The astrologer was the epitome of laziness.
What a performance!
He lived mysteriously in a quaint little flat near the ocean. The flat was completely guarded against the rain. And right now it was raining, beating hard against the panes. He sprawled lazily on a crimson beanbag. His words would rise like magical stars and he always sat in front of a television set, the volume control set to zero, a distant radio playing indie rock.
He twiddled a straw in his mouth. He was looking directly at his friend, Simon Wentletrap.
“I will tell your future’” announced the astrologer to his friend.
And he did.
To his friend, Simon Wentletrap, he said.
“You will meet a mathematical elephant on a footpath that will take you to the edge of your philosophy for today. Don’t make silent ventures.
Best colour blue. Favourite number seven.”
And the astrologer reclined and twiddled his straw. Simon Wentletrap thanked him very much.
Simon Wentletrap left the flat and walked out into the rain and went to the beach. He stood on the shoreline and sang. Loudly. He sung “I’ll be the dead one one day baby” which is a song about guessing star signs. He sang this song for a very long time until the clouds parted and the sun came out.
He noticed the sea was blue. Also, significantly, as the rain cleared, he noticed the sky was blue too. What a revelation!
He counted some nearby seagulls. Seven. Simon Wentletrap was very fond of seagulls. The gulls had the look about them as if to say ‘what do you want us to do’ but Simon Wentletrap couldn’t think of anything except swimming and flying.
Later on, when he was bored with swimming and flying, he absently drew an isosceles triangle in the sand, and, feeling leased with himself, surmounted it with an elephant. Simon thought he was possibly forcing the issue, but just then a big bus came by. Thinking about this fast he caught the bus with a huge smile on his face.
Simon Wentletrap returned to the astrologer.
“Got anymore,” he asked.
The astrologer twiddled.
“You will hear incredible music and will be beckoned but only until midnight when you will recall the tide is high and that there are stars in the sky tonight and then you will insult your shoes. Best colour red. Favourite number three.”
Simon Wentletrap pondered for a moment.
He pondered that being told the future was rather like eating cream puffs. If you don’t eat it it will all look like a magnificent cloud at sunset but you can’t keep it and you’ll never know what it’s like to eat. If you do eat it the sunset is ruined but at least you know it tastes pretty good.
He pondered on that, and the astrologer. He had seen the whole future thing said in a movie about King Arthur. Pondering was one of Simon Wentletrap’s greatest talents. If Simon Wentletrap had a popsicle for every time he’d stopped to ponder, and then he’d put all those popsticks together, well, he’d have an accomplishment equivalent to the Eiffel Tower.
So a’ pondering he did go.
All the way to his usual jam night at a local hotel.
There was a three dollar door charge. He drank three beers. Later on, a head full of crazy amateur rock ‘n roll he was thrown out at closing time for persisting in saying the music was incredible. Noone believed him. He staggered home, it was a clear night, everywhere a myriad of stars. Finally he vomited on his thongs and fell asleep on the back veranda.
Bravely Simon Wentletrap returned to the astrologer. (The very next day.)
“I’ll try another one, “ he said.
It was all a bit much. A Gamble. A weed-flavoured lollipop. Oracles are like that, pondered Simon Wentletrap. Dubious seafood.
The astrologer twiddled. He twiddled for a fair while. Simon Wentletrap became impatient. Finally the astrologer said:
“You will meet a beautiful maiden.”
Plunk. Like a sheep falling in a well.
The trouble with an astrology, pondered one slightly perturbed Simon Wentletrap, as he trudged beside the railway line, is that it underlines the tragic condition of an insane race. Simon Wentletrap paused beside a well to rescue a sheep. He was deeply engrossed in thought.
I mean, thought Simon Wentletrap, to think that here on Earth we have a science that is popularized in nearly every household journal and news regular from here to the Blue Mountains and tells us that, basically, that a fart on Jupiter some sixty billion miles away is likely to have serious repercussions for an individual’s intellectual, financial and, believe it or not, spiritual love life as well.
Seriously perturbed Simon Wentletrap had to carry the sheep (not a ram) which was having trouble keeping up.
At one point Simon Wentletrap’s sympathies for natural fertilizer, let alone a lazy science that avails a proliferation of literally thousands of totally unoriginal opening pickup lines in regard to romantic adventure, was seriously jeopardized.
Favourite colour brown.
Simon Wentletrap searched the railway line in vain for a certain species of fern, but salvation was not to be found.
Later on he fell asleep in a bed of flowers. When he awoke he had to trade his position for a sheep. He really had little choice in the matter. Both sheep and flower bed belonged to one irate suburban freelance environmentalist do-it-yourself self-sufficiency expert. He was threatened with the RSPCA, due to the damp condition of the sheep (as well as its disappearance in the first place). Simon Wentletrap had by now lost all faith in the magical wonders of astrology. He kissed the sheep goodbye but that didn’t make the self-sufficiency expert any happier.
Simon was therefore on his way back to the astrologer. He was going to complain that he no longer believed in The Year Of The Sheep. Nor did he think the maiden voyages of the clumsy sheep to be a very funny joke. He was going to demand the lazy astrologer pay his cleaning bill.
Simon was nearly at the astrologer’s rainproof flat when he bumped into an old friend. His friend was deliriously happy. He had just won a small fortune on the Maiden Stakes at the local races.
“It was beautiful,” said the friend of Simon Wentletrap, whose name was Byron Buttons.
“Want another one?” asked the astrologer as Simon entered the quaint little flat near the ocean.
“No thanks,” said Simon Wentletrap, “But could I have my straw back?”
Robert Ellery Phillips
Somewhere in the 1990s.
Updated in May, 2012
Comedy. Goes with “Simon Wintlestraw has a Revelation”. See other works. Fun.