city(…) UNESCO expressed concern that the historic nature of the city be preserved to safeguard its status as a World Heritage Site, to which the Russian Interior Minister retorted, off the record, that no one had stipulated where. The CIA reluctantly tore its spy satellites away from ogling the French President’s hot wife sunbathing topless in St. Tropez when the US Department of Homeland Security flagged the frequent use of the code word “bricks”, which had spiked suspiciously on social network sites online. The CIA pointed out that they owned and controlled the websites anyway, and “tits” was just as suspicious and consumed many man hours of intensive study, but ok, dude, whatever.

What became apparent was that the Russians had created a massive chain of workers, trains and trucks transporting the collated and labelled Saint Petersburg south, past Moscow to the eastern coast of the Sea of Azov at the mouth of the Don River. Flanked by the town of Kagalnik to the south west and Rogozhkino to the north, the fertile green delta to the west of Azov was remarkably similar to the Neva river region of Saint Petersburg, and the weather was much nicer. The Russian President announced his intentions publicly two months later, along with the news that Belarus and Ukraine weren’t real countries.

They were rebuilding the city, he stated, where Peter the Great always intended it to be after subjugation of the Crimean Tatars and the defeat of the Ottoman Empire. Peter’s navy had sailed down the Don and captured the Turkish fort in 1696, ceded it after defeat in the Russo-Turkish War of 1710-11, regained it in 1736, and gained control of access to the Black Sea in 1774. By that time Peter’s successor Catherine the Great had formulated the intentions of her empire’s “Greek Project”, which was to push the Ottomans out of Europe and re-establish the Byzantine Empire under Russian control. To hedge his bets and piss off Charles XII of Sweden during the Great Northern War, however, Peter had already founded Saint Petersburg in 1703 on the frozen banks of the icy Neva River on the Baltic Sea. It kept the vodka cold but irritated the hell out of his nobles when he moved the capital of Russia there in 1713. The Soviets had the good sense to move it back to Moscow after the Glorious Revolution in 1918, and continued to make a nuisance of themselves in the Mediterranean during the 20th century fomenting communist insurgencies in Italy and Greece and constantly pressuring the Turks to allow Soviet military access through the Bosporus. Due to the “unfortunate accident” in Istanbul, though, they now didn’t have to. Their northern border was secured by a bunch of occupied saunas in Finland and the Orthodox churches had been united. The Russian President considered declaring himself Emperor and heir to the Holy Roman Empire, but his wife said he would sound like a bit of a dick, so he didn’t.

A revisionist craze swept the globe. A snap referendum had incorporated Cuba into the More Perfect Union as the 51st State, which pissed off Puerto Rico enormously, and who then promptly petitioned to join Spain. The Spanish, who had already stolen and wasted all the gold there was to find in the Caribbean centuries earlier and weren’t interested in baseball players, rejected the idea but watched with interest as Portugal moved its capital to Brasilia. The French declared a Sixth Republic just for the hell of it but couldn’t really think of anything else to do because they had enough problems with the Algerians they already had, and they’d blown all their South Pacific atolls to nuclear smithereens. The Italians for some unfathomable reason spent ages debating the merits of going back to Ethiopia, and the Germans thought about Third Time Lucky. The British were so sick of their rubbish cricket team that they tried to reconstitute the Raj, but only succeeded in uniting the Pakistanis and Indians against them. The UN General Secretary had to tell the Japanese to sit down, but the Chinese remained quiet and didn’t do anything because they knew they were going to own it all eventually anyway.

The Arabians had used up all their oil but still had all the money, so they bought New Zealand and were helped to move by the enterprising Texans, who ploughed the profits into bribing the rest of the Union to allow them to secede. The Californians tried it too, and after independence set off a number of controlled explosions along the San Andreas Fault to try and float themselves into the Pacific as another island paradise, but they succeeded only in tipping themselves over. The Americans then walked north into Quebec and told the French Canadians to shut up, and there were so many Mexicans in America anyway that their government barely had to even offer their sovereignty. The humble Dutch, touchingly, even asked for New Amsterdam back but were told to get in line by the Iroquois Indians, who had stashed so much money away from their reservation casinos that they eventually decided to buy Hawaii instead.

A number of the world’s most intractable conflicts, however, were neatly solved in the mayhem. The North Koreans admitted it was all bullshit and walked across the border to find food and cool electronic appliances, the Irish gave free Guinness and EU membership to the Protestants of Northern Ireland then quickly impregnated and married them before they sobered up and, most strikingly, the Israelis said fuck it, maybe Uganda really was a better proposal after all and moved there. (…)

© andrew wheeler

This post is an excerpt from The World Is Round. Read other entries in this category, or buy the book!