Last night, I had an appointment to show my rental property to a 20-something medical student named Suleman. We’d spoken on the phone, and I guess I thought he was Indian perhaps. When he got out of the car, however, he looked like the grown version of the male rapist from The Kite Runner (which I’d watched on DVD the night before). Dark skin; long and thick beard. He had an attractive Persian-looking wife with him whom I was afraid to look at, and his mother-in-law came. She said it smelled like mold. I assured her there was no mold and that I’d just painted. Everyone knows fresh paint and mold smell just alike.
As they walk up, I don’t know if I’m supposed to shake hands or give the dual pecks or bow or what. So I stand there like an adolescent kid with a cold does when he meets one of his father’s friends and is consequently afraid to shake hands but still feels some sort of formal greeting is owed. I’m certain this makes me look quite like a douche bag.
When I showed him the washer/dryer combination, he mentioned to his mother-in-law that he saw similar machines in college in Pakistan. I’m thinking about how my condo is in the general area of town where several of the 9/11 hijackers took flying lessons and blew off steam at a strip club down the road right before the Big Flight, and I’m remembering the fact that I have a military license plate on the back of my car and an Air Force base sticker on my front windshield, and I’m thinking there’s no way this guy is going to become my tenant, because he hates me and thinks I’m an infidel and may well know that I’ve been to Iraq twice and deserve to live with Satan as penance.
Then I showed him the attic door and talked about its storage capacity, saying, “Yeah, I used to keep a bike up here, extra boxes, Christ-I mean-holiday decorations–or you know, seasonal stuff can fit up there, if you’re into that…like, you know, Ramadan…” He looked at me. My periphery seemed to reveal his wife’s smiling at my bumbling, but again, I was scared to address her, so I didn’t look closely. I’m thinking I can’t believe I referenced Ramadan decorations and how they’d fit in the attic. I need to find a stationary object on which to bang my head like Dobby the house elf. I’m now positive that I’ve lost a potential customer and am picturing the protagonist in The Kite Runner getting the hell beat out of him and am wondering how I’d look with black eyes and no teeth.
The trio walk away. I stay inside until they’ve driven off and then make sure to leave in the opposite direction. I pick up some Indian takeout to try and assuage my feelings of utter foolishness, knowing full well that an endorsement of India is an endorsement of Pakistan, right? Atoned and happy, I go home and research the P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act.
*update: Suleman wrote me to say he found another property that “better met his needs.” Big surprise.
For other self-deprecating bloggers with no semblance of sophistication, check out these funny blogs!
I am so tickled excited that the muskrat blog had a reference to “Dobby the house elf.”
I don’t think you did that poorly at all. I mean, where else do they expect to store their Ramadan Cactus and its ornaments?
ha. Having known the Muskrat for over 20 years I can picture him fidgeting during this experience. Man, I’d have loved to see it. I felt uneasy just reading it.
On a serious note: Have you READ The Kite Runner? It’s excellent.
Awesome…that was awkwardly great.
I wonder if they sell different color “rubbermaids” for the different holidays in Pakistan like they do at Walmart for Christman/halloween…etc. Methinks they’d all be brown.
Would a Festivus pole fit in that attic?
Is it big enough for my menorahs and mezuzzahs? Jewish holiday decorations are lightweight and portable in case we have to leave the country suddenly without a lot of hand luggage and our money and jewels sewn into our garments.
It has been many years since I have laughed so hard, even at a Muskrat. “…like, you know, Ramadan….” SERIOUSLY? If you really said that, I am pleased to make this unlikely mid-life entry into a log I’ve been keeping for years, which is loosely titled: Captain Fidget’s All Time Most Uncomfortable Moments. If you wish to avoid such brown-people-related incidents in the future, I strongly encourage you to avoid meeting with curry-eaters again without Pretty Bride. A worthy escort, her anthropological leanings might have spared you the suggestion that the freaking shoe bomber had boxes of Christmas tree ornaments shaped like a certain crimson-clad elephant that require attic storage. But then, we would never have had this best of all blog posts, would we? Well done, Muskrat. By the time you inched in the house elf reference, I already new that I’d retire a fully entertained woman tonight. (And that’s saying something.) ?
BTW, Nikazy is spot on. READ the Kite Runner. I have not seen the movie, but can’t imagine it holds up to the novel.
Next time you take my picture I will have shaved ….
I’m forwarding this to Mohammed Elmasry. Expect a Canadian human rights indictment soon, Infidel!
Staghounds, you frighten me!
To the rest of y’all, yes, I was fidgety. Thanks for the love and comments!
It did smell like mold and we never put our Ramadan decorations in storage – that would be blaspheme. Allah be praised.
We found a place with wooden grids over all the windows so the infidels could not lust over my wife and mother in law as they use their tongues to proclaim the lalalalalalalalala praise of allah. Allah be praised.
Jihad on the evil capitalist landlord barons!!!!!!!!!!! Allah be praised.
Suleman, you scare me! Keep praising; I think it keeps you placated.
I believe that Dobby the house elf would have shot this man on site, and then been decorated for heroism on behalf of a grateful elf nation. And the only thing he would be banging is the Persian-looking wife. But that’s just Dobby…
Muslim makes Muskrat mushy. Mistakenly mumbles malapropism.
Like I said, not my best.
Brother, Dobby is quite a beast, and I agree with your prophesy here.
AvatG, I like what you did with the material, which was just plain awkward.