The Hate-On-Mercury Bandwagon

512px-Mercury_in_color_-_Prockter07_centeredI’ve had several quests in my adulthood, mostly pertaining to word choice. For example, getting writers to stop saying they are “pantsers” instead of plotters. That references the phrase “fly by the seat of their pants,” which goes back to pilots using instinct and experience rather than instruments. Writers who write the story as it comes to them are like those pilots. The verb in that idiom is “fly,” so that makes us flyers, right? But I guess because of the P, they call themselves “pantsers.” Maybe it’s my age, but you know what pantsing is? Coming up behind someone and yanking their pants down. It’s a guy thing, and was all the rage among the junior high set. Adults started wanting to do it when guys started hanging their baggy jeans around their thighs. So I hate that word. But my quest? Failing. No one calls it “flying” unless they’ve heard my rant and notice I’m in the room.

You know what quest I AM succeeding with, though? The Hate-On-Mercury Bandwagon.

Now, I know it’s not fair. Poor Mercury is just spinning out there in space, the same way all the planets are. It can’t help going retrograde. I mean, it’s not even like it’s doing anything different. It’s just that it LOOKS like it’s going backwards. But man, three times a year I want to punt-kick him out of the galaxy.

Most people, I think, are skeptics about astrology. Some are like me, finding it interesting in a passing sense. “Oh, that’s my horoscope from yesterday? How about that, someone WAS rude to me!” A lot scoff at the idea of communication and technology being all screwed up during the Mercury Retrograde period. But you know what? It’s A Thing. And every person I tell about it gets converted, because they start paying attention.

It usually goes something like this:

  1. They complain about printer jams and car breakdown and Facebook not loading.
  2. They try to explain something to someone and that other person just doesn’t get it.
  3. I tell them Mercury is retrograde and explain what that means.
  4. They ask when it will be over, I tell them, and then things go back to normal around that time.
  5. Four months later, it starts again and they said “Is Mercury retrograde?” and lo and behold, it is.
  6. Bam. Convert.

It helps when others who are already on board corroborate my story. My colleague/client has been very frustrated lately with misunderstandings and stuff. I keep blaming Mercury. He told someone about it, she mentioned it to her daughter, and her daughter told him a friend had told her not to go outside on October 9. LOL

What kinds of things happen when Merc is retro? Here’s some of the stuff I’ve dealt with:

  1. People not getting crucial e-mails or missing crucial information in those e-mails or not completing the request fully.
  2. Approved projects—like, 8 of them—having to go back to the drawing board because one small thing that was deemed okay is actually going to be a big problem.
  3. Yahoogroups screwing up. This is like the canary-in-the-mine of Mercury retrograde. Are your group mails all coming out of order, or you’re getting replies but never got the original e-mail? That’s a good sign Merc is retro or about to be. For me, every message I send makes it to the group, but doesn’t come into my inbox. Also, I’m trying to add members and the pages won’t load. They just say “loading” for about 5 minutes, or until I lose patience and try hitting “refresh.”
  4. I had my car inspection and service scheduled for Tuesday. I had printed my online confirmation (but didn’t take it with me) and had received an e-mail confirmation. I got to the dealership, and they had no record of my appointment. Hope I pass inspection on my rescheduled date of September 30.
  5. A particular jpg in one e-mail was sufficient to lock up all my e-mails until I figured it out and deleted that e-mail.
  6. For a couple of days, one particular e-mail account refused to download my mail into my mail client.
  7. Normal sites like Facebook and the Harlequin Author Network keep getting blocked by Malwarebytes as being malicious.

So tell me: are you a believer? How has Mercury screwed with you this time? And if you’ve never noticed this before, brace yourself…you will now.

You’re welcome.