HOW TO VIEW THE CONJUNCTION SAFELY.

Tomorrow, December 21, the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn will appear in the sky, a once-in-800-years event that has been called the Christmas Star by astronomers desperate for publicity and funding. The two planets, already very near in the sky, will approach to within a tenth of a degree. Here are some tips for viewing the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn without personal injury.

Use a pin to poke a small hole in a sheet of aluminum foil. Wrap the sheet of foil around a potato. Bake the potato. Eat the potato with butter, sour cream, and shredded Cheddar (real English Cheddar, not the American substitute). If you are indoors eating a potato during the conjunction, you will probably be safe.

Bring a pair of powerful binoculars or a small telescope. It will allow you to detect the approach of a superstitious mob with pitchforks and torches while there is still time to make a getaway.

Make sure to check the astrology column of your local newspaper for the latest conjunction safety information. Be especially wary of any tall, dark stranger with a mysterious past.

If you are vacationing on either Jupiter or Saturn, it is probably too late to book a return flight. Find an interior room on the lower floor of your hotel and brace for impact.

If the conjunction begins wandering across the sky, making gestures to you to follow it, and you do decide to pursue it, and it finally comes to rest over a stable, and inside the stable is a newborn infant surrounded by his parents, some shepherds, and an assortment of picturesque farm animals, make sure you have available a gift of (a) gold, (b) frankincense, or (c) myrrh. Under no circumstances should you bring a drum that goes pa rum pum pum-pum. Babies and snare drums do not go well together.