THE US HAS TOO MANY FAT PEOPLE. You read about it all the time, article after article about all the fat people, eating bag after bag of SnackWells, getting fatter and fatter, ruining the country for the rest of us. Fiji does not have any fat people at all, because every single person in Fiji wears a sarong, and people who wear sarongs do not allow themselves to get fat.

An island nation in the South Pacific, Fiji is actually made up of 322 islands with a combined area about the size of New Jersey. That is its only likeness to New Jersey. Fiji is beautiful, remote, and island casual. There is fantastic scuba diving, pristine beaches, and lush foliage. There is no local TV news, no stock index, and there are some people in Fiji who have not heard of Britney Spears. The population is just under one million, yet Fiji has only 60,000 telephones (1987) and 12,000 television sets (1992). Threats of hurricanes and volcanoes make even the quietest day exciting.

If you are smart and pay attention at all, perhaps you are thinking: Sure, well what about the coup, Asshole?? Yes. The rebels are holding the parliament hostage. Yes. The state department has issued a travel advisory. But you know what that means? More room on the beaches, bargain basement hotel rates, and distracted law enforcement officials. Some people hear "parliament hostage crisis," and turn into pansies, we hear "parliament hostage crisis," and think, "No one's watching the Sheraton tiki bar."

The best thing about Fiji, besides the sarongs, is that tipping is considered rude. You do not have to tip in Fiji at all. It's discouraged. Also, since the devastating 1998 devaluation of the Fiji dollar, the US dollar is worth two Fiji dollars. That means that it will be easy to buy up all their stuff, while driving up property values and forcing all the natives off the island so that you have more room. As with all God fearing, righteous countries, the Fijians speak English, so they will be able to understand you when you order large orders of fish and ask to buy an island.

The US is over. It's sooo last millennium. Fiji is new. It's pretty. It's vulnerable to exploitation. Besides, as any self-respecting Risk player knows, the island nations are always easiest to defend when you launch your plot of world domination.