ARIES (MAR. 20-APR. 19): The star game is a brutal business. Brutal. And if you want to get ahead in this trade, you gotta have more than just moxie and a sense of personal style: you gotta have cast-iron balls. Cast-iron. Balls. Wrapped in lead.

This morning I rolled out of bed, threw on my flip-flops and paddled over to Choco-Latte to get my daily fix, then opened up my USA Today and thumbed through it to Sydney Omarr. He's the no-talent hack who does their 'scope. And I scan down to Scorpio -- I'm a Scorpio, of course -- and I check my forecast with the usual mixed feelings of excitement and ennui and MOTHERFUCKER. Evidently my increasing market share has been getting under Omarr's puckered ash-gray skin because MAN the knives were out. Here's his forecast: "Today the stars are obscured by cloud. Be vague."

Vague? Vague?? Any asshole can be vague!

I built my reputation in the forecast racket by hunkering down and drawing the TRUTH out of my scrolls and pentangles and prisms so that I could tell Aries and all that lot what to do each day in a clear and unambiguous manner. But now thanks to Mr. Know-Nothing ... impossible! Because no sane man fucks with the astral miasmas. They'll cut you down like a pig. I went home and threw up.

But then I remembered: oh yeah. I'm a Scorpio. Scorpios don't believe in astrology. Nice try, Omarr. Again.

Anyway, I boldly gathered up my charts and tinctures and sextants and ran the numbers and ... ah. As I suspected, Aries! Today ... you will read something that will make you think about your day.

LIBRA (APR. 20-MAY 20): Last night I jumped the fence at Cal Anderson Reservoir and dumped in eight gallons of this thousand-year-old formula: suet, gravy, curds and lard, Biles of Necromancer (that's me), no more than 2% ground bone by weight, coloring, and a whisper of fresh dill for flavor. So: feeling flushed? Unsteady breathing? Slightly tingly? Libra, you're at your sexual peak!

Poor Libra. Yours is the only sign that is an inanimate object. That's right: scales. And what do we know about scales? They don't have sexual intercourse. Think about it: they can't. So a Libra trying to navigate the whims and wiles of his libido is like ... ever watch a blind boy play Frisbee? It's not just that he makes a mess of things. It's that, at the end of the day, there's really no point. That's what it's like for Libras. What is for the rest of us a real treat and joy is, for them, baffling and a bit unseemly, and Libras live less-than-zesty lives, grim and alone. Of course there is the compensation of a nifty skill with numbers.

Well, now's your chance, Libra. Break out the oils and lotions, and slip into a silk kimono. Sex toy, anyone? For the next twelve hours you are free to revel and indulge in your newfound sensations ... and all because the astral miasmas told me to do something nice for Libra! Here, I even penned a witty rhyme for you to recite to yourself whilst en l'acte.

Young or old,
Fair or foul,
Hetero, Bi or Gay.
Libra, find a
Private place and
Masturbate the day away.

The rest of you will have cramps, diarrhea.

GEMINI (MAY 21-JUNE 20): Do not read this: bad day for Geminis to read horoscopes. Okay for friend to read, very very bad for you to read. You're still reading. Stop it. Stop reading. You're still reading. Stop it! I'm warning you. If you don't stop reading your horoscope NOW I will end it right here. End it. I'm serious. STOP! STOP READING! ST (to be continued)

CANCER (JUNE 21-JULY 22): At 7, Evening Magazine: the common drunk who won a gold at the Special Olympics, and the wife who has yet to tell him. At 7:30, Clowntown: crime-solving clown J. P. Patches solves the mysterious disappearance of a little girl, but is sad on the inside. At 8, Roseanne: The gang at the plant think Roseanne is boring, so they watch Seinfeld. At 8:30, bathroom: you dawdle, miss the first ten minutes of Jeopardy, and are baffled throughout the remainder. At 9, Cliffhanger: the Mystery Embezzler is about to be unveiled when, suddenly, the show is canceled. At 10, Dateline NBC: the man who grows hair for Donald Trump's toupee, and his dramatic escape. At 11, local news: with weatherman Jeff Renner. Renner describes today's weather, gives tomorrow's forecast, gets both wrong. At 11:30, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: tonight, celebrity look-alikes discuss the imagined drawbacks of seeming famous.

Schedule subject to change. Please check listings for more accurate forecast.

CANCERS WHO DON'T HAVE A TELEVISION (JUNE 21-JULY 22): The old saying goes that the most important part of your astrological forecast is, well, your astrologer, and it's true. No, no, come on. It's not a matter of, say, what kind of "mood" I'm in when I write your forecast. Please. Astrologers are basically scientists. We all work from the same set of charts and timetables. "Mood" has nothing to do with it. No, what makes a forecast more or less accurate than other forecasts is the amount of time the astrologer dedicates to drawing the Truth out of the hard data. And that's where I set myself apart from my peers: I take the time. In fact, the very first thing I do every day after rolling out of bed is consult the charts not merely as a personal guide to that particular day in my life but as a guide to the days of the most important people in my life: you, my readers. For isn't time the most generous gift one can give? There's not exactly an endless supply of it. Effort, and diligence, and love, are really just measures of the time we devote; and the amount of time we give to someone is a measure of the value of the one receiving it. A lesson there, Cancer. So, all of this is my way of telling you why writing an astrological forecast for someone who cannot manage to own a television is not worth my time.

THAT GUY AT TWO BELLS TAVERN LAST WEEK: Remember when you said that if you needed an astrological forecast, you could damn well write it yourself? Well, here you go. Now's your chance. Go ahead. Grab a pencil. Have fun.

Not so easy, is it? Asshole. Hey, make sure you don't predict that you will write a trenchant, accurate horoscope today ... that forecast would be wrong, idiot! God, you're predictable.

Yes, yes, this forecast applies to everyone who shares his birthday, please find out if you share his birthday for a more accurate forecast.

SAGITTARIUS (JULY 23-AUG. 22): Even though it's been over a year ago, I imagine you're still glowing from the re-election. And why shouldn't you? We're well on the way to the great economic and socio-moral times that you and your friends envisioned for us. And here's something that's equally great: instead of just leaving your horoscope blank again, as I have since the election -- a man with a mind such as yours certainly doesn't need help from little ol' me, and can manage perfectly well with just some occasional advice from Sydney Omarr -- I've decided to show my thanks by looking into my charts, studying them generously, and giving you a bit of, well, a bit of what your hero, George Bush, has been giving us all these years: the truth.

You have natural skills at business and persuasion. Use them now to sell the Datsun to some unsuspecting person. You will do well ... There's another Y2K meltdown scheduled for later this month. Stock up on inexpensive foodstuffs ... That lump is neither a tumor nor a cyst but rather a harmless blockage of your ductus deferens ... Congrats: she doesn't know it yet, but your girlfriend is pregnant. Who's the father? She won't know, but here's a hint: when it's born, it will be surprisingly intelligent.

CAPRICORN (OCT. 23-NOV. 21): Capricorn is an idiot and will be mistakenly reading Sagittarius again. But as his girlfriend, you -- because you are his girlfriend -- dutily study his horoscope every day. Read on ...

Check his pockets. Sixty dollars there ... Dead squirrels in the freezer? Must've clawed their way in. Take the sixty bucks and surprise him with a new fridge ... You'll catch him probing his scrotum. It's crabs ... He's been glancing at your midriff lately. Did you know he has a thing for fatties? Make this fantasy come alive for him.

VIRGO (AUG. 23-SEPT. 22): Was that a Virgo who put a two-inch scratch in my Vespa? You fuckers really don't understand who you're fooling with. Read the following.

TAURUS (SEPT. 23-OCT. 22): Cut out the following, find a Virgo, and show it to him ...

VIRGO (AUG. 23-SEPT. 22): Today you will be hurt by a Taurus.

TAURUS (SEPT. 23-OCT. 22): ... and he will live the rest of the day in fear.

HESPERUS (MAYTIDE TO WAXING MOON): New one they added last month. Not very popular. Do you know they haven't even completed the astral miasma timetables yet? Typical. Bottom line: all I can recommend for you right now is exercise, emphasis on finance, surprise a loved one, if you feel a miasma coming on.

LEO (NOV.22-DEC. 20): Excitement? Biles? Bad patches of cancer. Could damn well be wrong, and here's an idiot who cut you in the bottom. Pretty odd, odd. Don't remember clean underpants. Question? Ouch!

AQUARIUS (DEC. 21-JAN. 19): Mother hired a cleaning woman from Honduras. And I had my charts and schedules and astrographs laid out on the dining room table, which is where I do my best work. And pretty Maritsa decided to tidy them. Maritsa cannot even read English, much less ancient Sumerian. I would advise anyone who does not read ancient Sumerian, who comes across documents written in that language, to not attempt to tidy them. Anyway, I come back from my morning constitutional and scream. The Leo forecast was a freaking nightmare. It'd been all organized and ready to go. But ... it couldn't be saved. Look at it.

So Leos are in for a bit of a weird day. And ... I want you to keep an eye on them, Aquarius. Could you do that for me? It's important. Yes, I am aware that it's Maritsa's fault, but get real. I'm the celebrity here. They always go after the one with deep pockets. So just look after Leo for a day. Watch for frivolous misuse of time, behavior that is illogical or lacking in common sense. Don't let them drive. Use good judgement. And yes, this is your forecast. If you find that hard to accept, then ... then here: Aquarius, you will find something hard to accept today.

SCORPIO (OCT. 23-NOV. 21) Oh ... hello, Scorpio. Funny seeing you around here. You don't believe in astrology. Oh, you're just looking for the Word Search puzzle? Alright. Well, it's got to be here somewhere. Let's just keep looking. Ah, Word Search. Nothing like a little intellectual stimulation to SCORPIO YOU ARE GOING TO DIE whoa! What was that? Was that ... some sort of ... astrological prognostication? That's odd, Scorpio. Because they are untrue and completely illogical. Odd for you to have read one. Counterproductive and a frivolous misuse of time. Logical thing would be to ... hmm ... yes. Just read it backwards. Then it's as if it never happened. Common sense tells us that a horoscope cannot impact you if you have not read it. Ergo, backwards. Won't take but a moment.

There ... better. Oh, look! Your Word Search puzzle!

Enjoy! And thanks for visiting.

GEMINI (MAY 21-JUNE 20): You're reading again! Stop reading! Bad day for Geminis to read!! VERY VERY BAD!! Don't make me stop writing this! I will! I'm warning you! I'm w (to be continued).

PISCES (FEB. 19-MAR. 26): Do I simply have a handful of different forecasts that I repeat week after week?

Funny story goes with that. Neighborhood garden party not long ago. Me quietly off to one side, minding my own business, noshing, forecasting. And I'm introduced to someone I believe, I can't remember, it doesn't matter, I find myself being spoken to by this smart little man: "In a way, you're like a TV weatherman. You know, like that guy Jeff Renner. On KING 5?"

"Who?" I said, barely. I gazed skyward. It was midmorning. The stars were not visible.

"You know, he's that weatherman. When it's a nice day, everybody 'thanks' him; lousy weather, playful scolding. Like we're morons. The man's just a newscaster. He reads the same charts as every other weatherman. He has a handful of different forecasts, and he just repeats them week after week, as needed. You're like that."

Ah. Now I know what I'm like. Hadn't been aware there was a mystery surrounding the matter. Well, I will have to reward this smart little man who has taken the trouble to educate me. "Delightful. Although I'm not sure what sort of 'charts' you are referring to. You see, I am sensitive to the perturbations of planetary motion. They determine what kind of mood I'm in. So I merely ascertain that mood ... and the forecasting part is all a matter of, well, style. Here, let me show you. What sign are you?"

"I'm a Pisces."

"That's correct ... but then, that's typical of a Pisces. They know what sign they are. Now I will determine my mood." I did so with grim efficiency. "Interesting. Pisces, later today you will undergo a prostate examination. Your doctor will reek of cheap aftershave. His fingers will be thick, callused, with cuticles ragged and yellow. He will suffer a surprise hay-fever attack at the worst possible time." The smart little man turned white as a sheet. He shambled off to meet his fate.

Question: Did Jeff Renner ever make a man turn as white as a sheet? Did Jeff Renner ever make a man shamble off to meet his fate?

So to answer your question: no, I do not simply repeat my forecasts. I always, always change a word or two to make each forecast more unique. My readers deserve no less.

Oh, and Pisces? Just kidding about the prostate exam. Clean, tapered fingers, with freshly-clipped nails. A nice exam.

NOT SURE OF SIGN: The other day the Neckless Lady died. I saw it in the paper. She was a lady born without four vertebrae: she had no neck. Deformed, obese, confined to a wheelchair. And I thought: here was a woman who had never made love, never been kissed, never had a handsome stranger tell her she had a lovely, aquiline neck. A dark, dull life, grim and alone. Wow. There but for the grace of God, eh? And I rolled up her photograph, put it in my underpants, and for three days I prayed: God? Oh, God? If -- and that's if -- there is such a thing as reincarnation, and we will always be reborn, infinitely, back into this earthbound existence you have created, then eventually I will come back as a fat lady with no neck, and I hate you, and you are a fucker.

BORN ON LEAP YEAR DAY (FEB. 29): Question authority. For more on this, call my 1-900 line.

NOT HAPPY WITH TODAY'S FORECAST: Today ... you will have a prostate exam that will make you think about your day.

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