“You said it’s a par 3? That’s more miniature golf than anything, Torres, no matter what Sports Illustrated says.”

Torres lined up his putter. “Is your short game really that bad? It’s not all about whacking things with a wood, Norton.”

“That’s what she said,” giggled Bowman. Torres rolled his eyes and tapped the ball. It came to rest about a yard from the hole.

Norton lined up his shot using his putter as a kind of yardstick. “As if you’d ever know what a woman said. I think the longest conversation you’ve ever had with a double-X is her saying ‘no.'” His ball wound up much closer than Torres’, about three feet from the hole.

“Not true,” Torres said. “Sometimes they say ‘no way.’ By Norton’s standards that’s a regular lecture.” He tapped his ball, which overshot the hole and caught a minor downward slope, rolling into the rough. He swore effusively and moved to retrieve it.

“Uh-uh!” Norton cried. “You read the sign, you know the rules. No getting balls back from the rough. You’re out.”

“But it’s like two inches into the rough!” Torres cried. “I could hook it with my putter…”

“No. You’re out, Torres. Better luck next time.” Bowman cocked his head. “And that is also what she said.”

Norton, grinning, moved to sink his ball at two under par. In his haste, though, he wound up getting it at a really bad angle; the ball clipped up and arced over the green, deep into the rough.

“Ohh, look at that!” Torres crowed. “Norton chokes!”

Norton’s ball came to rest yards and yards away from the green. There was a nearly inaudible click, and a roar as a cloud of dirt and smoke was thrown up by an exploding anti-personnel mine. All three men flinched.

“Well, I guess I win by default!” said Bowman. “Come on, let’s get something to eat in the canteen. My treat.”

As they left the hole, they passed a large wooden sign set up nearby:
The World’s Most Dangerous Golf Course
As featured in Sports Illustrated
Par 3/192 yds.
Danger! Do not retrieve balls from the rough: live mine fields!


Ms. Jeong led the group to the next street corner, the clicking of her heels echoing down the all but empty street.

“That is factory for producing luxury automobiles,” she said, stabbing her umbrella in the direction of a nondescript concrete building with darkened windows. “Under the guidance of Dear Leader, luxury automobile production has increased 1000% and most families are issued one by government after meritorious service.”

Cora looked at the building carefully. An unfinished interior was dimly visible through the darkened windows, and there was no sign of raw materials entering or finished products leaving the facility.

“I think the brand of car they make there must be the Potemkin,” she whispered to Maya.

“Yes, and the model is the BS. I’d very much like to buy a Potemkin BS luxury autocar as a souvenir,” Maya said.

The tour proceeded apace into the center of town, where Ms. Jeong jabbed her tour guide umbrella at a line of stalls festooned with Nork Korean flags. “Here is place where workers and peasants of village have handicrafts for sale,” she barked. “All proceeds go to care of orphans created by American and Japanese imperialist war crimes.”

Cora picked up a stuffed animal from one stand and examined an attached tag: “100% machine made. Manufactured in China.”