Badenov, Natasha Come To Call

Originally published in the August 1986 issue of the Collector and Emitter.

Boris Badenov, ace Russian DXer and holder of the coveted five-band Twinkie-eating record, was in town last month to check up on the doings of the world’s greatest DXer, Q. R. Zedd.

In the process, Badenov hurled a frightening threat at our hero.

Zedd, A5A, met Badenov in downtown Oklahoma City, not far from the wooden cows and dirigible hangar. Zedd was accompanied by his young, blonde, nubile bride, Tondelayo Schwartz, and Badenov’s portable hf equipment was lugged by Natasha Bullwinkle, his QSL secretary from Box 88.

Zedd met Badenov in the Russian’s hotel suite. It was a great scene! There was Badenov, in his Twinkie-stained brown army uniform, with the high black boots and the rows of DX achievement medals (not to mention his latest award for bravery, won by flying over Chernobyl at an altitude of less than 90,000 feet). Discarded Twinkie wrappers, the wreckage of dozens of Big Macs, and about 40 pounds of Coors empties surrounded him on the floor, along with the adoring Natasha, reclining langourously near the window in her customary outfit of black leather, with her necklace of bronzed QSL cards and high black spike boots, the ones with the straps that load up on 40 meters.

And here came the great man himself, our own Zedd, clomping in with his DXCC total badges flashing red, white and blue on the brim of his big white Stetson, his yellow shirt stuffed neatly inside the confines of his Gene Autry jeans, and his 940, stuck to his chest with velcro tape, spitting highspeed CW. Tondelayo was close behind, carrying his logbook and comb, and looking sweet in a pale blue sundress cut at midthigh.

“Ahl” Badenov yelled, not bothering to get up. “Is my good friend from this filthy imperialist country, Zipp — Zapp — what is it? Zowie?”

“The name is Zedd, boy,” Zedd told him quietly. “Any time you want to remember, just look at the name on top of yours In the DXCC listings.”

“Darling” Natasha hissed to Badenov. “You say word; I stick him with my knife!”

Tondelayo smiled sweetly. “I wouldn’t, sweetheart, if I was you. I might tear your hair out, and you’d look real funny baldheaded, with all the wrinkles from your latest facelift showin’ on top.”

“Dirty little capitalist oink!” Natasha screamed. “You say one more word of me, I will take out my knife and cut off your PL259s!”

“My, my,” Tondelayo cooed. “Does your nose always light up like that when you’re mad, or have you been operating in Kiev lately?’

Natasha leaped to her feet, scattering beer cans and plastic containers. Zedd manfully stepped in front of Tondelayo, but Badenov saved the day by whipping out a grocery list and telling Natasha to head out promptly for the nearest 7-11. Natasha slunk out and Todelayo giggled.

“Well, Zing,” Badenov rumbled after Natasha had vanished, “have you worked any rare ones lately? Is leader of evil western-bloc capitalist swine amateur radio community working any DX?”

“Well, Badzingham,” Zedd drawled, “I guess I’ve worked a few, uh-haw. Since I activated the lost continent of Atlantis on all bands, all modes, early this year, I haven’t been real active, though. I like to leave so e room in there someplace in the spectrum for you beginners.”

The Soviet star was so irritated that he swallowed a fliptop opener. The resulting coughing fit was severe; one row of his medals got rearranged and his miniature scanning rig fell out of his left ear socket. Tondelayo applied mouth-to-mouth resuscitation through two pillowcases and Zedd’s bandana, however, and soon all was well again,

“You need to slow down on them beer, son,” Zedd said with obviously sincere concern. “You’re not as young as you once was, and all that radiation –”

“Zapp,” Badenov choked, fuming, when he again could breathe, “my visit here is brief, only to let few peasants here see my wonderful person, offer rights to my great life story to editor of lowly, propaganda-filled, imperialist lackey Collector & Emitter magazine. But when I return great mother Russia, you will soon see once and for all who is greatest DXer in universe, met”

Zedd tucked a little in between his cheek and gum and looked thoughtful. “What have you got cooking over there, Boris? Some new low-lifer trick, to try to unseat me as the greatest?”

“Ha!” Badenov boomed. “Is twilight of Zedd in DX worldl Wait and see!”

It was a sobering moment, unless you were Badenov himself and much too far gone. What he had in mind, and what the future might hold, only time would tell.”

— KU5B