Thursday December 9, 2004
Book 6: Resident Mad Scientist — Part III: Life's a Beach
Note: 31st-century astrology is dominated by two schools of thought: absolutism, and relativism. The relativists insist that each world, each habitat, indeed each starship upon which dualistic beings may reside, is governed by local bodies, and their passage through a zodiac of local constellations as seen from the world, habitat, or starship in question. Just as Venus swimming with Pisces might signify an ablution of old romances, the passage of Zoyx NodeSat Epsilon 6 in front of the Unciate of the Sea Serpent could suggest that now would be a good time not to go swimming with your hyperphone.

The absolutists insist that spiritual beings everywhere must share a zodiac, which requires astrologers to have a really good galactic map on hand. Galactic arms, globular clusters, stellar nurseries, and of course the galactic core have their assigned attributes, and the alignment of your birth-world with local bodies and those Galactic signposts serves as a predictor for your behavior, the behavior of those around you, and insert another 22.950 credits for a complete reading.

Chiropracticioners of the 31st, by comparison, ignore the relevance of the stars completely, insisting instead that the relative position and alignment of mysterious objects known as "vertebrae" (which are supposedly inside your body) dictate very specific things about a person, such as whether he/she will be experiencing unusual neck pain, should choose to lift from the legs rather than the back, or will be spending another 45.599 credits with a chiropracticioner next week.

Commentary: In a curious coincidence, on November 17th, 2004 (the date this strip was written), Howard shared the dialog with his chiropractor. He probably would NOT have done so had he read his own horoscope for that day, which read "It's all too easy easy today to open your mouth and put your foot in it...There could also be a discrepancy about what you think is funny and what someone else finds amusing, leading to some embarrassing moments."

No, I'm not making this up.


KEVYN: Massey, how does our disability benefit work?

REYNSTEIN: Well, Comm... er, Captain, it's like this...

REYNSTEIN: The entire benefits package is underwritten by Hypercare through the Galactic Association of Small Businesses.  Dental, medical, vision, psych, disability, and astrology are all covered on our contract.

KEVYN: Wait... astrology?

REYNSTEIN: Apparently it can be a real burden being born under the wrong sign.

REYNSTEIN: Chiropractic isn't covered, though.

KEVYN: Well, no.  Is it ever?