You know how each Chinese new year ushers in a period named after one of 12 animals?
Sure. Well, if you are like me, you must have wondered. Why isn’t there a Year of the Marmot?
Is this an injustice? You can decide for yourself, after we do some head-to-head comparisons.
(But first…yes, I am aware that the Chinese new year isn’t until February.)
OK, let’s contrast the marmot with the dozen creatures of the Chinese zodiac.
Year of the Rat vs. Year of the Marmot: Isn’t this one pretty easy? I mean, which sounds better?
Year of the Ox vs. Year of the Marmot: Nothing wrong with a good ox. But naming a year after that beast seems like a stubborn embrace of Luddite values.
Year of the Tiger vs. Year of the Marmot: Tigers are great. No question. But do you really want to spend an entire year with a Hall and Oates earworm crawling around in your head? “O-Oh, here she comes. Watch out boy, she’ll chew you up.”
Year of the Rabbit vs. Year of the Marmot: Nothing against rabbits. But “Year of the Bunny” suggests a certain naivete about geopolitical reality.
Year of the Dragon vs. Year of the Marmot: Peter, Paul and Mary never sang a song about “Puff, the Magic Marmot” that made you cry and stare off into space as you contemplated how fast childhood goes by.
Year of the Snake vs. Year of the Marmot: Snakes have their place in the ecosystem but there is no need to name a year after them.
Year of the Horse vs. Year of the Marmot: Horses are terrific. I have no problem with that one.
Year of the Goat vs. Year of the Marmot: Can you imagine starting a fraternal order that never meets and calling it the Goat Lodge?
Year of the Monkey vs. Year of the Marmot: I’ve found that it is hard to relax around a monkey.
Year of the Rooster vs. Year of the Marmot: Too many Foghorn Leghorn impressions.
Year of the Dog vs. Year of the Marmot: Some years should be spayed or neutered.
Year of the Pig vs. Year of the Marmot: Cue Babs Jansen from “Animal House”: “That year is a P-I-G pig!”
Today’s Slice question: What was the best moment of 2014?