Monday, June 7, 2010

White Devil in the City

There was a rumor going around the internet yesterday that the numbers station UWB-76 had stopped transmitting. (Numbers stations are shortwave radio stations that broadcast mysterious strings of numbers, letters, or tones, presumably to spies/Jeff Tweedy, who once heard a recording of a numbers station broadcasting “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” and decided to make an album.) A lot of people thought that this was a serious problem, for reasons which are not 100% clear to me but which reportedly involve a Strangelovian nuclear failsafe device called Dead Hand, a device which automatically launches when it feels nuclear rumbles. I feel like there’s a joke in there somewhere, sort of a cross between my wedding night and world annihilation, which amount to basically the same thing.

Today is the first day of the nationwide (I’ll give you one guess for “which nation”) gaokao college entrance exam. The general feeling among students is that this is the most important test of their lives. I really don’t want to distract them. So I’m leaving. (There is a real danger that my presence is distracting, by the way. I walk around my house naked on a fairly regular basis (usually when Gus is gone, but not always), and we have a lot of windows, so my sense is that there are probably some students who spend more time staring into my apartment rather than at their textbooks. This isn’t vanity, this is truth.)

Anyway, I’m off to the world’s fair. I plan on eating a lot of saltwater taffy and going to the petting zoo. I will not be dissuaded by reports that “it’s not that kind of fair.” See you when I return.