Written by Amethyst Ryder
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Sunday, 20 June 2010

image for The Collaboration, Chapter 6 - Minnesota Nice Goes to Tibet Far in the mysted, mystical mountains of Tibet...

Far in the mysted, mystical mountains of Tibet, Lena Oleson reached the end of one of many paths up the same mountain, and there she halted.

"Wow," she huffed, trying to catch her breath. "That was a heckuva climb."

A man in the robes of a Tibetan Buddhist monk stepped forward. "Good morning, madam," he greeted in English. "It appears, perhaps, that you have lost your way."

"Oh, no," said Lena Oleson. "I'm right where I wanna be."

"Ma'am, this is a community of Buddhist monks."

"I know." Lena Oleson grinned and held out her hand. "Name's Lena Oleson. I want to join your community."

"You do."

"You betcha."

The monk scrutinized her inscrutably. "Are you a Buddhist, Lena Oleson?"

"Oh, sure," answered Lena Oleson. "I take refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangria."

"Mrs. Oleson--"

"I've read Buddhism for Dipshits. Twice. I'm ready."

"Mrs. Oleson, it is quite impossible. This is a community of men. We do not associate with women."

"What? Are you sexist?"

"No, celibate."

"Oh, that." Lena Oleson laughed. "That's no big deal. I'm used to it. My husband would rather sit on the couch watching football than engage in marital relations."

"What do you mean?" inquired the monk. "Is that American football or European football?"

"He'll watch anything," said Lena Oleson, "as long as he doesn't have to get up from the couch."

The monk gazed out over the mountainous, mystical Tibetan horizon.

"Be that as it may," he presently spoke, "I cannot admit you into our community. I am sorry."

"But you have to admit me! You have to!" cried Lena Oleson. "I traveled all the way from Minnesota! Do you have any idea how many frequent flyer miles I used to get here?"

"Mrs. Ole--"

"Do you have any idea how long I had to drive just to get to the airport? It's a heckuva drive, let me tell you, just getting from Cloquet to Minneapolis, not to mention--"

"Enough!"

Lena Oleson fell silent, staring at the Tibetan Buddhist monk.

"I know why you are here, Lena Oleson," he said, appearing very sage, indeed. "You do not really wish to join our community, nor even to become a Buddhist. You are quite happy, I perceive, with your Lutheran church back home."

Lena Oleson's jaw dropped.

"In truth, Mrs. Oleson," the monk raised an eyebrow, "you are here because you wish to learn... The Secret of the Siberian Tyger of Tibet."

"Tiger," said Lena Oleson.

The monk rolled his eyes.

"Oh, right." Lena Oleson composed herself.

The monk raised an eyebrow. "The Secret of the Siberian Tyger of Tibet."

Lena Oleson gasped. "Do you know the Secret?" she whispered.

"Yes. I know the Secret," said the Tibetan monk, smiling inscrutably.

The sun rose, shining brilliantly over the mountainous, mystical Tibetan horizon.

"Well," said Lena Oleson, squinting. "Aren'tcha gonna tell me?"

The monk smiled. "No."

Lena Oleson looked around the grounds. "A bunch of men who haven't been near a woman," she mused out loud. She looked back at the monk and winked.

The monk gazed at her for what seemed to Lena Oleson like forever.

"I do a heckuva Time Warp," she added.

The monk sighed.

"Very well, Mrs. Oleson," he said. "I cannot tell you the Secret. But I can give you directions which will lead you to learn it of your own accord. This way, please." The monk led her into the largest building, down a corridor, and into a brightly lit office. He sat at his desk, typed rapidly, and clicked Print.

"Of course we have computers," said the monk, handing her several sheets of paper from the nearby printer. "Along with wireless Internet. I, too, like many others around the world, learned to dance the Time Warp by watching YouTube."

Merry, mystical laughter followed Lena Oleson out the door as she pondered the instructions and set out upon her quest to be the first to discover The Secret of the Siberian Tyger of Tibet.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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