Plia Zlodrsk, “Freedonian Pepperpot,” Dead at 72

GLZORDSK, Freedonia. Plia Zlodrsk, the entertainer dubbed the “Freedonian Pepperpot,” died in her sleep last night after a brief illness according to a spokesman at St. Zligneth the Merciful Hospital. She was 72.

Zlodrsk in “Freedonian Space Mission 3000″

Zlodrsk first achieved notoriety as a member of the “Kicking Krew” on “Dance Dance This Afternoon,” a pioneering teen show modeled after American Bandstand on Nyet TV, the state-run television network. She caught the eye of director Melos Vlendrsk, who cast her in a series of romantic comedies set in Freedonian vacation spots such as “Road to Mlziensk” and “Zlandorsk Holiday!”

A younger, more swinginger Zlodrsk, as a regular on “Dance Dance This Afternoon!”

She evolved into a multi-talented singer and accomplished bongo player, at one point surprising bebop trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie by jumping on stage at a Voice of America Goodwill Tour concert to play an extended solo to “Night in Tunisia.” It was Gillespie who hung the “Freedonian Pepperpot” monicker on Zlodrsk after she misinterpreted his comment “Nice bongos” as a come-on and slapped him.

In later years she gravitated towards heavier roles comparable to Gloria Swanson’s portrayal of faded star Norma Desmond in Billy Wilder’s “Sunset Blvd.” As Glienski Zlovotny in “Collective Dairy Farm Dreams,” she uttered the line for which she is best known, “I am big, it is milking machines that got small!”

“Plia, you’re ool-ya-kool!–Diz”

She is survived by her second, fourth, and fifth husbands and her Pomeranian, Chou-chou. Funeral ceremonies will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to the Institute for the Study of Freedonian Cinema and Tractor Parts.

Available in Kindle format on as part of the collections “Fauxbituaries” and “Hail Freedonia!”

Glorzk, Freedonian Soccer Great, Dead at 73

DOS FLEDANS, Freedonia.  Nyelzp “Glorzk” Dovledz, the man hailed as the “Bobby Orr of Freedonian soccer,” died in his sleep here last night.  He was 73.

Glorzk defending a Kyrgyzstanian 2-on-1 rush


“We will not see his like again,” said a tearful Timor Blzariak, President of the Freedonian Soccer Federation.  “Before Glorkz, young boys would swing sticks at mud dauber nests for exercise.  After him, they kicked mud dauber nests for exercise.”

Glorkz is credited with scoring Freedonia’s only goal in World Cup competition, albeit one that counted against his team in an opening round game against Uzbekistan in 1966.  When an opposing forward lost control of the ball with two minutes remaining in regulation, Glorkz kicked it past Freedonia’s goalie in order to prevent Uzbekistan from running up the score in a lopsided 8-0 loss.  “He was going to score eventually,” Glorkz told reporters at a post-game press conference.  “I figured I might as well pad my stats.”

Vicious tackle of Glorkz by Hmeini Karpopopolous in the Caspian East Division Wild Card game, 1968.


When news of the “own goal” reached Freedonia by ham radio set “there was dancing in the streets,” according to Milozcp Hronllkre, the then-cabinet minister for Healthful Recreation & Hobbies.  “A postal worker tried to dampen the enthusiasm of the people by telling them that it was not a good thing,” he recalls mistily.  “We sentenced him to four years’ hard labor and used his show trial as an excuse to take away the people’s freedom of religion.”

Glorkz falls to the soccer pitch following stiff-arm by Ignacio de Cordoba of Portugal.


The goal made him a national hero and he came to be known as “Glorkz”–an affectionate nickname that means “cuckold”–because his wife was found in bed with the Provincial Sealer of Weights and Measures when he arrived home on the shoulders of fans.

Glorkz declined to take revenge on his wife, saying “My name will live forever in the hearts of my countryman, while you will be scorned as the slut who betrayed me.”  The two kissed and then enjoyed a communal feast after the cheering crowd dismembered and roasted the philandering government official.

A national day of mourning has been declared by Ikknoki Upwert, Freedonia’s Under-Minister of State.  Funeral services will be held whenever a sufficient number of Vice Presidents from other countries have landed at the Dos Fledans Multi-Modal Transit Station, the nation’s only airport.

Available in Kindle format on as part of the collection “Hail, Freedonia!”

As Boston Stumbles, Freedonia Prepares Olympic Bid

FLORGSZ, Freedonia.  “The weasel, when he senses weakness, he attacks,” says Norgovrad Sliezsciwz, Chairman of this country’s newly-formed Olympics Committee as he flips through materials submitted by Boston, Massachusetts, in support of its bid to host the 2024 Summer Games.  “Boston, she is weak city of folk songs!” he notes as he throws a CD by James Taylor into a wastebasket.  “Freedonia is strong–strong like bull!”

Image result for boston snow mound
Boston’s snow mound:  “It’ll be gone by 2024–promise!”

Sliezsciwz is referring to the disarray into which Boston’s Olympic bid has fallen, with the sudden replacement of its executive director and the dismal efforts by city government to remove snow that fell in the record winter of 2014-2015.  “Their mound of snow and debris is still two stories high, they are so incompetent,” Sliezsciwz says with contempt.  “In Freedonia, we have a mound of snow and debris that is FOUR stories high!”

If Freedonia succeeds it would mark the first time the land-locked nation, which was formed out of disputed areas of Moldavia, Paramus, New Jersey, and Disneyland at the end of World War II, has hosted the games.  “It would be quite a feather in our cap,” says Dolba Nurogrebnik, who hopes to open a snack bar serving deep-fried weasel on a stick, a national delicacy, near the proposed site of the hop-step-and-jump arena. “We should begin to weave a zlotsky, our national cap, to hold this feather.”

Image result for hop step jump

Despite its stumbles Boston business leaders say they are prepared to re-double their efforts in order to retain what they say is their “first-mover advantage” that gives them the “inside track” on the 2024 Games, which they say they need to host in order to become a “world-class” city where people do not use quotation marks indiscriminately.  “There is no way we’re going to roll over for a Third World dump like Freedonia,” says Marty Halloran, a pipefitter who sees what would be the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad as boosting construction jobs in the region.  “Those guys have never even been to the Super Bowl.”

Freedonia Goes Off Weasel Standard, Roiling Currency Markets

NGORZSKL, Freedonia.  The Freedonian Bourski, the central bank of this land-locked European country, announced Friday that it will no longer back the flemux, the official currency, with weasels for the first time since the nation was formed after World War II with parts of Poland, Czechoslovakia and an abandoned amusement park.

“Why should we ship the precious symbol of our motherland’s manhood overseas just because some currency speculator has made a lucky bet?” asked Minister of Finance Emil Slotzki-Uranoy.  “We need every weasel we can get, and then some.”

10,000, 20,000 and 50,000 Flemux notes


Shock waves felt in U.S. and European currency markets were at first attributed to the move, but were later determined to have been a by-product of mid-winter static electricity caused by feet shuffling over carpets.  “If you want to see a market roiled by Freedonia,” noted Francois Armand-Grillet of Banque Normand, “you should maybe go a turnip stall in an open-air vegetable market.”

Freedonia has unsuccessfully sought admission to the European Union since the formation of the multi-nation body in 1993, but has been rebuffed by cool countries such as France and Italy.  “Freedonians women wear unfashionable headscarves and smell of turmeric,” an herb of the ginger family used in uliz-beck, the country’s principal snack food, noted EuroFashion editor Mariel Malraux.  “They wash only monthly, unlike the French who bathe weekly whether they need it or not.”

Conversion to the Euro, the official currency of the Eurozone, can have dire consequences for countries who switch from a less widely-used medium of exchange.  “Citizens of the Eurozone are free to leave their country, where they would otherwise have to remain at home,” notes Slotzki-Uranoy.  “I am hoping it would motivate my brother-in-law to move out of our apartment.”

Weasel: Now free to back other currencies.


With the slender predatory mammal no longer backing its currency, Freedonian economists predict a surge in economic activity.  “I used to feel sorry for the little buggers,” says Prof. Emil Lklued of the University of Grkdsil.  “They have such short little legs, it is tough work backing the currency of my homeland, referred to affectionately by Angela Merkel as ‘Nation of Loafers.'”

For Many Freedonians, Promise of America Begins to Dim

FREDONIA, New York.  Time seems to stand still in this village in western New York, and the calendar is stuck on 1933.  It was in that year that the Marx Brothers movie “Duck Soup” was released, bringing notoriety to the previously-obscure European nation of Freedonia in much the same way that Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Borat” brought Kazakhstan to the attention of the world.

“Oh, Freedonia!”

“It was like a comet blazing out of the sky at us,” says Ilura Briescheva, now 84 years old.  “Here were men pretending to be Freedonians and getting paid for it, while we were for real and had nothing.”

That seminal event touched off an exodus comparable to the Irish emigration to Boston in the mid-1800’s as a result of the potato famine.  “We wanted some of their money,” Briescheva recalls.  “Is that so wrong?”

The end of the journey.

And so she, her sister, her parents and thousands of others like them boarded tramp steamers and headed for New York City where the Marx Brothers were said to live in plush apartments unlike any they had ever seen.  “We heard there were men who did nothing but hold open doors for you,” says Chromos Diatchielev, a native of Ilura’s village.  “We had never heard of such a thing.  In our country, there were men who did nothing and also did not hold doors open.”

The passage to the New World was difficult, and not without cost.  “I gave my sister Sustra the other ‘e’ in ‘Freedonia’ to hold at one point,” says Ilura, her voice growing angry.  “She was swindled out of it by a man doing a crossword puzzle.”   Their ships ran into heavy weather as they entered New York harbor and ended up 400 miles to the west, where the Freedonians founded Fredonia near Lake Erie.

“Everybody check your dimple–somebody’s got mine.”

At first, “life was like a dream” Ilura recalls.  “The streets ran with weasels,” an essential ingredient for blechmaya, the sausage that is the national dish of Freedonia.  “Now, not so much,” she says as her eyes scan the traffic on Route 20 that whizzes by her house.  “All we have is the fisher cat,” a water weasel that is common to lakes in the Northeast.

To native Freedonians, the fisher cat is a poor substitute for land weasels, according to Ilura.  “They are wet,” she says, almost spitting the words out.  “When we put them in the microwave to dry them, poom–they explode.  I no more will do this.”

The search for dry weasel meat has driven the Freedonian men, who traditionally perform the chore of hunting, further and further inland or north to Cheektowaga, an alternative that merits particular scorn from Ilura.  “They are so stupid there,” she says as she spits on the ground.  “The Chamber of Commerce says they are ‘Centrally located in Western New York’.  I do not speak English so good but this makes no sense.”

Weasel (batteries not included)

Cheektowagans welcome the weasel hunters, who boost the local economy when they come to town in the fall.  “A typical weasel hunter will spend several dollars per day, not including beef jerky,” says Chamber of Commerce President Lloyd Nolan, Jr.  “They smell bad, but as long as their boys stay away from our nationally-ranked high school girls’ swim team, they’re okay by me.”

Cheektowaga girls swim team.

Nolan chalks up the bitterness that Freedonians like Ilura feel toward his town as simple jealousy.  “A lot of their boys beg to stay here when weasel season is over,” he explains, “’cause our girls have less facial hair than theirs.”

Available in Kindle format on as part of the collection “Hail, Freedonia!”

As Freedonian Unrest Grows, PM Tells Putin to “Eat My Weasel”

DROBZGYNI, Freedonia.  Pro-Russian demonstrations in this, the capital of Freedonia, turned violent yesterday as angry crowds pelted the Ministry of Tubers with the pelts of weasels, the animal that appears on the nation’s currency.

Statue of Bloznar Ubtrecht, benevolent dictator during Freedonian “Golden Age,” is toppled.


“Down with anarcho-syndicalism!” yelled Wrzlika Rozznar, a 24-year-old welder who has been out of work for two years, getting by on the meager earnings he brings home as a state-subsidized ventriloquist.  “If you cannot provide for us, we turn to Mother Russia!”

The long-suppressed anger that has erupted in what has come to be known as the “Russian Spring” was touched off by news of Russia’s annexation of Crimea and pro-Russian activism in the Ukraine, sparking the tinder of Freedonian frustration at high food prices, low wages and poor cable reception.  “We get nothing but a Braille version of ESPN2,” said ironworker Stanzslaw Muorbedek.  “I put my fingers on the screen trying to feel the score through the blizzard-like images.”

Protestors huddle under sandbags to decry lack of public beach access.


Prime Minister Llorozan Flzhrika rebuffed calls for the formation of a new government, saying “I haven’t sucked all the money out of the old one yet.”  He challenged Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, to invade his country if he felt he could do a better job of governing than he has.  “What are you waiting for, Mr. Tiger Wrestler,” Flzhrika asked with a contemptuous tone over the state radio network.  “You think you can karate chop the proud people of Freedonia into submission, you can eat my weasel!”

The Prime Minister of Freedonia is elected by the country’s bicameral legislature, the Dooba.  The Urfwitz, or “upper house,” votes first, and the Grznyak or “lower house” then either ratifies the Urfwitz’s choice or goes into executive session to order take-out.

UN peacekeeping forces have been dispatched to the troubled nation’s borders to prevent a regional conflict from escalating into an international conflagration.  “We are officially neutral, except when it comes to Freedonian women,” said Lars Vilnik, a twenty-three year old Swede dressed in the pacific blue color of the international body.  “As to them, we think we can do better at home.”

Vowel Implants Bring Hope to Pediatric Misorthographia Victims

GLORPZ, Freedonia.  St. Zlagbxti Lying-In Hospital is the largest building in this provincial capital in southeast Freedonia, and it is also first in terms of size by another measure.

“This child needs a vowel between his z and his x–STAT!”

“We are the biggest acute-care hospital tending to pediatric misorthographia in all of Freedonia,” says Dr. Predlzic Darkl.  “Parents bring children with vowel deficiencies to us from as far away as Drbnz,” sometimes referred to as the “Seattle of Freedonia” because it is located in the nation’s northwest and its residents drink bitter coffee brewed from chicory and thistles.

“Will mommy be able to pronounce my name now?”

The cutting-edge techniques used here could not have been developed without the generosity of donors in America, Dr. Darkl gratefully acknowledges.  “We are so thankful to Ameriskis, who have opened up their hearts, their wallets, but most of all their names to the children of Freedonia.”

? and the Mysterians bring the music of their people to America.

Misorthographia is widespread in Freedonia due to its troubled history as a frequent battleground between warring states.  “When the Crimeans retreated from the Mysterians, they burned all the vowels as they went,” says Filosz Choklsw, who has written extensively on the Freedonian diaspora.  “As a result, one in four Freedonian children is born with no vowel in its name.”

“Go ahead and give a Y you cheapskate–it’s both a vowel and a consonant!”

The cause has attracted support from Americans both rich and poor, according to the Freedonian-American Social Aid & Pleasure Club, a non-profit that supports the fight against pediatric misorthographia with fancy benefit balls at which U.S. descendants of the land-locked nation get dressed up and drink too much.

“Excuse me–I think you dropped your ‘U’.”

“We just received the biggest donation in our history,” says Executive Director Emily Smythe-Flaorz.  “Two middle names donated by Trevor Halward Lund Graham,” heir to the HLG staple remover fortune.

“I really don’t use them that much, and I’m in the Social Register anyway,” Graham tells this reporter after having his picture snapped holding an oversized check with the vowels $AAU printed in the space for the amount.  “If I can bring a smile to the face of a little Freedonian boy who can finally pronounce his own name, it will be worth it.”

At the opposite end of the economic spectrum, Toneequa Buckner, a manicurist at the Lookin’ Good Beauty Parlor in Rolla, Missouri, said she will donate both e’s in her first name and go by “Toniqua” after minimally-invasive vowel surgery.  “They showed me this picture of a little girl named Zbgnw and it just broke my heart,” she says.  “Them two e’s are gonna do her a world of good, and I can use the tax deduction.”

Available in Kindle format on as part of the collection “Hail, Freedonia!”