World Factbook Update

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January 6, 2014 by jamesessj


Tiny country the size of a sidecar. Population of roughly fourteen, all of them related, none of them on speaking terms. Only natural resources are dirt and sunlight. Has a history of violent incursions from neighbors demanding the return of their hedge clippers. Current president has been in office since eight o’clock last night.

Outlook for the Future: Dim.


Middle sister between the more memorable and vivacious Baltic nations of Lithuania and Estonia. Was once left stranded at the United Nations over the weekend and has never gotten over it. Feels neglected, unloved, and will probably grow up to be a television producer. Has been threatening to slide into the Baltic and disappear forever, but we’ve heard it all before.

Outlook for the Future: Years of therapy, followed by a tell-all memoir.


South American Banana Republic, so-called not because of its unstable government but because its native garb is Chinos and shirts with the sleeves rolled up. Known for its hand-crafted nuclear devices. Tourist draws include the world’s largest bidet and a guy at the airport who’ll tell your fortune for a Snickers bar, or, if that’s unavailable, a Three Musketeers wrapper he can suck on. The people of Surinam are friendly and generous and slow to anger, but quick to clear the room when the cops show up.

Outlook for the Future: Mostly sunny, scattered clouds.


Small African nation that may in fact be an optical illusion. Has remained unvisited by foreigners for more than a century. Last reports were that things were not going well, send more ketchup. Benin’s non-strategic location ensures that it will continue to be ignored by mapmakers, satellites, and Google Earth.

Outlook for the Future: ?


Not a country so much as a rock. Once a thriving exporter of bat guano, now a thriving importer of Lysol. The least-populated nation in the world, after Lady Gaga’s brassiere. Was once the site of an atomic test on which the U.S. Navy received a C minus. Slowly recovering from decades of overapplication of hairspray.

Outlook for the Future: Bouncy but with hold.


Himalayan outpost known as the “happiest country in Asia,” which is like being the last lemming off the cliff. Its people are deeply spiritual but easily flummoxed by advanced calculus. The children of Bhutan are among the smallest-statured in the world, often being mistaken for action figures and sold to adult collectors. Bhutan has few links to the outside, including an international airport and a pneumatic tube. Its politics are complex and confusing even to its own citizens, who once elected a head of state while voting the rest of his body Secretary/Treasurer.

Outlook for the Future: Reply hazy, try again.


Muslim nation with deep ties to the crust and mantle. Has an army composed primarily of cardboard cutouts from Fathead. Was granted independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 but is still trying to find itself in this topsy-turvy mixed-up world. Has engaged in a series of questionable romantic liaisons with Qatar, Mali, and South Dakota. Facebook says of its latest relationship, with Uruguay, “It’s complicated.”

Outlook for the Future: A strenuous regimen of antibiotics.

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the author, if he lives that long

Willkommen, bienvenue…

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January 2014
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