Nick & Choose 14: Horoscope

Published August 12, 2009

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Constellation Prize
Nick greets the dawning of four days of Aquarius

I put too much stock in my psychic abilities. If I catch myself thinking, “Whatever happened to Ogre from Revenge of the Nerds?” and then I later see him playing a barbarian in a Capital One ad, I feel like I’ve somehow conjured him into existence.

With such far-reaching powers as the ability to get D-list actors work, I’ve never held much faith in the clairvoyance of others. Tarot cards, tea leaves, Magic 8 Balls, there are too many options, and they can’t all be right. When I was a kid, a palm reader at a county fair told me I was a good boy, and if I didn’t use drugs, I’d turn out fine. Thanks for nothing, lady.

Deciding to further explore soothsaying, I consulted Eugenia Last’s Astrological Forecast in The Globe, because if you can’t find valuable guidance next to Doonesbury, really, where can you turn? I gave Eugenia four days.

Monday: “Good things will come from an unexpected source. A friend will be there to back you if you need help and encourage you to follow through with your plans.”

Nothing good arrived, which proved the forecast both inaccurate and depressing, but my friend John did come over to help me in my plan to install an air conditioner. Of course pieces were missing, so there was no real follow-through. It seems even though a friend came to my aid, the universe (and Sears) was still there to screw me. And now I have a wobbly window unit one unlucky nudge away from plummeting to the sidewalk. Hopefully my future doesn’t hold involuntary manslaughter charges. Horoscope accuracy (out of 5): 2.5.

Tuesday: “Someone you thought you knew well will let you down.”

Do I have good friends or bad, horoscope? Make up your mind.

That night my friend Adam and I lucked into luxury box seats at Fenway, and as Adam savored our 6-2 lead and his fourth Heineken, he said, “I hope this game goes into extra innings.” Of course we blew the lead and ending up
losing in the 11th, but I already knew that would happen. The man is a military-grade jinx—but apparently better at predicting the future than Eugenia Last. Accuracy: 1.

Wednesday: “Be honest about what you did and didn’t contribute or you may be questioned or put in an awkward position.”

It’s date night, and a time when I would rather pour the soup du jour down my pants than be forthright, so bring on the awkwardness!

Nothing. After a few jokes and some lively repartee about mass homicide and organ donation, I came across as charming as always. Dodged another of your feeble bullets, zodiac. Accuracy: 0.

Thursday: “You can open doors that have been closed in the past.”

Giving my horoscope one last chance, I made a concerted effort and decided to call a friend I hadn’t spoken to in a while. In life, our paths often diverge, but “because my horoscope told me to” is as good a contrivance as any to rope someone back in.

Turns out she’d just been thinking about me. Eerie. A friend had given her some of my writing, and she’d actually read it. Ego stroke! Sure, her horoscope said nothing about needless, inconvenient phone calls, but she handled it all with patience and humor. Isn’t that just like a Capricorn? Accuracy: 4.

I didn’t need a test to prove that horoscopes are just speculation, but I was surprised to discover they do hold some practicality. It’s like reading a vague journal entry hours before you actually live the day. Checking the script keeps you engaged. Taking the advice can push you outside your normal comfort zone. Perhaps best read, a horoscope is less a prophecy and more a friendly suggestion for the road ahead. Because having all the answers is no way to live.

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