Oh, joy here comes another swell year

Most folks – the great majority of them nothing more than optimistic ninnies with time on their hands – look forward to the new year with hope and cheerful anticipation.

“Oh, joy, another swell year in which to do things that will be mutually beneficial to the earth, mankind and our forest friends,” they trumpet as they leap out of bed and go to face the day.

I guess I don’t need to tell you that these people are usually born under astrological signs like Aquarius, Virgo, Sagittarius or Volvo.

Then there are those of us who were born under the sign of Capricorn. We wouldn’t leap out of our beds bright and early on any morning even if the beds were on fire – and because we’re Capricorns, waking up in a spontaneously combusting bed is always a distinct possibility.

New year? Big deal. We’ll still be Capricorns come next December.I hate to complain (you can tell, right?) but being a Capricorn this year is no better than it was last year. One need only glance at a handful of random horoscopes to see what I mean.

While Scorpios are being told to go out and conquer the world, develop new love interests and topple Third World dictatorships on their way to sainthood, Capricorns are given advice along the lines of “This might be a good day to crack some walnuts. Take some to your attorney – you’re going to need him real soon…”

Just a few weeks ago, syndicated newspaper astrologer Eugenia Last advised Capricorns that were going to have a four-star day because “someone from your past is likely to show up…”

Hey, this might light up the life of a happy-go-lucky Libra after a couple of margaritas, but someone showing up from a Capricorn’s past is not a cause for celebration.

For Capricorns, this kind of horoscope entry usually presages something like the unexpected return of the ex-wife who deserted you in Tucson 18 years ago and just got out of prison on an attempted murder beef.

When old friends show up on the doorstep of a Capricorn, they’re usually:

* Serving a warrant.

* Really, really drunk.

* Really, really drunk and serving a warrant.

* Someone to whom you’ve owed money for more than 10 years.

* Someone who’s owed you money for more than 10 years and wants more.

* Hells Angels trick-or-treating for UNICEF (in, like, April…)

* Selling fish from a soggy, discolored cardboard box (“Hey, buddy – long time, no see. Wanna buy a trout?”).

* The coroner.

Take it from me, amigos, an afternoon spent cracking walnuts is infinitely preferable to sitting around all day anxiously wanting for some specter from your past to show up and remind you of everything that you’ve been trying to forget for the past couple of decades.

Like I said, here comes another swell year…

Originally published January 4, 2004

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