Midlife Ophiuchus

Insofar as I gave a damn about astrology, I was pretty satisfied with my designation as a Sagittarius, the sign of the lazy, philosophical dreamer who writes poems between naps. The Sagittarius follows his own interests, pursuing higher education to suit his whims, seeking a “big picture” understanding of the world (all the better to dismiss your petty concerns as major bringdowns with the potential to harsh one’s mellow). He craves creative adventure and independence, avoids commitment and lives like a badass motorcycle rebel jonsin’ for kicks.

Hell yeah.

So here I am, at 42, fully engorged on a lifetime of Sagittarian splendor, when I’m informed that there’s been an adjustment to the classic zodiac calander. I’m no expert on these things, but apparently the Earth shifted its rotational pull into the 7th House of Pantaloons, causing the Star of Hortense to enter the Nipple of Zeus, making 2011 some kind of astrological leap year or something. The end result is that we now supposedly have a 13th sign: Ophiuchus. And guess who gets awarded this new designation.

The first thing I find offensive is the name, which I couldn’t pronounce. I checked with Dictionary.com, which has that nifty audio feature that sounds out the words for you, and got even more depressed. For one thing, that bitch who pronounces the words on the website has a lot of attitude. Her tone seems to imply, “What are you, a freaking retard?” when she says it. “Ophiuchus, dumbass.” That’s what I heard, anyway. Worse, she vindicated what I feared. It rhymes with mucous.

A little more research revealed that this Ophiuchus character is a real brownnosing jaggoff. Reading over the attributes of the new sign made my stomach turn. He is a “tax assessor,” with “supervisory skills,” who “joins or gathers together.” He’s the “apple of his father’s eye (spit take),” and “receives the favor of those in authority (….!).” I hate this bootlick putz! Not to mention, Ophiuchus is expected to be a scientist or architect working to benefit mankind. What happened to my self-absorbed, creative adventures? My rebellious journeys into the philosophical realm? My lofty weekends of hashish and Doors albums? Now I’m expected to get my shit together and cure halitosis? I’m an old man now, I don’t need this pressure.

As icing on the cake, Ophiuchus is said to “wear clothing of vibrant colors, and plaids in particular.” I guess this is the sign that I’m officially moving into my elder years, embracing the Easter-egg golf pants and sweater vests of Grandpaville. Jesus…the “born to be wild” Sagittarius was supposed to have died in a knife fight during a drag race by now.

And if all that weren’t enough bring me down, I have the visual representation of Opie Mucous to confront. Since ancient times, the constellation has been otherwise known as Serpentarius, and is “depicted as a man holding a giant serpent.” Wrestling with it, to be exact, while dressed in the skimpiest of drapery and sandals. And there’s just no way to rationalize that as NOT gay.

Well, there’s just no arguing with the stars, right? So, meet the new me, everyone: apple of my father’s eye, friend to authority figures everywhere, ready to cure your illness, build your houses, and wrestle your serpents. Look for me at the next pride parade. I’ll be the one in neon plaid.

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