Writing horoscopes is really not too difficult

As writing gigs go, penning the daily horoscopes has to be one of the best. I mean, it's not hard to predict what's going to happen to people. They're going to fall in love, break up, get raises, lose jobs, find happiness, wallow in misery.

Basically, if you've ever watched a soap opera, you know how to write a horoscope.

Best of all, you're not held to anything you say. Nobody's going to call up and complain, "Hey, I remained open to possibilities and I still didn't have a romantic interlude."

To illustrate my point, I offer the following horoscopes, with the disclaimer that I am not a real astrologer. But I have seen "Apollo 13" four times.

IF TODAY IS YOUR BIRTHDAY: People will bring you gifts and cards. If you're over 50, at least one of those cards will refer to a bodily function.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Take time today to stop and smell the roses. Or at least read the rest of this column.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sep. 22): Beware of storms inside as well as outside. Gulf Coast residents might want to wait until November to undertake a home improvement project.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): A romantic interlude may be in your very near future. The fact that my wife is a Libra has nothing to do with this prediction.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Try to see the big picture. And if you've already seen "The Dark Knight," don't worry - you can always go see Woody Allen's latest.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): A co-worker may try to take credit for your achievements. Deal with it. If your birthday's in December, you're used to being overlooked.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Someone will annoy you with mindless cliches and empty platitudes. Try to buck up, think outside the box, and put your best foot forward. Don't forget: you're the one you've been waiting for.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Those who hold your fate in their hands have your best interests at heart. Or maybe they have squashing you like a bug at heart. It's kind of hazy.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Let others show their cards first. And remember, what happens in Vegas ends up on YouTube.

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Now is the time to put in your two cents worth. The McCain campaign is relying on public funding, after all.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Try to keep a good thought, financially speaking. One of your investments might not actually depreciate this month.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): You're at the top of your game. That's why you took Georgia to cover this weekend.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Everyone you meet will find you witty and attractive. The fact that I'm a Cancer has nothing to do with this prediction.

Rob Jenkins is associate professor of English at Georgia Perimeter College. E-mail him at rjenkinsgdp@yahoo.com.