When presented with an ultimatum my first inclination has always been to go for the ‘or else’ end of the proposition— a defiant tendency that was pointed out to me by more than a few black-hooded figures in charge of my early catechism. This probably explains the abnormally high pain threshold I lug around to this very day. (Go ahead, smack me across the knuckles with a ruler the next time we’re doing math together and see for yourself how little I seem to care.) I’m convinced this emotional dereliction has to something do with a mutated gene strand that skipped a few low risk taking generations in my inherent DNA. Clearly, I was breech born under a bad moon. I am a Virgo, they say, but not by much.
In the late 1960s, when the Age of Aquarius was recruiting the deflowered masses of my wayward generation, I found myself stalled, hesitant to beam up to the mothership. Manned with my own back alley (hearsay, to be sure) knowledge of that dirtiest of deeds, I actually did the arithmetic and concluded that my parents must have lost the rhythm on, or around, Thanksgiving Dinner, 1955. Born in the late afternoon on August 23rd the following leap year (and exactly three complete trimesters to the dinner bell hour later), I concluded that had my mother only pushed a little harder during labor, I could have been a Leo. But then again, if everyone hadn’t started drinking Cold Duck in the morning exactly nine months earlier, I probably wouldn’t have been…. at all.
So hence, I mentally celebrate—in my sick, sick head—two birthdays every year: The day of my most probable, mathematically correct Conception (Thanksgiving dinner, badda-bing), and…. August 23rd, that so-called celestial cusp I barely missed by some late breaking water. When someone asks me what astrological ‘sign’ I am, I simply spew out my theory as posed above… and they usually go away. It’s my own ultimatum of sorts, I suppose, to anyone who tries to get too close. After all, I did come out feet first and tend to veer a little to the left. We breech babies are like that—a bit contrary, I am told.
So dear friends, enjoy my Conception-Day tomorrow and to those of you born on October 1st …. Happy New Years! (Do the math.)