Thursday, September 30, 2004

Interview with a Toad

Yesterevening I was walking past the fridge when I saw a "rock" beside it. "How did that rock get there?"I thought. Suddenly the "rock" hopped away and my heart hopped into my throat. I'm not really scared of toads, but even after 4 years in Pakistan, I'm just not used to having the wild life walk right into my house.

As I grabbed a broom and dust pan and prepared to gently sweep Mr.Toad up and replace him on the front poarch where he could eat bugs and live the good life a thought passed through my head. (cue the scary music) Toads are nice, natural "exterminators" I had just had the house chemically exterminated two weeks ago and we still had a few bugs. Aniraz says reciently one even greeted her in the microwave at the end of 4 minutes cooking time!

So maybe Mr. Toad would like a job as my exterminator. I reasoned to myself, "Toads are nice creatures. They don't scare me like lizards do with their flashing about at high speeds and hanging smuggly off walls and ceilings. Toads at least hop slowly and stay put on the ground." I posed the question to him.

me: Excuse me, Mr. Toad. I have need of an exterminator. Are you avalible?

Toad: That depends, Madame, on what type of pests you have.

me: Well, we have some small roaches...

Toad: American or German?

me: Pardon?

Toad: The roaches, are they American roaches or the German variety?

me: Well, I've never put my ear close enough to hear their accents, but since this is a household of Americans with American-style garbage, I would have to assume they are American roaches.

Toad: Tasty: continue.

me: Yes, and the occassional gutter roach, you know the really big nasty ones that fly! *toad liked his lips* Of course, there is an endless supply of ants (large and small), flies and mosquitos. We were just chemically exterminated reciently and all the crickets are dead.

Toad: Pity, I do enjoy crickets for dinner.

me: You see we have a veritable smorgasboard of insects for your dinning pleasure. So would you consider taking the job?

Toad: It is tempting.

me: Well, I do have one request. Maybe I'm a bit of a specie-ist, but I don't enjoy having you hang around the fridge like that. If you could just lurk in the dark cornors unseen, I'd feel better. Oh, and since this job is only part-time do you have any other skills we could combine into a full-time job?

Toad: (eyes gleaming) Poop poop, I am quite a marvelous driver of motorcars. I could be your exterminator cum driver.

me: Really!?

He promptly arranged the dinningroom chairs into a rude resemblance of a motorcar; couched on the foremost of them, bent forward, and staring fixedly ahead, made uncouth and ghastly noises till, with a jump and a shout, he turned a complete somersault and lay prostrate amid the ruins of the chairs. Clearly, he had the essence of Pakistani driving.

Shaken, I hurriedly thanked him and showed him to the door, all the while thinking how I could politely decline my invitation of employment. I was relieved to discover a few days later when I opened my mail that I had the excuse I needed.

me: I'm sorry to say, Mr. Toad, I won't be able to offer you the job of exterminator cum driver. It seems you failed the background check.

Anyway, a lizard applied for the job today and I'm letting him stay on conditionally till we see if he passes the security clearence.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Lost in the land of the rich

I awoke this morning from visions of well prepared ethnic food over-spilling my plate. Today was the St Somebody Charity Scrabble game and luncheon. (no disrespect, I really can't remember the name of the church that hosts it.) I dressed in my finest Memsahib shalwar qameez, put on lots of daytime make-up in subdued tones to distract from my blonde version of Michael Jackson jerry-curl hair, and left the house promptly on time (minus 10 minutes).

To my shock and displeasure, the family car was MIA. I fussed and fumed my way back into the house, "I've had it with his lack of memory! (This was the second time this week my husband has taken the car in the morning when I had reminded him the night before that I needed it.) I tried to calm myself while waiting by reviewing the directions to the luncheon. I looked inside my notebook only to find that 1/2 the page with the address and contact numbers of the event were missing. ( Blame Abez and her paper miserliness for nicking that 1/2 sheet.) [abez sez: I didn't do it!!!]

My anger rose. I tried to find the number of a friend I knew who would also attend. Further frustration, then success. Hubby called 10 minutes later saying he had remembered I needed the car, but he had had a flat tire and was 5 minutes away.

I rushed out to meet him and he handed me 500 rupees and said, "You MUST put gas in the car." Further bother. I drove the rest of the way like a hellion, accidentally squealed my tires on take off from a red light, and ran over a butterfly! (I feel soooo guilty.)

I found the place I thought was the address, ( it was either gate 4 or 5, my friend wasn't sure of which) I pulled into gate 5. It was a huge estate, beautifully landscaped with winding driveway, and picturesque bridge leading to a huge villa. Since I don't speak Urdu, I asked the guards in English, "Is there a ladies luncheon here today?" I couldn't even remember the name of the hostess. He waved westward.

"At the next house?" I asked. His blank look didn't give me any clue. I then returned to the road and proceeded to the nest estate. It wasn't #4, but had a name at the gate. The same question to this guard raised no reply. I returned to the road and drove home in a fit and tizzy. And that is the one minute blog Abez challenged me to write about my morning. So there.

Monday, September 27, 2004

George Bush may have "Shock and Awe" as his motto, I have "Shock and Amuse" as mine.

Can you tell I got a new hairdo today?

Me and my hair have had a 50 year war going on and I occassionally win a battle, but I'm definately losing the war. Oh, who am I kidding, I don't even win battles. I'm being skunked. The score would be 100 to ZERO in hair's favor.

Last June, I went in for a "body perm" and came out looking like a trained poodle. Three months later the curl had relaxed slightly and was looking good, but the top was all flat. I decided two weeks ago I needed another perm. When I announced my intentions to my family I was knocked over by a resounding chourus of "No!"

Hubby spoke up, "Your hair finally looks good, really good, LEAVE IT ALONE! Everytime you get a new style you come home looking weird and crying and making our lives miserable." (Dang, when did he get so smart?) I had to agree. (I hate it when he's right.)

But... did I listen??? Not on your life.

Today, I pestered Abez to wake up before noon and accompany me to the "beauty" shop as my translator/handler. She reminded me of the aformentioned forgone conclusion, but I dodged her logic by telling her I was "maintaining" the current style. I just needed a little lift on the top.

Well, 4 hours and one very convoluted Amita Bachan movie later, I emerged from the shop with a new "perm" I had achieved the opposit of too much curl- the dreaded condition of TOO LITTLE CURL! The shopowner cautiously asked me if I was satisfied with my perm. What could I say, I was the one who told her to use the really big rollers?! I nodded and said it would take some getting used to. Traditionally, I don't cry in public, but come home to inflict my family with my tears.

Driving home I said to daughter Abez, "Well, at least I'm not a trained poodle any more. But now I look like a Medusa, with these loose and unruley snake-like tendrils slithering about my head."
Daughter Owl put in a word of comfort, "No, they don't look like snakes, more like noodles. BTW, can we have spagetti and meatballs for dinner?"

"Okay", I replied, but looked over to Abez, "Just watch my backside, I don't want her thowing meatballs into my hair."