January 13, 2005

Happy Holidays?

You think Christmas is a stressful time of year now? Implement this little imaginary custom and see what happens:

I had a cup of coffee with one of my guides in Ghadames, Libya back in November. He sheepishly wanted to know if a particular rumor about us was true.

“I have heard,” he said, “that European and American men have sex with other men’s wives on Christmas. Is it true? Libyan people don’t like that.”

American people don’t like that,” I said. “No, it isn’t true. We don’t do that. Europeans don’t do it either.”

“You don’t do it? Really?” he said.

“No,” I told him. “Where did you hear that?”

Then again, starting that tradition might make the holidays less stressful for some; I guess it would depend on whether one felt he or she had "traded up" in the deal or not. Then again again, I doubt the Libyans imagine the wives to have any say in the matter, so we're back to increasing stress for at least half the participants after all. What we heathenish unmarrieds are supposed to do during that time, I hate to think. Probably prepare the pre-adultery banquet and (shudder) wash all the sheets afterward.

To me it's one of the saddest things to consider about countries governed with an iron fist--that their citizens' knowledge of the world is at roughly the level mine was back when I thought there "might be something" to talk of rock musicians employing backwards masking to get me to--yes!--worship Satan. You know? My excuse is, I was 12 years old. That's not nearly as good an excuse as, "My dictator told me so. And if I don't believe everything he says, he might put an even bigger picture of himself on my apartment building."

Posted by Ilyka at January 13, 2005 04:14 AM in news

Gives a whole new meaning to "hang out the stockings", doesn't it?

Posted by: Jim at January 13, 2005 07:02 PM

Hmmm....no wonder my husband was pushing me to have that huge neighborhood Christmas party...

Posted by: Cassandra at January 15, 2005 12:55 PM