I got on the phone today and called my good friend, Kim Jong Il. It took awhile to get through because North Korea doesn’t produce its own energy and a lot of folks still use tin cans hooked up with string to talk to each other.
After about nine hours of being on hold listening to familiar commercials done in Korean, which was funny because North Korea has virtually no commerce, Jong finally picked up.
“Yah?” he screamed into the phone.
“Whoa, whoa, Jong, don’t scream. It’s me, Ellie.”
“Ellie! You know ... Kim Jong Kimjong … bananafannafimfong...,” I sang to him.
“Oh ... Mees Ellie!” he laughed, “Wha you doin’ girl?”
“I’m just callin’ you, dude. Tryin’ to find out what the dealio is with the bomb and all that jazz..”
“Wha bomb? We don’t have no bomb. We are North Korea. We have nothing! No clothes. No power. We are a poor country. Whey you hear about a bomb?”
“C’mon, Jong. It’s me. Get real. Tell me what you plan on doing with that big stupid thing.”
He coughed on the other end and I asked about his health.
“No, Ellie. It’s good. I order Spanx from a shop in your country and they hold me in, make me look skinny. I am fine. Lots of rice and lots of fish.”
“OK. But you look pretty skank. Time to fatten up. Have a cheeseburger every now and then. Now, back to this nuclear weapons thing. First of all, where the heck are you getting the money to build nuclear weapons?”
“No money! We are North Korea. We are a very poor country. We have nothing. No clothes, no power...”
“Dude, you already said that. Let me ask you again in plain English, ’cause I know you understand English very well, although you could use some elocution lessons. Now, where did you get the money?”
“Hey, Ellie, I don’t ask you whey you get you money,” he whined.
“Hey, Jong, I not building nuclear weapons,” I teased back.
“You know, come on, Ellie my friend. You know.”
“No, I don’t know. What are you trying to tell me in a really bad way?” I asked, tapping my foot, getting impatient with my short little friend.
“Well...,” he stammered, “sometime...”
“Yes? Sometime what?”
“Sometime...,” I heard him tapping his pencil on his desk, “sometime...I sell people.”
“You tell people what?” I asked.
“No. No. I ‘sell’ people.”
“You sell people?” I asked with a shriek.
“Hey, Ellie...we are a poor country. Very poor. Sometime we gotta sell people to make a little money.”
“Jong. Tell me the truth. Who on earth is buying North Koreans?”
“Hey, look Ellie — North Koreans hard workers. Sometimes taste good.”
I thought I would choke.
“What do you mean, Jong, sometime taste good?”
“They way they cook. Sometime taste good.”
“You mean you sell people to work for other people ... like ... slaves?”
“Oh, we sell them everywhey. Everyone like good cheap North Koreans. Hard worker. Not big eater. Cheap. Sometime we sell a whole family. All together. Mom. Dad. Daughter. Son. Gramma.”
“I don’t believe you, Jong. I think you’re lying through your weasly little teeth because you don’t want to tell me where you are really getting your money.”
“Hey. Ellie. I tell you the truth.”
“No way. You are not capable of telling the truth.”
“No, come on my friend. We didn’t test nuclear device. It was old crap we find from World War 2. That and some dynamite. We lie about nuclear.”
“Really? No nuclear stuff?”
He laughed and coughed hard on the other end.
“Hey Jong, loosen up that Spanx.”
“Yeah. OK, Ellie. We lie about everything. We just want to look big and bad. That’s why I wear that ugly gray uniform all the time. Make me look like a mean prisoner. We don’t have nuclear nothing. We are too poor. All our smart people go to China to make money. We just want to scare everyone to leave us alone.”
“Why, Jong? Why won’t you let anyone in your country? Why do you keep your people so poor?”
He laughed again.
“Oh, Ellie. Americans so gullible. Another hard word to say. We got mo money than God. We are very rich country. Beautiful place. Paradise. That’s why we tell everyone to back off. Secret get out, we just like every other slobbery country that everyone fight to take over. So, you tell people we sell citizen. OK my friend?”
“Yeah, OK. But stop blowin’ stuff up. It’s kinda creepy.”
“OK my friend. Gotta go. China calling me now.”
“OK. See ya.”
That Jong. What a hoot.