Writing Switch: When stars misalign

Benjamin Welch and Sean Beckwith
Writing Switch

Surprisingly, the feature in our newspaper that receives the most views is one we are involved with least: horoscopes. Imagine having to research whether you will have a good day, or a bad day, or somewhere in between — rather than just knowing today and yesterday and tomorrow will all consist exclusively of despair, torment and malaise. Daddy’s going to get Orion’s belt again, bend over.

Astrology is to women what sports talk radio and libertarianism is to men: entirely made up but with enough subjective nuggets that we’re able to latch onto any modicum of relativity that helps us fend off the feelings of existential helplessness.

Anyway, this week we put the “horror” in “horoscope” and predict the content of your future. May the best of fortunes befall you — we’d sure hate to lose another reader.


SB: Other than the lion for Leo, this is the only corresponding animal I know. I couldn’t even tell you what animal mine is. (It turns out Aries is a ram, which I literally just Googled.) You want to know how I know what a Taurus is? Because some rando I follow floods their story with explicit pictures of bulls.

I felt like either they had some odd bestiality kick or I was on the outside of the joke, or more aptly, meme. Upon finally reading a follow-up text on photo post — which I don’t normally do because wrongly attributed self-help quotes (and blatant racism and misinformation) are the reason I quit Facebook — I learned the buffet of rocky mountain oysters was a sign thing.

And I vowed never to read a text on photo post again.

Five stars only because my girlfriend is a Taurus/doesn’t push the limits of decency on Insta.


BW: Explore something out of your comfort zone today, Sagittarius. And I don’t necessarily mean you have to take up cuckoldry, but I don’t kink shame, so it’s fine. I’ve got some marketing ideas, if you do indeed want to go down that diverging road in a yellow wood, though. We can call it “The Running of the Bulls: We’re Not In Pamplona Anymore.” Everyone’s tired of the COVID routine they’ve been required to participate in, and we’re only nearing Year 2 out of Indefinitely! It’s essential that a Sagittarius like yourself find some manner in which to get the heart palpitations pounding again, and I tell you what, watching videos of 65-year-old women peeing on their kitchen floor might not be enough to do it for ya (you’d be surprised how many people are into this, but you’re always surprised, aren’t you, Sagittarius?).

Four stars.


SB: This is like a backhanded compliment. The Rams leave St. Louis, get good in LA and I find out that, according to my sign, I’m a ram? Nope. I refuse. Rams are pretty cool animals, especially if you catch them in the wild, but I will not be identified as a ram.

Horoscope: Use your Chinese birth year sign instead and hopefully it’s dope (tiger) like mine, because Stan Kroenke* is the reason you’re an NFL agnostic.

Three stars

*I hate that I know how to spell his name from memory.


BW: You know when you see those commercials for ulcer medication and you’re like “uh oh”? You should maybe get that checked out. You know when you lean back and the quadrants of your abdomen are different sizes? You should maybe get that checked out. You know how you almost broke your back last ski season and are still sometimes afflicted by crippling pain? You should maybe get that checked out. You know how when you stand up and your knees feel inflamed and gouty? You should maybe get that checked out. You know how you suddenly have that strange rash on your torso? That killed Al Capone so … you know what you should maybe do. That’s right. Maybe get that checked out. Take the jab. Of penicillin.

Or don’t. Who cares?

Two stars


SB: Which sign, again I’m coming into this blind and barely know the tendencies of each designation, is the one that tells you how their signs gets along with all the other signs? Is that Libra? I have no idea, obviously.

I don’t know why you’d let someone being an Aquarius or a Virgo or whatever dictate who you’re supposed to get along with or date. I’m sure psychologists have categories of personalities and shit, but don’t put me a label on me, Doc. (I’m sure someone is saying that’s so Aries right now.)

How about this for a horoscope: Stop reading this nonsense and you’ll have a better day.

Five stars


BW: Your friends are right, Leo; you should exert your lovage, um, leverage. Except do the reverse of whatever they say, and instead leverage the opposing party. Otherwise, you know that guy who always seems to time his water cooler breaks and poop schedule with yours? And of course he’s bald and wants to tell you about his fantasy football team bad beats and is named something that sounds fake, like Christian Partie? Not saying suck up to that guy, but at least get used to him.

Three stars


SB: This isn’t even an animal, it’s air. You can look at that two ways: Oxygen is the lifeblood of the human species, or it’s nothing. What would you do if I wrapped an empty box and gave air to you as a gift? That’s a slap in the face. Air? I’m supposed to be air? We can’t exist without the sun either but at least that’s like a thing you can point at. (I don’t know if sun is a sign but for the sake of that last joke let’s pretend it is.)

Horoscope: You gotta convince yourself that you don’t suck.

Three stars


BW: Pisces is the lowest of the low, the dregs of society, the bottom feeders; the HOA presidents, crooked cops and pedestrian mall charlatans. You’re the mime who tries to rob people in the alley without breaking character. You disgust me. You make me sick. I want to throw up on the carpet or the door just thinking about you. I won’t even try to make it to the bathroom. I’m gonna throw up in your empty beer bottles and hide them in your refrigerator. I’m gonna wait til your nose bleeds and then I’m gonna throw up on top of it. I’m gonna replace your bong water with throw up. I’m gonna give you an upper-decker. I’m gonna throw up on your grandma and tell everyone she did it herself. I’m gonna save some throw up in a jelly jar and then next time I throw up I’m gonna drink the first throw up so I can throw up even more, that’s how gross YOU are.

Zero stars


SB: No, I’m not going make a bunch of jokes about cancer. There are certain lines only Kevin Garnett can cross. That said, who decided to name cancer “cancer”? And why didn’t the cancer signed person in the room object to naming it cancer?

“Screw you, Doug (pretty sure the guy who discovered cancer was Doug but don’t quote me), why don’t we name it Doug? The Doug has spread to the lungs and now Doug has moved to the stomach? How’s that sound, Doug?” (That’s my best Norm Macdonald impression. RIP. F— cancer.)

Horoscope: You can’t rename cancer at this point, sorry.

One star


BW: Keep your head down today, Aquarius. Meaning, crawl under your bed and assume the position. No, not that one; fetal. OK better. Now inhale and exhale softly, so you’re not sucking in all the dust and mites and cobwebs undoubtedly beneath your mattress — and also so that the creature doesn’t hear you. If this particular beast that pursues you, known in literary circles as ticklus monsterous, the last thing you want is coils from a box spring poking you as you writhe around in orgasmic exultation — your final one before perishing with a goofy look on your face like an extra in “The Ring.” Cue Richard Pryor’s “coming and going at the same time” joke.

On second thought, maybe don’t hide under the bed.

One star


SB: I hope Scorpios chant Scorpio to the cadence of RU-FI-O from “Hook” when getting ready in the morning, which is a joke only ’90s kids will get. That’s all I got for Scorpio, but in the spirit of my cowriter, I have a small, non-related rant to get in that I haven’t yet.

Believing in ghosts, chasing them while filming with night vision or whatever else “Ghost Hunters” does is like believing in a Zodiac sign. I don’t know how or why, but that was my argument for why ghosts, like Zodiac signs, are dumb/not real. It sounded better after a few beers while trying to hash out a column idea with Ben on Sunday.

Four stars


BW: Keeping an open mind is paramount when discussing topics of the ethereal. “I don’t know, therefore it’s dumb and not real” is hardly a scientific argument. If A=B, and Z=Q, and y=MX+b, then the square root of the Pythagorean theorum equals MAYBE — nay, probably — that ghosts and aliens actually do exist (and like to mess with us for a laugh). I’m sensing that more sober minds have prevailed in recognizing anything with less than a 100% chance is worth debating, so we can talk about witches, bigfoot, specters … basically an endless amount of possibilities in infinite universes and dimensions, other than the absolute certainty I’m never ever getting on the Giant Canyon Swing at Glenwood Caverns.

Oh yeah, anyway, I predict an excellent day for you, Capricorn.

Five stars.

Aspen Times Weekly

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