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.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A brain dead puppy

won big in the media this week, as floppy eared mutt "Lazarus" lapped up the NYT's attention at some big hoopy-doo dog show. Seems this adorable little kelb spent a quarter of an hour with no oxygen going to it’s little doggy brain.

But after receiving more medical attention than your average Iraqi village saw in all of 2006, up jumped doggy and all was well. Breathless hacks report that Lazarus rolled on his back to have his tummy patted!

Come on. Have a heart. It’s touching. Especially when you consider the sort of nasty dispositions that pampered spaniels can have.

So anyway, on to something completely unrelated: serial brawler Omar "Rocky XIX" Sharif has been sentenced for punching out a Beverly Hills parking attendant in 2005.

Stupid Mexican” was the sound bite when Juan didn’t bring the Porsche quick enough.

The attack follows on a 2003 fracas in Paris in which the actor-turned-restauranteur head-butted a cop outside a casino and another the next year in India in which he beat down a fellow actor with a table lamp.

Rumors of an 11-city show tour with Mike Tyson have yet to be confirmed, but meanwhile Sharif—who was not ordered muzzled by the judge—will be attending “anger management counseling.”

Maybe an oxygen tube would have been more a propos.

Monday, February 12, 2007

…my only comfort

is knowing that these dispatches are being read by the world. That the world knows of my plight, and that my colleagues are extending themselves to their utmost to find me and release me from this hell hole.

“Al”—as the pudgy guy in the next cell but one continues to insist I call him (as in “I was once the next president of this country” I guess—is ailing. Coughing through the night and complaining that he’s going to die if they don’t let him out. When they move him we’re locked in our cells and he passes by, trussed and muzzled. Hannibal the Cannibal...

Hugh—wherever you're holed up with that pair of babes—it's not working. We rolled in from that little beach blanket go-gofest that we've always said we should give the interns (see what you're missing you bastard?) to find this scrap of sodden toilet paper tacked on the office door.

Give it up.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Our peace and progress

had a close call yesterday when a virtual revolution took place at Al Alzar Mosque, according to the Egyptian government news service, MENA:
Upwards of a dozen black jumpsuit clad fundies with long beards and crazy bloodshot eyes were shouting nasty things about the modernizing regime of Dear Leader Mubarak, when a few hundred valiant boys from the undercover Shebab Brigades stepped up to take charge. Despite the interference of the leering Jew leeches of the troublemaking Zionist foreign press, our boys used sticks to subdue the Muslim Threat in accordance with all legal standards. Peace was restored under the patronage of Dear Leader (PBOH).

We join the workers of Egypt and the Arab world in congratulating Dear Leader for guiding us on the path of reform. MENA

A mallet wielding astronaut

was arrested in Orlando last Monday. Dressed up in a wig and plastic underwear, and armed with a knife and pellet gun, Lisa Marie Nowak, who apparently went into space last year and didn’t completely come back, was there to do some repair work on her relationship with fellow space cadet Bill Oefelein; to whit, wacking his girlfriend.

While a Nation of Pearls investigation has revealed that Nowak’s mission (code named STS-121) was delayed repeatedly, our space correspondent was unable to confirm that it was because Nowak’s rubber duck got stuck under the brake pedal.

Meanwhile, gold-digging Playboy bunny Anna Maria Smith showed up dead, probably murdered by the offspring of erstwhile sugar-daddy Howard Marshall IX over the squillionare’s squillion dollar estate. Smith, who’s own spawn, “Danny,” up and died a while back, may have been receiving death threats since rumors began to circulate last month about an upcoming tell-all appearance in the pages of the soon to be launched print edition of Nation of Pearls.

At press time, Tony Blair, husband of Playboy bunny wannabe Cherie (shown above at a recent gala event), was unavailable for comment on the paternity of Smith’s newest child. Read into that what you may.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Back door art

is the title of Culture Minister Farouk Hosni’s current exhibition at the Institute for Sycophantic Art.

As usual, Hosni’s art is spectacular. Touchingly ironic, it shows the naked power of wasta as nothing else really can. Raw acrylics are smeared across the canvas in sweeping, arrogant strokes that dare the viewer to deny this man’s right to hang anything, anywhere, anytime. Including you.

“If my daughter stuck that on the fridge,” observed a critic who works for the international press, “I’d burn it and take her for a psychological assessment.” Or maybe it was the other way around.

Security at the show is tight, with paintings hung high to avoid urine splashes.

The minister, who is also a women’s fashion consultant, was unavailable for comment. But then again, his painting speaks for itself.

An underprecedented surge in readership

and a staff crisis, are driving us to take extreme measures. Nation of Pearls is expanding its contributor base.

A word of warning. Nation of Pearls is not a forum for sticking it to your favorite politician or professional rival under the cloak of anonymity. Nor is it a platform for trumpeting weird political theories and ideas that you can’t tell your friends about. Just because you can make up a name and sign up for a email account is no excuse to get fucked up and post shit that you wouldn’t spout in the real world.


Nation of Pearls is a serious publication dedicated to journalism of the highest standards.

If you think you can meet our standards, email our editorial board.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Fitna Ninjas

It's been a while since I saw something quite this impressive. Takes me back a piece, it really does. Must have been The Bogside, c.1974, when I awoke with a pounding headache on the backseat of some slag's Austin Minor, aroused by the sound of clattering feet and the whiff of burning rubber. We found this on the cover of The Middle East.

Minds me of an excellent documentary I co-produced a few years back.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Hang 'em high

says Fox News, breaking the news that Barak Obama is a servant of the devil. Oh yeah! Seems Mr. Mixed Heritage forgot to mention his past in a terrorist training camp in Indonesia.

Coming hard on the heels of revelations that the guy’s middle name is “Hussein” this could be the final wind of the towel around this foreigner-loving bastard’s head.

Meanwhile “Look Out! Here come the nuclear-tipped Arabs!” says Scratch McClunky (seen here in a recent file photo) over at Timely Inc. Apparently the Bush regime has been “intensely focused on making the Greater Middle East a better place.” Apparently the Isrealies acquired their nukes “out of a sense of insecurity.” And apparently Rosie looks good in a little pink nightie.

Dirka Dirka Mohamed Jihad, and goodnight from Prague, where the beer tastes like wine and boiling oil is poured on invaders from the east.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Fuck you Pat

What the hell was that shit? This is supposed to be a respectable journal. You were brought on for your “steady hand at the tiller of a news department.” You remember that phrase from the interview, you drunken sot? You said you’ld quit drinking. “Learned your lessons” was the phrase we heard. You’re turning this whole project into joke with your obscene rambling.

And fuck you Hugh too, you lying bastard. Toilet paper and mascara? Where have we heard that one before? Where have you holed up this time you plagarizing bag of feces? The Four Seasons again? Blowing next year's hospitality budget on Manhattans, cocaine facials and handjobs, probably. You selfish bastard. Prison Diaries my ass.

Sandy’s the only professional in this organization.

I quit.

I woke up bruised

in this cell, the morning sun pouring in through the bars on the window, burning my retinas. I have no recollection of how I got here. The raw cement stinks of must and there is a bucket in the corner for a toilet. Fortunately I have made friends with the old man who empties it. He was the one who brought me the toilet paper and mascara pen that I’m using to write this. He has promised that he can smuggle out my writing and get it to HQ somehow.

If he does that, I can only pray that my colleagues, my friends, my brothers, with whom I have shared so much over the years will find out through their networks where I am being held and bust me out of this hole before I am eaten by the cockroaches or driven mad by the screaming.

Why can’t they turn that TV down?

Until that happens, these will be my prison diaries and when we—my brothers, my fellow-travelers—are safely established in our sea-fortress we shall learn my words by heart. And they shall shine like a lighthouse for all who come to dwell with us.

Stand by.

Total Confustication

PC Joyce got out of bed on the wrong side this morning. Considering his bed is a-next the wall, it was a considerable discombobulation for him. His post may be be somewhat confustulating.

NoP points with pleasure to The Patrician Today's analysis of The Agronomist's analysis of the state of freedom in the country. In a ho-hum piece, the worthy British journal says that Egyptians are, rather like one of those lovely Rubensesque ladies in a whalebone corset, feeling the pinch—and in more ways than one.

By virtue of Egyptian media reporting on Foreign media which has in turn being reporting on Egyptian media (satellite TV, etc), we half expected the world to explode with a resounding pop half-way through this piece. Such are the existential perils of globalisation, my chums.

In the latest item in our popular ""Blindingly Obvious" series", NoP brings your attention today to another snappy little number in The Patrician Today.


Megabrain-At-Law Doktor Mohammed Nour Hardhat has said that the constitutional ammendments that General Toad and his stooges are currently ramming down the well-worn throat of the Egyptian state aren't worth a flying fuck and that if only he was younger he'd give that saucy little wench from layout a good seeing-to.

Or did he?

Friday, January 19, 2007

Europe's engulfed

in the nastiest weather in decades. Hurricane force winds have been smashing up the shrubbery, tossing children about and fucking up the cheese. The top got ripped off Berlin’s central train station, and the Dutch have been ordered off their bicycles.

It’s the end of the world, and of course the Swiss don’t give a shit. They were out there windsurfing while the rest of us were having tree branches shoved into our bottoms. Honest to God, it was like waking up in an Egyptian police station.

Anyway, you don’t have to look too far to see who’s to blame. While the rest of the world was scratching its navel trying to understand why the Iraqies can’t hang a guy without ripping his head off, or what Kim’s really going to do with those giant bunnies, the Chinese went and shot down a weather satellite.

Could it be any clearer?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Nation of Pearls is proud

to announce that it has been picked as the official media sponsor of the HONK campaign. We received their press release last week:

HONK is Raid-based pubic awareness NGO and campaigning for public awareness of pollution and noise pollution issues in the Muddle Eats. Our slogan “HONK for a cleaner and brighter future” encourage moronists in the region to HONK their hones to show their awareness. We are sure we are meating with grate successes from the response that we have been hearing. Thank you for considering causes.

Stay tuned for associated contests and giveaways in the near—cleaner and brighter—future!

All in the family

We at NoP get all crackly and grinful when we look through the Diplomatic Pages of the sordid newsheets, and find that the Turd World has thrown up another confederation of dunces for our amusement.

This morning, The Gonorrhoea Daily has at last confirmed what we've been overhearing in the gents at the Nadi Diplomati: that horny old goat Nursultan Nazarbeyev, President Eternal of the Glorious Republic of Kazakhstan, will be in town in March.

Now, I hate the red carpet faffing that takes place when the red carpet gets rolled out for some visiting tin pot bone-breaker (except when the Yanks are doing them – then there's plenty of skirt to [THIS HAS BEEN CENSORED - ed.] over). Apart from sitting sideways in a monstrous gold Louis Farouq furniture, smiling like a hyenas and blethering on about bilateral ties, we hear that the old toads will be comparing notes on how to run the family business.

We know here, of course, that Jimmy the Kid is the shoo-in for the Cairo hot-seat, but pay attention to the fact that Nazarbeyev's charming female offspring Dariga is also lining up to be the next CEO of Daddy's business. And Dariga may actually have the balls to do it. Unlike our home Nivea poster boy, she's actually been known to criticize the paterfamilias.

She's also appeared on Kazakhstani Pop Idol, and seems to be quite smart and formidable. We certainly wouldn't want to meet her in an alleyway on a dark night. Jimmy, on the other hand, has not to my knowledge appeared on anything but daddy's Gulfstream.

But it won't be long, dear readers, it won't be long.

I am now a man on the run

from men in cheap suits.

They came yesterday late in the morning, or evening. They were dressed in flimsy houndstooth jackets that were bulging at the seams with their self-importance and loaded weapons. Three of them stood by the door while one crouched here, beside the bed, where I am writing this.

They wanted to know what I know about Sealand.

The Aichas were outside. Thank god (whoever you are) they were outside. Buying groceries and trying to rustle up some more opium. We had run out of supplies and the situation was desperate enough to justify sending them both out at the same time. But I am glad now that I did. These men were more than a pair of simple Imbaba girls could handle.

As soon as representatives of the state were gone I piled our meager belongings—no more now than a couple of bottles of rye whisky, our last four bottles of Xanex tablets, three tabs of acid, an envelope with the last of our cocaine and a couple of changes of underwear—into the back of the Caddy.

I am ashamed to admit that, in my ungallant panic, I was prepared abandon the girls to the tender mercies of the local farm hands.

But I was without success. The mill ground over a couple of times, coughed like coal miner on a winter morning, and gave up. The chill of doom sank into my heart as I headed back to bed. Now, in the gathering dark, I await the return of the girls so that I can send them out again, first to fax this in to HQ in the hopes that someone will read my words and come to our aid, and second to locate a mechanic versed in the mysteries of the Cadillac mill so that we can escape this place before the men in cheap suits return.

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Iraqi people owe America

a huge debt of gratitude, claims George Bush, but he admitted at the same time that hanging Saddam Hussein might not have been such a smooth move.

Bush, a member of a cult that teaches that the brutal execution of a Jew by an army of occupation (an event commemorated by many in weekly ceremonies in which the cannibalistic consumption of the “messiah” is re-enacted) was sufficient to absolve billions of Whities of responsibility for pretty well anything, seems surprised that wacking Hussein hasn’t worked the same magic.

Such are the machinations of the Caveman Brain.

In related news, David Beckham and his Rocket Scientist wife have been recruited by Scientologist Junior Wizard Tom Cruise.

Seems the football Messiah’s intergalactic alien lizard soul (pictured above with it's human face attached) just had to come home to LA to collect its million dollar a week paycheck.

And that’s the galaxy today.

It came to me last night

in a cloud of smoke as we were having some shisha on the hood of the Caddy. It was a magic thing that rose like a genie from the grey paste that Aisha had coiled atop the coals, her black-draped outline silhouetted against this town’s single streetlight like a gamousa beneath the moon.

“Nation of Pearls.” That beautiful notion couched there on the bed of Rushde’s limpid prose like a lobster on a bed of lettuce. It’s us: The Nation of Pearls. We are a nation, and we need a homeland. This was the genie: this was the magic idea.

And as I watched the slow swirl of the sewage in the irrigation ditch drifting northwards to the sea, I realized that this was a Holy Truth.

And so I call on you, you denizens of this far flung national brotherhood. This Lost Tribe of Babylon. To come together and: BUY SEALAND.

Each of us shall tithe as we are able, and more. And each of us shall have a passport and it shall be purple in color and our emblem shall be the pearl, glistening white. Shimmering there. We shall reside resplendent on our platform atop the waves and from her, our immobile Ship of Unstate, we shall engage in periodic acts of international lawlessness.

And we shall be a necklace of pearls, hung about the neck of the world.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Hiding from the Bad Men in Dark Glasses

From what we can see through the opaque windows of our secret Nile-side location, it seems that every bully in the playground is taking it out on the Brothers this week. And not in a nice way either.

Consider the cast:

1) The Presidency. King Toad belched out some bellicosity over the weekend that the Brotherhood is a "threat to Egypt's security."

Rumble Rumble Rumble. There's the mud-slinging. "Security" means nothing, apart from a bureaucratic segue to "More Oppression - Because We Need it."

2) Ministry of Fear. A well-Timed Round-up of MB'ers this morning. Nothing to unusual there, mind you.

3) The Council for False Teeth also got in on the action, the doddery old heads at the Shura Council managing to pull their tarbouches up over their eyes just long enough to nod assent to the 34 constitutional amendments that the Presidency slipped in just before Eid. Here comes a party-list voting system. Goodbye Brotherhood "Independents."

(4) The Justice System (cue canned laughter). Last week 12 or so political parties, most of them jokes, but with one serious one - the Wasat - had their applications to be licensed turned down again. If the regime were canny, they'd have licensed the Wasat to divide-and-rule the Islamist vote. But they're not, so they didn't. They're preparing the ground so they can get heavy on everything with a beard and short trousers, including Cat Stevens.

And finally, (5) The US State Department. Condi's something of a backroom bully, but her inaction is what really packs a punch in this playground. She's in the vicinity this week, ready to roll out the deafening silence when it comes to opposition parties and human rights in Egypt.

Seems simple. I wish I'd thought of it. Put your only political opposition through the wringer for a while, physically, to soften him up. Then slip through a truck-load of punitive legislation trussed up as a "democratic breakthrough." Watch as nobody cares. Retire to a safe distance. Write last will and testament. Have some more plastic surgery.

I would do something about it all, but I can't leave our secret location. And there's another Kahlua on the way.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Holy Shit!

Srinivasan Nageswaran, a recent immigrant to New Jersey from India, had a close call when a meteorite the size of a golf ball punched through the roof of his house and ended up in his crapper.

"It could have done great damage and destruction," said the understandeably shaken Nageswaran, seen here in a recent file photo. "It could have hurt our people." (Had our people been taking a dump at the time.)

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Egyptian police have brought Imad Kabir to justice despite the whining of local bloggers. Kabir, caught on video smearing feces on a policeman’s broom handle, became the darling of vegans and Western pacifists by claiming that it was the police, not him, who were the aggressors in the incident.

Reform-minded President-elect Jimmy "The Nightstick" Mubarak has yet to release a statement, but is rumored to have exploded when he heard about the incident. A member of the Press Corps unfamiliar with the specifics of the matter is saying that Mubarak responded "What a fucking asshole!" after an aide passed him a screen capture from the video.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

God, Vengeance, and the AC-130

Your normally benign Political Editor is not often stimulated by pictures of military equipment. Not a warlike man, PC Joyce. But, upon hearing of the apocalyptic airstrike wreaked upon al-Qaeda evil-doers in Somalia we thought we'd take a look. Last time, the US got their little BlackHawks in something of a pickle down in the Mog. So, this time, they came back with something bigger. Much bigger. Like this evil fire-breathing dragon of the SKY!

I hereby renounce peace. I am getting one of these. Fuck democracy with an airborne Howitzer.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

International man of Law

Philippe Sands uses the Guardian to lay out the options for tossing Two-Faced Tony in the hoosegow once that fat Scottish guy takes over, and Blair loses his immunity from prosecution. Seems the “Charles Taylor option”—a specially convened tribunal and a bedsit at Den Haag Crowbar Hostel—offers the best chance of nailing TB's lying ass to the wall over the invasion of Iraq.

Meanwhile, the pudgy chancellor's hometown rag is taking the lead with “birthday-suit parties,” stretching a point to pump up the junior Blair's rumpy-pumpy options with a report on the kind of orgy smorgasbord that Pittless the Younger (shown above following in his father's rock and roll footsteps with his band Babyshambles) will have laid before him at his new school.

Do we smell conspiracy? You bet we do!

Meanwhile, The Daily Gleaner got badly burned by The Onanist for whitewashing a little nastiness about General Goha off their front page back on December 19. “Printing error” my birthday-suited ass.

Up the creek

with a pack of Cleopatras and two women, both named Aisha. Head pounding, the flech of sink-brewed arak gumming up my tongue. In the street below I can see where I parked the Caddy. Angled under the awning of the ahwa, next to a Russian built tractor from the 1960s. There’s a donkey hitched to the bumper. Beyond, some lesser arm of the Nile. Reed lined, choked with weed. Garbage strewn.

I’m banging this out on a rusted Royal. The kind that stands up and looks you in the face as you type. Like an upright piano or a marmot. I guess I’ll send Aisha—the bigger of the two—down to the landlady with the carbons in a bit and have her fax them into the office.

Not that I have much to say.

This wretched ruined remnant of the countryside gave birth to Mubarak. Dowsed now in cheap chemicalia banned in the first world and dumped on the fields of the third, choking on the refuse that won’t burn and hacking up the particulate of that which will. Cemented over and pissed on. Its children herded from classrooms without desks to factories without windows.

It’s a bit depressing. Especially if you like 320 thread count sheets.

Monday, January 8, 2007

Dante's Devils Smuggle Guns to Gaza

I was poking my mulberried nose around on the interweb for a bit this afternoon, as I was waiting for the lounge in the Sheherezade to open (opens later than the Palmyra, but with more, eh, benefits once you get your crapulent frame in the door) and I found this beezer little diagrammatic thing, that some smart little chaps in some zionist newsletter dreamed up. Here we see the evil Palestinians, not represented as cockroach-like vermin as usual, but as dinky little red men. There they are, pushing the explosives through the gloomy under-earth, devils on secondment from Dante's Inferno. Look carefully for the sign reading "Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate" or "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here."

Once I find my other horse-whip I'm off to the Sheherezade. There's a Libyan man with a glass eye who goes there on Mondays, and I mean to give him a piece of my mind. Ach.

So Hugh's run off

somewhere. Last seen in that ridiculous hearse of his careening up the corniche toward Qanater with a half-empty liter bottle of Old Blackie on the seat beside him and a couple of Imbaba bints trussed up on the back seat. It thus falls to me to announce the newest addition to the news team here, Patrick Cromwell-Joyce, brought on to counter allegations that this newsletter has slipped away from the highminded ideals of its founders to become a vehicle for personal attacks and drunken rantings.

Fuck you Hugh, by the way. Wherever the hell you've gotten to. You saw me. Don't pretend that you didn't, and if that tree hadn't been there for me to climb, you could have taken my leg off. So I hope you've driven that death wagon into the fucking canal with those two little whores of yours.

Next President Must Be Jimmy, says authors of "How to Win Friends and Dominate People"

This morning, the ever-alert Patrician Today announced that a group of Ambitious Report Writing Freaks from America (otherwise known as the Dale Carnegie Endowment for Being Nice to People and Making Valuable, Earnest Suggestions to the Leaders of Other Countries) had written an ambitious report. What did it say? It said that the Son of the President is Expected to become The Next President of Egypt. That's what Patrician Today said, in any case.

Well, there's no getting past those ARWFs is there? You have to get up really early in the morning to sneak anything under their radar. Here at Nation of Pearls, we never shy from the mixed metaphor. Nor do we shy from the blindingly obvious.

Neither does the Patrician Today for that matter. No shying away.

Where's that shagging bottle? I'm sure there was a rabbit here a minute ago. Shagging catholics. Burn them. Fergal!

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Disease in a dish

is how a Brit researcher referred to some about-to-be-banned chimeric toys—petrie bred critters jumbled together from the DNA of humans, rabbits, cows and whatever else was laying about on the day.

Seems the boys and girls at Number 10 are getting chilled toes at the idea of cows with floppy ears and opposable thumbs roaming the hallways of England’s research hospitals, and are about to ban cross-species breeding.

Pity, really. The commercial possibilities in the porn industry alone are staggering.

Meanwhile, Marilyn Manson’s stripper wife, “Dita von Teeze,” is dumping him. Neither Teeze nor or about-to-be ex Manson have responded to allegations that the split has something to do with the upcoming British ban.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Christmas rolled through Egypt

like a scrap-cart full of high sulphur coal pulled by half a dozen hungry reindeer. A fat guy in a gold braid hat on top cracking the whip. “On Ahmed, on Mohamed. On Magdy, on Michael.” Then came the New Year and the killing began. Children paddling in cow blood, smearing it on their faces and sucking their thumbs. Which would be all very well, if the animal hadn’t bled to death in the gutter, shitting itself, legs flapping like the paddles on a blender amongst the discarded candy wrappers and thrown away nappies, whipping the mess into a frothy bacterial borsch of the merriest sort.

Can’t remember what’s halal there and what’s not.

Here at Nation of Pearls, the holidays were a time of quiet contemplation. We piled into the Caddy and hit the Palm Club out in Saqqara for a couple of days. Wrapped in blankets, huddled around shishas by that kidney shaped pool. Only Snatch—who was ridiculously high on some Afghan weed he bought from a Saudi prostitute at the Marriot—went in for a paddle. He was blue in minutes and made Terence give him CPR. That wasn’t a pretty sight at all.

Thank God it’s over, though I for one would have thanked Him more if it had never begun, but there we are. Respect for tradition and so on.

Come on kids. Time to go home and wash up.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

The Daily Gleaner has the big scoop:

"outraged citizens" of Egypt, and well armed ones at that, reacting to the Shia's recent Bush-sponsored offing of the erstwhile Great Leader.

A big NoPe award there for journalist acuracy.

Whatever. Mirette Mabrouk, scribe-extraordinaire, saves the day with this insight into the matter:

“Saddam Hussein was not a particularly good or noble man” but “Arabs will ration” (what the hell?) that “He may have been a thug … but he was our thug.”

Cue some of those “bloodcurdling screams.”

Meanwhile, CNN misses similar honors by the finest of hairs for captioning a piece on the search for Al Quada’s leader “Where’s Obama?” Ooops.

If you look reeeeeal close, you'll see him on the front page of the Daily Gleaner. He's the guy with the towel wrapped around his head saying "Dirka dirka."

Monday, January 1, 2007

A belated welcome

to the Nation of Pearls for Nigel Kenworth. Nigel will be contributing in his inimitable fashion to the newsletter on (we hope) an irregular basis. The idea is that he will bring his knowledge of the cultural world to bear on issues of topical concern. I hope that you will enjoy his posts.

So there we were

three of us, four. Maybe five or seven. Hiding, frankly; I’ll be honest: huddled, holed up, laying low there on Saturday morning. The dull thuds of a blood spattered peasant’s axe in the garden, hacking through the sternum of some half dead creature of the field, resounding through the boat. The sound dulled by He only knows what volumes of liquids modified and unmodified, and some pills that Terry was good enough to drop by on Friday.

Christ. We were clinging to each other for some pathetic simulacra of comfort and Hugh was being fucking useless. High as a kite in the May breeze, swinging in the hammock and singing when the lights come on again. And me with a novel, half a novel back home, swinging in the wind like its been lynched, and a profile of Ahmed Muhamed al Mua’fin three days past deadline and the TLS beating down my mobile like they have some kind of right to the piece just because they’ve already paid and blah blah blah.

Sandy rolled in around half past the aftermorning, spattered with blood and Snatch in tow, with Cyclops dangling in his right hand. Heil fellas well met. Guess where we’ve been. Jesus.

Fuck them, and Hugh especially.

And fuck you too.

Only the good ones die

it seems. But we never know it till they’re gone. Gerald Ford, one of the blander stooges ever to settle buttock upon the oval throne turns out to have been a great leader—after he dies. James Brown: helmet haired, gun toting crack head turns out to have been a civil rights leader… but only after his lifestyle finally caught up with him.

And now, according to the New York Times, we have a crew of renaissance men, sensitive new age metrosexuals and righteous family guys getting tragically offed in Eye-rack.

There’s Jordy Hess. At the same time a poet who could bench press a motorbike, and an amateur glass blower who reinvented the silicon wafer computer in his down time. Tragically smashed to death by an ungrateful towelhead. “Angel faced” Eric Bowman, blowed up by same. Fun lovin’ Jason Burnet, who built houses for poor people. Lousy Eye-racky engineering got him when his tank fell in a canal.

Makes you wonder who did the 60,000 or so Iraqis mown down from helicopters, driven over, shot in the head, beat to death, incinerated and so on since 2003. Must be a couple of bad, and very very hard working, guys out there somewhere.