Saturday, November 19, 2011

Huge Bump in Polls for Sawiris after Surprise Tahrir Appearance

Squillionaire Egyptian Technocrat and all-round smarty-pants Naguib Sawiris’s campaign to buy the only thing in Egypt that he doesn’t already own, the government, received a huge boost from yesterday’s surprise appearance in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, polls indicate.

Held aloft for the crowd to see, the diminutive (Do say: “vertically inconsequential.” Don’t say: “garden gnome” or “squishy lil’ fella with a funny face”) Sawaris exhorted the crowd to hand over the running of the troubled country to his privately-held consortium Nothing’s Free for Egyptians.

“It’s time to get off the gravy train and get back to work,” squeaked our favorite Hervé Villechaise impersonator as his minder dutifully worked the strings that allow him to talk while somebody else does the actual labor. “And we will put you to work. We’ve fucked up your phone bills, and now we can do the same for your government!”

Saturday, November 12, 2011

NOP EXCLUSIVE FLASH: Bald Man at Cairo Coptic Commemoration Come-together

Copts gathering in Cairo's Tahrir square last night were photographed by a bald man, sources reveal.

The man, who had no hair at all on his head, held the phone in the air as the demonstrators passed his position and took several photographs.

More on this story as it becomes available

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Ministry confirms population cull

Spokesman for the Egyptian Ministry of the Interior Bashar el Gelied confirmed today that his department has received marching orders from the Ministry of Supply to reduce “excess population” in “over-dense sections of the Delta and Upper Egypt” by liquidating approximately a third of the people living there.

“In the face of rising food prices, we have no choice but to roll back some of the population increases that have taken place in the last fifty years.” Gelied said. Officials were quick to deny, meanwhile, that the area most sharply effected by the cull—Mahalla al Kobra—was chosen for political reasons rather than lottery, as was claimed earlier in the week.

“We’re professionals at this sort of thing,” said Gelied, before calling the press conference to a conclusion.

“It’s really past time for this kind of action” said Maria Smythe for the American Embassy in Cairo, “we’ve been calling on the Egyptian government to do something about the population problem for years. And if their actions also serve a social stability agenda, so be it.”

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Fitzpatrick to Mubarak Regime: "Shape up,

and start getting stuff under control you lazy toads!"

In one of his hardest hitting editorials to date, Egypt Yesterday's controversial Editor-in-Chef Patrick Fitzpatrick (seen here in a recent file photo) is telling the government in no uncertain terms that, with the prices of basic commodities continue to skyrocket, it's time to crack down hard on protestors.

While applauding the decision "to order the armed forces and the police into the fray" last month, Fitzpatrick comes down hard on Field Marshal Goha's loosey-goosey attitude toward social unrest, warning ominously that only "time" stands between the regime and the equitable spread of the wealth, and urging them to make "social stability" the government's priority.

Fitzpatrick, who narrowly escaped prosecution last year after posing for the cover of the magazine dressed as Susan Mubarak, is well known for his vigorous attitude toward authority and social injustice.

Cairo: Modern Architectural Highlights

Cairo Tower. Nasser’s sharp stick in the eye to the Americans and their imperialist drones at the World Bank. Proved that Egypt could get along without western money and technology by getting it from the Russians. A fine nationalist statement by any measure.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A giant penis done up with a lotus-tipped prophylactic on the banks of the Nile. This is where the guys who deal with human rights work. How odd that human rights in Egypt should be configured as an international relations problem. Be that as it may, another fine nationalist statement here.

State Security HQ, Lazoughly Square. Dig those groovy black doors man! Looks like a cross between the DC Vietnam memorial and the entrance to Mordor. Almost makes you think that maybe they’re beating people in there, or sticking stuff up their butts like those whining liberal faggot-lovers over at HRW claim. But nobody would announce it like that would they? Ooooh, I get it! Those sly little doggies!

Excerpted from "In Depth: Architecture and food" in Fuck Off Guide to Egypt (NOP Publications, forthcoming).

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Traffic and Driving

Eeeeeeeee-oh! What the donkey did to the porn industry, the internal combustion engine did to the streets of Cairo: filled in all those little spaces, took up the margins left by the purely human-powered branch of the industry, and made a great rip-snorting thigh-shaking confusion out of what seemed so simple and so pure back in high school.

Crossing the street
Best thing to do is wait for a really big gallebeya to be heading out into the traffic and cross downstream of him or her. This is a time honored technique that you will see deployed on the streets of Rome: little old ladies scurrying through the traffic in the wake of some pasta-bloated Gino. In Egypt, it’s best to get downstream of a really bulky brute of a gallebeya—the kind of monstrous peasant that eats his weight in fuul in the morning. How far you should be from him / her depends on the speed of the traffic. Think of a rock in fast moving water—there’s a hollow there on the downstream side. That’s where you want to park the boat. Careful though, you don’t want to be so close that if s/he gets nailed, the flying body takes you out as well. NB: this only works on urban traffic: the urban car-driving Egyptian, brought up with intimidating stories of the virility and brutality of the peasant, is frightened of gallebeyas. Donkey-cart driving gallebeyas, conversely, are frightened of urban car-driving suits. Know your traffic type, judge its speed, and may the gods take care of you.

Excerpted from Fuck Off Guide to Egypt (NOP Publications, forthcoming).

Friday, March 21, 2008

Wrecked. Fucked. Staring up at the giant’s underwear.

This is the Hyatt: a bedlam of bad taste, fake marble and faker brass and those Saudis with the receding chins. You know the ones who drag themselves around the lobby, looking for the breakfast buffet at three in the afternoon with the dragon chaser bags under their eyes? Nike sweatshirts and a couple of wives, or husbands—who the fuck wants to take responsibility for the doe eyed mischief that lurks beneath the garbage bags they pulled over their heads this morning?—in tow.

This is big time journalism: chasing the shot. Hanging about in the lobby. Twenty-two and a half hours now, waiting for Britney or Colin or whoever the fuck it is that Frank wants now.

And this is us: nothing but half a pack of Rennie’s and a flare gun between us and perdition. Snatch holding down the fort with a fifth of Knob Creek and a bazooka lens strapped to the front of his 1D. Waiting for the shot.

When Amr Moussa walks through the door.

“Jack,” yells Snatch. Blows off forty frames or so. “Mr. Nicholson. Over here.” But it’s just whatshisname, the door guy from Rythmo. The one who looks like Amr Moussa.

Later Snatch makes me stand between the pillars by the breakfast buffet while she takes my picture.

“Hold up the flare gun.” She keeps saying. “Hold it like one of those Jihadi guys.”

I cover my face with a napkin I took from dinner a night or three ago.

“stamped on these lifeless things,” waving finger here at the ceiling about a mile up. Rythmo man’s over by the desk, staring. Motherfucker’s forgotten us. Scratch my head. “Nothing beside remains—round the decay of that colossal wreck. Fuck you.” That was for Rythmo-man and his little buddies at the reception desk. “Boundless and bare.”

Should have fired the flare gun then. Might have scared off the gorillas. Set their polyester suits on fire. Fuckers. Saved us the ignominy of being thrown out. But what the fuck.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Catalog bio for Fuck Off Guide: Brownstone

Train. 0450. It’s still dark out and everyone else in the carriage is asleep: passed out drunk on the way home, or snoozing their way to work. Or the other way around. Writing bio for the NOP catalog:

“Snatch Brownstone has lived and worked for the last ten years in the Middle East, covering every major event since he started. Except for the ones he missed.”

It might be ten to an hour before normal people wake up but this is half past the middle of the fucking night for me and this third person shit’s having an odd effect on my brain. His brain.

iPod soundtrack for those of you who want recreate this scene at home: Paul Pena scratching out "wait on what you want." Walking out in the Queen City just to get himself straight. Blind as a bat, and about as handsome, it’s hard to imagine Pena walking anywhere straight but, that aside:

“Thrown out now of as many countries as bars, Brownstone’s work has amassed an impressive array of awards while appearing…”

Conceived under the sign of travel (icon: a bloodshot eye gazing listlessly at a laptop), the bio pauses here at a fork in the road. To the left lie the Netherlands of Elision, flat and watery. To the right the more mountainous region of Uttar Bullshit, richly and fecally peopled, an exciting destination, but a dangerous place for the forgetful.

“A lie,” this is Hugh now, Hugh at his most quotable, and most inebriated, sprawled across a couch in the old office like an over inflated sex doll that some pervert had stuffed into a business suit and thrown from the door of a train. “A lie is like a woman.” He paused here and drank straight from the snifter, tipping it back and mailing a couple of backwash bubbles to the surface of whatever aftershave was in there. “Dangerous only when forgotten.”

Well, thanks Hugh. Wherever you are these days. Not much help though. Probably best to leave this bio business for later.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Fuck off Guide: Underground at the Cellar

A subterranean terrarium for fat Egyptian “businessmen” (read fat fuck Victoria College alumni pissing away the capital so tirelessly built up by their grafting soldier daddies) and their molls. Décor is cabana-chic. Heavy on the wood paneling and foam pillows so familiar to the clientelle from their time “pushin’ the cushin'” out at the Saqqara Palm Club. Lighting is subdued to facilitate romantic conversation and hide the jowls. Dress code applies: shirt open to half mast, Rolex three links too big, pants pulled up tight to show off the family jewels. Some kind of minimum charge applies, but if you get here sober enough to care, best be looking for somewhere else to drink for a bit: this is no place to be straight. Menu is about what you would expect. Lots of carbs, overdone steaks slathered in sweet sauce and the desserts are limited to some refrozen ice cream and third rate crème caramel (so romantic, French). Vive le difference ya Moodie. Reminds me of this place I used to know in Tulsa.

Excerpted from Fuck Off Guide to Egypt (NOP Publications, forthcoming).

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Fuck Off guide: Mojito, where your glass is always half full

We guide book types are trained to find the good in everything. After all, if we can’t sell the destination, how can we sell the guide? And selling’s what it’s really all about. Case in point: Mojito’s. On the roof of the venerable, and truly crappy, Nile Hilton, this place seems to have nothing at all going for it. The food’s overpriced, the portions are small. The drinks, including the eponymous Cuban cocktail, truly a velvet upholstered brick to the temporal cortex when mixed right, are watery, bland ersatz reruns of the real thing. The service is slow. The waiters are ugly. The troll who hangs about in the bathroom handing out toilet paper is too friendly by half [&?prob warrants Xref to Gay and Lesbian Travel]. To the ordinary eye, in fact, about the only thing that this place is good for is killing yourself: a swan dive from the 14th floor of the Nile Hilton into the forecourt of the Egyptian Museum would be a classic, truly classic, mode of death. Especially if you were to leave behind a substantial unpaid tab.

But witness the tradecraft.

Duel with disaster at Mojitos. That’s the hed. And the body runs like this: perched high atop vibrant [&?great word that, no?] Midan Tahrir, Mojito’s is what an Oberoi helipad would look like if there were such a thing. Wind-swept, but softly lit, bleak but scattered with wicker patio chairs. It is also, what with a two-for-one happy hour every night and a howling gale, the perfect spot to play the Fuck-Off guide’s favorite outdoor drinking game. It goes like this: order a beer. Pour it in a glass. Set the glass near something you don’t want soaked in beer (a laptop is perfect, but your lap will do). Now, when the glass is full, the wind can’t tip it over, but as soon as you drink the ballast and the glass gets lighter, it begins to wobble in the gusts. Pretty soon it’ll tip and spray sticky golden Stella into your keyboard. Key is to order another beer before this happens. Repeat as necessary.

See how it works? Take a bland, shitty place with nothing going for it but its palpable faults, mix in a generous shot of alcohol, sprinkle generously with vague adjectives, stir vigorously and… voila, another entry for the guide.

Excerpted from Fuck Off Guide to Egypt (NOP Publications, forthcoming). First published in NOP Weekly VI:9.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Retraction: Patrick Fitzpatrick NOT detained

Contrary to reports in various media outlets, including last week’s Nation of Pearls Magazine, Egypt Yesterday Editor Patrick Fitzpatrick was not in fact detained on Wednesday and given eighty lashes for his searing spoof interview with Egypt’s first mother in last month’s issue.

Nation of Pearls Publications apologizes unequivocally for any inconvenience or embarrassment our story may have caused.

Those of us at the magazine with an ounce of professional integrity (alas, a minority) would also like to apologize personally to Patrick for Nigel’s drunken spew on this blog a week back. The most cursory of checks would have revealed that you look a lot better in a dress than whoever it was that you dolled up for that cover shot.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Flash: Ministry reassures foreigners

Just flashed from the NOP news desk:
The Ministry of Foreigner Affairs is urging foreigners to remain calm despite reports of a rash of sycophantic incidents in Cairo.

“We urge the khawagat to stay in their homes during the next few days,” said Ministry Spokesman Ahmed Teezehamra. “Remain calm, but be prepared to doll out cash to whoever rings your doorbell.”

Reports meanwhile continue to swirl in the international press of boabs carrying groceries in from the curb, taxi drivers smiling and zeballeen sweeping out garbage accumulated over the last 12 months.

“It was weird. I didn’t know what to do,” said Marie-Claire, a 38-year old employee at a western embassy. “I came home from the airport, and the taxi driver carried my bag to my door! I was shaking. I thought I was going to be kidnapped.”

Analysts, however, say that the incidents are cyclical and related to annual festivities among the local population.

“We expect that the current alarming situation will correct itself over the next few days,” said Phil Piper of the IRTY speaking from Tulsa Oklahoma, “and that things in Cairo will be back to normal by the end of the week.”

NOP News. Cairo. 13.10.2007.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Krusty the Klown flees Katemeya koop!

Reads the AFP headline, or did before that jelly-legged little twat who writes the headlines down there chickened out. Seems that expert self-promoter and all-round force for good in the world Saad Eddin Ibrahim has beaten it out of Dodge before Dodge came to beat it out of him. At press time, he was hanging out in the Swiss Alps.

Ibrahim, who at 68 has been feathering a retirement nest in salubrious Katemeya Heights for several years, says that if he had stayed in the country any longer he would have been detained and killed. He also said he didn’t relish the idea of spending any more time handcuffed to a radiator with a broomstick up his ass, but the editor cut that quote. So he ran away.

NOP sources indicate however that he’s on a yodeling holiday and this is all spin from his matrimonial media partner designed to make him seem a little more interesting and relevant than he really is.

Meanwhile Al Gore (see the seguey?) has picked up yet another award for droning on about the obvious as though he discovered it. Thanks Al. The sky’s falling, the seas are rising and we’re all going to be baked like so many ‘steins, ‘burghs and Levies. When is it going to get through your bulbous head that we don’t give a shit?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Fuck Off Guide: Oberoi Al Arish

This is an undiscovered weekend getaway gem in one of Egypt’s least appreciated beach resorts. Located on the dramatic sweep of Arish’s probably-mined beach about halfway through town, it has those high ceilinged rooms and little touches of mashrebya that we have come to expect from our favorite Indian hotel chain. It even has little napkins that say “Oberoi” on them. In fact, it has pretty well everything that you would expect in an Oberoi, except the price. Oh, and edible food, decent service, clean sheets, working air conditioning, cold beer and so on.

That’s because this is the Oberoi that isn’t. This hotel has nothing at all to do with the lip-smacking palais des obsequity in Giza and out on the coast at Sahl Hashish. We don’t know how they came by the crested cutlery, but a quick enquiry with the Bombay mothership has confirmed that this place simply doesn’t exist.

Well hooooo-ray! What could be better for those little weekend fuckfests that never happened, than a hotel that isn’t there? Take the boss’s wife, your girlfriend’s PA, or that dumpy chick from marketing (you know who you are, Lamia—or was that Dina?) that nobody admits to schtooping, and rest easy in the knowledge that your privacy is assured by this simple metaphysical fact.

All the rooms are cheap like borscht, but this reviewer prefers the slightly bigger ones around the back, between the main building and road. Not only do they have a minibar to keep the hootch cool, they come with a back stage pass to the festivities when the Saedi team (black body armor, big blue transport trucks) come to to play an away game of rock-paper-teargas against the local boys (gallebeyas, little minibuses).

Excerpted from Fuck Off Egypt (NOP Publications, forthcoming). First published in NOP Weekly VI:7.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Police in the resort town of Arish

are maintaining their cool despite crazy Bedouins in dresses throwing Molotov cocktails who have taken over the streets.

Huddled in the beachfront Oberoi, the international press corps fears for its life as stocks of alcohol, diminished by Ramadan, run dangerously low.

Thankfully, we are kept up to date on the situation by the valiant, independent and credible reports of our sponsors at the Daily Gleaner, copies of which are smuggled into the hotel by catering staff.

Seems, according to them, that the problem is that the security forces have been too reluctant in the past to interfere with well-armed local crazies. Leave it to the talking classes (thanks (Fitz)Patrick) of professional malcontents, wanna-be pundits and left wing shit-disturbers to muddy the waters with rumors of past round ups and torture.

“As soon as these few misfits understand that they are stakeholders in a new vibrant globalized economy, the problems will cease,” said a spokesperson for Suzanne Mubarak on behalf of her son.

Meanwhile, a statement soon to be released by the Daily Gleaner is rumored to deny that they are the same newspaper that photoshopped stuff off a demo-pic that was not quite in line with what the President’s Office wanted to see in the paper.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Fuck Off Guide: The Pyramids

Sodding great stone things in Giza. Built in 1892 by German contractor Bechtel for the shooting of a biblical epic that never quite happened and passed off ever since as local production. Grand Poobah and general know-it-all Zahi Hawass has (ok, I got this second hand) claimed that they have become increasingly popular as the setting of impromptu “guerilla porn” shoots. We suspect him of trying to impress the girleenas (among other things), but you never know: keep your eyes peeled and your cameras set on idiot (like you people need to be told that!). There’s a UFO buried under one, and a big boat shed with a boat in it tacked on the back. There’s also a big cat thing down by the Pizza Hut. That’s all we know about the pyramids in Giza. Oh, except this: if you want to get fruitcaked out there, go the Mena House Oberoi and rent a cabana. Staff is intolerant of open drug use, but will usually ignore smoke seeping under the door. Take the hip flask for a float in the pool. Spin slowly. Watch the pyramids twirling against the sky. Get confused.

Excerpted from Fuck Off Egypt (NOP Publications, forthcoming). First published in NOP Weekly V:26.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Fuck Off Guide: Fontana Rooftop

Putting the dive back into dive bar, this cheap and cheerful little Ramses bar has it all: cold Stellas, a swimming pool and hookers. Where else in this great wrinkled country can you bob about on a giant inflatable duck, beer balanced between your legs, negotiating the igra on a half hour’s rumpy pumpy with a sweaty Imbaba muhababe? True, there’s always the trusty Saqqara Palm Club [INSERT CROSSREF P. XXX], but that’s a strictly a Bring Your Own Babe joint insofar as we know, and the cabana and sunshine ambience at the Palm is a far cry from sweaty, noisy Ramses with its Blade Runner view across that colonial eyesore of a train station and on to insalubrious Sharabeya. One word of caution: the diving board is close enough to the breezeway that an ill aimed cannonball could well be your last, so keep your diving for the muff. Bring your own rubber ducky and be prepared to pay a substantial bonus to the staff for turning a blind eye if your watery hijinks take place after regular daytime pool hours.

Exerted from Fuck Off Egypt (NOP Publications, forthcoming). First published in NOP Weekly V:33.

Next week's exert will be from the helpful "Taxies: getting around and getting it on" from the Gay and Lesbian Travel section.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Lucky for us

the Aishas had installed the Caddy on the edge of the midan a few weeks back, the better to catch the last dribbles of the Gulf sex trade, and they tipped us off by phone to the gathering storm outside. Nige hoisted the lathe onto his shoulder and disappeared toward the lift, a prototype Nefertiti in his right hand, trailing woodchips while I packed up the still and directed Ahmed to gather up the weasels. A moment later he too was gone into the night, Fatma and Mohamed squealing and peeing on each other with excitement at their sudden expulsion.

I was in the lift as the beetle-armored hordes poured up the stairs and kicked in the door of 309, raising shrieks of rage from the copulating Germans they found there.

Zahi was supervising this personally. He was out there somewhere in the night, commanding the raid on our little operation. I could feel his presence as I slipped through the kitchen, 12 meters of coiled copper pipe over one shoulder and the 30 liter distillation tank on the other. The staff finally earning those exorbitant tips by staring at the ceiling and seeing nothing until I had clanked out into the piss-sticky alley and was piling the goods into the back of the Caddy next to the chickens.

So ended our days at the Atlas, and so, nearly, this latest enterprise. Fortunately, when the troops finally found the right room, all they found was a litter of empty Stella bottles and Peking boxes, some shitty local magazines and a few dildos that Ahmed made on the lathe one night when no-one was there to stop him. Nothing to satisfy Zahi, and I imagine him there now, eyes crossed in rage, kicking at the evidence of our miscreance and cursing this latest narrow triumph of his competition in the fake antiquities business.

As I write this we are laying low in Imbaba, our capital equipment carefully concealed under a layer of chicken manure. Mohamed and Fatma have been released to forage and we see them only during the early morning, when they slink in guilty, jaws moist with the blood of their prey.

But our new headquarters are nearly ready and soon we shall be headed south under the cover of night, to set up again and execute our plan to flood the market with cheesy Horus repros, fake Nefertiti heads and off-struck 1st century coins.

[Nige - get someone to pull an archive headshot of Zahi for the hed. Thanks. HR.]

Friday, September 14, 2007

So there we were,

getting gloriously fruitcaked down at the Amoun with HR laying out his latest grand plan to put the NOP empire back into the black and wolfing down a Chinese takeaway. The boys were getting heavy on the merits of Britney’s spray painted abs, when Sandy chances on a copy of Egypt Yesterday that had been wrapped around the wontons to keep them warm.

What a vile, sycophantic load of shit.

Seems that, according to new-daddy Patrick Fitzpatrick, the shitty state of the country is the fault of the lazy poor who won’t own up to how they are “stakeholders.”

Tacking up a picture of himself in drag on the cover, Futzfudgy claims to have at last scored his long-sought interview with Egypt’s first lady Susan "Umm Jimmy" McBarak. A couple of quick calls, however, confirmed the obvious: that Fitzfudgy in fact interviewed only himself for the article, standing in front of a full length mirror dressed in last year’s Barbara Bush Hallowe’en outfit.

Futzpudgy claims Canadian extraction and there is a rumor (which he’s never denied) that his former career as a journalist in Zagreb was brought to a creaking halt by a public indecency conviction.

Dismissing out of hand “the talking class[’s]” concern for paltry shit like good governance, corruption and so on, Futzwudgy has his doppelganger opine that it is rather the excessive dependence of the shiftless poor on the benevolence of the Egyptian welfare state that has brought the country to its calloused old knees.

Three cheers Fitzgidget! Three cheers for the integrity of the fifth estate, oops, “talking class,” and down with those do-nothing taxi-driving mofos and tit-sucking laborers who hang about all day waiting for their handouts. Somebody should ram a broomstick up their collective ass.

The whole thing made the ulcer kick up. The milk in the minibar was sour and our pre-relaunch planning committee session was disrupted by a bout of violent retching. Bad night all round.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Ramadan Karim feature - DRAFT

Sinking. Sinking slow and low into the Egyptian night, Cairo spread out below like a crazy coal-bed of sodium, like some kind of slow burning hell. And the fucking plane goes eerie silent for a moment.

We had, I realized, flown into holy air. It was the first day of Ramadan and the exhalations of the pious millions below were enveloping this invading alouj-ship, quieting its foul and vexatious fartings. How could I have forgotten?

I reached out then and touched my duty free liters, imagining myself in that moment to be Richard crossing into Turkey, fingering a silver cross hung about his neck. Doomed, to be sure. Then, mind slithering sideways like a gut shot anaconda, I saw that I had been doomed by my own talisman: no silver cross on this crusade, but a quarter kilo of half dried mushrooms, trophy of a frenzied Amsterdam lay-over, rolled up in little baggies and jammed into my suitcase between a half-read Penthouse and some dirty socks, were what hung about my neck. I began to cry. I could smell them. My head jammed against the coolth of the window, I could smell their dreadful telltale reekings wafting up from the hold below my seat. They were stinking like a well-hung albatross. I couldn't believe that there hadn't already been an uproar. Tears of repentance were streaming down my face as I started to pray to a god unknown in the land below.

The fact that I’m free to write this now, clinging to this desklamp in room 311 of the Amoun Hotel in darkest Mohandiseen, is due only to an extraordinary coincidence of fate. A gift from a god of unknown size. Leaning here on my elbows, fighting off sleep, a fifth of malodorous scotch and the effects of a ball of hashish the size of my left testicle, I can hardly believe that I have once again escaped.

Ok. Will file full draft tomorrow-ish. Can someone cut this back to a 30 word lede? Make it something – fuck. I don't know. Clean? Thanks. HR.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Back. Bleary eyed and broke

in the Cairo haze. Our Nation a shambles. The boat adrift, gone; our People scattered to the hot dry wind. This city is as hot as a dragon’s armpit, and as fragrant. Rank with crowding and sloth. Exhaling its cancer patient breath. This cancer ward archipelago of corruption sweat bath of the unbathed ooze puddled self pity touching ever hopeful at the ankles of passing tourists. Puppy eyed thieves on broken furniture.

The Aeichas are well. Sturdy girls, they held up fine under four months of cockroach camp in Benha. Lesbian fun camp for those still possessed of their pleasure center, the lap of luxury to quote the wisdom of the bearded. The Caddy, flat tired and roof dented, hauled in from who knows what egret shit coated peasant crack of a Delta sinkhole now their home in the cool recesses of Imbaba. The trunk become the hatching ground for a poultry business that threatens to make them millionaires, the back seat a squeaking fornication couch for passing Arabs. The latter, they say, is their hobby but it is hard not to imagine that from this pastime their purses are not becoming at least as engorged as the members of their clientele.

The office, once the headquarters of this proud new world, gone with the boats. Shambled and listing, waterlogged. Broken glass and sodden papers, inkblot tests in the damp fingers of fat men in knock-off sunglasses. Their eyes glisten red late into the night now, hunched amongst the tea glasses and the dust of Lazoughly, bent to these ephemeral traces of our passage.

An epitaph: Here lie the smudges of a Nation proud, gone now to a different cloud. Gone the men, the boys and my nature-favored buffalo girls, Rest in Peices my Nation, my Pearls.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

The rains have started.

Beating down on the roof all night last night. Even drowning out the noise of the staff room television. The press corp is returning piecemeal from the brou-haha in Pohkara. Bedraggled and hollow eyed from four days of putting on frilly underwear and dancing around a giant phallus. And downtown the YCL is burning tires to protest the situation, putting a foul smelling pall over Thamel.

Lauer took a pass on this sodden, sodding, town and who can blame him? Nothing here but the crossbred weed that grows alongside of the golf course and inbred Arkansas welfare cheats with dreadlocks to their tie-dyed shoulders and the sour waft of enlightenment trailing them up Freak Street. Orange splashes pegged into the middle of their single eyebrows by the wandering paintpot-beggars of Patan.

The laundry is accumulating in drifts along the Vajra’s faux-marble corridors and the wait staff have walked out of the kitchen because of rumors that the royalist cook was putting saltpeter in the staff meals. We have to fetch our food now from the line, which has improved the service immeasurably.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

The storm clouds are hanging

low and black over Kathmandu. The Moaists are on the march. Steadily infiltrating hotel, restaurant and bar staff, organizing unions under the YCL umbrella.

Here at the Vajra the situation is tense. A standoff has developed over the issue of laundry and flight confirmation, with staff withholding favors in hopes that the waning tourist season, and the demonstrations expected early in the monsoon season, will give them more leverage. The kites wheel in the late afternoon over the gold-domed temples of Swyambu, looking forward hopefully to the fulfillment of rumors that the Moaists will bring a return of the sky burials in which this savage Gurka race once indulged. And the press corp hunker unhappy over Everest beer that is never cold enough looking forward to the luminous day that Matt Lauer and his team fly in some decent weed on the NBC tab.

Meanwhile I am working voodoo spells on Rutra-put Vaj, the round faced smiling bastard down in the laundry. A heavy mojo that will see his spleen pounded into sweetbread by Drukpa Kunley.

Updates as the situation warrants

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Thanks to our sponsors

at the Daily Gleaner , p-Mate and the HONK Campaign, we have been able to secure occasional reporting on the developing situation in Asia from NoP reader Sanders Brownstone. Mr. Brownstone, previously a West-Coast-based commodities broker and now working full-time as a Minister in the Church of the Southern Unification, is ABD on his Asian-studies PhD at the Mellon University of the Pacific Rim.

We look forward to Mr. Brownstone’s insights.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Gamal Mubarak

answered critics of our government and seemed to take a swipe at certain members of the media community in a press conference yesterday, according to the official MENA news agency.
Speaking for the Office of the President Gamal Mubarak today denounced the scurrilous hate-mongering slanders of US-based “human rights” group Amnesty International and vigorously defended himself against certain insinuations in biased western media outlets.

"We have quite enough Egyptian nationals to torture," declared the dashing scion of Dear Leader, "without taking in khawagat as well. This report is a shameful attack and we call upon the American government to deal with those who published it in an appropriate manner."

“And I have never, and will never, sodomize any Egyptian” continued the soon to be wed Mubarak, “with or without a nightstick. And if I did, I wouldn’t need Dick Cheney’s permission.” MENA

Thursday, April 12, 2007

You dumb Czech twat,

Howard K. "Sturn"? Ooooh, that's going to work out great. Noooobody's going to figure that out. William F. Cuntstler at your service.

You know who I ran into the other night when I was picking up a loaf of bread? Yeah, that's right Crowner. You know who I mean because you know where I buy my bread. Anyway, he's pretty pissed about the "brain dead puppy" schtick and said "if I ever see lettuce-dick in my restaurant again, I'm going kick his ass from here to Imababa."

Burn the darkies

is Tony Blair's take on the best way to put the "e" back into Grate Britain.

Blair, whose cell in Scheveningse was being prepped for his mid-summer arrival as we went to press this week, told a group of worried white people that "We need to stop thinking of this [Great White Britain] as a society that has gone wrong—it has n0t—instead, we need to blame specific groups [nignogs, jigaboos, jungle bunnies, fuzzy-wuzzies and last but not least those hard core, nappy-headed hos of Rutgers] that for specific reasons [DNA] have gone outside of the proper lines … and need by specific measures [attack dogs set on their grandmas, their brothers necklaced, and a lynching or two] to be brought back into the cotton field."

Number Ten has not responded to a report out of Tehran University that a new study has found white middle aged men to be “more than averagely prone to disregard for international law” and “more than nine hundred times more likely [than a brown or olive-toned person of similar weight and age] to order the invasion of another country.”

Meanwhile, Nation of Pearls is under imminent legal threat by Howard K. Sturn. The story, originally broken by Nation of Pearls back in February (you read it here first!), is that Sturn killed fuck-cushion ex-girlfriend Anna Maria “town bicycle” Smith (seen above shortly before she was killed) and her cleft-palated spawn “Danny” under contract for the surviving members of squillionaire sugar daddy Marshal McClued-out XXV. Now Sturn, attempting to avoid the kind of civil suit liability that has hampered the lifestyles other well-known killers, has hired lawyer Lin Wood to sue media outlets, like Nation of Pearls, who dare to print the truth. Sturn inherits Wood from two other well-known kiddy-wackers, Patsy and John Ramsay, but he has a funny girly name and we’re not afraid of him.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Holy fuck!

What's this? An Islamic Dr. Ruth? So says the Daily Gleaner! Better known for white-washing news that wasn't bland enough to begin with, Egypt’s frumpiest newspaper has tossed off something good for once.

Seems "Happy" Heba Kotb (seen here without here without her veil using a prop at recent appearance), still babe-alicious at nearly 40, runs a TV show called "Big Ones" to bring the good news to boys and girls that blowjobs and masturbation, even the banned-by-Azhar reverse mohagababe position, are not specifically prohibited by scripture after all. And even more startling, apparently even women can derive pleasure from sex.

High five Heba!

No mention in the story that 98 percent of Egyptian women have had their clitoris surgically removed, or that blowjobs are available from the guards outside most embassies and banks anyway, but maybe that’s on the DVD.

Meanwhile, all-round good guy George Clooney is at it again. His latest artistic endeavor is based on the Roald Dalh classic The Fantastic Mr. Fox. The plot revolves around the efforts of fourteen fantastically clever vulpus criminalisee to steal chickens from the retarded son of a Texan oil baron. While bombshell Kate Blanchett is lined up to play a chicken, Susan Pelosi is rumoured to have a walk-on as the farmer’s rebellious daughter and Barak Obama plays a crafty guy in overalls named Zapus Princeps. Lion’s Gate is said to have lined up Middle Eastern distribution rights through its palatial Damascus office.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

No point asking

how yesterday afternoon flushed itself down time’s toilet, let alone where the last two months have gone. The notes I took, the record of my trials and my tribulations, have disappeared. Mascara and toilet paper may not have been a wise choice of media, but they were all I had in that hell hole. So now we have no idea where the Aishas may be, or what the fate of "Al" was. The whereabouts of the Caddy are equally a mystery. My last memory of her was tilted into a ditch somewhere past Benha with half a dozen blood-eyed gallebeyas jumping on the roof howling, beating their chests and attempting to pull the chrome from the grill. But I don't even trust this memory. The wracking pain of forced detox has seared much of what was once written across my synapses into oblivion. I feel a new man in many ways. Able to start afresh. A little healed, a little holier now than I was.

Nige rolled in around 11 and here I was by the window, watching the happy flow of the Nile. The slow roll I should say. You know, I’ve been in this country a few years now, long enough to remember other rulers, sunnier days. Long enough to remember Krakov the one-eyed chimpanzee at the Giza zoo, and how he came to be eaten. Long enough even to remember Naguib in the days when you could talk to him without leaning over and shouting in his ear. Back when he was still shaving and writing his own stuff. Long enough to have watched a few miles of water flow under that bridge, and a few dumb asses jump off it too. You know what I mean. What could I say? Nige was all about facts and responsibility and waving a scrap of a summons in front of me (what kind of charge is "transporting chickens across a state line" anyway?).

Like the man said, Nige: "In the early morning rain, with a dollar in my hand, with an aching in my heart and my old pockets full of sand…"

So we tucked into a bottle of Aida he happened to have there under his arm and I gave our partners at 19330 a call and soon enough the office was humming to the old tunes.

The morning rain don't pour, and the sun always shines here in Cairo.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Don’t expect any apologies

for the missing issues. Frankly, fuck you to everyone who has written in asking about them. We’ve been busy. The server’s been down. There was a death in the family. We were on holiday. None of your damn business.

Mind you, what have you missed? About all I see this morning is a Toronto Star piece by some wet behind the ears Canuck that our uppity little Europhile who’s been neglecting the Press Review these last few issues should have snapped up and regurgitated as so much bile and belly button lint.

Our colonial friend points out that policemen in Egypt are paid so little that they are forced to panhandle from passing tourists, and apparently that’s why they end up fiddling with prisoners, shoving stuff up their butts and generally behaving in a way that would offend their mothers. (Well, maybe not Jimmy’s mom, but certainly my mother!) Now, maybe back in Toronto (where the hell is that anyway? Some Arctic dominion?) the business of sodomizing men who don’t like being sodomized is left to grubby underfed men in dirty uniforms, but not in Cairo. No way, eh? Here in the Turd World, the division of labor cuts the other way. Here, the job of sticking broom sticks up guys’ asses is for the smooth faced, well-fed boys in suits. Why escapes us. It’s just one of those little cultural differences that MP Fiki refers to in the final quote of the piece.

Anyway. Whatever. Canadians taking on the Egyptians is kind of like midget mud-wrestling, you just want to get in there with a cudgel and smite the pair of them a mighty smiting. Smite smite smite. Smile. I’m going to try to sleep this off.