The caliph’s demise

Aasiq Ali al abizz had four wives.

They were aged 14, 15, 16 and 17. He always maintained his wife list in that order. As each aged one year, the 14-year-old slot was refilled, and the one reaching her 18th birthday was retired.

Retirement for the oldest went like this: She was stoned, chopped up into little pieces, sautéed in leftover olive oil, mixed with diced dates and mashed pomegranates and fed to ravenous pigs.

This retirement was, naturally, not revealed to the wives beforehand.

He liked surprises.

Aasiq Ali al abizz was 83 years old and not as fit as he once was, back when he had 32 wives, but even then the retirement process was the same, and so were the ages. There simply were eight wives in each age slot.

camelThe Prophet, of course, promised 72 virgins after death, but Aasiq Ali al abizz was an impatient man, so he enjoyed a new virgin every year, knowing that on his death he would have plenty more.

Aasiq Ali al abizz’s stretch of desert, that which he called his kingdom, by pure luck, abutted the Land of the Jews. On weekends he would lob SA-N-3 Goblet missiles over the border.

Aasiq Ali al abizz bought these from the Russians.

He did this for the pure joy of it, and to please the Prophet. Perhaps a few extra virgins would await him over the rainbow.

Virgin gravy.

He kept the missile fire to a minimum because it was best not to stir the Jews up excessively. They were very tough customers.

But Aasiq Ali al abizz knew Obama had his back.

All told, Aasiq Ali al abizz led a sweet life. Between the four wives and weekend missiles to the Jews, he oversaw his camel flock, his 18 oases, his tents, his rugs, the stonings of other men’s wives, and daily feasts of hurmah, tuffah, dajaj, lahem kharouf and the occasional samak.

But one day he died.

On that day he was naked atop his eldest bride on a massive rug of multicolors just 24 hours before her 18th birthday, and he was relishing the thought of her impending retirement celebration.

Suddenly, he opened his eyes on the far side. Instead of dozens of virgins and dripping honey, he saw nothing. All was black, but there was a sound.

It was the sound of desert wolves, and they were coming closer.

In the darkness, something snarled and bit deep into his leg.

It was no virgin.

Seasons collide

Where can you close your eyes and hear a pig, horse, calf, goat, wind chime, priest and a band making music noise?

Sitting on my yard patio, feet up, under the umbrella. That’s where.

frondIt’s been too chilly of late to sit out there, even at midday, but it was different yesterday. It was nice, neither hot nor cold, but just right. Like the baby bear’s porridge.

The animals are the neighbors’. The wind chime is mine. The priest was droning Mass from a block away while the little band of musicians stood outside the church door, blowing racket and swilling beer.

Offending the Virgin.

There was a breeze, and occasionally I heard birds brawling in their water bowl just a few feet behind me. Why can’t they just all get along?

The sensation was that the seasons were colliding. Spring was stepping in the front door while Winter snuck out the rear window.

* * * *

(Note: It was only after writing this item yesterday that I noticed that today is the first day of Spring, just another example of the ongoing serendipity sailing through our existence.)