The Pun Also Rises | Happier than a pig in politics


In case you didn't know, Feb. 5 marks Chinese New Year. If you feel like the last year has been a real dog, you're 100 percent correct. Thankfully, the Year of the Dog is coming to an end. We'll be entering into the Year of the Pig, which will come as no surprise to those of you who follow politics. Although, let's be realistic, these days you can't really help it. It's more like politics follows you. Everywhere. It's sort of like a stalker. In fact, don't turn around, but I think politics is lurking behind you right now.


OK, I think we're safe. Anyway, I'm sure some of you are thinking, "We just had New Year's a month ago, do we really need another one?"

Well frankly, yes we do. I think most of us were hoping that the new year on Jan. 1 would bring many improvements and a better world, and so far 2019 really hasn't been getting it done. So I say, let's spin the zodiac wheel and try again. The Lunar New Year seems like a fantastic option for a second chance at a better new year, and instead of just a number, it comes with a cool animal.

In the Chinese Zodiac, the Year of the Pig occurs every 12 years, so if you were born in 1995, or '83, or '71, etc ... your sign is the Pig. Also according to the Chinese Zodiac, you and I would get along great. I know all of this because I studied the Chinese zodiac very seriously for many years on my place mat as I waited for the Chinese food to come to my table. Which reminds me, also according to the Chinese zodiac, I seem to have spilled some duck sauce on you. I'm sure that's metaphorical, but I'm sorry about it anyway.

Now I know that there are some of you out there who are probably thinking, "Year of the Pig? That doesn't sound very auspicious; I think the Chinese zodiac is weird." I'd like to take this opportunity to remind you that the zodiac you are probably familiar with has a sign named Cancer.

Yeah. Cancer.

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So let's not be too hasty with any negative thoughts about the Year of the Pig.

Besides, pigs are very smart animals, and in the Chinese zodiac, are associated with good fortune. They're also associated with good fortune in American slang, which is why we say someone who is making a lot of money is "bringing home the bacon" or "benefiting from pork barrel legislation" or "a greedy capitalist pig."

He's standing right behind me, isn't he.

Anyway, by now I'm sure some of you are thinking, "How does Seth keep reading my thoughts in this column? And how does he keep doing it so badly? I wasn't thinking any of these things he said. Except for this, he was right about this one. Ugh, this has been a rough year."

I agree: It has. And that's why I think we need all the chances at a better new year that we can get. So let's celebrate New Year's in January, Chinese New Year in February, Islamic New Year in August, Jewish New Year in September, and whatever other new years we have available. One of the wonderful things about being in a country with a diverse population is that you get to experience wonderful traditions, celebrations and foods, which would otherwise be unknown to you. That's the benefit of a nation of immigrants, which some people apparently ...

Dang it, he snuck up on me again.

Seth Brown of North Adams is an award-winning humor writer and the author of "From God To Verse." His website is The opinions expressed by columnists do not necessarily reflect the views of The Berkshire Eagle.


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