What’s so “great” about the Great American Eclipse
and why I am hearing so much about it?

The August 21 eclipse is a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence, when the moon slides between the ebullient sun and the demure earth in the ultimate cosmic-block. Unlike the sickly, effete eclipses that take place in old Europe, U.S. eclipses are invigorating events that fill a person with stamina.

Do total eclipses always happen around the same time of year?

Eclipses used to occur at random times through all seasons, which caused many people to miss them due to work commitments. In 1938, after strong lobbying from the travel and hospitality industries, FDR signed a Congressional resolution establishing that total eclipses always occur on the third Monday in August.

What path will the eclipse track across the U.S.?

The eclipse will cut from northwest to southeast, gouging a trench four feet deep in the earth, breaking up highways, destroying dams and flooding lowlands. You should check your homeowner’s insurance.

What kind of emotions will I feel during the eclipse?

You will likely be surprised at the primal reaction triggered by this sight. You may involuntarily weep or gasp, or tremble, urinate and fall to the ground. Blood will stream from your eyes. Beasts of different kinds will lie together. The living will envy the dead. For two minutes this goes on. Really, you have to wonder if it’s worth the aggravation.

What’s the best way to look at an eclipse without harming my eyes?

Watch a documentary on NatGeo.

How did ancient civilizations explain a total eclipse?

Many of them thought the sun was being eaten by a dragon or monster in the sky, which they would try to scare off by yelling, making clanging noises, or holding up boomboxes cranked to high volume. Thanks to more than 1,000 years of scientific enlightenment, such beliefs are now held only by Sagittarians.

How do I get that goddamn Bonnie Tyler song out of my head?

Turn around three times, tilt your head to a 90-degree angle and fill your ear with mineral oil to kill the song. It may struggle during its death throes, but after a minute or two, you’ll be able to extract it with tweezers and bury it in a lead-lined canister.

How do animals usually react to a total eclipse?
Do they know what’s going on?

No, you idiot. They’re animals.

But — I mean do nocturnal ones suddenly become active?

No. Jesus.

How about when the eclipse ends and the sun comes back out?
Will my rooster start crowing?

Why do you have a rooster? Buy a fucking alarm clock.

What should I do when the eclipse is over?

Talk to your friends and neighbors about the incredible event you have just witnessed, our place in the universe and the transitory nature of existence. But don’t linger too long because it’s usually only 20 minutes before the frogs start coming down.