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Columns > Jesse Jarnow - Brain Tuba

Published: 2009/06/01
by Jesse Jarnow

Hevdepping with HijuM’mp

BRAIN TUBA: Hevdepping with HijuM’mp
Was really hoping not to have to do any journalism while I was here, Dean. I’m done with that game. But sometimes there are stories that need reporting.
Hevdepping with HijuM’mp
by Jesse Jarnow
The phrase hjjummp, popular among local businessmen, has no real English equivalent, so the name of M’mp’s new company, HijuM’mp, probably won’t mean much to most readers of this publication. Loosely translated, it means ‘M’mp will do it for you, casually,’ and the ‘it’ in that equation is causing one mountain village to reassess values they have held for generations.
Each summer, according to rites, a large segment of the village’s teenagers take to the jungle trail known as the hevdep, where they sing yugg songs, chew jgdffff leaves, and improvise travel equipment out of forest growths and industrial refuse dropped by passing cargo planes. It is said that village youngsters often discover their future crafts while on hevdep trips, and this is very much true of M’mp.
Now 34, M’mp—who is tall and skinny—was a regular on hevdep runs in his youth. He estimates that he went every year between ages of 14 and 23, only stopping when packs of wild fux were seen in the vicinity and trips were cancelled for several seasons. On hevdep, he became a consummate trader, a mediator between uyyh gatherers and nnnnnnnn providers. Based on the connections he built, he soon founded a small but profitable hut where exchanges took place in the off-trail months.
In his early 30s, though, M’mp decided to go on hevdep again, and—seeing a market there for villagers who’d grown beyond their years roughing it on the hevdep trail—realized there was profit to be made. For a fee, paid out in dsu-dsu beans on the eve of the next blazcooster orgy, M’mp announced that he would provide luxury services for one’s hevdep experience.
Immediately village elders raised a cry of alarm. But nearly just as quickly, each slot in M’mp’s likk wagon—cranky wheels fitted with nmpp hydraulics—filled up. Tours began immediately.
"Ghutt ghutt fgggg-hmmm," a small group of protestors sang one day recently, arms locked, outside M’mp’s headquarters, where the uyyh/nnnnnnnn trade is still popular. ‘We must earn our songs/they are not yours to sell,’ is how one local translated the phrase. Like much of their music, the melodies of the hevdep trail are site and situation specific, and are almost never heard elsewhere, outside of very private recitations. An elderly woman beat her breast and yelled, hopelessly.
"She say, ‘How can they understand songs if they are not even the proper songs?’" her grandson, Kzzzknkh, explained in limited English. "Passage is passage, not likk wagon.’ Others claim that M’mp has hired other pilgrims to serve as luggage sherpas on his trek, a claim he has not denied. ‘They just want likk so they get kjkjhk on jgdffff,’ Kzzzknkh added.
Though HijuM’mp is booked through the end of the season, not all his customers are won. The songs, according to one participant in M’mp’s inaugural run, were reportedly "fffmmp,’ another pun not available to English speakers—that is, a specific kind of ineffective, whereby one has very well prepared tools for absolutely the wrong task. The word ‘fffm’mp,’ then, translates as, ‘M’mp will be very ready, but wrong.’
Kzzzknkh’s grandmother, who overheard the exchange, smiled broadly. She sang a short melody, clipped notes fluttering like uwop birds. Then she smiled again.

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