Inez Castor

I read everything in the paper. When the local paper and a weekly news magazine are your only sources of information from the outside world, you don't want to miss anything. Occasionally I even read my horoscope, not because I give it any credence but because sometimes it's funny.

Last week I read my horoscope and found this: "You will be entertaining and attract a lot of attention. Criticism can be expected. Answer questions with honesty and integrity."

Oy! The third issue is a give-away since I never could lie

convincingly. And I can handle a little criticism as long as I'm

permitted to cry during the process. It's that first statement that

concerns me. I've known astrologers, psychics and healers that are

obviously what they claim to be. I've even had a few psychic experiences

of my own. But I know that bulk predictions based on birth date are as

substantial as political promises.

Nevertheless, it stirred the cauldron of memory and I felt myself

writhing in remembered embarrassment recalling some of the ways in which

I've been entertaining and attracted attention.

These days I usually entertain only Shadow cat and wildlife, but now

and again I get publicly tangled in my own confusion. Recently I looked

over my shoulder while pushing a shopping cart. Shopping carts can be

cantankerous, but this one had a sense of humor. The tower of paper

towels nearly buried us and entertained lots of people, but no one was

hurt and nothing expensive was damaged.

It was on the stage of the Crescent Elk auditorium that I first

demonstrated my ability to be entertaining at my own expense. It was

Christmas season and the first grade angels filed onto the stage before

beaming parents and grandparents. As we did our little shtick I stepped

on the hem of my gown, sprawled flat and nearly slid off the edge,

causing front row parents to surge forward to catch me.

It was the beginning of a lifetime pattern. If three guilty kids were

proclaiming our innocence over the cookie jar incident, I'd drop mine.

Back in the days when I gave public presentations to various groups I

was always nervous but knew my best hope was to open my mouth and trust

Great Mystery to handle the details.

That led to my beginning an address to the Methodist Women's

Friendship Circle by blurting, "About 20 years ago I had DTs in the

drunk tank just across the street." I have no idea what else I said

since I can't hear when I talk and I was stunned at my unplanned

revelation. But they laughed a lot and afterwards fed me and kindly said

it was a great speech.

So you can see why the threat of being entertaining makes me nervous.

I'm thrilled to announce that my opinion of syndicated horoscopes

remains unchanged. I didn't make a public spectacle of myself last week

and all is well in my world.

Reach Inez Castor, a longtime Triplicate columnist, at