Yesterday I believed that one of the great disadvantages about living in Great Barrington is the number of times each year you have to hear that Mercury’s in Retrograde. If someone loses her car keys, it’s because Mercury’s in Retrograde. If your friend shows up an hour late for lunch, it’s because Mercury’s in Retrograde.

Early on, I tried to make a joke about it. Like “Mercury’s in my thermometer!” Well, that didn’t work big time. Because the people who care about where Mercury is, really care about it. And they definitely didn’t appreciate my mocking the higher powers.

I didn’t know anything about astrology. So when someone told me that this year, Mercury would turn Retrograde four times not three, I wasn’t sure whether I should be happy or sad. Or what exactly it meant that everything will straighten out by June 14, just before Jupiter turns Retrogade in Aquarius.

Luckily a lot of people care a lot about Astrology at Fuel. In the old Deli, everyone fought to read the New York Post, mainly for the Sports section. The late great Herbie Reid got it first. But now people like Cassie and Steph and Robin and Jess and Jes, who could care less about the Sports section, want, actually need, to check their readings. Sometimes, there’s a hole in the Eagle where the Astrology column appears. Sometimes you can find it taped to the register up front. And Robin swears it’s not just a “chick thing.” A lot of guys, she says, want to check their chart too.

I unsuccessfully tried to go with the flow. But there was something stopping me. For a while I smiled enigmatically when people asked me my sign. But that seemed to annoy just about everyone. So I gave in. But whenever I told people my sign was Scorpio, they’d give me this deep penetrating look and say, “No wonder.” Or “That figures!” Or ever worse: “That explains everything!” And it was pretty obvious as I watched them shake their heads that I was in trouble. And quite obviously must have been for a pretty long time.

Anyway I thought if I was going to write about this the least I could do is check my reading. So for those of you playing along at home, you can check Holiday Mathis’ horoscopes for Monday, June 15, 2009.

This what Holiday said about me – and the rest of you Scorpios: “To recognize that a situation is futile may be smart. However, it might also be lazy. Stay in the game even when you know the odds are stacked against you, and you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish.”

Is Holiday saying that I should know better than to be writing about this? Is Holiday suggesting I’m being lazy? Am I supposed to be writing about global warming? I know I’m supposed to stay in the game, but I honestly don’t know which game I’m playing. Is this is a Scorpio thing or a Mickey Friedman failing?

Thank God, Holiday answers astrological questions and offers celebrity profiles. That turned out to be the life saver for me because there was obviously so much I didn’t know. Like the fact that “Courtney Cox grew up as a Southern belle and had to work to lose her accent. Throughout her life, she has shown her Gemini versatility taking on work as a model, actress, film producer, designer, wife and mother. With natal Mars and Jupiter in Taurus, Cox is not adverse to hard work.” And as everyone who truly knows me knows – and because I’m a Scorpio – there probably isn’t anyone who truly knows me – I am a huge Courtney Cox fan, ever since the Bruce Springsteen music video. Go, Courtney go!

Suddenly, like a lightning bolt from the sky it all came clear to me. Like, wow – it’s June 15th. It’s not the 13th anymore. Of course, a stubborn, willful, Scorpio wouldn’t get it. Just wouldn’t take the time to check out where Mercury was.

Thanks to today’s reading I’m going to google “Gemini versatility” and order some online. And I don’t know about the rest of you Scorpios, but I’m out of here. I’m going to change my sign. I’m with Courtney Cox on this one. Goodbye Scorpio. Hello Gemini. And as Holiday says about us Geminis today: “if each person takes responsibility for himself or herself, the day goes smoothly.” Count me in.

And, as of today, like the rest of you Geminis, I’m plenty glad Mercury Is No Longer in Retrograde,

Thursday June 18, 2009 © Mickey Friedman – All Rights Reserved