Sunday, February 10, 2008

Rotten-Day Aquarians

During the past few months I've resurrected sections from a little book called "You Were Born on a Rotten Day" by Jim Critchfield and Jerry Hopkins. I found the book in a secondhand shop last summer. (This book is not to be confused with a more recent publication of similar title - this one was first publshed in 1969). A little more about the two authors HERE.

Maybe I'm jaded, but it seems to me that, sign by sign, the entries are becoming less and less funny. The book was a clumsy attempt to spoof astrology columns. It doesn't work, it's just not clever enough. I think it IS one of the first books ever to attempt astrological humour though, so in a way it's a piece of history. Standards have changed over the ensuing 40 years, it's hard to put oneself into the minds of book-buying American public back then, and impossible to imagine writing of this standard being published today.

Readers seeking a laugh via the authors' take on "Aquarius" would be treated to these revelations:

"Aquarius is the water sign(???)and people born under it are all wet. These people love the sea and all waters everywhere, often becoming stowaways or lifeguards of low moral character. Some of the more dedicated Aquarians often swim upstream to spawn.

Aquarians are eccentric and will not follow the crowd, thus giving rise to the large number of Aquarian servicemen who jump out of landing barges and swim back to the Mother Ship. As a result Aquarius is known in some circles as "The Sign of the Chicken".

If you are an Aquarius, you attract others to you for advice. This is very bad since you lack wisdom and probably had to cheat to make it through the third grade. However you can expect disappointment, pain, frustration and other erotic things.

You are so close with a buck it's incredible. It is advisable to marry a poor person who was born on Christmas Day so you'll just have to buy one all-purpose gift a year. Better yet, why not just have yourself committed and let the State take care of you?

Your lucky number is 3554664958674928. Watch for it everywhere.

And under the heading "A Typical Miserable Aquarian Month", examples of funny (?) forecasts:

"27th: You've been leading a dog's life. Stay off the furniture.

28th: A handsome man may wink at you today. (If you're a man, don't wink back).

29th: Wherever you go today, be sure to take your clavicle.

30th: Stop building castles in the air. They'll only attract more pigeons."

Mercifully, later in the 20th century and in the 21st, astrological humour improved by leaps and bounds.


R J Adams said...

Obviously a book intended for the less mature of astrological "unbelievers". Perhaps, as you point out, humor has just evolved over the years. I certainly look back on some of those 50's and 60's British TV comedies that once had me rolling on the floor, and think, "Whatever did I see in them."

Twilight said...

It's true! 50s and 60s were pretty dire humour-wise. Monty Python is one of the few old-ish progs that has stood the test of time, along with some old 70s Saturday Night Live stuff I've been introduced to by himself.

The world has changed and so have we.