Dear Dirty America


London Is Burning: Marlin Returns to L.A. with Queen’s Head in a Pastry Box

August 13
20:09 2011
London was burning, and my good friend Marlin (formerly Marvin) left Koreatown, Los Angeles to join the brutal bloody riots. He walked into my apartment today without knocking first and dropped a pastry box onto my bed. The box was heavy.

“‘Swounds,” he shouted in his usual yap-yap-yap voice that reminded me of a small terrorizing dog, “I had a bloody good time throwing stones and bottles and jeering the police force.” Marlin is a skinny man who looks like me except three decades older. His long greasy hair is tied into a pencil thin rat’s tail that hangs down his neck.

Did you get any booty? I asked, knowing there had been a lot of looting going on in London. I support riots (they are the rhymes of the unheard, said Zach de La Rocha), but I cannot support looting and destroying family businesses and homes.

Marlin explained that he didn’t steal any stereo equipment or money or women’s lingerie, although he could have. Instead, he told me, “I got the Queen’s head!” He pointed to the pastry box.

You couldn’t fit a head in that box! I said, especially the Queen’s.

“I did,” Marlin said, “and I got it through customs without anybody checking.”

But why the Queen’s head?

“A few of us brave Bucs stormed the castle,” he said, “because we knew that would be the best place to direct the citizenry’s anger. Imagine,” Marlin said, using his hands to create an imaginary panorama, “a bunch of filthy rich cocksuckers planning for months a wedding with all the finest of the world’s fine resources to be showered onto these few people. Imagine all of that attention given to the Royal bloody Wedding while thousands starve and beg in London’s streets–”

And while their government calls for severe financial austerity measurements that will surely make unemployment and poverty levels worse, I said.

“‘Swounds! Stop interrupting,” Marlin shouted. “The Royals are made of stinky blood and guts like the poor sons of bitches begging on the streets. It just takes a few thousand people to say it loud enough.”

It’s a real shame the riots turned into looting and baseless destruction instead of focusing on London’s Royal bullshit.

“Goddammit,” Marlin said. He shook me by the shoulders. “Open the box! Open the box and see the Queen’s head!”

The pastry box was heavy. I was afraid. I sniffed the air but didn’t smell anything awful. I lifted the box over my head to look for grease stains on its underside. Nothing. It’s as heavy as a bowling ball, I said. I opened to box and saw a waxy ear. And curly gray hair.

“We took her head!” Marlin screamed. The neighbors living above me pounded on the floor. Marlin had been yelling the entire time.

I grabbed a handful of the Queen’s hair and lifted her head out of the box. I tossed the head to Marlin. “All right,” he said, “it’s a novelty head, but they creators made it heavy like a real head. It’s great work.” He dropped the Queen’s head. It made a loud thud on my hardwood floor. “Twelve of us wearing black hoodies stormed a novelty shop in south Tottenham and there were hundreds of heads for sale. I took this one!”

Marlin kicked the Queen’s head. “But next time the riots will make a real difference. This time was to show the world that the power of the people can overrule any police force, especially if the population’s morale gets low enough, and their anger swells.”

London will burn again, I said, and with it America also. Police will have to shoot people in the streets the way we’re headed. They will have to cut down a hundred thousand angry poor people. We’re getting there.

Marlin stretched his wiry old body onto my bed and napped. I was left with the Queen’s head.

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