Rick Nelson and Claude Peck dispense unasked-for advice about clothing, etiquette, culture, relationships, grooming and more.


RN: You are such the Cancer that you’re almost a caricature. And I mean that in the nicest possible way.


CP: And you combine the full range of Gemini character traits, as one would naturally expect of a sign shared by Joan Rivers and Queen Victoria.


RN: Let’s not forget John F. Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. We Zodiac Twins share a quick wit and a thirst for novelty. Well, then there is that emotionally distant thing. And the fickleness. But we’re so much fun that it’s not noticeable. At first, anyway.


CP: Novelty, huh? How then to explain your penchant for tradition, as in your illuminating daily Facebook updates about historic buildings and places in Minnesota? My whole beef with the zodiac is that for every example of a person who seems to “fit” under a certain sun sign, there are just as many counter-examples.


RN: Let’s examine your sign for a moment, Mr. Crab. You, with the tough outer shell protecting that emo interior. Let’s see, what else? Frequently selfless. Loyal. Sentimental. Smart. Well-rounded. Jeez, I sound like I’m channeling the devious Baroness Schraeder in “The Sound of Music,” when she sarcastically asks the naive Maria, “My dear, is there anything you can’t do?”


CP: Male Cancers are said to be steadfast and security-loving, but also unfaithful. They are said to be loyal, but also moody, emotionally labile. See what I mean?


RN: Sure, but on the plus side, not only are they comfortable with throwing the word “labile” into a conversation, but they’re also familiar with the meaning of the word “labile.”


CP: You fill the Gemini bill when it comes to being intellectually curious and a skilled communicator, but maybe less so when it comes to the assertion that Geminis make excellent members of the armed services and are party animals. Let me guess: You used to love a recurring feature in Cosmopolitan called “The Bedside Astrologer.” Rumor is that they sold an extra 50,000 copies when they blurbed that on the cover.


RN: You know I was first in line at Shinder’s for that issue. Not to mention that I spent the better part of the 1990s reading every word Athena Starwoman wrote as Vogue magazine’s chief astrologer.


CP: I’m sure her credentials were unimpeachable. Just like Jeane Dixon (Capricorn).


E-mail: witheringglance@startribune.com

Twitter: @claudepeck and @RickNelsonStrib