Having been born in August 1984 I fall squarely in the year of the rat (a wood rat to be precise) according to the Chinese lunar calendar. A single cycle takes 12 years to complete and with the 2008 lunar year just beginning we’ve now moved into the year of the rat which, according to superstition, will be particularly unlucky for yours truly (good thing I’m not superstitious!).
I find Wikipedia’s definition of rat people attributes particularly amusing:
“Being the first sign of the Chinese zodiacs, rats are leaders, pioneers and conquerors. They are charming, passionate, charismatic, practical and hardworking. Rat people are endowed with great leadership skills and are the most highly organised, meticulous, and systematic of the twelve signs. Intelligent and cunning at the same time, rats are highly ambitious and strong-willed people who are keen and unapologetic promoters of their own agendas, which often include money and power…
Behind the smiles and charm, rats can be terribly obstinate and controlling, insisting on having things their way no matter what the cost. These people tend to have immense control of their emotions, which they may use as a tool to manipulate and exploit others, both emotionally and mentally. Rats are masters of mind games and can be very dangerous, calculative and downright cruel if the need arises. Quick-tempered and aggressive, they will not think twice about exacting revenge on those that hurt them in any way. Rats need to learn to relax sometimes, as they can be quite obsessed with detail, intolerant and strict, demanding order, obedience, and perfection.”
Perhaps there is something in all this nonsense after all?! I found the last point particularly apt!