When it comes to astrology I am something of a sceptic. But then that is a trait shared by all people born under Cancer, along with braininess and disproportionately over-sized genitalia.
It’s true I am disdainful of obviously made-up crap designed to exploit the weak and gullible AND I have a knob the size of a baby’s arm (and so does everyone else born between June 21st and July 22nd - especially your mum). But that doesn’t prove that our lives are governed by the relative position of huge, impossibly distant, burning spheres of plasma or that they are blessed with magical powers over our emotions and able to let us know when it’s a good time to go on holiday.
So I was surprised when a flyer came through my door advertising “The Famous Astrology Centre” (which I’d never heard of before despite it being half a mile from my house, but it says it’s famous, so it must be).
I am the last person who would ever go to see an astrologer and it struck me that if that astrologer was any good then he would already know that and not deliver a leaflet to me, saving him money and them time. He can pinpoint the people who are going to book by looking into the future, opening his diary and seeing who booked, and then just give leaflets to them to make sure they book.
So the fact I got a flyer unsettled me. In spite of me believing that astrology is effective as trying to determine your own future by tasting a freshly laid dog turd, he still feels it’s worth giving me an expensive leaflet. It can only mean that he’s seen my name in his diary in the future and knows I am going to come and see him.
Surely I have no choice but to make a booking. Oh my God! Just like he predicted. How did he know?.
He also offers hand reading. As with other people born under the most unfortunately named star sign of Cancer, I have tiny hands (that’s not the reason my junk looks so large). I hope he charges less for people with less hand surface to read. It’s not fair if I pay the same as someone like Richard Osman (who like all Sagittarians has enormous hands, but the reproductive organs of a vole).
The leaflet says “Are you disappointed meeting astrologers and not getting solutions?” I am! “Then please come and meet God Gifted spiritualist and get permanent solutions to all your problems!” Which is quite a boast. Every single one of my problems solved forever? Surely the only permanent solution to all your problems is death. I think he’s going to murder me.
This guy promises that he can assist with “Relationship problem” (singular), “Mis-understanding” (singular and hyphenated)” and also can, “Get your husband back from another women” (plural). Unfortunately my real issue is embarrassing myself with poor grammar, which I am not sure he can help with.
It’s easy to be cynical about stuff like this (largely due to it being so stupid that even a gullible ant would be suspicious) but by posting that leaflet through my door that mystical man has achieved his real aim of getting valuable publicity in the Metro. I mean I haven’t given you his name or number, but this guy is so good that if you just empty your mind and prod at the keypad on your phone I am sure you’ll get straight through.
No need to book. Just turn up. You’re in his diary already.
Denis Healey died last week. I met him about ten years ago. I was sitting on the Tube when I saw his unmistakeable figure standing nearby. I offered him my seat and he raised his unmistakeable eyebrows. ‘Are you saying I look like an old fart?’ he chortled, resolutely remaining standing.
I blustered and said "Not at all," as he didn't look either old or like any kind of stinky vapour.
In fact I am now astonished to realise that he must have been in his late 80s, or even early 90s at the time. So his refusal to take a seat from a whippersnapper like me is truly impressive. I'm just 48 now and I would snap the hand off anyone giving up their seat for me (though would perhaps feel a little put out that they thought I needed it... But only a little). Healey refused to see himself as old or infirm and that's probably partly why he lived so long. RIP Mr Healey, possibly the least farty politician we've had.