The Year of the Horse isn’t a euphemism

Wednesday 12 February 2014, 3.40am HKT

The horse-head proposes

9pm local time, 8°C (45°F), overcast and chilly

THIS is my long-promised but SRSLY delayed Chinese New Fear Year post for the Year of the Woodchip Particleboard Horse.

The Chinese Year of the Wood Horse (Whores?) began a whole week ago last Friday (31 Jan) at 23h00 Hong Kong time (Thursday, 30 Jan, 16h00 UTC).

With that kind of delay, anybody could reasonable hit back that I might as well put out a 2014 Christmas post instead. Point taken.

Interestingly, the original ‘lede’ was to have been “Torommow will be…”

Yes, folks, ‘torommow’ is the latest Hong Kong spelling of ‘tomorrow.’ So now my readers are hip, flip and no blip in the hip-speak scene.

Like all Horse years, this year will be a year of horsetrading.


(Some words and pictures offensive to prudes, or exciting to w@nkers)

(All images throughout this post via Imgur)

Fast and Furious Amish drift via Imgur

Whoagg! Whoagg! Euphemism Alert!

Horsetrading, a.k.a. horse dealing.

Horse traders capitalise on the difficulties of judging the merits of a horse offered for sale as an opportunity (euphemistically called the ‘spread’) for underhand or dishonest dealing. Ergo, “funny business” or simply “horsetrading.”

Learn to bust the Chinese codewords. The language of the horoscopes — much like the language of love — is couched in euphemisms to dress up The Bullshit For The Bread, if you get my meaning.

If memory serves, Mrs Thatcher back in the 1980s once characterised the German mentality as one fluctuating wildly between aggression and self-doubt. In a similar vein, the Chinese mindset would veer from the euphemistic (sanitised?) to the up-your-fanny blunt.

This post should be a good test of your eye for horse-shite.

Protip:— The really good bit of this post is the section “Horse people and Horse years.”

General horsetrading principles

Titan Uranus - Tighten Your Anus

This is the bit where I indoctrinate you saps with self-invented crap to lull you into thinking I’m giving y’all — sorry, I mean all of you — some exotic, esoteric interpredtashun of The Oracles of the Ancient Wisdom of Snake Oil and Diluted Wonton Soup.

First of all, the mnemonic for 2014 is…

We won a butt.

The number of letters correspond to the numbers 2-0-1-4. ‘Won’ and ‘nun’ are reserved for zero. Should tell you quite a bit about how this year is going to turn out.

desire to know more intensifies

The Chinese zodiac has 12 animal signs.

The Naked Listener’s very own mnemonic for the proper order of battle is:—

“Reactive Oily Type Reagents Drip Slowly, Hitting Students Massively, Ruining Decent People”

The actual animal signs, plus their ACTUAL qualities from ACTUAL observation:—

Rat (“Rat Fink,” predictably)
Ox (“Buttf*ck Bullshitter”) — the Buffalo to the Vietnamese
Tiger (“Tightwad Tiger”)
Rabbit (“Rabid Rabbit”) — the Cat to the Viets
Dragon (“Dopefiend Dragon”)
Snake (“Sly-as-a-Fox Snake”)
Horse (“Headbanger Horse”)
Sheep (“Sado-Masochistic Sheep”) — the Ram to V.C. Charlie
Monkey (“Moneygrubbing Monkey”) — the most ‘inhuman’ of all the signs
Rooster (“Roustabout Rooster”) — or Chicken McFuggit to everybody else
Dog (“Double-Talk Dog”)
Pig (“Picky Pig”) — the Boar to the Viets (and ’Nam vets)

Interestingly, Chinese Muslims will say that they were born in the year of the hai (亥) to avoid saying ‘pig.’

Statistical trivia:I’ve done Spearman’s rank correlation coefficients for the signs and their observed qualities (the adjectives above). High correlation — too hard to relay the calculations here. “Correlation doesn’t imply causation” is of course the conventional dictum to stop statisticians from using correlation to infer a causal relationship between variables.

Chinese New Year Symbols - The 12 Animals

We’re taking here about six farm animals (Ox, Rabbit, Horse, Sheep, Rooster, Pig), two households (Rat, Dog), three wilds (Tiger, Snake, Monkey) and one mythical (Dragon). No water or hard-shelled creatures in the Chinese zodiac. (The snake, biologically speaking, is a land animal, even though water snakes exist.)

Add to that are those five elements (metal, earth, fire, wood, water), each spazzing out the animals to produce various psycho-narcotic effects on the person and the year.

All ground up into pieces and fed to the proverbial cat.

Hhaaoow, hhaaoow, hhaaaooowww … *burp* *farts*

In short, in the Chinese universe, human beings are livestock, wildcards, household pets or vermin, or a figment of one’s imagination, all under some kind of substance abuse — a pretty accurate representation of the whole human race.

Dirty Harry "Go ahead..."

You live through 5 sets of Chinese zodiacs in a lifetime.

Assuming you don’t hyperventilate regularly and live to age 60, your lifetime should cover five sets of animal years (60 divided by 12 equals 5). A person of ‘normal’ luck should cover at least three sets. Most people die around 65, so most don’t make the full sixth set.

Sonny Crockett Infinity Sunglasses

I’ve covered almost four full sets already, mainly because I’m 66% lucky.

Each animal sign and each animal year is ruled by its own element that provides characteristics for the person and for the year … Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz *snorg*

The bollocks from the Ancient Chinese Department of ASSTROLLOGY has it that there are five elements (metal, earth, fire, wood, water). The ancient ARSETROLLOGERS deliberately make things complicated so that we’d be forced to pay them to explain the bollocks. I can’t be arsed to lay out the whole caboodle, because it all sounds more like substance abuse.

I’d just deleted 14 whole paragraphs from here for that very reason because no one’s going to read that shite. This Chinese zodiac prank doesn’t tally with anything seen in real life. Everyone’s a psycho anyway. Yer pays yer money, yer picks yer merchandise, I guess.

I want to believe

Last time I checked, nothing beats the nourishment of cold, hard cash because money controls everything.

Last time I checked, nothing represses your verve and life force more than your girlfriend or wife. Your nagging mother-in-law or homoerotic father-in-law represses everything else.

I'll buy that for a dollar!

Wood people and Wood years

This year is a Wood (, mu) year. So 2014 a chopping block and Wood people are clogs. Ain’t that enough said…

Clogs … ahem, people born under the Wood element … will have the following EUPHEMISTIC qualities (and what they actually mean):—

(Traits can be strengths or weaknesses, depending on your gullibility)

Warm and sociable (invades your space)
Innately kind and compassionate (bleeding hearts)
Altruistic, empathetic and sensitive to others (they think everyone’s selfish)

Understanding (‘nosey-parkery’)
Ethical, has high morals (they think they’re too damned good for you)
Self-confident (self-centred more like)

Finds it easy to make friends (camwhore sluts)
Generous, finds it easy to share (you pay, I share)
Adaptable (flexible morals)

Diplomatic (cagey)
Cooperative, able to work with others (as in you carry their workload instead)
Socially conscious (they accuse you of gossiping about them)

Good at prioritising or categorising work (you do THEIR work first)
Always keen to grow (back the hell off, or else)
Tendency to over-commit, don’t know boundaries (they’ll tread on you)

Can quit things easily (if there’s nothing in it for them, sayonara!)
Too passive (you go first and take the heat for them)
Indecisive, fickle (you decide, you carry the can)

Tend to waste money (“Why not? It’s not mine, innit?”)

Get the picture, bro?

[You’re fired for too many tendencies. Now move along.—Editor.]

My friend drew this for our Chinese New Year party

(Click on picture for larger size if blind … ahem, if with Non-Optimal Visual Operability)

Horse people and Horse years

Learn to read the annual general meeting agenda of the Ancient Chinese Metaphorical Language Society.

The complete catalogue of Horse Manure horse years are:—

1918 — Earth Horse — Spanish flu
1930 — Metal Horse — mass civil disobedience began in British India
1942 — Water Horse — heaviest, most sadistic fighting in all theatres in WW2
1954 — Wood Horse — Dien Bien Phu
1966 — Fire Horse — USA increases disfigurement of South Vietnam
1978 — Earth Horse — Israelis invade Lebanon (Operation Litani)
1990 — Metal Horse — the euro (€) comes into circulation
2002 — Water Horse — the Open Skies mutual surveillance treaty comes into force
2014 — Wood Horse — the post-apocalyptic Ukrainian riots
2026 — Fire Horse — Heinz von Förster’s predicted technological singularity occurs

They’re all BAD years. Google for details.

“Things never happen the same way twice,” so says Aslan (‘The Tales of Narnia: Prince Caspian’). Too bad it doesn’t apply to Horse years.

Let’s now decode the language of the Chinese horoscopes for the Horse.

melon fragmentation at 2500 fps

“The Horse is active and energetic.”

The GIF (‘jiff’) above is a practical representation of what “active and energetic” means. It’s code for a rollercoaster ride. Or explosive, at 2,500 fps.

My vérifier la réalité (British-style French for ‘reality check’): Horse years are “not memorable” — read DON’T WANT IN MEMORY BECAUSE OF AWFULNESS. Every damned Horse year I’ve ever had has been singularly ghastly. And every damned person seems to have selective, blinkered, idealised memory of their clusterfuque Horse years. Phoque yeau.

2014 is the Year of the Horse - Imgur

“The Horse has plenty of sex appeal and know how to dress.”

Code for intrigue, subterfuge and conspiracy. Sex is usually a private affair (give or take), so sex appeal is something that appeals to the private in us. Private stuff that ends up in the public eye is invariably scandalous (but celebrated). So expect scandals to fill this Horse year. Look at French President Hollande as (tame) proof of concept.

ukraine riots 2014

“The Horse loves to be in the crowd and usually likes to be seen in concerts, meetings, etc.”

Code for anything (often the bad) that affects EVERYBODY because everybody’s a crowd. Like the song goes, “It’s my party and I wanna cry if I want to…” Check out the Ukraine riots for painful proof of concept. Or try the American network news rendition of it (i.e. talking endlessly about Justin Bieber’s incarceration and eventual deportation, which Canada refuses).

I’m running out of ways to describe the post-apocalyptic imagery from BOTH situations.

take the horse

“The Horse is quick-witted and inB4 (in before) you’ve had the chance to finish your words…”

Code for impulsive and impetuous; not thinking of consequences; “you’re in the goddamn way.” The human version of the remote-control drone airstrike. If still waters run deep, anyone who’s ever worked with horses will know only a horse would jump over anything remotely dangerous-looking. Quick-witted my Aunt Fanny.

Horse and carriage - Imgur

“The Horse is gifted.”

*Sighs* *Waves palms shoulder-level sarcastically in Jewish-Italian fashion*

Every darn Chinese horoscope says every animal sign is “gifted.” Gifted with what?! The gab? Bitcoins? Muscular dystrophy? Multiple condom-wearing? We’re all gifted in SOMETHING, even if it’s just being a right royal pain in the butt.

Most Chinese horoscopes brand the Horse as more cunning than intelligent. I can certainly vouch for the accuracy of that. ALL of the Horses I know are like that. The difference is that my Horses are cunning BUT NICE. Your mileage may vary.

If true, then assume the world this year will operate chiefly on low cunning, which makes for a great rocky ride to fall off the cliff edge on.

demotiv drive me closer kill with sword

“The Horse is born to race or travel, so they usually leave home young.”

Not to be a noodge, but the words “leave home young” is a very, very Chinese euphemism for dying early. The last Horse years were 12 and 24 years ago (2002 and 1990). Our American cousins be reminded that 24 is the average age of soldiers still in the Middle East campaign theatre of the American-Democracy-Is-Coming-Titan-Uranus War. Draw your own conclusions. Update life insurance policy. Stock up on K-Y Jelly.

“The average of the U.S. soldier in Vietnam is n-n-n-nineteen…”

Leonard Nimoy bein' a rebel

“The Horse’s inner self remains rebellious and despises being pressured to act.”

Polite-speak for getting into scraps. The Horse has a hard time belonging. Shove it a little and the Horse wallops you. That’s how Saturday Night Square-Ups get started. Expect this Horse year to have lots of fights — in the streets (Ukraine? Singapore?), in courthouses, and between countries. Lots of contestations this year. Just witness the escalating kerfuffle between China and Japan over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, and the growing anti-China stance of the U.S. government.

American flag, made in Great Britain

“The Horse wants to belong but burdened by the need for independence.”

Probably the best-ever PR-speak for Captain Jack Sparrow’s line — “take what you can, give nothing back.” It’s like saying you crave intimacy yet feel cornered — love the sex, hate the commitment. Remember the Eurhythmics?

Sweet dreams are made of this
Who am I to disagree
I travel the world and the seven seas
Everybody’s looking for something

Some of them want to use you
Some of them want to get used by you
Some of them want to abuse you
Some of them want to be abused

mad as hell and can't take this anymore

“The Horse is hot-blooded, hot-headed and impatient, and an egoist.”

Not sure about those claims. Whatever. Horses are EGOTISTICAL enough and only interested in issues related to their own selves. Altruism, they can’t take it anymore… Bank on people and countries to be even more self-serving than normal this year.

Statue at Cathedral Monreale, Palermo, Italy

“The Horse is a worker and a good financier, adept at handling money.”

As one who works with financial types on a daily basis, I tell you that is no longer a code for me for financial horsetrading. (I can’t discuss my work or I’d be supoena’d under insider trading rules.) Suffice it to say — prove me wrong at the end of this year, but I predict there’d be lots of financial scams and scandals. Which isn’t very different from any other year.

Dad used to say, those who handle your money will have power over your money. Grandpa went one step further and PROVED to me how it’s done with MY pocket money. I know a financial shenanigan a mile off.

waterdrops calmly ignoring all laws of physics

“The Horse is famous for suddenly losing interest on something.”

You’ve staked out a ‘mark.’ You’ve finally got the poor sod’s moolah in hand. Are you going to be interested in the mug? I won’t. Neither should you. Go on the lam double-quick instead.

So, for this year, expect people to be ditching everyone faster than a switching the lights on in a room and seeing a haggard whore suffering from leprosy turning tricks between your legs.

Yeah, it’ll be THAT abrupt.

Useless factoid:— You’ll fall asleep if you remain motionless for 15 minutes. Zzzzz…


“In their relationship with the opposite sex, the Horse is weak.”

Male, female and in-betweens, make your own adjustments! Either you need Pfizer Inc.’s help (Viagra: invented in the UK) or get a auxiliary intimate device.

Joking side, I think womenfolk are in for a hard time this Horse year (sorry for the pun). If “relationship” is anything a euphemism per Chinese thinking, then human trafficking is going to get worse this year.

It IS a goddamn disaster. Missing persons, THREE MILLION worldwide already. Over 30 million in some form of slavery today — more than the rest of history combined. (UN figures during the U.S. National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, 11 Jan 2011.)

Governments! Do you goddamn job that we paid you for!

One a scale of 1 to ‘Silent Hill: Revelation,’ how safe and free do you feel tonight?

deformed person

“The Horse has many contradictory traits: proud yet sweet-natured, arrogant yet modest, envious yet tolerant, conceited but humble.”

Means ‘double-faced’ in Chinese. So plenty of lies and lying this Horse year. From you (and especially from me).

If this is YOUR year…

If you’re born a Horse, you’re in luck. You’re either 12 years old or 24. If 36 or older, the unhappy news is you’re on (or past) your last legs pulling chicks or fishing studs, whichever is your biology or taste.

Assuming you’re actually older than the age of sexual deviance consent (a.k.a. legal drinking age or ‘car crash age’), the below is your supposed compatibility with the other animals (or animal signs, whichever you prefer):—

(100 = most compatible, 1 = least compatible)

Decent Dog (92) — Dogs are compatible with everyone, being housetrained anyway

Tightwad Tiger (86) — Good enough, lots in common (e.g. moneygrubbing)

Sadistic Sheep (82) — No boredom here: one loves giving pain, the other likes getting it

Sly Snake (78) — Strong attraction, like a python suffocating a horse to death

Phuck-it Pig (70) — Worth a shot, since lazy and stupid piglet is easy to control

Whorish Horse (70) — You already know how egotistical he/she is already, so no problem

Dickbreath Dragon (63) — Steamy but won’t last (both too rebellious and unthinking)

Roustabout Rooster (58) — Advisable only if one of you is pregnant or ungetoutofable

Rabid Rabbit (52) — Just friendzone, period

Obscene Ox (37) — Will part, and expensively; he’s a right bullshitter and she’s a cow

Mental Monkey (31) — Not advised: the egotistical always loses out to the psychopathic

Rate-Ratchetting Rat (29) — For pete’s sakes, don’t hitch with anyone smarter in money matters than you are (assuming you’re the moneyed one)

Horsehead claps I Love It from Tomskas via Imgur

Interestingly, I was born in the Year of the Giraffe, so I’m most compatible with Wombats, Hamsters, other Giraffes, and the proverbial Vino Tinto.

For the curious (or superstitious), find out what your Chinese zodiac sign says at the China Travel Guide — it’s darn accurate in a way-off sort of way.


Lots of people get the impression I must be a big fan of this horoscope stuff, simply because I’d written big TL;DR posts about it (this, that and the other) and seem to know it well enough.

It’s actually horseshite and whoreshite for me.

I come from a family whose members mostly have behaviours that tally with those of a renegade used-car salesman operating in a redneck, rain-drenched, rust-ridden area. (They’re mostly architects, designers and diplomats.) So I know bullshit by smell if not sight.

But … this crap IS such good, clean, PG-rated, entertaining bullshit that it makes for great horsing around with my friends and readers.

Now I have to sod off to my brandy, boiled meats and honey chicken flavoured crisps because today Hong Kong is colder (8°C/46°F) than Sochi in Russia (12°C/54°F).

Monty Python "Did you enjoy that?"

Again, all images in this post via Imgur.



© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2014. (B14040)

4 Responses to “The Year of the Horse isn’t a euphemism”

  1. Ed Hurst said

    Hilarious! I came in a monkey year and I don’t think I’m anything like it, probably because I wasn’t born in the proper shaping environment. Good stuff, though.


  2. I look forward to your annual assessment of the Chinese astrological implications for the coming year. Once again you have excelled yourself with wit that is intermingled with no nonsense analysis. Well done.


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