Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Welcome to Washington, Mr President. Now go BOOM!

After blogging for four years, you start running out of pithily clever title ideas.

Anyhoo, John Glionna of the Los Angeles Times is reporting that South Korean President Lee Myungbak's visit to Washington to talk with US President Barack Hussein Obama (Own it! Own it!):
North Korea has positioned its most sophisticated long-range ballistic missile at a launch site for a test firing that could come within weeks, a newspaper here reported today.

Pyongyang, which last month raised tensions worldwide by conducting a nuclear test, could even fire its missile June 16, when South Korean President Lee Myung-bak meets with President Obama in Washington, according to the report.
That sounds exactly like something Kim Jong-il would do. And this is why they should do their best to ignore him, as seems to be the popular idea these days. 

KJI is like me when I was, like, six. We were walking through Lucky's, a Compton-area grocery store back then (the last time I looked, a few years ago, it was abandoned and boarded up; apparently Comptonites don't eat groceries anymore). As we were walking down the cereal aisle, I spotted the Froot Loops that evil corporate America* had deliberately placed at my eye level. 

I wanted those Froot Loops.

"No," said my mother. "They're full of sugar and they encourage bad spelling." She reached instead for heart-healthy Cheerios, despite my insistence that they should be spelled Cheery O's. 

She held her ground: "That's a tu quoque argument that does nothing to counter the demerit against Froot Loops, which is that they're full of sugar and they'll have you bouncing off the walls and cracking the plaster."

Mother controlled the cash and the cart, but I had several aces up my sleeve (though I was actually wearing a tank top — full disclosure): I was in a very crowded supermarket full of people who would probably give disapproving looks and I had lungs that could produce sounds so loud that even the Caucasians who had left Compton in the early stages of White flight would still be able to hear me. ("Oh, is the Kushibo boy coming for a visit all the way out here in Yucaipa? Let's make fresh cookies.")

I let loose on the screamingest, loudest, kickingest, most gawdawful tantrum ever performed by a grammar school student. 

My mother furrowed her brow, looked around at all the disapproving looks (point: Kushibo) and then she left her cart, walked at a normal pace right out the sliding doors at the front of the store, got into the station wagon, and drove off. 

When I paused to open my eyes and saw my mother had gone, I stopped making any noise, stood up, looked around, and quickly took note that the money-providing maternal unit was gone. She had taken off.

"Holy sh¡t!" My foul-mouthed inner voice said to myself, "Mom left me alone in the middle of a grocery store in fuçking Compton!" 

I looked to and fro in a panic (heh heh... fro), with genuine tears starting to ooze from my eyes. "I'm screwed!"

And she didn't come back. Not five minutes later, not ten. Not even half an hour (I actually had no sense of time; I'm judging based roughly on how long a cartoon was). 

After what seemed like an eternity (two, possibly three episodes), my dad came in, went over to the manager's desk, pulled out my picture and asked if they had this kid anywhere in the store (my dad and I look nothing alike, a fact I may or may not have exploited once in a shopping mall at the age of ten when I yelled that some stranger was kidnapping me because I didn't want to leave the video arcade). 

The manager indicated where I was, at check-out counter 1, nervously clutching the leg of a friendly-looking cashier who had agreed to watch me until my "I'd do the same thing if my kid pulled that kinda stunt" mom showed up again. 

Dad said thank you, firmly took my arm (and I his), and marched me to the Volkswagen. I never, ever, ever, ever, ever asked for Froot Loops again (though I did go through a "Ha! I can eat whatever I want now!" period during freshman year of college... my parents were sort of food Nazis).

And this is how we should deal with North Korea. If they want to have a pants-sh¡tting temper tantrum in the middle of Aisle 6, let them. Just walk away.

Sure, stories from Kushibo's emotionally scarring childhood aren't always perfect substitutes for learned punditry on important political issues, but they do provide good parables. I'm like a non-divine modern-day Jesus in this way. And if I don't post anything over the next few days, you know the Good Lord has struck me down for blasphemy. And possibly profanity. 

And the story itself may not be entirely true. But at the very least, though, we were in Compton and I was six. Or five. And whatever else went down, I know I didn't get the Froot Loops.

* Lucky's being part of evil corporate America is not really pertinent to this story. In fact, it's kinda distracting.

Requisite picture of threatening-looking images from 
North Korea that must accompany any article on North Korea. 
In this photo: North Korean MILDs (military I'd like to disarm).

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