Sunday, April 30, 2006

Howard Resolves Wars and Contemplates Skiing in the Desert

It has been so long since Howard wrote. Since I wasn't getting an answer from him, I almost thought either he killed Amman or was killed by him. But no! He lives! Read the following letter that he sent. I'll warn you though -this is not for the light readers. It's a doozy!:

Good day my diligent scribe!

I received your letter concerning my whereabouts and I must congratulate you on completing your scholastic endeavors. Amman and I have been so busy here roving the vast Sahara that I just now had the chance to review the circumstances as I comfortably nestled back into my tender home: Timbuktu.

I will recount the reformational actions that I've taken to re-establish peace in my village but I think part of the tension was merely the hot weather, familial stress and hard work that Amman and I have endured that caused some schismatic and bellicose behavior between him and I.

I took note of him so disloyally squealing about our misunderstanding regarding our right to our own possessions, specifically, my right to my watering hose, in full length. My shower head was missing and the one he gave me was faulty. But, I am a very forgiving person, so kind, astute, mature, artful and very handsome as well, that I have decided that although the details of my missing shower head are still mysterious, I have no reason to consider Amman a thief. Apparently Amman thought of me as a physical threat to his survival, which is quite a shock to this peaceful, rational Howard but I can understand it as a coy excuse for his fraudulent offering, given the heat of the moment. I let it pass!

A month ago minus two days we were standing upon a dune and Amman began an unwelcomed diatribe against me. He felt I violated him by disbelieving that he wasn't responsible for stealing my shower head. I think his fever was just running high but I have never seen the man so angry. I had reason to fear his frustration was taking parabodily form -Amman comes from a family of witch doctors. As with each one of his words, the sky strangely began to diminish in light. He began by using some of the most foul words that I have taught him of the English language to describe both me and my behavior, even going so far as to use the word "disgusting". As outrageous as this might seem in normal circumstances, my attention was distracted by my altered surroundings. Try though I did however, I could not divert his attention from his invective. All I could do, with mouth agape, was point upwards at what seemed a devilish trick of nature. By the time the volume of his rant had hit its peak, the sky had gone completely black. I could no longer see Amman's face in the darkness -only the raging whites of his eyes. I began to think that G-d himself was going to strike me with furious vengeance. Finally, I managed to voice my fear and desperation: "Amman! Please take away this curse! I will be less of a trouble!" Then, like a rock being rolled away from the door to a cave, the sun came out behind its obstruction. I realized the whole charade was an eclipse! Amman had nothing to do with it! This amused Amman greatly. He began laughing and rolling around on the ground. I could have sworn he muttered something about my Western naivete but I cannot be sure.

So Amman and I are, as they sometimes say in colloquial language, "tight" again. The other day he paid one of the highest tributes to me yet and said that I was "a real African". I will admit that this made me swell with pride at being accepted a citizen of this wild and exotic country.

If I were not so intimate with myself, I would be inclined to think doubtfully of my actions. I would chalk my accusatory nature up to my own Howardian over anxiousness which made me point the blame for our dysfunctional relations in his direction. Upon further examination though, this has been a test necessary for my Howardian development and I could not have side-stepped it. I must conclude that Amman is a good natured man, with minor faults. I must also account for the supernatural spirits of the desert which make one act mad. To make a lengthy story brief, there are many factors other than myself to blame but we do not have time to go over them all. Time is an excellent teacher but he kills all his students.

As a further resolution of this misunderstanding I bought Amman a train set from an old barterer to assure him of my resolving goodwill and to amuse him in his spare time. (I fear the poor man has had his childhood nearly ripped away from him, with little time to indulge his creative nature). On hot languorous afternoons, I sometimes allow Amman to take time from his camel-toe cleaning, hair-brushing and general dromedary management to build his brain-children in paper maché, tiny plastic trees and artificial houses. He sets up intricate designs and is quite a miniature architech! I sometimes fancy he would be happier living in those tiny houses instead of this hut in the middle of Timbuktu but frankly, he is not small enough. I have also joined in on the indulgence, and together Amman and I build small chain-reaction mechanizations as a tribute to Rube Goldberg.

These "machines" are not very practical. They are an exercise in innovation. One can make a catapult fire a bullet which topples a figurine, which tumbles into a glass of water, which soaks a napkin, which tears, dropping paper clip which is attached to a propeller which drops marbleel into a toy truck which transports down a ramp and strikes a match as it goes by, which illuminates a candle. There is more than one way to peel a banana. Now I can say I've done it with a process involving tumbling marbles, dominoes, thimbles, cables and matches!

Howard is also a practical man. My evidence is how I have sought to rectify our security problem with an expansion of our camel ranch to include several head of sheep (and their bodies too). Since I suspect my missing shower head may be due not to Amman's misdeeds but to some pugnacious bandits who I have seen terrorizing the neighboring sites, we are training these animals to guard us. These will be no docile, aimless sheep. They will not tolerate being innocently slaughtered or anything of the like! I am training these sheep to be agents of Howardian justice. In a word, I am creating one of the meanest herds of attack-sheep you will find on the face of Africa. You do not want to find out what the sheep will do to intruders, so stay out!

In other news I am very concerned about Amman now and his family. You see, when we went to Egypt, we wanted to go south to Sudan but we were stopped and advised to go no further lest we be murdered by Janjaweed militias, who rape, kill and steal aid. Apparently the situation of the Darfurians has only gotten worse. The government is committing genocide against these people and only the lucky ones can escape. Amman's mother is a Masalit tribeswoman who is in no way connected to the violence yet they have been targeted for elimination by the corrupt bandits. Amman is very worried and perhaps this is why his mind has been under such strain. He doesn't know if his mother lives or not, whether she fled to Chad or held hostage by malicious entities.

The whole situation is an idiotic muddle of Muslims killing one another for no good reason. They burn the country side, drop bombs and destroy mosques. Some say it is an ethnic battle between the Arabs and the Africans but they are all black! (Amman has tried to explain the differences, but I suppose I am too colour blind). The rainy season is about to start, which will further complicate the delivery of aid. Meanwhile, Osama Bin Laden has apparently sent a message to urge fellow "mujahedin's" to fight off the "crusaders in western Sudan". In other words, disrupt UN peace keepers from stopping the slaughter.

When our attack-sheep are fully lethal, perhaps they will have a greater teleological purpose that I can put to use. Perhaps they will even take on an offensive position and conquer the Janjaweed militia once and for all! That is my aim. When they are self-reliant, I am thinking of taking Amman for a little vacation. I have heard of this special place called Ski Dubai which has snow in the middle of the desert! I think it would be a memorable and elucidating diversion and a worthwhile experience for him to touch, taste and feel something which we experience in Canada. (It is called "snow"). My thoughts are that if we took our camels to Egypt, he could visit his relatives and then we could take a commercial freight over to Dubai. From there we could visit one of the biggest malls in the entire world -the mall of the Emirates! Amman would be acclimatized to the desert, which we would stay in but then we could go into the artificialal ski hill for some recreational sport. All that separates the above and sub-zero temperatures are some panes of glass. My Howardian curiosity tickles me. I think it would be an incredible vacation. Amman is a Negro by racial terms but I'm sure he'd still enjoy spending the remainder of a hard day's ski outside sun-tanning.

Anyway, these are my thoughts and fears. Be strong Sir Barrett and do not forget to help some of our friends here in starving Africa! I wanted to ask your advice and anyone you are speaking with: Do you think Amman would enjoy such a venture to go skiing? I leave it to you my son! And remember, in the words of George Sorel:

"Hate is able to provoke disorders, to ruin a social organization, to cast a country into a period of bloody revolutions; but it produces nothing"

Howard Wayword

Filed under Howard


Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok so he's seriously a real person then this howard, because i've had my doubts. i'm doubtful thomas and shit.

wicked post btw.

8:05 p.m.  
Blogger Cocaine Jesus said...

you crazy, crazy canadian you!...

'But, I am a very forgiving person, so kind, astute, mature, artful and very handsome as well,'

a bit of a big head is our friend howard!


12:01 p.m.  
Blogger sirbarrett said...

mitzee -He's hard to believe sometimes especially because he's so nuts. I don't know what to think of his "attack sheep" either. Do you think he was being serious? I mean, how do you "train" sheep to attack people?

cocaine jesus -You're right. Even though he'd be the first one to tell you how modest he is, he makes a point of telling people what a great person he is. You have to love our dear friend Howard for this. I don't think he'll ever get it through his thick skull what a twit he can be (but you didn't hear that from me).

So do you guys think he should take Amman skiing? Personally, I don't know if it's such a good idea to go all the way to Dubai to take someone who's never seen snow up on the slopes for the first time. Just a little nervous how Amman might react...or how Howard might be bossy.

1:07 p.m.  
Anonymous Adorable Girlfriend said...

Sir, you want us to compete with Howard. By posting such a lovely letter, you are giving AG a complex. And we all know, that's a feat to do.

2:00 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if u say so then i have an AWESOME VOICE! JUST AMAZING! OMG! faint.

10:24 a.m.  
Blogger Darius said...

Take it from me, ski trips with no prior training can be disasterous.

I once went down the better part of Loon Mountain on my ass. The skis strapped to my feet were essentially decorative.

11:08 a.m.  

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