Thank God The Year Of The Monkey Is OverCommentary • World • Opinion • human interest • china • ISSUE 41•09 • Mar 2, 2005 By Brian Kang Brian Kang Boy, that was some great New Year season this year. I suppose I shouldn't have drunk as much as I did at my friend's Lantern Festival, but I was in the mood to really cut loose. Everyone says the Year of the Monkey is the year of success, filled with unexpected opportunities for all. What a load of crap. The Year of the Monkey couldn't have ended fast enough for me. Everyone's like, "Year of the Monkey—that's one of the best astrological years, full of energy and vitality." Some parents even make an effort to conceive so that their kid'll be born in that year. I'm sorry, but last year sucked. I knew it the second I dropped the Prosperity Cake on the ground at the reunion dinner. My sister was like, "But each Year of the Monkey brings new, unconventional ways of doing things." That's so true! My boss found a new and unconventional way to fire me. He told me that the way things were going, cutbacks were inevitable, so they had to let me go. Mind you, he didn't say they were strapped just yet, just that they were going to be. That's unconventional, all right! Thank you, Glorious Monkey. You piece of shit. Plus, my landlord told me one week into the year that my building was being turned into a bakery. What a blessing! I was kicked out of my apartment for a new, "unconventional" reason. Monkey, my ass. "People born in the Year of the Monkey are fun and carefree." So true! The year produced my new roommate Ben, a drunken halfwit who slept through an entire semester of art-history classes and then complained to me for three hours when he got an "F." If a roulette wheel were completely black, the monkey would put his money on red. If the monkey ran the country, we'd be too busy holding cockfights to think about running schools and building roads. My dad was born in the Year of the Monkey, but he's hardly what I'd call lively, unless you call watching television every waking moment of your life lively. At the beginning of last year, I had to deal with him acting like he was Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi all of a sudden. Every time he needed something done, it was like, "Hey Brian, come change this light bulb. After all, it's my year!" Then he'd laugh like it was the funniest joke he'd ever heard. I guess I thought it was funny on Jan. 22, but by June, I was tired of being his indentured servant. By that time, he'd just point at a burned-out light bulb without even looking up from Wheel Of Fortune. Oh, I got dumped last year, too. Did I mention that? I met this woman who was great. We were clicking like nobody's business, and I really thought we had something going when she asked me what year I was born. I told her 1978, and she was quiet for a while before she said, "That's the Year of the Horse, isn't it?" I knew I was done for. She told me we'd have major compatibility issues because she was born in the Year of the Monkey. Fucking hell, she could have just said she didn't like me, but she had to pull that year-of-the-monkey business out of her ass. I suppose she thought she was letting me down easy. Well, I sure hope the Year of the Rooster is better. The Year of the Rooster is characterized by overconfidence and bad judgment. Fine by me. With that as a backdrop, those of us with our heads on our shoulders—we horses and rats and so on—will be given a chance to really shine. So hopefully, things will turn around this year. But here's an early warning: Don't try calling me in 2016, because I'll be staying in bed the entire shitty year.