Thursday, July 06, 2006

What, me retrograde?

Mercury went retrograde two days ago, and will remain in this state until July 28. This signifies a period of unexpected delays, frustrations, and communication issues. Do not: sign contracts, make important life decisions, plan trips, or tell terribly droll jokes that couldn't possibly offend anyone.

And don't even think about calling your mother. Just trust me on this one.

A planet is in retrograde when it appears to be moving backward through the Zodiac. Planets don't actually moving backwards, of course. It just looks that way on account of a whole bunch of Physics stuff that I don't care to understand.

Whenever a planet goes through a retrograde, the specific spheres of influence governed by that planet go... well, splooey. Mercury rules communications and travel, among other things, so as a writer working within the travel industry, these particular retrogrades are understandably rough on me. I get through them, though, by doing what I'd do during any other low point in my life: I take everyone else down with me.

I like to start with a co-worker.

Me: "Mercury went retrograde."

Co-worker: "Um, what?"

Me: "Mercury went retrograde. That means it's a bad time for communications and travel."

C-w: "Huh."


C-w: "Hey, we work in communications and travel."

Me: "Yep."

C-w: "So how bad is it going to be around here?"

Me: "Who knows?"

C-w: "But it's going to be bad?"

Me: "Really bad."

I hold this same conversation with two or three different employees, singled out for their penchant for superstition and tendency to lose their minds when stressed. Then I wait. Eventually, an e-mail goes astray, or a witty remark is taken out of context, or traffic inexplicably backs up outside the office. Mayhem ensues.

This may seem mean-spirited, but I like to look at the positive. If everyone around me is bumping into walls and cursing astrology, there's not much chance that upper management will notice how badly I'm screwing things up. It's mercenary, but quite genius. I may write a book.

Merry Retrograde, Charlie Brown!

[ed. note: Special thanks to Eddie of Amber and Jet, for introducing the word "splooey" into my vocabulary.]


Sarah L. Crowder said...

One small correction, Grasshopper, and then I'll be on my way.

Only Mercury goes retrograde so frequently ("three or four retrogrades a year," as you said), due to its short trip around the Sun. All of the other planets are on their own schedules (for instance, Venus goes retrograde about every 18 months) -- determined by their own orbit length.

But "splooey" is a fantastic word, and I hope to use it in conversation as often as possible -- which will almost certainly be too often for those around me.


Here endeth the lesson. Carry on...

Evn said...

Grasshopper?! And here I thought I was a locust...

But yes, you are far more astute than I in matters astrological. As such, your punishment for disagreeing with me in my own blog shall be quick and painless. Um, infidel. Yeah, infidel! Jihad! (Which sounds a lot like "yeehaw," don't you think?)


CmdrSue said...

I KNEW something was up today. I got a completely weird phone call that at first I thought they had the wrong person, but they meant to reach me - they were just asking about things I had never, ever, ever done and had no insight into. And it was a Lt. Colonel, to boot. I have no association with the Army. What the...?

Then I got an email meant for a DIFFERENT Sue entirely. Labeled "confidential" of course. If anyone is going to mess up the addresses it will have some sort of confidential HR information.

I had clicked over to earlier to check for Mercury retrograde, but then I got distracted. You've saved me from trying to look it up.

Evn said...

Always happy to be of service. Now if only there was a "Mercury B-Gone" formula in a handy spray bottle. Non-toxic, biodegradable, etc.