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Surname (also known as Surinam, Srname, Suriname, and various other imaginative combinations worked out on bored afternoons) is a South American nation situated between Guyana and French New Guinea. The country is heavily affiliated with the George W. Bush empire, hence the popular phrase, "Bush Negroes." This is a great misunderstanding, as suriname is currently a Dutch colony.

Its chief import is Dutch chocolate. Its chief export is guerillas.


Sriname is in South America. We know that. Everyone agrees that much. Look down at the bottom of this article: it's in a list of South American countries. Granted, so are Mexico, Costa Brava, and Borgward Isabella, but South America is an exciting and mysterious continent full of unexpected things, and I don't think any of us should start acting too surprised if we were to take a wrong turn on the Copacabana and find ourselves face to face with flying dinosaurs, German war criminals, or even Surinaam. Stranger things have happened. I knew a bloke very strange things happened to, Ted his name was, or he claimed his name was Ted when I knew him, he might have changed it now.

“Get on with it!”

~ The reader

Okay, well Ted said he'd been to Argentina and looked for Surniame there and hadn't found it. And as Argentina is in the south of South America (the arts students among you will just have to take this on faith and rejoin us when we get to the battle between the bikini-clad girl and the pterodactyl), that pretty much proves that the country is in the north. Or, to put it in other terms, near the middle of the world. You'd think that'd mean it was pretty easy to find. But apparently not. I'm not a geographer myself, I have to pick up my knowledge from people like Ted, and he's a busy man, very busy, on the run from all sorts of people, so I think we're all very lucky to have the benefit of his experience. Round of applause for Ted.

Something I read on an inferior encyclopaedia said Sirunume was famous for its bauxite. Well that's as may be. There could be something in that. Different places are famous for different things. Some places have an Eiffel Tower, a Sydney Opera House, the geisha, the Bactrian camel, and lucky old Surunam gets bauxite. Now I looked into this further and apparently bauxite is a kind of rock or stone. I had to sit down for a while and rest when I read that, to take in the implications. I've known rocks in other places. So has Ted. Many's the time we've swapped stories about rock of various kinds, in the quiet hours of the night, when you're feeling mellow, and geology looms large in your thoughts. But what hadn't occurred to me before was that a place could actually be famous for it.

Gibraltar! <-- READER'S VOICE

Excellent point! Young gentleman in the third row, funny-looking haircut, excellent point. Gibraltar is another one. But that's a sort of, how shall I put this, biggish, largish rock, whereas what it says here on the back of this wheatie-bikkie packet is that bauxite is a very, very small crumbly sort of rock that is mainly valued for its ability to be crushed down to even smaller... is sand too fine a word? Dare I introduce the concept of sand at this juncture?


The history of Surrealnam comes in various sections: the Primordial Part, from the beginning of time to the reign of King Ethelred the Unready in 864; the Other Primordial Part from 864 to 1492, when mutineers left Colombus in a dingy to colonize the shores of Surreyname: and finally, the Pirate Period, from 1492 to now, when the place was inhabited by men and women of various colonized races (much like a Matrix sex party). Now isn't it remarkable and suspicious that all those periods dovetail so perfectly? Mysteries of life and all that, I suppose. The country was periodically raided by pirates and multinational corporations in search of bauxite, a rock known for its pleasing aesthetic properties, and also used as the primary source for aluminium. While the great financier J.P. Morgan gained a monopoly on all bauxite necklaces up through 1890, the growth in the use of corrugated aluminium totally changed the playing field (not itself made of the stuff). The US government has had an interest ever since in making sure that local politics do not interfere with local business, all of which is run by Americans and British. Yet, that divide still causes open warfare over the spelling and pronunciation of aluminium/aluminum by each side. It gives them hardly enough time to spend demeaning the locals, which you may not know about if you're not part of the set that's into bullwhips and BDSM.

Of all the corrugated aluminium shack ghettos, from Lagos, Nigeria to Jakarta, Indonesia, about 1% of that aluminium comes directly from Siriname, all of it transported on The Good Ship Lollypop, a retired aircraft carrier purchased by a local merchant with affiliations with the CIA. This gives time to give each sheet its distinctive spots of corrosion so windows are never needed. As a further bonus, the surface becomes very good at retaining spray paint, just in case Banksy happens to be in the neighborhood.


Now might be a good time to move away from the tangled question of geography, and get to grips with who actually lives in Surinm. One striking fact is that its colonial masters (who included at various times Holland, France, Portugal, Portugal's milkman who was just passing by to get his bill paid but got involved in the game, Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the Child Protection Agency, and the borough of Little Piddling on the Third Wyre during its brief independence in 1813) imported more slaves from different parts of the world than at any other time in history, with the result that Suirinam has the most exotic ethnic mix anywhere, and that 98% of the population still believe they are legally slaves, having fled into the bush to escape their masters at some point in the last four hundred years and not having looked at a newspaper since.

The only two daily newspapers in Siurinaaame are the Dagelijk Tok-Tok, which is all bronzed boobies with puffy nipples and sudoku, and the Paramaribo Sword of Iron and Gazette, which runs massive 25-part editorials on why Amerindians, Hippies, Jews, Blacks, Hindus, Javanese, Europeans, and Grues should all be deported back to Ethiopia (which they appear to believe is next door, but then Surinaemians never were much good at geography, I can't think why), and sudoku. As both are in the official language, Semigalo-Lettvician, the only language on earth spoken by none of the inhabitants, their influence on burning questions such as when to time the eventual and inevitable slave revolt is minimal.


Sorbonne was ruled by a military dictator, one Captain Desi Arnaz, from about 1978 to about 1994. This requires an awful lot of qualification. The dates, for one. No-one in the country had a calendar, so the dates are reconstructed from diary entries by round-the-world yachtsmen who ran into difficulty and stopped off in the capital, Port Stanley, and reported gunfire or suspicious movements or in fact movements of anything at all larger than a penguin.

Captain, well that was his idea. His mum made him a Captain costume. It had gold stars all down one arm and a silver smiley face on the back and the helmet was an old wastepaper basket that she'd scraped most of the mouldy apple cores from. He didn't know whether he was the highest-ranking officer in the army because no-one had thought to write down who had joined.

And ruled, well. Well he was spotted (and on one notable occasion photographed, when a tourist dropped off by a pterodactyl recovered her wits enough) running up and down the main alley in Port Stanley shouting, "Look, look, I'm in charge now. You all have to obey me. Put down that chicken."