spoof spaceBY STEELE CODDINGTON  | FEBRUARY 16, 2011

Chinese New Year advocates

The Chinese New Year began with the inevitable frenzy to celebrate and confirm the authenticity of astrology associated with the Chinese zodiac. February 3rd, 2011 was the beginning of the Chinese Year of the Rabbit, the fourth animal in the 12 year cycle of the all-animal Chinese zodiac. Each year corresponds to one of the 12 different animals: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Ram, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.

My interest in doing research on the subject was twofold: first, many of my student readers wondered if belief in the Chinese zodiac could improve their course grades without reducing the time they spend concen-trating on the opposite sex. Difficult question, because secretly a major drug firm is developing an over-the-counter aphrodisiac labeled “Zodiac.” So the inscrutable answer to the question is “no” because if you believe in the right zodiac, it will only intensify your obsession with the opposite sex.

The second reason for my particular interest is because, unlike the Western zodiac we are familiar with featuring both animals and humans associated with the various constellations, the Chinese zodiac contains only animals. As animal owners who avidly follow my work know, my concentration is heavily slanted toward animals – particularly dogs, about whom recent studies have uncovered unique psychological mystiques involving their ability to smell dysfunctions in many psychiatric patients. It’s good to have a dog who smells good.

So the mystery of the Chinese zodiac? It all started back in the year 2637 B.C. according to scholars with whom I recently spoke in a restaurant in San Francisco’s Chinatown, when the Emperor Huangdi decreed his subjects would hence forth use the zodiac/calendar he created. Back then you either agreed with the Emperor or committed the Chinese version of hari kari which included consumption of a bowl of brown rice grown in Yankze province which fertilized all crops with cat and human waste – and probably also explains why neither cats nor humans are included on the Chinese zodiac.

It’s been established that to fully accommodate the Chinese zodiac a believer needs to adopt all the animals included in the zodiac – which I’m trying to do through an experimental education program funded by the EPA to foster a greener environment. I already have in my zodiac family, old dog Arbuckle the talking Border Collie whose intelligence is the equivalent of a PhD from an Ivy League college. Also “Queenie” my award winning mare with the Flatulation Champion-of the-Year Award from the American Methane Society in Washington, D.C. The bird category is occupied by my parrot, aptly named “Bird,” to remind her that her dirty four letter word vocabulary is for the birds. That leaves my cat, who is unqualified as a Chinese zodiac animal, but can be squeezed in somewhere between the Pig and the Rat. Named after the famous fictional character in the James Bond novel Goldfinger Pussy Galore, we publicly refer to her as PG out of an unusual sense of propriety so as not to offend my grandmother.

That leaves only eight more animals I need to qualify as a Chinese zodiac zoo keeper, and I already have a name for my Ox – “Oxymoron” in honor of Obama’s Green Czar.

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One must read and try to understand the deep meanings in them. They are like the Ten Commandments to follow in life all the time.

1. Prayer is not a "spare wheel" that you pull out when in trouble; it is a "steering wheel" that directs us in the right path throughout life.

2. Do you know why a car's windshield is so large and the rear view mirror is so small? Because our past is not as important as our future. So, look ahead and move on.

3. Friendship is like a book. It takes few seconds to burn, but it takes years to write.

4. All things in life are temporary. If going well enjoy it, they will not last forever. If going wrong don’t worry, they can't last long either.

5. Old friends are like Gold! New friends are Diamonds! If you get a Diamond, don't forget the Gold! Because to hold a Diamond, you always need a base of Gold!

6. Often when we lose hope and think this is the end, God smiles from above and says, "Relax, sweetheart, it's just a bend, not the end!

7. When God solves your problems, you have faith in HIS abilities; when God doesn't solve your problems HE has faith in your abilities.

8. A blind person asked St. Anthony: "Can there be anything worse than losing eye sight?" He replied: "Yes, losing your vision."

9. When you pray for others, God listens to you and blesses them; and sometimes, when you are safe and happy, remember that someone has prayed for you.

10. Worrying does not take away tomorrow's troubles; it takes away today’s peace.

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