Rushville Republican

February 4, 2014

Horsing around in the Chinese New Year

By Don Stuart
Rushville Republican

---- — By the time you read this, we will already be several days into the newest Chinese New Year, the “Year of the Horse,” which began on January 31st. If you’re thinking, “Hey, my faithful weekly dopey-humor columnist is a little behind the news cycle,” you should know I have a solid defense, backed by the veracity of experts on the Chinese New Year who I will refer to as “some astrologers.”

You see, I read on the Internet that according to “some astrologers,” this particular “Year of the Horse” will be a “fast year.” Thus, with the horse breaking from the gate so quickly, it’s tough to keep up. (Side note: In light of this being a fast year, I would encourage everyone who sends a letter in their December greeting cards with comments such as “Where does the time go?” or “The year has flown by!” to get to work on this year’s missive snap-cracky!)

Of course, it’s also true that “some astrologers” – at least those quoted on the Internet – apparently can’t tell their elbow from a hot rock. You see, the next Chinese New Year doesn’t kick off until Feb. 19, 2015. That makes this particular Year of the Horse something like 385 days long, which doesn’t sound like a “fast year” to me.

(You know, if us Westerners had years that were 385 days long, I’d be, like, three and a half years younger, which would make me younger than my little sister! Assuming I could convince her to continue keeping time by 365-day years. Which I probably couldn’t because, in my experience, she’s able to differentiate between her elbow and a hot rock at least 95% of the time.)

The topicality of this column gets even fresher when one considers that there are also “some astrologers” who consider February 4th to be day one of the Year of the Horse. Such astrologers utilize the “full natal Four Pillars of Destiny” in their work. This is according to a consultant to the Feng Shui Society, named Foon Chik. Really.

Anyway, using the full natal Four Pillars of Writing Dopey Columns, I have researched as many websites as I could before I smelled my wife cooking dinner, and learned that there are many portents and omens and predictions for this Year of the Horse, many of which suggest that I’m going to have a lousy year.

Here’s a prime example: I read that “the Horse comes galloping from the south to rule the new year.” And this means we should not undertake any major building projects in the south sector of our homes and yards. At first, this sounds like good news for me, as it allows me to give my wife an authoritative and factual reason for not doing the enormous, time-consuming, and physically laborious landscaping overhaul that she wants done in our front yard – which faces south!

However, my wife subscribes to a philosophy built upon the full natal Four Pillars of You’re Full of It, and is going out today to buy me a whole new trove of tools to get that job done – new shovels, a wheelbarrow, industrial-size tubes of Ben-Gay, etc.

Still, I persisted in warning her of further cautions from the Chinese New Year astrologers. I started by reminding her that her parents are avid Tai Chi practitioners, but my torturously convoluted explanation about why that mattered to our landscaping plans was dead in the water when she gave me that look that means “You are seriously dumber than my elbow OR a hot rock.”

She wasn’t dissuaded either by the website saying that, throughout this Horse year, everyone should “avoid disturbing energies in the north with major digging outside.” Thus, the enormous, time-consuming, and physically laborious landscaping overhaul that she wants me to do in our back – and north-facing – yard is still “all systems go.”

There was one glimmer of good news in my Horse-oscope however; one astrologer says that the Horse is “a portent for romance luck for those born under the signs of the Snake, Rooster and Ox.” And I’m a rooster! I mentioned this – with my best seductive stare – to my wife, who asked where I’d heard it. I told her the honest truth – from a Foon Chik. Whereupon she conked me with her elbow and a hot rock.