Aw crap, we're in for it now!
If you believe in fung shui that is. At the annual Chinese New Year Taoist ceremony to determine the fate of Hong Kong during the Year of the Ox, the "worst possible" fortune stick, number 27, was drawn at the Che Kung temple.
That's bad juju: 27 was drawn in 1992, the Year of the Monkey, in which Hong Kong's last governor Chris Patten arrived and began tinkering with the political system, not to mention the 21 people trampled to death in a New Year's Eve stampede in Lan Kwai Fong. This time the bad luck kicked off with a fire aboard a fireworks barge in Victoria Harbour.
The unlucky stick No 27 relates to the story of Qin Shihuang, the first Qin dynasty emperor who initiated the giant and costly Great Wall construction which sparked widespread opposition among his people.
According to the fortune-teller ... stick No 27 ... indicated that Hongkongers should be cautiously optimistic about the year.
However, the fortune-teller said the city could not isolate itself from the economic turbulence affecting the rest of the world.
A fung shui master said that number 27 "signified possible conflicts between the government and its people," while the man who drew the unlucky stick said: "It is a warning to all of us that only a harmonious society with people staying united can enable us to get through our challenges."
They claim that it's the worst possible result, but it pales in comparison with number 83 drawn in 2003, the Year of the Goat, which predicted "plagues and economic turmoil"; soon afterward came the SARS outbreak and its inevitable toll on the economy.
Despite the seeming accuracy of the predictions, I don't buy it. If anything, I think people get what they expect.
As the band Talk Talk once sang, life's what you make it.