Boris and the American Dream
Book One: Arrival
"What the hell do you want?" said the immigration officer, staring across the desk at the man before him.
"I'd just like to say that you're the first American I've ever spoken to," said the foreigner, enthusiastically shaking the officer's hand.
"Do I win any money?" asked the officer.
"Uh...no, I'm sorry."
"No money? Then why the hell should I care? And let go of my hand, you're getting your European grease all over it!
"Sorry. My name is Boris, by the way."
"Why the hell should I care what your name is? Dammit! Here's your goddamn visa. Welcome to the United States of friggin' America."
Boris felt excitement building inside him. Was it really this easy? He had taken a boat across the sea from his homeland over a year ago, then spent several months in the harbor, building up the courage to walk into the immigration office. And yet, it had only taken a few seconds to get his citezenship! Citizenship, I mean! Stupid typos.
Anyway, Boris clutched the visa to him like a precious newborn baby. This was his passport to the American Dream. Boris was ready to chase his American Dream.
Boris had grown up on a small farm in Europe, but had spent all his life dreaming of America with its factories, expensive hospitals, and most of all...its homeless people. For this was Boris's American Dream. His lifetime ambition. He longed for homelessness. He wanted to live in the street with nothing but a cardboard box, maybe even without a cardboard box if he got REALLY lucky.
As he wandered the city street, excitement built up within him, like pressure building up inside a volcano. He was here at last! After all those years of lying awake at night dreaming of the fumes of city buses, the constant noise of traffic, the blood-stained sidewalks, and all the other glories of homelessness, he was now closer than ever to living the life he had longed for since infancy.
Book Two: Integration
But Boris did not yet feel ready to reach for his dream. This was a strange new land to him; before reaching for his dream of homelessness, he should voyage forth into the city and get to know American culture first hand.
He knew from the internet research he had done that the capital of America was McDonald's. He also knew that the President of the United States was Superman. Perhaps he would get to meet Superman one day.
Suddenly, Boris's eyes fell on a gorgeous site: a McDonald's restaurant. It was enormous, plastic, and the sidewalk outside was riddled with dead chickens--in short, it was everything Boris had dreamed of!
He walked up to the restaurant, tentatively. Would they let a humble foreigner such as himself into the restaurant? He had never so much as tasted a big-mac. But the doors opened for him, and he entered nervously.
"Welcome to McDonald's," said a pregnant girl who was sitting behind the cash register. "May I take your order?"
"Oh my God!" screamed Boris, "Oh, the years I have dreamed of hearing that phrase! It's more beautiful than I ever could have imagined!"
"Whatever dude," said the teenage girl, stuffing a syringe into her arm, "You gonna order or aren't you? I'm getting off in five minutes, and me and my friends are gonna get together and light ourselves on fire. I don't want to miss it."
"Uh...forgive me," said Boris, "I'm a bit excited. I just arrived in America, you see… "
"WE'RE WAITING!" screamed a fat woman who was standing immediately behind Boris. Her entire body was drenched in ice cream. "I HAVEN'T GOT ALL DAY, YOU KNOW. I have my weekly liposuction procedure and I don't want to miss it."
"Sorry," said Boris. "Okay...can I have a Big Mac?"
"Okay dude," said the girl behind the counter, "Wait...I'm giving birth."
She stood up on the counter, removed her pants, expelled a baby onto the floor below, then looked at the cash register. "Where's the friggin' big-mac button?" she said, punching the cash register.
"What's wrong?" said a seventeen year old boy who stepped out from the kitchens, smoking marijuana.
"This stupid cash register," she said, throwing it across the room. It exploded spectacularly, sending money scattering across the floor where it was eagerly gathered up by several small children.
"Yeah, I hate that thing. Whoa girl, did you have your baby?"
"So...that means I could have sex with you now?"
"If you want. Here, let me get this apron off."
Boris watched as a crowd of restaurant goers gathered around to cheer as the young couple climbed onto the counter. "But what about my big-mac?" he said, a little disappointed.
"Shut up," said a fat woman next to him, "Sex is the only thing in this world more entertaining than food."
Boris wandered out of the restaurant. His disappointment was gradually being replaced with a kind of thrill. He had been assimilated. He was American.
Book Three: Education
Boris started wandering the street. His American dream would be no easy goal to accomplish. He decided that he'd have to find an existing homeless person in America to serve as a mentor. Hopefully, under the teachings of this homeless person Boris would learn all the techniques he would need to become a hobo one day.
He roamed around for about 45 minutes, when he finally spotted someone. It was a woman. Her hair was long, red, and full of insects; her skin was chalk white and spotty; her eyes were yellowed with age; she had several rats crawling out of her clothes. She was wearing nothing but a diaper.
"Hello ma'am," said Boris. She vomited on him.
"GLORIOUS!" he said, "You're JUST the person I'm looking for!" Boris took a deep breath. Standing so near a person of such great magnificence was overpowering. She had achieved what he had longed for his entire life: homelessness. "Before we go any further, do you think you could sign an autograph for me?" He handed her a piece of paper and a pencil. She promptly ate them. He stared at her in astonishment. She was perfect.
"What's your name?" he asked. She grunted. "Do you think I could interview you about how you came to live this glorious lifestyle?"
She stared at him for a moment. She seemed to be thinking very hard--either that, or she was just having intestinal issues. She scratched her head (sending several ants plummeting to the earth) and then said: "Uhnng. I'll answer your questions if you buy me a beer." Boris remembered that he conveniently had a beer in his pocket. He was astounded by this coincidence. It was almost as if the author of the story had initially planned a side plot in which Boris went into a bar and ordered a beer, but then left out that scene because it bogged down the story.
Anyway, Boris handed her the beer, which she swallowed whole (including the glass). Then she said: "Okay, ask..." she paused, then threw up on the sidewalk, "...your questions. Try to hurry up, I'm about to pass out."
"Okay," said Boris, "It is my life's ambition to become a homeless person just like you."
The woman looked shocked, and started coughing violently. She coughed so violently, the beer bottle she had swallowed flew out of her mouth and shattered on the back of a passing policeman's head.
"WHO DID THAT?" he screamed.
"She did," said the homeless woman, pointing lazily at an elderly man, who the policeman shot.
"Anyway," said the woman, "Why the hell do you want to be homeless?"
"It's my DREAM!" said Boris, "Ever since my childhood, I've only dreamt of one thing: HOMELESSNESS! I've wanted to be a hobo for years!"
The woman promptly had a seizure. Boris watched admiringly, and said proudly to passing shoppers, "That's gonna be me one day! One day, I'll be standing in her shoes! You might laugh at me...but if I put effort into it, I can accomplish anything!"
Finally, the woman got up. Boris asked: "So, when did you decide you wanted to be homeless?"
"I didn't decide it," said the woman, "Nobody WANTS to be homeless, it just happens."
"Nobody wants to?" said Boris, baffled, "but...it's freedom! It's what America's all about! No obligations, no rules, no nothing! You're the happiest class in American society! You're the top of the heap!"
"Uh-oh," said the woman, looking around, "It's getting dark. I'd better get down to the sewer, otherwise all the best beds will be taken!"
"Oh! Oh! Can I come?" asked Boris.
"You want to sleep in the sewer with me?"
"It's better than any hotel!"
"Damn. You're insane."
"I am not! I'm ambitious!"
The woman led him down a hole in the ground into a cramped tank filled with about 50 old homeless people, many of them naked, and all of them were moaning and sobbing.
"What are you people so unhappy about?" asked Boris cheerfully, "It's so spacious in here! So free! And the poop doesn't smell nearly as bad as I thought it would!" Boris's speech was cut short when an old woman let loose a blood-curdling scream. "Cheer up!" said Boris happily, "So, who's up for a campfire song?"
Within a few seconds, Boris was thrown out of the sewer.
He felt tears welling up in his eyes.
"They...rejected me!" he wailed to the night, "I thought I was blending in with them so well! But they turned me down! WHY?" he fell to his knees on the sidewalk, "What did I do wrong? Oh...I mustn't cry. I didn't come all the way from Europe just to give up after one rejection. I won't let them tell me that I'm a fool! I won't let them drag me down! I'll become homeless no matter what!"
Book Four: Counseling
Boris decided he needed professional advice. He wandered around the city for several minutes before passing a building with a large sign that said, The Building Devoted to Helping People who want Professional Advice.
He walked inside.
"Hello?" he said.
"Just a minute!" said a female voice from inside. A woman walked into the room, butt naked. She was holding a whip in one hand. "Oh, hello there!" she said, eyeing Boris. "What can me and my sisters do for you today?" she cracked the whip menacingly.
"Uh...I was hoping for some advice on how to achieve my dreams?"
"I wanted some professional help."
"Oh wow!" said the woman, "We never get any customers here who come for professional help! We're a whore house, buddy. We don't actually give people professional advice. "Professional Advice" is just a sexual innuendo. What you want is The Building Devoted to Helping People who ACTUALLY want REAL Professional Advice. It's down the street. Are you sure you wouldn't like a little sexual fun while you're here? I'm known all around the city for my jelly donut position."
Boris felt temptation gripping him, but then he saw a tentacle reaching out from between the woman's legs. "Oh, don't mind that, it's just a little infection!" she said, smacking it, "It oozes green slime occasionally, but other than that it's totally harmless!"
Boris ran from the building. He ran down the street until he reached The Building Devoted to Helping People who ACTUALLY want REAL Professional Advice. He walked inside.
"Hello?" he said.
"Oh, hi!" said an old man, "How may I help you?"
"I could use some professional advice."
"Indeed. Won't you sit down?"
"I'd love to. I'm Boris."
"Boris? That's not an American name, is it?"
"Well then GET OUTTA MY SHOP YOU FILTHY FOREIGNER! I RUN A RESPECTABLE PLACE! YOU WANT THE BUILDING DEVOTED TO HELPING PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY WANT REAL PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND ARE FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES!"
Boris ran out of the building and into the building next door, called The Building Devoted to Helping People who Actually Want real Professional Advice and are from Foreign Countries.
"Hello?" said Boris.
"Greetings, sir." said a man behind a counter, "What's your name?"
"Wait...Boris? Oh dear. Oh, dear me. This is a problem."
"You see...we don't serve people whose names start with the letter B. Company policy. You could wait eight years for a special permission form, or you could go to the building on the other side of town which is devoted to helping people who actually want real professional help, are from foreign countries, and have names beginning with B."
Seven years later, after running between many, many buildings, Boris finally arrived at The Building Devoted to Helping People who Actually Want real Professional Advice, are from Foreign Countries, have names beginning with B, have brown hair, have blue eyes, enjoy Italian films, have dated exactly four women and one hamster, hate salad, wear black shoes, morbidly fear all insects except the female yellow collared scape moth, have never experienced any liver problems, and are human beings.
He walked into the door, and promptly passed out.
When he awoke, he was lying on a bed, with a little old lady peering at him. "Hello," she said, "Welcome."
"Oh, hi!" he said, "Sorry I passed out. But then again, I'm sure it didn't interfere with business much--I'm sure you don't get many customers at a company as specific as this one!"
"No, we're actually really, really busy," she said, "You're actually our eighteenth customer in the last hour."
"...oh. Well I need some career advice."
"Career advice? What career did you have in mind?"
"I want to be a homeless person."
"A homeless person. It's my dream. My life's ambition."
"Uh..." she frowned at him, "Huh?"
"Ever since my boyhood, I've dreamed of living the free lifestyle of the homeless man who wanders the streets, gets his teeth kicked in by policemen, and sleeps in sewers. I'm closer now than I've ever been before. EVER. I feel like if I don't seize this opportunity now, I'll never ever get the opportunity again. And if I don't achieve this dream...my life will have not been worth living, you know?"
"You seriously WANT to be homeless?"
"I gotta call somebody and tell them about this. STAY HERE!"
Book Five: Fame and Fortune
Boris lay back in the bed. It wasn't comfortable at all. He didn't want to be lying on a soft mattress right now; he wanted to be lying in the street! He wanted to feel gravel under his back! He wanted bits of broken glass to be embedded in his buttox!
Suddenly, the old woman ran back into the room, carrying chains. "What are you doing?" he asked.
"I'm chaining you to the bed."
"WHAT? This isn't another whore house is it?"
"Of course not! No, I just want to make sure you're still here when the TV news crew arrives."
Boris tried to struggle free, but it was too late. He was pinned down.
Soon, he was surrounded by eighteen different cameras. A man wearing a bright purple tuxedo covered in Coca-Cola labels stood in front of him, holding a microphone.
"TURN ON THE GODDAMN CAMERAS!" the man screamed at a boy who was doubtlessly his employee, "AND DO IT QUICKLY!"
"Yes sir," said the boy.
"SHUT UP AND DO IT!" screamed the man, picking the boy up and throwing him across the room.
The boy got up and turned the camera on.
"Hello viewers!" said the man, waving at the camera, "Welcome to Plastic News, the only news program devoted solely to sugary human interest stories that have absolutely no relevance to any of the issues facing the world today! And I've got a hell of a story for you tonight. This here is Boris, the man who actually WANTS to be homeless!"
Boris heard an extremely loud gasp. He looked around for the source of the sound. This was difficult because he was so covered in chains he could barely move at all. "Oh, that gasp didn't come from anyone in this room, Boris," said the journalist, "That was the combined sound of everyone in New York City gasping in shock at your twisted perspective! They're all watching the show. You idiot."
"JUST LEAVE ME ALONE!" bellowed Boris. "You're ruining my chances to achieve my dream!"
"Yes, why don't you tell me about this so-called 'dream' of yours?" The journalist burst out laughing at this point.
"Well, I really want--"
"That's all I really need to hear, buddy!" said the journalist, laughing derisively. "Did you hear that, folks? He thinks he actually WANTS to go without a lawnmower, a television set, or even an ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSH!" New York gasped collectively again. Boris was fighting back tears.
"You bastards!" said Boris, "I'll show you! I'll show you all! This is AMERICA! This is the place where everybody's free to chase their dreams!"
"Yes, but you're only supposed to chase dreams that aren't RETARDED!" said the journalist, "You're supposed to want to get rich, like me!" The journalist pulled a thousand dollars out of his pocket at this point, to prove how rich he was.
"Money doesn't matter. What matters is happiness!" said Boris.
"No, you imbecile! Don't you know ANYTHING? I'm happy, and I'm rich! Money and happiness are interchangeable! I'm rich, and you're poor. Therefore, I'm automatically a happy person, and you're automatically a failure at life. Look at me! I'm big, powerful, I run my own TV show...and I only attempt suicide about twice a week! Now look at you, you miserable wreck. You know nothing about happiness. And you will never know happiness until your car's as big as mine!"
"I don't want a car! I don't want anything! I want to live out there on the street? Does nobody understand?"
"Oh, we understand. And we pity you. And we will cure you."
The journalist stormed from the room. "Come on, you stupid bastard," he said to his young employee, who grinned sheepishly at Boris before following his master from the room.
"Glad that's over," said Boris, "Now I just gotta get out of this comfortable bed and back in the street where I belong!"
But that would prove more difficult than expected.
The next day, five of the cities' richest people showed up at the room, and together they gave him a total of 5 million dollars.
"We'll give you so much money, you'll HAVE to change your mind!" said the last of them, as he handed Boris the keys to his Mercedes. "the car is yours now."
"I don't want any of this stuff!" said Boris, throwing the money to the ground, "I don't want a car! I want to walk on my own two feet, preferably without any shoes, until both feet have been reduced to unrecognizable, bloody lumps!"
"No, you do want a car. And you want a house. I've bought you a five-star apartment."
"I don't want it!"
"YES YOU DO!"
Boris was suddenly hit on the head violently. One of the men had clubbed him with a cane. He passed out.
When he awoke, he was inside a luxurious apartment. A man with a mustache was grinning at him.
"Where the hell am I?" asked Boris, "Who are you?"
"I'm J.P. Strinz. I'm the owner of this apartment complex. You sir, are filthy rich. This is your apartment."
A small Asian woman of about 18 walked into the room, and bowed to Boris.
"Who's that?" asked Boris hysterically.
"This is Chung-Chee, your sex slave. One of several hundred of every imaginable ethnicity, including some ethnicities that don't even exist."
Boris stared at the apartment. It was lined with sculptures, paintings, fountains, furniture, dishwashers, and fireplaces. He saw a cage in one corner, which contained a live giraffe.
"THIS IS NOT MY DREAM!" bellowed Boris.
"You're one of the wealthiest men in the city." said Strinz, who handed Boris a box containing five thousand envelopes.
"What are these?" asked Boris, taking the box.
"They're all letters from major businesses such as Burger King and Colgate Toothpaste. They all want you to endorse their products. You're a national star. You've become known around the world as 'the man who doesn't want money.' That's why I've given you all this cash. You're a worthy investment. Incidentally, I now own you."
Book Six: The American Dream
Every day was a nightmare.
Every day, journalist after journalist flocked through the room. They'd wake him up when he was trying to sleep (they were amazed because he didn't sleep in his twenty-foot bed with his hundreds of prostitutes; instead he piled up rocks and needles in the corner and slept on them because of his dream), they'd interview him when he was using the bathroom, they bombarded him with constant e-mails, letters, and offers to appear on major corporate broadcasting networks.
Over and over again, they forced him to explain that he just wanted to be poor. That it had always been his dream.
But he soon felt the dream beginning to fade away.
How could he ever achieve poverty when society seemed determined to force him into extreme wealth?
He started crying constantly.
"Why are you so miserable?" asked Oprah as she watched him sobbing, "Most people in America would kill for money like yours. I actually have killed for money like yours, though I don't like to get into that."
Boris said between sobs, "My dream is--"
But just then, a man burst into the room. "Hey!" he screamed, "Our viewership's going down. The American people are getting sick of this story. I just read about some guy from Hoboken with a penis the size of a king cobra. It's WAY more interesting than Boris! Boris is just some stupid foreigner!"
In an instant, all the reporters ran out of the room. Then, Stinz walked in.
"Well Boris, I'm giving you up. You're old news. I'm gonna go see if I can snag that big-penised guy before CNN does. Now GET OUT OF MY APARTMENT, YOU SMELLY FOREIGNER!"
"Alright, that's it, I'm calling security!"
Before Boris knew what was happening, nine monstrous security guards, equipped with a trained rhinoceros, burst into the room, pummelled him, and threw him down the eighty flights of stairs to the streets below.
"I'M TAKING EVERYTHING YOU EVER OWNED!" Boris heard Stinz yelling from the apartment above, "I HOPE YOU DIE!"
But Boris was slowly feeling joy flood through his body.
It was more than joy. It was sheer ecstasy.
His clothes had been ripped and shredded on the way down the stairs. He had broken several bones.
But most important of all, he owned absolutely nothing.
He looked beside him, and as if to confirm what he was thinking, the same homeless woman from Chapter Two was lying on the ground next to him.
"Society finally got you too, eh?" she said, "The bastards. They sure do give us a rough time."
She'd said "Us." She thought of him as one of them.
He kissed her passionately.
"Did you just kiss me?" she said, "I lost all feeling in my mouth sometime last July."
"I did," he said. She threw up on him. He cheered.
He had done it. He had stuck with his dream. He had persevered.
They'd told him it couldn't be done, but he did it. He showed them all.
Boris lay down in the road, face up, so he could stare up at the Empire that had made his dream of homeless misery a reality.
The skyscrapers towered above him. As the sun sank down, it made them glow, as if they were red in the face with pride. Or drunkenness.
Boris could only think of one thing to say: "GOD BLESS AMERICA!"