The Kortun and His Composite Selves

“That we heard of Kortun in the first place is indeed remarkable.  Hard to spot as one individual.  We’re not even sure that he can exist as an organic whole, he may have been created as a cafeteria-style platter – a little bread here, some substantial mystery meat portion there, loose bits of fried batter, and concentric rings of vegetables.  Oh yes, that’s what his personality output is like.   Sometimes he chatters like a dodecaphonic tone poem.  Any Information Martinet will immediately realize what we’re up against. Just getting one aspect of Kortun categorized, without him calling his own class destructor in the process, was, well – and we don’t like to emote, generally – maddening.  As you read this, a multi-threaded method to embed Kortun is being executed in the background. The number of attempts has now reached into  giga-cycles. We will keep trying until The Director advises us otherwise.  That’s our assessment of the current situation.  Now for some background on Kortun and his composite selves.

Kortun (or to be technically accurate, the many instances of the Kortun class) was born under a pomegranate tree in the former Soviet Republic of Armenia. For some reason the locals thought it was an auspicious birth – some arguing that the celestial world was in perfect order, others that it was in perfect disarray. Kortun was the first son of Anerbaster the Solemn and his wife Xrahkja.  Anerbaster had earned his title from being a penitent and practicing self-mortification.  Even when Kortun arrived in this world, his father remained very stoic indeed, while the rest of the villagers danced in ecstasy.  Thereafter, Kortun grew up quite normally until a time came when the celestial world was again in the same state of order or disorder (the villagers had never settled this matter).  The date was nine years after his birth.  A viscous wind suddenly howled and the sky grew into the dark purple of a plum. The old pomegranate tree of Kortun’s birth was struck by lightning; with a great tortured call it was torn apart. A limb flew off the tree and severed Kortun’s right hand. The villagers were mortified.  Even Anerbaster abandoned his solemnity for a time. The local doctor was summoned. All he could do was to stop the bleeding and bandage the stump.

But the heavens were not through with the poor Kortun. As he lay asleep one night not long after the tragedy, a billy goat came by his hammock.  It nudged at the point where his hand was missing. The following morning Kortun arose with the memory of a dream of goats and a goat hoof attached where his right hand used to be. When his parents, and then the rest of the village witnessed this, they were astonished, as well as terrified. There was talk of magic and evil, mischievous spirits abounding. However, it was not really Kortun they were watching.  It was an instantiation of the Kortun Class. The original Kortun – the base class -- emerged from a nearby cave, with all his limbs intact. The goat was merely a method that caused another instance of Kortun to materialize. The original, normal Kortun had been hidden through abstraction – but he was there all along. Within a short period – to the villager’s fascination and horror – many different methods were invoked, and they instantiated further Kortuns, some with a horn on the head, others with other odd combinations of physical attributes.  Moreover, the various Kortuns could destroy themselves just by going back in a cave.  After a few months, the village was overrun by them. As the years progressed, they had infested most of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic, and the party apparatchiks are still at a loss as to what to do with them.  Nearly every village lost food from their foraging, and had to tolerate their childish pranks.

This presents a customer relationship conundrum to us here at Global Emporium. The many instances of the Kortun class are valuable customers, since each one, because of its physical distinctiveness, requires specially tailored clothing.  Our challenge lies in keeping up with the requirements for new designs -- since new Kortuns are being created every day – and discontinuing designs for the Kortuns who have entered a cave.