Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I Love a Good Prophecy

A guy with aspirations like mine loves good pub. I like to think I have a nose for a good story, and a knack for self-promotion. But I certainly can't take credit for the developments of last night. Sometimes the Good Stuff just falls in your lap.

As any of you read the papers knows, the story of The Twin in My Head broke in the large media outlets three days ago. I've been on the phone much of the past couple days giving follow-up interviews, licensing photographs of Little Bro to the Associated Press and Reuters. If I didn't own the news cycle, I had a pretty strong market share in it. There's an Apple Dashboard widget that plots, on a map of the world, where the hot news stories are, and when I consulted it yesterday, there was a big fat red dot over this part of Northern Vermont. I don't see anyone else in this sleepy burg generating any news. So it's gotta be me.

Anyway, it turns out that news of my brother's extraction made its way into a deep, secluded corner of Papua New Guinea. Not sure how, as I can't imagine they have broadband or even dial-up Internet in these remote Oceanian jungles, but a Yali chieftain got wind of my story, and he walked a brisk sixty miles overnight to the nearest telephone exchange, found himself an English-speaking interpreter, and dialed me up. I took the call at around 8 p.m. EST. The chieftain endured all this hardship because he wanted to recount to me a generations-old Yali prophecy. It's a cornerstone of tribal lore, apparently, this prophecy, which was uttered from the dying lips of the Yali tribe's greatest warrior king (I forget his name; it sounded something like "Samsonite," which I know isn't right) and passed down over twenty-one generations to my phone correspondent. The prophecy goes as follows:

One day all the world's forces will converge and concentrate in a single man, the Chosen King — Samsonite renewed. You will know him as The Big Man Who Carried the Little Man in His Nose, and he will be revealed to you in that fashion. The Little Man will be separated from the Big Man, and into the vacant space the Big Man will inhale and absorb great leadership attributes. The Platinum-Haired Goddess will recognize him and leave the Earth, out of deference to him, and the Earth will be his to hold and manage. The Yali will be the Big Man's protectors, his personal guard, and under his tutelage and government the Earth shall enter an Age of Abundance, Wisdom, and Harmony.

The prophecy goes on — which was brutal, because this guy called collect, and the charges from Papua New Guinea aren't negligible — but that's the gist of it. In short, this Yali chieftain's pretty convinced I'm the Chosen Big Man, which works for me, because that's what I'm thinking, too. And now I have the benefit of an age-old prophecy to support my case. The guy's talking about forming an army to support me. I told him to hold off for a bit, while I think how I might best use the talents of him and his band.

(I say "band" because this fellow doesn't have authority over the entire Yali ethnic group — just a subset of the tribe. I believe anthropologists use the word "band" to describe the suborganizations of "tribes." This is confusing, I know because when we hear "band," we think, "oh — Phutatorius plans to hire a house band. Brilliant!" But this is something different, Brothers and Sisters. This is an opening for a possible power play in Papua New Guinea. And anyone who has played Risk knows that New Guinea is one of the four component territories of the Australian continent — the easiest of continents to hold, once you take it over. So wahoo (as they say!).)

You've got to love a good prophecy. Now I wonder who the Platinum-Haired Goddess is . . .

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