Monday, August 18, 2008

Some Advice on Being an Out-Of-Work Quasi-Dictator

If you live in Pakistan and you don't live under a rock, chances are pretty good that you've already heard the news about my good buddy Pervez Musharraf. That's right, he bought a dog.

Unfortunately, that news was eclipsed today with the announcement of his resignation as the President of Pakistan. Needless to say, he's pretty distraught, not only because it means he has to file for unemployment - and those Pakistani unemployment forms are about three miles long and read like they're written in a foreign language - but also because Mr. Fluffles (that's the dog's name) wasn't even properly housebroken yet. And now he needs to start the whole breaking process over again in a new house.

Still, at least he'll have a house in which to break Mr. Fluffles, unlike the millions of Pakistanis who live under rocks.

Pervez can be a pretty emotional guy when things aren't going his way. Last year, for instance, during Game 2 of the American League Divisional Series between New York and Cleveland, Pervez was literally tearing his hair out when Joba Chamberlain pitched through a storm cloud of Lake Erie midges in the 8th inning instead of calling a timeout. "What the hell is he doing?" Pervez kept screaming. "Why does he persevere? Why doesn't Torre pull him off the mound and refuse to continue? He is fucking blind from these gnats!"

"They're midges," I said.

"Fuck you! I'm calling A-Rod!" Pervez screamed back at me, the veins in his forehead and neck pressing to escape the surface of his creamy brown skin. "What the hell is he doing?"

"A-Rod's on the field right now, dude," I said. "You need to relax."

"Shit! I got his fucking voicemail!"

"Alex is on the field right now," I said plaintively, in my best voicemail system voice. "He can't take your call."

"Alex! It's Pervez! Call me right away, it's very important!" He hung up and waited, staring alternately at the television screen and the phone, absently fingering a merit medal near the lapel of his jacket. "Fuck this, I'll send him a text message."

"Dude, you need to chill out. Maybe you should get a dog or something," I sagely, and somewhat contrivedly advised him.

"Fuck you!" he crowed. "Don't fucking tell me what to do, you buzzard!"

In the spirit of that comment, and out of my desire not to be called a buzzard again, I am not going to offer Pervez any advice on what to do with his life now that the whole President of Pakistan thing didn't pan out. I know he's always entertained the fanciful notion of taking eight months to backpack through Europe till he got to Amsterdam, where he would load up on weed and have sex with as many hookers as his considerable personal wealth would allow. But I also know he's something of an ice cream connosieur, and that he has a longstanding wish to tour the Ben & Jerry's factory in Waterbury, Vermont.

They give you free samples on that factory tour, which, in my opinion, makes it totally worthwhile. I couldn't care less what temperature the milk is reduced to, or how they add a ripple of fudge to their fudge ripple. The movie they show about the personal history of Ben and Jerry might as well be called "nap time." But bring on the free scoop of Chubby Hubby, you know what I'm saying?

They also give you free samples at the Guinness factory in Dublin, Ireland. Anyone else smell a theme trip idea? Not for Pervez Musharraf necessarily - it's an idea that anyone could use, whether he happens to be a recently deposed leader of a semi-authoritarian regime in southwest Asia, or, say, a 22-year-old with a freshly minted diploma from Brown.

Unrelated: I'm looking for some assistance with the Oscar '08 campaign, just in case there's any former Asian heads of state who suddenly have a lot of free time on their hands. No dogs allowed, though. Sorry, Mr. F.

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