At one time we were the baddest munkafunkas on the planet, and we fought the biggest, evilest villains in the world.
Adolph Hitler in Germany, who exterminated six million Jews just for looking at him cross-eyed. Hitler almost brought the world to it's knees. His only mistake was partnering up with Italy. If you want to lose a world war, make sure Italy is on your side.
Khrushchev in Russia, who, with Cuba's Fidel Castro secured firmly in his hip pocket, almost started a nuclear world war. Thank God for President Kennedy, who had some free time between the women he was cheating on his wife with, and was able to bring the whole sordid affair to a peaceful conclusion. And thank God it was referred to as an affair, otherwise Kennedy might not have had any interest in it at all.
Where are men like JFK now, when we need them?
Why, they're EVERYWHERE! Only now they're women. I base that last statement on a new study I've just heard about that found that women prefer tall men with large penises, and if they can't find a tall man with a large penis, they'll settle for a short man with money... who has a tall friend with a large penis.
But I digress...
But now, as our foot is firmly planted in the 21st century, we have North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un, who came into power the old fashioned way: His daddy died. If there was any doubt concerning his ready, willing, and able-ness to succeed his father, those doubts were easily erased by the popularity of his hit single "Gangam Style."
Just kidding. "Gangam Style" was a huge world-wide hit for a SOUTH Korean pop star by the name of Psy. I know Psy. Psy's my friend. And Kim Jong-Un is no Psy. He's like a shorter, uglier Psy, only with less musical talent... if that's possible.
Why Barack Obama thought it would be a good idea to send former basketball player, Dennis Rodman, as an ambassador of goodwill to North Korea is beyond me, but we all know what happened next. After his visit, Dennis Rodman went home, and then Kim Jong-Un threatened to vaporize that home.
With a nuke.
How did all this come to pass? Well, I'm glad you asked, my friend, because not only did President Obama--the man who once saved my life in 'Nam--send Rodman to North Korea, but he also asked me to go with him. As a chaperone, of sorts.
"I need someone there who can understand the Korean language, and then report back to me about what was said," my old comrade-in-arms explained to me.
"Are you sure?" I asked him. I couldn't believe he was really considering sending Rodman on a diplomatic mission.
"Sure about what?"
"About sending Rodman to meet with Kim Jong Un."
"Oh, I thought you were talking about me sending my underage daughters by themselves to the Bahamas for Spring Break."
"YOU'RE SENDING YOUR DAUGHTERS TO THE BAHAMAS FOR SPRING BREAK?"
Let's just say our conversation took an interesting detour, but the long and short of it is I went to North Korea, and, let me tell you, Dennis Rodman did nothing wrong. The problem was the English language in general, and American slang in particular.
Kim Jong-Un walked into the waiting area where we were busy, um, waiting, and he was accompanied by his official interpreter.
After the proper introductions, Kim told us that he really had no need for an interpreter. He insisted he could speak perfectly good English, and that the only difficulty he had was with words containing vowels.
"I'm good with y," he boasted, proudly.
As far as anyone was concerned, I was only there as Rodman's flunky, and the fat, little North Korean dictator treated me as such, by ignoring me. No one knew that Korean was one of the seven languages I was fluent in.
Eight, if you count the language of love.
Rodman is the kind of guy who gets comfortable quickly, no matter where he's at or who he's with. A bad habit he developed after years of getting his butt kissed when he was in the NBA. He quickly plopped himself down in the tiny doll-like furniture, put one long leg up over the arm of the plush wing-back chair he sat in, lifted two fingers in his right hand in a peace sign, and greeted the diminutive world leader with a casual, "Peace, dawg."
I looked at Rodman, surprised at his faux pas. Kim Jong-Un and his interpreter looked at each other in shock. None of us could tell who Rodman was looking at from behind the dark sunglasses he wore.
"What did he just say?" Kim Jong-Un asked his interpreter in Korean. He misunderstood what Rodman had just said, and wanted to confirm his misunderstanding. "Did he just call me a dog?"
Keeping his eyes lowered, the interpreter could only nod. He knew better than to be the bearer of bad news.
Even sitting down, Rodman towered over both of them. I think they were intimidated, Kim Jong-Un especially, because he took a step back so that he stood slightly behind his interpreter.
"You... ah... well?" he asked in his hesitant, broken English.
"Oh, yeah, man... I be bangin'," Rodman said, with a nonchalant flip of a hand.
"You know... bangin'." He made a gun-firing motion with his right thumb and fore-finger.
Kim Jong-Un turned to his interpreter.
"What did he say?"
"I am not sure," the interpreter answered. "Something about shooting."
"You mean, like shoot-shoot, bang-bang?"
"That is what he said."
The little dictator turned back to Rodman.
"You... treated... well?"
Rodman broke into a big smile.
"Oh, yeah, man. It's been the bomb."
Kim Jong-Un and his interpreter looked quickly at each other again, concerned, their eyes wide. As wide as Korean eyes can open, that is.
"The... the bomb?"
"Oh, yeah. The bomb." He mimicked an explosion with his big hands and long arms, and made the appropriate sound. "Boom!" he joked.
"You... you... good?"
"Oh, yeah, man," he said. "I'm the bomb, too."
The interpreter mumbled something I could barely hear under his breath. It sounded like, "Oh, man, am I in for it now."
"And... your President? He... bomb... too?"
"Aw, man, you don't know the half of it. That guy is so dope." Rodman made the explosion motion with his hands again, only bigger this time. "BOOM! Now he's the bomb, K-Jong. He's the bomb."
Kim Jong-Un looked at his interpreter, who still wouldn't meet his eyes. He was so unsure of himself, he even looked at me. When he got no response, he turned back to his interpreter.
"Bomb?" Kim Jong-Un asked him.
Dennis Rodman cut in.
"Hey, man, it's not cool speaking that Korean ching-chong-chit in front of me. Don't be a playa hata. That's whack, man."
"What did he just say?"
"He... he just threatened to hit you, excellency."
"Whack?" Kim Jong-Un made a karate chop motion with his hand. "Like this?"
"Yes," the interpreter said, imitating the karate motion. "Whack! Hit you."
I didn't want to blow my cover, but I felt that I had to intervene in some way. I gently took Rodman by the arm, and urged him to his feet. Man, that guy's tall. The room seemed to shrink as he stood, physically taking up more space.
"Maybe we should go," I told him. It wasn't a suggestion.
"Go?" Rodman said in surprise. "I just got here."
Again, Un spoke in his broken English.
"You... go? Oh, so sorry. Come back when you not stay so long."
"Thanks, little man," Rodman said, and then bowed. Even bent in half, he was still twice the size of Kim Jong-Un. "This has been dope, man. Phat."
"What did he just say?"
"He just called you a dope, your excellency," the interpreter told him. "And fat!"
"Fat? He called me FAT?" Kim Jong-Un shrieked, finally angry. "Arm the nukes!"