It’s baaaaaaaack. And boy are we in trouble.

I’m talking about Mercury in Retrograde. For the third of four times this year, the planet closest to the sun is looking like it’s going backwards.

It really isn’t. It’s an optical illusion. And there’s a perfectly good astronomical explanation why it appears to be happening.

However, I’m not going into that here. Nope. I’m reserving this space for the Really Important Stuff about Mercury in Retrograde. Stuff my friend Carol Costa-Crowell alerted me to the Last Time It Happened. (April 9-May 3)

As I recall, it wasn't pretty then. And promises not to be now.

That's why in this space, I’m going to tell you why — starting yesterday and continuing until Sept. 5 — you and I and everyone else on SouthCoast, not to mention the entire Planet Earth, should Be Afraid.

Very Afraid.

Here’s how come: when Mercury’s in Retrograde , we’re all in Big Trouble.

That’s because, if you believe in astrology (Why not?. Makes as much sense as anything else these days.) Mercury is the planet of Communication, Travel and Technology.

And, when Mercury is in Retrograde, anything that has to do with any of the above — which is  just about everything — is destined to get messed up. Totally.

No argument from me. Heck, I began feeling the effects even before Mercury in Retrograde became official.

Here’s what my recent past has been like:

My desktop at work and my laptop at home both had an annoying, semi-paralyzing software issue. It soon surfaced throughout the newsroom but I was “lucky” to be first.

The oven dial on our relatively new stove died and the part has to be ordered. (I’ve paid $125 so far and still counting.)

My new smartphone abruptly decided it didn’t want to make calls. When I tried, it would immediately hang up. Fortunately, powering off, then back on cured what ailed it. (Thanks, Jerry, my friend and colleague, for the advice.)

And speaking of phones, our landline fell victim to a cable fault Thursday in our Dartmouth neighborhood which took 24 hours to resolve.

In the interim, our house alarm provider did a monthly test and got no response so they called us. On the landline that didn’t work. So they called me at work. Where I wasn’t yet. Eventually I got the message from my brother, my emergency contact. Who wanted to make sure we were OK. (Yep, we were.) (Note to self: update cell phone contact,)

Oh yeah, did I mention algae has invaded our pool? Right as I am starting my vacation.

I’m going to stop now because it sounds like I’m whining. Which I am. But given what’s gone on before Mercury in Retrograde’s actual arrival, I shudder to think what the next few weeks have in store.

For me.

And Everyone Else.