The Free Democratic Constitutional Republic of P'unqraq
P'unqraq (from the Arabic P'unqraq, "Land of the P'unqraqis") is a country in the Near Middle East. Its climate is dry and hot.
During the colonial period, P'unqraq was passed from one occupying colonialist power to another. Over the centuries, occupiers ranged from the Assyrians to the Vulgar-Boers. Occupiers of P'unqraq often suffered apparent bad luck. For example, the Holy Roman Empire occupied P'unqraq for 18 days before its dissolution in 1806, the Second French Empire occupied the country for 27 days before its dissolution in 1870, and the Austro-Hungarian Empire did so for six days before its dissolution in 1918. In 1945, Winston Churchill won P'unqraq in a drunken poker game, leading to his party's loss in that year's election.
Despite the country's reputation as a jinx among nations, the presence of abundant energy reserves makes P'unqraq a tempting target for potential invaders. Prior to the age of petroleum, P'unqraq supplied many of the dates that fueled palm-engine locomotives. Today, it is P'unqraq's oil reserve that makes the country of interest to outsiders.
The current president of P'unqraq, elected in 2009, is P'Khan, son of General Chuckaluck. P'Khan was elected with 83.7% of the vote in an election supervised by the U.S. organization KERNEL. Given that the results were announced before the polls opened, some observers have questioned the legitimacy of the election, but domestic unrest was quelled when all protesters were shot. The President of the United States responded by sending a wreath, which was confiscated by P'unqraqi customs.
Although P'Khan is the nominal ruler of P'unqraq, General Chuckaluck is the actual ruler, as he has been since the 1959 coup that brought him to power. The General styles himself after the late Joseph Stalin, a Progressive leader of the Soviet Union.
Besides energy, another key element of the P'unqraqi economy is the sale of cookies, door-to-door throughout the Near Middle East, by members of the Little Miss Viper Guard -- a sales force that regularly provides new wives for Chuckaluck, his son P'Khan, and his other sons Soriyah and P'psqiq.
According to the P'unqraqi Ministry of Agriculture, the country's farmers have been experiencing a drought since 1959. The ministry has declared that, in an effort to improve the fertility of farmland, the P'unqraqi government is currently conducting research into the peaceful uses of nuclear explosions and long-range missiles and the powderization of anthrax.
When seeking international concessions, the government often cracks down on tourists who cross into P'unqraqi territory or come with a few dozen miles of doing so. A busload of children from the "Last Wishes Foundation" was arrested in 2009, but the children were released when P'unqraq and the U.S. reached an agreement known as the Krespis-Mahleek Accord (named after Karen Krespis, the national security advisor to the President, and General Chuckaluck's top aide, Colonel Mahleek). In that agreement, P'unqraq agreed to release the children and to consider the possibility of eventually giving up its nuclear and biological weapons programs. In return, the U.S. agreed to provide P'unqraq with food, centrifuges, fermentation vats, and a baseball franchise.
General Chuckaluck's ambition is unbounded. What does the future hold for the General and for the nation of P'unqraq? Only future episodes of "The Gentleman from Lickskillet" will tell. (If you'd like to see future episodes, be sure to sign the petition here.)