Celia Rivenbark

From the Belle Tower | Ready to celebrate Red Fire Monkey Year

While most of you were enjoying the Super Bowl with family and friends or maybe getting a jump on doing your taxes last week, I was focused on one thing and one thing only: The start of the Chinese New Year. Finally, it’s my time. 2016 is the Year of the Monkey and, for those of us born in the monkey years, this is very good news indeed.

I hate it for the rest of y’all snakes, roosters, rats, dragons, etc. 2016 is all monkey all the time and I intend to crush it. But wait, there’s more! This is also the Red Fire Monkey Year, and, no, that is not a Trump barb. Turns out that raging fire is a symbol of joy and intensity in the Chinese horoscope, not just the unhappy and inevitable result of the union of drunk redneck and turkey fryer.

There is reason for some concern, of course. Year of the Monkey types are said to offend Tai Sui, the God of Age. I plan to avoid this by using lots of extra Tai Clinique, particularly in my unlucky neck area. Chinese New Year scholars say that we can avoid Tai Sui’s wrath by “putting on best behavior all 365 days of the year.”

This sounds a little simplistic. I mean, shouldn’t we always be on best behavior, not just because Tai Sui is out there watching when we are short-tempered with the molasses-slow cashier or when we steal our neighbor’s cable? Just as a for instance, of course. I would never yell at a cashier.

According to the Chinese New Year experts, we monkey people can easily and effectively counter any bad luck by wearing “lots of white and gold.” I’m not sure this works for me but it certainly seems to have done wonders for the Pope, so why not?

Unlucky colors for us monkeys are red and pink because “fire colors weaken metal colors like white and gold.” This sounds a little rock-paper-scissors to me but whatevs. To date, my only unlucky color is “Duke blue” so this will be a nice change.

While you might wonder why I care so much about my monkey year, you have to understand that all Southerners are hugely superstitious. We can’t help ourselves. From the time I could walk, I was advised to “never stand under a ladder or you’ll be an old maid!” Black cats crossing in front of my car over the years have resulted in me pulling over and making “X”s on the windshield as quickly and efficiently as possible. If you try to hand me a salt shaker instead of simply placing it on the table and nudging it towards me, I will just assume you seriously want me to die at midnight.

Even Baptist Southerners believe in feng shui. (“Your coat closet is a-blockin’ your wealth path,” a friend once sorrowfully told me.)

Happy Red Fire Monkey Year to all! I can’t hardly wait.

Celia Rivenbark is the New York Times best-selling author of “Rude B****** Make Me Tired.” Visit www.celiarivenbark.com.