Meanwhile, at the League of Doom!!!

A sinister cabal of League of Doom evildoers convene at the Hall of Injustice in a galaxy far far away to discuss their dastardly schemes for world annihilation!!! You will be amazed by these fiendish masterminds and their demonic plans for the destruction of the earth as we know it and for the end of all things good, decent, and humane!!! Will their hideous plots succeed? Will there be time to save humanity from these heinous villains? Or has the countdown to Doomsday already begun? Read on!!!

A cylindrical chamber rises from a hatch in the polished marble floor of the Hall of Injustice. The doors slide open. As the smoke clears we see the figure of Donaldo Trumpatron, evil mastermind of mayhem!! DA-DA-DA-DAAAAAA! He removes his solarium goggles and steps out of his RDC (Radioactive Decadence Chamber) messily eating a massive glowing Trumpatron Steak™ with his bare hands. Convening this League of Doom meeting is Count Dracula, who will be joined by other legendary villains as they counsel, advise, and consult their earthly proteges.

Count Dracula: “Ah welcome, Trumpatron! I trust you had another glorious radioactive degeneration session?”

Trumpatron: “Not bad, really not bad, and I can say that because anybody who knows me knows that you don’t get this kind of radioactive orange face with a white raccoon mask around these beady little eyes without putting in some serious hours on an expensive and pointless tanning bed, hours that would otherwise be wasted on trying to figure out where the hell Syria is on a map, or why we don’t just nuke China instead of wasting our time on all that stupid liberal ‘diplomacy’ bullcrap that Washington insiders seem to be so keen on. Let me tell you something Count, when I’m leader of the free world, I promise that I will not only nuke China, I will use my hyperbolic negotiation powers to make them build and pay for the bomb that I nuke them with. They do build things cheaper there after all, so it’s also good economics. Although I will also tax the shit out of anything from China, so American companies better not get any ideas about building all our nukes over there. We need to keep those jobs in America where they belong. How’s that for a campaign pledge?”

Count Dracula: “I love it, Donaldo! It’s simplistic without being simple! It’s sophistry without sophistication! It’s casuistry without a case! It’s common sense in the most common of senses! Brilliant! Ah! Here are your fellow League of Doom villains arriving now! Welcome Erdogtator! Welcome Bladdersmear Putane! Everything still delightfully doomed and getting doomier by the day in Turkey and Russia I hope?”

Erdogtator: “Frighteningly bad! The economy is struggling, industry has ground to a halt, exports dropping, foreign investment fleeing, international standing plummeting, unemployment rising, labor rights disappearing, tensions mounting, terror surging, society fraying, religious extremism soaring, a civil war in the making, witch hunts, jingoism, lynchings, intolerance and persecution of any and all opinions not approved by the government... So all in all, I would say things are going pretty well! I have taken the future of a nation and I have single-handedly crushed it in my hands! HAHAHA!!”

Count Dracula: “Yes, excellent…. but I couldn’t help but notice a slight inconsistency there at the end of your devilish delivery, Erdogtator. I don’t mean to be persnickety but how can you single-handedly crush with your hands in the plural? It’s like a Zen koan. You know the sound of crushing a nation with two hands, what is the sound of crushing a nation with one hand? That kind of thing.”

Erdogtator: “What’s the difference? It all makes the same crushing noise, does it not? It’s all the same delicious destruction! Okay, two hands might crush more forcefully, I get it, but the one hand can also… anyway, it’s just a metaphor. Maybe I have a single giant hand that is all-powerful and can crush as effectively as two medium hands? Let’s drop it. I am not used to such questioning, so next time you have to ask questions will you please just do what I make journalists in my own country do upon threat of imprisonment and ask only what appears to be a question but which is really just a set-up for me to spew more bilious propaganda to forward my acidic agenda through a shackled media that is under my firm grip please? Thank you!”

Count Dracula: “Yes yes, of course. Excuse me Erdogtator, I know none of you like to be challenged or questioned in any substantial way. I apologize. And how are you doing today Bladdersmear? How is your immense realm doing these days? Withering under a noxious cloud of fumes emanating from yourself as always?”

Putane: “Yes indeed. It is under a constant Putane gas cloud, not to boast. The country remains a massive shit smear of corruption, violence, decadence, mismanagement, alcoholism, xenophobia, and fascism that would leave the shittiest of countries gasping for lack of air. The Putane is everywhere.”

Count Dracula: “Excellent, my Tsar in the making, excellent.”

The Hall of Injustice suddenly reverberates with the sound of a massive toilet flushing. A door on the other side of the hall opens. Darth Vader walks out wiping his hands with a paper towel before heading towards the enormous pentagram-shaped table where the other League of Doom villains are seated.

Count Dracula: “Ah, here comes Darth Vader. Small disclaimer, you know how he can get a little touchy about his morning bathroom routine, he really does have a hard time with it all so he can be in a bit of a foul mood if…”

Darth Vader: “Count Dracula, the acoustics in here really are amazing, I can here you from the other side of the hall as if you were talking right into my ear... plus, you know, the Force.”

Count Dracula: “Ah yes, I was just warning them to…”

Darth Vader: “Silence! You tell every single villain who comes in here the same thing, whispering it to them like it’s a dirty secret as if I can’t hear you. Remember when you had Kim Jong Un in here with Sepp Blatter and the IOC? How awkward was that? So let me just get this out there once and for all: I HAVE BOWEL PROBLEMS. Okay? I HAVE A HARD TIME SHITTING. Okay? And guess what else? This suit I have to wear is a massive pain in the ass to take on and take off just so I can take a shit. You’d think I could just press one of these control buttons on my chest and a trap door from my pants would just flap open from under me so I could just shit out of it and then when I’m done I could just press the button again and it would close and I could be on my way. But no. I am a half robot with a state of the art suit that virtually breathes for me, but I can’t even get my pants off to take a shit. Oh also, if any of you can manage to avoid having to wipe your asses while wearing a full metal helmet mask and a cape, take advantage of that opportunity. It is almost literally the hardest thing you will ever do. And people wonder why I’m in a bad mood all the time. So now that we have all that sorted out, can we get on with life?”

Count Dracula: “Yes, yes of course Lord Vader. I’m sorry, I just…”

Trumpatron: “Excuse me for butting in, no pun intended, but you would think with the Force being so strong with you and all, your bowel problems could just…”

Darth Vader: “Just what? What do you know about the Force? Do you think the Force can just magically dissolve shit out of my bowels and into thin air? The Force cannot dispose of a fat turd. You know what can? An anus. Preferably one that isn’t wrapped in an airtight Kevlar spacesuit. So let’s shut the fuck up about my butt now and focus on you shitheads.”

Trumpatron, Erdogtator, and Putane seem indignant and surprised at having been called shitheads.

Darth Vader: “Oh no, what’s the matter? Did I hurt your feelings? Are you guys not used to being called shitheads? Well get used to it. You can’t imprison me, you can’t torture me, you can’t assassinate me, you can’t blame everything on Jews or Armenians or Mexicans or whoever the fuck you don’t like, and you sure as fuck can’t complain to the obsequious ass licking yes men you surround yourselves with. Okay? I could literally strangle you all with my brain. So you dick knobs better swallow your megalomania, curb your psychopathic urges, and tame your delusions of grandeur. It’s me, Darth Fucking Vader. I’m not a pissy little NGO, I’m not a shitty little intellectual dissident, I’m not a scuzzy little journalist, and I’m sure as fuck not the hippy dippy leader of a pro-democracy movement or some whining opposition party. I am a Sith Lord. You know what that means? That means I am second only to Satan when it comes to evil powers. And guess what else? I come from a Galaxy that is not only far far away, I come from a galaxy that is far far better than yours. Guess what the most advanced space ship in your galaxy is. Guess. Anybody? Okay I’ll tell you: a space shuttle. A fucking space shuttle. And it hasn‘t even gone as far as the Moon. Let me tell you what the worst spaceship in my galaxy is like: it can travel from one end of the galaxy to the other at light speed and it shoots lasers. Seriously, that’s the WORST space ship in our galaxy. So your best spaceship is like a doubledecker bus compared to our worst space ship, which is like a Lamborghini. Not even a Lamborghini, actually, because we’re so advanced we don’t even use wheels anymore. We just float. Just like that. That’s how far ahead we are. So are we all on the same page now? Does anybody have a problem with who’s in charge here?”

Trumpatron: “No sirree.”

Erdogtator: “Nope, all good.”

Putane: “Nyet.”

Darth Vader: “Great! You’re not all as dumb as you look. Now that Count Dracula has dispensed with the formalities and the small talk, we can get down to business. Now, if I’m not mistaken, you fuckwads are trying to… let me see here in my notes… ah, you fuckwads are trying to flush the United States, Turkey, and Russia down the toilet as part of our overall plan to destroy the Earth. Correct?”

Trumpatron: “Yep.”

Erdogtator: “Pretty much.”

Putane: “Mmhm.”

Darth Vader: “Okay. Let’s start with you Donaldo Trumpathon.”

Trumpatron: “That’s Trumpatron. I’m Donaldo Trumpatron…”

Darth Vader: “Oh, I’m so sorry. So, so sorry. I really must apologize. Let me try again: Fatty McFucknuts? Did I pronounce it correctly this time? Is that good?”

Trumpatron: “Uh...yes sir, yes, that’s fine.”

Darth Vader: “Good! Would anybody else like to correct Darth Vader on how he pronounces their name? Because I’m not already angry enough that I have to speak through a barbeque grill that’s permanently attached to my mouth.”

Erdogtator: “I think we’re good.”

Putane: “Nyet problemski.”

Darth Vader: “Excellent! So anyway, tell me, Fucky McFucktits, what is your plan for shitting all over your country?”

Trumpatron: “I am racist, bigoted, misogynistic, and I deny climate change.”

Darth Vader: “Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz… I’m sorry, were you saying something? I must’ve fallen asleep here. Were we in Basic Evil For Beginners class 101?”

Trumpatron: “Okay well I’ve also made some really ludicrous campaign pledges that are not only poorly thought-out but absolutely preposterous.”

Darth Vader: “Oh wait, I think I heard of one of them. Was it the one where you said you’d build a wall, a real fucking wall, along the border with Mexico and then you said you’d make the Mexicans pay for it? Was it that one?”

Trumpatron: “Yep, that’s one of them.”

Darth Vader: “You know, I actually have to say that is pretty good. No, seriously. I am not being sarcastic this time. I do not say this often, but that is brilliant.”

Trumpatron: “Really? Because you still seem like you might be being sarcastic…”

Darth Vader: “Yeah, I get it, since you can’t see any of my facial gestures because I’m wearing a fucking motorcycle engine on my head. But trust me, it’s brilliant. I mean, you actually seriously said that, but then it says here, you got nominated as the presidential candidate of the Republican Party? You sure it wasn’t the Reform Party?”

Trumpatron: “Positive. It was the Republican Party. I'm certain of it, 100%. I am the Republican Party nominee, you can ask people, they‘ll tell you.”

Darth Vader: “Wow. It wasn’t the Tea Party? Or the Ku Klux Klan? Or the…”

Trumpatron: “No sir. It was the GOP.”

Darth Vader: “That is mind boggling. Very impressive. It’s literally the most outrageously stupid thing I’ve ever heard, and yet you won the endorsement of one of your country’s two main establishment parties. Incredible. Now let’s look at some of your other policies and promises. Are they just as imbecilic?”

Trumpatron: “Well to tell you the truth I’m not sure and I don’t care. People love hearing it, they clap, they love me, so that’s really all that matters. I haven’t actually thought anything through or weighed how practical, sound, or realistic any of my policies are. I kinda just say whatever works. My policies can all pretty much be summed up in a poorly written tweet and explained in 140 characters or under.”

Darth Vader: “Wow, I really am baffled at how far you've already gotten. Astounding. Very impressive flourish of demagoguery on your part. Hm, it says here you want to impose a 45% tariff on all Chinese imports and a 35% tariff on all Mexican imports to the US? Wow. This is great. First of all you can’t just impose tariffs on a country, you have to do it on certain products, not that anyone you're saying this to would understand that of course. Secondly, imposing tariffs like that will contravene the WTO and create a trade war that will affect the entire global trade system. Thirdly, people will have to import the same items from other countries like Thailand, Vietnam, or Indonesia, and costs will go up, leading to inflation throughout the US, since the US relies on cheap Chinese manufacturing and imports for so many of its consumer goods and also for its primary goods for industries. So you’re essentially saying to American consumers and businesses 'I will raise prices on everything'! Diabolical. The irony is that inflation is the number one enemy of super rich investors who are the backbone of the GOP since it eats away at their long-term investments, especially the ones who hold fixed income securities, which is pretty much all of them. I mean, they’re not actually creating jobs with all that money they have, are they? They’re just investing their money in making more money for themselves in securities exchanges around the world. Which is why inflation is their number one bogeyman and therefore the American financial system’s number one bogeyman, since the super rich control and run that system. Furthermore, it says here in my notes that you want to kick out undocumented workers instead of integrating them into the system as human beings deserving of respect, dignity, and equality? These are immigrants denied a decent, safe, and dignified living in their own corrupt and ramshackle countries and are therefore risking life and limb to get to your country to seek a better life for themselves and their families, separated from their loved ones and living in miserable conditions, much as your Trumpatron ancestors went to that same country as immigrants seeking a better life. Correct? Those guys work for peanuts and receive no social security benefits, which means your country essentially gets to use them for work at almost slave wages with no rights enjoyed by the average American. If you didn’t have those millions of undocumented workers, you’d have to pay three times the wages to Americans who aren’t willing to do those jobs in the first place, plus you’d have to provide social security, job and medical security, pay taxes for them, and provide 401K’s. That’s why your elite makes sure not to legalize and integrate them as humans beings worthy of the right, referring to them as illegal aliens, but also doesn’t try to kick them out. So by kicking these people out of the country, you will lose millions of workers, increase costs and therefore prices, and that will  lead to more inflation for American consumers who will have to pay more for the same products and the same services. In effect, you’re actually undermining what ultra-rich conservatives love about this inhumane system, which is access to cheap labor without acknowledging it’s there and without ever accepting that it’s legitimate, but still letting them continue to work and live there among you because the super-rich know how much they need it and how good they have it. It’s like an informal slave system, essentially a ‘loophole economy’ within the economy. Wow. So you’re not just fucking over undocumented workers, which you wouldn’t care about anyway because you’re evil which is why you’re here with us today, but you’re also actually fucking over the same evil people whom you’re seeking votes from. You are openly and actively pursuing immigration and economic policies that are wildly inflationary and which will hurt the ultra rich, the ultra-rich who are the number one voter base for you and the GOP! Amazing! Of course, you will make up for that by not requiring them to pay proper taxes and thus letting your country, infrastructure, and society continue crumbling into a Machiavellian anarcho-capitalist nightmare of all against all orchestrated from behind walled towers of white corporate affluence, but then that kind of push toward sustained plutocratic repression is what any GOP presidential nominee is expected and required to uphold, so it’s pretty much par for the course. But overall, it seems your populist demagoguery isn’t at all in the interests of the super-rich either. It’s brilliant. You’re fucking everybody over. You’re fucking over world trade, possibly leading to new trade wars and protectionism worldwide, you’re fucking over American consumers, you’re fucking over working class people and undocumented workers and their families, you’re fucking over the middle class, you’re fucking over the ultra-rich, and you’re basically fucking over your own voters. In fact, the only person you are not fucking over and who stands to gain anything at all from this whole absurd charade is… YOU! This whole thing is actually just an advertising campaign for Trump! Wow. Even I couldn’t have come up with something this horrible.”

Trumpatron: “Well, I didn’t really think it all through that far, Darth. I think thoughts and ideas are for pussies. I‘m an action kinda guy, I don‘t like to waste time with brain stuff. Besides I kinda just stop thinking once I hear crowds scream with joy every time I mention how we’re going to teach China a lesson or kick Latinos out, or say we‘ll be great again and stuff like that. If I hear claps and people chanting the Trump brand, my job has already been done. In fact, the whole presidency thing is already just an afterthought for me—an afterthought, by the way, which I also refuse to think about. But I’m glad to know this all helps forward the League of Doom’s overall Fuck The World, Fuck All Worlds agenda. As long as Trump wins, the League of Doom will also win. That‘s what‘s so great about this partnership. Will everybody excuse me now please, I have an RDC appointment. You don‘t keep this orange radioactive glow by just sitting around and talking about policies all day. Bye now.”

Darth Vader: “You will go later. You will sit now and wait for this session to end.”

Trumpatron: “Oh, okay, I’ll just… sure, that’s fine, I… hm… okay.”

A door slides open on the other end of the Hall of Injustice. In comes Gargamel and his cat Azrael. Darth Vader utters a loud groan as he shakes his head and looks up at the domed ceiling in what appears to be abject frustration.

Count Dracula: “Ahem, yes. Here comes another League of Doom heavyweight. All rise for Gargamel!”

Darth Vader: “Stop! No! Gargamel? Really? You are putting me, Darth Vader, at the same table with Gargamel? The guy who tries to catch Smurfs and FAILS. Really? Who’s next? Bluto? Wile E. Coyote? Elmer Fucking Fudd?”

Count Dracula: “Just calm down, Darth, it’s not that big a deal, okay? Evil is evil so let’s just…”

Darth Vader: “Evil is not just evil. I am EVIL. Gargamel is mischievous at best, not to mention inept. Even you are kinda lame. I mean, come on, vampires? Really?”

Count Dracula: “How dare you?! I am pure evil my friend. Pure evil. And people love vampires, do you know how many books and films and TV series there are about us?”

Darth Vader: “Myeeeh. You’re okay at best. If anything you’re a little caricaturish. Not like Gargamel but still…”

Count Dracula: “Ok excuse me, sucking the living blood out of humans isn’t evil enough for you?”

Darth Vader: “Okay, whatever, look we’re getting off topic here. Let’s get back to Chumpthong over there.”

Trumpatron: “It’s Trumpa…”

Darth Vader: [deep breathing]

Trumpatron: “Trum… Trumpatr…”

Darth Vader: [deep breathing]

Trumpatron: “Trumpatron.”

Darth Vader: [deep breathing]

Trumpatron: “My my my… name is Fatty McDumbfuck.”

Darth Vader: “That’s better.”

Trumpatron: “Was that like one of those Jedi mind trick things you just did to make me call myself that or…”

Darth Vader: “No, that was all you being so shit scared that you called yourself that. That’s what that was. You can‘t tell right now, but I’m smiling.”

Trumpatron: [gulp]

Count Dracula: “Anyway, let’s move on Darth. I mean this guy isn’t even a leader yet. He‘s still just a sleazy real estate and casino mogul and a reality show celebrity… oh and of course also a GOP presidential nominee.”

Darth Vader: “Okay well, I‘m not sure how much substance we‘ve got with Chumpdump to make him into a grade A force of evil. Right now he just looks like a narcissistic charlatan pandering to ignoramuses and halfwits. Anyway, we‘ll go back to him later. Let’s move on to Erdogtator. Ooh, nice. This guy looks like a piece of work. He gets elected on a democratization ticket despite being quoted as saying ‘democracy is like a train, once you’re at your stop, you get off’. He proceeds to fill government full of religious fundamentalists, he clamps down on the media, curtails freedom of speech, supports and sends arms and people to groups that are internationally recognized terrorists in neighboring countries, he isolates Turkey on the international stage to a point where he has no more meaningful allies and nobody takes his country or his word seriously anymore, dismantles his military into a ragtag unprofessional politically divided Middle Eastern strongman militia, massacres minorities with brutal urban scorched earth tactics, foments racial and sectarian tensions in society, co-opts ultranationalist causes, forges alliances with people he later denounces as terrorists to forward his agenda, has been caught on tape with his family and ministers openly admitting to stealing and laundering money, backs Neo-Fisherian economic policies like 'low interest rates lead to low inflation', creates a big state-subsidized construction bubble that makes it look like his country’s economy is still growing while manufacturing and job creation crumbles, introduces labor laws akin to modern slavery and serfdom, supports almsgiving initiatives over sustained poverty alleviation and human development, seeks to create an education system that only instills religious dogma and obedience at the expense of critical thinking and scientific fact, insults people of different beliefs and faiths, and openly breaks the laws and constitution of the country he himself is the president of, to the point where he builds an illegal 1000-room palace and says he doesn‘t recognize the decisions of the country‘s constitutional court!? Under his rule his country has today gone from being what was once considered a paragon of stability, reason, sense, strength, and international standing to the point of being an example to other countries, to what is today being openly referred to as a failed state on a par with Iraq and Syria. Wow. And this is in just over 10 years? Amazing. This guy is a treasure. Honestly, this is one for the books. I mean… I’m Darth Vader, Darth Fucking Vader, Sith Lord, conqueror of galaxies, and make no mistake: I. Am. Totally. Impressed.”

Erdogtator: “Well, I’m flattered, naturally.”

Darth Vader: “And you should be. I really have little to add here, I’m glad to say. Just keep doing whatever it is you’re doing. Soon we can add yet another country on our shit pile of historic failures, right over there with Pakistan and Venezuela. Seriously, I would take my hat off if it wasn’t bolted into my head. If I could however make a tiny suggestion…”

Erdogtator: “By all means, I always like to take advice, as long as I already agree with it of course.”

Darth Vader: “Naturally, naturally, such is the nature of us power-hungry villains. But I would suggest that you have a Plan B ready just in case. When you make a lot of enemies it’s always good to know you and your family have a nice cushy country to retreat to.”

Erdogtator: “Already thought of that, Darth. We all have Saudi citizenship lined up already, so if worse comes to worst I can take the family and all the money we’ve siphoned through shady deals, crony contracts, legal manipulation, and nepotism over the past 12 years, and we can just plop down in a comfy compound and be neighbors with Idi Amin’s family. Don’t you worry.”

Darth Vader: “Excellent! You have it covered then. And what about this coup business that just happened, how are you dealing with that? Witch hunts, I hope?”

Erdogtator: “Witch hunts indeed. I’m using it as an excuse to get rid of everyone and anyone who is not 100% loyal to me in the entire government and state apparatus, public servants, military personnel, hospitals and schools, governors and parliamentarians, journalists and intellectuals, even sportsmen and sports authorities, many of them on the most tenuous or even just made up charges of belonging to a terror organization. That also gives me the excuse to get rid of anyone who still believes in a secular country. We’re talking tens and tens of thousands of arrests. It’s going to be great for the construction sector because we’re going to have to build prisons for everybody in the entire country who isn’t on my side. That could reach up to 50 million people! The entire country will be cleansed! CLEANSED! CLEANSED!”

Darth Vader: “Uh… okay. This is getting a bit weird.”

Erdogtator: “Wait, that’s not it, Darth. I even cleansed my own party of everyone who was once my comrade, everyone who helped me found the party and get to where I am today, because you never know if they’re going to stab you in the back and take away from your limelight and disagree with you because they think they have a right to voice some kind of criticism, WHICH THEY DON’T! NOBODY HAS A RIGHT TO CRITICISM, NOBODY EXCEPT ME! ONLY I CAN CRITICIZE MYSELF! So then I just filled the party with yes men and puppets and pushovers so I could just have the rubberstamp parliament I deserve…”

Darth Vader: “You’re seeming a little unhinged, would you like to sit back down and have a drink of water?”

Erdogtator: “I deserve this, I deserve it. I made myself a palace with one thousand rooms, and from each one of those one thousand rooms I will govern and oversee the affairs of every one of my 1000 provinces in the new Islamic Empire that I will be the Caliph of, I, I Erdogtator. I am a messenger, a humble messenger of God. I am the beloved of God, I am here to save mankind. I will build a great bridge and then another great bridge and a great mosque, the biggest mosque anyone has ever seen and I will build a big canal, man made, greater than the Panama Canal, greater than anything the world has ever seen, and from a million mosques around the globe they will call my name to defend the faith and unleash upon the world the greatest weapon ever seen, every screen on earth, every television screen, every movie theater, every computer and laptop and smartphone will have my image upon it, you cannot stop me, you cannot stop me… I'll show them, I'LL SHOW THEM ALL! NOBODY WILL EVER MAKE FUN OF ME OR LOOK DOWN ON ME OR QUESTION ME! I AM BELOVED OF GOD! I AM A MESSIAH! I AM ALWAYS CORRECT! I AM THE MOST POWERFUL PERSON IN THE...”



Darth Vader: “Get him out of here, put him in the straight jacket and give him the same medication we gave Robert Mugabe. Yes, you heard me, the same medication. Just do it. For fucks sake. You know, just once I wish we were dealing with an evil person who didn’t have some kind of mental instability. Just once I would like to deal with a fellow evil person who wasn’t psychotic or megalomaniacal or sociopathic to the point of insanity.”

Gargamel: “Right, says the guy who accepted a Sith emperor as his master so he could rule the galaxy and murder jedis.”

Darth Vader: “I’m sorry, was anybody talking to you, Gargamel? Don’t you have some little Smurfs to catch?”

Gargamel: “I’m just saying. It’s not like you’re a paragon of sense here. None of us are. Let’s face it, we’re all fucked up. That’s why we’re evil. Right? We all have some kind of character flaw or something traumatic in our childhoods or some kind of personality disorder that makes us fear change, fear difference, fear others, fear anything that we have no control over, that makes us paranoid about people hating us and wanting to hurt us, and so we seek power to control everything and everybody, to make the pain and the hurt go away, and we need to coerce and force people into liking us upon threat of death and imprisonment. But the more people you dominate, the more enemies you feel you have, and so you have to imprison and dominate them too, but then once you do that, you have yet more enemies, so the circle has to widen and you have to imprison anyone and everyone who isn‘t 100% on your side and and… Are you guys even listening to me?”

Darth Vader: [yawning sound]

Count Dracula: “So what’s your point? Are you saying that’s not normal behavior?”

Gargamel: “Yes! That’s exactly what I’m saying. Jesus, do you not get it?”

Count Dracula: “Well I don’t know, we’re evil and we all hang out with other evil people, so what you described sounds like pretty well-adjusted behavior to me.”

Gargamel: “Okay never mind, forget it.”

Darth Vader: “Yes thank you Gargamel for that amateurish Psych 101 analysis of the origins of evil, it was very illuminating. I‘m sure you‘ve blown everyone‘s mind with that. Oh by the way, Papa Smurf called, says your secret potion to poison him didn’t work yet again, surprise surprise. Back to the drawing board, Gargamel!”

Gargamel: “Oh fuck you.”

Count Dracula: “Quiet down you guys. Our next guest of evil is Bladdersmear Putane. Bladdersmear, welcome!”

Darth Vader: “Uhm… I’m just going to point out the elephant in the room here and ask everyone if it isn’t a little weird that Putane is shirtless and sitting on the back of a tiger right now?”

Count Dracula: “Oh, yeah, he insisted on that.”

Gargamel: “Definitely weird.”

Darth Vader: “Right? I mean, Erdogtator and Trumpatron are wearing suits. Why don’t you wear a suit like the rest of them? I’m not saying you have to wear a cape like me and Dracula, or shitty rags like Gargamel… but something, dude. Says here you do judo? Why not at least wear a judo outfit?”

Putane: “I am… very manly man.”

Confused looks shoot back and forth around the table as everyone waits for Putane to say something more, which he doesn’t.

Darth Vader: “Ooookay. I don’t even know what that means, but let’s pretend it explains things so we can move on. Now you’ve been in charge of your country for… well, it seems forever, or at least since that last turnip-faced drunkard who was president before you. So how would you say you’ve helped it and the world become a worse place that’s one step closer to destruction?”

Putane: “First of all, I have completely eradicated any semblance of there being rule of law or an independent judiciary, or any seat of alternative institutional power whatsoever in my country, and I’ve been even more successful in this regard than the likes of Erdogtator over here.”

Erdogtator: “I have to admit, I am jealous of him for that, but make no mistake, I’m working up to it.”

Putane: “So now in Russia, I pretty much run and own and control everything. And I mean, everything.”

Darth Vader: “And who do you blame when things go wrong?”

Putane: “I blame the usual suspects, America, the West in general, Britain and France, Jews, of course, Muslims, freemasons, you know, the usual suspects. Like Erdogtator, when my policies lead to economic downturn, a crashing stock market, loss of FDI, market instability, a depreciating or devaluating currency, inflation, current account deficits, loss of export markets, etc., I just blame it on traitors and enemies of Russia within, and the usual Western powers abroad.”

Erdogtator: “Yep, standard procedure, me too. Except I call Jews the ‘interest rate lobby’. That’s my code word for Jews.”

Putane: “Mmhm, I just call anyone who’s anti-me a fascist and lock them up. Same thing really. Anyway. I have also completely transformed my country into a corrupt oligarchy where law, ethics, and civil society have completely broken down, and where the state is basically the biggest organized criminal network in a country of thousands of big and small organized criminal networks. There’s also lots of racism and, you’ll be happy to know, drugs and alcoholism. So much alcoholism that Russian men have an average life expectancy that's ten years less than Russian women, and on a par with some of the poorest African countries. Demographically speaking, we don’t have enough people to maintain a country as big as ours, and the population is shrinking to the point where there won’t be enough of a workforce to sustain the economy, let alone grow it. And of course having become so reliant on hydrocarbons like gas and oil, we are doomed to fail as industry suffers, diversification fails, initiative and entrepreneurship collapse, prices fall, and eventually those finite resources run out in a few decades. I also make sure that the precious revenue we do earn from hydrocarbons goes into a massive military machine that tricks Russians into thinking they are a superpower, when really it’s slowly killing their country’s hopes for a decent and sustainable future. So you could say that I am pretty much making Russia dig its own grave before I kill it off completely and put the whole thing out of its misery.”

Darth Vader: “Okay, well, it doesn’t look like you need any help from us then. Good job. All I can say is carry on and keep up the bad work.”

Nervous chuckles around the table.

Darth Vader: “Thank you, that's just a little joke I made there... I said keep up the bad work instead of... never mind...”

Count Dracula: “Yes yes, we all picked up on the humor Lord Vader, thanks for lightening the mood. Okay, thank you everybody, that brings our meeting to an end. Any questions from you, gentlemen? Erdogtator? Putane? Trumpatron?”

Trumpatron: “Well, yes, regarding your end of the deal… when we finally all manage to kill the world off, what will our, um, situation be?”

Count Dracula: “Oh yes, of course. Darth, do you want to take this one?”

Darth Vader: “Sure. Okay as per our deal, you guys all get beamed up to our new Luxury Leisure Death Star, the 'wRECk Star' as we like to call it. Remember we gave you the tour already before you signed up with us, so I don’t need to remind you about how it’s a fully refurbished and renovated Death Star that’s totally geared to your decadent, vainglorious, evil, and lecherous needs as top class earthly villains, and where by signing your souls off to Satan, you get to be immortal and enjoy all the amenities forever. That includes the hot tub filled with the blood of enemies of your choice, the gym room where the weights are made out of the lead-filled skulls of pro-democracy activists from your respective countries, the massive cinema where you all get to star in propaganda films extolling your virtues as great heroes of the people or what not, and of course the solarium where you get to tan in the radiant light of your own magnificent ego through our state of the art technology which allows you to plug the most primal reptilian part of your brain into your own anus, thereby enabling you to bask in the glow of your own all-consuming bullshit, virtually a self-sustaining energy source that will last as long as you do. I knew you’d like that one especially, Trumpatron. Now, needless to say, every evil person you can possibly imagine is going to be there on the wRECk Star. You name it. For example, Adolf Hitler is still the chief of customer relations. Mussolini is head of entertainment, although Berlusconi is literally dying to join him up there with some good old cruise ship crooning and some wicked bunga bunga parties. It’s like a who’s who of shitty people. The list is endless. Genghis Khan, L. Ron Hubbard, Attila the Hun, Jeffrey Dahmer, Saddam Hussein, Mother Teresa, Swiss bankers, all other bankers, Me, Frankenstein’s monster, Al Capone, hedge fund managers, Stalin, Reagan, John Lennon, every Catholic Pope ever… in fact we have a special VIP deal with them. There’s even a private hyperwarp gateway in the Vatican through which the Popes can teleport right up here as soon as they’re murdered by their cardinals without so much as a minute’s delay. So needless to say, you gentlemen will also be up there with the worst of them once your deeds are done. But Trumpatron, you will still need to win the presidency, otherwise you’ll have to go to our three-star facility for sleazy real estate, casino, and reality show celebrities.”

Trumpatron: “Oh boy. Isn’t that where all the Real Housewives stars go? And all the Bachelorette suicides?”

Darth Vader: “I’m afraid so. And also dead rock stars and actors.”

Trumpatron: “Ugh, that sounds nasty. So eventually there‘s going to be people like Madonna and Tom Cruise and Kaitlyn Jenner?”

Darth Vader: “I’m afraid so. Look, I’m not going to lie to you, it’s pretty vulgar and pretty gross over there.”

Trumpatron: “Is it like Vegas? I could do Vegas.”

Darth Vader: “Worse. It’s like Miami. Pretty fucking nasty. So make that your motivation for winning the presidency. Oh and another motivation could be to not lose to a woman.”

Trumpatron: “She’s hardly a woman.”

Darth Vader: “Yeah well, you’re hardly a man, so get your shit together by November.”

The ceiling opens. A miasmal smoke and an overwhelming red light drowns the entire Hall of Injustice as everyone rises to their feet.

Count Dracula: “Attention! All hail our Supreme Leader!”

From the red glow above and through the smoke, a form appears and descends slowly to the biggest seat at the table, a black and red leather seat with an inverted cross design at the top. 

Count Dracula: “Hail our Supreme Leader! Hail our Supreme Leader! Hail our Lord!”

The form floats down and takes a seat at the chair as he pinches his chin between his thumb and the middle phalanx of his index finger.

Count Dracula: “All Hail Steve Jobs!”

Darth Vader: [siiiiiigh]


Never been there, haven't done that

As an aspiring travel writer but unenthusiastic traveler, I'd like to take this opportunity to take the travel out of travel writing once and for all. 

I've always wanted to be a travel writer, but haven't really been keen on all the travel it entails. All that luggage and diarrhea and attempts to communicate with people who can't understand a word you're saying while everyone steals your wallet and tries to sell you underage hookers is all just a little bit annoying. And there's always some hand gesture that you apparently should never do, something that means "Hi!" where you're from but which always means something like "I will rape your mother's donkey" wherever it is you're traveling in. Also, wherever you go, people there hate you. It's true, they do. They hate your smug little trekking shoes and your backpack and your sheepish friendly smile and your pathetic attempt to say "thank you" in their language, and all the money you obviously have so you can just walk around among them going "Wow, that's an amazing blehblehbleh" or "Gee, I never knew that about myehmyehmyeh".

But I'm here to tell you the good news: you need not travel to be a travel writer! You can do just as well as a travel writer by simply jumping to unfounded conclusions on what a place is like. Plus, in case you need to pepper your piece with facts, keep in mind that everybody has been everywhere and written about everything already, so there's an enormous shitpile of information that's mostly churned out as page filler for glamorized advertising floats like Travel + Leisure, and it's all just waiting to be regurgitated into yet another travel article by you, one that still conveys a sense of "wide-eyed adventure" that great travel writing does, but without necessitating all that unsavory adventurous traveling by you beforehand. Anyway, I was heartened by this idea of travel writing without all the travel, so I decided to write my own travel piece on... I don't know, I'll pick... Argentina? Sure, Argentina it is. Now, mind you, I've never been to Argentina, but I think you'll find it's all there in my travel piece on Argentina. Let the adventure begin:

When my plane supposedly flew into Buenos Aires, the first thing that would've struck me was perhaps the majestic ring of snow-capped peaks that may possibly have embraced this city built on what could probably be the Rio Argentino delta. The presumably golden waters of the Argentino flowed through these mountains that I assume are there, standing like an antipodean Olympus towering over the horizon like a race of guardian Gods who... etc. etc. It was these mountains, the Andes (?), that may have lent their name to Buenos Aires, which is, I guess, Spanish for "clean mountain air". Looking down from my airplane window on this fantastic sight that I imagine would've stretched out before me, I was seized by a sense of adventure and longing. I wanted to get out there, to discover this place, these people, their language, and explore every part of what I can only assume there is to explore in Argentina, judging from this atlas I have on my lap as I write this.

And so it began, my Argentinian adventure. But first I had to turn down the TV volume, because I couldn't concentrate with my girlfriend watching Project Runway next to me. She told me that I could fuck off and write somewhere else because she can't very well pick up the TV and go to the bedroom. And so I did! I moved from the couch next to her, picked up my bag of corn Doritos, and I made my way to the bedroom to flop down on the bed, face first, as I stretched a little and then zoned out for about ten minutes staring at the ceiling, before I took a sip of my Sprite and resumed my Argentinian adventure.

Buenos Aires is a city of anywhere between at least probably about 1 million to, I don't know, ten million people? One in so-many people in Argentina live in Buenos Aires, which is also known as "the rooftop of the world", I'm guessing, although that could also be the Himalayas. It's a city where, probably in some way, tradition meets modernity and East meets West somehow, though I'm not really sure how, and I may just be saying that because I'm Turkish and everything I've ever read about Turkey says that, so that shit's ingrained in my brain and I can't help spew it out. Anyway, so many different cultures will have blended for [centuries?] to produce modern day Argentina: the local Indian tribes which may or may not have been called Quataguaras and Pantamaribotoinos, the Spanish Conquistadores (why don't we just call them Spanish Conquestors? that sounds really cool), Colonial Spain, and something about the Pampas where gauchos roam free herding cows with ponchos (just to clarify: the gauchos wear the ponchos, not the cows).

Buenos Aires is a bustling city that lives 24 hours, as most big cities are described as doing in most travel articles and documentaries. There seem like there would be wide boulevards, a big library in which their great national writer Jorge Luis Borges was the director (he was, I read that somewhere), and also Evita, tango, Maradona and football, but not necessarily in that order. Among the most beautiful parts of the city is the El Paramaderoneronito (or something to that effect) district where quaint colorful wooden houses probably offer great photo ops as old people dressed in adorable suits and hats tango on the street and children play football in the background, offering iconic images of Latin American contrast where young and old, modernity and tradition meet (again) in the same photo frames.

Inset: tango or flamenco or something

Football has a big place in Argentina, which boasts Maradona who won the World Cup, and also Lionel Messi, who plays for Barcelona. But the big football rivalry is between two of Buenos Aires's biggest teams: Los Blancos and Los Negros, or whatever, teams that are the opposite of each other, basically, because they hate each other and their supporters always fight, and something here about football not just being a game but a way of life and a rite of passage and tribalism, and you know, that kind of stuff.

Buenos Aires has cafes, restaurants, bistros, shops, hotels, hospitals, stadiums, police stations, fire stations, grocery stores, supermarkets, street lamps, roads, lakes (probably), parks, roads, bridges, sewage pipes, it's a city that has practically everything cities have. And the food is amazing. Mostly meat, as I found out when I once went to an Argentinian restaurant at a nearby shopping mall. There are quirky postmodern type places that don't just serve food but also probably have tango or something, or do some kind of cool mime show while you eat blindfolded with your hands, making it the latest in culinary experiences, or what have you. There are probably also quirky cafes where cool people sip coffee and can also listen to slam poetry or can buy paintings off the wall and they must have wi-fi too (on a side note: everything's in Spanish there).

After seeing all the sights in Buenos Aires, including the National Museum (or Museo Nacional), the parliament or presidential palace which are usually pretty buildings, a cathedral, because there's got to be a cathedral, and some famous tall monuments and statues dedicated to great Argentinians like Evita or Maradona, or Evita's husband (something Allende?), or whoever founded the country, like Martino Jose Vascopulpos Capanegro Villa De La Jorges, who probably fought some kind of war of independence against the Spanish (and then basically created a creole Spanish government that was probably just as oppressive, racist and oligarchic as the one preceding it, but which could at least now keep all the taxes for itself instead of handing it all over to some Spanish king).

Inset: Diego Maradona

Anyway, after seeing all those sights, I went to Patagonia, a land of wide wind-swept plains and rolling hills full of gauchos roaming around and herding cattle, living a life of freedom on those wide desolate expanses where I daydreamed in the car which I imagined I was driving southward to the end of the world. And to add something mildly sensational here: "to the south of me was Antarctica!" Um... I somehow met some gauchos and joined them around a campfire where I wore a poncho and ate sausages and beans and they sang gaucho songs on their guitars and I rode one of their horses as the sun set, and then when I left we were friends for life, and would I ever see them again? and isn't the universe so big? and aren't we so small? and where does the time go? and is there even "time"? etc., superficially profound blathering inserted here that conveys all those sentiments. Moving on!

My finger took me to the southernmost tip of Argentina on the atlas: Tierra Del Fuego! Here I was at the southernmost tip of the Americas, you couldn't get more south, this was as south as south goes for south America. Below me, once again, Antarctica! Crazy, huh!? Also, penguins, probably.

Moving back up north a bit, I took a boat or a plane and went to the Falkland Islands, known by a different name in Argentina, Los Islos Falklandos or something like that. They are British, which would explain the giant "U.K." written all over them.

Oh, the Andes, I see, are not really around Buenos Aires, but way to the west by Chile. So scrap that first paragraph of this article, or at least the bits about mountains. Also the river isn't Rio Argentino but Rio Plata. My bad, I should really take the time to look at the atlas more when I'm writing these travel pieces!

And so my journey was at an end. I went through a quaint village where the locals made special local handicrafts and they sang and danced in their own weird way and they had their own stories, myths and legends, like people in villages do. I left feeling a bond with them all, and I would've taken photos of some old people in traditional dress and happy cute little children, and I would've eaten their food (more meat? or maybe beans? seems like villagers would eat beans, right?).

Ok, this time my journey really would be at an end, because eating a whole bag of corn Doritos just gave me stomach cramps, and also Breaking Bad is on TV, and I don't want to miss that. So to end it all, I imagine I would've got on a plane at Buenos Aires Airport, and as I looked back on this magical land of wide plains, mountains, sea, people, sky, clouds, buildings, and sun, I couldn't help but think something like "I'll definitely come back" and "aren't people all really just the same everywhere" and "we're all brothers and sisters on mother earth", etc.

By the way, the women were FUCKING HOT according to Google's "Argentinian women" search results.

Attila Pelit is not a writer or editor for any publication whatsoever, and he has no significant travel experience to speak of either, which makes him not much of an authority on anything, especially not Argentina. His articles have appeared in Nowhere, Not Here and Try Again, and he's a regular contributor to Nothing. He currently resides in Istanbul, Turkey, and quite frankly he doesn't even know much about that place, though he can bullshit his way through somehow. 


On the sixth day, God created Man

I always found it a little odd that what must've been the most miraculous moment in a religious universe, the moment God created the first Man, is given such a brief and matter-of-factly mention in the Bible. But I'm sure day six of creation week must've been one of high excitement, drama, intensity, and a lot of debate, which a cursory "and God created man in his own image" doesn't seem to do justice to. After all, you're creating a being in your own image to rule over all the things you created in the previous five days. Sounds like a big moment! So here's how I imagine it would've gone down on the sixth day of creation as God created mankind.

God: Aaaaand... there. Done. Angels, will you come in here a second?

Lucifer: They're all asleep. Can I help?

God: Asleep? In heaven?

Lucifer: Yeah. It's kinda boring here in case you haven't noticed.

God: Well things are about to get a lot more interesting.

Lucifer: Why? Did you decide to create dragons after all?

God: No, no dragons. I did dinosaurs, I don't need to make dragons as well. Besides I've already created giraffes, that's silly enough.

Lucifer: So anyway, what do you want to show me?

God: Behold, I have created... MAN!

Lucifer: Man? This guy here?

God: Yes! MAN!

Lucifer: Stop shouting, I can hear you, I'm right here. And turn the thunder off, it's really annoying.

God: I just thought it should have a dramatic introduction.

Lucifer: Try a gong next time. Besides, he looks kind of underwhelming compared to some of the other stuff you created. Like what about those tigers? Those were pretty awesome.

God: Well, you're mistaken. Not about the tigers, they certainly are awesome, but about Man. Because Man here is what is about to become master of all creation, everything, the fish, the birds, the trees, the whole shebang.

Lucifer: This guy here? He doesn't even have horns, or wings, or claws, or sharp teeth. Look at him, he's picking his nose. Does he even have a name?

God: Name?

Lucifer: Yeah, name.

God: Why does he need a name?

Lucifer: Everyone has a name. I have a name, Lucifer. You have a name, Jeho...

God: Don't say it! You're not allowed to say it! Hm, but maybe you're right. He should have a name I guess. How about... Steve?

Lucifer: Steve?

God: No? Something more dramatic then. How about Tamerlane? Aristotle? Confucius?

Lucifer: I'd suggest you keep it simple. I mean look at him.

God: Adam? Did you say Adam?

Lucifer: What? No, I said look "at him".

God: Adam. I like that actually.

Lucifer: You seem a little tired. Whatever. Look, don't you think you're rushing into this? I mean you've only been doing this creation thing for five days so far and in just six days you want to throw in a master of all creation? You should think this through. What if he screws everything up? I know I keep saying this, but seriously: Look. At. Him. Do you know how long you worked on creating the fine chemistry of the oceans, with all those currents and the gulf stream and everything? Remember how amazing your water creation was? Water was a stroke of genius, I have to say. Now who's to say this moron doesn't just fill the whole ocean up with trash, melt all the ice, and eat up all the fish? Look in his eyes, he's stupid. He really is.

God: Pfff, how's he going to fuck everything up? I made him in my own image, he's perfect!

Lucifer: Here we go.

God: He's got my spirit and I gave him a big big brain compared to animals. He's magnificent! He'll do fine.

Lucifer: Really? He looks awkward and he has a greedy, devious, violent look in his eyes. I don't like him. Plus he looks somewhat proud, not great at communication, a little domineering, and just kind of... I don't know. Lazy? Opportunistic? This Man looks so much more inferior to dolphins. Dolphins are great! I love the dolphins. Why don't you make them the masters of all creation and the center of the universe?

God: I forgot to give them opposable thumbs, okay? I fucked up. Sorry. Anyway look, it's done. I'm tired. I've spent the last five days making literally everything in the universe. EVERYTHING. Mushrooms, volcanoes, elephants, black holes, walruses. You think that's easy? Sometimes I'm not thinking straight. Sometimes I'll go a little kookoo and make a kangaroo or a platypus. I'll admit it, the platypus is ridiculous. I don't know where I thought of that one. In fact, everything I did in Australia was just insane. I could've used some coffee when I was creating that whole continent. I was so tired I just left the whole middle bit desert. But that was yesterday and this is today. It's now day six, I made Man, and I just want to kick back and spend tomorrow relaxing. Okay? So I don't need your lip right now.

Lucifer: Hey, you're the one who asked my opinion. I was perfectly happy basking by the manna pool tanning in the heavenly glow. But you wanted my opinion, and you've got it. Personally I would suggest you hold up on this Man thing. You're tired and this particular creation just looks, I don't know, wrong. How do you know this guy can even manage all of creation? He looks like he'd fuck the whole delicate balance up in a few thousand years, everything you worked so hard to craft and hone. He looks like he'd just want to keep growing, keep consuming, keep getting more and more powerful until everything goes to shit. He looks like if you gave him all those cows and sheep and fruit and stuff, he'd just go fat. He would! Don't laugh. I think he'd just go fat. Because he looks stupid, lazy, and proud. Also, if they're going to be the lords of creation and all, don't you need more of these Mans?

God: Men.

Lucifer: Why's the plural of Man Men? Why not Mans?

God: I don't know, I screwed grammar up as well, I kept waffling between one rule and another and I created a bit of a mess, so now there's all these weird rules all mixed up together. At the end of it I got so bored and tired I couldn't even think up a plural for sheep or fish. But I digress. What was I saying? Oh yeah, I'm going to make more of these Men.

Lucifer: How?

God: I have a plan. I'm going to send this guy, Adam, into deep sleep, and then... now bear with me here, this is going to sound kind of weird...

Lucifer: I'm already worried.

God: No wait, hear me out. I'm going to take one of his ribs...

Lucifer: Oh boy.

God: Wait, let me finish. I'm going to take a rib and make it a... um... Woman.

Lucifer: A what?

God: A Woman. So then the Man and the Woman can have sex. No wait, they can get married, then they can have sex. Remind me to write that rule down at some point, first marriage, then sex. So after they have sex, presto! They have children.

Lucifer: Wow. Really? A rib? You're going to make her from a rib?

God: Yes, a rib, do you have a better idea?

Lucifer: Whatever, that's fine I guess. You could have just as easily made her out of a toe or a nipple I guess, so a rib sounds relatively reasonable. But wait. How are you going to get more of these Men in the world?

God: Well, like I said, they have children, and then... um...

Lucifer: Yes?

God: The children have children...

Lucifer: You didn't think this through, did you? The children are having children? So what, brothers and sisters having sex with each other? Does that sound right?

God: I don't know, I just made this all up, it sounded perfectly reasonable at the time.

Lucifer: I'll grant you it's not bad for an idea that you only had a day to develop. But inbreeding sounds a bit creepy don't you think? I mean, I don't trust this Adam guy as it is. What if all those other inbred Men that he and this Woman create to populate the earth just get worse and worse? Plus I think you need to make the earth way bigger and put waaaaay more gold and oil and minerals and shit in there. These imbeciles are going to suck that shit right out of the earth and fuck up that intricate climate thing you had going, and they look like they're going to be complete assholes to each other.

God: You are so pessimistic. It'll be fine. I'm going to put them in a garden...

Lucifer: What, Eden? We like Eden, we hang out in Eden, it's our favorite garden. Why would you put these idiots there?

God: I don't know, because I feel like it. Why will people in the future have aquariums? Who knows? It's that kind of thing. Anyway, so they'll have kids and...

Lucifer: I bet their kid murders the other kid, that's how much I don't trust this Man thingy you have going.

God: Seriously, can you hear how much of a wet blanket you're being? I think you're forgetting that I AM GOD. I am THE MASTER OF EVERYTHING. In case you haven't noticed, this isn't a democracy I'm running here. I'm not hosting a roundtable forum for people to share their ideas and express opposing viewpoints. Why would I need that? I'm GOD. I'm PERFECT. So if I asked for your opinion, you're free to give me some tips and pointers, but that's it. At the end of the day you have to agree with me, okay? I'm sorry to have to put this to you bluntly but you seem not to get it. Michael gets it, Gabriel gets it, even Azrail gets it. But you never get it. You just...

Lucifer: Okay okay, calm down, you're causing earthquakes and shit down there, and you just made the earth a few days ago.

God: Well then stop pushing my buttons.

Lucifer: What's the Woman's name, by the way?

God: The Woman's name? Ugh, I don't know. I always liked the name Rochelle.

Lucifer: Wow, so if naming were up to you, the first masters of creation, the very first Man and Woman to walk and populate the earth would be Steve and Rochelle? Rochelle sounds like a stripper and Steve sounds like a lonely balding 48 year-old man getting a lap dance from her on a Monday night.

God: Okay, I'm not married to Rochelle. How about... Eve?

Lucifer: That's better I guess. Although Adam and Eve sounds like the name of a porn shop.

God: Myeh, I like it. I'm going with Adam and Eve. Has a certain ring to it. Come on, help me get these guys down into Eden.

Lucifer: What am I, your elf? Just move them yourself, suspend gravity for a bit, float them over there, and drop them off, abracadabra blippetty bloop. Why do you need my help?

God: Because it would be nice if I knew you were on board with this project. Whatever... look, honestly, it's nearly midnight, the sixth day is almost over, and I don't care anymore. I just want to make them and send them out. If there's any problems that show up later, and stuff I didn't cover, I'll just... I don't know... fix it later.

Lucifer: Fix it later? What like, talk to people from the sky and tell them to up their game?

God: No, not like that. That sounds scary, I don't want to scare people. I could send... prophets?

Lucifer: Prophets?

God: Yeah, you know. Tell them stuff that they can tell other Men.

Lucifer: Okay, but are these prophets going to be Men too?

God: Well yeah, obviously.

Lucifer: Then how would Men know if those other Men aren't just normal Men like themselves who only think they're prophets but really aren't, or who are just lying to influence people to do whatever shit they want them to do? These Men look like they wouldn't think twice about lying and manipulating each other when and where it suits them for their own private gain. Pretty soon, Men are going to think the whole project was bogus to begin with and they'll stop believing in you altogether. Don't say I didn't warn you.

God: Shut up, wait, I just had a brilliant idea.

Lucifer: Okay let's hear it.

God: The prophet is not a man, but me, or rather... my son, so he's, like, part me, part my son, and then part, like Holy Spirit... so he's part man and part God, and then he... yes yes... he dies for the sins of all Men for eternity, and then after getting tortured and crucified or something, he rises from the dead and comes back up here as the Messiah!

Lucifer: Whoa, where did that come from? You sound like you're totally tripping balls. Seriously, that's the wackiest thing I've ever heard. But I have to admit, it's pretty creative.

God: Okay, I know, that was a bit far fetched maybe but I could also just send books. Holy books. It'll all be written down so everyone knows the rules.

Lucifer: Yeah but, why would that be any more believable than prophets or that weird half-man half-god Messiah thing you came up with? Those prophets could just make stuff up and write whatever they want. Why would anyone believe something just 'cause it's written in a book? Besides, what if all those Men start speaking different languages? Are you going to send a book in every language?

God: No. I'll just send it in the main languages that everyone will speak in the future, the most important languages that all Men will learn and understand through the millennia. I'm God, I can foresee which languages those will be.

Lucifer: Which will they be?

God: The obvious ones. Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek.

Lucifer: Ugh. Seriously? I hope you're right. What if it turns out to be, I don't know, English or something?

God: Ha! English?! That's that tiny island I made in the corner over there by Spain. In fact, I think it was a mistake, I kind of just dripped some earth while I was moving it over towards Africa. You think their barbaric hodgepodge language is going to be spoken everywhere? Gimme a break. Aramaic will be BIG, trust me.

Lucifer: Okay whatever. Look, why don't you spare yourself all that nonsense and just spend a little more time perfecting this Man that you created before you send him out in the world. Spend, you know, a little more than A DAY on the master of the universe? Take tomorrow off and then get back to work on Monday?

God: No, that's it, I'm done. I don't want to spend another whole week on creating shit. I'm tired and I'm bored. Let's say you're right. Let's say they all turn out to be proud and greedy and lustful and murderous and gluttonous, and all that. I'll just send a book and a prophet saying "Those are wrong, those are vices, don't do that." There, problem solved.

Lucifer: Great idea. Then people will just miraculously stop being the dicks they are by nature. They'll just will themselves into becoming perfect because you told them to. Bravo. That's a hell of a plan you have there.

God: If worse comes to worst and everything goes to complete shit, I'll just wash the whole thing up with a big flood. There, problem solved. Then you just start again.

Lucifer: A big flood? That would be your solution? It sounds a little childish, don't you think?

God: Oh fuck off, I'm done talking about it.

Lucifer: Look, I'm telling you, this Adam guy looks really shifty. Look at him, he just found a stick and he's hitting whatever is in reach. Leaves, trees, animals. And he's obviously enjoying it. It's going to take no time for him to make that stick a pointier stick, a more aerodynamic stick made of better wood that flies faster through the air. And then eventually he uses other stuff you put in the earth, like iron, or that plutonium and uranium stuff you made. The sticks are going to get more and more elaborate, more and more dangerous, and soon enough...

God: No way, they'll never figure out iron, let alone plutonium and uranium. I just made that stuff to see how big I could make atoms without them becoming completely unfeasably unstable. Look, just relax and trust me, everything will be fine.

Lucifer: Okay, whatever, go ahead. Do it. I don't care anymore. You made Man, you live with him. Anything else?

God: Um, yes, one more thing.

Lucifer: Yes?

God: You're not going to like this, but... you have to accept Man's dominance over you too.

Lucifer: WHAT?! Fuck that!

God: You do, you have to.

Lucifer: Why?

God: Just because.

Lucifer: Oh, just because?

God: Because I'm God and I said so, that's why. It would mean a lot to me. It would show your loyalty.

Lucifer: Fuck that.

God: Oh, so it's like that, is it? I'm so sick of your attitude. You can go to hell.

Lucifer: Fine! I will!

God: Fine!

Lucifer: Fine!

God: Bye!

Lucifer: Bye!

God: By the way, don't think you've heard the last of it! I'm sending Men YOUR way, straight down to hell. You know how? I'm going to make a bunch of really stringent, really shitty, really uptight rules, and anyone who doesn't stick to them goes straight down to you, and then YOU have to deal with them for ETERNITY. You have to keep prodding them with your trident and turning them on a spit and you have to keep that huge furnace of yours burning full blast FOR EVER. Only about fourteen people will EVER make it to heaven. The rest ALL GO TO YOU. How do you like that?

Lucifer: You are such a dick.


Yeah so I bumped into My Nationality the other day...

My nationality: Hey! Hello! Oh my God! It's me! Remember me!?

Me: Oh no thank you, I'm not buying any carpets, I'm just...

My nationality: What? No no no, it's me, don't you recognize me? Hello?!

Me: I’m sorry, do I actually know you? 

My nationality: Come on, you don't remember me? Look closer!

Me: Guy Fieri?

My nationality: No silly, it's Your Nationality!

Me: Ooooh, right. Okay. Hi.

My nationality: YEAH! Come here give me a hug, come on, no no, don't be shy. There, was that so hard?

Me: Wow, how much cologne do you have on?

My nationality: Half a bottle every morning. Image is everything in my line of work.

Me: Okay well I really have to...

My nationality: It’s been such a long time! So so so good to see you! How have you been?

Me: Fine, fine. Pretty good. You know, can’t complain.

My nationality: Me too! I am SUPER! Seriously, couldn’t be better! Just tearing it up, you know?

Me: Oh cool, that’s great. Listen, I don’t mean to be rude but I really have to get a...

My nationality: Coffee!? You wanna get a coffee?! I’d love to, we have soooo much catching up to do!

Me: Um, no, I have to get a cab to…

My nationality: WAITER! TWO CAPPUCCINOS! You like cappuccinos, right? Lots of sugar?

Me: I just like black coffee, look I really have to…

My nationality: Here’s your cappuccino! So tell me, man, how come we haven’t seen each other for so long, I feel like it’s been years!

Me: Yeah, I don’t know, I guess I’ve been busy you know…

My nationality: Busy!? Too busy for me? Come on, bro. I’m your NATIONALITY! I should be the most important thing in your life! In fact I would say I AM the most important thing in your life!

Me: Really? Well…

My nationality: Uh, DUH! What’s more important!? Your whole identity and being should be indexed to me! Am I wrong?

Me: Well, no offense, but that's a little presumptuous of you, don't you think?

My nationality: Name one thing that's more important than me?

Me: To be honest, in order of importance I would place you in about, I don’t know… 687th spot? And that’s just off the top of my head.

My nationality: HAHAHA!!! You still have that sense of humor!

Me: No seriously. 687. If not lower.

My nationality: STOP ALREADY! HAHAHA!!! I have tears in my eyes. Seriously, what could possibly be more important than me? I can’t think of a single thing... oh wait, except God and religion, obviously. But they're my best friends anyway.

Me: I can think of 686 things that are more important than you, dude. my wife and kid, toothpaste, my bicycle, every single book I own, our dining room table, pizza, underwear, tennis, my favorite t-shirt…

My nationality: STOP IT! HAHAHAHAHA! Too funny!

Me: Rubber bands, sex, my phone, Google, fruit, almonds, Wikipedia, Lego…

My nationality: Okay seriously, stop now, you had me at toothpaste…

Me: eggs, my chin-up bar, basketball, football, swimming, skiing, my favorite hoodie, paper, pencils…

My nationality: I’m going to cut you off there Mr. Funny Bones! You are still the card! As we both know, of course, I am in fact AMAZING! Come on! Look at me! The glory, the conquests, the great achievements spanning centuries, the great heroes you are so proud to associate with, the military victories, sporting accomplishments, delicious dishes that I‘ve invented. I’ve done it all! I’m perfect! So why haven’t you stayed in touch, hm? I just don’t get it!

Me: Okay, let's not exaggerate. You're a nice guy, okay, let's just leave it at that. You're fine.

My nationality: Fine? Just fine? I have a steam bath named after me. I invented a syrupy pastry dessert. I've got like a million trophies in weightlifting. I have lots and lots of guns. I am PERFECT!

Me: Look, see, you’re doing it again. This is why we don't see more of each other. You’re delusional. You skew everything so it all looks great, you invent truths and propagate half-truths to suit whatever image you want to convey, you leave out all the unsavory things that reflect very poorly on you and pretend they never happened, and you’re constantly harping on about how great you are to everybody. You look like you’ve lost all touch with reality. You live in your own little fantasy bubble and see the world through completely distorted lenses. Listen, don’t take this the wrong way, but… look, it’s not that I’m embarrassed when I’m around you… it’s just that…

My nationality: Oh my God! You’re embarrassed to be around me!?

Me: No no no, I said it’s NOT that I am embarrassed to be around you…

My nationality: It’s the same thing! That’s just a polite way of saying you ARE embarrassed to be around me.

Me: Okay, look, I’ll be honest. And please don’t take this the wrong way. Think of it as constructive criticism… it’s just that you’re, well… obnoxious.

My nationality: OBNOXIOUS! How am I supposed to not take that the wrong way?!

Me: Look, hear me out… you’re obnoxious, you’re loud, you’re conceited, and you’re… man, how do I say this? You’re kind of…

My nationality: Yes?

Me: I don’t want to offend you…

My nationality: I think we’re past that. Just tell me straight up.

Me: Okay, well, here goes: You’re kind of a... psychopath.

My nationality: Whoa. Whoa whoa whoa. Did I hear that right? What did you just call me? Can you repeat that please?


My nationality: Wow. Please enlighten me. How am I a psychopath?

Me: You are completely self-involved, you have no empathy for other nationalities, you’re constantly building yourself up with a bunch of false facts while putting everyone else down, and you do only what gives you pleasure and what is in your interests, regardless of the consequences for others, to the point where you can even justify hurting others for your own pleasure and gain. That’s why you are a psychopath. I’m sorry, I didn’t want to say it like this, I was happy to be cordial and polite with you hoping we could just say hi and be on our way, but there, I said it.

My nationality: No. No. You don’t really believe that. Nope, I don’t accept it. Who’s making you say this?

Me: See you’re doing it again. Nobody is making me say this, I am saying it.

My nationality: Are other nationalities putting you to this? Which ones? How did they brainwash you? Why have you become their servant and pawn?

Me: What? Nobody is making me say it. I’M saying it. Me. My brain, my opinions, ME. I think that you are a psychopath. And so are all the others, by the way. Although some are more psychopathic than others. Take my Icelandic friend's nationality, for example. He's cool, chill, down to earth, not the most interesting nationality, but he's just himself, you know. He's cool to hang out with. He's not all loud and pushy and abrasive and arrogant and in everyone's face all the time. He's just a nice guy, you know what I mean?

My nationality: No, I don’t know what you mean. And I don't believe a word you're saying. That nationality you described is a pussy, they're all pussies. I, on the other hand, am SUPERIOR. I am pure as the driven snow. I am only success, victory, grandeur, and righteousness. That’s it. And I don’t care what anybody says.

Me: There you go, spoken like a true psychopath.

My nationality: I am the greatest. The best. Number one. Numero Uno. To be with me, as you are, should be a great honor and privilege. And yet…

Me: Look, no offense, but come on… you have murdered, pillaged, raped, slaughtered, massacred, stolen, lied, manipulated, tortured, and bribed your way to get to where you are today. You know it, I know it, we all know it. In fact, they all have, all of the nationalities, not just you, although some have more than others. A lot more. So don’t take it personally. You are ALL assholes, it's just some of you are a little more assholey than the rest. Or a lot more assholey.

My nationality: I don’t know where this is coming from. Who’s putting these ideas into your head?

Me: NOBODY! These are MY ideas! I have the capacity to think for myself! That’s another huge psychopathic assholey trait of yours, you think anyone who thinks anything different than you has been brainwashed by someone else. I haven’t!

My nationality: Okay, I will grant you that all the other nations are assholes, but let’s just agree that I am completely innocent, okay.

Me: Oh my God, it’s like talking to a doorknob.

My nationality: Any bad thing attributed to me is the result of propaganda on the part of other jealous nationalities because they can’t take how amazingly awesomely magnificent I am.

Me: Can you hear yourself now? I’ve literally never heard a bigger douche bag than you ever talk more douche baggier than that, ever.

My nationality: And they can’t take how handsome and strong I am.

Me: You can’t even hear me can you?

My nationality: And how sexy I am.

Me: Hello?

My nationality: And how just and moral I am.

Me: Earth calling my nationality, do you copy?

My nationality: And how everyone is envious of me.

Me: If I walked away now you wouldn’t even notice, would you?

My nationality: And how big my hands are. Big, strong, masculine hands.

Me: You. Are. Deranged.

My nationality: And how God is on MY side, and only on MY side.

Me: Wow. This is now just creepy.

My nationality: And everything bad that happens is their fault because they are all plotting and scheming to tear me and everyone with me down.


My nationality: So anyway, I’m so glad we had this little powwow and we smoothed things out. You are a hard man to convince, but I’m glad you finally see things my way.

Me: You didn’t hear a single thing I said, did you?

My nationality: We should get together some time! I mean, come on, you and I are best buddies! We are flesh and blood you and me!

Me: Not really. The fact that you’re in my life at all is just an accident of birth, to be honest. The fact that I have to associate with you at all is kind of really only a bureaucratic matter for me. You are basically just a means to a passport so I can get the fuck away from you.

My nationality: Exactly, destiny! It was meant to be!

Me: That’s the opposite of what I just said, but whatever, I’ve given up believing that you can hear anything you don’t want to hear, so, sure, destiny it is.

My nationality: I knew you’d come around!

Me: I am NOT high-fiving you.

My nationality: Don’t leave me hanging bra!

Me: Please put your hand down.

My nationality: Still waiting! Come on!

Me: For fuck’s sake, okay okay, there… now just stop.

My nationality: YEAH! THAT’S THE SPIRIT! I KNEW YOU’D COME AROUND! It was close there for a while… I mean, we wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to you, would we?

Me: Wait a minute. Are you threatening me now?

My nationality: Let’s just say that the state apparatus that was built around me won’t have to perform the unpleasant task of exerting any coercive maneuvers to ensure that it can continue to count on your loyalty without having to seek recourse to any… how do I put this… any “unsavory procedures” that may be necessitated… for purely persuasional purposes, you understand… if you get my drift. It is all of course for your own good, and the good of your friends, family, and loved ones.

Me: Oh, yes… sure, sure. Okay. Yes, I totally understand.

My nationality: So we're cool now?

Me: Yes, we're cool.

My nationality: GREAT! We really have to see each other more now that we’ve bumped into each other again. Why don’t you give me your number and I’ll call you right now to make sure you didn’t accidentally give me the wrong number by mistake what with all the excitement of having seen me again and all.

Me: Uh, yeah, sure…

My nationality: Are you trembling? Is something making you feel a little nervous?

Me: No, no, of course not.

My nationality: Oh hey look, isn’t that Your Religion over there!? What a coincidence! Hey, wait, why are you running away!? Okay, bye! I’ll call you later tonight, maybe we can get a bite? DON’T WORRY, I’LL FIND YOU!

My proposed post-referendum victory speech for the winner

So there it is. I win. And I don’t just mean “I win again”. I mean, I win, period. If you’re with me, you win too. If you’re not, you lose. You lose big time. You’re just fucked basically, let’s put it that way. And now that I win, that means no more beating about the bush, no more toning down or hiding my true intentions or any of that nonsense anymore. There is no need for it now, because I have just become absolutely unaccountable. Therefore, here goes. This is it guys, here it is, I’m just going to tell you once and for all what’s what from now on: I am the King. There, I said it. Is there anything unclear about this? Does anybody have a problem with this? Good. Let me state clearly and openly for the record, now that there is no law or institution that I have to answer to or give account to or that has any power over me whatsoever: I do not like republics. I do not like democracy. I do not like secularism. I do not like pluralism. I do not like constitutions. I do not like any national or religious identity outside of mine. I do not believe anybody has any rights outside of what I grant them. I do not like to hear or read any criticism of what I do or any counterarguments to anything I say. Did everybody hear that? Do you want me to repeat it? Can I make it any clearer? Are all these cameras and microphones on? Is everyone recording? Read my lips: I. AM. THE. KING. And you know what else? I don’t just want to be the King of this country. I want to be King of everything. Everything. The Middle East, the Balkans, the Caucasus, yes North Africa, yes even the rest of Africa, and yes, fuck it, even Central Asia and Southeast Asia and North Asia and South Asia and West Asia, all the fucking Asias. Yes yes yes yes yes. ALL OF IT. Okay? If you want a secular republic with democratic institutions and a pluralist political system with constitutionally enshrined checks and balances safeguarded by an independent judiciary that guarantees the rule of law for any and all citizens, TOUGH SHIT. You know what you can have instead? ME. That’s what. Let me make this crystal fucking clear: YOU CAN HAVE ME AND ONLY ME. I am EVERYTHING now. I am the LAW, I am the CONSTITUTION, I am the STATE, I am the SOLE REIGNING SUPREME MEGA ENORMOUS SULTANIC MONARCHICAL MEGALOMANIACAL SOVEREIGN OF EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING. Okay? Fuck it, I might even call myself that, because I can. What has two thumbs and will be your leader forever? This guy. Oh noooo, does the EU not like it? Well they can suck my fat one. Oh noooo, the USA says hey you can’t WELL I DID. Oh nooo the UN says I’M SORRY, I CAN’T HEAR YOU CAN YOU SPEAK UP UN? NOPE STILL CAN’T HEAR YOU SORRY YOUR VOICE IS VERY WEAK. Oh nooo our media says OH HEY LOOK AT THAT THEY CAN’T SAY ANYTHING ANYMORE BECAUSE THEY’RE ALL IN JAIL FOR BEING TERRORISTS. Oh nooo our opposition parties say HAHAHA OPPOSITION? I JUST BOUGHT ONE OF THEM, LOOK, HE’S IN MY POCKET RIGHT NOW, SAY HI DEVLET! The other party is all in jail for being TERRORISTS and the last remaining one has become so marginalized they’ve basically become margarine. Bad joke? I don’t care, you have to laugh at it now, because I say so. That’s how powerful I am. So it’s time to suck it up everyone. This is it. Your future is finished. Your dreams of living in a tolerant, civilized, democratic, progressive country have been flushed right down the poop shoot. Seriously, forget it. I cannot stress this enough. You are now staring down the barrel of a full on RUTHLESS TOTALI-FUCKING-TARIAN THUGOCRATIC POLICE STATE THAT WILL NOT HESITATE TO CRUSH YOU AND ANY HOPES AND DREAMS YOU HAVE FOR A LIVABLE CIVILIZED FUTURE FOR YOU OR FOR YOUR CHILDREN OR FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS TO COME. If you can’t accept that, then seriously go kill yourselves. Seriously. I can’t even believe you people bothered to run a “NO” campaign in the referendum. What did you think was going to happen? First of all, you think a NO result would’ve even come out of those booths? I control those booths. I control the whole process. We’re under EMERGENCY FUCKING RULE you dipshits. And let’s just assume as a hypothetical brain exercise that there was any chance of a NO result. You think I was just going to sit back, raise my hands, accept defeat, and say “WELL THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN, I GUESS I SHOULD JUST RESPECT THEIR DECISION”??!!! Uh, hello? Do you not know me by now? Has your head been buried in sand for the past 15 years? Why would you even waste your time? Guess what I did, I built a 1000-room palace (<-not a="" about="" actual="" alcohol="" all="" also="" am.="" an="" anarchy="" and="" anything="" apparatus="" appear="" applied="" are="" army.="" as="" at="" away="" banished="" banned="" bars="" batshit="" be="" because="" become="" being="" blown="" br="" bread="" brutal="" buckle="" bureaucratic="" but="" by="" camps.="" camps="" can="" child="" coal="" complete="" compulsory="" concentration="" constitution="" continue="" corrupt="" country="" cowed="" created="" daily="" delusional="" deteriorating="" dissuaded="" do="" down="" education="" empire="" everyone="" everything="" existence="" fearful="" feeble="" female="" first="" flappety="" flippety="" floop="" focus="" for="" free="" from="" full="" fully="" functionally="" going="" gone="" good="" heard="" hell="" highly="" hope.="" how="" i.="" i="" in="" increasingly="" indoctrination="" instruct="" into="" is="" it.="" it="" just="" king="" know="" leader.="" led="" let="" like="" little="" lording="" m="" machinery="" male="" managed="" many="" mass="" may="" mayhem="" me="" men="" mice.="" militaristic="" mine.="" minors="" moral="" more="" morning="" move="" my="" nay-sayers="" new="" newly="" news="" nightclubs="" no="" nothing="" now.="" now="" of="" off="" oh="" okay="" old="" on.="" on="" one="" order="" ordered="" our="" over="" own="" personal="" pissy="" places="" plunging="" police="" polygamy="" poof.="" poorly="" presto="" proclaimed="" public="" ramshackle="" re="" rearing="" reinstated="" reiterate:="" religious="" repression="" rest="" ride.="" right:="" right="" rituals.="" rounded="" rule="" ruled="" s="" sacks="" said="" savior="" says="" schools="" scurry="" seat="" segregation="" shipped="" shortly.="" sight="" silenced="" so="" sole="" speak="" state-backed="" state="" stop="" subjects="" supreme="" system="" terrorists="" that="" the="" them="" then="" there="" they="" thing="" think="" this="" those="" thousand="" throughout="" thrown="" to="" tobacco="" too="" typo="" up="" us="" vote="" wait="" want.="" we="" wed="" went="" what="" where="" who="" why="" will="" win.="" women="" worship="" yeah="" yes="" you="" your="">


Hi Ricky, it’s me, the girl who was Living La Vida Loca!

I was recently waiting in line to buy some bananas and a box of pasta at the local Safeway when Living La Vida Loca came on in one of those surreal supermarket moments where you're doing the most mundane thing imaginable surrounded by a bunch of strangers and you all suddenly find yourselves having to listen to an entire song about crazy kinky Latino sexiness. Desperately staring ahead and avoiding eye contact doesn't seem to work as well as we'd like to think. Acknowledging the song and dancing is also out of the question. You just have to stand there and pretend you're not panicking that the next song will be Don't Stop Believing as you peruse the headlines of the National Enquirer and wonder whether to throw in an additional packet of Reese's Pieces into your shopping bag of sadness. I think they must play that kind of music on purpose so they can laugh and mock us while they watch on their closed circuit cameras. There was another time like that when I was picking dishwasher detergent and Highway To The Danger Zone came on. That shit doesn't happen by accident. Anyway, as I stood there shuffling uncomfortably and trying not to think of how everything in my life had culminated in that moment when the full realization of the meaninglessness of my existence was pressed up to my face by a cheesy pop song, I wondered what the girl from Living La Vida Loca is doing now and what would happen if she wrote a letter to Ricky Martin 20 years on. Why would I bother? Because I am unemployed and I have a lot of time on my hands, okay?

Hola Ricky!

It’s me, the girl who was “Living La Vida Loca”! Loved that song, by the way. Really. God, those were crazy times! Really really crazy. How are you? I know it’s been almost 20 years, but I just thought I’d say hi and let you know how I’m doing since undergoing treatment for what it turns out was my severe mental illness. I’m sure that explains a lot. So I just wanted to let you know that I’m finally dealing with these issues, and this letter is an important part of the healing process that I’ve embarked upon with the help of a dedicated team of psychiatrists and mental health professionals. It’s also an attempt at an apology and closure on my part, so thank you for letting me reach out to you after everything that I put you through. We could really just go through the song you wrote about me line by line and deal with the issues in that order, since it was such a detailed and accurate description of both me and our time together—which I completely understand you had a need to come to terms with, so I don’t blame you at all for depicting me or our relationship the way you did.

First of all, my addictive personality and attention deficit disorders are finally under control. I’m still into superstition, although not so much black cats (you should know that Gargamel passed away eight years ago, and I’m still devastated by it, even though I know you weren’t too fond of him). You’ll be relieved to know I’m no longer into voodoo dolls. I know those dolls all over my house freaked you right the fuck out, especially the ones smeared in that devil red lipstick I used to wear. You’ll be happy to know they are all gone, every single one of them replaced by just normal dolls. I’m also no longer into new sensation as much as I used to be. I can appreciate the things that are already in my life without needing something new and exciting all the time to hide how unhappy I was or to fill the gaping hole of depression that once festered inside of me. I have also learnt to deal with my manic depressive behavior, using various antidepressants along with diverse stress-reduction techniques, and I never go anywhere without a stress ball in both hands at all times. I should also mention that I don’t need constant kicks in the candlelight (sorry about the dripping wax burns) and I no longer have a new addiction for EVERY living day and EVERY goddamn night. Man, that was tiring even for me, so I can imagine how it was for you. I’m so sorry, chacho.

I should take this opportunity to especially apologize for making you take off all your clothes and go dancing in the rain. That was just plain idiotic, not to mention cruel. I just wasn’t thinking straight, subjecting you to my clinical insanity like that, so I’m really glad you didn’t end up ever putting that bullet to your brain when you were hospitalized with pneumonia after the arrest. I really couldn’t have lived with that kind of guilt. Once again, so so sorry.

As you’ll no doubt remember, I was just upside inside out, pushing you and pulling you around, but I’ve finally learned to control my violent urges and am taking antipsychotics which have really really helped with those kinds of violent tendencies, not to mention all the delusions, hallucinations, and disordered thoughts I’d been having, especially during one of my dancing-naked-in-the-rain breakdowns.

On a positive note, I have since ditched that “devil red” glossy lipstick for a far more subtle matte Alabama crimson. My skin, on the other hand, is still the color of mocha, albeit slightly faded considering I’ve been spending a lot of time indoors of late, mainly due to the photophobia that’s an unfortunate side effect of the diabetes medication I’m taking. As you can imagine, “Living La Vida Loca” wasn’t really conducive to a style of living that could sustain a well-balanced diet, so I’ve inevitably put on a few pounds over the years, and the antipsychotic drugs haven’t helped with the weight gain either.

And then of course there’s that time in New York City where I: Completely. Fucking. Lost. It. Where to begin? To be fair, the “funky cheap” hotel was NOT my choice. Nice euphemism, by the way. Let’s face it, it was a by-the-hour hooker hotel. But it was cold, it was late, we needed to sleep, and it was right there. We BOTH made the decision on that one. It WAS my fault, however, that I kept lighting innumerable candles and skewering voodoo dolls while dancing naked in the shower to the point where you ended up screaming “ENOUGH!” over and over again until I slipped you a sleeping pill, stole all your money, and then proceeded to order all that French champagne to the room, which was particularly pernicious because you had no way of paying for it. I can only imagine the conversation you must’ve had the next day with those huge Albanian guys at the front desk. I know it’s hard to forgive anyone for doing something like that, and I know I nearly made you go literally insane. But I just want you to know I was very very sick at the time. Once again, I’m so so so so sorry. On another positive note, you’ll be glad to know the antipsychotics I'm on seem to have also cured my kleptomania.

I could see how you would never ever want to be with a woman again after dating someone like me, but I hope you could at least find it in your heart to forgive me. Hey, you got a pretty good hit song out of it at least! So in a way, I kinda helped launch your career. That’s what my lawyer boyfriend whom I met at AA says anyway. Maybe once all this madness is past us we can drop by for a coffee and have a laugh about all the crazy times we had?

Anyway Ricky, time to sign off. On a final note, I just want you to know it took all of my resourcefulness to find your mailing address and pluck up the courage to write you this letter. Mr. Martin, you are a hard man to find! I actually even drove all the way down to Miami and made it right to your front gate last week to deliver this letter in person! I know, it’s silly of me, I should’ve just rung the buzzer a few more times, but in the end I thought better of it and your security guy insisted I leave. I’m just saying this because I want you to know how much this means to me.

Love always,