by Marian Allen
“You aren’t trying!” Jack’s voice boomed through the cavern without benefit of microphone. Fortunately, he had prepped the room, and all the stone and ice stalactites that were going to fall had fallen.
His audience shifted uncomfortably on their iglerks.
“Cook, people, cook! You can’t lose weight on ice creams, packaged cookies and deep frozen meals! You hear me? You get me?”
“Eh-eh-eh,” the people agreed. Some of them trimmed their seal oil lamps, some removed their gloves and warmed their hands over their Primus stoves, some just slumped over and listened.
“Do you understand what that means? Do you?”
They did, but Jack suspected they didn’t want to. Ice cream and cookies weren’t hard for the Arctic Circle Go Go Chickenfat franchise members to give up, but deep frozen meals were most of their diet – using “diet” in the sense of “what they ate” rather than “what they ate to lose weight.” Deep frozen raw fish, deep frozen raw seal, deep frozen blubber, deep frozen damn near everything. He wanted to impress them with his ripped six-pack abs, but the cavern was fifty degrees below zero and he wasn’t about to strip to the skin!
“Trim off the seal blubber and you trim off your own! Do you hear me?”
Utak, who had been as far south as the King William Land trading post and had learned to speak and understand the childish gabble talk that the white man thought was the Inuit language, raised a hand.
It was embarrassing to ask a direct question, but the Kabloona – the white outsider – would understand nothing more subtle. “Will the chicken not be frozen?”
“You have told us to stop hunting and eating the seal and to eat the fat chicken. How does the chicken not freeze in the cold? We think its fat must be very good, if it keeps the chicken from freezing.”
“The point is to not eat fat! NOT! Don’t you understand?”
The people understood, all right, once Utak translated into real language. There would be no chicken. There would be no chickenfat. If they stopped coming to the meetings, Jack would resume his actions that had brought them in the first place: invading their igloos, talking interminably, scaring off fish and seal and fox with his slow-witted blundering and lumbering and gibbering.
Utak made a suggestion, to which the people agreed energetically.
Again he raised his hand. “We can go on a seal hunt and then we could be shown what to do after the seal is caught.”
“Excellent! Yes! When?”
The next day was clear. Three sleds left camp for the frozen sea. Afterward, no-one could remember which sled Jack had been on, although everyone agreed he had fallen into a seal hole and had frozen before he could be pulled out.
The Arctic is filled with challenges, but getting rid of a fool is not one of them.
NON-SPOMMENT INSPIRATION: Gontran de Poncins’ KABLOONA, which I’m reading aloud to Mom.
A PROMPT FROM THE SPOMMENT FILE: So ice creams, cookies, deep frozen meals are definitely not allow. An effective and balanced meals are important for your system to be effective efficiently and you’ll think more energetic. From there he clearly explains the reasons why most are not able to reach the six pack ripped abs.