Gossip

Warmth spread through hands that were hugging a hot cup of Shou Mei tea. North Korea sat with his legs crossed, an unusually subdued posture for the high-strung man, and lips in a faint frown. His eyes, glistening with a hint of dolefulness, were occupied with the etched drawings of dragons that circled the small, round table. Across from him, China was coolly watching him and thinking about money.

“I feel sorry for her,” North Korea said finally. “That’s what it comes down to.”

An eyebrow was raised. “Oh?”

North Korea looked up at China and began slowly, as if he was thinking through this own words. “We don’t think alike and we never will. But we both know that America is… a problem. She wants him gone as much as I do.” Then he added quickly after noticing China give him a disbelieving look, “almost as much as I do.”

“They’re friends.”

“But not really.”

“Is that right?”

“He’s overstaying his welcome.”

China sipped his tea, nodding at the flavor–or perhaps the statement. “You prompted her to extend that invitation.”

“That’s irrelevant.”

China nodded again. “Right.”

“Whatever use he was to her then is irrelevant now.”

“You scare her.”

“I should.”

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Can you blame someone for taking what you handed him?

Canada
To: me

If it’s not worry then it’s stress. There’s a reason why you’re sending me emails at two in the morning, and it wasn’t to ask me about what I think is the meaning of Rocky Horror Picture Show (although, to answer your question: it’s obviously a social commentary about the dangers of the glam rock movement). What’s wrong?

To: Canada (canucksthecup2015@yahoo.com)

Russia is scary but she doesn’t scare me. Once you see a person at their highest and then at their lowest, things change. I watched her rule the North then tear herself apart. There’s no more mountains for Russia, just valleys. If she didn’t pull the trigger on me before, she won’t do it now–probably. I know why you brought her up earlier, but you can’t really compare Russia and China. Russia is a honey badger. China is a spider.

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MAD 1: If it’s not love…

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Photo by Uri Tours

 

It was only a matter of time before North Korea got an h-bomb, and after that it was only a matter of time before everyone killed each other.

***

Model United Nations meetings were supposed to be intelligent and highly organized simulations of real-world diplomatic problem-solving during times of crisis. Not this one.

It started like any other. The “General Assembly” was set up like a college classroom, with long desks divided into sections according to geographic region. During the lull of the pre-session, countries walked between rows and through aisles to patronize one another for about fifteen minutes.

America had gravitated over to Asia to talk regional security with South Korea (“Hey, I’ve got a THAAD that needs deploying somewhere.” “Don’t wink like that. It’s weird.”) as North Korea glared daggers at them from three seats down in a chair that was rather close to China. The rest of Asia tried to keep their conversations pleasant while purposefully ignoring Japan. There was some kind of choir of angry squawking coming from Europe; nobody questioned it but everyone made sure to avoid it. That is, everyone except Canada, who didn’t know any better. The rest of the Americas were just glad their northern neighbor was somewhere else. The Middle East was, much like Europe, broken up into little groups of friends that didn’t even like each other that much, and Israel was nowhere to be found. Australia had slipped into the mess that was Europe because she didn’t want to look like a loser sitting alone. Africa was pretty mild.

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It’s all fun and games until a superpower collapses

The Cuban Missile Crisis left deep, psychological scars on both nuclear superpowers. For weeks after, America wore his flag on everything (tie, boxers, socks, cool baseball cap) to repel communism as much as possible. He also spent most of his nights on the roof with a 6-pack of root beer and a shotgun. But that was as much about the Red Scare as it was about his love for root beer and shotguns. Russia coped by plotting to control every country east of Germany.

In August 1963, a “hotline” between the US and USSR was established in order to keep total nuclear destruction of the planet from ever threatening humanity again. Ground-breaking for its time, this system allowed International communication to happen between the superpowers in a matter of minutes. It was made to prevent World War III. It was used to send ridiculous jokes.

Is your refrigerator running?

That was the first message Russia had received from America personally.

Leave my refrigerator alone.

That was the first message America had received from Russia personally.

Well then you’d better go catch it!

Russia didn’t understand, but continued to humor America throughout the Cold War.

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2084

obey-obamaNorth Korea was jolted awake by trumpets blaring from the house speaker. It was the United States national anthem. Begrudgingly, he dragged himself out of bed to get dressed. On the front wall were three grand picture frames showcasing the leaders of Great Capitalist Uprising: George W. Bush Jr., Barack Obama, and Donald Trump.

It was the year 2084 and the United States of America ruled the world. Capitalism, a rapidly spreading political disease that began in North America, had taken over the free–or not so free–world. The former Soviet Union tried to contain it, but to no avail. Once America dominated the West, he’d set his eyes on the East. An era of ideological warfare ensued as the only good countries left banded together to form a Resistance. But the fist of conservative economics and first-world privilege crushed any kind of opposition or rebellion. Meanwhile, scientists discovered the formula for eternal life, which America horded all for himself and administered to the sinister leaders of the Great Capitalist Uprising.

North Korea walked through the streets. He passed rows of walking civilians with monotonous expressions, the happiness drained from them. Everyone looked the same in the dress code that had been forced on them. Men were to wear sweatshirts, torn Levi jeans, Converse sneakers, and a patriotic snapback. The women were to wear sweatshirts, torn Levi jeans, Converse sneakers, and a patriotic snapback. The children were to wear Uggs.

Everyone walked in the same direction. The children skipped along as they sang (as regulation forced them to) the demoralizing tunes of right wing aggressors such as Elvis Presley, Toby Keith, and Taylor Swift. Nobody questioned it because nobody could.

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Load up on guns and bring your friends.

America had been the first to suggest it. Because nobody could say that shooting and screaming at each other over a video game was bad (they all thought it was very good), Game Night became a thing.

 They did it every year starting in 2008, practically turning it into an international holiday. On that one special night, a fifth of the world would all fire up their game systems, pop in the most overplayed FPS they could find, and begin to shoot and scream at each other. In a way, it was poetic.

Since 2010, they decided to bring Switzerland into the game as a moderator of sorts. Every year since 2010, it’s ended the same way.

Faction I:

United States
Canada
Mexico
France
England

Faction II:

Russia
North Korea
China
Iran
Cuba

Map: Abandoned urban city.

Objective: Eliminate all enemies.

Begin match!

America: What the hell are these teams? Who rigged this? Everyone over there hates me.

Mexico: Everyone over here hates you, too.

America: Good point.


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Enemies like to complain about each other

There they were at either Tim Horton’s or Dunkin’ Donuts, talking about North Korea.

“He’s being so temperamental lately, you know?” America complained between munches. “He’s firing rockets, telling me to stop hanging out with South Korea, complaining to the U.N., calling me a terrorist…” At that, Canada muttered something under her breath that America mistook for a cough. “He’s kinda paranoid.”

“America,” she began gently, “during the 60s you would stay up all night sitting on your roof with a shotgun and a six-pack of root beer, playing Janet Greene and Tony Dolan records on repeat while you ‘surveyed’ and occasionally shot at the air after nervously mumbling something about ‘the Reds.’”

“Canada, if I hadn’t done that the Commies would’a won.”

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