Gobi All You Can Be
ship of the desert The sun, that giant ball of flaming gas suspended millions of miles above our spinning rock, a moth-chewed hole in the inky black blanket of space, burned down on the desert with the ferocity of two Japanese housewives fighting over the last set of teddy bear-shaped salt and peppers shakers at a spring sale. Waves of heat rose from the dust-shrouded one lane highway winding its futile way through the arid land like a cataract-ridden snake on peyote.

A single structure hunched itself in the shade of an enormous sign advertising sun block. Nothing moved. The only sound was the roar of heavy machinery from the an conditioner, the size of a Buick, attached to the side of the dome shaped yurt.

A circling buzzard suddenly plummeted to the earth, having fainted in surprise at the sight of a single weary traveler, clad head to toe in aluminum foil, leading an emaciated camel with a solitary, deflated hump that would have made its father turn away in shame.

The brilliant point of light, reflecting the visual onslaught of the tormenting sun, stumbled wearily into the shadow cast by the gargantuan sign, drew his unmounted, non-mountainous mount to a halt, took the keys from the ignition, and nearly fell through the door of the establishment, completely oblivious of the sign proudly proclaiming the reeking tent as being Mongolia’s first Big Bob’s Java and Yak’s Milk Emporium.

Reviving instantly, as the temperature controlled environment of the dome enclosed him in its cool 45 degree embrace, the figure leapt to its feet like a foil wrapped chicken having a seizure in the oven.


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(March 5, 1996)
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