|Motto: "De que barrios sos?" (What streets you from?)|
|Anthem: "La Bala" by los Hermanos Flores|
|Largest city||Los Angeles|
|Official language(s)||Spanish, Gang talk, Mumble|
|Government||Surely you're kidding?|
|Favorite Musical Instrument||Pistol|
|National Hero(es)||Recycling Bin, Dog Poop, Vomiting, Minecraft, Argh!|
|Established||19th century...collapsed after an invasion by the United Penguin Militia last year|
El Salvador is a small region of harmless anarchy in Central America. The country's name, short for "El Salvatruchidor", roughly translates into English as "The Salvador" — a reference to the country's first emperor, Sal Mara, who took after The Chad from Scrubs. Traditionally, the nation is known as El Humidor, a reference to its humid climate.
The capital city of El Salvador is unimaginatively named San Salvador, which roughly translates to "Salvador-on-the-Sand".
Salvadorans' national costume is tight underwear. Along with conventional Christian holidays, Salvadorans celebrate the national holidays Lotion Day and Oiled Upper Chest Improvement Week.
El Salvador is in Central America, nestled between Guatemala, Honduras, and Mordor. (And you thought your neighbors were lowering the property values!) It comprises 12 square miles of jungle, infertile mountainside, and river valleys. The largest river that meanders through this meandering land is the Oompa Loompa, the ancestral home of the Mario Brothers.
The country's tropical location provides a year-round supply of hot air. Mountains near the coast trap the air in place and produce will-sapping clamminess, prompting the country's traditional name of El Humidor (and its infinitesmal Gross Domestic Product). Indeed, cigars stored out-of-doors remain in good condition indefinitely.
A homestead law gives each Salvadoran family about two square feet of land on which to build a small hut. And a hammock.
El Salvador declared independence from Poland in 1909. The Polish to this day remained baffled, as they have never had any influence in the area to speak of.
Three rival armed gangs compete for dominance:
- The Death Squads, based in the capital. Their political arm is a party called ARENA. It stands for free-market economics, which means official protection and subsidy for powerful local businessmen.
- Typical Marxist terrorists, based in the jungle and freely crossing national boundaries. Their political arm is a party called FMLN. It stands for Marxism, which means official protection and subsidy for themselves.
- The urban gang MS-13 (Mara Salvatrucha 13). The closest it comes to an ideology is drug-running and murder followed by mutilation of the corpses. But it appeals to anyone who is baffled by the difference between the other two groups.
The three factions compete in the national elections, compete between elections in a continual guerrilla war, and also compete in the nation's soccer league. During these dust-ups, the tasks of routine municipal maintenance and self-enrichment are performed by US corporations.
The head of state is Supreme Chancellor Carlos de los Cobos, a Mexican who declared himself ruler upon hearing that the country was in anarchy. Short, stocky and clinically insane, Carlos eats a live baby seal every morning. Checking his power is the Chamber of Deputies, comprising three men and a cat with alleged telepathic powers to predict the weather. As of 2010, there is an ongoing debate as to whether this amounts to an actual government.
El Salvador might not have an actual government, but it certainly doesn't have a reserve bank. In 2004, chronic failure to maintain a currency whose value is certain from hour to hour led the El Salvador government to wash its hands of monetary policy entirely. As nature abhors a vacuum, the mighty US greenback stepped in to fill the void. Consequently, the government has no power to enrich itself by debasing the currency. No one has noticed that the power was not extinguished but merely transferred to equally greedy politicians in Washington.
El Salvador is noted for invading itself a record 94 times, and for its lack of a primary education system. Children attend kindergarten at age 2 for three years, and then must serve in the armed forces until age 12, after which they attend secondary school. This has lead to both international condemnation and the slogan of the armed forces: "You wouldn't shoot a 6-year-old, would you?" The pre-teen conscripts can elect to serve in any of the three organized military branches, and on either side of the conflict then in progress.
The national terror alert system is the world's most complex and ineffective. The terror level is determined daily by four Jews who roll dice in an alleyway. The totals are reported to the Supreme Chancellor, whereupon he throws a dart at a color chart on his office wall.
El Salvador has been at terror alert "Red" ever since a series of attacks in 2006 from a group calling itself the "Shadow Cabinet". Initially thought to refer to the popular TV soap opera, El Gabinete de Sombra, it was later found to be members of the country's actual shadow cabinet armed with explosives, scary news reports of the raising of the terror level, and pulped papaya.
Despite the continual state of civil war, El Salvador is plenty safe, at least in the larger cities when the sun is out, and is a favored vacation destination. Travel agents suggest that you pack a gas mask, a weapon (preferably automatic), and a cell phone. With the US Army on speed-dial.
They recommend you avoid apparel or exposed tattoos with the figure 18 or MS, or the US flag. In the unlikely event that you are killed, these simple steps will ensure that your corpse is left in an identifiable state.
Things to do
- Coup d'etat. (Only in even years.) Street vendors sell Molotov cocktails, hand grenades, AK-47s, and cotton candy so just come and have a rebellious time.
- Gang initiations. Head to your favorite barrio, beat the shit out of a child, and watch him become a member of Satan's army. It's great, state-sponsored fun. The nation's Air Force provides protection. If you are lucky, they might shoot someone in the head. Bring a camera and a bulletproof vest.
- Football. Pick your favorite local team and watch 'em battle each other to victory. El Salvador has great football venues such as the Estadio Cuscatlán. Fans wear their favorite team's jersey, alongside a gas mask and a 50-caliber gun, for the post-game tailgate parties.
- Guerrillas. Hang with them in the mountains near Chalatenango. Guerrillas teach your kids history, personal self-defense, and the inevitability of international Communist victory.
- Cuscatlán Film Festival, the world's most famous film festival. Watch great screenings of the greatest movies that win Los Oscars (Los Premios de la Academia). Great Movies these year include CP (El Cipote Pendejo), Cerote Millionaire, and Saving Guerrilero Gomez.
- National Pride Day. Bring your Mexican, Guatemalan, Honduran, Indian, and Argentinan flags to this great festival. For the gayer participants, Nicaraguan flags will do. You will be give a free box of matches to burn the flags. Dance around the sacred cow, la vaca, while hearing local folk music, such as La Sonora Dinamita. Leave a cash offering to the Cuscatlán Chicken, famous for saving El Salvador from total destruction by organizing a Poultry Patrol to repel invading Guatemalans. It is now the oldest chicken alive.
- Las Fiestas Patronales. Each pueblo and city has its own patron saint that it worships every year to prevent wars, uprisings, dictators, and famine. (It hasn't worked.) This involves dangerously loud music and dressing up like idiots. Typical patron saints are the Buddha, la Ciguanagua, and Rob Halford.
- Independence Day. A great day for anyone, though embarrasing for Spaniards. Have fun at the pageant by dressing up as pissed-off Indians beating up white people.
The pupusa is the favorite food, which is unsurprising, as it is also the extent of Salvadoran cuisine. You can eat them for breakfast and lunch; but if you do both, you won't make it to dinner, as the pupusa is a natural source of sulfuric acid. They can be used as a spare tire for a short distance to a repair shop. The pupusas are usually served with curtido, a salad-like topping containing human brains...I mean loroco. Despite its lack of variety, El Salvador won in 1990, 1995, and 2001 the "Best Food in the World" award, besting nations that went out of their way to cook something impressive, like the Italians.
The status of the pupusa as the sole ingredient in Salvadoran cuisine owes to the country's agricultural policy: Seizing the plantations (fincas) from their owners and distributing them to the laborers (campesinos). Oddly, this was achieved by the pro-business party, after coaxing by the pro-business party in the US. Consequently, 80% of the farmland is in the hands of people who don't know squat about farming. Surrounding countries have quaint names for the national dish of rice and beans, but El Salvador has a quaint name for a dish containing neither rice nor beans. Yes--the pupusa. It is like the wish sandwich of Blues-Brothers fame.
Salvadorans like football so much that they never attempt a military coup in the middle of a match. The country has only one team, the Nougats, which have failed to excite locals since their entry into the Futbol Mayor Liga Nacional, or FMLN, in 1997. Salvadorans support Barcelona and Real Madrid, thanks to a commercial agreement between the clubs' sponsors and the Salvadoran government of the time. They are all notorious for starting wars when they start losing games, such as Football War.
Notable athletes include:
- Eliseo Quintanilla, noted for bursting into tears over little things such as kicking the ball into his own goal.
- Jorge "El Magico" Gonzalez, the beloved ex-General of the Salvadoran Armed Soccer Riot Army Division (SASRAD). He massacred about 10 Mexicans during a "friendly" in 1981, then became President of the Republic and led the national army to victory during that year's civil war. He invaded Spain in 1982 (as part of his "payback," under cover of the 1982 FIFA World Cup). His fellow soldiers remember him as falling asleep during war exercises and showing up late to the base after getting drunk. He famously bought an ugly monkey from a Mexican Zoo, which its former owners named Hugo Sanchez. He kept it at the local soccer stadium and periodically administered torture (nicknamed the masconazo for the sponges used in the torture). In 2006, the monkey escaped back to Mexico where it was picked to be the drill sargent and head coach of Mexico's soccer team.
The most notable Salvadoran is Adrian Bayo, 14 years old and residing in Orlando, Florida, who is the only Salvadoran to have stabbed fewer than 5 people. Other famous Salvadorans include:
- Juan Escalante, a notorious gangster who was shot dead near Acajutla.
- Farabundo Marti, a local comedian signed by Comedy Central for his unique ability to make Marxism funny.
- Ronaldinho, a local dunce.
- Osama bin Laden, born 10 miles east of Soyapango. He got hit by a falling coconut and began thinking he was a crazy Arab fighting the US. He still mistakes El Salvador for northern Pakistan. In his most recent Internet video threatening the West, the tribal tapestry draped behind him cleverly hides the view of the municipal palace of Chalatenango.
- MS-13 is also a code name for the operating system that Microsoft plans to release, the sixth consecutive set of unnecessary changes to the user interface after the 2009 release (MS-7). MS-13 is already being beta-tested in El Salvador.