Rambo-Gram, a High Caliber Howdy

Rambo-Gram, a High Caliber Howdy

If a swarthy, stocky gentleman with a headband and bandoleer across his scarred, perspiring, totally ripped chest happens to ring your doorbell with the butt end of his automatic weapon, don’t be alarmed — and don’t Mace him. He’s probably just delivering a Rambo-Gram. You’ll know for sure if he bursts into song: “Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday …” etc.

A Rambo-Gram, if you haven’t already guessed, is a mutation of that all-American favorite, the Belly-Gram. In this unkinder, less gentle spinoff, a man resembling Johnny Rambo (surely you’ve seen the blockbusters, or at least the trailers) has just one mission: lumbering up to strangers and delivering inane messages. It’s just like he does in his movies.

Sending such a moronic messenger is easy (if you have $125 to burn, like it were a Commie pinko village). But don’t make the copy too wordy or complex. The real life celluloid Johnny don’t speak English real good, so don’t be expecting his double to be no Sir Laurence Olivier neither.

In fact, you might consider a nonverbal missive, Rambo’s specialty. Here’s a possible scenario: Johnny stands at the open door with his patented blank stare — signifying that he is not comatose only by contorting his lower lip and rippling his pectoral muscles. Then he emits a doleful yell, whips out his assault rifle and transcribes your sentimental prose onto the nearest wall in short, staccato bursts.

Another “mute” menu option, known familiarly as the “Hunk-a-Hunk o’ Burning Love” statement, involves small amounts of Napalm. Beforehand, recipients receive an anonymous tip to revisit their fire insurance policy.

Who are the most likely recipients of a Rambo-Gram? How about the banker who turned you down for a mortgage? Is your congressperson soft on Communism? Then show him or her what ersatz real Americans are made of. Maybe your spouse is late again with the alimony payments: don’t dial the Sheriff; call Johnny! It’s also a foolproof way of getting those electric hedge clippers back from the neighbor.

Whoever your target, there are some common-sense tips for dispatching a rampaging Rambo clone. Don’t send him to visit friends who have high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep apnea or who lack fire-retardant furniture.

Currently Rambo-Grams are offered in New York City, but they are expected to migrate soon to our nation’s capital, where there is considerable demand for them. Sending atotally built “Rambo” (rather than our anorectic Vice President George H.W. Bush) to those frequent East Block funerals is one promising market. There has even been some talk of putting Sylvester Stallone himself in charge of the U.S. arms negotiating team in Geneva to “get things off dead center.”

What’s even more imaginative than the Rambo-Gram is the recent announcement by the toymaker Coleco, makers of those cuddly Cabbage Patch Kids, that it plans to make Rambo “dolls” (not sure if Johnny has signed off on that characterization just yet). The new product line will carry the usual disclaimers: “Batteries and tactical nuclear weapons sold separately.”

And let’s hope, for his sake, that Barbie’s BFF, Ken, wasn’t a conscientious objector.