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29 May 2005

Serbo-Croation misunderstanding on #kosovo circa 1999

While Droog4 was bringing Peace to the war-torn former Yugoslavia and waiting for his Nobel Chat Prize in the mail, it was not all Peace Paix Paz Salaam Shalom. Peace is nice, but it cannot replace the most important things for which IRC was invented by a bored Finnish computer geek.

When television was invented and then crappy American TV shows were invented to stick in the teeny-tiny little new TV screens, one of the first crappy American TV shows for kids wasn't actually crappy at all. Adults loved it. John Steinbeck (Nobel Literature Prize) was addicted to it.

It was called "Kukla, Fran and Ollie."

Fran was a Human Woman named Fran Allison.

Ollie was a dragon puppet. He was sort of like Spongebob Squarepants or his Bestest Friend Patrick the Starfish. (Patrick has a brain. It has one neuron. Sponges are not exactly rocket scientists, either. They live in a pineapple under the sea in a town called Bikini Bottom.) Ollie had this one huge snaggletooth. He was always smiling and sweet. He was deeply in love with Fran as only a 10-year-old male dragon puppet can love a 36-year-old human woman. It was doomed love, like the love of a policeman who rides a Triumph retro motorcycle for a pretty young werewolf.

And Kukla was a puppet of indeterminate gender and indeterminate species, with a big red nose the size of a basketball. The human woman and her puppet friends -- Beulah Witch was real cool too -- were sweet, adorable, but also Very Clever. I didn't have diabetes then, but it didn't matter, "Kukla, Fran and Ollie" weren't like halvah or Dinah Shore, they wouldn't put you in a Sugar Coma. This was very funny stuff.

When the creator, a puppet guy from Chicago named Burr Tillstrom, first sewed these puppets together, a lady from Russia was visiting him. She saw the puppet. She screamed:


which means doll in Slavic. So Burr Tillstrom called the puppet Kukla.

So sometimes on IRC I would bring peace to the war-torn Balkans with the nick [Kukla].

While explaining the concepts of Peace, Respect, Diversity and Group Hugs to Serbs, Croats, Kosovars, Bosnians and Herzegovinians, I would get invitations to private chats all the time. They would go like this.

[Vlad] Nob schmoz ka-pop, Kukla! Snyerta voo-voo hubba-hubba?

In Serbo-Croatian, this means, roughly: Wanna remove all your clothes and let me stick my enormous kielbasa in your Love Cylinder?

[Kukla] Relax. Chill out. I'm a dude. Also am nyet sprechen zie Serbo-Croatian.

[Vlad] ????????????

[Kukla] I (1st person singular personal pronoun) Am (1st person singular present tense of irregular verb "to be") A (indefinite article) Dude (= man, male human, homme, hombre, mensch).

Then I would learn some nifty new curse words in Serbo-Croatian, and Vlad would vanish forever.

So to these Balkan Slavic dudes on the Internet with enormous erections, I learned "Kukla" really means "Little Dolly," and all people with the nick [Kukla] are Lookin' for Manly Balkan Stud Love during Wartime.

I didn't care, I kept using that nick. To American junior geezers, Kukla is just the cutest sweetest funniest little hand puppet that ever lived. I'm too lazy right now to surf, but images of Kukla and Ollie and Fran are very liberally represented on the Web. If nostalgia were a drug, this would be smack for geezers, and Google would be the sterile syringe.

And now there is Peace shalom salaam shazam shaboom paix paz pace throughout the Balkans. My work was done. I moved on to the Middle East. Next stop: #srilanka.

Anybody know how you say "Group Hug!" in whatever the Tamils and the Sinhalese speak?


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