How to Spot a Bastard by His Star Sign

The Ultimate Horrorscope

Adèle Lang and Susi Rajah

St. Martin's Griffin/Thomas Dunne Books

How to Spot a Bastard by His Star Sign
How Do You Spot a Bastard by His Star Sign?
 
 
Some men might seem like natural-born bastards. Others will appear to have grown into the role over a period of time and a life of hard knocks. Don't be fooled. So far as men and their less appealing characteristics go, genetic makeup and social conditioning have got absolutely nothing to do with it. Put simply, all men are bastards by dint of their star signs.
It might be the disgraceful state of their attire. It might be the abysmal state of their bank accounts. It might even be their very questionable states of mind. Whatever. This guide will show you how to spot and get rid of each and every one of these astrological losers, without the use of telescopes or telescopic rifles.
Of course, what you choose to do with the information athand is entirely up to you. The hard-core man-hating element among you will no doubt use it to embarrass, emasculate, and/or shoot any guy who dares to come near you. The middle-of-the-road majority will pick and choose which male-baiting snippets to believe depending upon who you love or loathe at the time. And the utterly hopeless romantics in our midst will ignore our advice completely because, after all, your future unhappiness depends upon it.
Last but not least, those few-and-far-between male readers out there will probably deem our findings to be pure pop psychology and pseudoscientific mumbo jumbo. Well, tough. We prefer to term it painstaking, self-sacrificing, and bone-cringingly honest research conducted over a number of years with a number of bastards for the benefit of women everywhere.
We're-Hot-So-Shut-Up-and-Worship-Us FIRE SIGNS
Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
Out-of-control control freaks. Untalented show-offs. Ignorant know-it-alls. And that's their good points. These self-proclaimed demi-gods will try to get your attention at the merest hint of provocation (e.g., you happen to be in the same room as them).
Fire Sign bastards are always better than you and will never fail to tell you so. They'll then hammer the fact home by telling you again--just in case you didn't hear them the first time.
Dare to disagree and they'll act in their usual endearing way. They'll start yelling, turn puce, and then hurl themselves to the ground with much thrashing about of arms and legs. Five minutes later they'll get back up again and act as if nothing's happened. Real astrologers like to call this their "quick-temperedness." We like to call men in white coats.
Of course, you could choose to ignore Fire Sign bastards and hope they'll just go away. Like, right. Why go off and voluntarily die when they can be humored 1,445 minutes a day?
However, if the thought of kneeling at their feet in mock wonder does make you want to throw up, don't worry. You won't have to do it for long. Fire Sign bastards are such temperamental, competitive sons of bastards, they usually die early of heart attacks.
The Aries Bastard
March 21-April 20
Once upon a time, in the Dark Ages, there was this quaint little term known as a man's man. Nobody knew quite what it meant. Except the poor unfortunate thing who was the man's man's woman--and she died a horrible death when she willfully stuck her head in the oven unto which she was chained.
Then come more enlightened times and in minces the sensitive New Age Feeling Fellow. All of a sudden, a man's man surely must mean a gentleman of the pink persuasion and, gee, don't those scented candles look too, too, utterly utterly?
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, deep in the woods, a solitary male is yelling at the top of his lungs, beating a tom-tom and sticking pins into a blow-up doll that looks a lot like Gloria Steinem. This sad, lost soul is the Aries guy. Bewildered by beauty myths, dumbfounded by day-care centers, and completely baffled by consensual sex, he holds on to his masculinity as tightly as he holds on to his manhood (which is throbbing, if you must know). Boy, does he yearn for the times when men were men and women were grateful.
Being the only man's man left in existence, it's lonely for him at the bottom of the food chain--even the amoebas, given the chance, opt to mate with themselves.
And thank bloody Christ for that. Aries is such a chauvinist he'd root for truffles if he knew what truffles actually are. He'sexactly the type of guy who thinks any man who buys scented candles is a friend of Dorothy.
So if the bastard you fancy puts on Vivaldi in the evening, whips up a nice little souffle à deux, and then settles down to read Jane Austen to you, he's almost certainly gay and he's definitely not Aries. Because even an Aries queen would be down at the local hellfire club, dressed to the cat-o'-nines and slugging back Frangelico with his like-minded friends.
All Aries men enjoy hanging out in bars with their friends. And even the dead-straight homophobic one doesn't think twice about getting sentimental with them when he's drunk. In fact, you'll swear he must be an open-and-shut closet case since he spends far more time hugging and kissing other guys than he ever does you.
The real reason this revolting creature prefers the company of men is because he has no choice. No right-thinking woman with two opposable thumbs and lack of tail can bear the thought of being in the same room at the same time as him. He exudes so much testoterone that not only will the fine hairs on the nape of a woman's neck stand up, they'll actually go through a rapid growth spurt.
If you are unfortunate enough to be stuck in an enclosed space with Aries, it's best just to smile as vacuously as you can and nod your head at appropriate intervals--because you won't understand a single word he's saying. English is his second language, grunting is his first. And all he can grunt about is himself, his career, his sporting achievements, and how feminists would be a lot less uptight if he gave them all a good fuck.
Of course, good and fuck are polar opposites when it comes to this rock-throwing Romeo. One night with Aries is enough toget thee, Traci Lords, to the nunnery. To put it as delicately as we can, let's just say that you won't actually have time to count all the cracks on the ceiling.
Despite his obvious lack of sexual stamina, the Aries bastard feels biologically compelled to pursue any number of luckless ladies with a vengeance verging on primeval. His courting tactics are as subtle as a sledghammer and not half as useful. So for God's sake don't play hard to get. It'll only encourage him.
He'll use gorilla tactics to win you over. And why shouldn't you be flattered to be woken at three in the morning to see his great hairy face leering through your fifth-floor bedroom window? Especially when you're entertaining a guest who just so happens to be male, totally hetero, and sensitive to boot.
Said guest is likely to be kicked by said boot out of aforementioned window (which is closed). Walls will be perforated, furniture dismantled, and sincere apologies extracted from you who are, by now, a sobbing heap in the corner, putting the women's movement back centuries.
As he's just proven and which he'll take great pains to point out--he's not in the least bit jealous or possessive. It's just that he likes the idea of loyalty and faithfulness. From you, that is. He'll stay faithful for as long as you stay perfect. Which you're not. Which he'll tell you. Ad nauseam. (Little-known fact here: Not only is the Aries bastard God's gift to women, he actually is God. And we all know what happens to those who don't believe in God. However, a few years with Aries and hell will suddenly seem like a really inviting option.) If you want to know you can't drive, your hair is a mess, and you could do with a self-help course, then you can't go wrong with Aries.
Funnily enough, it's not the same the other way around. This hypocritical oaf is quite capable of pointing out your dimply thighs without giving so much as a thought to his own disgusting flab. Don't bother pointing this out to him, though--the subtleties of irony will be lost in translation.
So if you like being told what to do, how to do it, and when to do it, this one's for you. If you have a mind of your own and occasionally like to use it, tell him to get lost. But put the kettle on and warm his slippers before you go.
If you do decide to leave, don't expect him to take it lying down. Lying down is your job. In the game of life, the expression gracious in defeat is hard enough for Aries to pronounce, let alone practice. Beat him at something as trivial as Scrabble and he'll proclaim--once he's started speaking to you again--that Scrabble is a game of luck, requires absolutely no intelligence, and besides, you got all the As, Bs and Cs and he got all the Qs, Xs and Zs and no vowels whatsoever.
Of course, no matter which way you play it you can't win. Because he's even more unbearable on the extremely rare occasion he does manage to outwit you. He'll crow that Scrabble is a game of skill and rant on about how he managed to make really big words like cat out of very hard letters like C, A, and T. (Note: If he does attempt to be humble in victory, he's just fishing for compliments. Don't give him any.)
Since Aries can't cope with you beating him at a board game, it therefore follows he'll be positively suicidal if you outdo him in the boardroom. So quit before you get ahead. Because if you do start scoring more fame, fortune, and frequent-flier points than him, he'll just try to get you pregnant.
 
HOW TO SPOT ONE
Throw peanuts. If he catches them in his mouth, he's probably Aries. But if he then starts beating his chest and picking lint off your clothes, he's definitely Aries.
 
WHERE TO FIND ONE
Commandeering a cave. Moving his lips while reading The Cat in the Hat. Or marching at a Real Men Against Women's Rights to Answer Back rally. If he's in the kitchen, he's obviously lost.
 
HOW TO INTRIGUE ONE
This is tricky because you need to be two things at once. You've got to be loud and obnoxious so he thinks he's found his soul mate. At the same time you must show your soft, feminine side so his masculinity isn't threatened. The best way to do both simultaneously is to hurl spitballs at the pavement while taking care not to hit your Laura Ashley frock.
 
THE FIRST DATE
He'll either take you to the zoo to meet his family or else he'll invite you to the annual Especially Privileged Ladies Night at the Lodge and tell you what you'd like to eat, how much you'd like to drink, and be horrified when you attempt to open your mouth for anything other than eating.
 
WHEN TO DO THE DEED
Whenever. If he doesn't have honorable intentions, he'll think you're trash but have sex with you anyway. If he does like you, he'll still have sex with you and then wake you up to propose.
 
WHEN TO POP THE QUESTION
Don't. That's a man's job. Just relax and enjoy your independence while you still have it. You'll have years to regret giving it up.
 
IF HE DUMPS YOU
Forget him. Since the Aries bastard is incapable of admitting he's wrong--particularly in front of a woman--he's hardly likely to come loping back into your life declaring it was all a big mistake. If he does, it's only because no other woman will have him.
 
IF YOU DUMP HIM
He'll chase you because it won't occur to him that you can ignore his sheer animal magnetism. Keep running. He'll trip over his knuckles sooner or later.
The Leo Bastard
July 24-August 23
Introductory note: It must be pointed out that Mr. Leo's play is yet to be performed in a real theater. But we are informed by Mr. Leo this is due to protracted negotiations with producers in New York who are terribly anxious to buy the rights. Indeed--as Mr. Leo himself said--this play has Broadway written all over it. And even taking into account this is the first play Mr. Leo has penned--in fact his first piece of creative writing since high school--we have to say (because he is forcing us to), he is an outstanding master of the genre. This is a model modern short play. It displays an art of construction one usually only expects from the most revered and respected of writers. (Is that enough?) His dialogue, too, is worthy of much praise. Its deftness defies description: it never halts; it moves from beginning to end without a dull moment. And it's so amazingly true to life. Except wittier. And sharper. And more poignant. Its sheer brilliance will astound you and leave you gasping for more. (There, satisfied now?) We truly appreciate Mr. Leo's generosity in allowing us to print his amazing, soon-to-be-much-lauded play in this most unworthy tome.
THE LOVES OF LEO1
Written by Leo. Produced by Leo. Directed by Leo. Starring Leo.
 
IMPORTANT: No performance of this play may be given unless written permission has been obtained from Leo and he is allowed to produce, direct, and star in it.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
Leo, played by himself (the unbelievably dashing, irresistible, courageous--not to mention terrifically handsome--hero of the play, around whom all the action revolves)
Beautiful Heroine, played by you (minor though important supporting role)
Beautiful Heroine's More Beautiful Rival, in this instance played by Catherine Zeta-Jones (This is the role every other woman on earth is vying for. The purpose of this character is to make the heroine realize just what she is up against and to make her suitably grateful when Leo finally chooses her.)
Much Less Exciting Man, played by someone like Brad Pitt (This role is really just that of an extra--a clever plot device to point out how inferior all other men are to Leo. Naturally, there is no chance of the heroine or any other woman in the world preferring this lesser man to Leo.)
Beautiful Maid, played by you (again, another minor though important supporting role)
Very Appreciative Audience, played by you, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and all the other women in the world.
 
N.B. All the characters are in modern costume. Leo is wearing flawless, immaculately tailored evening clothes that set off his hair, height and coloring perfectly. As for the rest of the cast, well, it doesn't really matter what they're wearing, does it?
ACT ONE
Scene: The tastefully and delightfully appointed living room of Leo's house. Beautiful Heroine, Beautiful Heroine's More Beautiful Rival, and Much Less Exciting Man are all present and seated. [Very Appreciative Audience is also present but not visible.] There is an air of melancholy about the three as they are all desperately missing the sparkling presence of their charming host who has momentarily left the room. After a couple of suspense-filled minutes, the drawing room doors are flung open with a flourish and Leo enters, causing the whole room to look brighter as a result of his charming, sparkling presence.
Leo: [looking around] Hello, everybody. Why so glum? Have you been missing the sparkling presence of your charming host? [Very Appreciative Audience bursts into wild applause, making it impossible for the play to continue for about five minutes.]
Leo: [starting to speak amid the subsiding applause, longing sighs, and occasional fainting of a member of Very Appreciative Audience--showing all the world he is not the egotist he is wrongfullyreported to be] Well? [Once again, Leo shows why he is regarded as the savior of the lost art of conversation.]
Beautiful Heroine and Beautiful Heroine's More Beautiful Rival: [in unison while gazing adoringly at Leo--as one does] Yes, we missed you terribly. Life is not the same without you.
Leo: [brushing off this blatant but understandable adoration] How about a drink, then? [spotting Beautiful Heroine] Get us all a drink will you, love? [Beautiful Heroine/Maid scurries off to do as she has been asked, grateful to be of use to her--and everybody else's-hero.]
Much Less Exciting Man: [opens his mouth to say something] Um ... [He realizes just in time he can never say anything to compare to the witty, intelligent conversation of Leo and politely leaves the room in recognition of the other man's natural superiority.]
Leo: Rather flighty chap, isn't he? [Allowing us a glimpse of the true understanding of human nature present in this exceptional man. Indeed, it causes much murmuring in Very Appreciative Audience. At this point Beautiful Heroine returns to the room with drinks for everyone. Neither she nor Beautiful Heroine's More Beautiful Rival even notices Much Less Exciting Man has left. It is difficult for them to notice anyone else when Leo is in the room.]
Leo: [taking a drink and a handful of the delicate, mouthwatering pastries Beautiful Heroine whipped up while she was fetching the drinks] Hey, these are good.
[Very Appreciative Audience spontaneously bursts into thunderous cheering at this heartfelt compliment to Beautiful Heroinebecause it indicates Leo knows women like it when you say nice stuff to them and also shows he is not swayed by mere physical beauty. After all, Beautiful Heroine's More Beautiful Rival is better looking but Leo never said anything to her.]
Leo: [playing to the audience] Yes. [Nods, causing himself to look even more thoughtful and handsome] Very good indeed.
[Very Appreciative Audience erupts once more and Beautiful Heroine's More Beautiful Rival dashes off to the kitchen in an attempt to gain Leo's attention.]
Leo: [to Beautiful Heroine, demonstrating his awesome powers of observation] It looks like we're alone.
CURTAIN
[Very Appreciative Audience leaps to its collective feet to give a two-hour standing ovation to the genius responsible for the play.]
 
Concluding note: Once again, Mr. Leo has requested that we point out the brilliance of his play, this time by focusing on the gargantuan intellect it must have taken to produce the cliff-hanger ending. Naturally, he won't leave you in suspense forever and we're sure you'll all await the sequel with bated breath. He's going to call it The Loves of Leo II: A Street Cat Named Desire. Okay, look, you tell him it's been done before. We've had it.
HOW TO SPOT ONE
His entrance will always be preceded by a drum roll. Of course if you miss his entrance you'll find him already strategically positioned under a spotlight. You can't miss him there--not with the two game show hostesses on either side of him pointing him out. You might also notice The Hand of God above his head scrawling a cloudy message in the air: Women of the World, My Gift to You. Regards, God. P.S. Those of You Who Don't Believe in Me Can Also Have Him.
 
WHERE TO FIND ONE
Anywhere there is an audience of at least one.
 
HOW TO INTRIGUE ONE
Look up at him in awe and wonder, and say ingenuously: "My, what a big, strong man you are," "Gee, I wish I were as smart/ witty/brave as you" or "Are you a famous movie star?" Or just wear a full-length mirror around your neck and don't say anything at all.
 
THE FIRST DATE
The first date will be quite enjoyable. You won't have heard all his stories about himself so you'll find them quite entertaining. They're even bearable when you hear them for the second time on your second date.
 
WHEN TO DO THE DEED
On the third date. You need to do something to avoid hearing his life story again, and sex will shut him up nicely. Of course,earplugs or refusing to see him anymore would have the same effect but we're working under the same assumption he is--that, in the course of two dates, you will have fallen madly in love with him and now find it impossible to live without him.
 
WHEN TO POP THE QUESTION
He'll decide when you want to get married. Just be ready to answer with a breathless "Yes, of course" when he lets you know where and when the wedding's taking place. Then pretend your tears are tears of joy when he shows you the lace monstrosity you'll be wearing. And appear to be suitably grateful when he informs you that you're allowed to choose one bridesmaid to go with the six he's already selected.
 
IF HE DUMPS YOU
Did you dare to leave your much-sought-after position at his feet being adoring in order to go to work? Did you exchange entire sentences with another man (never mind that he was your brother-in-law)? Did you have a point of view other than his? Or did you laugh at him when he wasn't being intentionally funny? Well, then, we're not surprised. You had it coming to you.
 
IF YOU DUMP HIM
That you'd want to do this is completely beyond the realm of possibility.
The Sagittarius Bastard
November 23-December 21
PS: Sagittarius does everything back to front. He speaks before he thinks, leaps before he looks, and loves you only after you've left him. Which is why when people say Sagittarius is a lucky bastard, they re dead right. The fact that you haven't murdered him yet is a miracle. The fact that his other girlfriends haven't either is a godsend. The fact that real astrologers can find pleasant things to say about him, wasting entire virgin rain forests in the process, is pure magic.
In the olden days, philosophers used to comfort themselves with the knowledge that "I think, therefore I am not Sagittarius." No small thanks to time and a proliferation of Piscean protest groups who didn't like victimization of any kind unless it was specifically directed at them, the phrase became bastardized somewhat and now Sagittarius still wouldn't have a clue what it meant.
What the wise old men of old were trying to say, no doubt, is that the Sagittarius bastard dives headfirst into mind-boggingly unsuitable situations without so much as a second thought because first ones are hard enough.
Then, when what men and women of science kindly refer to as his brain has had time to catch up with his actions, he jumps back out again just as quickly. (In a perfect world, a man who acted on impulse would be forced to live with, pay for, and, indeed, marry his mistake by your enraged, shotgun-wielding father.This, however, is the real world, and in the real world you've got Sagittarius running amok getting young girls pregnant and then leaving them for other young girls he can get pregnant, with nary a wistful glance backward nor a bullet to the head.)
More irritating than the cold sores you'll mysteriously begin to develop is the fact that Sagittarius is the one who started it all in the first place by hurling himself at your feet, literally begging to be enslaved. But as soon as you experience that warm fuzzy feeling in the pit of your stomach commonly known as love/ulcer/ morning sickness, he's up and off.
It's not because you aren't the love of his life--don't get him wrong. It's just that now he's had time to think (sic) about it, he's finally realized current relationship problems could be due to the fact that you're a black, radical feminist-communist whose favorite pastime is rappelling, and he's a white, moderate chauvinist-fascist who's terrified of scaling great heights.
The Sagittarius bastard's blind refusal to contemplate foresight before hindsight could be excused (because by now you'll have realized what you aren't missing) if at the same time he didn't have the temerity to tell you it was all your fault and that you tricked him into it.
You didn't tell him you were black. And why shouldn't he think the extremely rare and valuable lithograph of Joseph Stalin above your mantelpiece was a portrait of your dad? And how was he to know you were a die-hard feminist? You cooked dinner for him once, didn't you? Okay, yes, he did have to pick your underarm hairs out of the pasta, but so?
Frankly, it just serves as a good excuse for him to be as unfaithfulas he likes without all the boring guilt that goes along with it.
To say Sagittarius has a deep-rooted fear of monogamy is to say Salman Rushdie is slightly perturbed about dying. Indeed, advertising jerks have been able to retire on the government proceeds they received for the rash of safe-sex campaigns created especially for all the Sagittarius bastard's girlfriends. (The original slogan, "Avoid Sagittarius like the plague, otherwise you'll end up catching it," was ditched during research when the male Scorpio component complained about out-and-out favoritism.)
Sagittarius doesn't own a hi-fi, not because he can't afford one (which he can't) but because the term high fidelity sends him into a cold sweat as opposed to the hot one he got after the last dose of hepatitis.
Truth be told, though, the Sagittarius bastard's honesty is something to behold. If he's screwed around he'll tell you. In excruciating detail. When you gently hint that you don't care to know who put whose hand where, he'll put his great big foot in his great big mouth and tell you that, well, actually, come to not think about it, it wasn't actually a hand, it was ... (At this stage, you are fully within your rights to put your hand, which is clenched, into his mouth, which is open, and fill it full of loose teeth.)
If and when you meet his family, you'll notice they too are hideously embarrassed by his tactless words and thoughtless manner. You'll soon appreciate why he was kicked out of the house at an early age and is only ever allowed back for major family get-togethers. Like funerals. And even then, in others' darkest hours, he still can't help but dig himself into a very large hole.
Asking his sister where her husband is (he's the one in thecoffin) is a good example of one of his more minor gaffes. In a hurried attempt to make amends, he'll tell her he was only joking. When she promptly bursts into tears, he'll try to make her feel better by saying he didn't think she and her now-dead spouse were all that well suited anyway.
If the monumental blunders weren't bad enough, there's always the obligatory Sagittarian bluster to make you wish the ground would open up and swallow him. Since he doesn't have two IQ points to rub together, Sagittarius doesn't actually realize he's an intellectual dwarf. So, at the wake, this walking claptrap will regale you and his relatives with facts about which he knows absolutely nothing--completely oblivious to the fact that the lot of you are pointedly snoring. Ancient embalming techniques, Celtic burial rites, and the psychological effects of reincarnation upon loopy Hollywood actresses, you name it, Sagittarius will be able to prattle on without a pause.
Take him to task about his source and he'll say he read it in a book. Since you know he doesn't read anything he hasn't written himself and you just know he can't write because you do his elementary English assignments for him, you'll feel compelled to point out to him that Playboy doesn't count. Any rare pearls of wisdom that do accidentally stream from his lips are usually poached from someone who's more intellectually gifted. Like you, for example.
Which brings us to our next point. If you're so smart, what the hell are you doing dating him? And don't start telling us it's because he's generous.
Yes, Sagittarius might scatter money around as profligately as his seed. But this isn't generosity, this is fiscal promiscuity. Oncehe's spent all his money and his family's money, he'll start spending yours. When that runs out he'll proceed to spend the earnings of his other girlfriends. Then the bank's. Then the credit union's. And then the loan shark's.
Again it won't be his fault when he's eventually brought up on bankruptcy/embezzlement/fraud charges in a Supreme Court or else found in some squalid trailer park sharing pillows with a horse's head. Why didn't you tell him those things with all the columns of numbers were loan default statements? How was he to know the anonymous letters featuring clipped-out-of-newspaper words like PAY, UP, OR, YOU, and DIE were death threats? Anyway, what are you doing still hanging around? Didn' t he leave you? And don't say you're still with him because he's a goddamned lucky bastard. He knows that. What d'you think he is? Stupid?
 
HOW TO SPOT ONE
He's usually long of limb and short of cash. The wandering eye is not an optical dysfunction, no matter how many times he tries to convince you otherwise.
 
WHERE TO FIND ONE
In a flotation tank clearing his head. In a think tank feeling out of his depth. At a bank asking for credit. At a brothel making a deposit.
 
HOW TO INTRIGUE ONE
Act intelligent.
 
THE FIRST DATE
If he thinks he can get you into bed, expect to be lavished. Just don't be surprised when the bailiffs arrive at the restaurant to take away your meal.
 
WHEN TO DO THE DEED
Do so at your own risk. If you start developing facial lesions and can't shake that particularly nasty bout of pneumonia, seek medical advice immediately.
 
WHEN TO POP THE QUESTION
When you decide you'd like to be a divorcee in the not-too-distant future.
 
IF HE DUMPS YOU
Count yourself lucky but feign devastation nonetheless. And make sure he pays you the money he owes you.
 
IF YOU DUMP HIM
It'll take some time for the words to sink in. So start day one with "You're," day two with "dumped," and on day three really put the knife in with "dumbass."