by Paula Dempsey
A little before dawn on Friday 21st December I was awoken by the sound of thunder. It felt like the cowshed roof was about to cave in. Mindful of the date, I hoofed it outside expecting to see the sky roiling and the drinking trough boiling, the face of a wrathful deity looming in the sky and the Rapture unrolling in glorious Technicolor.
I was relieved to find all was well in the farmyard. The sky was quickly assuming the usual leaden grey of late December and I saw nothing to report in the way of supernatural occurrences. There was, however, a terrific banging and crashing from the old barn. Thinking it was a funny time of day for the farmer to try a spot of DIY I trotted over for a quick moo. Hamish the Hieland Coo was already there, sporting his natty tartan dressing-gown.
“It’s Marigold” he shouted over the racket. “She’s got a rush job on. Something to do with the Long Cownt”. Regular readers may remember Marigold, a New Age flake of a Guernsey who runs her own mail order tat business. Marigold’s much taken with Moo Age predictions about the end of the Mayan Long Count so I wasn’t surprised that she was behaving even more oddly than usual. Thinking that she was probably building some kind of bunker, I investigated.
I could hardly squeeze through the barn door because of an enormous block of sandstone which almost filled the place. Attacking it in enthusiastic fashion with mallet and chisel was Marigold, attired in a beret and smock. Obviously something artistic was in the offing, but I do wish the silly cow would confine herself to pen and ink sketches or perhaps a little dodgy poetry during the hours of darkness.
In the dim light of a hurricane lamp I could see that the block had been roughly shaped into a circle onto which Marigold was inscribing intricate glyphs of cows being heroic, humans being trampled underhoof and so on.
“Marigold!”, I remonstrated. She looked at me with big cow eyes. “Moo, this is my new marketing idea. I’m producing authentic Mayan long cownt calendars for the next ba’ak’tun. As they’re hand-crafted I’ll make a decent profit. On the other hand, shipping’s a bit pricy.”
“Have you had many orders?” I asked faintly.
Her face lit up. “Just sixty-seven more to do”. Oh dear. Bring on the roiling and boiling…
Although I don’t subscribe to Marigold’s Apocowlyptic predictions, I do believe that there has been a significant energy shift at the end of the Mayan Long Cownt. So how does this affect you? Read on for Old Moo’s Almanack 2013…
Ranger – 22 December – 20 January
Rangers will love the Moo Age as humankind starts to get in touch with nature once again. You will feel the need to make a grand gesture to commemorate the great world shift. Turning Central Park into the Great New York Forest is a great idea, but I predict a long and bloody conflict with city planners. Start small. Plant a window box.
Traveller – 20 January – 19 February
As Travellers have a voracious appetite for adventure, you might find all the upcoming peace and harmony a tad boring. Might I suggest a trip to Nibaru, otherwise known as Planet X, which has been lurking on the other side of the Sun for quite some time (allegedly)? You’ll only need enough fuel for a one-way trip; it’s due to crash into Earth any minute so you’ll get a free ride back.
Burrows 20 February – 20 March
Hello? Hello, Burrows? Hello?? You can come out now, it’s 2013. Nothing bad has happened. You are OK. Everyone is OK. Really, we are! Helloooooo!
Oh for heaven’s sake, get out of bed you dumb bunny! The Cows-mic shift is over, the new cycle has started and it’s great for Burrows. More peace, love and fluffiness than you can shake your shaman’s rattle at. Now stop being such a scaredy-cat and ENJOY LIFE!
NB Longer term trends point to an increase in indigenous wildlife as improved ecological practices take effect, so you might get chased by a bear in September. Wear protective clothing.
Orcs 21 March – 20 April
Anxiety is high amongst Orcs in the early part of the year. Wars decline, armies are disbanded and it’s all so darned quiet that they may feel a loss of purpose. Fear not, bold warriors! Green power has need of your natural anti-social tendencies. Give an Orc enough baked beans and a windmill and he can light a small town for a week. In the Moo Age, it’s from each according to his ability and all that.
Gurps 21 April – 21 May
Change. Change, yes! Change, wonderful! What was that again?
Gurps are extraordinarily mutable so will either accommodate the December 2012 energy shift without turning a hair or be thoroughly discombobulated by it. Gurps with a flair for business will be quick to exploit new opportunities and will be especially alert to coming trends between April and June when Mercury conjuncts Jupiter, signifying expansion and speedy communication. As you’ve probably gathered, Gurps with a creative bent will do well for the next 4000 years or so. If you’re not particularly creative, might I recommend evening classes?
Shoggoth 22 May – 21 June
Dear Shoggoths, you have my sympathy. I am genuinely sorry for you, Shoggoths. My face is wet with tears for your plight and my heart glows with pity for you.
I pity you because your evil plans have come to nought! The stars won’t be right for millennia! Be gone, foul fiends, to the odious miasma from whence you came, far beyond our galaxy! Dump your cowpats in someone else’s toy box! You are vanquished!
Hamish, the sherry. I feel a bit faint.
Frodo 22 June – 22 July
Think back to December 2012 when Frodos around the world gathered in large numbers in dark places. It was a siege of sorts. Food was plentiful but expensive with the Frodo diet limited to boiled sausages and puffed up grain products.
But it’s 2013 now. The Sun is in the ascendant in the first house of Frodo. You’ve all seen The Hobbit and it’s time to venture out of the cinema and make the most of your new-found popularity. Now is the time to find your very own Galadriel, to battle your personal demons or just be utterly elfish. Everything you touch turns to gold, you lucky things. Ah, the precious!
Werewolf 23 July – 22 August
Werewolves are creatures with a close connection to nature but, unlike Rangers with whom they have a lot in common, represent nature red in tooth and claw. The Moo Age is difficult for you. I foresee a time when we all eat vegetables, not meat (Not cows at least. You can eat sheep. Sheep are dumb.). I foresee a time when howling at the moon will be banned under noise abatement laws and the worst you could do is shake a tambourine at it.
But salvation is at hand. There will be very many more wild woods where you can live out an idyllic pastoral existence free of interference from lesser humans. Start now. You’ll need a tent, a sleeping bag, a plot of land and some acorns. Thirty years from now, you will reap your reward. Unless Nibiru turns up.
Cugel 23 August – 23 September
Hands up who was selling travel packages to remote French villages. Hands up who wrote those 2012 Prophecy books. Hands up, Cugels. As new planetary forces bring us a more ethical approach, you’ll find your particular form of laissez faire capitalism isn’t popular in these here parts no more. As the Sun is very unlikely to go out in the foreseeable future, you have some issues to deal with.
You are, I feel, fated to remain psychically in the last age, the Age of Pisces, two fish swimming in different directions, pulling and straining, never getting anywhere. But Cugels are survivors and I’m sure your ingenuity will out. You’re probably planning 2015 Prophecy books now, or brokering dodgy land deals to Werewolves with fur for brains.
Ninja 24 September – 23 October
Ninjas are tricky at this time of year. They don’t so much let the New Year in as ambush it down a dark alley, wrap it in a blanket and haul it off up the M1 in an unmarked Ford Transit. Their innate ability to blend in with their surroundings combined with a zen attitude to life means they’ll take the apocalypse in their stride.The sun and stars going out would provide an awesome level of concealment. Goodness knows what they’ll get up to in eternal darkness. And if it doesn’t happen, they’ve already made contingency plans to be all mysterious round the Dog and Duck.
Dork 24 October – 22 November
It’s early January and Dorks are confused. Very many of them are, in fact, unable to leave their bedsits / room at Mum’s. So much computing time has been given to testing various Mayan calendar hypotheses that they are drowning under burnt-out disk drives and yards of printer paper.
More than most, Dorks were looking forward to the end of the world. An imminent apocalypse might just be enough to get that nice blonde girl on the Superdrug checkout to let them at least as far as second base. Who cares if the world ends tomorrow if you’ve fully sampled life’s rich tapestry today, even if it was behind the bins at the Arndale Centre?
But now it’s early January. I predict ongoing confusion until Venus leaves their sign in May. And ongoing sexual frustration until, ooh, 2117 ish?
Vampire 23 November – 21 December
It’s just not your day is it? Yes, we’re still here. Well, I’m pleased if you’re not. Miserable buggers.
Happy Moo Year to all you gamers! Moo for now.