Monday, June 23, 2008

Where The Sun Refuses To Shine

HOW DO YOU SHOW YOUR CIVIC PRIDE? Do you wear a hat emblazoned with your town's best professional sports team? Do you run for public office so you can affect the future of your town? Or do you do what the people of Zheleznovodsk do?

That is, do you pay a bunch of money to put a big enema statue where everyone can see it? Yes, I said enema. The town is known for enemas. They love enemas there. As the director of the Mashuk-Akva Term spa told the AP, "An enema is almost the symbol of our region." I like how he says "almost." I like to think there's some sadness in his "almost," as if the director is a little bummed that the enema doesn't win Regional Symbol status hands-down. That he's still chapped that the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker gets more press than the enema he so loves. "Well, not after today, you stupid bird! Not after we drop our giant, bronze enema bomb!"

Certainly not.

So, with a great amount of civic pride, the people of Zheleznovodsk unveiled their new statue, placing it in front of the Mashuk-Akva Term spa, right under a big banner that read (and I wish I was kidding here), "Let's beat constipation and sloppiness with enemas!" It may not be as inspiring as "Mission Accomplished!" but it'll do in a pinch. Er...I'll do just fine.

What looks like a big bronze cherry carried on the back of children is actually a big bronze enema syringe. The bronze bulb weighs 800 pounds and is carried not by bronze children, but by three bronze angels. Because enemas are the work of angels...tiny, child-like, helpful angels.

"There is no kitsch or obscenity, it is a successful work of art," the spa's director said.

By the way, Zheleznovodsk translates into English as "iron waters." The city is also the home of an international hot air balloon festival. For some reason, the combination of iron waters, hot air balloons and giant bronze enemas makes me slightly uneasy. I guess I don't want the people of Zheleznovodsk to use a hot air balloon filled with iron waters to help me with my digestion. Thank you, though.

A final note:

Finding this story on the net led me to Google the phrase "enema bulb," since I found I was uncertain about the accuracy of the term. Top on Google's search list was a link for (meeting your enema supply needs privately and discreetly since 1998), specifically to the page of "enema syringes, which included the Rimba 6 oz. Enema Syringe, the Shiny River Douche and, most disturbingly, something listed as A Very, Very Large Enema Bulb. About the latter, I quote the site, "This is the largest enema bulb we have ever seen...[It] holds 26 ounces (750ml)...[It] can be difficult to fill and to clean but if you are looking for the largest bulb syringe on the market, this is the enema bulb that you want."

So if you want to really know what the difference between Americans and Russians is, it is this: We like our enema supplies to be supplied "privately and discreetly" (at least since 1998), while the Russians build monuments to theirs. That's it. That's the big difference.

Oh, that and their rock and roll is terrible.


Foz the Hook said...

Hey! What about the Red Elvises. I liked those guys.

Steven said...

I demand that we put this text on the art for our next album: "Let's beat constipation and sloppiness with enemas!"