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A Funny Thing About Feng Shui (Humor)

Updated on February 18, 2020
Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank wrote humorous bits for her college newspaper many years ago. Her funny observations have continued in print and online.

Feng shui is the ancient Far Eastern art of home design and furniture placement. It is pronounced FUNG SCHWAY. Though there is no logical reason why Asian character symbols should be translated into non-phonetic forms of English, it is usually written the other way.

The term feng shui (which I will henceforward refer to as fung schway, in an attempt to correct a phonetic injustice), means "wind and water" referring to the influential flow of mystical affirmative energy or ch'i ( which should be spelled and pronounced CHEE) throughout a living space.


Now I have nothing against positive energy and the unimpeded flow of prosperity and auspicious harmony, but if homes are built to keep wind and water out, the basic concept seems a bit off base.

So while the fung schway concepts usually exclude the actual rush of wind and water through your house, they claim to promote the flow of positive chee in and around your living quarters, permitting it to circulate, pool up and overflow whenever possible. Do not be alarmed by this, it will not require the services of a professional plumber.

When thinking about the wind and water aspect, try to avoid this.
When thinking about the wind and water aspect, try to avoid this. | Source

While you may think that this is a wacky New Age trend invented by a victim of an aromatherapy overdose, it apparently has ancient origins.

One story of how the term originated, involves the legend of an ancient Chinese man who got up in the middle of the night to relieve himself of an impending positive flow, not realizing that his wife had rearranged the furniture that day.

"FUNG SCHWAY ! " he hollered vehemently, as he tripped over a futon and barked his shin on a tea table which had not been there the night before. The art of auspicious interior arrangement was therefore born to prevent inauspicious midnight shin banging.

The idea of creating a balanced beneficial environment full of abstract energy which can favorably affect our fates, dates back 3,000 to 5,000 years, yet fung schway principles have been cleverly adopted by modern home sellers who are integrating contemporary building design, with complex, prescribed, and idiosyncratic rules as well as trying to find new ways to hoodwink buyers.

These principles involve the dragon's celestial breath, 12 beasts of the Chinese horoscope, eight trigrams, five elements, two opposing harmonizing powers and a partridge in a pear tree .

Venerable fung schway precepts are now being used as marketing strategies appealing to otherwise logical and practical people. The buyers attracted by this ruse are normal boring individuals who are likely to have bumper stickers promoting random acts of indifference.

These are the same people who have finally decided that Karma is now outdated and overdone, but they are now being subtly convinced to believe that chee is in.

Some fung schway design principles are both basic and mystical. In no case should stairs face the front door. This is because answering the front door will result in the chee rolling down the stairs, breaking every bone in it's body, and tumbling out the front door while knocking down your guests or the pizza delivery guy.

The front door should not form a straight line with the rear door of the house, since chee will absent-mindedly pass straight through without even stopping to say hello. Never build a multi-story house without a stairway . Do not place laundry appliances in the bedroom . Do not locate the guest bed in the master bath.

Do not keep goats in areas where food will be prepared or eaten. To select the most auspicious location of the master suite and avoid the traditional migration routes of water buffalo.

Some design preclusions can be corrected by modifying furniture placement and lighting to offset negative chee. Other taboos cannot be so easily corrected and should be arduously avoided.

Your home should not be built at the end of a dead-end road, especially one favored by drag racers. It should not be situated adjacent to the county landfill, because guests will stop by and say "Chee, what is that smell?"


Houses should not be built in the path of proposed interstate highway projects. Round pillars are better than square, though square rooms are OK. Go figure. Ceilings should be high enough to allow people of average height to stand comfortably upright when adjusting suspenders or pulling on panty hose. All rooms should have at least one door.

Hundreds of auspicious principles can be incorporated into home design starting with selection of a lot according to propitiousness of shape, auspiciousness of directional orientation, and proximity to a major mall.

In purchasing a new house, fung schway fundamentals are decidedly more important than compliance with local building codes because they can increase your chances of winning the lottery. They will give you a long, successful, joyful and prosperous life. They will make your goats pregnant, your fields fruitful and your children dutiful and obedient. Structural engineering concepts, as practical as they may be, can never compete with that.

Your acceptance of these principles will also make the real estate marketing people perform celebratory hand slaps which are usually only executed by inebriated English soccer fans. They will be joyful, prosperous, and able to afford a luxury vacation in Hong Kong.


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