Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cuckoo Cigarettes

Several years ago, I sent a carton of Swiss-made, Russian cigarettes to a writer friend of mine. When asked how in the world I got them, this is how I replied:

After the cigarette plant's great purple flowers are buzzed by bees, their long, graceful stems (which look like ivory cigarette holders) begin to sprout tiny white cigarettes. This happens in a valley somewhere between the Alps and the Red Sea. The plants are nourished by pure mountain water and the pale Swiss sun. A pretty maid named Adelheid tends the plants carefully, protecting them from night creatures such as foxes and bums. When at last the moon is full and the cigarettes are ripe, Adelheid picks each one by hand and packs them into small boxes.

She gives the boxes to Tobias, who strings them on red ribbons from the legs of cuckoos, who have been fortified for their long flight on cheese and chocolate. The cuckoos are trained to make the arduous journey to Ukraine almost overnight. Sometimes they are shot down over Moscow by MiG fighters. Finally, the birds arrive at the home of Ivan and Kiska Solovyov, where they are fed Borscht and the cigarette packs are removed from their legs.

Then I order cigarettes on the internet and they're sent by international airmail from Ukraine, which takes about 5 weeks.

The cuckoos are much faster.

So I do have an imagination, after all. Occasionally I'm capable of writing fanciful things. But it's been a long time.

1 comment:

Urban Cynic said...

Thats enchanting - I love it!