A Rare Look Inside of North Korea

His head, anyway.

His head, anyway.

I mix vodka with orange juice and call it breakfast. The alcohol will help me forget that I didn’t sleep last night. Or the night before. Is it nighttime right now? I can’t tell because I never open the curtains because if I do they will watch me and I’m afraid.

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NEW BOOK – Allies & Assholes: An Honest Guide to World Affairs


Make sense of the world with humor.

Allies & Assholes is a free ebook that breaks down complicated world affairs into funny stories, enjoyable banter, and a little bit of sass. Download below the jump.

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One China two China Red China blue China

Smoke filtered through the gaps in the beaded curtain that hid their booth. Between both of their cigarettes, the air around them matched the Beijing skyline.

Long, red nails clicked against porcelain as Taiwan fixed her tea. China smoked quietly and, every so often, resisted the urge to check his buzzing cellphone. Should have silenced it.

Header image for One China Two China Red China Blue China

Smoke filtered through the gaps in the beaded curtain that hid their booth. Between both of their cigarettes, the air around them matched a Beijing skyline.

Long nails clicked against porcelain as Taiwan fixed her tea. China smoked quietly and every so often resisted the urge to check his buzzing cellphone. Should have silenced it.

“Have you been well?” She asked after a long lull of silence. It was a safe question.

China kept his eyes off of her. “Yes, I think so.”

Taiwan leaned down and breathed in.”What a nice scent.  You said this was chun mee, didn’t you?”


“Maybe I could make us tung-ting next time.”

“I don’t like oolong.”

Taiwan’s lips pursed. “You are being impossible.”

He sat up suddenly. “Excuse me? Green tea is healthy. You ought to drink it more. It lowers blood pressure and cholesterol. You could benefit–”

“Oh, shut up. I’ll drink your tea.”

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Guest post: The Darien Disaster

The Darien expedition to a mosquito-blighted swamp overlooked by forbidding mountains that separated the Pacific and Atlantic coasts was an utter disaster for Scotland.

rusty crown
Photo by Gratis

This a guest post by fellow blogger babbitman, a funny English guy who writes brilliant short stories, among other cool things, on his blog. Check him out, show him some love.

The British Isles, 1690

Wales closed the door quietly behind her and walked across the oak-panelled room to the table where England sat brooding over a map of Europe. He looked up and, although her presence was acknowledged, declined to offer her a seat. It was good for her to know her place as the junior partner in their shared enterprise. He jabbed at the map.

“France has just raided again. Gave our fleet a bloody nose then sacked a port in Devon. And the Gallic swine is now trying to persuade Ireland to join in on his side, all while our Dutch allies are desperate for us to commit against France on the continent. And that’s ignoring the conflicts sparking off in the colonies.”

Wales cocked her head, knowing he hadn’t yet finished. “But there’s something else that’s bothering you?”

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East Asia family road trip

Granny van road trip
Photo by Ryan McGuire

Imagine sharing a ride to Disneyland in a granny van with the Koreas, Japan, and China. Now, imagine wanting to shoot yourself. Those are basically the same two experiences.

Japan sat in the back, content with blocking out the world via sound-canceling earbuds and techno-pop. North Korea and South Korea shared the middle row of seats. (“I’m not sitting by him.” “Well, do you want to sit by Japan?” “Ugh.”). China was in the passenger seat because he’d been drinking in preparation for this. Taiwan manned the wheel, because she was the only sane one. According to her.

It wasn’t too long before the Koreas started fighting. North Korea’s cell battery drained faster than he’d expected, leaving him without anything to distract from his general displeasure with the world and everyone in it.

He asked, “Who wants to hear a joke?”

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The post-Brexit fallout lads

Photo by Elionas2

England and America sat at opposite ends of the couch, beers bottles and a pizza box between them. The thing was, you couldn’t ever look away from America when there was pizza. You’d grab two slices and there’d be six left. Look away for a second. Now there’s two slices left and he’s already eaten half of his share. How is that possible? England stopped asking fifty years ago.

America turned and asked, “How you been, man?”



“Oh, I mean…” England caught a funny look.

“Uh, right, okay. So I, uh, haven’t heard from you guys in a while, ‘cept a few business calls here and there. How’s everyone after the whole Brexit disaster? How’s Scotland? He okay?”

“Uhhhhh…” England stared into his glass. “You could say that.”

Scotland threw the curled newspaper at England. It nailed him in the chest before dropping to the ground. A headline screamed up at them: WE’RE OUT!

“You fucked me! You fucked me, you fucked me, you–“

“Come on, Scotland–“

“Do you know where you fucked me, England?”

“Please don’ say–“

“Right in the ass!”

“There it is.”

In the kitchen, Northern Ireland plopped a bottle of something down on the counter. 

England had to squint. “Is that bleach?”

“It is,” Northern Ireland said. He poured two glasses. “Cheers.”

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3 Pieces of Advice I Wish Someone Would Have Told Me

Look at my cool sword
(Photo by vasnic64)

Hello. I am Japan, Land of the Rising Sun. On the weekend I enjoy eating whole pickles and watching TV. On week days I enjoy eating whole pickles and watching TV. For some reason, the editor told me to include that.

I write today because I am a country with a long and rich history, and therefore I have much experience. Please, read ahead and consider my words a warning. Regret is a terrible demon.

  1. Never chase your dreams. A voice may tell you to be ambitious and achieve the utmost you possible can. Do not listen to it. Glory is not always worth the hurt.
  2. Give up at the right time. Giving up at the wrong time will lead to an unnecessary amount of pain. Know your limits. Spare yourself.
  3. Avoid doing the unexpected. People may not react well. Circumstances may not end in your favor. A miscalculated risk is a deadly one.

There. I understand that my advice was terse, but brevity is an art. In saying little, we say so much. Such is the nature of haiku:

I wake up hollow
so I fill myself with salt
on Fuji it snows

Until next time.