Zapinette goes to the North Pole

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Following the life of Zapinette. Zapinette lives with her mother, a staunch ‘felinist’ who owns a beauty parlor in Paris, as well as with Firmin, the latter’s boyfriend. The girl however feels much closer to her ‘Unky Berky’, in spite of the fact that he is “such a weirdo at times and can get on her bloomin nerves”. Through Firmin, ‘the vermin’, she learns that her beloved uncle is a ‘homey setchual’. They will travel to four continents together and the trips promise to be quite bumpy. She is part American, part French, part Italian and finds out, along her journeys to Africa and the Holy Land, that she has other origins too.

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Chapter 1

This is our second trip on a Cruise ship. The details about them mega boats are in my novel ZAPY ZZZEN, but this time our flight from Paris to Amsterdam was quite short, so no complaints like when we flew from France to China, vot a pain in the tushi that was, and the smells, phew!

This was an even bigger ship, but I didn’t mind it, since there are a few decks where you don’t even meet a fly, and I’ve learned to get around it pronto presto, which is not the case of my uncle. He still gets lost and I still have to walk through many corridors and different floors to find out where the hell he has strayed. Stray dogs by the way have an excellent sense of direction, like myself - if you ever even insinuate that I am a bitch, I’ll bash your head so hard that you wouldn’t recognise yourself in front of the mirror. I have telepathetic intuition concerning you people, remember? And if you go astray in your thoughts, you’ll be in a pathetic situation, so behave. This, new readers oughta be aware of, if they don’t want to get into harm’s way. Whaddaya think, I’m your teacher, your mentoress? No, I’m a Missus of Letters - not love letters, you nerd, literature! Oh, so I’m not good enough for some of you! Go back to school and read Salinger. The difference between his hero and my heroin - not the stuff you sniff, nincompoop - is that his little boy is always hurt and full of internal rage, while my young missus, who by the way, is a felinist, like her hairdresser of a mother in Paris, boxes people’s ears and some other parts, too anatomically incorrect to describe here.

Ok, kind new readers, I’ll go over the autobiographical shenanigans very briefly, just as a welcome bonus. I AM Zapinette, my mom and I are part Italian, part American and part French, and part of every religion under the sun. My Mamzer of an American father left us for the Amazon where he can share the Indian’s naked wives, the pervert, while I have a wonderful lil brother named Peter. And first but not least, my uncle Alberico, aka ’Unky Berky, aka Bonka, when he gets on my bloomin nerves, which he often does, is my favorite adult companion - no, he’s not a pedophile, I would kick anyone in the right place if he ever tried to make disgusting advances. Actually Unky Berky is a very sensitive man (a lil too much, but you can’t have everything, is what he taught me), so that most of the times, I’m the one to make decisions.

The sail to Bergen was very smooth and we took advantage of this Floating Palace, coz with its 7 floors, its 7-odd eateries, some 24/7, four-star dining-room with a view outside - here I had to put my foot down on the parquet floor, to get a table next to a porthole, giving the sweetest and most Marilyn Monroeish smile to the Maître d’, which locked my jaws for ten bloomin minutes, and hurt my temples, on account that it’s not something that comes naturally to me -, plush tea-room, casino (not for us, too noisy, with too many weirdoes), library cum guest computers, sea water swimming pools, and night clubs (too dark for me, and washmore, my uncle might be picked up by the wrong person, of any of the three sexes), and here too, we had our private room service and valet.

This time he was a very cute Irish redhead, named Dillon, yeah like the handsome actor Matt Dillon, who is also a hunk, only our Dillon - it was his first, not his last name - looked more like one of them tall and slim princes of yore, with hair that gives out copper flashes whenever he moved or stood under the slightest ray of light. Yeah he also had delicious cinnamon-colored freckles, unlike some people who seem to have skin like a medieval parchment, full of stains, many of them resembling crushed flies.

But what gave me goose pimples, apart from his delicate features and aristocratic demeanor, was his accent, especially when he began rolling his rrr’s, which just made me melt, leaving me dumb and founded, in other words, I just stared at him like one of them stoopid dolls with huge eye-lashes. I needed half a minute before I told my heart to shut the hell up and to stop beating like it was my last hour on earth.

Remember that I can use shake’m pears words when the situation requires it. I owe this to my uncle, coz he forces me to read highfalutin books and Michelin tourist guides - the hardcover types, with (far too much) history and all, not the ones for backpackers, before every trip we take. That’s called a friggin concession, if I want to see the world and become a globetrotteress.

As you oughta already know, we’ve crossed more than half of the planet, by plane, by boat, by junk - not the Mcdonald’s type, ignoramus, them sailing crafts the Chinese invented three thousand or more years ago - by train, by bus, occasionally using bicycles or even taxis, when my stingy Unky Berky has no other choice, and so fork and ding dong. In return for these con-cessions, the second day of every trip, I can do almost anything I wish, like swimming in the sea, when we are at the beach, or in the pool, as in this case, take my time, fooling around, or buying some pretty custom jewels from the ship’s stalls - I’m allowed to spend no more than ten dollars a day -, use the pinball machine, eat my favorite ice-cream or even jump into a jacuzzi - whoa, I looove them bubbles that run all over your body and tickle you to death. I hate that word, but if ever I should die, that would be the nicest way. Actually it would be quasark impossible to drown in a jacuzzi, it’s like a fish drowning in its own element. Do you know where it’s impossible to drown? In the Dead Sea, on account that there is so much salt in it, that even if you try to commit suicide, whether you like it or not, you immediately bounce back onto the surface, like a friggin cork - some of them are as fat as the Michelin Babalubba. Oh my, I forgot, if you stay too long there, you can die of salty insolation and roast like a crunchy piglet …mmm … so good and so un-kosher! Go read my book ‘Holyland Zapinette’ and you’ll feel less stupid, coz that’s where all the caboodle of religious hatred started. But the country is kind of nifty and there’s lots of things to see and have fun with. But this is not the subject of this here story. So, stop have me digress with your insinuations! It can be very stressing.

Coming back to cutie-pie Dillon, our cabin valet, thank Goddess, this time I have no rival. Let me explain: my uncle is only attracted to pretty boys who are darker than him - no they ain’t ever minors, he is NO pedophile, they must be over 21, preferably 25, but not over 35 (he once opened up to me about his intimate and unsetchual fantasies); he does nothing untoward, he just acts platoniciously, meaning no touchie touchie, just lookie lookie and probably dreamie dream, like that old Dirkie Bogard in that methusalemish movie ‘Death in Venice’, who doesn’t stop staring at a young blondie at the beach, with the difference that there, he WAS a pedophile, coz the boy was a teenager. Jeezette, was that film deadly boooring. Every once in a while, ok once a year, but that too is too much, my uncle forces us to watch it, and he always ends up crying, adding:

“Remember Zaperooney - he makes it rhyme with macaroni, the nincompoop -, those wonderful days we spent at the Lido. You loved swimming there.”

The strange thing about it is that we’re almost in the third decade of the 21st century and my uncle is still refurring to them days of yore, yo. In a way, it’s better for me, coz he won’t ever catch any of them setchual diseases that decimate (highfalutin for ‘kill’) millions of people, specially in the developing countries, where His Lownliness the Pope, who knows nothing about setchuality - did he ever get married? - warns all and sundry, especially on Sundays, that if they use con-doms, they’ll fly to hell faster than with the space rocket which landed on Mars. Wow, I’d love to have a foothold on the resort which Sir Richard Branson - he became a Lord on account that he swindled millions of passengers on his low-cost Virgin Airline - no chips, no sandwiches, no beverage, and soon enough you’ll have to pay to go to one of the plane’s potty rooms, the same way you pay extra for your luggage - has promised to build a resort beach, under a huge glass dome, for my tender generation of travelers. That too will be low-cost; I hope that our food at least will be included. I pray Goddess that Unky Berky will also have the opportunity to live to experience that kind of adventure with me, but I fear that by then he will reach the age where many gagagenarians get old-timers’ disease, and confuse me with his great-grand-mother or even with the cat he had when he was a little boy. With that kind of illness you’re never sure whether raving fiction gets more real that reality. If that ever happens, I’ll refuse to change his nappies, yuk yuk, I will never become his nurse, whatever happens, uncle or no uncle. We’ll have to hire one from the Health Service, which is so generous in France, even though it’s full of holes - in deficit, dummy, that’s the term the Monastery of Finance uses every second week on the TV’s Prime time. It’s another way of telling us to stop going to the doctor for such nannities as tickles in your backside, and to ask for medicine and special expensive creams, all paid by the government. And you wonder why we have among the highest taxes in the European Union.

Now you will ask, why on earth my uncle the voyeur, wasn’t interested by charming Dillon? Well because the ladder is as fair as Unky Berky, even a little lighter-skinned, and also because he has freckles. No, no, he isn’t disgusted, he is just dead scared in hindsight - this has nothing to do with your behind -, ever since the doctor told him that he could easily get skin cancer if he didn’t cover himself with the highest protection lotion against you vee rays - clever cookie the guy who invented the Rayban name and logo for sun glasses! Dillon reminded him of when he was younger, on account that Unky Berky was also a pretty boy eons ago - I can vouch for that, coz I saw pictures of him when he was little, then a young man, and finally when he held me in his arms daddy-wise. The color pictures of yore are kinda faded, so that he looks like his face was sprinkled with dried stains of that yellowish wobbly English custard cream, yuk yuk. When I think of it, he could very well have been mistaken for some old relative of Dillon. I hope that our cute valet didn’t go into into the sea all bandaged up like an Egyptian mummy the way my uncle appears at the beach. I’ll have to ask him, very delicately, whether he wears bermudas or a flimsy swimsuit, with its belt just below his belly button, the ladder would suit him better, coz I do find him kinda sexy, specially when his cheeks get all peachy when I ask him a favor that’s a lil far and outstretched, knowing full well that he will excuse himself, answering: “I’m afraid they don’t carry this item on board, miss.” Oh I love it when he calls me miss, as if I were a grown-up.

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