Ukrainian Chrome Hunger

August 5, 2008

    Ukrainians are hungry for chrome.  Do you know why?  No, not because they want to drive American cars from the Fifties.  They’re hungry for chromium complex supplements — those magical compounds that help metabolize sugar.  Ukrainians are world-famous for eating gooey pastries loaded with sugar.  They say it makes them happy.  Okay, fine with me.  You’d need something to be happy about if you were a Ukrainian.  These peasant slobs live in a loser country symbolized by Chernobyl.  They have no culture.  The Catholics are all bastards (Orthodox not so bad).  They have no identity, everyone hates them, and to the rest of the world their country is just a colored patch on the map with no geographical features.

    Recently I spoke to Dr. Yuri Gorbiuk of the Ukrainian Institute of Nutrition, who told me, “My people are a mess.  Their diet is awful.  So we need lots of chromium.  Some Ukrainians even suck on the metal.  How about sending us lots of free pills?  Come on, be a pal!”

    In their desire to save money on chromium pills, the Ukrainians ordered a shipload of cheap generics from China, which turned out to be bogus, and what do you think happened?  A thousand people died of poisoning.  That’s what happens when state-controlled booze is overpriced.  People try to save money on everything else.

    The government’s latest bright idea is to get our mining companies to explore for chromium in the Ukraine.  That way they can make their own pills. Sure, just go drill holes in the ground and find chromium.  As if it were that simple.  It so happens that there are no primary chromium producers anywhere in the world.  Chromium is a by-product of nickel mining.  They do have some nickel mining, but where is the chromium going?  It’s going into the pockets of corrupt government officials connected to organized crime, that’s where.  The average person always gets screwed.

    The only hope for Ukrainian women is to go to the West and work as strippers.  They look pretty good until they pass 30, then they morph into slabs of fat.  It’s in their genes.  You don’t see slim Ukrainian women over 35, except the girlfriends of gangsters.

    I tried some chromium complex pills for a while, but I couldn’t tell any difference.  The FDA and the Canadians say the stuff is unproven.  It’s merely believed to be an aid in sugar metabolism.  Well, so is hockey.  But you don’t see any Ukrainian hockey players in the NHL, so draw your own conclusions.

    There are some who say just enjoy life.  If you want to eat fattening Ukrainian pastries, go ahead if that’s what you like.  This is an inclusive society, and it’s politically incorrect to ridicule the obese, even if they are miserable sons of bitches.

    If you have some spare chrome from old cars and want to recycle it, just send it to any Ukrainian business in the Yellow Pages, and they will automatically pass it on to their church  to send to some chrome-collection charity in Kiev or Dnepropetrovsk or some other dismal place.  It’ll probably end up in the pocket of some gangster, but that’s not your fault.  You’re doing it because maybe some of that chrome will actually go into pills and help some girl get slim, and then maybe she’ll come over here and be a stripper, and maybe you’ll go see her show, and afterwards you might make a date and get laid.  (Or I might.)

    It’s what you might call a hope, if not a good plan.

    Copyright@ 2008 by Crad Kilodney, Toronto, Canada.  E-mail: crad166@yahoo.com

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Characters:

    Norm and Otto: customers

    Evelyn: waitress

    Hector: cook

(The setting: Harry’s Diner, 2504 Calumet Dr., Sheboygan, Wisconsin.  Norm and Otto are seated in a booth.)

Norm:  They shut my plant down today on account of that giraffe.

Otto:  Me, too.  They told everyone to stay home.  They even canceled bowling.

Norm:  It’s a darn shame that something like this should happen to a nice, peaceful town like Sheboygan.

Otto:  They say it’s not like a normal giraffe, you know.

Norm:  No kidding.  It’s three storeys tall and it drinks blood.

Otto (squinting out the window):  What’s that down there?

Norm (turning to look):  That’s a crane.  You need glasses, boy!

    (Evelyn, the waitress, stops at the table.)

Evelyn:  You boys want some lemon meringue pie?

Norm:  I’ll think about it.  (Looking around.)  The place is almost empty.

Evelyn:  Yeah, it’s that damn giraffe.  It’s killing our business.  And you know what?  It got the cook.

Norm:  Vinnie?

Evelyn:  Yup.  Got him in his driveway.   Sucked all his blood out.

Otto:  God almighty!

Norm:  Gee, that’s too bad.  So who’s cooking?

Evelyn:  We got this new guy name of Hector.  He’s from Guatemala or somewhere.  (Leaning over confidentially)  I think he’s illegal, but as long as he can cook, who cares?

    (Distant thuds are heard, like slow footsteps of a huge animal.  They last for about ten seconds.)

Evelyn:  Oh, my lord!  I hope it’s not that giraffe!  I wish the police would just shoot the thing!

Otto:  Maybe bullets can’t hurt it.

Evelyn:  Who says bullets can’t hurt it?

Otto:  I’m just saying.  It could be like a mutation.

Evelyn:  A mutation from what?

Otto:  Could be from anything.  Could be pollution or radiation.

Evelyn:  Aw, g’won.

Norm:  Otto, you failed science.  You don’t know nothing about it.

Otto:  Hey, I watch science stuff on TV, Norm.  I seen a program about killer bees.  They’re getting further north every year.  We’ll have ’em here one of these days.

Evelyn:  Hold it, there’s something on the TEE-vee.  Lemme turn it up.  (Reaches up to adjust the TV mounted on the wall.)

TV Newscaster:  Grvapna, the blood-sucking giraffe, has now killed fourteen people, according to police.  City Council is now meeting in an emergency session, while outside City Hall, animal rights protestors have gathered in an effort to save the beast.  They say it is an endangered species that should be kept alive for study.

Norm:  Bunch of idiots!  Turn it off!

    (Evelyn reaches up and turns off the TV.)

Evelyn:  This country’s going to the dogs, I’m telling you!

Norm:  McCain’s the man!  He’d kill that giraffe in no time!

Otto:  He would.  And what did Obama say?  He said he’d study all aspects of the problem.

Norm:  That means he wouldn’t do nothing.

    (Louder thuds are heard.)

Otto (looking out the window):  There it is!  Norm!  Evelyn!

Evelyn:  Oh, my lord!  Is it coming this way?

Norm:  No, it’s turning down North Twentieth.  Probably going to the park.

    (Thuds fade away.)

Evelyn:  Oh, those poor people!

Norm:  The park is probably empty, don’t worry.

Evelyn:  I wonder how that giraffe got here anyway.

Otto:  It could have migrated from Africa.

Norm:  Africa isn’t connected to North America, Otto.

Otto:  Maybe it swam.

Norm:  We’re not on the ocean.  That’s Lake Michigan.

Otto:  It could be a secret government experiment that went all wrong.  That’s it!  That’s why they haven’t killed it!  The government knows all about it!

Norm:  You’re crazy.

Otto:  Have you got a better explanation?

Norm (thinking):  No.

Otto:  So there!

Evelyn:  Say, where’d they get that name anyway ?  Grvapna. 

Norm:  I think the Japs named it.

Evelyn:  The Japs?

Norm (winking at Evelyn to signal that he’s putting Otto on):  Sure.  Whenever they have a new monster, they have a name for it right away.  They just loaned us a name.

Otto:   Is that a fact?  I thought it was named after Vince Lombardi’s cat.

Norm:  Vince Lombardi didn’t have no cat named Grvapna.

Evelyn:  Vince Lombardi!  You knucklehead!

Norm:  Say, I think I will have some pie, Evelyn.  I don’t think it’s safe to go home yet.

Evelyn:  Coming right up.  How about you, Otto?

Otto:  No, thanks.  (Evelyn leaves.)   You think that giraffe is going to hang around here a long time?

Norm:  It’s hard to tell with these things.  Maybe when it gets its fill of blood, it’ll move on.

Otto:  You figure?

Norm:  Could be.

Otto:   Giraffes aren’t supposed to drink blood, you know.  They eat leaves and stuff.  I seen a couple at a zoo once.  They looked like they wouldn’t hurt anyone.

Norm:  Nothing’s normal any more, boy!  You got gay marriage, freaky weather, terrorists, gas at four bucks a gallon….It’s not like the old days.

Otto:  That’s for sure.

    (Evelyn returns with the pie and puts it in front of Norm.)

Evelyn:  You know the one good thing about that damn giraffe?

Norm:  No, what?

Evelyn:  It made us famous!  Now everyone knows where Sheboygan is!

Otto:  Yeah, maybe somebody’ll make a movie about Sheboygan and the big giraffe!

Norm:  Yeah, I betcha.  So you might say those people didn’t die in vain.  Their deaths had, like, you know, meaning.  Although I have to admit getting your blood sucked out by a big giraffe probably isn’t the nicest way to die.

Otto:  Sheboygan will bounce back from this tragedy!  We’ll be better than ever!  We’ll be the best town in America!

    (Hector enters from the side where the kitchen is.  He is dressed in women’s clothing — tight red sweater with an overstuffed bra, miniskirt, black fish-net stockings, and high heels.  He has a long, dark wig and heavy make-up.  He is holding a ladle, so the audience knows immediately he’s the cook.)

Hector (loudly):  Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee: and I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out; and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame!

Evelyn (to Norm and Otto):  You see, you should always put your name and address on your mind in case you lose it.

Hector:  Sic itur ad astra!

Otto (to Norm):  What language is that?

Norm:  Must be Guatemalan.

    (Very loud thuds are heard, mixed with weird animal bellows.  Dust falls from the ceiling.)

Evelyn:  Oh, my lord!  It’s here!

Otto:  Grvapna!  It’s Grvapna!

Norm:  Holy Jumping Jesus!  This is it!

    (Lights flicker and go out.  Screaming, sounds of violent breakage, weird animal bellows…..Curtain.)

    Copyright@ 2008, by Crad Kilodney, Toronto, Canada.  E-mail: crad166@yahoo.com  

    

War of the Umiaks

May 5, 2008

You already missed half the story, you stupid sod.

You were either dozing or looking out the window when this story started, and you missed the hottest action. Yes, I know, you were just watching the world go by your train window, just daydreaming, and I’m supposed to wait until you’re ready. Well, I’m not starting over again just for your sake.

At this moment — if you’re quite ready to join us — Anikagloolik and her long-time enemy, Elikamaloolik, are lying exhausted on the Arctic ice after battling with each other for an hour — all of which you missed, of course. They had spied each other on the water and headed for each other in their umiaks, and when they met, it was paddle against paddle. There’s nothing worse than two Eskimo women fighting with umiak paddles. (If there is, tell me tomorrow.)

“Hit yourself,” said Anikagloolik, panting. “I’m too tired to hit you.”

“No, you hit yourself,” said Elikamaloolik, wheezing. “I won anyway.”

“No, I won.”

“You dented my umiak. You’ll pay for that.”

“It was already dented.”

Suddenly, their attention was arrested by a flock of whooping cranes flying high overhead.

“What kind of birds are those?” said Elikamaloolik. “I’ve never seen them before.”

“Whatever they are, they sure don’t belong here,” said Amikagloolik. “I’ll bet it’s global warming. Everything’s messed up.”

“Look at those clouds,” said Elikamaloolik. “They’re looking weird. I think something bad is going to happen.”

Yes, something bad did happen, but you weren’t paying attention because you dozed off again, didn’t you? Do you have a problem with your brain? Is this story too hard for you to understand?

Never mind. Most of the world was destroyed, and it was very violent and noisy and terrifying, but you were zoned out and missed it. Some islands in the Arctic did survive, including Melville Island, Cornwallis Island, Eglinton Island, Borden Island, Bathurst Island, Devon Island, King Christian Island, Wrangel Island, New Siberian Island, Komsomolets Island, Ushakov Island, and Novaya Zemlya — all of which are true, authentic islands you could find on a map if you were sufficiently motivated, which I seriously doubt.

Okay, that’s the end of the story. Now, get lost, because I’ve got some things to do, and I want to take a nap first, which I richly deserve after writing such a high-powered thriller, most of which you missed.

(Movie rights to this story are available at the usual industry rates.)

Copyright@ 2008 by Crad Kilodney, Toronto, Canada. E-mail: crad166@yahoo.com

A disturbing trend in our society is the increasing frequency of “inconviences.”  One can hardly go into a store — even a very reputable one — without being inconvienced.  There it is in black and white (or whatever colour of crayon is used by the management): “We Apologize For The Inconvience.”

An “inconvience” is not to be confused with an “inconvenience.”  We all know what an inconvenience is.  Some examples:
1. The store is closed for the taking of inventory.
2. The little gizmo you swipe your credit or debit card in is not working.
3. The door is out of order.  (It may look perfectly in order, but if they say it’s out of order, don’t dispute it.  Merchants have the legal right to declare doors out of order.)
4. The item you were looking for is out of stock, and it cannot be re-ordered because the government has just banned it.
5. Today is a holiday.  (Please come back tomorrow.  Why aren’t you at home with your family?)
6. The only person who can run the store has died.  (You can come back day after day indefinitely if you’re that heartless.  You’ve got a lot of nerve expecting us to be there while we’re grieving.)
7. The landlord has locked the premises for non-payment of rent.  (Call 555-8822 for further information, which will not be available.)
There are highly evolved rules of etiquette that govern inconveniences, and if you abide by them, you will be all right, and society will not collapse.
(Note: a long line is not considered an inconvenience.  You’re supposed to bring something to read.)
An “inconvience” is something far more sinister.  It is an attack on civilization itself — on all its institutions and, even worse, on me personally.
When a merchant puts up a sign apologizing for an “inconvience,” you can be sure he is insincere.  I have complained about inconviences many times, to no avail.  No matter how many times I return to check, the inconvience remains unrectified.  Such merchants are fiends, criminals, and probably terrorists as well.
I don’t even want to talk about more terrible things, like “incoviances,” “inconvieniances,” “inconnivances,” “inconviantces,” “imcomvinces,” “incontinences,” or “imbroglios.”  If you spot one, just walk out immediately and try not to think about what is going on in the back room.
 Copyright@ 2008, by Crad Kilodney, Toronto, Canada. E-mail: crad166@yahoo.com