The Western Wire (Dillon, Mont.) 2002-2004, October 30, 2002, Image 8

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Western Wire Page 8 Down to the Wire HOROSCOPES You Were Bom On A Rotten Day Tyler Moonsinger Palmer The Doctor’s Desk One of my hobbies is hurting myself. I’ve been at it for quite some time now, but all the while I’ve been refining the art of it. Not long ago I was in my study on the floor playing with one of our dogs. Although I hadn’t been thinking of delv­ ing into my hobby at the moment, I was near enough the closed door so that when my wife suddenly entered she caught me square in the eye with the doorknob. Even though it was marvelously spontaneous and also ended in a trip to the doctor (both of which are crucial to the dedi­ cated hobbyist), I was ultimately disap­ pointed by the whole episode. My doctor, rather used to my appearance by now (at least, so I gather by virtue of my re­ served seat in the waiting room), was equally sympathetic: “Looks like a nasty black eye to me,” he opined as I winced under his ministra­ tions. Seeing my sudden crestfallen ex­ pression he quickly added, “Though I sup­ pose you could say you suffered ‘circumorbital haematoma’ ,” his voice full of optimism. I had a brief moment of elation then, but I quickly realized that fancy language simply wasn’t the proper goal for someone like myself, whose pre­ dilection for accidents had become an honest-to-goodness hobby. That sort of embellishment would be like lying about the size of the fish you caught. The prob­ lem of course is that any run-of-the-mill knucklehead can fall down the stairs or lop off a digit while dicing potatoes. Such things, however, are mere domestic rou­ tines. If you really want to practice hurt­ ing yourself like a pro, you have to go looking for adventure: you have to get out into the great outdoors. Of course, not everyone can get away to the mountains or forests on a regular basis to keep up with a hobby such as mine. If not, I recommend the next best thing: gardening. While it might not seem like it, there is pain aplenty in the rou­ tines involved in the making and foster­ ing of a garden. For example, although it’s an old routine, one of my classic gar­ dening accidents is the tried-and-true stepping on the unseen garden implement. This almost never fails to produce inter­ esting one-legged dances, piercing whoops or, in the case of a rake or a hoe, that foolish startled expression that comes as you watch the rake handle mys­ teriously rise out of the grass and catch you between the eyes. I have managed this latter situation so often that I’m be­ ginning to develop a permanent trough in the center of my face. It gives the old saying “a tough row to hoe” an entirely new meaning. Working our way through the gar­ den, you may discover a bit of excite­ ment over by the tomato plants. Yes, that’s right. Tomatoes may seem dull and harmless, but tomato plants need garden stakes and garden stakes means using a hammer. Depending on the size of your garden stakes, you can easily grip them too near the top and gouge out, oh, roughly a quarter-sized portion of your hand between the thumb and fore­ finger with one careless blow of the ham­ mer. Anyone can do it. And it really makes for a great conversation piece, too. Of course, the conversations almost always begin with something like “How in the heck were you so stupid that you...?!” Naturally, to anyone but the dedicated enthusiast of the sport, these sorts of questions are almost impossible to respond to. Chicken wire is a must for any gar­ den, as well as for hobbyists like myself. Merely unrolling a bundle of chicken wire opens entire new vistas of pain. You just can’t do it without ending up with that funny oh-no-not-again expression on your face as you snip the last retaining wire and the bundle expands and unwinds like a pit viper and rakes you across the face. Onlookers have watched me per­ form this ritual on several occasions, al­ ways wondering why such a simple task resulted in whiplash. If you must use chicken wire for any gardening purpose, my advice is to schedule that belated blood test for the same time. The doc­ tors will have no trouble finding that otherwise hard-to-spot vein of yours, given that your clothing is already in tatters, and you will be seeping your vi­ tal fluids from most of the exposed areas in any case. You know those post-hole diggers? The sort with the clam-shell shaped blades that are really heavy and awk­ ward? You know - the sort where you have to stand spread-legged over the spot you want to dig and then jam them as hard as you can into the ground? You know you really ought to wear boots when you’re doing that instead of sandals? While it’s true that the amateurs among us can easily pinch a finger with a can opener or lacerate themselves with a broken light bulb, if you want to hurt yourself like a pro you need to get out­ side. There’s something so much more primal and satisfying about facing dan­ ger when foraging in the garden among the yellow-jackets or patrolling the pe­ rimeter for determined deer with only a broom. All the really good stuff happens when you get out-of-doors. And, if you’re a seasoned hobbyist like myself, or just a weekend duffer who only occasionally catches his ankle with the weedwhacker, treat yourself and take a stroll in your own backyard. You’d be surprised how much can happen there. Hey, did I tell you about the roto-tiller? Aries- March 21-April 19: You will have an adventurous month. The chances are very good that you will contract a sickness of some sort This month would also be a good month to find a friend, because you will be losing many. Taurus- April 20-May 20: Different strokes for different folks. You will have a different opinon than your lover. It is likely that you will get an A+ on your next paper. Then the professor will lose it and you will have to take a zero. Gemini- May 21-June 20: Today your individuality will really come out. Your peers will think you are the coolest thing since sliced bread. You will walk on water. You will inherit 70 dollars. The oil is running low in your pinto, get it changed. Cancer- June 21-July 22: You will find a cure for it. Make time for others today. Take your friends to a movie. It would be wise to study for your exam tomorrow. Buy the Journalism class drinks and food; it will come back to you 10 fold. Leo- July 23-Aug. 22: You will fall in love very soon. To feel your best today, spend time socializing with others. Don’t feel too bad about the Rams being last in the NFC. Virgo- Aug. 23-Sept. 22: Today your leadership skills are stronger than ever. You will finally muster up the guts to make your roommate sleep in his own bed. You will get that job you have been longing for at Rookies. Libra- Sept. 23-Oct. 22: Spending too long making decisions will not benefit you. However, eating a salad and doing a few sit ups might. Be smart in your decision making, there is a lot of trouble in these parts. Scorpio- Oct. 23-Nov. 21: You are going to be tested very soon. Be careful not to spend too much money. Try putting off any major investments. Call your parents tonight, they need some loving. Sagittarius- Nov. 22-Dec. 21: The chances are very good that tonight is your night. So after 5 days of waiting by the phone she will actually call you. Only to inform you that if you send her one more thing she is going to get a restraining order against you. Leave her alone. Don’t let outside influences affect the people you like. Capricorn- Dec. 22-Jan. 19: Today is the day to step back and take a look at your health. Do all you can to better yourself. So that when a nuclear war hits you might outlive your roommates. Aquarius- Jan. 20-Feb. 18: When meeting people today, let your eyes and smiles show your true intentions. Not that that ever really works, but it sounds like a good thing. Pisces- Feb. 19-March 20: Choose to do things in the simples manner possible. Try your best in everything you do and remember, good things come to those who wait. WHAT THE HECK...? CAN YOU FIND THIS ON CAMPUS?

The Western Wire (Dillon, Mont.), 30 Oct. 2002, located at <http://montananewspapers.org/lccn/TheWesternWire/2002-10-30/ed-1/seq-8/>, image provided by MONTANA NEWSPAPERS, Montana Historical Society, Helena, Montana.