[Excerpted from The Decline and Fall of the Gringo Empire (English translation), by Professor Basta de Pendejadas, Caracas and Kinshasa, 2037.]
Historians have long disagreed about the second strangest event of 2018. But there is virtual unanimity that the strangest event by far was the aftermath of the United States-North Korea summit.
The meeting between US President T. Ronald Dump and North Korean Chairman of Everything Kim Jung-il Jim surprised the world when it was first announced, but the actual encounter between the two leaders was fairly predictable. There was a lot of flexible firmness and firm flexibility on both sides, a number of colorful photo ops, and then agreement to have any further details negotiated between the two sides’ diplomats. (The start of these negotiations was delayed when the US realized it would need to re-employ some diplomats.)
Only long after the two leaders’ simultaneous departures for their respective homes was it learned that security forces of both sides had quickly suppressed all news and especially any visual evidence of the embarrassment of both leaders’ wigs sent flying by a sudden strong gust of wind.
President Dump had scheduled a press conference in Washington for the day following his return, and journalists attending were pleasantly surprised – some said “stunned” or “amazed” – to discover that the President’s replies to questions consisted of coherent English sentences that conveyed meaning.
Much of the content of those answers was also surprising. For example, “North Korea has never threatened anyone, but it feels a clear need to deflect the threats of US military action.” And, “North Korea does not conduct military exercises in Mexico. Why should the United States conduct military exercises in South Korea?”
However, reporters were unable to pursue follow-up questions because the conference was quickly closed when it was reported that North Korea had just launched several ICBMs on a trajectory that might take them toward US territory.
Luckily, before the US had launched retaliation, it was realized that the missiles were in fact headed into outer space. About one-fourth of the way to the moon, they set off a spectacular fireworks display. The North Korean government issued a statement that the fireworks had been “ordered by the Chairman to show the world the kind of fire and fury we could unleash if it doesn’t behave.”
Over subsequent days, Washington politicians reported – off the record – that the President had become much easier to deal with. While he still sometimes shouted “Off with his head!” regarding people who displeased him, he had become much more reasonable and consistent: whether you were in his good books or bad books, you stayed there unless there was a real reason to change your assignment.
Meanwhile, in Pyongyang, the alarming purges of the past appeared to have ceased. The official newspaper Running Simpering quoted the Chairman as saying, “I really like the way things are going here. It’s great. No contradicting me. Wonderful.”
Still, it wasn’t until several days later that the truth began to dawn, most obviously when the “Chairman” told an official North Korean banquet, “Ages since the Russian stuff. Guess the Dems’ fake news have given up. Lock her up.”
At almost the same time, “President Dump,” attending a ceremony to commemorate the Boston Tea Party by dumping Chinese steel into Boston Harbor, replied in Korean to the shouted question of a journalist.
As was soon discovered, in the confusion when the two leaders’ wigs were blown off as they departed their summit meeting, the wigs had been returned to the wrong leader. Hence President Dump, now with black hair, was bundled by security forces onto the North Korean plane, and Chairman Kim Jung-il Jim, now sporting an orange mop, was hurried into Air Force One. Like their subordinates, neither leader realized the mistake that had been made.
If it took authorities on both sides too long to figure out what had gone wrong, they were remarkably quick in reaching the best solution. Both leaders freely acknowledged that they liked their new situation, and influential people in both capitals generally agreed that things had also improved for them. As for the general population, in both countries they seemed not to have noticed any difference, or if they had, they didn’t care.
And so, it was decided to leave things as they were. Except for one modification: the new “Chairman” insisted that he must still have the right to collect contributions to his 2020 re-election campaign.