I know, I know, Paraguay's been around since 1811 and while it's had its share of troubles (I think we're all aware of that whole War of the Triple Alliance fiasco in the 1860's) it's still going relatively strong. It's nearly the size of California, and plenty of limestone and manganese. You can never get enough limestone and manganese you know.
So maybe I shouldn't worry about Paraguay, stuffed to the gills with manganese as it is, but I do anyway. I'm not entirely sure why. Maybe it's because one of their major exports is cassava, used in the production of tapioca, the least useful substance on earth. Seriously, nobody likes tapioca pudding, nobody. People who say they do are lying. Why else do we foist the crap on old people? They hate it. They hate us for making them eat it. When the baby boomers move into the retirement homes and start sprucing things up tapioca will be the first thing to go. Before mandatory enemas and those shitty old people games like shuffleboard. Tapioca will be in the Boston harbor with the tea.
Whither Paraguay then? Without the Tapioca farms their economy will collapse. A country cannot live on manganese alone. Plus they have a nasty neighbor in Bolivia. A nasty neighbor indeed. I don't want to be accused of hate speech here, but Bolivians are the meanest orneriest and least civilized people you will ever meet if you have the distinct displeasure of meeting some. Fuck Bolivia. FUCK BOLIVIA. I can say that because I'm far away. Paraguay? Not even a stone's throw of distance. I worry that one of these days the Bolivians are going to realize just how precarious the tapioca situation is over there and do something rash. Something very rash indeed.
There are 6.3 million people living in Paraguay. What happens to them when all this goes down? What happens to their hopes, their dreams, their underfunded retirement accounts?
I know that it's not normal to spend nights worrying about the fate of Paraguay, but maybe it should be.
Just maybe, it should be.