Sunday, July 23, 2017

Saturn vs. Jupiter: One Post Card, One Niece, Two Tests

Jupiter: Hello?

Saturn: Jove, it's me. 

Jupiter: Hey, Old Man! How are things in Europe?

Saturn: I always like being here. People seem to get me one's asking me intrusive questions or talking loudly. But I'm curious as to why I'm calling you...luckily enough I remembered to check at the post office here in Munich. And you REALLY had to send a post card from the Sex Museum in Amsterdam?

Jupiter: Look, no one sends post cards anymore, and frankly I was fresh out, so I asked Mars for the tamest post card he has and that's the one I got.

Saturn: Sending smut through the mail where just anyone can see it! Ought not to be allowed!

Jupiter: I'm surprised you even got my post card! Mercury said that sending something poste restante was so passé that he didn't even know that anyone used it anymore. I mean, who uses general delivery? I mean other than you. I did try to text you, too, but you never have your smart phone.

Saturn: The old ways are usually the best. I loathe texting as a medium...I can choose when I want to send a letter, but if I don't respond to texts within five minutes, everyone has a fit. And I'm not good with new technology, but I've never seemed to have trouble with a stand alone rotary phone or a pencil. 

Jupiter: I understand, Old Man. So what else is new? I love Munich! So much beer, so many pretzels, so little time!

Saturn: I'm calling from a pay phone in the post office. So let's skip the pleasantries until I get back home, shall we?

Jupiter: You know how to kill a good time like no one else, you stodgy bastard. The reason I asked you to call in is that John asked me to get in touch with you. His niece Santina is taking a very important exam this week and he's is asking for any assistance you might be able to render. She's one of yours, yes?

Saturn: Ah yes, she is one of mine! Great student, well respected, studying for her Ph.D. in chemistry. She's an amazing young lady and I wish her incredible success on her exam. Chemistry is a very Saturnian subject, you takes many years of discipline to become an expert. 

Jupiter: Sorry to kill your buzz, but anything can be made into a "Saturnian" subject if you study it long enough. We've known each other a long time. Did you think I wasn't going to know that Scorpio and Pisces typically rule chemistry? Last time I checked, neither one of those signs belonged to you.

Saturn: Give the Old Man a break, will you? I'm going to do everything I can to help her succeed this week. Is there anything else?

Jupiter: Yes, one other thing. John also has an important exam this week. He wanted me to make sure you knew it was "career enhancing", and points out that it's been quite a while since he's called you "Mr. Geritol", "that depression-inducing bastard", or "The Grim Reaper", so he expects your full cooperation.

Saturn: [annoyed] John did not call me any of those things, did he?

Jupiter: [chuckling] No, but that was too good an opportunity to let it slide, Old Man!

Saturn: There's something satisfying about slamming down the handset of a phone, Jupiter. It's so much more visceral than pressing "END CALL". Is that how you want me to terminate this discussion?

Jupiter: [laughing] No, Saturn. But I wanted to make sure I mentioned John's exam as well. 

Saturn: If he's prepared, he'll do well. If he's not, well...then hopefully he can take it again. Is there anything else?

Jupiter: Wow. Inspiring words from the no-fun planet. Not doing a motivational speaking tour in Europe, right? They're already depressed enough!

Saturn: I'll see you in a month, Jupiter. I'm hanging up now. [PAUSE] Before I forget, I would ask a favor of you.

Jupiter: Sure, Old Man.

Saturn: Did my book order arrive?

Jupiter: Hang on. [papers rustling] Yes, I have a note here to that effect. 

Saturn: From whom?

Jupiter: Mercury. He signed for the package. Apparently, you bought a signed copy of...The Boars that Came to the Dog Park?

Saturn: [pointedly] Did he open it or something?

Jupiter: It came from Canada and the title was on the customs form, Saturn. We were not deliberately invading your privacy. 

Saturn: [exhales]. Fine. I'm glad it's arrived.

Jupiter: But to be totally transparent, we did deliberately invade it slightly later on when we googled the book itself. Doesn't seem like your type of thing, to be honest. Did you know the plot? It's the story of a pack of wild boars invading a senior living community in the southern United States. Wild boars attacking old ladies in their golf carts with their little dogs? That's really your style? I'd have thought it would be more like French existential plays that make no sense where everyone dies in the end!

Saturn: First, we all have our guilty pleasures. As the publishing planet, you should understand and appreciate this fact. Secondly, I always start the day with Sartre or Camus to get me motivated and in the right direction to do my job. And finally, it's none of your business what I order. End of discussion.

Jupiter: [high squeaky voice] OK, your Lordship. I've put the book in your Lordship's office. Will that be all, sir?

Saturn: Stop talking that way, you idiot! [PAUSE] Wait a did you put it in my office? It's LOCKED. 


Saturn: My office door was locked when I left, Jupiter. Did Lady Moon put it in there?

Jupiter: [faintly with phone away from mouth] Oh shit. [stammering] Ummm, Saturn, I should probably let you go. See you when you get back! [hangs up]

Saturn: [shouting] If anyone has violated the sanctity of my office, you expansive ingrate, there will be hell to pay! Jupiter? Jupiter!? DAMMIT! [hangs up]  


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Venus vs. Mars: Locker Room Duel

Moon: Venus, I agree with you, but are you absolutely sure you want to do this? This whole dueling idea is interesting, but still...

Venus: Yes, I do, Lady Moon. It's extremely important to me. 

Moon: Fair enough. As your second in this exercise, it's my duty to tell you that while I understand, you know you're not going to change Mars' mind about this. 

Venus: Yes, I know. And I understand how you feel, but I need to get this out. 

Moon: [nods] I'll make the call. The Sun will not be happy to be disturbed. [picks up desk phone] Sol, we need you for a few minutes. [pause] Yes, I understand it's July 4th. [pause] I'm very sorry to disturb you, but Venus feels this is important, and I'm her second in a "duel". [pause] No, not with real weapons. You have to act as second to Mars. [pause] [irritated] You should know better than to lie to me, Sol. Pause Offworld Trading Company and come out here...sooner begun, sooner done and all. [hangs up] Well, that didn't go well. When is Mars coming? 

Venus: He should be here anytime now. 

[The Sun's office door opens]

Sun: Tell me this is an elaborate prank, Luna. 

Moon: It's official business, Sol. 

Sun: Venus, this "duel" really can't wait?

Venus: I'm very sorry to disturb your fun, sir, but I need to make sure I'm heard. 

Sun: [SIGH] Fair enough. Let's do this.  I wish Pluto was here to be his second. Where's our boy?

[Mars enters]

Mars: Dude, you people called me back from the Jersey shore for this? The beaches were totally fucking was like they were closed or something! Didn't stop me and I had tons of room! So what the fuck?

Sun: Sit down, Mars. Believe it or not, I'm here to help you make this quick and as pain-free as it can be. And when I say pain-free, please know that's likely going to end up being a lie.

[Mars sits]

Moon: Venus feels that her honor has been...besmirched, and is asking to confront you on official terms. 

Mars: She could have just texted me!

Moon: I don't think that would have satisfied her in this case, Mars. Venus, would you...?

Venus: Thank you, Lady Moon. I have a recent report from a locker room, which is a place that is ruled by you, Mars.

Mars: So?

Venus: I have it on good authority that a man said, and I quote: "I learned that if you have a fast car and lots of money, they [women] don't give a shit about anything else. Women are whores!" He was in said locker room talking to a younger man.

Mars: Yeah? So? Why is this even a thing? What the fuck am I missing? 

[Venus becomes visibly red in the face]

Venus: It happened in a locker room, Mars. This is an insult to women everywhere, and I demand satisfaction!

Mars: Ummmm, Venus, are you like, on your cycle or something?

Moon: Uh oh.

Venus: [Pause] I BEG YOUR PARDON??

Mars: Well, I know when you start hitting your retrograde cycle you start to get mad all the time.

Sun: Ladies, I'd like a moment to confer with my man, please. Mars, could you come over here? Like...NOW?

Mars: I'm just sayin'. I just want to know if she's "on the ret" or not!

Venus: [takes deep breath] Sir, I'm going to say this as plainly as I can. I suggest you talk some sense into your "man" before I let loose on him and you have to fill a vacancy.

Sun: Mars, please...

Mars: [stands up] No, sir. [to Venus] You want an answer? Here's your fucking answer, because I'm not backing down this time. Bitch, I have been kicked around a whole lot lately, and I'm fucking sick of it! Get off your goddamn high horse! So what if a guy said it? So what if it was in a locker room? That's one of the few goddamn places that women haven't tried to take over! I may not be smart, Venus, but I'm asking the same fucking question over and over because you haven't answered it yet: WHAT IS YOUR FUCKING POINT?

Venus: That you think this is somehow okay, Mars. It's totally unacceptable!

Mars: Men in locker rooms talk that way! Tell me women don't have the "all men are dogs/pigs/assholes" conversation in women's locker rooms!

Venus: That's just it! We don't! 

Moon: Not in any I've been in, Mars.

Sun: As much as it pains me to say so as your second, Mars, I have to say that I've never heard that kind of talk in a men's locker room, either. 

Mars: I'm gonna say this once. Whatever it was you heard, Venus, I didn't say it! The old dude was probably trying to show that he had a bigger dick than the younger dude. Men are going to do that sometimes! They're MEN!

Venus: Well, if you had been there, would you have said something?

Mars: FUCK NO! If a guy really said that I'm not changing his mind anyway! Amirite? Sir, feel free to jump in...

Sun: I say this reluctantly, but Venus, Mars does have a point, as incredibly strange as that sounds coming out of my mouth.

Venus: Are you saying YOU agree with the sentiment, sir?

Sun: Of COURSE I don't! It makes me nauseous to even hear of someone saying it. But you can't blame Mars for all the stuff that happens in a Mars-ruled place. That's not fair to him. It would be like saying we blame you for everything that happens in a plastic surgery center or a beauty salon, and I'm sure similar conversations degrading men as a whole have occurred in these venues. Correct, Venus?

Venus:  [pause] I...I'm not sure...but even's not the same...

Mars: [shouting] OH, THAT'S CONVENIENT! I CALL BULLSHIT! How about FUCK AND YOU!  I CALL BULLSHIT ON THIS WHOLE THING. AND I'M OUT! Punish me again if you want, sir, but HANDLE IT! I'm not sticking around to hear the rest of this FUCKING BULLSHIT! [singing] And all I do is win win win no matter what! [storms out]

Sun: OK, so that could have gone better. Was that the reaction you expected, Venus?

Venus: No, but until we start to take a stand against talk like this, I'm prepared to fight with him as often as necessary, sir. It's like saying "boys will be boys", sir. 

Sun: No, I don't agree with that statement, just like I don't agree with what was said in the locker room. And I'm repulsed by the behavior. But honestly, this could have been handled better, Venus. I don't want to have something like this happen again; directly antagonizing the bully of the zodiac does not seem like a smart idea. [Pause] Thank you for bringing this to my attention, Lady Moon. I'll retire to my office now, but there's no need for you to stay any longer today. [enters office and closes door]

Moon: I told you, honey, that nothing good was coming out of this conversation.

Venus: I made my point, Luna. To me it's a win. 

Moon: I'm glad you see it that way. [Sigh] Come on with me, Venus. Bothering the Sun again today is not a smart idea. Let's go get comfort food. 

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Meeting of the Astrological Minds: Illegal Fireworks Causing Solar Flares

Sun: Good morning, everyone! Glad to see you all back again. Lady Moon, do we still have Saturn out?

Moon: Yes, sir. He's out until mid-August or so. We are still receiving his dispatches; I've scanned the pages for our records and left the originals on your desk. And I do have one motion on the floor that we tabled at our last meeting.

Sun: Absolutely, Lady Moon. Who proposed it?

Moon: [blushing] That would be me, sir. 

Sun: But you didn't SAY anything last time. 

Moon: I knew it was going to be tabled, sir, so I decided to just hold it until today. We all have to have our secrets sometimes. 

Sun: Well, can we hear it, Lady Moon, please?

Moon: Of course, sir. I'd like to propose that we no longer allow explosives of any kind in our office space.

Mars: Awww, come on, Lady Moon! REALLY?

Sun: There's a proposal on the floor, Mars, and you haven't asked to be recognized.

Mars: English, please, sir!

Sun: Stifle it until I call on you. 

Mars: [mumbles under his breath]

Sun: Mars, after our last conversation you really don't want to call me a "dickbag", if that's what I just heard. That term would be more appropriate for you, I would think.

Mercury: Sick burn, sir!

Mars: Sir, I just don't get why we can't have any FUN around here. 

Sun: [SIGH] Lady Moon, would you please outline your proposal and rationale?

Moon: Certainly, sir. Recently, as I rolled my chair into place next to my desk, I heard a number of loud, startling bangs. It turns out that someone had placed some bang caps on the wheels of my chair, and I was so startled I nearly fell. 

Sun: That sounds very unsettling, Lady Moon. 

Moon: It was.

Mercury: Is there any evidence to suggest who might have placed them, Lady Moon?

Moon: I can only think of one planet who might have done it. But I'd prefer not to call him out publicly. 

Sun: Mars, it sounds like you're against this proposal. Your rebuttal, please. 

Mars: Sure, I'll headbutt this stupid proposal! It's summertime right now and I'm like ready for some fun. And who doesn't like fireworks? [silence]

Venus: Mars, there's a time and place for fireworks. Luna's desk isn't that at any time.

Mars: It was just a joke. I wasn't trying to injure anyone! I just wanted a little shock and fun, that's all. 

Sun: Mars, any prank that could result in an injury to any of us cannot be allowed. So I'm afraid I must support Lady Moon.

Mars: Dude, like I didn't see that coming. Of course, you're going to back your girlfriend!

Moon: [blushes] I thank you for your consideration, sir, and am glad you understand the situation.

Sun: Please write up the policy, Lady Moon, and distribute it to all planets. And while we're at it...

Mercury: Sir, I also have some information to share. 

Sun: Concerning this matter, Mercury, or something else? 

Mercury: This matter, sir. My chair was similarly booby-trapped. Luckily I'm using one of those standing desks these days to save my back. 

Sun: [glares at Mars] Alright, young man. Who else did you prank?

Mars: Dude, you're fucking ruining this! Something like this will keep you on your toes!

Jupiter: I get what you were going for, Mars.

Mars: I'm glad YOU do, Jupiter. The rest of these planets can't have any fun at all. 

Sun: I want everyone to go to their offices right now and carefully check their personal space for evidence of bang caps or other tampering. Keep anything you find and submit it to Mercury. 

Moon: What about retrograde planets, sir?

Sun: I will personally accompany Mars to the offices of Saturn, Neptune, and Pluto as he dismantles his "surprises." 

Mars: Dude, can we at least leave Saturn's alone? I've spent weeks on it! 

Sun: How is that possible, Mars? That door is locked, and only Saturn and Lady Moon have the key.

Moon: Well the other matter I was going to discuss, sir, was the necessity to call a repair person for Saturn's office door. It was hanging off its hinges. 

Sun: WHAT?

Moon: Yes, sir. I'm not sure when it happened, but the door took a major beating. It may even need to be replaced.

Venus: Oh shit, Mars. 

Uranus: Uh oh. Solar flare time?

Sun: [glares at Mars] Mars, sometimes you act like an ignorant, self-centered, cro-Magnon, one-track-minded caveman with the intelligence of an unsaturated Froot Loop!

Mars: Dude! Whatever happened to "innocent until proven guilty"?

Sun: Mars, you're the only planet that enjoys "blowing shit up". What else am I supposed to think? And Saturn would blame me for not keeping you under control if I let you break down his office door--of all things--without coming down hard on you. This meeting is adjourned. Mars, you're with me. If the door needs to be replaced, it's coming out of your budget.

Mars: [under breath] Fuckin' dickbags.