An Irregular Column
by Mykel Board
Column for MRR 353 (Nice Zombie Ass, or Mykel Explores his inner Muslim)
""I see your point, but I still think you're full of shit." --The Improper Newspaper
It's a tight stall in the bathroom. From above, we see four highschool girls, all in Japanese school uniforms. They're crowded together in the stall. One is kneeling, head bent over the toilet. The others' hands push on that girl's head, forcing it into the bowl.
“EAT SHIT!” they yell again.
What happens next is unclear, but after some splashing, the girls drag the poor abused one out of the stall on to the bathroom floor. The victim's head drenched, she shouts into the air.
“Sister save me! Save me!”
Another girl in uniform, cute in a slightly butch way, comes running... bursts into the bathroom... slams the door open against the tile wall. The three evil girls look at her.
“If you want to save your sister,” says one of them, “then fart. Fart right now!”
“Don't sister!” begs the drenched girl. “Don't lose your dignity. Don't do that for me... for anyone!”
The girl who had her head in the toilet breaks away from the other three. She runs upstairs. Apparently, they're in a gym, and she's now in the top seats... high up in the stands. She jumps, falling head first to her death.
Cut to a few weeks in the future: It's the first time out for the sister. She's on a camping trip with a few other girls. Along is an older 20-something who wears a low-cut blue dress. The valley on her chest separates bazzooms usually not found on Japanese women.
The crew is in a van driven by a sniffing cokehead: shaved bald, he has a perpetual runny nose.
Here they are, by the lake.
“Everybody out! We're going fishing!”
Little do these innocent hook-and-liners know that the fish from this lake host a tapeworm. Bazzoom girl knows. She also knows that those tapeworms steal food from their hosts' intestine. That theft prevents nourishment from reaching the host, making the fish thin, no matter how much they eat. Cleavage girl figures if she eats one of the tapeworms, she too can stay thin.
“I got one. I got one!” says our highschool heroine.
The cokehead yanks it off the line and slices through its belly. Inside is a tapeworm: white, wiggly and as long as a garter snake.
The woman with the tits snatches the worm and gobbles it down. Her stomach rumbles. She cries out in pain.
“I've got to fart! I've got to fart!” she yells, running to hide from the shame.
We hear the farts. She bends in stomach-ache agony. She farts again.
“I'm going to die!” she says. “I've got to find a doctor”
Our heroine checks the map. There is a small town nearby. They run. They come on a house... with an outhouse in back. The woman runs to shit in the toilet... but from beneath the toilet comes a zombie.
Before long the campers are dead. Murdered by zombies and tapeworm-laced spaghetti, fed to them by a mad scientist. All die horribly... except for the sister who was saved from farting. Now she's in a sword fight with an evil giant tapeworm. They're aloft, she riding on a tenuous strand soon cut by the evil worm.
She falls. Head first downward. Doomed! Suddenly the sound of a tremendous fart. A huge BRRRRRAAAAAP! An anal tornado... from the rectum of our heroine. The power of the wind saves the falling girl and hurls her back into space. A series of superfarts allows her to keep aloft and eventually defeat the evil tapeworm.
The movie is: ZOMBIE ASS, TOILET OF THE DEAD. I've just seen it with a Toshi, a Japanese pal, Bryan and Randy, my Trini friends from ANTI-EVERYTHING, and Taina, the Puerto Rican singer of COJOBA.
“That may be the best movie I've ever seen,” I tell the crew as we leave the theater.
“Was that really Japanese?” asks Toshi, shaking his head.
“I don't think so.”
“What a great movie!” says Bryan. “Shitty but great.”
“It was feminist!” says Taini.
“Huh?” grunt the rest of us, eight eyebrows raised in unison.
“Sure,” she explains. “Don't you get it? Girls are told they've got to be thin. So they'll do anything to stay that way... even eat a tapeworm... and you see what happened to her...”
“Okay, but still...” I answer.
Taina cuts me off, as she is wont to do.
“There's more Mykel,” she says. “Girls are told to be proper. Nice girls don't fart. That's a boy thing. Girls should hold it in, be feminine.... but being feminine killed the sister. And only when the heroine could let it out... could fart like a man... could she save herself and save the world from the evil tapeworm. She had to let go of traditional femininity and become natural, human, to fart is to win...It's empowerment. Get it, Mykel?”
At first my contrary nature refuses to accept it, but the more I think about it, the more I realized Taina is right.
Flash to The Gambia, Africa Spring 2012:
Yesterday's dinner has worked it's way through my bowels. I squat, my pants pulled down over my knees, trying to aim my asshole at the hole in the ground that is the toilet. I'm outside, in a fenced off area that marks the toilet's boundaries.
“You need water?” asks ST (pronounced Esty), my host and one of the coolest people I've met in Africa.
My several weeks here have taught me the code. If you're going to piss, you just piss, shake off and zip up. If you're going to shit, you wipe with your left hand, and then use the water to wash the hand, and wash away any shit that misses the hole in the ground.
“Do you need water?” is the polite way to ask Shit or piss?
Although I'm a cultural rebel, I cannot get used to the eco-friendly hand method. I carry paper with me. I use water to flush the evidence of my squeamishness.
“Yeah,” I tell him.
The door creaks open and a teapot full of water comes through the gate. I re-squat, and let loose yesterday's dinner... blissfully unaware of the zombies that may lurk below.
It's dark... the only light is from a cloud-covered moon and a faint glow through the windows of the compound. I have a bit of trouble finding the hole in the ground. I use the water to clean up. Then, I make my way back through ST's room and into the back yard.
A group of students has already gathered there. It's time for their nightly think-a-thon.
Flash to right now:
I write this column in the THINK coffee shop, eating an almond croissant sipping on iced tea. Around me, a sea of glowing apples occupies the tables. Bob Marley is too loud in the background.
Me? I occupy two tables: one for my computer, one for the iced tea and croissant. I munch the $3 sweet roll and sip the tea. Across from me sits an attractive girl with bronze skin and wavy black hair.
The girl sips hot tea from a coffee cup. The teabag string hangs over the edge of the cup... like a tampon string hangs from a bloody twat.
My tea is iced. Hers is hot.
The Japanese are famous for their tea ceremony... a ritual in which every step from pouring to stirring to drinking has a method and meaning. Though it looks robotic, the idea is to transform the activity from mundane unawareness to perfect awareness. I never had the patience for it, but I love the idea.
In Africa too, there is a tea ceremony. I saw it in Morocco and Senegal. I see it here in The Gambia. It starts with boiling water and tea together in on a tiny charcoal stove. While the mixture is boiling, you fill a small glass with sugar. After a few minutes, you pour the tea-water mixture into the glass... swish it around to dissolve the sugar.
Then you raise the glass and pour it into another glass the same size. You have to pour from a great height. Only a thin stream of liquid... from the right hand down into the glass in the left hand. Then left to right. Back and forth until the tea is cool enough to drink. When the tea is ready, it's handed to you. Then the host starts on the next glass. You only get a tiny bit... like a shot glass... but it's perfect.
A bubble of gas slides through my large intestine.
Let's shoot, gliding on my fart-- from the tea of THINK CAFE to the tea ST is making in the back yard. There are eight of us, crowded around a few benches, sipping the small glasses of tea ST hands us, one-by-one.
Babucar, whose fauxhawk could be on any teenager in America, likes to gangsta-gesture, extending the pinkie and forefinger of both hands-- pointing downward.
“Mykel,” he tells me. “I want to visit America... to live there maybe.”
“You need an American wife,” I tell him. “If you get an American wife, you can live there.”
“How 'bout an American SECOND wife?” he says. “You know Muslims can have five wives. My first wife should be Gambian.”
“I'm not sure that American women would like to be second wives,” I tell him. “I don't even think it's legal... Even if you're a Muslim-- or a Mormon-- or anything that starts with M.”
“Here it's okay,” he says. “Don't worry Mykel, we'll find you a Gambian wife.”
“I don't want a wife,” I tell him, “Gambian or otherwise.”
Babucar sucks down the rest of his tea.
“What if your parents said that?” he asks. “Then you wouldn't be here.”
“I'm not sure the world would complain,” I tell him.
ST chimes in, “I would complain,” he says. “I like you. You're a nice guy.”
The conversation continues through the night. The tea flows. Ideas jump from one person to another like tapeworms in zombies. Only nobody gets sick. Nobody gets angry.
“Mykel,” asks ST, “do you ever give money to beggars on the street?”
“Often,” I tell him, “I think begging is a noble profession.”
“See,” he says, “you're a Muslim.”
I wish I had space to include the whole conversation, the rational debate. The tea drinking on tea drinking. The participation of Adama, a local deaf-mute who is as much a part of the group as any of us. Just a guy... his “disability” as unnoticed as a nose pimple.
The key is the discussion: reasoned, in good humor, with laughing, farting, back slapping, but NO anger. No American-style “question my religion or my politics and you're THE ENEMY.” No making US and THEM. No WHITE and BLACK. No zombies and free-farters. Only WE, a bunch of guys hanging out in a back yard in The Gambia.
Maybe I AM a Muslim.
ENDNOTES: [email subscribers (email@example.com) or blog viewers (mykelsblog.blogspot.com/) will get live links and a chance to post comments on the column. Your zines, CDs/records, and... er... private videos... can and should be sent to me at: Mykel Board, POB 137, Prince Street Station, New York NY 10012]
-->Wouldn't want to be offensive dept: The New York City Department of Eduction is removing "upsetting words" from their standardized tests. They are afraid the nasty words might offend the test-takers, or their parents. The words include "dinosaur" (might offend creationists), "Halloween" (might offend Christians because of its pagan origins), and "birthday" because Jehovah's Witnesses don't celebrate their birthdays.
-->3some Thanks dept: I don't know how you got the PO Box address, but I'm glad you did. Not that I believe the names: Connor, Kale and Trixie? Come on! But I sure believe the video. Thanks a lot!!! I've used up half a dozen tissues so far. You've even inspired me to include my postal address in every column. Thanks again... and I'm waiting with baited cock for the rest of my readers!
-->More thanks dept: I also want to thank Vanessa X, the editrix of Asswipe Zine (POB 82010, Los Angeles CA 90008) Not only did she send me a copy of her cool little zine, but she also wrote a personal letter... in pen... by hand! She says she loves me! Yowsah!
-->True Game App dept: http://tinyurl.com/phonegame1 connects you to a game you can download for your iHell. In the "game" you get to see the shit people go through to make the phone. In the words of the creator:
Phone Story is a game for smartphones that attempts to provoke a critical reflection on its own technological platform. Under the shiny surface of our electronic gadgets hides the product of a troubling supply chain that stretches across the globe. The game represents the process of device creation through four educational games that make the player symbolically complicit in coltan extraction in The Congo, outsourced labor in China, e-waste in Pakistan and gadget consumerism in the West.
Let's see how long before Apple puts the kibosh on THIS one!
-->What's good for business dept: The Wisconsin state legislature has repealed the Equal Pay Enforcement Act, that guarantees equal pay for men and women doing the same job. State representative Glenn Grothman said, “This is an important bill because it improves Wisconsin's business climate.”
-->Ungrateful dead dept: There are very few famous people whose death would bother me. We all gotta go sometime. Here today, plant food tomorrow. But recently deceased Alexander Cockburn was a hero. I never read anything he wrote that wasn't right. I don't mean sort of right or a little right... I mean EXACTLY right. The Gay Marriage scam, Obama as a banana republic dictator, and a ton more. I've mentioned him often in my columns. The world has lost an important voice.