The Ecphorizer

Great Expectations
Doug Chang

Issue #26 (October 1983)



(melody) "Ohh, you're a Leo and you love it," (melody) "Ya baby, you're a lovable Leo, you sly devil, you. Hmm, hm, badaba." Jeffrey Turner smiled gloriously at the reflection in his bathroom mirror. After luxuriously brushing his mane of hair, Jeff wandered into his bedroom. "What shall I wear?" he queried. "Ah, this will knock the chicks out."

Jeff carelessly donned his favorite green plaid pants, red turtleneck, and blue double breasted blazer. "Wow..." he whispered. "Shall I wear my good underwear tonight? Oh well, who cares."

[quoteright'/>For Jeff Turner, this was the start of another night of work. Six feet tall, with eyes of blue, Jeff was 21, legal, and in his junior year at Leland Junior College. He paced about the room until it was 9:30. "Good, the party started at 8:00 and it should be just starting to roll about 9:45 when I arrive," he thought casually. Jeff flew down the hail and scampered down the stairs of the dorm. At the lobby, he bounded through a mixed group of boys and girls, muttered something to make it seem as though he was in a hurry and had a lot of important things on his mind, and then disappeared through the glass doors to melt into the night. Jeffrey walked smoothly, at a clipped pace, and prided himself on the quiet scrapings and scuffles that his hard, leather soled shoes made against the pavement. Mr. Turner finally got to the party, and he conspicuously plunged into the crowd.

"Hey! Jeff, we were missing you," chirped Jessica, a bubbly 5'3" senior. "Well, yess," replied Jeff as he tactfully filed his fingernails with his gold plated nailfile.

"Say, let's move," said Jeff as soon as a few friends crowded around him. "It's a might drafty here." Jeff was a wolf at the party, ambling from group to group. Everybody looked up to him naturally and he accepted the role they cast for him like a well polished actor. As the night wore on, he spotted tonight's prey. There, standing alone near the bowl of pretzels, was a girl.

"What a most beautiful apparition," drawled Jeff to himself. "Hello luscious. How are you tonight?" Jeff focused all of what he thought was his irresistibly magnetic charm upon the girl, as he flashed his smooth practiced smile. "My God. You creature, how can you just hold yourself back. Why aren't you melting all over me?" questioned Jeff silently. He gave her a deep imploring look of longing.

"What sign are you?" the girl squeaked.

"Oh... What a creative opener," thought Jeff to himself. "I'll just play along with this trifling game." "I'm a Leo," he announced magnificently.

"How neat, how great! So when's your birthday? I mean, like, are you a Leo, or are you a Leo?" asked the girl.

"I was born on August 20. Of course I am a Leo," replied a proud Jeff Turner.

"Well, I got news for you," babbled the girl. "When the zodiac was conceived over 2,000 years ago, the astrologers based the signs from the position of the constellations and planets in the sky overhead at a particular month. Then they drew their interpretations. The astrologers had 12 signs for 12 months and they began with the vernal equinox, or beginning of spring, on March 20. This first sign is Aries."

The girl continued, "However, in 2,000 years, due to small rotational perturbations in both the stars and the planets, each sign has moved 30 degrees backward, into the west, now going 75% into the previous constellation. By the 26th century, only around 300 years from now, each zodiac sign will be entirely shifted. This means that the vernal equinox, for instance, will mark the beginning of Pisces, rather than Aries. So you weren't born under a Leo sky at all. You actually are a Virgo!"

"What?" exclaimed a deflated ex-Leo.

"I'll repeat," replied the girl. "Because of the precession of the equinoxes, in the past 2,000 years, each sign has moved 30 degrees and is now in the constellation west of the one to which it corresponds to in theory."

'Oh. What are a Virgo's characteristics?" asked Jeff.

"They're practical, industrious perfectionists concerned with every last detail. They're precise, neat, thoughtful, serious, and modest," answered the girl.

"Great..." proclaimed Jeff, as he began to preen his disheveled clothes nervously. "God, I'm dressed so loud!" thought Jeff diffidently. "Uh, well if you'll excuse me," said Jeff, "I have some papers to finish back at the dorm. Bye, it was nice meeting you!"

Jeff slinked back into his dorm and threw out his old Frank Sinatra records and velvet wallpaper. "Tacky, it's all tacky and pretentious!" exclaimed Jeff.

The next week, Jeff was methodically listening to strong strains of Beethoven as he brushed his teeth energetically. Another good party was going on and it was almost time for it to begin. He promised that he would be on time and he scurried about his room. Carefully, he strapped his wristwatch on, pulled his Argyle socks neatly up his shins, and brought along his wallet so as not to need to borrow any money from friends should the occasion arise. At exactly 9:00, Jeff locked his dorm door and proceeded to glide down the stairs. At the lobby stood a group of girls.

"Hello girls. Are you going to the party at Sequoia tonight?" asked Jeff politely.

"Why yes, we are. Are you? Good, I'll look forward to seeing you, Jeff," replied one of the girls. As Jeff walked outside, the girls couldn't help but talk about the remarkable change that had come across Jeff.

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Doug Chang




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