Because Y is a Crooked Letter and Z is no Better

dreamstimefree_832643[1]‘Because Y is a crooked letter and Z is no better.’ My Poppa used to say this to me when I was very young in answer to any of my ‘but why’ questions. I always accepted the response without further question.

But then again, I always thought my Poppa was such a clever man. He used to tell us kids that he learned to read off a jam jar and the trout that we had for our Sunday lunch on those visits to Grandma and Poppa’s were caught by him in the Tumbarumba River by hitting them over the head with a bit of 4B2* when they came up for air. (All my illusions were shattered the day I saw one in the deep freeze wrapped in the plastic bag from Snowy River Fisheries).

I never really questioned, because it simply didn’t occur to me. I still rarely question what I have been told and usually believe, often to my detriment, what is told to me- without question. I hear what I want to hear and will hold things that Mean Something, things that may have been said to me in passing, close to my heart.

I (half) joke about having the worst Mercury in history, yet I have always been pretty good with closeting away pointless pieces of trivia in my head and consider myself to be reasonably intelligent. I read constantly, and always have done. When I was a kid, my books were an escape to a quiet place. These days they represent an escape of a different sort.

When I was studying, quotes would always come out of wherever they had been hiding in my head and onto the blank paper just when I needed them. The other afternoon most of the Hamlet To Be or Not To Be verse just came out of my mouth when Sarah needed an example of what a poetic monologue is. As for remembering song lyrics, well, I am your girl!

At Saturday nights Trivia Contest for the soccer team, my triumphant moment came with remembering not only the name of the song that played at Scott and Charlene’s wedding (on the TV show Neighbours in 1987 back when Kylie Minogue was still a teenage mechanic), but also, for a bonus point, the artist who sang it. (For those of you still wondering, the song is Suddenly and it was sung by Angry Anderson). I am not sure whether the really sad thing is that I knew the name of the song or that it is still on my ipod.

Where did that stuff come from? It gets worse- the other night in my dream I was talking to someone about the weird stuff in my head and I found myself (in my dream) reciting the full team list for the Canterbury Bankstown 1980 NRL Grand Final winning team. I was running a bit of a footy card scam in the school yard in the small country town I was living in at the time, so knew the relative value of each player. But why would it come into my head now? More to the point, why would I wake up and know that Terry Fahey had never played for the Bulldogs & Steve Gearin was the other winger I couldn’t think of?

Mercury in Gemini isn’t just about being smart (although people with this placement are often very clever), it is about making connections. Where, as in the case of the Trivia Night and my dream, connections are made in my head in a way that I don’t even want to try and understand, Mercury in Gemini asks the questions…as many questions as he needs to ask in order to understand what is being said. Mercury in Gemini doesn’t do misunderstandings. Mercury in Gemini uses his words and doesn’t accept what he is told on face value.

Words are used to make connections, concepts are discussed, social networks are expanded. Mercury in Gemini has an insatiable curiosity and is really truly interested in…well, in everything. And once he knows something, he generally has to talk about it. In this most flexible of Air signs, detachment allows the abstraction of emotions into messages which can be used and manipulated. Wow, lots of words and syllables there!

Not that Mercury in Gemini is necessarily into lots of syllables, but he is into lots of words and expresses feelings and thoughts with words- either verbally or in writing. No long meaningful sighs, no sarcastic “whatever”s, no second guessing. When you have a partner with Mercury in Gemini, you will never die wondering.  If you don’t have Mercury in Gemini there will be times when you scream “enough already!”

On a recent episode of House a blogger is admitted to the hospital with the usual array of undiagnosable symptoms. She blogs every step of the way so that her readers can help her decide the big questions: whether to have a baby, whether to have a plastic or a pig valve. Her partner hates that their lives have become something to talk about. She says to him, ‘I hate that you don’t have a blog…I hate that I don’t know what you’re thinking.’ That is Mercury in Gemini.

If I had Mercury in Gemini, I would have asked more questions of Poppa. I would have asked things like:

‘But how can you learn to read off a jam jar?’

‘Doesn’t a jam jar only have ingredients on it? What about all the other words?’

‘What is a 4 B 2?’

‘What sort of fish come up for air?’

‘What other fish are in the Tumba River…do they come up for air too?’

‘Do they come up for air at the same time every day?’

To which I am sure he would reply : ‘Because Y is a crooked letter and Z is no better.’

Are these words working do they work for you?

Is there something wrong between us?

Is there something I can do?

Is there some way I can take back all the times you threw away?

Been burning up the decade when you should’ve seized the day


I wonder why you’re talking ’cause you’re talking all the time

Will you ever get the message and just leave it all behind

The conversation’s trivial but trivial is fine

When held up to the light


Do you think my personality is written in stone?

Are you positively certain that you know what you’ve been shown

I’m a snapshot of the person that you think I ought to be

Now give it up! Give it up! Give it up!


Lyrics from Words by Kate Miller Heidke



*4B2 is an Australian colloquialism for a piece of wood that is 4 by 2 inches.