July 9th, 2012

flavored with age

He Skypes to Conquer

“All right, let’s move on to Action Item #7.”

“Why must we call them that? This is all talk. No action.”

“It’s just a phrase, mighty Genghis. It is meant to remind us that these items under discussion are meant to be acted upon immediately rather than tabled.”

“What table? There is no table.”

“It’s a figure of speech, mighty Genghis. Shall we move on?”

“Yes, yes, Jamuga. Whatever you say.”

“All right. Action Item #7, the swallowing of gold. Remember the Turk woman?”

“The old crone, who denied me her treasure by swallowing it. She said she alone would thwart the Khan of Khans.”

“And do you remember the solution you came up with?”

“Of course I remember! She was the dotard, not I. I ordered her torn by the belly, as a fish, and the gold removed.”

“Yes, mighty Genghis. It was very proactive. The kind of dynamic leadership the men have come to expect from you. It’s your follow-up that has caused some problems.”

“What are these problems, Jamuga?”

“Well, you ordered that this, er, gutting be performed on all…all post-active, er…”

“All corpses.”

“Yes, sir. And some of the men find this, well, time-consuming and insalubrious. The rate of return is quite low, as it is only one in every 400,000 corpses to date that have yielded treasure. A great deal of semi-digested yoghurt and horse meat, but very little gold.”

“The Khan of Khans will not be made a fool of, Jamuga.”

“That is appreciated, sir, but my feeling is that the point has been made. Which, in fact, ties in to Action Item #8.”


“The further beheading of corpses.”

“I learned that there were those who feigned death by lying among the bodies. The horde needs leave no one alive after we pass through. Beheading the corpses insures that we are not fooled. It is, what is that word you use?”




“No, no. Efficient. It is efficient.”

“I appreciate that, mighty Genghis, believe me, I do. But we have to look at this from a public relations standpoint. Also, labor costs are…”

“Bah! I tire of these planning meetings, these Continual Improvement sessions, these Quality Control programs! The Khan of Khans lives to conquer, to spill blood, to lay waste to what is ahead and to forget what is behind! The Khan of Khans is not interested in Total Customer Service!”

“Mighty Genghis, if I might remind you that since the management team started having these planning meetings…”

“What management team? There is no management team! It is only you and I in the tent, Jamuga.”

“There is also Uigar.”

“Uigar the Eunuch doesn not count as a member of the management team! We do not even let him vote on choice of beverage!”

“Nonetheless, sir, since these meetings began, there has been a 122% increase in pillage, looting has nearly tripled, and slaughter rates are at an all-time high?”

“You say that is because of your charts and tracking reports. I say it is the firm hand of the Khan of Khans.”

“Well, time will tell who is right, mighty Genghis.”

“Fine! Fine then! I have an Actions-Item! How about that, Jamuga? What if I have an Actions-Item?”

“I, of course, would be pleased to hear it, mighty Genghis.”

“Very well. Actions-Item #9, concerning the Tartar woman Bortai…”

“Unfortunately, sir, we are at the end of the period allocated for Action Items, and we still need to go over these budget numbers.”


“Next week, mighty Genghis. You may be assured of it.”


“Without question.”

“Whose turn is it to bring the donuts, then?”