Oh, man. This is not going well. I can’t wait for 2025. Now, that’s going to be a cracker of a year.
Perhaps I should take a closer look at this one before writing it off completely.
The United Nations has bravely taken a stand and declared 2024 the International Year of Camelids. My first thought was that the Camelids must be a stateless ethnic group persecuted for their religious or political beliefs. Driven out of their homeland by genocidal maniacs. I raised my glass. “Viva, Camelids, viva! From the river to the sea, the Camelids will be free!”
Later, I googled Camelids to find out more about these brutally oppressed people. Turns out Camelids are members of the camel family. Even-toed ungulates, not that anyone cares how many toes they have. They include llamas, alpacas and two Spanish-speaking cousins who nobody outside the Andes understands. The entire family has a reputation for being ill-tempered brutes. They will spit in your face as soon as look at you. Worse than Russians.
You can either ride them or knit jerseys out of them. Apart from that, they’re useless.
Last year, it was the International Year of Millets. A safe bet, you might think. And yet there was an outcry from the anti-millet brigade: “Stop shoving these small-grained grasses down our throats! We want burgers.”
The discussion at the General Assembly this year?
“Delegates, we must at all costs avoid offending anyone this year. We can’t afford a repeat of the fiasco caused by the milletants. Any suggestions?”
“Er, how about the Year of Not Bombing Children?” said Dave.
“Shut up, Dave. Anyone else?”
“Camels. You can’t get safer than camels.”
“Tricky. One hump or two? Wouldn’t want to offend the humpists.”
“Make it the whole bunch, then.”
“Excellent. All in favour of Camelids, say aye.”
“We find the pronoun I offensive…”
“Shut up, Karen.”
The UN noted that “camelids are an important livelihood for millions of poor families that live in the most hostile ecosystems of the earth”. Helping poor families or fixing hostile ecosystems will have to wait. It’s important to make sure the sensitive camels are okay. Poor little darlings.
Right. Moving to China. Which we will all have to do one day when they finally accumulate all the world’s food and minerals.
According to the Chinese horoscope, 2024 is the Year of the Wood Dragon. This is excellent news. The world was never in better shape than when dragons roamed the skies. Put a foot wrong and the next thing you know, a dragon is belching fire into your house. Of course, a Wood Dragon might not be as effective as, say, a Steel Dragon. They might keep setting themselves alight, for all we know.
The dragon is reportedly one of the most powerful animals in the Chinese zodiac. That may be, but it’s a pretty low bar if you consider the rest of the crew includes a rat, rabbit and rooster.
The Chinese say it will bring growth, success, prosperity, happiness and abundance for everyone. But they have lied to us before. How come there’s no animal in their horoscope that brings a year of pestilence, horror and deprivation? Seems rigged.
If you’re reluctant to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year because you don’t want to be seen supporting a ruthless communist dictatorship, you can always support the alcohol companies. The Johnnie Walker Blue Year of the Wood Dragon 2024 Edition will set you back a mere R6 600. It will also set you back when it comes to making rational decisions. The good news is that it “embodies the vitality and imaginative spirit of the Wood Dragon”. If there’s one thing whisky-makers know, it’s how to capture the essence of dragon.
But as you embark on your “luxurious taste journey”, spare a thought for those who aren’t drinking “a harmonious medley of honey, dried fruits, and smoky oak both on the nose and palate, leading to a warm, enduring finish”. Might as well start the new year with a better class of hangover.
Meanwhile, the highly respected Pantone Institute, which continues to do excellent work in a field that is of absolutely no use to humanity, has declared its pick for colour of the year. Brace yourselves, girls. It’s “Peach Fuzz”. Despite it not being a legitimate colour and a bit icky in its pubescent connotations, the experts say it is “velvety,” “gentle” and “subtly sensual”. My whole life I’ve been looking for a woman with those qualities. Turns out all I needed was a colour.
Pantone’s Leatrice Eiseman says Peach Fuzz “captures our desire to nurture ourselves and others” and “echoes our innate yearning for closeness and connection”. It also “resonates with compassion and offers a tactile embrace…”.
It’s obvious what needs to happen here. Dress Hamas and Israeli soldiers in Peach Fuzz uniforms and in no time at all, peace and love will break out. Thank you, Pantone. Have a Nobel Prize.