Scaffolding, Like a Dragon or Mantis Shrimp

Man, it sure is great living in a place where so many cultures meet and get along so well. Mostly. It’s also pretty awesome being a part of a mixed family, because we get almost double the amount of holidays and celebrations. So my Mum is second-generation Chinese, so not only do we get all the Australian celebrations, but we get Chinese New Year and all the good stuff that comes with it. And then Dad is Canadian, so…well, that’s a weird fusion, to be honest. Canada has their own version of the Zodiac, with different animals and all in a different order. So according to Mum, I was born in the year of the dragon, but Dad always corrects her and says that I’m actually in the year of the mantis shrimp.

So I do construction for a living, right? Mostly setting up worksites, putting up mobile scaffolding, that sort of thing. Whenever Mum and Dad bring up the whole zodiac thing (usually for fun), Mum always says the fact that I work in high places, platforms and scaffolding etc. is because I have the spirit of the dragon and they’re supposed to be heavenly beings. But then Dad says it’s because the mantis shrimp is aggressive and strong, which is why I went into construction and not…I don’t know. Teaching. Needlework. Not sure about that, because some of the toughest people I know are teachers, but on the other hand, you’re not going to be a good teacher if you’re constantly punching your students in the face like a mantis shrimp does.

Truth is, modern construction workers didn’t exist at the time of whoever made up the whole zodiac system, so it’s pretty open to interpretation. My sister is the year of the snake (flexibility) in the Chinese system, but the armadillo in Albajeria (rigid inflexibility). How does THAT work?

Truth is, they mean when people want them to mean. I set up aluminium work platforms because there happened to be a job opening and I like to be outside. It’s probably not because I, following my heavenly dragon instincts, or my mantis shrimp desire to deal with heavy manual labour to temper my aggression. But it makes for some interesting arguments.