Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The Korean Army

Chapter 12

          Yesterday, I woke up at 5 a.m. and drank a cup of instant coffee. Then I read the news on my smartphone while taking a nasty shit. There’s a beauty parlor in Taiwan called Berlin which features the design of a swastika on its neon sign. Men from the German embassy are begging the owner to remove it for the sake of decency. At first, the store’s proprietor told the offended krauts to go take a flying fuck at a rolling donut. But he has finally acquiesced. He will remove the sign as soon as he has the cash for a new one. Good for him.

          Back in 1997, I lived in Daejeon, Korea. A woman opened a bar in the center of town called Hitler. All the white people—about a hundred in total—went apeshit crazy. They blogged about the bar. They boycotted the bar. They posted negative reviews about the place at various websites. Finally, the joint went out of business in 2003. But I have to tell you the truth. Hitler’s bathroom was absolutely immaculate. That type of cleanliness in Korea was rare in those days.

          I took a quick shower and dried off with one of my wife’s tiny towels. I simply couldn’t find the time to spank my monkey. Then I walked downstairs and called Ken the Chicken Man on WeChat.

          I said, “Did you apologize to Granny.”

          He said, “Yes, it’s old news.”

          “I was checking into your summer vacation plans. You have to drive to the Korean embassy to renounce your citizenship before getting on the plane.”

          “I’m not doing that. I've decided to keep my status.”

          “Well, you won’t be able to visit unless you want to get drafted into the military.”

          “I don’t care what you say. I’m going to Korea this summer.”


          “What do you mean, how? I'll fly there like everybody else.”

          “Son, are you fucking stupid?”


          “You’re going to be eighteen in a few months. There’s a chance that the government won’t let you leave the peninsula. They’ll throw your little ass into the Korean army. Two fucking years of marching and shooting rifles. Is that what you want?”

          “Why are you so dramatic? They aren’t going to do that. I’m American.”

          “You have a Korean passport. That means you’re a citizen.”

          “President Trump would go nuts.”

          “This isn’t North Korea. Trump won’t get involved. He’ll just laugh at your stupidity as you’re being tortured in basic training.”

          “It won’t happen in a million years.”

          “Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.”


          “Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.”

          “Have you lost your mind?”

          I took a deep breath. “Let me talk to Granny.”

          He gave her the phone.

          I said, “That kid is driving me nuts. He just won’t listen to reason.”

          “I warned him about going to Korea. If he ends up getting drafted, then so be it. There’s only so much advice a person can give.”

          “Do you know how much a Korean soldier makes a month?”

          “No idea.”

          “Less than $200.”

          “Well, he won’t be going to any fancy restaurants.”

          “He should drive to Houston to renounce his citizenship. They’ll give him something called an F-4 Visa. It’s for folk who have Korean blood.”

          “No, he shouldn't drive to Houston! He needs to keep his ass at home so that he can spend the summer working at Chick-Fil-A. Money doesn’t grow on trees.”

          “I think you’re right.”

          My day at school went well. We are currently reading a lot of nonfiction narratives promoting immigration. Our newest story deals with 9/11. The narrator implores her fellow Americans to be kind to foreigners. The tale made me want to puke. My countrymen treat outsiders like gold. In fact, we are the least racist nation in the world. Screw that writer. She should go take a flying fuck at a rolling donut.

          I got home at 5 p.m. The Dragon Lady was in the kitchen cooking dinner.

          I said, “What did the doctor say?”

          “I have da shingle.”

          My wife has suffered from that painful disease for the past twenty years. The flareups are unpredictable.

          “Did she give you medicine.”

          “China not have da shot. She onry give pill for da pain.”

          “Well, it’s better than nothing.”

          I sat on the sofa and watched Monday Night Football. The Seahawks got crushed by the Bears.

          I went to bed at 9 p.m. I slept like the dead.


  1. Teenagers!...I raised a squadron of them Not one of them was capable of making a rational decision about even the most mundane of issues. Your boy is headed for very dangerous waters indeed. Good luck Buffalo.

  2. what would be really great for your readers, in terms of the historicity of this 'blog, is if you would format it in the scripto continuo

    stoichiometrically with maybe 30 letters per line

    in uncials which is all caps

    that is how it could be formatted to read like


    you could also pick a font like a greek style or a roman scriptotum in order to get more of the look you are going for like writing in charcoal and fat on animal skin which would be really good and also for increasing the holyness of the daily readings for the supplicants who visit the website

    here is The Police with their greatest hits

    ruv upon the highest

  3. Wow, Daejon in 1997? That must have been an experience. And yes, the towels are small in Korea, but it seems normal to me now. Whenever I go back to visit friends and family in Canada I wonder why they have beach towels in the bathroom. So are the towels used in Korea small or the towels used in other countries big? Not sure.