Friday, April 13, 2007

More Than A Breakfast Cereal

Here it is, Friday the 13th, and I haven’t died yet. Cool!
Actually, the significance of this particular “Friday the 13th” is that we get paid two days early, which is fine. I am not a ‘superstitious’ person, as I recognize that God is in charge, and has every event in my life planned out. Okay, honesty time: I have, on occasion, while watching an important baseball game, worn a ‘rally cap’-hat inside out or folded in half, perched on my head like a toupee. But I didn’t honestly think that my wearing of a hat would change the outcome of the game. It’s a fan thing.
But I have known quite a few superstitious people, and some of their beliefs make my rally hat almost cool by comparison.
One time while on a trip I was staying the night with a family whose son, Clay, tried to educate me as to the awesomeness of the Zodiac/Horoscopes. Clay was 18, 6 ft tall, so this wasn’t some kid pestering grownups with fanciful tales. All in good humor, I asked Clay a few questions.
“So, the year, day, hour, moment of birth dictate patterns of behavior, influence how a person lives?”
“Absolutely, man. I’m a Cancer, and we’re cool!”
“Okay Cancer, think about this: the entire world’s population is born each day of the year. You share your birthday with 1/365th of the world’s population. Not counting the Leap babies, who are just weird. On your birthday, 1/24th of that population was born the same hour you were. Are you still with me?”
“Go man, we’re cool. 1/24th of 1/365. Got it.”
“Okay. You were born here in Kansas?”
“Yup. Three in the morning.”
“Which was three in the afternoon for another baby born at the exact same moment half a world away.
A baby born just a dozen miles away in Missouri ? Two in the morning. What month were you born?
“July 18th. Like I said-I’m a Cancer.”
“That’s after Daylight Savings Time kicks in for the year. Before that artificial re-arrangement was incorporated into our culture, there was no time shifting for seasons. Which means that by a natural reckoning, you were actually born at two in the morning.
“Clay, you’re planning on going to college, right?”
“Yup. KU.”
“Did you take any science classes in school?”
“I did all right. I’m not a wiz or anything.”
“That’s fine. Can you tell me if the Earth is at the center of the universe?”
“Nope-we’re up in a spiral arm pretty far away from the center.”
“But Clay, the ancient astrologers who came up with the Zodiac based all of their ideas on the belief that we are indeed the center of the universe, that everything revolves around Earth.”
“But that’s stupid!”
At this point Clay’s mom, Sky (as she likes to be called) thanked me for “Destroying his faith in the Zodiac.”
“He didn’t, Mom. I’m still a Cancer, and it’s cool!”

One more short one. Talking with a friend who takes Astrology seriously.
“So, the Zodiac influences how a person turns out?”
“Yup. When’s your birthday?”
“March 8th.”
“Hey! That’s the same as my Dad-you’re Pisces.”
“Okay-am I anything like your Dad?”
Her eyes got big.

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