See what the stars have in store for your kids

Bob Huber: Humor Columnist

Don’t fret over those expensive items you bought for your kid as he entered school this fall. You should instead smack your forehead and cry, “I shudda bought a Student Horoscope!”

Allow me to explain.

The 2005 Old Newsman’s Horoscope is hot off the presses, and it’s just what your kid needs. After thousands of hours of mind-boggling research straight from the backsides of cereal boxes and certain in-depth periodicals found in grocery checkout lines, we have perfected zodiac predictions for kids.

So let me proceed with a sample reading of your student’s stars, guaranteed to show that Cancer the Crab was here long before Willie the Whale:

CAPRICORN THE GOAT (For students born between Dec. 23 and Jan 19): If you were born under this sign, you should invest in some good psychotherapy for your parents. Frankly, as a goat, it’s your odor that drives them nuts. Cast off your promiscuous Capra image too, and stop eating the trays and utensils in the cafeteria.

AQUARIUS THE WATER CARRIER (Jan. 20-Feb. 29): You should be careful in 2005. If you insist on packing around so much stuff in your backpack, you could get in big trouble, herniawise. As a final thought, just remember that anyone can lead a horse to water, but if you can’t teach it to do algebra, what good is it?

PISCES THE FISH (Feb. 20-March 21): If your school is near water, keep a wary eye out for teachers who tie flies. Worms are bad medicine too. What you want is more music classes where they teach that old ballad, “Boop, boop, didum, downum, wanum, chew, and they swam and they swam all over the dam.” That’ll brighten your school year.

ARIES THE RAM (March 22-April 20): Unless you’re a girl, it’s OK to be a ram. The same holds true for Taurus the Bull. But if you’re a girl, that’s embarrassing. Talk about your classic sexual bias. Someone should have labeled some zodiac signs “Winnie the Ewe,” and “Elmira the Heifer.”

TAURUS THE BULL (April 21-May 21): School will get worse in 2005. My advice is: Work hard to master another year’s math, but shy away from the basics like how many lawyers it takes to kick a dog. Show some authority. Teachers will fight you, but what do they know? If they’re so smart, how come they’re still in school?

GEMINI THE TWINS (May 21-June 22): Better start rat holing money right now, because you’ll spend twice as much as you did last year. That holds true every year until you finish college. Just remember that old Boy Scout motto, “Be prepared, even if it means stealing your mother’s butter and egg money to buy a pretty girl a Coke.”

CANCER THE CRAB (June 23-July 23): You’ve probably figured out by now that no one likes you very much, but that’s because your classmates are jealous, especially if you’re a blond. If you’re a boy, you’ve got many other important things to worry about, like what greasy stuff to use on your hair. Get a life.

LEO THE LION (July 24-Aug. 23): Many times this year you’ll wake up in the middle of history class longing for catnip. Lions are cats, you know. You’ll also get the screaming twitches when your mother makes you wear that new shirt she bought you, the one with little pink bunnies on it. That’s because you’re not as young as you used to be, but you’re not as old as you’re going to be either.

VIRGO THE VIRGIN (Aug. 24-Sept. 23): Just the mention of your zodiac sign makes other kids snicker, but don’t fret. If you’re a boy, you might stop wearing dresses this year. If you’re a girl, keep your halo on tight, no matter what your classmates say. You’re both ugly anyway.

LIBRA THE SCALES (Sept. 24-Oct. 23): In 2005, you shouldn’t spend so much time at the cosmetic counter sniffing body lotion. Concentrate instead on new clothes. Have your parents go to the bank and take out a second mortgage or sell your big sister.

SCORPIO THE SCORPION (Oct. 24-Nov. 22): Get a new pair of cowboy boots this school year and get rid of those awful, smelly sneakers. Then get some jeans and dump those baggy, low-hanging carpenter’s pants. Then watch your back.

SAGITTARIUS THE ARCHER (Nov. 23-Dec. 22): The sign for Sagittarians used to be called “The Bowman,” but that was determined to be sexist by certain women’s groups, which is a problem you’ll face this year. The world is a lot more complicated than it was when your parents were little, so be gentle with them.