Wien: Two Indians and a Jew: Mid-Season Holiday Special

by Elise Wien | 1/4/17 1:36am

We return from a winter hiatus to catch up with the women of North Mass 310. Kayuri is in Warsaw, Poland, Corinne is in South Bend, Indiana and I am in New Rochelle, New York. Tasked with writing a column about friendship, but having nothing particularly new to say about it, I present to you the season finale of “Two Indians and a Jew,” the fictional sitcom about our own friendship. All text in italics is drawn verbatim from our group iMessage. All other text is subject to poetic liberties.

I can’t participate in these sordid affairs.

So that’s what you missed last week on transition economies in Poland

My life is a graveyard of phones

—KB, 12/6/16, 3:57 P.M.

Kayuri is in Warsaw as an extension of her economics class. She, along with a group of 15 other Dartmouth students in Public Policy 85, went to witness firsthand the processes they learned about in “The Transition of Poland to a Market Economy,” or, as another friend on the Ukraine immersion trip put it, “How to Prop Up Economic Structures That Are in the U.S.’s Best Interests.” This is, of course, assuming that the market economies are also in Ukraine and Poland’s best interests, but one finds it difficult to tease out priorities.

These Sordid Affairs” — The scandalous gossip coming from the Warsaw arm of room 310, not to be reprinted here for purposes of privacy and journalistic integrity.

Graveyard of Phones” — Kayuri lost her phone in Poland. This happens with relative frequency (see: 15X episode: The iPhone at the Bottom of the Connecticut River).

Kayuri, then, is responding to messages with much less frequency. Aside from “Auschwitz and the salt mines,” nightlife in Poland is a major attraction. Corinne and I begin to worry that she’s been TAKEN.

X

We open on a supply closet. We see Kayuri, sitting on a metal folding chair with her hands tied behind her back. Facing her are two men in black cargo pants, turtlenecks and ski masks, muttering to each other in Polish. Kayuri remains stone-faced. The chain from the single light bulb swings between them.

“You will cooperate,” the man on her right says.

“Or you will suffer the consequences,” says the man on her left, brandishing a butcher’s knife.

“Rats!” yells Kayuri, struggling against her restraints. “If only I hadn’t lost my iPhone, I wouldn’t have ended up in this situation.”

The two men whisper in Polish.

“We’re not sure how you made that jump in reasoning,” the man on her left says, “but we guarantee once you are working with us, you can have as many iPhones as you wish.”

“Working with you? Is that what this is about? I should’ve known this wasn’t for ransom… I have no high-powered political relatives or state secrets. Why me?”

“Well as you know, Kayuri, Poland is going through a bit of a change—”

“Transitioning to a market economy.”

“Yes. It’s ripe time to set up a boutique consulting firm specializing in—” he lets out a menacing laugh, “connections to global supply chains.”

“No!”

“Yes! And we know you have the knowledge we need.”

A ring from one of the men’s phones. The tune is Mazurek Dąbrowskiego, the Polish anthem.

“Why do Polish nationalists want to start up a boutique consulting firm?” Kayuri wonders. “Why are there so many printers in this supply closet? How big are they trying to make this thing? Surely over ten printers exceeds the bounds of ‘boutique.’ They should consult with someone about that — whoa, a consulting firm for consulting firms.” She pockets the idea.

The man on the left answers the phone, says only “tak” and nods to man on the right.

“We have to go,” he says. “We’ll be back in an hour. Meanwhile, watch this video on the evolution of the electronics manufacturing industry in northern Poland and how it’s responded to an increasingly globalized nation.”

They wheel out a TV and pop a VHS tape into its player. They exit, locking the door behind them.

“Okay, think Kayuri, think…” She fiddles with her Jostens® Dartmouth Class Ring. The light bulb above her flickers.

“Aha!” She remembers why the ring was so pricy. She presses down on the signet and a mini switchblade swings out from the side. She begins to saw through the rope that binds her hands together.

She wouldn’t think to design a ring with a secret blade compartment, what with airplane travel restrictions and regionally varying regulations on weapon carrying, but she would discuss that with Jostens® once she returned. Perhaps many alums find themselves tied up in Warsaw supply closets and have to rely on class rings as their only means of escape. Best not to judge their product design and marketing strategy before she had all the facts.

X

I just ran over a dog / Damn / And then I spoke to her owner / He was drunk / But he said it’s ok / Said they were worried because she was running all over / Well / Still breathing / But hit her going 55 / I told the owner happy holidays / But he was understanding / She was such a small dog / Like 15 lbs probably maybe 20 / Ankle biter / The owner held her warmly till she died / So at least she was warm / I am still sad about it

Im allergic to cantaloupe, beans, peas, soybeans, sesame seeds, bass, crab, lobster, shrimp, all other shell fishes, almonds? Maybe hazelnuts and peanuts and only a minor reaction to wheat

—Corinne, 12/13/16, 3:34 P.M.

A terrier ran out in front of Corinne’s car, making this the first casualty of winter break. The group text mourned. Kayuri, still locked in a supply closet and watching “Przemysł Elektroniczny: Historia,” offers no response. We are worried, because every time a dog dies, Kayuri loses a small piece of her soul.

X

Movie could b a lot shorter if they talked about their feelings

—Me, 12/18/16, 6:09 P.M.

I saw Manchester by the Sea and spent my 21st birthday sober with my parents, whom I love dearly. It’s not that I don’t value friendship, it’s just that 50 percent of my friends are locked in a supply closet in Warsaw.

X

God now we’re talking about petroleum.

—Corinne, 12/15/16, 7:34 P.M.

Corinne is on a date.

X

Back to the supply closet in Warsaw, Kayuri is braving day seven of the documentary. She sits with her hands behind her back as if they are tied down. One masked man returns, unlocks the door and enters. When he turns his back to her to take out the VHS tape, Kayuri grabs one of the HP Laserjet Pros and hits him over the head. She ties the man up and scoffs — the TAKER has become the TAKEN. She reaches for her iPhone to take a photo of the switch, then jerks her hand away, remembering with a fury.

Corinne and I begin to worry, because it’s now been a week without communication from our friend abroad.

Hbd

Health

Wealth

Happiness

Or survival at this point really

Will Kayuri make it home from Poland? Will the dog face resurrection? Will I make any new friends? Tune in next time.