The 52 special

Tourist Troubles in Kahndaq

by Simone D’Neige


What started as a minor squabble in a small florist shop in Shiruta yesterday, escalated into a near international incident, or at least that’s what Simon Blackmore, of the small U.S. Midwestern town of Blue Valley would have you believe.

“It was an infringement on my basic human rights as a United States citizen, and legal visitor to the country of Kahndaq,” Blackmore, the 29-year-old insurance salesman said. “I was trying to make a purchase for a friend of mine back home, and this is the kind of treatment I get. I’m an American. How about a little customer service?”

Blackmore was referring to the skirmish he entered into when attempting to return a plant that he had purchased from a relatively new family owned flower shop who’s name roughly translates in English to “The Isis Touch”. “All I wanted was that nifty little Plastic Man pottery thing that they grew there,” said Blackmore. “You know, one of those whatchamacallits? Where it’s Plastic Man’s head and you add water to it, and it grows all sorts of grass hair? Those things.”

“Anyway, they grow them there for you,” Blackmore continued, “and so the hair’s already a couple inches tall by the time you buy it. So I take the thing back to my hotel, and by the next morning, the grass is all brown and everything. Come on, I didn’t expect the thing to just up and die on me. Now that’s a poorly made plant.”

At that time, Blackmore then tried to return his purchase to The Isis Touch. “They wouldn’t even make eye contact with me. The guy just kept pointing to his other plants and yelling something ridiculous. It’s not like I speak Kahndaqi or anything. What, I’m supposed to learn the language of every country I visit? Yeah, it’s called English, buddy. Watch a movie sometime, you know?”

What Blackmore failed to realize was that every plant in the shop was dead. In fact, after a freak storm involving flash rains and shifting temperatures, it seemed that all the vegetation in Shiruta was finding it hard to survive, including the formerly illustrious gardens in the center of town.

“Yeah, that’s not really my problem,” said Blackmore in response to the odd weather. “What is my problem is that I’m out like four-fifty plus tax. Now who’s going to fix that?”

Instead of compensation, what Blackmore received for his troubles was a prompt escort to the American Embassy by several large men in uniform. All the while, Blackmore reportedly struggled, and according to American Representative Caleb Staley, “used a string of curse words so long he was inventing half of them.”

Said Staley, “I don’t know what the guy’s problem was. He’s lucky he isn’t locked up in some maximum security prison somewhere. If it wasn’t for Kahndaq sucking up to the American people right now after that Osiris incident, Blackmore’s slap on the wrist would have been more like a punch in the throat.”

“And besides, what did he expect to do with that chia-thing anyway?” Staley continued. “It’s not like he could get it through customs. And we wonder why the rest of the world hates us. Well they shouldn’t. They should just hate that guy.”

Kahndaqi officials refuse any comment at this time. Well, except for a lot of laughing. That’s pretty much all they did when we called them.

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