I was compiling stuff for a fake magazine to give to my parents for Christmas: Highbrow Slick, a literary rag bursting at the seams with such gems as reviews of the Song of Solomon in limerick form. Only I didn’t have time to pull it off. One of the articles was a horoscope, kyped, compiled and re-worked from the Arg online when Ash used to work for me. She wrote this two falls ago, but it’s still funny.
This horoscope is not based on worn-out astrological signs, people. This horoscope is based on the ancient Hippocratic theory that the balance of phlegm, bile, gastric acid and blood coursing through the body determines fate. Obviously, this theory is much more scientifically accurate than the idea that destiny is governed by the stars. If you wonder which of the four humors you belong to, take the simple following test:
On sunny days, you like to…
a. Play tennis, hike or paint your nails pink.
b. Rearrange your room and your friends’ lives.
c. Relax and throw back a cold one.
d. Hide from the sun and all those happy people. They probably aren’t even really that happy. They just think they are.
You enjoy reading…
a. Calvin and Hobbes or “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”
b. “Thirty Days to Thinner Thighs” or the financial pages of the Wall Street Journal.
c. The ingredients of your cereal. What the heck is Riboflavin?
d. Mary Shelley, Chuck Palahniuk, Flannery O’Connor.
When in public you …
a. Greet strangers so warmly that they wonder if you were just released from prison.
b. Make mental plans to improve the music scale or polish your shoes.
c. Stop and talk to a few of your friends and forget where you were going.
d. Avoid eye contact with strangers who hate you—oh yes, they do.
Summer job in high school…
a. Wait-person at Chuck E. Cheese.
b. Clerking at the U.S. Supreme Court.
c. Professional beach bum/ pet sitter.
d. Morgue assistant.
Speaking of which, I attended…
a. Sunnybrook high.
b. Virginia prep.
c. Didn’t make it to enough classes to remember.
d. Our Lady of Great Agony.
You listen to…
a. Weezer, Everclear.
b. Bach, Techno.
c. Anything, dude.
d. Radiohead, Tom Waits, A Perfect Circle.
Tally up your answers. If you mostly answered “a,” you may very well be a Sanguine; if you answered mostly “b,” you are probably a Choleric. Phlegmatics may not have had the drive to decide which of the answers fit them, but if they did, they probably chose a lot of “c.” Melancholic traits were indicated by “d.”
Sanguine: loving, energetic, cheerful, irresponsible, attention-seeking, extroverted. Governed by blood, influenced by air.
Sanguines will want indulgence this season, as they have been focusing recently on entertaining everyone around them. They are not acting sad because there is anything to be sad about, but because sadness is a tool for gaining sympathy, and sympathy is attention. Infants do this. Do not preach to them. Do not reason with them. Hug them.
Melancholic (opposite of Sanguine): focused, obsessive, dramatic, artistic, strongly pessimistic, passionate, introverted. Governed by bile, influenced by earth.
In general, Meloncholics will be on the prowl as the earth grows more barren. The prey of the prowler will vary for every Melancholic, but the hunting theme will prevail.
Melancholics may decide to go poach some innocent woodland creatures, or they may be predators of soul mates. The method to Melancholic madness will be, as always, profuse with drama. Whether they are seeking the perfect lyrics for a song they have written on the mandolin or they are in a heated quest for the right words in a term paper to impress that perpetually unimpressed professor, drama will govern their hunting just as Diana governed hunters of yore. However, Melancholics always expect their efforts to fail. They are pessimists. Therefore, you may find them in a state of deep vexation. You Melancholics, do not succumb to self-destructive emotions; they can lead to regrettable tattoos and really ugly haircuts. Try to channel sadness into some kind of action, such as catastrophically “beautiful” artwork. You will not realize, of course, that the fact that it is misunderstood means you are not expressing yourself coherently.
Phlegmatics: Lazy as all get-out, rational, sarcastic, imperturbable. Governed by phlegm, influenced by water.
Do your work, dang it, or the Cholerics will fire you. Beware of Melancholics on the hunt, because if they catch you with ease they’ll despise you just as easily for ruining their pessimism. Good things fall into your path always, and the next few days will be no exception. Eat all the pie you can find.
Choleric (opposite of Phlegmatic): hyper-organized, goal-oriented, bossy, proud, natural leaders. Governed by gastric acid, influenced by fire.
Getting bitter about gas prices is not going to make them any lower. Measuring the distance between each Christmas ornament, in millimeters, is not going to lower prices either, but as it gives you a sense of accomplishment, bust out the yardstick.