The Vacationer Part 1

Posted on October 17, 2007


I’m back at work after Eid break. I wish I could report that the break was of a bitchin’ nature, but I’m afraid that due to dutiful friends preferring the filial obligation of spending the first day of Eid with their families, I wasn’t able to go out of town. I knew there was a reason to have close Coptic friends!

But what do I have a blog for, hmm? It’s not for exposing my raw inner pain. It’s basically an exercise in making the mundane amusing…otherwise life becomes pretty testicle-like. So here’s the attempt:

E is here on vacation. She managed to go to Sinai with completely unknown persons who apparently do not have to work today. However, as ever when she arrived we all went down to our favourite ahwa where we hung out until she had to leave. I asked her to wait so I could get my stuff out of her car, and stopped to talk to some acquaintances. When I looked around she was gone, leaving only the whiff of her habitual double parking. Naturellement, my cell phone was in her car. As were my house keys. When I finally managed to sort myself out and call her from a friend’s phone, she insinuated (read: asserted) as ever that it was my fault…how on earth could she know that my stuff was in her car? “I told you I had to get it before you left,” was not deemed an acceptable response. In the end it was agreed that I would hang out with friends until her Ali El Haggar concert was over, and the three of us made our way to their apartment, deciding to watch a movie and eat popcorn. So far, you’re snoozing beatifically. But when my friend, at the behest of her husband and I, tried to cut some (frozen) butter for the popcorn, she also cut off a sizable chunk of her finger. I handed her paper towels as she giggled somewhat alarmingly and it was decided that it might require stitches. This was pretty much confirmed by the way she took one look at it and crumpled in a moaning heap in front of her washing machine. Particularly since she’s not at all a crumple-in-front-of-washing-machine sort of girl. We gathered up paper towels (thank God they went for the super absorbent expensive sort), juice to revive her, her handbag, and her mother and went to the Emergency Room at a nearby hospital. She was taken into a full blown operating room and given ten stitches, while I nattered incessantly to her mother about every dental experience I ever had and the life and times of Hamilton, Ontario. This was because I was as stoned as an Iranian adulterer. When this was pointed out to me later, I hotly refuted the allegation, claiming that I am normally so loquacious to parents. This is a result of several decades of attending a protestant church several times a week. These are establishments that entail a lot of cross-generational interaction. When my friend finally exited with a cartoonishly bandaged finger and a lively demeanour, her husband’s face was irreparably creased with suppressed hilarity. We left. As soon as her mother had exited the car to purchase antibiotics, my friend demanded copious beer. I referred to the aforesaid antibiotics, and she consented – nay, insisted upon – the ill-omened popcorn. At this point I noted that the juice I had snatched from the fridge had leaked a puddle onto the back seat of the car. The paper towels were assiduously plied again, when the husband (shall we call him The Forehead?) returned and caught sight of the puddle. He had bent over approximately 5 degrees towards the seat when he suddenly bellowed “Gawafa!” and his features shrank into something very closely resembling a dog’s anus. The smell, or even appearance of, guava actually makes him nauseous. I feel the same way about incense but nobody has ever paid the least heed. Evidently, his wife also felt no need to examine the contents of the juice for deadly guava. He nevertheless persevered in cleaning it up, while we laughed our faces off.

“If you’re going to write about this on your blog please don’t refer to my name, even in translation!” he said resignedly.

“This has been some hilarious shit,” she said.

‘But it only became really hilarious when the guava angle came to fruition,” I replied. “Dude, I said fruition! Totally unintentionally!”

“You have to call Faisal immediately!” Indeed, a few days later we reported the pun to him and he was greatly delighted.

When we got back, the butter was still there. Neither of us would take it, no matter what she said.