Sick of waiting for the dream life to come to me, sick of lumbering from crap life situation to even crapper life situation etc, I wondered what it would be like to ‘map out your own destiny’, to give yourself over to the ‘stars’. Now I don’t mean I was about to don a dodgy blue velour leisure suit and lethally inject myself whilst waiting for a big spaceship to come out of a comet’s tail and take me to Xanadu. No. What I actually mean is that I thought it would be interesting to follow my ‘stars’ in the newspaper. Could it all be true? Or would it be just as I had always thought beforehand; a load of shite made up by fat/ bald/ lonely/ hirsute* (Delete as appropriate) people with no other skills except an ability to sit down and write 12 cliché-packed paragraphs every day? Only time would tell.
Many a time when I have been bored (i.e. the server at work has crashed) I have picked up a copy of Metro which a more discerning colleague has flung dejectedly in the bin in protest at the quality of its journalism. After reading through it, I often take a look at the horoscopes, laugh, and then forget about them instantly as the much-berated but free daily makes yet another journey to the bin. For some reason, I had also been receiving emails from a ‘High Priestess Kazika’. After at first panicking that somebody had given my email address to a satanic porno site, I read that in fact some joker had signed me up for a newsletter that offered me my personal reading for only $119.99!!! Wow. I was suitably impressed. I became less impressed when practically the same email with slight variants would arrive every hour on the hour. Obviously a ruse to send you mental and give in and part with your ‘dollars’. I was not to be swayed, but I thought I’d have a look at the free daily horoscopes, just for a laugh.
But what if I took it seriously? I know people do. How many times have I heard someone (normally a woman, I have to admit. Sorry) say, “According to Mystic Meg, things are going to change for me really soon.” Do they really believe that this woman is speaking the truth? Obviously they do. So this begs the question… Would this work for me?
Well for God’s sake, my looks and dress sense aren’t getting me anywhere (hardly surprising, really) and the health kick was a washout so I thought ‘Maybe this is the turning point, maybe this is my gateway to success.’ So, Monday, armed with a hangover and a burn mark on my chin from a very hot pizza (I was pissed and missed my mouth and half a ton of molten lava pretending to be cheese ripped the skin off my chin) I sauntered into work, shook my umbrella and sat down at my PC. I logged on to the internet and found a site that did horoscopes.
Right, Capricorn. Monday 25 September 2000.
“You are at the brink of a new beginning” Am I? “You are an unstoppable force” Really?!? “You search the horizon and see the period of great change hurtling towards you” I looked out of the window and just saw the hairy mechanic from the garage opposite the office dancing with a hosepipe to Lolly. “Prepare to change beyond recognition” What, like, physically? Cool.
So there I sat in the office, Nothing ‘changed’ much. I wasn’t really ‘forcing’ anything, as there wasn’t anything to force. Everyone was agreeing with me. Finished work, went home, made the dinner. ‘Period of great change’? Well, I discovered that night I’d gone off carrots a bit, as the ones in Boeuf Bourgignon were too crunchy (I chopped them too thick I think). And as for new beginnings? Arse. Absolutely nothing.
I really didn’t think I could stomach a whole week of living by the ‘stars’ so I decided to give it one more day and then throw the towel in, or the computer out of the window… whichever took my fancy. This time I looked in some rag newspaper that somebody had left lying around.
OK, Capricorn. Tuesday 26 September 2000
“Changes are afoot, and you will find yourself being engrossed within them.” Sounding rather familiar so far. “As you seize the opportunity for a fresh start…” Oh another new beginning, yeah? The only new thing is the extra vein popping out of my forehead, disgusted by the crap-ness of it all. I didn’t read any further. I launched the newspaper at the bin, where it belonged and decided to leave Mystic Meg, my unfortunate namesake Justin Toper, and all their cronies to it. Have fun finding more adjectives for ‘new beginning’, guys, but I won’t be reading…
Live by the ‘stars’? I don’t think so. I think I’ll just live by the pints and see where they take me….