Once upon a time, in a large and gracious land in the continent of Asia, there lived a king. His name was Kim Jong Un and he was the supreme leader of North Korea. Following his late father, Kim Jong Il, to the throne, he attained his mighty role at the rather young age of 31. This made him the youngest head of state the world has ever seen.
The young King loved food. He would spend each day and night ordering his chefs to cook him the finest cuisines from every conceivable corner of the planet. Sometimes he would order a common local dish such as Nakji, and enjoy tearing the handfuls of squirming octopus limbs from their bodies with his slavering teeth. Other times he would order the famous ‘Rocky Mountain Oysters’ all the way from North America. His favourite part was when he bit into them, and the thick juice burst out of the lightly spiced bull’s testicles. At other times, all he wanted was a good old cheeseburger.
On one incredibly bland Sunday afternoon, when there was no wind and just a few clouds dotting the average-looking, blue sky above the palace, something extremely peculiar happened. Tapping his short and stubby fingers on the red table cloth, he could barely concentrate on the usually delicious, tangy flavour of the urine soaked eggs that he always had for breakfast! The same thing happened when he was digging into to his Escamoles at lunch. The nutty-tasting, giant ant larvae just weren’t hitting the spot like they used to. Finally, when a sip of his baby mice rice wine didn’t tickle even a singular taste-bud, he realised what was wrong: he had lost his passion for food.
The only thing the king could do was suicide. For he thought that without passion there was no life. Without a leader, his people would be doomed. So he must take them with him in nuclear fallout. North Korea was to be destroyed, lest he eat a meal that he loved.
One more dinner, he told himself.
The suicidal King sat at his long dining table alone and awaited his final meal. He thought about his choice and whether or not it was the right thing to do. Yes, he decided, yes it was. For his servants and minions across the land could not live without their leader, and news of his decision had already entered every household.
Down in the basement of the palace, the chefs were preparing his dinner with the utmost care. They said nothing, but each of them thought it was strange that the final meal they should prepare for their supreme leader was Mac’ and Swiss Emmental cheese. In truth, the king had asked for ‘Kraken Sleeves with Crisps et Lentils’. In his depression however, the king had gone mad. Each meal, he asked for something new and delicious to be pulled out of the realm of non-existence. His handwriting too had become incredibly sloppy. So when he wrote down the order for his final meal, the chefs simply read: Mac’ and Cheese with Swiss Emmental.
Finally, it was finished and the diamond encrusted, platinum platter was placed silently onto the King’s dining table.
This meal meant the world.
Slowly, like the turning of the Earth around the sun, the lid of the platter was raised. A faint upwards waterfall of steam flowed up and struck the King’s nose like a match against its box. Instantly, saliva began filling up his mouth and for the first time in months, a drop of drool hung down from his lips.
He threw off the lid of the platter which landed elsewhere in the room with a clatter. The servants outside heard the commotion and began to run for their lives, thinking that they had mere seconds left on this mortal coil. Quite the opposite was in fact true. The fire of desire had been sparked once more and blazed deeply inside his belly. He felt it consume him entirely, as he consumed the cheese.
He awoke later in his four poster bed amongst his super-soft, pink, fluffy pillows. His stomach felt warm still, and his face was a mess, covered with the delicious stuff he had eaten earlier. He had to tell the nation the good news. The large double doors of his bedroom were pushed open and to his surprise all the palace staff were eagerly peering over each other at him.
“Where are my chefs?” the King shouted. Three men were shoved forward by the royal guards and thrown to the ground in front of the King. They scrambled to their feet and bowed. One of them was hit by a guard and blurted out,
“Your m-majestic gracefulness! Did you enjoy y-y-your m-meal, sir?” Then Kim Jong Un looked at them all sternly and paced up and down past their bowed heads.
“Did I… enjoy the meal?” he said, taking a large pause and straightening himself out in front of them. “9,570th squad of palace chefs... I have never eaten anything… as insanely, as rambunctiously, as ludicrously delicious, as the meal you have just cooked for me!” Everybody cheered and cried with joy, for nuclear destruction had been evaded!
“But! This is no time for celebration!” screamed the King over the servants. “For my belly hungers for more, and cannot wait long,” he said staring into the eyes of the chefs, who understood instantly and scrambled away to the kitchen to make more. The chefs, however, saw something else in his eyes. Where before there was an element of foolish childishness and innocence, there now appeared only greed.
For weeks the king gorged. Slowly but surely, the only ingredient any meal contained, was Swiss Emmental cheese. Policies were changed across the land and now in every home the only permitted food was Swiss Emmental cheese. The land was made sick and all those born lactose intolerant were birthed into a world of constant illness and grief. Alas, the greedy King did not see this and his stomach continued to swell with the wondrous Swiss substance.
A year passed and still he had eaten nothing else. The greedy King had become an ogre, a giant beast wobbling on his feet. His clothes were ordered to be made of cheese, his throne too, and eventually, the entire palace.
In every way, greed had consumed the King. He had eaten everything that contained even a hint of that glorious stuff, including the palace in which he lived. Under a dark sky he lay in barren land, fumbling through the dirt for morsels, but found none.
“More!” he squealed as usual, “More!” But his servant brought grim news.
“Sir... we have a call from the Swiss, they say that... there is no Emmental cheese left on the earth... you have eaten it all.” Kim Jong Un’s eyes widened.
“No more... no more cheese?” He mumbled through his thick cheeks. Then something happened, something that the messenger would have never hoped to have seen. Lightning cracked in the distance and rain began to fall, as the King’s face began to glow a sick purple. The messenger turned to flee, but was grabbed by the King’s colossal fingers and thrown into his mouth and into his giant belly. A bloody roar flew like a wraith from the deepest depths of the King’s stomach and into the ears of every North Korean citizen, their heads all turning in fear to the black and rolling sky above them. The earth shook, as the King rolled himself forward from his back to his feet. Shocks to the earth were far above ten on the Richter scale. Cities all around were crumbling. In one final effort, the gluttonous King heaved with all his might to stand. Under the pressure of his gigantic body, his ankles shattered. A gleaming beam of light flashed into the sky and the shattered bone fragments flew upwards, parting the black clouds. Each fragment split into a different direction, to land in some mysterious corner of the round earth.
Once the light had faded and the smoke had cleared, nothing remained, but a crater where Kim Jong Un once lay. The clouds dissipated and the sun shone down. The people of the land left their houses and looked up into the bright blue sky. They each seemed to know what had happened. They all seemed to know they were now leaderless. However, they did not feel lost, like they were always told they would. They were free now, a jar of communist butterflies ready to fly unhindered into a world of capitalism and slow integration into Western culture. A world far better than the tyranny which they had always known… perhaps.
Even so, legend tells that if those ankle fragments are re-united, they will revive the gluttonous King, Kim Jong Un, and plunge North Korea once more into eternal, communist, lactose-intolerant, darkness.