A Blog Mainly About Food

If by "mainly" you mean "sometimes"

Friday, December 16, 2005

Snapshots of Your Tax Dollars At Work

The following stories are true.

1. Three snowstorms ago, on the shuttle back to the Metro, the gentlemen in front of me began to draw on the condensation accumulating on the window. The script looked curious: "stick tree equal sign with line through it..." I asked the gentleman if they were, indeed, runes. He replied, in a thick Scandinavian accent, yes. "I ask Thor for help. More snow, so we not have to teach tomorrow!"

Yesterday, the same gentleman (who, I must note, wears an absurdly light jacket and a thick wool hat in this cold) stood at the bus stop and scoffed at the weather. "This Washington. It does not even do winter correctly!"

2. Waiting, again at the bus stop, I struck up a conversation with an older man clearly well into his career. He told me, without flinching, that Peshawar is the capital of Pakistani pornography. "Much of it is quite brutal, actually. Very degrading." Though he hadn't been in Pakistan for nigh on ten years, he remembered the industry flourishing aside open air drug and gun bazaars. Drugs, guns, and porno: these Pashtuns make American libertarians look like fascists.

3. Today we were informed that if an American citizen dies abroad, we are not to send pornography or drugs back to the deceased's next of kin. So if you were hoping to get the meth lab materials from your uncle that died in Montevideo, you're straight out of luck.

We were also advised that certain "sensitive materials" should not be returned to the deceased. A classmate (a former missionary (!!)) piped up: "So, vibrators, dildoes, we shouldn't send those back?"

When is the last time the word "dildo" was uttered in a government building? Times involving Clarence Thomas excluded?

On days like these, where I hear Christmas Carols in Polish, where I argue with friends about whether Amharic or Georgian is the most useless language in the world to learn, where I mention as an aside to a Mormon friend that I'd not had much experience with Mormons before meeting him and he tells me "You know, we have huge penises,"... it is days like these where I realize that my life is insane. Crazy. Probably one of the more odd paths that any individual could ever choose.

Life is good. Alhumdulilah.