“Ha’yom a’ni ro’mai’ii” I told my randomly chosen ‘victim’. (“Yeah, today I’m a Roman.”)
“Sue me.”, I should have added.
What I did last thursday morning felt good. Too good, considering it was a bad thing.
Background: Every time I complain about the abysmal lack of any semblance of thoughtfulness and consideration in this tiring little Middle Eastern country, at least on the day-to-day level, I hear, from the less-than noble man-in-the-street, the same mantra. “When in Rome, do as a Roman.”
Now a diligent scholar such as moi ought to really examine the context of this famous dictum; perhaps it was actually advice to like, total bar’bar’im (barbarians) to sit up and act right. Here it’s advice to go get your own License to kill.
Anyway, some little ‘jook’ (‘cockroach’) got into my ‘rosh’ (‘head) on thursday, and I decided to do an experiment. Follow along in your textbooks:
Pull out into traffic without signalling or even looking. Turn the radio up full blast to the most vile ‘music’ you can find. Double-park the car in front of a busy kiosk in the center of town. Waddle into the store, and, noticing a line of people, each one waiting for his perfect shopping list of nuts from the one guy on duty, loudly demand that he give you a pack of cigarettes. I did all this. Ok, I started to feel bad even with the double-park, but a deal’s a deal, and I’d decided to learn what pigs feel, if anything. So I mumbled to the lady-in-waiting something like. “Slicha, ani kho’sem me’sha’hu” (‘Sorry, I’m blocking somebody’) This is a standard lie, to which she said, (and I translate): “There’s no ‘sorry’, that’s just chutzpah”.
I loved it! Confirmation that I had, in fact, succeeded so far in my mission. I didn’t remain bullet-less, instead, I defended my manner-less-ness, in line with the local morays’ code of conduct:
“Bitch, whoever the hell you are anyway, my whole history here is one of being tramped on by your kind. Tough shit, now it’s your day to suffer.” I could have added “And you can suck me off…”, it wouldn’t have been an un-precedented remark here.
I ran out of the little store with my purchase, to see not one(1) but two(2) guys trying in vain to get their cars out of my ‘blockade’. They both started to curse at me, and I ignored them like they were worms on the sidewalk, took my time getting in my car, turned the radio back on, and drove off.
That’s about when the feeling of complete success overcame me. I sang along to ‘Umm Cul Faq’u’um‘, whoevah; it felt like the day the Romans landed a man on the Moon (oops, deviant narrative), and I felt just euphoric and peachey for like five hours.
I’ll never do this again, I promise. But somehow, I Needed to Know. And I Found Out: Boors, louts, ignorant bastards, sick little psychopaths, macho hot-air-balloon types, they feel great, probably around-the-clock. Their joy is at the expense of others’ misery, the knowledge that they have stated their bloated self-importance un-compromisingly. The fact that Hobbes promised them a life ‘nasty, brutish, and short,’ seems not to have been fulfilled by the Ethical ‘Invisible Hand. The guilty go unpunished, by and large. Even sick-ass Bibi Netanyahu, after maybe the worst career as Prime Minister in recent history, is running again. What, the electorate is all Alzheimer’s voters?
I recount this story for educational purposes only. And I now return to my turn-signaled,// ‘No, you were here first’,// ‘Would it bother your dog barking all night if I closed my windows?’ Nachum-Tachum ™ self, named after a famous local toy, an inflated clown, weighted at the bottom so that you could punch him and he always bounced back up as if begging for more abuse
Q: You happy now?
A: Yup, ‘cept I really shoulda asked her to do me, while I was on a roll…
Q: So finally, a true story?
A: Absolutemente, but with a moral. Hope I made that clear.
Q: I’ll have to read it again…