Artwork done by: Nawal Zahzah adventuresofnaz.com
Artwork done by: Nawal Zahzah adventuresofnaz.com
Figuring out what goes on inside a woman’s mind is more complicated than Quantum Physics.
Figuring out what goes on inside a man’s skull can be summed up by one phrase:
“Bumballoum bumballoum, look at that ass! Bumballoum bumballoum.”
“A bird in the hand is better than two in the bush, unless you have a shotgun.”
This piece is best read with slow Film Noir Jazz music in the background
My name is Suede. I’m a private eye in Dubai.
This city is waging a noisy war on Guinness World Records – from high buildings to high heels.
I was cooling mine after a tiring fact-finding chase in Dubai Mall.
I felt like screaming out loud: what is it with dames and shopping?
Was Master Card named after Masters & Johnson?
Does the card’s name invoke subliminal messages about master & slave in limitless S&M situations?
Nothing matches the aphrodisiac power of a newly issued unscratched card with a heart-warming high limit and a mouth-watering zero balance.
Suddenly my cell rings.
I glance at the screen.
My trained eye zeroes in on the number while scanning any possible link with potential debt collectors.
The number looks fresh.
It is not my tailor in Satwa asking me to pick up the 12 shirts I ordered and have yet to collect.
It is not Raj, my assistant from Kirla, complaining about non-existent traffic jam from his low-rent residence in the outskirts of Sharjah.
I pick up – my way.
“Talk to me.”
A Feminine voice is on the other end – very feminine – to be precise.
The entire ice in the world melts instantly in front of my own eyes.
“This is he, in flesh and blood.”
“I need to see you.”
Am about to blurt: you ain’t got the slightest clue how much I need to see YOU.
I stick to my thin-ice professionalism.
“Now is fine.”
She shows up in few.
She is hot, slim and fucking elegant – with a punishing relentless cleavage.
She is just few plastic operations away from knocking Haifa off her well deserved fuckability throne.
We both stand up top greet her. My cat, Rummy, and I.
You need to pat something in the presence of such beauty.
“Talk to me.”
I manage to utter three words while struggling to swallow the remaining 69 ones that specify in shameless detail the dirtiest talk ever known to man that I crave to hear miraculously from her lips.
“Well, it’s my husband. His name is Jean-Luis.”
“The tri-lingual media marketing whiz?”
“How do you know?”
“My business – Dubai is small after all. Keep talking.”
“He has changed. We’ve been together for 5 years. He never missed a birthday or an anniversary. He was always romantic, charming and quick with doing the dishes…”
“Cut to the chase.”
“Our life was straightforward. I always knew where he is, whether in the office or at the nightclub. Lately he became absent-minded and withdrawn. He keeps his I-Phone silent and doesn’t return my calls for hours, I got him the phone on his…”
“Spare me the details.”
“Anyway, I suspect he is having an affair behind my back.”
“Should he have it any differently? Just kidding – Keep on.”
Phew – that was close.
“I found a Russian language learning CD in his closet. I also found a scribbled note. Here it is: it says, I love L…the rest is undecipherable.”
“Leave it here. I charge 50 bucks every TV half hour – which is around 25 minutes, give or take – plus expenses. I start today. I will get back to you in few.”
“Do you mean few days, few weeks or few months?”
“It’s any of the above. I cannot be rushed.”
She leaves and I am left sweating and panting as if I ran 30 miles backwards in high noon.
I put Rummy back on the floor.
I named him after Rumsfeld – being as grouchy and grumpy but with no taste for weird word games.
No need for patting now.
No time to waste.
The dame needs to know.
I need to pay for the 12 shirts.
I call Raj.
I dig my contacts.
I map Jean-Luis’ recent moves in the last 6 months.
I visit all the shisha stores he likes to hang at.
I chat with all the waiters for anything suspicious.
I trace all his online activities.
I hit on few risky You-Tube videos. Nothing out of the ordinary there, except your run of the mill MILFs seducing their young daughters’ clumsy high school boyfriends.
I rule out foul play, money laundering or child molestation.
I check out all the Satwa and Karama tailors and obtain few clues.
He was heavy on tailored suits, linen shirts and fancy fake shoes.
Did that pull him down?
I tie all the knots.
I get the whole story figured out.
It is time to meet the dame again.
“Got news, where and when?”
“I will be right over.”
I plug Rummy ahead of time.
The doorbell rings.
My heart sinks.
My eye winks.
She dashes in.
Her perfume fills the air.
Rummy feels the tension and jumps back to the floor.
I jump right in.
“It’s not what you think.”
“How, tell me, what’s going on?”
“Your husband lost his job recently in seasonal media restructuring. The investor who bought the channel decided to fill the air 24/7 with dancing female teenagers along with SMS tickers promising the chance to talk to the girls live. It’s a well known cash cow scheme that works all the time. So the investor fired everyone and kept the technicians.”
“Why didn’t he tell me?”
“Pride, image, who knows? Media guys are full of…this.”
“So he is not seeing anyone? What about the Russian CD?”
“He wanted to pick up the language as he is considering a real estate sales job targeting wealthy Russians who buy real estate here like you and I buy socks, well, not the same socks.”
“What about the phrase, I Love L…?”
“That was a breeze. He was trying a fake Montblanc and he scribbled: I Love Latte.”
artwork done by Nawal Zahzah – Adventures of Naz
Blessed is he who refraineth from honking the shit out of the slow driver hampering traffic in an open road.
Given the right circumstances, most women are tempted to fool around.
Regardless of the circumstances, all men will fool around.
By creating random circumstances, God must have been fooling around.
Artwork done by: Nawal Zahzah adventuresofnaz.com
After living for a while in the Arabian Gulf, one can’t help but notice how small talk with total strangers is something most people struggle with and are rarely comfortable at.
Upon stepping into any elevator, most occupants are transformed swiftly from cheery go-getters into silent zombies staring idiotically at their smart phones or studying their own shoes as if they are seeing them for the first time.
Why are those brief moments we are forced to share with total strangers so awkward and intimidating to so many?
Look at the Americans, guys.
They are the undisputed masters of small talk, anywhere, everywhere and regardless of the purpose, situation or venue.
Which begs the question, why are Americans better in small talk than Arabs?
I have asked myself this question many times to no avail.
To get a better understanding of this issue, I turned to B.S. Humphreys; the noted scholar who heads the Department of Small-Talkiology within the Humanities section at Harvard University.
-“Why are some people better in small talk than others?”
-“You have to look at the big picture. Small talk is not for everyone. You have to know what to say, when to say it and how to say it. It all has to do with your attitude towards ice.”
-“You mean ice, as in ice-cream?”
-“No, I mean breaking the ice. Some people believe that ice is there to be broken while others believe it is there to be preserved.”
-“I am intrigued. Would you elaborate?”
-“In order to acquire strong ice-breaking power, one must develop a sense of topicality that suits the situation. Americans are the best in this activity. Having perfected the art of ice-breaking for so long; they are bent on destroying all the ice in the world.”
-“Seems like hard work.”
-“Absolutely, nothing should be left for chance. You should never leave home without being fully prepared for the small talk dose of the day. For starters, you should never attempt to quip about large, complex issues. Forget famines, droughts, civil wars, poverty, world hunger, child labor, ethnic cleansing, unemployment and so forth. Forget also the Arab-Israeli conflict, the failure of Arab Spring, mass killings and terrorist bombings whether by governments or terrorist groups. These issues are not for elevator talk. People who are late for work in the morning have a pressing issue with hot coffee much more than world crisis or current affairs.”
-“What should you quip about then?”
-“Small things – small talk is basically about small things. Like the weather, or the weekend, or the latest sports news – think Monday morning quarterbacking – or Mylie Cyrus’ brief costumes. Don’t get too personal. Don’t look at the stranger next to you and admire his shirt, tie or shoes. That’s a no-no. Same principle applies for ladies. That’s even a bigger no-no.”
-“Why are these topics more important to Americans than world affairs?”
-“You have to look at the effect of television. TV sets today outnumber people in the US for the first time in history. What does this tell you? It tells you that people are absorbing much more information from TV sets than they could ever possibly digest. All this pressure of information absorbing and processing has to be released somehow. Consequently, people in the US genuinely believe they are all latent entertainers yearning to be discovered and thrown into the paradise of fame. Hence they act as time-bombs waiting for that right “elevator-moment” to prove their talent.”
-“And where do Arabs fit?”
-“In my view, Arabs genuinely believe they are all latent singers. Look at this fascination with singers and singing talent shows – it’s insane! Singers In the Arab world probably outnumber doctors, scientists and economists combined. Which means humming and singing will be the new small talk for Arabs in the years to come. Mark my words.”
-“Is this the reason why Arabs generally tend to avoid small talk?”
-“That’s the First reason. When you believe deep down that you are a singer, you tend to treat strangers like dispensable fans and you refrain from initiating small talk with them. No one talks to fans. You just wave at their general direction – from a safe distance.””
-“What’s the Second reason?”
-“The Second reason is that Arabs are much better in big talk.”
Artwork done by: Nawal Zahzah – www.adventuresofnaz.com
I am writing this letter to you from a place I never imagined myself in.
In the story of how I got to that place, I am hoping that you will find many worthy lessons.
Many of you may wonder what does the attached photo of an obscure corner in some mall in Dubai has to do with what I am about to tell you.
Well, you need to wait and read to the end to find out the full story.
After spending over 20 years in the field of media, I felt very tired, drained and exhausted.
The dizzying pace and wild changes in digital media left me always panting, sweating and rather confused.
You see, I belong to an earlier era: sometimes certain phrases slip from my mouth by accident and cause a sudden rise in many young unsuspecting eyebrows.
I am talking about phrases like: World Wide Web, Long Distance Calls, Intranet & Web Surfing.
I always thought that tablets are somehow related to utensils, platforms belonged to construction jargon and impressions are things we want girls to feel! Amortization was something you do to your car; a blog is something you spit when you are eating fish.
I was getting tired of chasing ratings, profits, margins, schedules, production budgets, deadlines, drop-dead deadlines, goals/objectives/strategies that are cascaded to someone else just for the sake of adding to their enormous misery, and the list never ends.
I reached a point in life where I felt I must stop and smell the roses, even if they were plastic ones!
I needed a change and I found it.
I was so lucky to fall on the profession that had everything I wanted in a nutshell.
It was a mission, rather than a job. It included the element of live interaction with live people – the thing that I always longed for since my college days.
It was glamorous, in a limited way you might say, but it was not glamour that I wanted.
It brought me the immediate satisfaction of pleasing others and making them laugh and putting smiles on their faces.
Financially it was not that great. But then again, I was not looking for the highest salary when I took it.
My new mission, my latest entry in the media/entertainment/communication world was: dressing up as Bob the Builder.
Hence the photo attached to this email.
You see, being Bob the Builder made me extremely happy, joyous and content. My job description was so easy: it involved mainly getting inside the huge costume, walking slowly and waving to innocent children who were waving back and smiling happily and lovingly.
Forget all that corporate shit I been have living in for the past 20 years.
My life changed completely. Everything acquired a new meaning to me. I was a new, happy man.
Efficiency now meant being there on time. Usually my shift starts way late in the day so I don’t have to be an early bird.
Synergy meant combining waving my hands with dancing to the loud tunes being played loudly in the mall.
P & L meant Pizza & Linguine.
KPI meant Kissing People Instantly.
Margins meant staying away from the sides of the small stage so I don’t fall on to the floor.
Sensitive Analysis meant being careful not to scare the children.
Software meant smooth diapers.
CEO meant Chief Exploitation Officer.
I can go on forever, until the unfortunate incident that shattered my dream and ended it all in one hit.
It happened last week.
I was finishing my act as Bob the Builder when a small toddler kept crying non-stop. All the other children caught up and they all followed him. I had an audience of 30 children all crying at the same time.
Upon finishing my act I went to meet the parent of that crying baby. He was with his mother, a young, beautiful, offensively attractive and obscenely gorgeous mother.
She was wearing a low cut blouse that revealed a lot of what should have been properly covered in most countries.
Out of curiosity, I tried to ask her what happened.
She turned out to be Russian or something similar.
I tried to talk to her in English to no avail. So there was a language barrier.
I tried sign language but that also failed.
Then it occurred to me that perhaps the child was hungry.
Obviously he was still living on breast-feeding.
Out of pure altruistic and innocent reasons, and motivated only by my desire to help an embarrassed young mother, I opted to inquire about the way she was breast-feeding him. Perhaps the child needed some help in that area.
Perhaps it was important for him to shadow somebody so he can grasp said function better.
Perhaps it was my media training that inclined me to “show” them and not “tell” them.
I can’t begin to describe the hellish nightmare that transpired afterwards.
A purely innocent chat was rolled up to a sexual harassment case and I ended up behind prison bars.
I lost my career as Bob the Builder forever.
The company still owes me the taxi fare for that particular assignment and management is still dragging their feet about it, despite my repeated pleas for settlement.
My lawyer advised me to claim mental illness and to act like a madman inside the court, in order to get a reduced sentence So I am currently practicing on picking my nose in public while making silly noises.
I asked my lawyer: how can I pretend that I am crazy when I spent 20 years in media?
He answered: A 20 year old female can get more attention in social media sites these days by taking off her clothes, way more than you can show by your hard work and long hours. You must be crazy to have done that.
Former Media Consultant/Bob the Builder,