Those of you who have been following the outlandish career of Asperitus, Master of Complaint, Lord of the Laggardly and Marionette of the Maudlin Muse had no doubt given him up for dead (unsurprisingly, as he does dwell in heaven, when he is not inhabiting a dustbin in a mountainous retreat, or barricading himself in a disused lavatory in Nhill). Such among you will understand that, due to a grave disdain for the flimflam and flummeries of the mortal world, the old boy has in recent months failed to deliver on time, or indeed at all. Now that the ill aspects have stirred his soul, missive by owl advises that he has revived some of his flagging strength and, as though from out of nowhere, has undertaken to review the maudlin futures of sublunary souls as they totter along this vale of tears. Enough of that. Let us prepare for the Cosmic Cacophonies...
THE PERILOUS PATH OF DARK PLUTO AND GLOOMY SATURN
Greetings, O my ghastly little articles and nasty things that float upon the river of life! Lawks a mercy, it is I, Asperitus, prognosticator nonpareil and certifiable loony, returned from the kingdom of the dead, where I have been in retreat and sublimely supine for some years, to guide your miserable lives once more! Upon which topic, I say that deceased company is congenial and preferable to that of the living, especially in the art of converse. Tis better, in the view of the wise, to say naught than hold forth on any topic about which one knows naught, a truth the dead embrace but the living despise. Deathly hush is a welcome peace in contrast to the blither and the blather of verbal intercourse with extant members of tragic humankind, the boneheads and blockheads that inhabit this barren ball, third stone from a minor star in an inconsequential solar system on the edge of a minor galaxy in the vasty deeps.
So was I, erstwhile, at ease in among the bloodless daisy-pushing farm-owners but, sadly, our destiny is not ours to choose, even in the case of an enlightened being such as myself. Yea, as are you all, so I too am in the grip of digits that belong to beings senseless, grasping and cruel without respite ... the insane gods! Aargh! These cosmic narcissists connived against my sleep, my peace of mind and my prescribed medication by decreeing Morphia should spew me forth from necrotic slumber, rudely waked and propelled untimely to the kingdom of fools, the nightmare land of Earth. Ugh! Thus, I am cursed to rant and rail once more as I tramp the Moron Marches, casting pearls before swine and declaiming wit and wisdom beyond compare for the benefit of deaf ears and thick skulls. I've bid 'farewell' to the eternal mortuary, exchanging necropolis for nincompoopery and abandoning the company of cadavers for that of cretins. This last, of course, is a reference to your good selves, my urchin ants in the picnic basket of life.
Lo, I say and say again, I watch as you totter on the perilous paths to the future, blind, inept and ill-prepared. Do you not see that ghastly giants set themselves for yet another round of cosmic wrestling, ready to lock arms and private parts in a grand cacophony of grunting, groping and grappling? Do you not see that they, obsessed each one with their predominance and might pitted against that of an eternal foe and rival, have neither care nor concern for humanity?
Ah zounds but you do not, you smears in the wretched splash of bacterium that infests the surface of this ball of dirt with its dying plants, appalling pylons, plastic detritus and the worst architecture since the decline of the private hotel! O yea, without a timely warning or astute admonition from my mightiness, you will certes sink into a noisome sea of spilling sweat and other leaking fluids and secretions (better left unnamed) that will be the effluent of the looming struggle that's poised to engulf you in rancid waves of foetid putrescence. Verily, I am couched, recumbent and prophetically inclined as grim vision reveals a nightmare ride and wearisome romp under the auspices of ghastly planets, farting in nasty aspect; a journey unique in unmitigated horror, yet indistinguishable from any other you dim denizens of a benighted universe ruled by insane gods have so far endured.
Gadzooks! What approaches as I languish on my bed of woe? Eek! The mists of fantastical forecast enshroud me, unnervingly touching my person in places best left undisturbed! They blind me to the humdrum present so that I open the inner eye and bear witness to the mind-numbing tedium of the future! Ye gods and little fishes, will the ennui never cease! Will I sleep no more? Will I draw no solace from little brown bottle or that lovely silver tube, found only in the halls of Heaven to whence I am returned? Nay, says the Horse God and all his insane friends.
Then do they, one and all these gods, pronounce a doom upon me, chorusing in unison (or as close to it as they can get, given their frequent disputes over the 'one true god'). "Let the beast of prophecy and all attendant carrion birds feed on his fading strength and aging bones until he is nought but dust and ashes!" cry they. Thus am I damned to eternal wakefulness and the bitter taste of prophecy!
ON THE HORNS OF THE HIRCINE
Aargh! Great thundering elephant droppings and masticating monkeys, tiny twits, what's this uproarious clash and clatter? Why, it's the biff and whack, boof and clack of fisticuffs in fields Elysian! By my sainted aunt! The war in Heaven's begun before I'm done with my seemingly interminable introduction! Attend to me, O cream-faced loons, members of the ill-starred club of Twelve! I am Asperitus, the bard of baffle and prophet of piffle! I am fearsome to behold but worse to listen to and I will deliver prognostications of the vile and bitter sort, such as pertain to the gross indecencies visited in the guise of vain astrology.
Ho! Dark Pluto, lord of the underworld, now prances and cavorts in the nasty sign of the Goat, revealing the true devilish deceit and demonic corruption of they that seek power in politics or business, whilst pouring out suffering beyond measure from the cup of nasty fates. Pluto sets his cap to thrash at sober Saturn that gropes and gripes in the decadent corridors of the Scales and loathsome Libra, unleashing from a store of constipated bitterness a stream of rancorous motions to rain down on a defenceless world. Yea will there be doom, fatal flaws, illness, old age and grim duty in the already depressing domain of human relationships. Eek! These titans rage and wrestle as nasty November turns light to darkness, banishing all hope for those that have entered here, which of course is all of you!
Yikes, there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth as great buildings and mighty structures shake and tremble at the onset of eruption from deep within the earth when what lies beneath, power hidden and vile, uprises to thrash and bash at present forms in an outrageous display of destructive extravagance. Yea, I say unto you that flood and fire will rage while the earth quakes and hurricanes howl. Famine too will ride among these hideous horsemen as resources swell in wealth on the one hand while on the other they are cursed by dearth. Rich persons will greedily gather excess, disporting themselves in becoming richer while the poor will scrabble for pennies in threadbare purses or under soiled cushions and down the backs of ancient couches. Crowned heads, governments and administrations will revolutionize, transform or crumble. The dogs of war will hunt in packs and bloody coups will be the new balefire of international politics, as alliances tumble, allies turn to enemies and regimes fall in a roar of tanks, a hail of bullets, a flash of knives or the gleaming white teeth of a smiling betrayal. 'Needs must' will forge mismatched partnerships or make strange bedfellows in the fires of this Hell.
But what's this? By the gods, that is not the end of it, not by a long chalk! Aging administrators, corporate heads and elder statesmen will stab backs, fire pistols or cannon, falsely accuse or deceive and tramp on the aspiring and the youthful to maintain the keep of power against incursion from the new. Leaders will put on airs, dress in ghastly fashionable ensembles, procrastinate or dissemble subtly to conceal an odious inner darkness of the spirit or a malicious intent. They'll wear silken undergarments or awful pantaloons, hobnob with beauticians, artists and persons with fine buttocks, sleep in beds laid and made with eiderdowns, pillow-cases and valances, all coloured in opalescent pinks and blues, and embroidered with national emblems or occult symbols.
And even then we are not done! Laws, penalties and practices forged in the reek of corruption, the taint of scheming connivance and the grip of grim necessity will wrack the courts, judges, lawyers and legal systems and, in time, overbear them, threatening the fabric and ideals of justice by upsetting the scales of her balance. Mine owners and administrators will take to cross-dressing while cross-dressers will find employ in subterranean offices of the government service to pay for the rising costs of nylon and depilatory treatments. A race of dark-eyed dwarfs will emerge from caves in the bowels of the earth, rushing forth into the garish light of day, wearing sunglasses and evil grins. They will assail the premises and the persons of cosmeticians, retailers of underwear, interior designers and makers of fine bed linen while consorting carnally with scarlet women and countless young men named Earnest, with plenty of silver cigarette cases on offer for a trade.
This parade of horror will go on and on (much like myself), a ring of ghastly bells with nasty little clappers, calling one and all to the mind-numbing tedium of yet another New Year, beckoning mesmerized masses to a precarious edge, as the very cracks of doom widen at our feet and tottering little toes! However, we must not get ahead of ourselves, attempting to skip any of the stones of abject misery that mark the path of pain by attempting to embrace, too soon, the abomination of desolation that is the heart of this egregious nightmare dreamed by the insane gods, the masters of our fate.
Onwards, my tiny twits! Or is that backwards? Only marauding Mars and his puling servant lunar globes can say!
List to me, my darling addlepates, and prepare for wicked assail from the vagrant hysterical forces of panic and fear in the dreary doings of dastardly December, as marauding Mars, warrior god and psychopathic keeper of edges blunt and sharp hits the brake then slams into perverse reverse in the sign of lackwit Leo. Ugh!
Actors, divas, drama queens of both sexes and gaudily dressed beer merchants will arm themselves with mighty weapons and take to the streets, frolicking in the froth of psychopathic rages. Surgeons appearing on television will have tantrums, arguing violently over camera angles or lighting in tricky procedures or they will perform interminable tragic orations upon the death of a patient (there will be many of these). There will be a new reality (ugh) television show called American Surgeon where unemployed folk and celebrity aspirants will have several hours training then perform complex or delicate surgical procedures in life-threatening situations, live on television, submitting their efforts to a panel of judges, one of whom will hopefully be the patient.
Manual workers or sportspersons will dress in showy tasteless clothing, eat too much beef and drink too much beer. There will be fisticuffs or stabbings at places of public entertainment or the theatre and the streets or dance floors will seethe with frustrated or angry men. Nothing of import will be accomplished and, as mischievous Mercury mimics Mars by fingering his own perverse reverse button (eek) in the abhorrent sign of the Goat (aargh), the road to New Year will be a rocky one indeed (ugh).
A NEW YEAR
Gruff or bluff persons in authority will argue vehemently, have accidents shaving or in cars, make important decisions on the spur of the moment whilst under fire or shout obscenely from moving vehicles. It will be a time of foul frustration, laden with the bark of peremptory orders, failed communications, obnoxious behaviour and stubborn clashes over matters martial or artistic. Grim Saturn will hit reverse in the wake of eclipses, flashing like traffic lights on the cosmic highway. On the one hand, one may posit this bears all the hallmarks of normal (ugh) life and thus is of no consequence while, on the other hand, it may be argued the best remedy is anaesthesia, a stance well supported by the entry of jolly Jupiter, poobah of profligacy, into tear-stained and indulgent Pisces, nauseating sign of the Fishes.
Jittery January 2010 will turn to fractured February, delivering a further round of dire din, deafening reports, tumbling structures and grim alliances as Uranus, the idiot god, barks his shins once more on the knobbly knees of lugubrious Saturn in congress, gruesome, gratuitous and mightily obscene. And, by all of the addled aardvarks in creation, in addition to the sniffle and the slither of these disgusting manoeuvres, cranky Chiron and narcotic Neptune, after a lengthy 'come hither', at last join midmonth in sybaritic congress in idiot Aquarius to cast long shadows that will thicken the already depressing pall of gloom.
Thus, inebriation, deception and indulgence will again become the measure of the man, as Jupiter's exit from the airheaded Water Bearer allows the great and the humble to shed the posture and conceit of compassionate concern, returning to crapulence, corruption and perverse sexual practices. Tippler and tosspot will ride high then come low while false saviours, smiling or lachrymose will line like peas in a pod or products from a discount franchise. Beware invisible chains, grand deceptions and secret plots, little twits, keeping an ear cocked for the lies of the mighty and a weather eye out for their nastier personal habits. 'In vino veritas' is not the truth at all! Or is it?
MUFFLED THUNDER THEN A CRACK
Great Caesar's ghost, little jug-eared tweeters, manic March first brings respite, as marauding Mars, the belligerent psychopath turns tail once more and begins to move ahead, albeit with slow and creaking uncertainty, quite unlike his usual insensitive thrusting. However, with many heavenly bodies and a New Moon in wretched Pisces, the emotional weather will be damp and depressing no doubt.
Then, of course, there's awful April to contend with! Ghastly Saturn rolls back the clock by returning to nasty little Virgo, encouraging a resurgence of nitpicking, authoritative interference, ill-health and the promulgation of an over-sufficiency of regulations. There will be an introduction of a 'normalcy' test and those who don't pass it will be shot. Insolent Mercury has the gall to hit reverse again, turning tail in tragic Taurus and yielding in slatternly fashion to the cruel and rampant thrusts of manic Mars, psychopathic warrior god. Gosh!
Accident, argument or assail at awkward angles or with bad timing will abound. Ware the ire of administrators and the antics of strong-willed dramatic types. Certes will there be hurricanes in Hampshire but Hartford and Hereford will have to be content with minor vehicular mishaps and firearms incidents. Such is life, my little warbling loonies!
THE FLAMING GATES OF HELL
By the giggling of the insane gods, even this thresh and flail is insufficient horror to slake the ravening thirst of gods for human agony, though it certes is a surfeit of same. Cranky Chiron sinks into the teary pool of snivelling Pisces, making all persons sensitive, emotional, psychic, creative, prophetic or sick! I'm coming over queer myself, just at the thought of it! Then by all that's unholy, mentally unstable and generally unfit for human consumption, the final blows by the hammer of the gods ring out to turn all things and persons on their heads, driving them wild with the rush and roar of genuine insanity.
The merry month of May rolls into Midyear and revolutionary fire fights back against a suffocating blanket of restraint. Yea, do idiot Uranus and jolly Jupiter in addlepate Aries at the slaphappy Solstice turn into the roaring boys of raging revolt, sending forth fusillades of profane speech and vicious stabs of hot flatulence to scorch the bureaucratic overlords that preen and prance in offices on high. Unspeakable violence erupts, as the thunder of weapons and high explosives rings aloud while baseball bats bounce off bonces and pepper sprays or tazers clear offices, cafes and disperse bus queues. Egad!
Uncivil unrest begins, coming to unseemly climax as jagged July turns into awful August and idiot Uranus, jolly Jupiter, grim Saturn and dark Pluto all rampage in unspeakable acts of cosmic rumpy-pumpy, shaking the foundations of life on the Earth (yawn) and cracking the boards of the cosmic bed, leaving all fatigued, breathless, shattered and tottering on unsteady pins.
Gadzooks, my tiny toddling twerps, what will happen now? Sadly, I'm beset by ennui and terminally bored so you'll have to wait upon another occasion to read further of this horror novel of a 'time bomb' future that waits, ticking in a most unnerving manner. Ave!
For the nonce, here follows a brief message for each of you before I imbibe my medication and return to my proper state, unconsciousness.