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Present and Tense: Seating arrangements - Daily News Egypt

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Present and Tense: Seating arrangements

I relax by watching television. The news is always reassuring. Seals are dying in the North Sea. The North Pole is melting and will soon inundate waterfront villas in Mindanao. American soldiers bombed a wedding in western Iraq. Why am I having my wedding in Giza? I wonder. I could’ve had it in Falluja, or …


I relax by watching television. The news is always reassuring. Seals are dying in the North Sea. The North Pole is melting and will soon inundate waterfront villas in Mindanao. American soldiers bombed a wedding in western Iraq. Why am I having my wedding in Giza? I wonder.

I could’ve had it in Falluja, or at least Ramallah. Imagine the ambiance. A wedding in candlelight, in the basement of an abandoned weapons depot, and everyone would be in flak jackets instead of tuxedos. But: what about the seating arrangement?

Do we seat the guys from the Democratic Liberation Front with the CIA operatives working undercover as Italian explosives suppliers for the fundamentalists, or with the groom’s family, who are stopping over on their way to Bolivia from France, with Interpol in hot pursuit?

The seating arrangements will need further thought, my wife said. I promised to have a one-hour meeting with her on Monday, by which time I will know for sure if Hamas are willing to sit next to the Israelis posing as Iranian operatives, or next to the PLO guys, who said they don’t care where they sit so long as they get to work the room.

It’s all bedlam in the land of weddings. I have seven people working on it and the one who speaks only Romanian has been lost in the Khan, looking for percussion grenades for the final part of the ceremony. But that’s supposed to be a surprise, so I am withholding further details for now.

Eight o’clock sharp everyone. You know where to go. It’s all been written clearly in the invitation parcels and don’t forget that the orange pill is the chocolate treat, which you may consume at anytime of your choice. It’s just regular chocolate, for I have consulted with the local authorities and they told me that the possession of narcotics in this country is strictly prohibited.

So the other type of chocolate will be delivered from Amsterdam to your homes at a later date, and only for residents of Europe, Australia and the Far East. For others, please enjoy the Viennese chocolate truffles that my friend Fabiola generously provided from her home delivery business in Heldenplatz for this special occasion.

The other pill, half blue and half yellow, is not for immediate use. It is filled with a non-lethal form of sarin gas, which I have been able to procure at a reduced rate from a small shop in the Philippines, which also makes beautiful silk scarves for women that you may see soon in my summer collection. The important thing to remember is not to leave that pill within access of children. The doze can be harmful to children under 12 and hasn’t been yet tested on toddlers. This pill is just for entertainment purposes and I will tell you how and when to use it, so bring it along with you.

Stronger pills are also available through my agent but, due to import regulations, cannot be delivered in this country. The new address of my supplier will be flashed for one second on the left mega video screen at exactly 9 p.m., and you can use that address through May 12. After that all contacts have to be made with Jorgen in Straznice.

He’s a friend of the mayor and very trustworthy. He’s the one who got out Ali Hamza’s money from a Swiss Bank two years ago. You remember the case in Madrid against Ali’s brother, Ahmad? As it turned out, it was against EU banking regulations to release the money before the trial was over, and Ali was strapped for cash for the lawyers. Well, it was Jorgen who got him out of this. It wasn’t totally legal, but we made some phone calls. You can trust Jorgen, and he needs business now. I know.

As for the dress code, forget about the flak jackets. I was just joking, but by all means wear one if it’ll make you comfortable. There is absolutely no security detail that has been overlooked. I have five blocks of residential areas totally secured with cameras and sniffing dogs.

Don’t bring your own explosives. This is for the second part of the wedding and they will be supplied at your tables, after the toasts and before the band.

Wear tuxes if you can as a gesture of goodwill to the Americans. They’re all coming in this quaint form of ethnic attire, for color. There is no particular theme, so by all means, be original. The maid of honor will be in a turban with a silk embroidered robe. The best man is dressed as a Hutu or a Tutsi, I cannot remember, and don’t stare too much at the scar under his left eye. My sister Samiha is going to wear a bronze-gilded, see-through chador that emits a mild electric shock to anyone who pats her stomach, so leave her alone.

My organizers will call you one more time with further instructions. Please bear with us; we’re almost there.

Topics: Gamma Islamiya

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