"Dang blast it! Now I have to
hotfoot it down to the freakin'
license bureau before noon!"
Don't Let the Stars
Get in Your Eyes
(unless you're licensed)
Protect the public NOW!
License all astrologers!
By CHUCK McFADDEN
YOU CAN SLEEP SAFELY tonight if you are in Columbus, Ohio. You are protected against bad astrology.
The Columbus City Council has decided that, in their town, you have to have a license to practice astrology. Thats right. Astrology. You have to have a license.
I think its a good idea to make sure people know what theyre doing, said one Columbus-licensed astrologer.
Know what theyre doing. Astrologers.
There is a test you have to pass if you wish to be a licensed astrologer in Columbus. It has 20 true or false questions, said the news report. You have to get at least 16 of them correct to become a licensed astrologer.
No word in the reports on whats true and whats not true in astrology. Perhaps the reporters didnt want to give the answers away to astrologers unable to divine them on their own.
Anyone found guilty of practicing astrology without a license in Columbus could be fined $500 and even sent to jail.
Whatre you in for?
Practicing astrology without a license.
One shudders to think of the public harm that could result from the predictions of unlicensed astrologers as opposed to the predictions of licensed astrologers. Would Virgos get mixed up with Scorpios? Would the House of Uranus get confused by the unknowledgeable with the House of Venus?
Well, you can see what might happen.
What I dont understand is why the Columbus city fathers dont take this to the next logical step, and license fortune tellers. If astrologers should be licensed, shouldnt fortune tellers be licensed? Would you want to consult an unlicensed fortune teller about your love life? One who didnt get at least 16 of 20 true-false questions correct on the City of Columbus Fortune Teller Licensing Test?
A Columbus, Ohio, astrologer
struggles to get a high score
in the city's tough licensing
test for astrologers.
Come to think of it, any fortune teller worth his or her salt would know all the answers way before test time. Id make it one wrong answer, and turn in your crystal ball. No license for you.
Same thing for palm readers. You must have someone whos qualified, otherwise, willy-nilly, youd have just anyone hanging out a shingle, grabbing hands and saying they were palm readers. What then?
Smart-alecks, of course, are already speculating about the possible outfall from the Columbus astrology-licensing law.
If there is a wave of unlicensed astrology-practicing in Columbus, would the police send in undercover agents to unearth illicit astrologers? Would they conduct raids, breaking down doors and brandishing guns? Would district attorneys seek newspaper headlines by announcing crackdowns on astrologers who dont have licenses?
I myself wonder if the Columbus city fathers have turned their attention to the quality of snake oil purveyed within the city limits. Is it pure? Just how oily is it? What kind of snakes are involved in its manufacture?
You cant be too careful in protecting the public against phoniness.
© 2001 by Charles M. McFadden. The illustrations are from IMSI's Master/Clips Collection, 1895 Francisco Blvd. East, San Rafael, CA, 94901-5506, USA.
You can comment on this column or contact Chuck McFadden with an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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