I offered some pork potstickers to Chancellor Blovovovo, but he politely declined.

“Thank you but I cannot. Not this year,” he said, wiggling a few dozen tentacles apologetically.

“Oh, right,” I said. “It’s the Year of the Pig, right?”

“Just so,” agreed the Chancellor.

“So you haven’t been eating pig all year? But before this year you did?”

“Indeed,” Blovovovo agreed cheerfully. “No ham or bacon for the past eleven months. But in the last weeks of the year of the the dog, knowing the year of the peeg was coming. I gorged myself to the gill holes on every kind of peeg flesh.”

“So what comes next? Rat, right? I guess it’s time to slam the rat sandwiches and rat pies, eh?” I chuckled.

“Not the rat,” said the Chancellor. “Recall that we merged the Earth and Sulavvian calendars a few years ago.” He spoke like a kindly schoolmaster, even as he drew at least ten knives from sheaths enfolded in his blubber.

“Not rat, then,” I said. “Huh. So what year is next year?”

“My friend,” he said, “we are about to begin the Year of the Hooman.”

I swallowed painfully, looking at the glistening weapons he carried in his tentacles.

“And you look deleeceeous,” he said.