21

My darling weathergirl and I shall sit on our thrones, gently sipping on sweet, pure bottled oxygen as we enjoy this contest between two pig-headed rivals. Then, when only one stands victorious, we shall send a shower of flaming hailstones and poisonous toads to cover the entire Middle East, just so we can say “No favourites!”

Capricorn

Dec. 22–Jan. 19

Everyone will praise us as the greatest and wisest and kindest of rulers. Or we shall destroy them in our wrath. Now I just have to find a way to contact my powerful ladylove. Does anyone have a phone number for the weather desk at cable channel 347? Your help today might save you in the horrifying aftermath of our despotic takeover. Think about it.

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It’s hot… It’s Africa hot…

“There is absolutely no truth to the widespread rumour that I have been having an intimate relationship with Katie Holmes,” stated Mr. Elf as he began sawing the legs off a freshly killed sheep. “It is simply not true that I broke up Katie’s marriage. For one thing, I prefer blondes. And for another, I wouldn’t mess with Tom Cruise if my life depended on it. Those Scientologists are freaky-deaks. Say, would you like a fresh sheep’s leg? I can get you one for half-price.”

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For the week of August 5–11, 2012.

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Aquarius

Jan. 20–Feb. 18

That neighbour of yours who wears the tinfoil hat to deflect mind-control beams from government space satellites is really feeling the heat during this sweaty, steaming summer. Tuesday you will return home to find he has taken up residence under your bed “because it’s cooler than the oven.” Try to ignore his inappropriate laughter.

Pisces

Feb. 19–Mar. 20

Heat isn’t the only effect of all this roastingly hot sunshine. Fifteen minutes of direct exposure will cause your skin to erupt into a festering mess of putrescent boils and encrusted lumps that could leave you feeling less attractive on the beach. Remember to use a mighty sunblock and an old flour-sack for protection.

Aries

Mar. 21–Apr. 20

Even though you are taking every precaution to not overdo it in the blinding heat-rays of our nearest star, it seems that Fate will play a role this Thursday as you fall head-first into a concealed vat of boiling tar. As the doctors stand around your emergency room gurney, their peels of mirth will sound strangely hollow to your blackened ear-nubs.

Taurus

Apr. 21–May 20

Good for you! It’s about time you stood up for yourself at work and told your boss exactly what a big jerk he or she is being. As you find yourself standing on top of your boss’s desk, kicking papers and knickknacks hither and thither, remember that even in this desperate economy there is still a need for fry-cooks at the fast-food joints.

Gemini

May 21–June 2

Old problems suddenly beset you this weekend as that forgotten closet door at the back of your home falls off its rusting hinges and those “things” are once again loose in your home. While it cost you much to lock up these “things” before (including the deaths of your dearest friends), this time the “things” are going to prove more difficult. Good luck. You will need it.

Cancer

June 22–July 22

Purple ichor — dripping steadily in thick, clotted blobs from the needle-sharp jaws of a gigantic arachnid — will gather in your foyer this week till there is a considerably large pool of the frightful muck. As it slowly eats through your floorboards, the real danger for you is slipping and hurting a disc. Wear rubber-soled sneakers.

Leo

July 23–Aug. 23

In the World of the Future, it will be a simple matter to visit one’s doctor, ask for a prescription to go to Mars (because you have a headache) and be whisked immediately to the nearest Spaceport and a rapid-fire rocket-ride to the Red Planet. While picking up your Martian aspirin, why not also visit the Museum of Forgotten Things?

Virgo

Aug. 24–Sept. 22

So your life has not turned out quite the way you hoped it would? You have no reason to be bitter. After all, you could just as easily have had fame and fortune visited upon you, only to discover that great success also has its downside. What that downside might be, I have no idea. I’m trying to throw you a psychic lifeline here, loser.

Libra

Sept. 23–Oct. 22

Everybody’s talking at me. I don’t hear a word they’re saying, only the echoes of my mind. And the occasional order for a lean pastrami on toasted rye, slaw on the side and extra-crispy fries. Hold the pickles. And don’t forget the hot mustard — mustard — mustard — mustard….

Scorpio

Oct. 23–Nov. 21

Volunteer your services to help the elderly and infirm this week. While the old folks will appreciate your efforts, you will have to be mindful of the rules when bathing the old gappers as city officials take a dim view of all that soapy scrubbing in a public fountain. Better to take the codgers to a do-it-yourself carwash. Don’t forget to wax your seniors!

Sagittarius

Nov. 22–Dec. 21

In the blink of a lazy eye, you will find yourself sitting in the back of a bus with a load of Freedom Riders on their way to confront racists in Birmingham, Alabama, back in the early ’60s. How this amazing time-teleportation occurred will forever be a mystery, as the blow to the skull you are about to suffer will rearrange your life’s priorities.

Capricorn

Dec. 22–Jan. 19

Love may be the answer, but few know the question. And what is the all-important question? Let us consider this logically. It is possible, though unlikely, we are talking about tennis. It is also unlikely we are discussing Courtney Love. So the question must be: “What does a dog offer freely and wholeheartedly?” That’s fine. Let us consider the topic closed, for now.

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The Summer Games afoot!

“British suet pudding is delicious and nutritious,” opined Mr. Elf as he sat down to a large bowl of boiled black muck at a recent luncheon. “It’s rather high in calories, and if you concentrate hard enough, you can actually feel the fat globules adhering to arterial walls. Once you eat this standard British fare, it will stay with you for the rest of your life. Or at least till your heart specialist puts you on Crestor. Although, what toothpaste has to do with scrubbing clean the major veins, I have no idea.”

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For the week of July 29–August 4, 2012.

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Aquarius

Jan. 20–Feb. 18

That neighbour of yours, the one who wears the tinfoil hat to deflect mind-control beams from space, is really into the Summer Olympic Games. In honour of the competition, he has decided to make you his own personal javelin and intends to fling you head-first off the top of a tall building. Crouch down on all fours and pretend to be a pommel horse.

Pisces

Feb. 19–Mar. 20

Right now, most of the Olympians are sitting around on their taut, muscular rumps. It would appear that an electrical outage in the vicinity of the Greater London area has caused all the chronographs and stop-watches to slow considerably. However, this means that sprinters are “officially” running the mile in less than eight seconds.

Aries

Mar. 21–Apr. 20

It would seem there were concerns about security for these glorious XXX Olympic Games. However, the greatest threat to these unbelievably fit athletes is the food being served up in English restaurants. While the London cuisine is better than it used to be, this is akin to saying you would prefer being cut with a sharp razor versus a dull one.

Taurus

Apr. 21–May 20

XXX is the numeric designation of the 2012 Games, but this has caused a certain amount of confusion and the various track & field events have several times been disrupted by stars of the U.S. porn industry “performing” in the middle of the Big Oval. Ron Jeremy somehow managed to win Silver in the long jump. Congratulations dude!

Gemini

May 21–June 2

In the spirit of public gamesmanship, the official Olympic Committee has decided that all athletes should be allowed to participate, including women who were men, men who were women, those who enjoy performance-enhancing drugs and even those who have had fish-gills surgically implanted. Good for you, Michael Phelps!

Cancer

June 22–July 22

So what was with that old dude they hired to sing the Beatles’ classic Hey Jude? My goodness, Your Humble Astrologer has rarely seen such a ham-fisted display of nonsinging ability. Why, for a show as big as the Olympic Opening Ceremonies, they could have actually asked Sir Paul McCartney to play!

Leo

July 23–Aug. 23

Could YHA be more embarrassed? My hideous assistant — the foul Hoffnung — has informed me that the performer actually was Paul. Good lord! What has happened to him? The decades have not been kind. Let this be a lesson, kids: this is your Beatle on dope. Ringo is a lush and looks much better. So remember to drink, not toke.

Virgo

Aug. 24–Sept. 22

Ready for the big Olympic news story that, so far, has eluded the thick, clotted cream of the world’s best sports reporters? Here it is: all the athletes from Australia have trained for the last four years entirely on a diet of chocolate milkshakes and deep-fried Mars bars. Their huge, wobbly thighs contain enough stored energy to launch a rocketship! Yow!

Libra

Sept. 23–Oct. 22

About the start of the second week of Olympic competition, expect the relatively small nation of Zaire to suddenly surge ahead of all other countries in medal counts. This might seem unlikely, but the manager of the team is a cat burglar and will make off in the middle of the night with all the gold, silver and bronze medals he can swipe.

Scorpio

Oct. 23–Nov. 21

By week’s end, you will notice a distinct increase in the number of people you meet saying things such as “That was a hell of a race,” “You have got to hand it to those pole-vaulters,” “My son wants to throw the hammer when he’s older” and “Did you see Satan playing for the unallied athlete’s team?” Just smile & nod, smile & nod.

Sagittarius

Nov. 22–Dec. 21

By the end of the 30th Olympiad, the flame will be snuffed in London, but soon on its way to the next games in just four short years. The big surprise will be the sudden announcement that the games will not be held in Rio de Janeiro as previously announced, but Maillardville, a tiny village somewhere on the fringe of Canada’s west coast. Huh.

Capricorn

Dec. 22–Jan. 19

You may not be much of a fan of the Olympics. You might be a very unathletic person. You could even be the very definition of “couch potato.” But always bear in mind that these elite athletes would not give up 20 years of their lives just to win some silly medal unless they knew they were superior to people like you. Bravo. Well done.

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Dog day afternoon & evening

“It has been several weeks since I began to hear this weird, high-pitched, hissing voice coming from either inside my own head or from an unseen and undoubtedly otherworldly being sitting on my shoulder,” stated a quivering Mr. Elf as he took a break from rolling bean & beef burritos at a nearby Talk o’ the Taco stand. “The voice seemed slowly to grow deeper and I was worried the demon was about to make his move. Then I realized it was just the earpiece for my iPod caught in the folds of my pajama top. What a relief!”

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For the week of July 22–28, 2012.

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Aquarius

Jan. 20–Feb. 18

Maybe it’s the salt-tang in the air. Or maybe it’s the fact he’s recently fallen head-over-heels in love. Whatever the reason, your remarkably violent neighbour — the one who wears the tinfoil helmet — has decided to spread his good vibes to the entire world and will only cut you a few times when he sees you this week. Sweet!

Pisces

Feb. 19–Mar. 20

Your reaction to the news that film critics are now expected to abandon negative comments from their reviews is typical for a Piscean. You began to leap and wriggle, throwing your head back and forth, trying desperate to dislodge the barbed hook that so infuriates. Or am I thinking of an episode of Gone Fishin’ with flytying whiz Al Mayo?

Aries

Mar. 21–Apr. 20

Hardly has the week begun when you notice a dull brown spot in the middle of your forehead. By the end of Tuesday, the spot will fully cover the upper-third of your cranium, your hair now history, your ears crumbling into a foetid cheesy substance. You owe it to yourself to lock the door and see where this disease takes you. Salut!

Taurus

Apr. 21–May 20

Almost from the beginning of life on this planet, there have been creatures capable of filling out intricate tax forms, as well as gardening in a sort of tiered or stepped fashion. The earliest of these creatures is known as Protogardensis Accountabilis. It preferred to live in warm, shallow seas with a tiny shovel and primitive calculator.

Gemini

May 21–June 2

Running hard along the sidewalk Friday, you will literally crash into a huge sheet of plate-glass being carried to the front of your bank’s downtown location. While you will not suffer any great physical damage from the collision, your bank manager will be very angry and exchange all your hard currency for worthless antique zlotys.

Cancer

June 22–July 22

Prickles of fear and amazement will cause the hairs on the back of your neck to stand up as you hear an announcement on television that you are expected to bring home several gold medals for swimming at the London Olympic Games. This is distressing since you possess zero buoyancy… unless the pool can be filled with orange Jell-O.

Leo

July 23–Aug. 23

In the blink of an eye, the most primitive parts of your lizard brain will drive you to hunt down and devour as many ants and termites as you can dig out from under your home. Just try to do your feeding at night or other people in the neighbourhood will find a reason to have you arrested as an insect-munching lunatic. What Philistines they are.

Virgo

Aug. 24–Sept. 22

Superman always struck Your Humble Astrologer as being a bit of a dull guy. Of course, as Clark Kent he cultivated being a bore, but as Superman he could never have an interesting conversation with anyone about his adventures without sounding like a braggart or namedropper. This is why he was rarely invited to dinner parties.

Libra

Sept. 23–Oct. 22

Home is the hero, home from the hills. And that may or may not be a good thing. Considering that this particular hero is more at home up in those hills, he’s not really happy to be back in town and with his violent temper and lightning-fast reflexes, he’s liable to cut a swathe of destruction from here to Idaho. Stay indoors this week.

Scorpio

Oct. 23–Nov. 21

Ordinary wax paper, wrapped loosely around a cheap pocket comb, can be used to create a kazoo-like effect when held to the lips and vibrated by song. Of course, this is also a very good way to lose your position as Third Violinist with the Boston Pops Orchestra. Keep the paper around your sandwich and the comb for your hair, weirdo.

Sagittarius

Nov. 22–Dec. 21

Modern technology has enabled humanity to do some pretty amazing things, from diving to the deepest parts of the ocean to landing several astronauts on the moon. But it has also driven the divorce rate among raccoons and whirligig beetles through the roof! Is there no way to stem this tide of scientifically minded degeneracy?

Capricorn

Dec. 22–Jan. 19

Elvis Presley’s favourite food was a deep-fried banana-and-peanut-butter sandwich. Is it any wonder this maven of pop music conquered the hearts of teenaged girls all over the world? When a precocious teenybopper caught a whiff of Elvis’s jungly peanut breath, her nascent feelings for the man would blossom into full-blown love. Uh-huh! Huh! Yay-yeah! All shook up!

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Our loving animal friends

“It’s been a terrible month,” stated Mr. Elf as he set fire to a huge pile of damp tissues behind his apartment building. “I’ve been weeping like a child forced to accept that there is no Santa Claus or Virgin Mary. I just hope that my sweet, sweet darling will be home soon from the animal hospital and we can have, at least, a few months together before her end.” At this point, Mr. Elf poured a gallon of gasoline on the smouldering pile of Kleenex, then ran back inside to phone the fire department.

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For the week of July 15–21, 2012.

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Aquarius

Jan. 20–Feb. 18

Man alive! That tinfoil-hat-wearing lunatic next door is causing problems. He’s been laying out bear traps in common areas of the building and environs. While his main prey (yourself) has so far eluded his steel-toothed grasp, by now he has bagged three mail-carriers, a milkman and a pair of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Kind of cool, no?

Pisces

Feb. 19–Mar. 20

You might think Your Humble Astrologer a bit of an old softie, but I am just devastated that my sweet pot-bellied pig Delphina, only five years old, has been diagnosed with an advanced case of porcine meningitis. This strain of the disease is particularly deadly to pot-bellied pigs and it is unlikely she will be with us for much longer.

Aries

Mar. 21–Apr. 20

So, for now, Delphina is getting the best care possible in an animal emergency hospital, but the time spent in the facility seems to rob her of her good nature, bit by bit, day by day. It’s so sad to go for a visit and find my sweet Dephina standing in her cage, tubes coming out of several bandaged sites, quivering in vague discomfort, wanting out. She does not find the hospital conducive to rest.

Taurus

Apr. 21–May 20

What are we to do when our animal friends are sick? They cannot tell us where it hurts. The best we can do is keep a weather eye on our furred or feathered friends and act swiftly when a health emergency rears its ugly head. In the case of poor Delphina, it was about a month ago that she began to show signs of lethargy and lack of appetite.

Gemini

May 21–June 2

Even with those signs, I didn’t take her to see our local veterinarian till she added a pretty massive body tremor to the list of symptoms. At that point, the vet snapped into action and gave her a good exam. She spent a couple of days at his clinic, hooked up to an intravenous tube to get some nutrition into her while blood tests were run.

Cancer

June 22–July 22

Eventually a diagnosis of pancreatitis was made. Delphina was sent home with a course of antibiotics. Her diet was changed to one low in fat. After a few days, my sweet pig began to come back and even took to playing again in her favourite mud-bog. She was sleeping better, eating, seemingly on the muddy track to recovery.

Leo

July 23–Aug. 23

Then a sudden turn downward, faster than before — off her grub, unable to sleep, not even able to lie comfortably and enjoy the surcease from pain that comes from healthful rest. Most distressing this was, so back to the vet I took her the very next day. He gave my dull-eyed pig another exam, more blood tests and, now, x-rays.

Virgo

Aug. 24–Sept. 22

Hard as it was to hear, the good doctor gave me a very serious talk about Delphina’s health. The disease was not pancreatitis; the definitive answer was still being sought. But her symptoms could be caused by several problems, including cancer and meningitis. Terrible suggestions, but obviously I needed to face the seriousness of the situation.

Libra

Sept. 23–Oct. 22

About two days later, a second set of x-rays revealed that Delphina’s brain had swollen dramatically and threatened to do her in pretty rapidly. Our local vet — a good man — said he needed an ultrasound to know for sure, but it would be at least a couple of days before his freelance, traveling ultrasound dude could do his thing.

Scorpio

Oct. 23–Nov. 21

Right then, I knew it was time to place my sweet Delphina into a more serious facility and that is where she remains today. Having undergone several procedures, the sweetest of all pigs remains stuck in her cage in the intensive care unit. The nurses and technicians, not to mention the fine veterinarians, do seem to genuinely care, which means a great deal.

Sagittarius

Nov. 22–Dec. 21

Part of me wishes I believed in the sort of Higher Power that would take a personal interest in the lowly pot-bellied pet of an insignificant Horoscopocologist such as myself. But my belief in prayer was beaten out of me at an early age by the violent, arguably psychotic Zen Masters who taught me in Buddhist elementary school.

Capricorn

Dec. 22–Jan. 19

Oh how I miss my dear Delphina. Please, Gentle Readers, keep a kind thought in your head for my sweet darling. Send positive vibes, cross your fingers, even say a prayer if you believe it might help. I just want a little more time with her before she must leave this realm of existence and slip into the great mudpit of nothingness. I so miss her.

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The smoking face of innocence

“Several keen-eyed followers of my weekly Horoscopicological Column have come forward to police authorities,” whispered Mr. Elf as he grabbed a quick bite between shifts at the local fast-food franchise. “But I want to state for the record I had absolutely nothing to do with the disappearance of that family in Orange County. I spent the entire week hiding backstage at the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland. Now you must excuse me. It’s my turn to bob for French fries.”

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For the week of July 1–7, 2012.

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Aquarius

Jan. 20–Feb. 18

Saturday evening is an excellent opportunity for you to catch dinner and a movie. Or maybe do some late-night window-shopping. Or a walk down by the water. Just get the Hell out of your place Saturday night. Your tinfoil-topped neighbour has worked the area homeless into a killing frenzy, with you as the target. Not as cool as it sounds.

Pisces

Feb. 19–Mar. 20

Crashing and smashing, my hideous assistant Hoffnung flings everything neatly placed on shelves and filed into cabinets to the four corners of my office. It had taken me months to organize my workspace just so — and now the maniac was destroying everything in a matter of moments. At least he was unable to trash my briefcase, containing my really important papers.

Aries

Mar. 21–Apr. 20

Out of control and continuing his destructive frenzy, Hoffnung left my now-ruined office and headed down the hall for Mark & Jerry’s luxurious recording studio. The two hosts of The Horror Movie Show were not in the building at the time, so they were spared the sight of a nude Hoffnung flinging scripts and microphone stands through the window.

Taurus

Apr. 21–May 20

Right now, the twisted little weasel is running full-tilt around the outside of the tower, actually on the ledge that encircles the 97th floor here on the mighty Splutt Building. That ledge is just a few inches wide so it’s just a matter of time before Hoffnung slips and falls almost a thousand feet to a painful if nearly instant death far below.

Gemini

May 21–June 2

Can anything be done to stop the greasy little lunatic before he slips and falls to his doom? Probably not. Last time I had “words” with Hoffnung, he held me down and stuffed my mouth with empty ketchup packets. Then he stapled my lips together, which really hurt. I am not a brave man; I will not attempt reasonable debate with the nutjob again.

Cancer

June 22–July 22

Hardly daring to look, I found myself standing by the big open window here on the 97th floor of the mighty Splutt Building, watching the dirty naked backside of Hoffnung as he rounded the nearest corner and once again disappeared from sight as a large cornice obscured my view.

Leo

July 23–Aug. 23

Everyone in the entire building lives in terror that my monstrous assistant will suddenly take notice of their existence and come down on them hard, like a tonne of barbecue briquettes. Of course, Hoffnung can make people miserable even without knowing they exist. If you’ve ever shared a seat on the bus with him you’ll understand.

Virgo

Aug. 24–Sept. 22

Down below, police and firemen have cleared a large section of road and sidewalk, anticipating that the mighty splat caused by Hoffnung’s body whacking into the concrete at more than a hundred miles per hour could kill anyone unlucky enough to be walking past. Not to mention the unsanitary mess the dirty little man would leave.

Libra

Sept. 23–Oct. 22

For a moment, I thought someone had broken a window in order to haul Hoffnung back inside the mighty Splutt Building. But no, it was merely my horrid assistant kicking in another window as he rounded a corner and headed back in my direction. Should I make a grab for him as he lopes past?

Scorpio

Oct. 23–Nov. 21

A foolish idea, of course, but I made a sort of flailing grasp and missed, slipping forward and finding myself suddenly clinging to the very edge of the overhang by my fingertips. As Hoffnung continued his sprint, he glanced back over his shoulder just long enough to see my predicament. I can still hear his laughter ringing in my ears.

Sagittarius

Nov. 22–Dec. 21

“Catch you later, bossman!” shouted the disgusting creep as my fingertips slowly skidded along the slick stone of the narrow ledge. My fingers cannot hold. I must soon slip over the edge of the building entirely and fall, cartwheeling, through the air till I meet the rock-hard pavement below, landing with a thud like a soggy bag of whole-wheat flour.

Capricorn

Dec. 22–Jan. 19

Every fibre of my being hopes to hang on, but it is impossible and my fingertips come free of the ledge and I do fall, straight down, past row after row of windows filled with horror-stricken faces. Luckily, the firemen had one of those round rescue nets and I merely bounced into a pile of mouldy restaurant trash. Meanwhile, Hoffnung had climbed back inside and was busy burning the contents of my briefcase.

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A beastly diet of raw meat

“The question is asked of me all the time: Where do you stand on full-blooded carnivorousness?” said Mr. Elf as he corked a bat (just for fun) at the Little League World Championship in downtown Kuala Lumpur. “Myself, I enjoy eating the occasional plate of steamed kangaroo or a big helping of roasted armadillo. The best is the soft underbelly of a porcupine, well-aged, dequilled and poached in a sauce made from equal parts red wine, laudanum and alligator bile. But I shall never again eat duck. Those birds are dirty and I don’t respect them.”

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For the week of June 24–30, 2012.

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Aquarius

Jan. 20–Feb. 18

I don’t know how to say this gently, so I’ll be blunt: Expect no help from your tinfoil-topped neighbour this Wednesday when your bookie and his goons arrive at your door to collect money owed. In fact, as your screams of agony grow louder, your wacko neighbour will ask if he can join in. Don’t spit out your mouth-guard.

Pisces

Feb. 19–Mar. 20

Every week it’s the same thing. According to any calendar worth its salt, Sunday is the first day of the week. But you continue to call Monday the “start” of the week. If you continue demonstrating your ignorance, the government will hold a special plenary session and have your existence declared a criminal violation.

Aries

Mar. 21–Apr. 20

About noon Tuesday, you can expect a phone call from a lawyer informing you that your Great Uncle Fred has passed on and left you his enormous fortune. Ready to cash in on your uncle’s demise, you eagerly buy a ticket to wherever the lawyer tells you to travel. Of course, this is just a gag and you will be humiliated yet again. Good one, fake lawyer dude!

Taurus

Apr. 21–May 20

This may not be the best week to start those renovations on the garage. First, a series of twisters will wreak havoc in your neck of the woods. Second, you may not even have a garage, in which case renovations will be next to impossible. Try taking a cold shower or rent a VHS copy of They Saved Hitler’s Brain.

Gemini

May 21–June 2

Most of the time you are an easy-going person, fun to be with and loved by your family and friends. But now and then you can be a pill — a bitter, acrid, leave-a-bad-taste-in-the-mouth-all-night pill. Even as you read this, your family and friends are getting together to discuss how best to “deal” with you. Good luck with all that.

Cancer

June 22–July 22

Only now, after years of stifling the memory, can you begin to face this frightening remembrance: your parents forcing you into a small room, then making you remove your pants to use the toilet. Prior to this vicious assault on your creative freedom, you were a veritable Picasso of Poop. Alas, toilet training claimed another artist of excrement.

Leo

July 23–Aug. 23

Stop these futile attempts to lick your own elbow. The only possible way to succeed would be to cut off your own tongue (or have a friend do it), rub the bloody stump of lingual member on your elbow, then have it reattached by surgeons with the correct microsurgical tools. Is all this pain and bother worthwhile? Yeah. Maybe.

Virgo

Aug. 24–Sept. 22

Try, try again, runs the old adage. But like many moralistic slogans of a bygone age, this is meaningless in a world where the cost of a new iPad in any Western country would be enough to feed an entire village in rural China for a month. Just be certain that no one ever catches you feeding trout to the Hancocks…. You know what I mean.

Libra

Sept. 23–Oct. 22

Forty days and nights of torrential downpour — with nary a break between each deluge — will leave your part of the planet soggy and easily malleable. Now is the time to get your hands into the loam and really muck about. The pure joy of rolling around in mud is yours for the taking. So take it. Go on. Fill your breeches with mud. Mmm, feels good.

Scorpio

Oct. 23–Nov. 21

Of all the freaks you have encountered in your life, the greatest is your Libran pal. He or she has taken to filling his (or her) underpants with gooey mud and now it’s getting all over everything. Mud is dripping down wet pants-legs and glopping everywhere, even on this keyboard. Hope it doesn’t cause any fiplwe9hgalsh with this computer.

Sagittarius

Nov. 22–Dec. 21

We all know that the end of June means the end of Wedding Season. No more marriages till next year. So what can ministers, priests, rabbis, ship captains and justices of the peace do to keep busy over the next 11 months? How about a train trip to Regina, Saskatchewan? There’s plenty to do and see. Come on, everybody! We’re going to Regina!

Capricorn

Dec. 22–Jan. 19

Little nuggets of tar, still flaming-hot from the melting pot, will be flung in your direction this weekend. Be sure not to wear your good sweater as these tar-balls will adhere to whatever they touch, burning and scorching. As your flesh bursts into a conflagration, be glad that you heeded Your Humble Astrologer’s advice and your good sweater is safe.

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A short story of horrible horror

“When my mother was a young woman, she worked in the offices of an auto-parts manufacturer. The company’s plant was surrounded by a variety of other industrial concerns,” said Mr. Elf as he smashed fiercely at an outcropping of rock. The sun beat down upon the poor man’s tortured, skeletal frame, his body too frail for the outsized pick he swung.

“She told me once that being young and poor, the smell of the coffee-roasting plant on one side of the block and the bacon-curing smells from the other side of the street — that these aromas combined to drive her almost crazy with hunger.” Mr. Elf slammed the pick down again violently, this time impaling his right foot and plunging the pick deeply into the rock, like, a good six inches. Time for us to tiptoe silently away. Fair thee well, Plucky Adventurer!

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For the week of June 17–23, 2012.

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Aquarius

Jan. 20–Feb. 18

Barring your door Tuesday evening so the maniacal neighbour (the one who wears the tinfoil hat to deflect space beams) cannot enter your home and slit your jugular, you will notice that the iron latches and clasps have all been removed and replaced with flimsy plastic ones. Then you hear the heavy breathing behind you, right beHIND YOU!

Pisces

Feb. 19–Mar. 20

All signs point to success in business this Thursday as you sign the bottom of a standard contract that sees you receiving 20 years of health and knowledge, power and respect among your peers; all this, in exchange for your Immortal Soul, forever and for all time the property of Satan Lucifer, LLC. Thumbs up, hermano carnal! Welcome to the team!

Aries

Mar. 21–Apr. 20

Climbing Monkfish, a rare but ebullient species of South American origin, will school very near the spot you will be early Saturday. All it will take is a split-second’s distraction and hundreds of large, slimy Monkfish will all leap onto you at the exact same moment. Removing them will ruin your clothes. Very strange.

Taurus

Apr. 21–May 20

Once upon a time there was a little greengrocer in Putney, which is part of London, England. The greengrocer (his name was Mr. Nash) sold nice things for people to take home and have for their supper; things like carrots, apples, peas and turnips. And mushrooms, herbs and pickles, lettuce and beets and onions.

Gemini

May 21–June 2

Now, just down the street from Mr. Nash’s greengrocery, was Mr. Wendell. He was an entirely different sort of businessman than Mr. Nash. Mr. Wendell was Putney’s best butcher. Being best butcher meant that he was expensive and had killed few customers obviously with his meat. His was a healthful product, so Mr. Wendell swore.

Cancer

June 22–July 22

Climbing into bed one night, Mr. Wendell wiped his greasy mouth on his wife’s best pillowcase and ruminated. This is what he thought: “If people ate more meat, then I could sell more meat and make a lot more money. But people don’t want to eat more meat. Why not? Why? Because they are full. Full of meat. And… and… vegetables.”

Leo

July 23–Aug. 23

Oh, it was like a ray of murky sunshine had penetrated the sullen, dull-green dimness at the bottom of a stagnant swamp. Mr. Wendell sat up in bed, his hands slowly wringing his wife’s very best, now badly stained pillow. “You know what you have to do,” he said aloud. “I do know,” he answered in a hush.

Virgo

Aug. 24–Sept. 22

Very quickly, Mr. Wendell went to visit an acquaintance he had, a dangerous young woman named Fifi LaGrange with a reputation that some envied, but none desired. She had arcane knowledge of a skill that could undo a person’s reputation. She was that most fiendish of evil genii: a graphic designer.

Libra

Sept. 23–Oct. 22

Every aspect of the enemy was open for exploitation, Miss LaGrange informed Mr. Wendell. “To begin, we shall point out the unpleasant effects of ingesting these peculiar-looking plant tumors and the public will drop the habit of putting these filthy things into their mouths. Did you know this garbage is grown in dirt? I mean actual, real dirt!?”

Scorpio

Oct. 23–Nov. 21

Realizing that his shop was quite empty one afternoon, Mr. Nash strolled about his little store till he found young Dennis, Mr. Tebbett’s lad. He was a fine boy, even if caught occasionally having a nap in the back of the shop. Mr. Nash asked Dennis: “Do you have any idea why we haven’t had a single customer all day? Any idea at all?”

Sagittarius

Nov. 22–Dec. 21

Eventually, the sullen youth began to hint at the campaign that had turned everyone in the district into pure carnivores, finally revealing that it was the doing of Mr. Wendell and Miss LaGrange. Hardly daring to believe what he was hearing, Mr. Nash thumped his fists against his temples and howled in rage and hatred for what they had done to him.

Capricorn

Dec. 22–Jan. 19

Dennis was the first. Found with a trimming knife buried in his adam’s apple. Mr. Wendell they found a day later. He had been cored and peeled. Miss LaGrange died, we assume, the hardest. Inside a walk-in freezer, neatly stacked in six small Mandarin orange crates, the artist had been flash-frozen at the peak of freshness.

—————

Thrashing gently in the deep dark

“Experiencing bliss is a very rare thing,” opined Mr. Elf as he flensed a sperm whale on a so-called scientific research vessel owned by the Yummy Yummy Dolphin Pie Company of Honshu. “Most human beings experience no more than a few moments of bliss a week. But I’ve figured out a way to experience a bliss overload any time you want one. Here’s the trick: all you have to do is——” It was at this moment that Mr. Elf skidded on an errant wad of ambergris and slipped quietly overboard. The Great Man was last seen sitting on a small ice floe headed in the direction of Auckland.

—————

For the week of June 10–16, 2012.

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Aquarius

Jan. 20–Feb. 18

That troublesome neighbour of yours (the one with the tinfoil hat) has recently purchased a fully grown Bengal tiger. The tiger is, of course, an unstoppable killing machine and even your crazy neighbour isn’t mad enough to get close to the monster feline. He has, however, left a trail of chum from the tiger’s cage to your front door.

Pisces

Feb. 19–Mar. 20

Ready for romance, 57 stunning virgins will drag you from a nice, warm bath one evening this week. At first the frenzied thumping and kicking at your door will annoy you, but when you get a look at this group of beauties, you will be glad to leave a soapy puddle on your floor. Just treat these 57 young men gently. They’ve been hurt before.

Aries

Mar. 21–Apr. 20

Your Humble Astrologer would just like to thank rock’n’roll combo The Killers for the band’s terrific work over the last few years. YHA particularly enjoys Don’t Shoot Me Santa. That is one of the great Xmas songs, much catchier than the Beatles’ holiday favourite, I Saw Mommy Killing Santa Claus.

Taurus

Apr. 21–May 20

Some time early on Tuesday, a tall man wearing a pure-white Stetson will throw a rope over you and drag you a half-block behind his palomino pony. After successfully hogtying you and collecting his reward, you will be released in a paddock with other wild humans. Lucky you — on Tuesdays we get oats for supper!

Gemini

May 21–June 2

Oats might be fine for some people, but you demand something a little more solid for your dinner. This is why it would be wise to keep a can of Spam secreted on your person. You can try keeping it in a pocket or in your purse, but make sure the can is unopened or you’ll get a big, greasy Spam stain.

Cancer

June 22–July 22

Meat is one of those delicious necessities in a life of quality and sophistication. Let’s face facts: there has never been a vegetarian who has contributed anything more to this benighted world than several litres of methane on an hourly basis. For Peter’s sake, plants are for looking at, not eating. I mean, plants grow in dirt. Dirt! Eww….

Leo

July 23–Aug. 23

Even though you take out the trash on a regular basis, your home smells like the back-end of a barn after a hot August weekend. After carefully scrubbing every surface you can reach, you will discover a secret trapdoor that covers a deep pit into which your enemies are dumping their soggy garbage. Weird, huh?

Virgo

Aug. 24–Sept. 22

Clyde Balkan, an investment banker of no fixed height, will phone you Friday afternoon to ask if you have Prince Albert in the can. Pretend you can’t hear him and shout repeatedly that there is no Albert Prince available. This will frustrate banker Balkan and he will refuse to open his mail till Spike Lee apologizes for Summer of Sam.

Libra

Sept. 23–Oct. 22

Hardly daring to breathe — lest this fantasy end — you approach the dark-haired girl in the park and tentatively sit next to her on the bench. When she turns her face to meet your gaze, you realize that she was in your elementary school. In fact, she was your first crush. As her lips part in an adoring smile, you cough up a furball and put her right off. Dang.

Scorpio

Oct. 23–Nov. 21

In the wee hours of Saturday morning, you will find yourself lying face-up on the steeply sloped roof of the Chrysler Building. While this is a terrifying and dangerous situation, the really big question is what is the Chrysler Building doing in your hometown? The New York City authorities are gonna be all over your butt about this, suckah.

Sagittarius

Nov. 22–Dec. 21

“Like the sands of an hourglass, so go the days of our lives.” Something like that. YHA has never been too clear on which old poet wrote what famous line and he’s not about to start learning to “read” now. As a matter of fact, reading is highly overrated. YHA also does not know how to properly crate an octopus. Obviously.

Capricorn

Dec. 22–Jan. 19

If you hear a loud sucking sound following you down the street Thursday, duck into the nearest doorway and try not to get caught up in the roving Vortex of Calamity. This space-time oddity will travel an unvarying straight path till it reaches the 49th Parallel, at which point it will be turned back at the Canadian border by officious customs agents.

—————

He’s like a drunken Huck Finn!

“An awful lot of comedians seem to think it’s funny to tell jokes and make people laugh,” said Mr. Elf as he filled yet another sandbag on the rain-drenched banks of the mighty Mississippi. “As far as I’m concerned, it’s less important to make the audience laugh than it is to get some serious points across. Take the foreign debt. That alone— whoops!” It was at this point that the riverbank washed out and Mr. Elf was sucked downstream, his pointed head bobbing above the churning, muddy wash. See you in New Orleans, Mr. Elf! Have a mint julep for us!

—————

For the week of June 3–9, 2012.

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Aquarius

Jan. 20–Feb. 18

The noises being made by your neighbour (the one who wears the tinfoil helmet to deflect mind-control rays) indicate that he is working on a large project. It could very well be a benign device, perhaps a new birdhouse for his ostrich, or it could be a diabolic machine designed to crush living bones to jelly. You’ll find out soon enough.

Pisces

Feb. 19–Mar. 20

It’s only my opinion, but I’ve been around the block a few times and so I think I know what I’m talking about. At no point is it a good idea to use knitting needles to clean your ears. Sure, it feels good going in — really good — but once you’ve pushed through the eardrum and continued on another three inches, you’ll notice you are dying. Ouch!

Aries

Mar. 21–Apr. 20

Many times Your Humble Astrologer has longed for a soft and gentle presence in my life. I long for the tender caress that only a member of the fairer sex can bestow. I yearn to be taken into the arms of a sweet and generous woman, a loving gal who will simply adore me for who I am, not what is in my bank account.

Taurus

Apr. 21–May 20

Even though I have answered hundreds, probably thousands, of personal ads, the results inevitably are unsatisfactory. (That leads me to wonder if crummy products are built at “unsatis-factories.”) So, rather than continue to follow the leads of others, I’m writing my own personal ad. I do want to find myself a good woman, a helpmeet, a life partner.

Gemini

May 21–June 2

Fortune favours the bold, as they say, and YHA has decided to grab the net by the handle and try to capture my own sweet bird. Ah, how I long for the embrace of a good woman… Well, the embrace of any woman, really. Doesn’t have to be good. Just pliable. If that means finding a rum-soaked sot, then that’s fine.

Cancer

June 22–July 22

Or am I setting my sights too low? Should I settle for a broken-down wino-gal, an alcoholic cutie who cannot remember a single evening over the past 20 years? There is much to be said for alcoholics. At least you know their behaviour is consistent. Sure, constant boozing is deleterious to one’s health, but we all have to compromise.

Leo

July 23–Aug. 23

Ruined health is not the terrible tragedy it once was. And, of course, if we look back to the great Romantic Era, every single loving couple of note had at least one partner who was slowly, beautifully snuffing it from the White Death — that loveliest of names for tuberculosis.

Virgo

Aug. 24–Sept. 22

And while lovers and spouses were keeling over after years of pretty coughing into a crimson-touched handkerchief, some pretty darned good poetry was created. So there is a lot to be said for chronic diseases that destroy the body slowly over a decade or more. Heck, alcoholism can take a lifetime to finally take its inevitable toll.

Libra

Sept. 23–Oct. 22

By the time a person is in their 70s, it should be clear that an abstemious life will not result in any more happiness than that experienced by a raging drunkard who finds him or herself alone, propped up against a dumpster, friendless and penniless… Hmm, hang on a second. I might have this backwards….

Scorpio

Oct. 23–Nov. 21

A life of moderation when it comes to strong drink cannot guarantee good health in one’s old age. However, a life spent blacked-out and unremembered can only be a good thing because one has suffered none of the little setbacks and sadnesses that accompany any life fully lived.

Sagittarius

Nov. 22–Dec. 21

The point I’m trying to make here, and I do have one, is that whether you are an occasional drinker, a serious tippler, a complete souse or a down-and-out rummy, at the moment your life is ending, you probably have the same amount to show for your existence as the most sober, serious and well-thought-of person in the world.

Capricorn

Dec. 22–Jan. 19

Heck, not being able to remember all the indignities heaped upon us over the course of our lives needs must be a good thing. And if that means forgoing all the happiness and satisfaction of having a loving family, satisfying employment and a rich inner life, then so be it. Who wants to climb inside this bottle with me? Always room for one more.

—————

A flood of epic proportions

“Austerity measures are all well and good for the hoi polloi, but I won’t be treated like one of the common herd,” proclaimed Mr. Elf as he took hold of the dirty end of the stick and poked it deeply into the clogged sewage line. “I mean, there are some things I just won’t do… Hey, did you hear a rumble?” We had to quickly leave the prosing Mr. Elf at that moment because the clog gave way and a veritable cascade of cesstank effluvia burst from the pipe-end. Swim on, brave and brilliant Mr. Elf! Swim on!

—————

For the week of May 27–June 2, 2012.

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Aquarius

Jan. 20–Feb. 18

Your disturbed neighbour, the one who wears the funny tinfoil hat to deflect mind-control beams from outer space, has had an epiphany: you are the AntiChrist. Your neighbour is both horrified and delighted; horrified he didn’t previously recognize the signs and delighted because he now has a legitimate excuse to skin you alive.

Pisces

Feb. 19–Mar. 20

Each bright new day is a chance to start afresh, to turn over a new leaf, the begin anew. Or it is an opportunity to leave things as they are, skeletons pushed to the back of the closet and bodies still hidden in shallow graves. Either way, there is little justification for doing nude calisthenics on your front lawn.

Aries

Mar. 21–Apr. 20

Shape up or ship out! That’s what my father Oleg Elf said to me when I was a boy and as I never did develop much more shape than an unrisen loaf of sourdough, I shipped out. After that it was one tramp steamer after another, till I found myself deposited in the fetid jungles of Swaziland and the opportunity of a lifetime…. Or did I dream it?

Taurus

Apr. 21–May 20

Wicked amoebae from a distant galaxy will call on you Tuesday. By the time you arrive home that day, the ever-growing colony of obnoxious, overbearing unicellular lifeforms will have taken over your vegetable crisper and be making inroads on that disgusting glass you keep in the bathroom. Send them to Hell with some hot, soapy water.

Gemini

May 21–June 2

All the police know is that the crazed murderer was crazed — who else would use an ice cream scoop, a beeswax candle and five hundred cans of baked beans to exterminate an entire troop of Eagle Scouts? Still, you have to hand it to the maniac. Who would have thought to hide the bodies in a disused Persian rug storage facility? Very clever.

Cancer

June 22–July 22

Raw to the touch, your purpled and tightly swollen skin will begin to calm down in several years. It’s a shame that you accidentally bathed in a decoction of lemon juice, stinging nettle venom and poison ivy concentrate. While friends think they are being helpful, rubbing wasabi into your pores won’t “help you heal up right fast, hyuck-hyuck!”

Leo

July 23–Aug. 23

Is it just me, or does it seem there is some sort of definite order to what often appears to be complete chaos? I refer, of course, to the fry-kitchen of the average fast-food joint. I was picking up a dozen burgers for the gang (okay, just me) the other night and the order was actually filled quickly and correctly. It staggers the imagination.

Virgo

Aug. 24–Sept. 22

Sobering Thought No. 837: By the time John Lennon was my age, he had already been deceased for 13 years. The guy has been dead for 32 years and he still accomplishes more in an afternoon than I can claim in a month. Oh well, at least I can have all the ice cream and burgers that I want. John, not so much.

Libra

Sept. 23–Oct. 22

Only Mankind’s faith in a guiding principle of truth, justice and a really nice sofa can keep this poor, put-upon little planet healthy. Obviously, we all want truth and justice. And we also need a comfy couch on which we can relax after eating too much meatloaf and mashed spuds. Oh, I shouldn’t have had seconds on dessert….

Scorpio

Oct. 23–Nov. 21

Very soon now, the fateful knock will sound upon your front door. Finally, the authorities have caught up with you. Unfortunately, in this case the authorities are the San Bernardino chapter of the Hell’s Angels and they are coming to reclaim the baby they say you stole in 1965. Just give them any 47-year-old person you can spare.

Sagittarius

Nov. 22–Dec. 21

Eventually, all that you see and hear around you will disintegrate. It may take some time for the entire planet to turn to a super-fine molecular powder, but hang around long enough and you’ll see that it is true. What you want to do is find yourself a faster-than-light spacecraft and move to a much-younger planet. Hurry! Go!

Capricorn

Dec. 22–Jan. 19

Right before the grenade explodes, take a quick look ’round and remember the faces of your close-knit group of mercenaries: there’s Johnny (the wide-eyed kid from Kansas), Brooklyn (a tough guy from the Bronx), Mr. Snooty (with his high-school diploma and all), Little Sam and Big Sam (two guys both named Pete). A ragtag army, but they were A-OK.

—————

Quick! Grab the ep-stick!

“I have some friends who are visiting Hawaii at the moment,” stated the Great Man as he ever-so-slowly made his way along a high-wire suspended over an open-roofed cage of lust-crazed gorillas. “I’d much rather go to the supermarket for my vacation. The supermarket has chips! And— oops! I’m going in….”

—————

For the week of May 20–26, 2012.

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Aquarius

Jan. 20–Feb. 18

Sadly, your tinfoil-topped neighbour had to cut short his holiday because of the incident with the police, fire department and the friends he let stay at his place. Turns out that your neighbour is now in considerable trouble; the authorities are taking a dim view of human sacrifice. Of course, he blames you entirely and will have his revenge.

Pisces

Feb. 19–Mar. 20

To begin this week, try to imagine yourself as a speck of the most insignificant dust that has ever existed. Now imagine that this meaningless speck of dust is going to be judged righteous or not by a creature so immeasurably powerful that it defies description. This is pretty much the Judeo-Christian philosophy. Good luck with that.

Aries

Mar. 21–Apr. 20

Even though you consider yourself a fairly mild-tempered person, your patience will be sorely tried this Thursday as an underling reveals that he or she has been stealing some of your oxygen. This is not the first time some of your personal resources have been nicked. Time to use your Magic Karate-chop Power.

Taurus

Apr. 21–May 20

Very large cocker spaniels, each weighing in at more than 80 kilograms, will catch you with your pants down in an alley this week. While the gigantic puppies mean no harm, the strength of their wet tongues is such that your flesh will be licked from your bones if you do not take steps. So… take those steps, eh.

Gemini

May 21–June 21

Every creature on the face of this wonderful planet wants to exist without constantly living in terror of being eaten. As one climbs the evolutionary ladder, we find less time being spent on worrying about being eaten and more time spent on catching someone else. As Woody Allen said, “Nature is like a big smorgasbord.”

Cancer

June 22–July 22

In less than a nanosecond, a pan-galactic interstitial vortex will open above your sofa this Tuesday. When it vanishes in the flicker of a split-moment, it will leave behind a big fat guy named Ahmet. How he wound up being caught in an interstitial vortex I have no idea and neither does Ahmet. Offer him mint tea.

Leo

July 23–Aug. 23

So little is known about the real nature of God that Your Humble Astrologer has decided to launch a thorough investigation into just who the Hell this God guy thinks he is. He certainly struts around as if he owned the place. And his public relations department could be doing a better job.

Virgo

Aug. 24–Sept. 22

All I know is, if I had the budget of the Roman Catholic Church, I’d be putting on a much better, much more entertaining Sunday show. First off, that wouldn’t be incense smoking in the church. It would be a big gnarly chunk of OG Kush. I would get the old ladies so crazy-stoned that they’d all think they were pregnant virgins.

Libra

Sept. 23–Oct. 22

To err is human, to forgive might be the biggest mistake of your life. There is a reason we have memories and find it difficult to forget the slights perpetrated against us by the thoughtless and selfish. So my advice to you — and I speak as a professional Horoscopocologist — nurture that grudge, feed it, baby it, allow it to ripen and mature.

Scorpio

Oct. 23–Nov. 21

What the heck is going on with the little birds these days? It seems that they are gathering in the hedge and plotting to take over the backyard. At least, that’s what the fish told me. Do you smell that? Burning toast…. Uh-oh. I might be about to descend into a spasmodic period of flopping about and frothing.

Sagittarius

Nov. 22–Dec. 21

In the middle of dinner this Friday, your significant other will reveal that he or she has decided to move back home with mother. Strangely, she (or he) means your mother. Better call the old gal and warn her to change the locks. No good can come of this and— Hey, can somebody check that toaster?!

Capricorn

Dec. 22–Jan. 19

To feel the underbelly of the wider peach-fuzzed anarchists is not quite the edge of the cosmic… I feel funny… I’m sure I rented a fine bottle of Chardonnay and it told me not to stretch the owls… Funny flashing lights… Is this Germany? When are the little fingers? Are we not orange pocketbooks, yes, and now I must fall to the floor. Hoooo!!!

—————

Why can’t we all just get along?

“It is outrageous that the price of gasoline has climbed to such absurd heights,” stated a firm-jawed Mr. Elf as he took his place behind the service station till. “Gas is getting to be so expensive that most lunatic-fringe arsonist-anarchists can barely afford a couple of Molotov cocktails. Why doesn’t the government do something?” It was at this point a small, hand-thrown firebomb exploded on the side of Mr. Elf’s booth and the police were called to close that particular Shell station.

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For the week of May 13–19, 2012.

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Aquarius

Jan. 20–Feb. 18

Finally, you will get a breather from your crazy, tinfoil-hat-wearing neighbour this week as he goes on a surprisingly quick, two-week cruise around the world. He boarded the ship Sunday evening and… hang on… That’s odd. There’s shouting and screaming coming from your neighbour’s flat. Who could be staying in the loony’s place while he is away?

Pisces

Feb. 19–Mar. 20

I don’t want to make a presumptuous guess, but it sounds as if your crazy neighbour has loaned his place to some very loud friends while he’s away. And these people are very loud — very, very loud. In addition to the human shouts and angry shrieks, those high-pitched squeals sound very like a beached walrus.

Aries

Mar. 21–Apr. 20

Say, that’s kind of ironic. Your horrible, dangerous neighbour is away, but the folks borrowing his place sound even noisier and more bizarre than he is. The loud human shouting seems to be a nonstop string of invectives and angry epithets being hurled by a small group of mentally disturbed young men.

Taurus

Apr. 21–May 20

Hey, what are they shouting about? You think you can make out the repeating phrases “Time to take out the trash” and “Let’s kill the neighbour.” Uh-oh. That does not bode well for you. It seems that your temporary next-door pals are going to do you in. Perhaps that was their arrangement with the traveling weirdo.

Gemini

May 21–June 21

For what may be the final time, you should comb through your belongings. Search for anything that might be used as a weapon, either for offensive use or defensive. When these caterwauling cut-ups come calling, they won’t be bringing Nerf bats. They’ll be dragging bear-traps and railway ties with which they will beat you unmercifully.

Cancer

June 22–July 22

Except for the time when you were young and a roving band of Latvian terrorists tried to liberate your spine from its traditional place in the middle of your back, you have never experienced pain of the intensity you are about to experience. It sure sounds as if these temporary neighbours of yours will offer no mercy and no compromise.

Leo

July 23–Aug. 23

Even the most degraded of humans, one who revels in the hideous examination of the worst excesses of torture — I’m talking Mel Gibson here — could take no pleasure from the prolonged and agonizing beating your new “pals” are going to inflict upon you within the next ten minutes.

Virgo

Aug. 24–Sept. 22

Look at it from their point of view. These guys have very little else to do to keep busy. They’ve had their fun with the poor walrus. The walrus is done, kaput. No more walrus. Now comes the time when nothing will do but torturing the neighbour and pleasing the cruise-enjoying Master Lunatic who lent these crazed killers a nice, dry place to sleep.

Libra

Sept. 23–Oct. 22

Pleasing the wacked-out nutjob who thinks a tinfoil-hat will deflect the mind-control rays beamed down from geosynchronous satellites is just what these new neighbours want. As you know, crazy people all stick together and the tinfoil-hat guy is like Moses leading the loonies from the asylum to a mental hospital.

Scorpio

Oct. 23–Nov. 21

After all, crazy people will generally do whatever the loudest person in the vicinity tells them to do. I think. I mean, that’s my theory. Sure, it may not be scientific, but a loud order given in a firm tone of command can work wonders on the more feeble-minded among us.

Sagittarius

Nov. 22–Dec. 21

In fact, what is that increased level of noise now coming from your absent neighbour’s home? It sounds as if some sort of crazed talking head is ordering the destruction of housing occupied by the poor and the crowning of a GOP candidate — any GOP candidate — as King of the World.

Capricorn

Dec. 22–Jan. 19

Now I feel a proper idiot. Obviously, that shrieking is not coming from some errant band of ne’er-do-wells wishing to eviscerate you and drape themselves in your gory intestinal coils. In fact, your loony neighbour has merely left his TV on the so-called Fox News channel at intensely high volume. The walrus must have been Sarah Palin. What a pity.

—————

Some ‘friends’ hardly seem so

“Has anyone ever, in the entire history and prehistory of Humankind, had to suffer the ignominies of my paltry existence?” bemoaned Mr. Elf as he hand-scrubbed the back-area of a semi-wild muskox. The notoriously bad-tempered creature — made angrier by the stifling stink of a big-city zoo — kept goring poor Mr. Elf as he attempted to wipe its bottom. “We can’t have the kids seeing a dirty bum. But these horny gut-intrusions are getting old. Could you find me a plastic bag to stow my bowels?”

—————

For the week of May 6–12, 2012.

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Aquarius

Jan. 20–Feb. 18

Very soon, your tinfoil-helmet-wearing neighbour will come to a significant conclusion about your personal habits. He does not like them. And he hopes that his own, relatively weak mental rays can change your way of life before he and his close pal Miss Stabby have to come visit your eye-sockets in the middle of the night.

Pisces

Feb. 19–Mar. 20

Old lies are often taken to be the truth, at least by those with short memories and a low I.Q. Why not come up with some fresh, new lies with which you can attempt to fool the rest of us into believing you are a “normal” person? It is, however, unlikely you will come up with new lies because you are trapped in a paradigm shift.

Aries

Mar. 21–Apr. 20

Talk is cheap and so is your supposed friend Steve. Though he may couch it in all sorts of blether and horse-poop about how he carefully follows the rules of tipping etiquette, in fact he is just a mean, cheap swine who cares not a fig about other people trying to get along. Yes, I’m speaking in particular about how frightfully he undertips servers in restaurants.

Taurus

Apr. 21–May 20

Every time you go out with Steve, expecting to have an enjoyable meal, he pulls this same crap: when it comes time to divvy up the check, Steve refuses to pony up his share. “I don’t believe in paying the waiter’s salary,” whines the blaggart and braggart. “If the waiter isn’t paid enough, he should demand a raise from the owner. That’s not my responsibility.”

Gemini

May 21–June 21

Frightfully cheap, this guy Steve, isn’t he? And no matter how often you berate the skinflint and tell him he cannot continue to embarrass you when you are out together, the ermine won’t change his spots. It might be time to stop putting yourself in the unenviable position of being seen to associate with this miserable self-centred swine.

Cancer

June 22–July 22

Of course, I don’t deny that it is difficult to cut a long-time friend loose, but if he’s making you feel bad about yourself, it may be time to do so. How often must a person forgive his friend’s unpleasant behaviour when that behaviour is never modified, not in the least? Steve has acted this way since he was just a lad.

Leo

July 23–Aug. 23

Recall an evening long, long ago. After sitting in the pub for most of an evening, having a good time chatting with friends and enjoying some delicious, frosty glasses of draft beer, the time came to leave a tip for the attentive and thoughtful waiter. Everyone chipped in some dough… except for Steve.

Virgo

Aug. 24–Sept. 22

Other friends did not know Steve as you did. They were shocked at the argument that ensued over what was, really, a pittance. The remaining few coins from the last round were still on the table and Steve claimed the paltry bit of moolah for his own. Told it was being added to the tip, Steve threw a hissy fit and even scrambled under the table for a quarter he said was his.

Libra

Sept. 23–Oct. 22

Better to forgive and forget, one supposes, but some people exert a malevolent influence on one’s emotional reactions. Perhaps it comes of knowing a person too well; familiarity breeds both contempt and, in this case, disgust. It must be said: Steve is a bad seed, a rotten egg, a clump of crabgrass in the manicured lawn of your life.

Scorpio

Oct. 23–Nov. 21

All right, we’ve just about nailed this thing with your friend Steve. To begin with, we all know he’s one of the cheapest creatures ever to inhabit this planet. Cheaper even than the now-extinct Walleted Dodo, a larger-than-lifesize bird that carried its money in its beak. The wad of bills made it difficult for the dodo to see and the last one was struck and killed by a Range Rover in 1956.

Sagittarius

Nov. 22–Dec. 21

Meanwhile, not only is this Steve guy cheap, he is also loud and unpleasant about it. He will not — or cannot — admit that being a skinflint is a bad thing, because that would make him less than the certifiable genius he believes himself to be. It is wearying and tiresome to listen to him drone on and on and on about how he calculated the tip exactly and that a $4 tip on a $160 total is fine.

Capricorn

Dec. 22–Jan. 19

A better man than I might be able to look past this goon’s faults and recommend that you keep him as a friend (though you should keep an eye on your billfold). But I am a professional Horoscopocologist and must hold mere mortals to a higher standard. Thus, I can only recommend that you hire some shady characters to drop him off a very high dock into the briny deep.

—————

Do you smell gas, or is it me?

“The Binomial Theorem has more to do with the elasticity of an antique cummerbund than the average politician has for your grandson’s future hopes and big blue clouds of talking lemurs,” said Mr. Elf as he took a break from test work at The Very Poisonous Gas Co. Ltd. “I’ve been breathing for some days now and it could come to a stop at any moment in time to find a new job. Oh my lungs are sticking to my brains….” We know exactly what you mean, Mr. Elf. Exactly.

—————

For the week of April 29–May 5, 2012.

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Aquarius

Jan. 20–Feb. 18

Suddenly grabbing you from between your legs, your next-door neighbour (the one who always wears the tinfoil hat) wants you to know his new name is “Chip.” He wants to call you Uncle Charlie. But at night you are to call him Pops and you shall be Ernie. It’s gonna be a long, hot, sweaty summer.

Pisces

Feb. 19–Mar. 20

Though small in stature, the rare Loquasto Beetle (Simeonis Loquastii Bilicus) can lift an opponent 80 times its own weight over its upper carapace and hurl its unlucky foe up to three millimetres. This is often enough to discourage an aggressor, but Miss Loquasto can also emit a sudden high-pitched anal gas-leak that is very embarrassing for all involved.

Aries

Mar. 21–Apr. 20

Up until now, the price of petroleum products for vehicle engines has been in the reach of the majority. But in the near future, gasoline and diesel will be so expensive entire villages or neighbourhoods will need to pool their collective earning just to buy gas for a quick joyride out to Bob’s.

Taurus

Apr. 21–May 20

Pretty close to noon on Thursday, a tall woman wearing a ridiculous false moustache will assail you with aggressive questions about your part in the infamous Profumo Affair. Unless you are an eighty-year-old former British civil servant with skeletons in the closet, I really wouldn’t sweat it.

Gemini

May 21–June 21

Insanity barely begins to describe the strange and bloodcurdling events that will begin to unfold in fifteen seconds from now. Perhaps it was something you ate, perhaps it was an odourless gas you inhaled this morning, perhaps it was even the kiss of a loved one. Whatever it is, you experience full-on madness in three… two… one—

Cancer

June 22–July 22

Desire for change is the first and best tool for Self-Actualization. Everybody knows that. I also once heard that the way to get an old dishwasher or clothes dryer to stop smelling of rot is to put a live mouse inside the machine before you start the washing cycle. The mouse absorbs the ghosts that cause bad odours.

Leo

July 23–Aug. 23

Yet another reason to sign up for Facebook: there is a very good chance you will meet your one and only soul-mate. Of course, you might also meet a person who is not so much a soul-mate as a loony who wants to trap you in a large wooden treadmill so you can power his or her kitchen rotisserie.

Virgo

Aug. 24–Sept. 22

Acting on a hunch, you will wander philosophically out onto a narrow, very high ledge on a skyscraper Friday. While there is no doubt that your life hangs in a very precarious balance as the wind whips and tugs and pushes at your body, it must also be said that the view from up there is quite lovely. Wave goodbye as you plummet groundward.

Libra

Sept. 23–Oct. 22

Nobody does it better, or so sexy Carly Simon sang in one of those old James Bond movies. It seems that the producers agree and they are determined to keep making Bond flicks, even though only eighteen people watched the last two combined. I would suggest buying out the franchise and putting it to sleep.

Scorpio

Oct. 23–Nov. 21

Keeping up with the Joneses has never been your style. It’s not that you don’t have an insanely overdeveloped sense of competition (you do), or that your neighbours are not worth emulating (they are). It’s just that you are too poor and lazy to compete. I would suggest making money in some sort of legitimate fashion. I mean, really.

Sagittarius

Nov. 22–Dec. 21

Every now and then a brilliant idea flashes into your tiny mind. This latest brainstorm involves wind turbines and a gigantic pot of Vick’s Vaporub. When a town is going through the winter doldrums, with everyone suffering from cold and ’flu, you will hit the entire population with the soothing odour of Vick’s. Now… make it so.

Capricorn

Dec. 22–Jan. 19

Each one of us is a unique individual, except for those who live in one of those squarish U.S. states. Oklahoma springs to mind. Everyone in those states is identical, I have been told, and when the aliens arrive they will have a tough time telling one Clem from another. Eventually, only the Clems will be left, married to alien females and watching the same TV programs as their neighbours. And peace shall reign.

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For the week of April 22–28, 2012.

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Aquarius

Jan. 20–Feb. 18

Your tinfoil-hatted neighbour is stirring up controversy in the building. He claims you shortsheeted his bed late last week and that it is up to the other residents of the neighbourhood to “cut you into bloody, twitching chunks to be roasted over a hobo fire,” whatever that means. Don’t stick around to find out.

Pisces

Feb. 19–Mar. 20

Never one to play favourites, you will have to choose which precious child is given an ice cream cone sometime late in the week. While this might seem like a mere shadow of the original “Sophie’s Choice,” the ice cream could be tainted and cause gum disease in the child eating it. Best advice: eat all the ice cream yourself.

Aries

Mar. 21–Apr. 20

Hundreds of millions have died violent deaths over the millennia — as if any death can be considered nonviolent! — and it is time to put a stop to this madness. Why not elect officials who are opposed to Death and will make a determined effort to eliminate this supposed need to die?

Taurus

Apr. 21–May 20

Lacking moxie or anything resembling intestinal fortitude, you will simply become a yellow-bellied quisling when the Alien Overlords announce their masterful presence this Tuesday by disintegrating seven of the world’s largest cities. You will be kept as a pet by one of the alien officials and allowed to dine on extraneous human ears. Sweet!

Gemini

May 21–June 21

Our Extraterrestrial Overlords have come to the conclusion that humans are useful only so long as they can swing a sledgehammer or mattock. It seems the aliens are obsessed with gathering all the mica they can lay their suckered tentacles upon. Start doing stretching exercises because muscular strain is not considered an excuse for shirking.

Cancer

June 22–July 22

Of course, there is little our monstrous, green-hued Masters despise more than the sweat that needs must pour from our naked pink hides as we smash at rocks and stony fields to gather the precious, precious flakes of mica. The sheen of perspiration is one thing that the aliens actually seem to fear.

Leo

July 23–Aug. 23

Indeed, while these Octopodians and Squidniks have no problem squeezing the life from a sedentary and therefore dry-skinned homo sapien, they cannot bring themselves to lay a single sucker upon a person who is shining with the salty dampness of honest physical labour.

Virgo

Aug. 24–Sept. 22

Your time in a field somewhere near Little Rock, Arkansas, will begin Wednesday. As the aliens announce their superiority over all human technology on Tuesday, this means everyone will be very busy Tuesday evening as people are transported via matter beams from the urban centres to patches of bare ground believed to be mica-rich.

Libra

Sept. 23–Oct. 22

Unfortunately for the aliens, they have no actual ability to determine where these supposed mica-rich fields are. The truth is that the aliens are very pig-headed (notice the long naked snouts) and will never admit they aren’t on the ball when it comes to determining the best course of action.

Scorpio

Oct. 23–Nov. 21

If anyone points this out, it’s a one-way ticket to oblivion as the angered aliens grab the offending person and toss them, ankles over teakettle, into the nearest Human Grinding Machine. Since most of us don’t want to become a bucket of warm, bloody, Mankind-tasting Slushy, the majority will keep mum and continue to mine for mica, however futile the task.

Sagittarius

Nov. 22–Dec. 21

Every now and then, however, a very high-level official of the Alien Mica-Mining Council will go against his own authorities and ask a bright-looking human being the reason for the insignificant growth of the tiny piles of mica flakes in all the useless fields over the surface of the planet.

Capricorn

Dec. 22–Jan. 19

This is your chance to save all of Humanity. When you are ushered into the presence of the high-level alien official, work up a good sweat and then threaten to give him a big hug unless all the aliens surrender and evacuate the planet at once. Surprisingly, this strategy works and Mankind will be free of our Off-world Overlords. Way to go, muchacho.

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For the week of April 15–21, 2012.

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Aquarius

Jan. 20–Feb. 18

The guy next door who wears the tinfoil topper wants you to buy his sofa some new cushions. You might point him towards Ikea or some other semi-legit operation, because right now he wants more than $4 billion for two cushions. Smirk indulgently as he insists you will find the cash or be forced to flee the nation. Time to flee. Go! I mean it!

Pisces

Feb. 19–Mar. 20

With Saturn in Opposition to the Sun this Monday, it’s a good time to embrace your inner demons and write a letter to your local government representative clearly stating — try using point form — what exactly you would like them to do. Be creative and remember that the human body is surprisingly flexible.

Aries

Mar. 21–Apr. 20

The Opposition of Saturn to our Stellar Best Friend early this week bodes well for your new hobby: flinging beer bottles at migrating sea creatures. You should certainly expect repercussions when one of your bottles accidentally sinks a Destroyer-class Navy vessel. Nice one!

Taurus

Apr. 21–May 20

Saturn, that No. 2 Colossus of Planets, is directly opposite the Sun on Monday. Or is it the Moon on Sunday? This obviously means a huge strain for poor, put-upon Mother Earth and our planet will most likely spin wildly out of control, our orbit decaying, all life snuffed out as the globe is totally fried. I am definitely sleeping in.

Gemini

May 21–June 21

That show Seinfeld sure is popular. It must be on for about six hours a day where I live. Such a simple idea: four friends who talk a lot. I think I’ll do a show like Seinfeld, only funny, and it’ll be a snap. No, changed my mind. Won’t trash Seinfeld in the ratings because it would be too easy. I don’t do easy.

Cancer

June 22–July 22

Good gravy! Monday will be somewhat irksome as the very crust beneath your feet buckles, heaves and is torn asunder. As you cling to a withering root on a gargantuan cliff face, your grip slipping over a magma-hot pit of churning lava, you will remember that Saturn is in Opposition to the Sun.

Leo

July 23–Aug. 23

The world’s smallest reptile has been discovered on a little island off the Lost Continent of Madagascar. The thumbnail-sized critter is a chameleon, looking very like his larger cousins. So far the cute little guy has displayed no interest in Saturn, its Opposition to the Sun or, indeed, any stellar or planetary gas giant activities.

Virgo

Aug. 24–Sept. 22

Things are looking good early this week for all you Virgins. Sunday you will be officially notified that you have won a million-dollar sweepstake prize. Monday will be even better! At least… early in the day. Then Saturn will collide with the Moon and all the Virgins get buried in radioactive mud. Yowch.

Libra

Sept. 23–Oct. 22

Mmm, no, I do not like this. What is with the heavy cosmic vibes coming from Big Sister Saturn? Mmm. I do not know what that girl’s problem be, but she is for sure a menace and I done reported her but the police don’t do nothing. Nothing. You know, you know for sure. Mm-hmm.

Scorpio

Oct. 23–Nov. 21

Your Humble Astrologer wondered whatever happened to Madam Cleo, leader of the infomercial mass-psychic hotline. Well, it turns out Cleo was actually a dude named Ivorson who had nothing to do with Jamaica or Creole Voodoo. He bilked millions of superstitious Christians out of hundreds of American dollars — if not more. Yeah!

Sagittarius

Nov. 22–Dec. 21

Expect Monday to be a day of previously unimagined horrors. Tuesday will find you and a handful of attractive survivors living by your wits on a planetoid chunk of Mother Earth. There’s food, water and good air. Things could be worse… and they are. Coming to your near-future: you change your name to Flame Wanderer.

Capricorn

Dec. 22–Jan. 19

Monday begins with heavy skies, dark and brooding. The day advances, sulfureous gloom thickening, till one finds the air itself disgusting — fetid and rank with the bandit stink of disappointment. A clock strikes the hour, but the time is 2012 and The End Is Near. The End Is Near! Woe to Man! Woe!

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For the week of April 8–14, 2012.

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Aquarius

Jan. 20–Feb. 18

Stop looking for trouble! You already know that your neighbour wears a tinfoil hat to deflect the powerful mind-control beams aimed at him from geosynchronous low-Earth orbital satellites. We’re talking about a highly unstable individual. Why must you taunt him with signed notes poking fun at his proclivity for stale marshmallows and knives?