Ruling planet: Neptune
Symbol: A caper wrapped in an anchovy
Birthstones: Amethyst, aquamarine, dried wasabi
Fans (a word wrapped in Super Secret Double Probationary air quotes) of the VostromoScopes know I’ve been struggling to put the Pisces entry together for quite a while. There are some straightforward-enough reasons for the delay (the RIP of EoP; Chicago meteorology babe Ginger Zee’s defection to Good Morning America; that rerun of New Girl; McKayla Maroney’s smirk; Thursday; the persecution of Pussy Riot in the Soviet Un– sorry, “Russia”; also I dropped a thumbtack) and the inescapable reality that the creative process, howsoe’er crappy the outcome, is not on any schedule known to humankind.
But the difficulty has persisted for so long even I found it unusual: many ramblings of mine I think not fatally unfunny have come into being since the Pisces entry was due, and quite on the fly (is that the same as off the cuff? why?) — so I set out exploring not only Pisces but why I seemed to be suffering from “Pisces block” and no, I don’t mean the time Rihanna’s security guards tackled me, nor Jolene Blalock not returning my calls because she’s “Vulcanizing”.
Today I hit the answer. Well probably not the answer but an answer. Something, at any rate, on which I can pin the blame. OK properly it’s an “excuse” but the point is, figures prove nothing, and that footage is absolutely not clear enough to identify me. I mean, the perp, whoever I am. — it is! Dammit!
In peering into the depths of the list of notable Pisceans, one overarching fact eventually rose to the surface: collectively, you rock. And not Van Hagar rock either – Van Lee Roth rock.
Yeah, there are exceptions to every rule (Tammy Faye Bakker; Michael Bolton; Fabio; Justin Bieber) and there’s probably sport to be made of the fact that the Pisces are the fish into which Aphrodite and Eros changed to escape the wrath of Typhon, the “Father of all Monsters” whose name is to be thanked for typhus, typhoon, TomeTrader and Tea Party. (The derivation of “typhoon” may actually be from the Indo-Chinese tung fung (“easterly wind”) or an onomatopoeia of the endless exhaling after one’s mother-in-law finally leaves.) Let’s face it: surely a sign whose formative concept is running and hiding in a pond is open to mockery, n’est-ce pas?
I thought so too. But there are so very many Pisceans whose mark on the world is undeniable, epochal, transformative:
– in music and dance: Giovanni Palestrina; Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov; Frederic Chopin; Maurice Ravel; Enrico Caruso; Rudolf Nureyev; Kurt Weill; Fats Domino; Nat King Cole; Johnny Cash; George Harrison; Kurt Cobain
– in art and architecture: Palladio; Michelangelo; Auguste Renoir; Mies van der Rohe; Piet Mondrian; Ansel Adams; Hubert de Givenchy; Diane Arbus
– in science: Nicolaus Copernicus; Alexander Graham Bell; Linus Pauling; Jane Goodall; Erich Fromm; Albert Einstein
– in culture and politics: George Washington; Andrew Jackson; James Madison; Joseph Stalin (who, despite being evil, was incredibly handsome as a young man, which just goes to show you); Harry Truman; Dwight Eisenhower; Joseph Pulitzer; Ralph Nader; Bobby Fischer; Ariel Sharon; Mikhail Gorbachev; Steve Jobs
– in showbiz: Fritz Lang; Carl Reiner; Fred Rogers; Cyd Charisse; Lou Costello; Rex Harrison; Michael Caine; Sidney Poitier; Jerry Lewis; Bernardo Bertolucci; Sam Peckinpah; Jackie Gleason
– in literature: Victor Hugo; Henry Wadsworth Longfellow; Bertolt Brecht; Ted Geisel (Dr Seuss); Anais Nin; John Steinbeck; Jack Kerouac; Anthony Burgess; Tom Wolfe; Edward Albee; John Updike; Phillip Roth; William Gibson
– in ladies with big boobs: Ursula Andress; Elizabeth Taylor; Amber Smith; Jennifer Love Hewitt
– in men who appreciate them: Mickey Spillane; Rob Lowe; Tony Randall (well… maybe not Tony Randall)
— to name just a few!
So maybe my struggle with Pisces lay not within myself, but in my stars: there seem to be an inordinate number of majorly major people born under this sign, and one is led naturally (or as naturally as anything Vostromental can be) to a single question: does this look medium-rare to you? No, sorry, I wasn’t writing to you, I was writing to Becky, who’ll be my server today. Thanks, Becks. Those extensions are completely undetectable.
Anyroad, it was Roald Dahl’s uncle Oswald who cracked the shell for me: the way to ‘pproach the ‘portant Piscean puzzle is not to look at these superfish themselves, but at their collective origin — parents! — all of whom enjoyed getting their freak on the previous May and June. Could there be something in the Spring air that made their frolics extra-frolicsome? Could there be something in the old saw about a young man’s fancy turning to thoughts of the horizontal be-bop (or, as in Sharon Stone’s case, a strained cry of Sure, but first put the knife down…)? Could young ladies be o’ertaken by stealth whilst whacking the dust out of carpets in the lush meadows? What about the southern hemisphere, where it was turning to winter, not summer? — could there have been some panicked rushing to store seeds, if you know what I’m saying? Why does Jon Bon Jovi sound mellifluous when speaking, then sing with an annoying nasal whine?
We may never know the answers to these questions. But this much is clear: NBC has no idea how to properly broadcast an Olympics, and Water Polo is as much an Olympic-level event as I am an astrologer. So watch the twelve-hour Unrated Unending Unendurable cut of Waterworld instead, and thank your lucky pescatarian stars McKayla Maroney can’t see you trying to do The Smirk, because she’s a Sagittarius, and she will shoot you in the face with a poison arrow.
This month’s forecast: Be considerate of others at your place of work, as not all will be up to the challenge your cologne poses. For a change of pace, try looking for love in all the right places. I thought so too, but I didn’t have the asparagus.
An Open Letter to the Minionship:
With this final entry the VostromoScopes as we have known them come to a close. Each Sign has been examined, each nuance explored, each arcane secret revealed. Or not, who can say. But there is nothing more to be learned in re-examining the astrological cycles, just as there was nothing to be learned by reading this crap in the first place. And yet, here we are.
It is My hope to continue bringing you the VostromoScopetacular Experience in a new form from here onward: a monthly forecast, coupled with answers to your most pressing questions. Anyone who has ever wondered about anything — anything! — that puzzles them, be it a question on life, love, art, the Segway, or how Megan Fox can possibly be pregnant when I’ve never met her, is welcome to submit a question to Me by Private Message here at PBS. I will choose the two or three most vexing, beguiling submissions each month and publish an answer to the best of My ability. Which is to say, hardly at all. But there will be words, big ones sometimes, and line breaks, and even more random Matt Lauer references, and altogether it will seem pithy, in a deeply and obviously shallow way.
So until we meet thusly and again, Minions, I humbly thank you all for your time, as I’m sure you all humbly thank Me for the lovely toothbrushes you’ve been using to clean the Moat.
Desperately Seeking Sex & Sobriety by Paul Pisces
Fish Soup by Ursula Le Guin
The Typhoon Lover by Sujata Massey