This week: Sofia!

Just in time for Election Day, it’s another Capital Idea: Sofia!

Bolnayatsa shmetzna, gloobyetz! Welcome to the capital of Bulgaria, where you can’t spell ‘election’ without ‘vote.’ This is just one of hundreds of bizarre and unenforceable polling laws constituting the constitution, and most of the others have to do with the orifice up which you may legally shove your ballot, providing you have passed the Pudding Test. Exit polls indicate that 98% of voters would choose ‘less’ pudding, but this of course assumes that reasonable choices have something to do with elections.

When a Sofian is not casting votes (which she is required to do every four hours, or else become an ‘absentee’), he is admiring the throngs of glamorous film stars wheeling through the rhinestone streets; it is not for nothing that Hollywood is known as the Sofia of the West. The local movie industry’s rise coincided with the increased popularity of comedies starring the hilariously deformed, who are in no short supply thanks to Sofia’s uproariously high incidence of extremely funny pre-natal radiological mutation. Citizens are literally rolling in money, as the absence of arms and legs necessitates this mode of perambulation, ha ha ha!

However rich they may be, most Sofians are starving to death, due to the lack of a national cuisine and an executive order banning the importation of goulash from neighboring Hungary. (Hungary…get it?) Raw food rots in huge piles within plexiglass cages, admired by the wealthy onlookers who, unable to cook it, attempt to visually absorb its nutrition, with tragic results. Tragic, that is, until the cameras arrive. Looks like another international hit for Direkkter Blinstoya!

With the ignorance of food preparation so prevalent, it is no surprise that the fruits of the earth are held in abnormal esteem, worshipped for the mysteries they refuse to divulge. Vegetables and fruits rest in trays of vitamin rich soil and luxuriate in trendy carbon dioxide bars while emaciated human beings carry out their every imagined wish. Despite pampering and pleading, the roots and tubers greet the wasting populace with silence.

As much as the denizens of Sofia voice their displeasure with the government’s inability to solve the food problem, at the end of the day they always end up electing the same five hyper-obese men. These 1,000-pound oligarchs are carried naked through the poorest sections of town on enormous golden skateboards, drawn by unicorns, while gorging constantly on sumptuous delicacies forbidden to the populace and repeatedly blaring “Who Let the Dogs Out?” You would think that these citizens, their dinners of gravel and mud rudely interrupted by this daily parade of ostentatiously gluttonous pork beasts, would throw the bums out of office. But the cold hard truth is that if you lick the sweat off the magical fat guys’ balls it cures AIDS, and that kind of publicity, my friend, pays for itself.

Gherkupa mistova from Sofia...I’m finally AIDS-free and off to Prague!