Forget about the Mercury retrograde and Saturn return. If you�re single, you should be worried about the fact that we�re in the midst of a leap year.
Just ask Jo, �no last names please,� a Santa Monica practitioner of the healing arts, whose work, which could be compared to Rolfing, involves communing with the energy of his clients� bodies via deep-tissue massage.
�Most people think that leap year is just an extra day in February every four years. But ask yourself: Why do they call it �leap year�?�
Sitting on a faded futon on his front porch, Jo, who was born in a leap year and appears to be in his mid-50s, looks out onto his newly mown lawn, currently being showered in rain, and gives his listener pause to think.
�Um-hmm,� he finally says. �Well, the reason they call it leap year is that it�s the year women have the right to ask men to marry them and leap over the broomstick, as it were. That was one of the old customs of how marriages took place � you leap over the broomstick together.�
The husband and wife?
�Yes. That�s why single men go into hiding on the 29th of February, unless they want to be snatched up by some unattached female. It�s quite amusing to see.�
How would you describe it, energetically speaking?
�A hormonal storm, the tides of force from the stars just let loose on the poor unsuspecting females. They don�t know why they are doing it, but they do it and enjoy it. It�s amazing what happens to the women who are unattached. I�ve seen them crash their cars to get the attention of the men. Literally run into them. That is another reason why single men
shouldn�t be out in their cars.�
Are you saying that you know single women who have crashed into guys� cars and ended up dating them?
More than once?
�More than once. I�ve seen it in years past, and I�ve seen it this year as well.� Jo himself went out of his way to steer clear of single ladies on the 29th.
�I tried, but two managed to get in,� says the unattached but previously married father of three. �Of course, there are some men who would just love to be victims. They lay waiting and hoping, but that doesn�t work.�
It�s not just the 29th men have to worry about, though � the entire leap year can be screwy.
�The energy weens but it�s still there,� Jo says in the sing-songy voice of an Irishman who muses over beings that live in water droplets and the blocked energy that keeps you from making a decent living or enjoying sex.
�That one day, the 29th, is the day to watch, though. �Cause what happens, from an astrological point of view, is all the energy that was left over from those other three years are bundled together in that one day and, of course, there is chaos. Telephonic communications, electrical communications, all go haywire. The amount of energy is amazing.�
The sparkle in the druid�s hazel eye indicates he enjoys the Sadie Hawkins energetic maelstrom.
�This year�s has been especially strong, �cause why? Oscars fell on the 29th of February! So, it�s interesting to look at the dresses that the women wore � they were throwbacks to other more ancient times. Um hum.�
You mean the dresses this year were more romantic than other years?
�Yes. More than Valentine�s Day. Think about it.�
Do you have any advice for people for the next February 29?
�Well, if they don�t want to be accosted or trapped by unattached females, then they want to make sure that they get well away from social centers. In fact, the best thing to do is to spend the day in bed.�
Jo, whose khaki shorts and forest-green T-shirt reveal the body of a marathon runner, is in fact making a getaway to Ireland tomorrow, where he will have a two-week stay at his cabin �in the woods.�
Does your trip have anything to do with leap year?
Jo laughs. �Who am I to say that it doesn�t? I don�t control the stars.�
Well, do you yourself feel a need to run?
�I feel a need to run.�
Jo, how old are you?
�You don�t ask that question in leap year! Nooo, you don�t ask that question in leap year.�
Well, who first told you about leap year?
�Uh-huh?!� Jo laughs again. �Some of the little folk.�
Little folk � to whom are you referring?
�You would know if you were from Ireland.�
Somewhere around midnight on Oscar night, the scene at Warner Ebbinic�s 101 coffee shop on Franklin was picking up. Dressed in formal attire, two Academy Award seat-fillers ordered grilled cheese and fries.
The couple, who don�t just play one on TV, they really do like each other, explained that there is a strict �no press� policy that comes with the star-studded job.
The woman, who sipped her cherry Coke while her date talked into his cell phone, did say that if you watch the telecast closely, you can see how celebrities who leave to present an award or go to the bathroom or smoke a cigarette are mysteriously replaced by anonymous seat-fillers.
She also let it slip that she has done the job often � the Grammys, the Golden Globes, etc. � and that being a pro seat-filler requires getting on a list. 24/Seven suggests that she write a book called Confessions of a Seat Filler and option it to Hollywood.
Two tables away, an attractive producer of a hit TV show read through an impressive pile of solicited scripts as he dined on a cheeseburger and apple pie � la mode. The 30-something also adheres to a strict �no personal press� rule, but did reveal a full head of hair, which is apparently all his own, and a belief that electronic games, or �gaming,� is where all the young, hot creatives are working these days or will be working in the near future. Said producer has never produced a game himself, but knows people who have, and he�s read magazine articles about them. 24/Seven did not get a chance to inquire into the unattached producer�s thoughts regarding leap year.