Zodiac Funny

by admin on October 12, 2007

Zodiac Funny

Zodiac Funny

Rats I Have Known and Loved


What one has to understand about Rat people is that once you have made it clear that you know what they are up to, they shape up very nicely . . . or else they walk right out of your life forever. Halfway measures are not their forte.

It's bizarre. But according to many Chinese, the most endearing quality of Rat people is honesty. I prefer to interpret this Oriental vari¬ety of honesty as something closer to fair play, or simply a high regard for justice. Rats do not like to witness happenings in which undue par¬tiality is exhibited—unless, of course, said Rat is the promulgator of the inequity.

The Rat person possesses a two-sided nature. Outwardly, he is generous and cheery; he seems calm, balanced. On the inside, Rats harbor an inordinate amount of self-interest in the form of greed and acquisitiveness. What differentiates Rat subjects from your ordi¬nary miser is their very profound regard for the equitable sharing-out of bounty with those they feel are worthy of it.

Rat standards are high. They are not easily seduced by small talk and chitchat. If a Rat person chooses to like you, he will not hide his feelings. Once he has decided to befriend someone, both his hospitality and benefaction extend across formerly uncrossable frontiers.

In view of this stringent set of rules that the Rat usually sets up

for himself, if one of his "chosen few" eventually betrays, or in any way attempts to dupe him, he is capable of both vengeance and unrea¬sonable demands for retribution. Rats never accept to be toyed with or taken lightly. In business as well as in love partnerships, they are ruth¬less when crossed.

Here is a telling Rat tale. Around the corner from my house in Paris, there lived two American expatriates, side by side in a pair of wooden houses. These houses were built from gardening sheds. Long ago, in the postwar forties (before the French building codes became as strict as they are today), one could still find such jewels within the city limits and with minimum investment, turn them into livable homes. Times have changed. Or, so I learned from my Rat lady neigh¬bor, Claire Augustus (b. 1948).

Claire came over to inform me that her husband Nick wanted to convert a third small tool shack in their garden into a guesthouse. Earnestly, she recounted, "While we were in Majorca this summer, the building organization met to discuss zoning. Our request for a con¬struction permit was refused. I am so angry, I could spit!" Claire heaved a sigh of controlled rage and went on. "From what I under¬stand, our next-door neighbor Paul Kradlow was at that meeting. He's president of the copropriété [In France all buildings are condomini¬ums. Everyone owns his own flat.] Ordinarily what Paul says goes. I just don't understand it. We left it all in Kradlow's hands. Paul insists it is not his fault. He claims he made a very persuasive speech in our defense. That little guest house wouldn't disturb anybody. Except for Paul, nobody can even see that shack. The decision is unfair but we are legally unable to appeal it." Her eyes filled with the mist of home¬owner frustration.

Two weeks after hearing Claire's diatribe against the unreason¬able vote, I ran into Paul Kradlow in a Montparnasse artists' haunt. Paul is a painter. Although he has never been my favorite person, we have been neighbors for so long that we always smile and nod at each other in public places. That day, Paul uncharacteristically called me over to his table. "Sit down a minute, will you?" he said. I sat.

"Well," said Paul. "I suppose you've heard about their wild plan

to turn their shed into a guesthouse?" I nodded. He blathered on, "Of course, as president of the copropriété, I have certain responsibilities to the building authorities. During the summer we had a meeting. The Augustuses were away, so I had to call a vote in absentia. Luckily, most of their supporters were out of town at the time. The vote came out negative." Paul's ensuing sigh was not quite grievous enough.

"How did you vote, Paul?" He blanched, took a drink of his Bordeaux white, and winked at me as he said, "Negative." Then he smiled and winked again.

I wrenched my arm away from him. "Fine friend you are!" I railed angrily. "If I were Claire, I would—"

"She did," he murmured sadly.

"She did what?" I demanded.

"She found out from one of the people at that meeting that I had spoken out against her request for a permit." His eyes began to search mine for some small flare of neighborly indulgence. Instead I glared back. He continued, "In the middle of last night, Claire did a terrible thing to me." Paul looked perfectly sound. No scratches, cuts, or bruises. He had no family for her to threaten, so I could not imagine what Claire could have chosen to do to avenge herself of his crime against her trust. Paul took out a felt marking pen and began to write on the paper tablecloth. "Here's what she did," Paul said. "She painted these words on the side of her own shed. In enormous white letters on the dark green wood." I looked at the message he had drawn on the cloth. It said: THOU SHALT NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS AGAINST THY NEIGHBOR! I burst into uncontrollable laughter. Only a Rat could think up such a trick. Paul's kitchen-sink view was besmirched for life with a permanent reminder of the broken commandment.

Assuming the pose of the wronged artist, Paul said meekly, "I can't even paint over it. That shed is on her property. Don't you think that's a ratty thing to do to an old friend?"

Rising to leave the table, I grinned widely and agreed. "Gotta watch out for Rats, Paul. They're all around us."

Rat people are charming. Even at their worst, they will manage to conjure up a welcoming "Hi there" or "How are you?" for a visitor

or passing acquaintance. Social gatherings are their life's blood. Cloister a Rat person away from convivial companionship and he will wither and die of loneliness. Since this subject is blessed with an engaging personality and winning manner, he loves to entertain, throw parties, cook exotic dishes for the benefit of his guests, and, in general, lay on the festivities and merrymaking. If you ever get invited to a Rat bash, do accept with pleasure. You will not be disappointed. Moreover, unusual surprises may be in store, for people born under the sign of the Rat take great pride in finding new diversions for them¬selves as well as for their playmates.

One such astonishing fellow is my dearest male Rat friend of all, Richard Reventlow. When Richard gives a party or celebrates even the most minor of family birth dates, my curiosity barometer rises sharply.

Following his wife Sheila's most recent birthday party, she asked me, "What will he think of next? Sometimes I think Richard has really gone round the bend." Sheila was stumbling around her disaster area of a living room, righting tables and chairs, picking up specks of con¬fetti, and wiping spilled ice cream from the carpet.

"You know, I really didn't mind the first batch of monkeys. The brown ones were kind of cute the way they rode around on tricycles and performed tricks for the trainer. My mother-in-law looked a bit frightened when that black rhesus jumped into her coffee cup, but she ought to be used to Richard by now. I guess she'll survive."

From the kitchen, Sheila had to raise her voice to a yell, "But those chimpanzees! Did you see how dirty they were? Why Richard didn't look at them before he hired them, I will never know. I mean, really, Suzanne, who ever heard of renting six wild beasts to ride around a Fifth Avenue living room on mini-motorcycles? The noise alone was terrifying."

Sheila beckoned me to her room. "Let's go into my bedroom and relax with a drink. We can watch a dumb movie on TV. Anything's better than looking at this mess."

When we had settled into our respective places in front of the television, Sheila on the bed and myself in a chaise longue, I thought of asking her what Richard had given her as a birthday gift.

"I don't know yet. He says it's going to be a surprise. Maybe he'll bring something home tonight. For all I know, it could be a pet baboon." Sheila gave a loving laugh.

Turning on the TV with the remote, Sheila suddenly began to tremble all over. At first, I couldn't help but laugh. She looked so silly, just sitting there shaking like that. I was convulsed with mirth. All I heard was her vibrato cry: "That damned Richard!" she quivered aloud. "He's so loony. Do you know what he's gone and done?"

Alarming as her strange appearance was, I could not stop bub¬bling up with laughter every time I tried to answer her. "What is it? Are you all right?" I managed to gasp between giggles.

Just as abruptly as the quiverings had begun, they stopped. The TV set went off. Sheila, in a fit of chuckles, was reading aloud from a note she had found pinned to the pillow. "My darling wife," she read. "Hope you like this little present. It's called Magic Fingers. Remember how much you liked it when we went to that funny motel in Ohio? The medium is the massage! Love you forever. Richie."

I can assure you that Richard Reventlow is not a crazy man. He just acts like one. Last year, on the occasion of their tenth wedding anniversary, he awarded his wife a fireworks display. The year before, he gave himself a roller-skating birthday fete. He hired a rink for the evening, invited fifty friends, and followed up the skate-in with a hayride through Central Park.

Rat people have an undeniable preference for luxurious victory over the simple life. Every time I meet a new Rat, the first thing I notice is his clothing, fine jewelry, and elegant manners. Little matter the state of his bank account, background, or social standing. Rats like to look their best. They surround themselves with fine quality objects. The women of this sign have exquisite taste in both wardrobe and decorative accouterments. Their homes are often showpieces for delicate antiques or an array of jungle plants that nobody else ever seems able to grow.

This love of the good life notwithstanding, Rat people make con¬scientious parents. Every step of the way during a child's development

captures the interest of a Rat mother or father. Be it physical or moral, if one of their own pack is hurt or feeling downhearted, the Rat will take great pains to see that the wrong is righted. Thus, Rat people can become what some of us describe as "do-gooders." They are forever being nominated president of "The Committee for Annihilation of Mental Health," or serving on the board of directors of one charity or the other.

You will recall that one of our very own most famous Rats, Marlon Brando (b. 1924), took up the cause of the American Indian to the extent of refusing an Academy Award on television so that he could inform the public of his serious intention to help out.

Brando was a very good Rat case in point. He always knew how to put his Rat charms to excellent use. The variety of roles he played in his life, each of them with equal facility and talent, brought his fans much vicarious joy and heartbreak. Yet, like all Rats, Brando was not noted for his ability to compromise when dealing with directors or other actors and actresses. His on-the-set reputation was never very complimentary. Rats gripe a lot and are often dissatisfied with the efforts of others. It is difficult for them to tolerate the fact that nobody—even themselves—is perfect. This feeling of discontent some¬times results in grousing and complaints. Rats can make life very diffi¬cult for co-workers.

My mother used to talk about my Rat of an uncle this way: "Ed is an angel in the crowd. But he is a devil at home." It was true. My Uncle Ed was a misery to live with. He never came home on time for dinner. He worked long hours in his office in hopes of making that big killing in real estate (which he finally made). He snapped at his kids more often than he should have. And, according to my good mother, "Ed ran around with women."

In part, my mother's old-fashioned way of describing Uncle Ed says much about the Rat's character. But those who knew Ed under¬stood implicitly his gift for participating in extra-household duties and charitable acts of patronage. The fact is, Ed never "ran around with women" in the way one normally thinks of that pastime. But he did organize fund-raising activities for the ladies auxiliary at his church.

And he drove piles of chattering nuns back and forth to country retreats and served on committees all his life for the betterment of con¬ditions in a senior citizens' complex for women only. So, the Rat that he was did "run around" with women, but not in the classical sense.

Rats make a science of the art of impressing people. Nobody gets away with feeling lukewarm about a Rat. Half the time, he is hated (even feared), and the other half, he is blindly adored by those who know him. Yet, whatever the ambience surrounding him, the Rat is graceful.

Rats often deport themselves in a rather controversial manner. They are at home discussing politics with the visiting British prime minister, comfortable hobnobbing with the boys down at the local bar, and deft at convincing garage mechanics to take 20 percent off their repair bills. It is not fair to say that Rats are con artists. But they are extremely persuasive and will stop at almost nothing in order to have their way. Whether engaged in business or emotional negotia¬tions, Rat people are never entirely free of mental calculation. Their warmest feelings and gestures of generosity are tinged with overtones of self-interest. Rarely, if ever, does a Rat person bestow love or even friendship unless he feels it will ultimately be of use to him. Their motto, "You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours," is valid. It is common knowledge among mature adults that nothing is for nothing. What is different about the Rat is his inability to deviate from that pat¬tern except for old time's sake or because he wishes to indulge a former lover. Sentimentality of the sticky, sweet, sappy variety is very much out of the Rat's line, but he is a pushover for memories and tradition.

To gain either affection or capital, Rats will bend over back¬ward. A Rat person, dedicated to a romance or to making a gain from a business venture, will ignore all emotional boundaries until he has reached his goal. For this reason, Rats make superlative profiteers. Sometimes, it seems as though everything they touch turns to gold. Rats are the troubleshooters of the world. They can move into a bank¬rupt venture, take it over on the spot, and in weeks have the whole thing in tiptop shape again. They see the loopholes, find snags, and uncover shady deals with ease and grace.

This capacity for seeing through walls and knowing just where

to look for the weakest link, if used wisely, will serve to make the Rat successful at almost any undertaking. If, however, a Rat person chooses to misuse this talent, he is capable of the lowest type of indo¬lence. If life is too easy, the Rat may become lazy.

Rats must be loved. Just because they take such enormous plea¬sure from social situations and are usually gifted for gab, does not mean that society's pedestrian demands on their talents are not taxing to the spirit. The Rat soul is always hungering for closer contact, more intimacy, sharing of thoughts and desires. At home, he needs to talk things through. It is almost eerie the way Rats think on their feet or calculate coups while discussing them. Deep philosophical ponder¬ings almost never net them any benefit. Even if they spend much of their time reading or poring over documents, straightaway upon abandoning their books, they will need to discuss what they have read. If your love partner is born under the sign of the Rat, be pre¬pared to stay up many nights rapping about the different possible strategies, deals, friendships, etc., which the Rat feels must be gone over before he sleeps.

Rat people are lovers of la bonne table. They almost invariably figure among those who know about wines and gourmet foods. They know how to set up beautifully appetizing spreads and they don't balk when faced with the consumption of same. Most of the Rats I know have a weight problem. They simply can't say "No" to themselves when it comes to ingesting tasty gourmandises. Rats are nibblers, noshers, and snackers.

Bargains and cut-rate sales leap at Rat people from shop coun¬ters, newspaper ads, and catalogs. If the A&P offered twenty jars of peanut butter for the price of ten, and you took a quick survey of the ladies who swarm in first thing in the morning, I'd be willing to bet that at least half of these "go-fers" were born in a Rat year. Popular belief has it that Rats hoard little bits of this and that in order to be sure of something to eat when times are lean. Mind you, Rat people are not stingy about sharing their booty. They simply like to be armed for bad times. They are savers, buyers of insurance, and planners for the future. And, if by some chance, they have not thought about who

will be paying that pension when they get to be old and gray, Rats will spend no small amount of their time worrying about same.

One Rat friend of mine is so preoccupied with security and get¬ting in her stores for the duration, I often accuse her of never having had a single spontaneous buying experience. If she doesn't start collect¬ing next year's Christmas presents in January, she fears she may not have any money left when that holiday looms on the horizon. Jayne buys her French wine, German beer, pâté de foie gras, and other non-perishables by the case or barrel. She has an extra tank of oil alongside her house in case the energy crisis takes a turn for the worse. No one is overjoyed at the thought of lacking for basics, but my Rat friend Jayne is even uneasy about the eventuality of running short of luxuries. Her home is a veritable air-raid shelter of gourmet provisions.

Much berated and attacked for not possessing the same set of priorities as other people, Rats have an unpleasant way of defending themselves. When cornered, they become most aggressive. In the midst of even a minor discussion of what should be done about a torn win¬dow shade, Rat people are capable of turning on their audience in the most offensive manner. Rat people think there is no defense like a good offense. So, when threatened (even in a small way), they strike out. Sometimes, they assume a haughty or authoritative tone and out of nowhere start snapping out platitudes of the "I'm the boss around here!" variety.

Because everybody who ever becomes involved with the malarial Rat is aware of his mercurial temper, those who know him well often avoid trouble by skirting the discussion of certain issues. Since touchy subjects can trigger the Rat to take umbrage or have one of his tantrums, a clever friend will be loath to jump in feet first and talk that point over. If the Rat realized how testy he was, he would proba¬bly be saddened by this knowledge. Rat people do enjoy debates and rap sessions, but since they are not always willing to admit their own errors or miscalculations, many people prefer not to argue with them.

Last year, I worked for a French Rat man who sold fireworks; not just caps and firecrackers, but displays, up-in-the-air high-in-the-¬sky showers of glorious color. Since he had decided to take the

American pyrotechnics industry by storm, and spoke not a word of English, Monsieur Lupin hired me as his interpreter. Together, we flew in to conquer the United States, but Lupin could not speak a word of English and not one prospective American fireworks client could utter a syllable of French. I didn't know what I was in for, but who could turn down a job where the product presentation at any given business meeting takes place in an open field by night under a blanket of shooting stars and Roman candle?

In retrospect, translating for Lupin would have been a snap if it had not been for his singular inability to function alone. As I have said, Rats are communicators. They have to speak in order to believe that they are alive and thinking. Can you imagine spending three full weeks (including weekends) as the seeing-ear dog of a garrulous Rat suddenly made deaf and mute by confinement in a country where you are his only means of contact with humanity? What's more, the psy¬chology of Rats includes a hefty portion of suspicion, and this particu¬lar Rat felt very left out each time I said "Good Morning, Mr. Jones" in English. By the time he left this side of the ocean, Monsieur Lupin had a spectacular case of paranoic Americanophobia.

Every time English words escaped my lips, Lupin was sure I was trying to dupe him or take over the world's black powder supply sin¬gle-handedly. He actually thought at one point that I was in cahoots with his major competition in this country. Yet, he was paying me. He had hired me in France. I had never even seen a fireworks display up close before meeting him. My work, when it only consisted of inter¬preting what Monsieur Lupin wished to convey to a client or manu¬facturer, was most enjoyable. But those long nighttime talk-ins over whiskey after whiskey in all the gloomy hotel bars across America. . . . After one week, I honestly believed I would perish from overspeak.

Life for most Rats is actually little more than an extended game of chess. Much of their time is spent maneuvering into the offensive position. The remainder of Rat lives gets gobbled up by preoccupa¬tions with projected methods of aggressively exiting from the innumer¬able culs-de-sac that lie in wait beyond the next move.

Basically, the Rat is a kind soul. Though his uneasiness about his

own image may cause him to buffet or jostle those he fears will get the best of him, these shoves are but mild elbow jabs in the ribs of his adversaries. Rats are not the sort of tyrannical barbarians who walk over even their best friends in order to succeed. If they are somewhat promiscuous, their extracurricular escapades are only the result of self-doubt or anxiety about being attractive. When Rats lie, they sincerely believe their fibs are measures of self-defense. The whiter the lie, the more comfy the Rat.

Rats, no matter how great the scope of their success or impor¬tance, are capable of tremendous humility. No job is ever too menial for a Rat, no errand too piddling to be run for a friend.

Back a few years, when friends of mine introduced me to Rat movie star Keir Dullea (b. 1936), I learned a few facts about how lov¬able Rats can really be. Keir Dullea has cosmic-blue eyes the color of which varies with his mood from delft to Wedgwood. He's gorgeous, famous, talented, and still has the "lost boy" look he bore in the film David and Lisa. Like all Rats, he is outgoing, amusing, and energetic.

Keir, too, is a devoted friend. He is one of those people of whom we say, "He would give you the shirt off his back." He's generous and jolly, to boot.

The day I found a tiny studio in which to ply my writer's trade was a victorious one for me. The room was small and dark, typically Parisian dank and ill-decorated. But it was mine. Keir was visiting Paris at the time and offered to help me refurbish the place. Aware of my lack of talent for manual labor, I was delighted by his willingness to pound a nail and paint a wall.

Aware also that the Rat's ability to organize will always be supe¬rior to mine, I suggested that Keir plan the attack on my scruffy den on his own. I agreed to pitch in with the drudgery but admitted that I truly did not have the foggiest notion of where to begin.

First things first. Keir trundled us off to the local Parisian carpet shop where we purchased enough indoor/outdoor carpeting to cover the shoddy linoleum floor. I asked to have the rug delivered, but Keir said, "They'll never get it there on time. I'll just carry it back to your place." And, with that, he heaved the giant roll of red carpet onto his

shoulder and crashed into the ceiling light fixture, breaking it into a million pieces.

After we had laughed and paid the nice shopkeeper for his lamp, Keir walked through the streets of Paris for about a kilometer, whistling as though he were one of the seven dwarfs. Parisians, unac¬customed to do-it-yourselfers, pointed and giggled as he trudged along under his weighty burden. Needless to say, French ridicule went unno¬ticed by our Rat hero. Keir had bagged a carpet and that was enough reason to drag it single-handedly to its destination. Besides, Rats love spectacle, especially when they create it.

In short, I am now the only living American writer in Paris who works in a studio decorated by a movie star's own hand. Keir worked for three days fixing, painting, sticking contact paper on shelves, and fitting his carpet into crannies with a bread knife. All the Rat's persis¬tence and meticulousness went into his endeavor and the end result is both pleasing and practical.

Richard Nixon (b. 1912/13) was a Rat. Until he began to mix it up with his own brand of slick politician, Dick Nixon was considered by many Americans to be a kind of smiling nobody whom the bigwigs felt they could push around and mold into their own idea of a Presidential candidate. But I don't think the world was ready for Brother Rat's tendency to want all the power for himself. If they had read this book, Nixon's cronies would have guessed well in advance that when a Rat feels trapped or stymied by his peers, he takes one of two escape routes. Either he slinks away to become a hermit, or he turns into a dreadfully boorish bully. In the case of Richard Nixon, both avenues were employed. When aggressiveness failed, he disap¬peared into the woodwork.

Besides Marion Brando (b. 1924), whom we spoke of before as a prize Rat, our times have been graced by many famous Rat figures. Adlai Stevenson, Sr. was born in 1900. The year 1912 brought us playwright Eugene lonesco. In 1924, we netted a quartet of celebrated Rat people: actress Lauren Bacall, novelists James Baldwin and Truman Capote, and Brando himself. A bumper crop arrived in 1936, among them Richard Bach of Seagull fame, Dick Cavett, actors Keir Dullea

and Dennis Hopper and French couturier Yves Saint Laurent. Singer-songwriter James Taylor was born in 1948, and so was Peggy Fleming, the figure-skating champion.

Rats have a vast capacity for aggressively falling upon a task. They attack pleasure, money-making, and love affairs with equal verve. If you are lucky enough to be witness to the charming Rat's pursuit of life's rewards, you will always be assured of a great show at a very low price. FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE GO TO http://www.suzannewhite.com

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edit: oh i thought it said who was the most funny lol i think gemini's are the most fun.

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