A frigid wind blows across Studebaker Flats. In the distance Zombie Mountain spews brown acrid chemtrails over the old cowpoke town once known as Las Vegas.

The boils on his face capped with purplent draining pustules ~ and not much hair left to part neatly down the middle ~ Tiki Bob Aloha races down the road in his '53 Chevy Bel Air. Returning home from an afternoon with the boys at the garage, he sings along with Fats Domino on the radio, "Ain't that a shame … my tears fell like rain."

The Bel Air kicks up dust in front of a small round door built into a hillside dump barricaded by rubber tires and rusted hulks of automobiles. Bob peers out over the horizon in awe of the gentle movements :- as slow and beautiful as a Salvador Dali painting -: of elephants, tigers, zebras, giraffes, camels and other descendents of the zoo animals of yore, which are not allowed to be hunted. Further-off on the edge of forgetting ~ no longer even noticing them ~ the shadows of the giant Tiki Gods loom over the landscape.

Eyeballing a huge boa constrictor that would like to have him for dinner, Bob runs toward the front door. Decked out in her best hula skirt, Nadine welcomes Bob in her bewitching Tuesday Weld mask with a Scorpion bowl for two. On the wall the one-way Kahuna Screen™ watches their every move.

Omnipotent, omniscient and stoned drunk, the Eye of Uncle Tiki is a constant symbol for all to follow the rules. Every citizen must drink his weekly quota of Fog Cutters, Suffering Bastards and Zombies. Every cocktail must have an umbrella and a swizzle stick. Everyone must be prepared to recite the Kahiki regulations if any policing totem should stop them on the street.

Bob does a quick change into a clean Hawaiian shirt and covers his repulsive puss with a Sammy Davis mask, joining Nadine and their guests, Tipsy and Engelbert Rumford. "It's about time, Bob. Were you planning on missing Don Ho Hour?" says Tipsy behind her prim Donna Reid mask.

"Blek," thinks Bob with a shiver. Tipsy ~ the mother of three of Bob's five sons ~ is a royal pain in the ass. She's always trying to get Bob in trouble with Uncle Tiki. As Nadine shows off her new TikiWare™ martini glasses ~ and Tipsy oooohs and aaaahs over the sleek synthetic wonder of it all ~ another guest arrives via the underground tunnelside door.

"Bing-Bang. It's Bing!" says a thin flamboyant man in a bright green bowling shirt. A Cuban cigar wedged through the mouth of Fidel Castro masks his gruesome leprosy.

"Enter Bing!" yells everyone in unison. "Happy Don Ho Hour! Drinks for Bing!" Nadine puts a Bobby Darin record on the Tikifunken™ -: "Oh the shark has pretty teeth dear, and he shows them pearly white. . ."

Professor Bing has a computer that takes up an entire room and he's spent countless hours trying to make it do something useful, but all it does is add up numbers like a huge calculator. This time he's got big news, however. He forgets himself in the animated moment ~ swinging his lumpy hands gaily. The others shush him. "Listen, we can't talk about this," whispers Bob. "Get Grandma. And turn up the Tikifunken™!"

Nadine ushers Grandma from her bedroom and stands her in front of the Kahuna screen and Grandma sets off on the same rant Uncle Tiki has heard countless times -: "Oooooohhhh in the good ole days we had the real stuff, it was called Beefeaters I think, and we were allowed to eat them big snakes, schmarp {fart} the big ones ~ with apples. In the good ole days we could cook them with apples and pears ~ and raisins I think ~ the snakes are good stuff ~ and in the good ole days we had very fast blenders ~ ooooooohhh the blenderdrinks we made ~ and not those cheap swizzle sticks, schmarp {fart} and bowling ~ why, I was a cracker bowler in the good ole days ~ crap, oooooohhh, I think I schmarped myself good that time."

With heads together at the kitchen table, Bing silently mouths the number 13 twenty times followed by four zeroes.

"What does that mean?" asks Engelbert.

"Beats me," says Bing, in a Midori haze.

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©2008 Joan d'Arc
Illustrations and Website by Nicholas Ivins