It is Time for Some Levity, It Shall Be Provided; A Hamburger at the Grand Mosque McDonalds; Halal Defined; Emails Concerning My Presidency of an Elvis Presley Fan Club; Andy Borowitz Satire Cheers; Little engine That Could; A Commentary Concerning the Conditions in the UAE (Not Funny); Three Cartoons from The New Yorker Magazine

Well it is time for levity – we have been dealing with serious matters for several blogs and we shall unfortunately go back to serious matters but in the words of a commercial. You Deserve a Break Today! (I think it was an ad for McDonald’s). Did you know this??? There is a McDonald’s at the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.
Alter Ego:Is there really a McDonald’s at the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi?
Me: Yes there is and I had a hamburger there.
Alter Ego: Why?
Me: Because I could! Hahaha. I knew the meat had to be halal.
Alter Ego: What is that?
Me: Halal is an adjective denoting or relating to meat prepared as prescribed by Muslim law.

Here is more information obtained from Wikipedia. Halal (/həˈlɑːl/; Arabic: حلال, ḥalāl) is an Arabic word that translates to “permissible” in English. In the Quran, the word halal is contrasted with haram (forbidden). This binary opposition was elaborated into a more complex classification known as “the five decisions”: mandatory, recommended, neutral, reprehensible and forbidden.[ Islamic jurists disagree on whether the term halal covers the first two or the first first four of these categories.[1] In recent times, Islamic movements seeking to mobilize the masses and authors writing for a popular audience have emphasized the simpler distinction of halal and haram. The term halal is particularly associated with Islamic dietary laws and especially meat processed and prepared in accordance with those requirements. Wikipedia does go on endlessly about the matter, it its most interesting but this is supposed to be a funny blog. If you are curious, do look it up yourself. I now know absolutely everything that I will ever need to know about the subject.

I did promise levity which is humor or frivolity, especially the treatment of a serious matter with humor or in a manner lacking due respect.

The hilarity shall arise from a series of emails between yours truly (Alexis) and Computer Guru Chris. They have been edited for removal of bad language. I sent Chris an email, accompanied by my draft with the subject line: I did not see this posted.
He: Hey Sorry.. we were out for the day, we are entertaining two teenage girls for the week and we took them both to see the new Elvis movie, really, very good, but as I’m sure you’ll remember it goes quite downhill at the end.
Me: How funny! Did not know of a new Elvis movie. Did you know I was the President of an Elvis Presley fan club? Yeah – the good olde days. It is a funny story. I have no memory of my childhood so about seven years ago asked my high school friend about it.
Me: So we had am Elvis Presley fan club. I was the President.
Beth: I was the secretary.
Me: Did we have many members?
She: Just our friend Jenny.
I was extremely sorry I asked her. My dim memory held it in much higher esteem.
Chris: Clare wants to join.
Me: Please tell her she can be an Honorary Member for ten pounds sterling. 🤪 President Alexis

Incidentally Clare is Chris’ wife, Beryl is their female dog. Needing a little humour in my (and everyone’s life) I sent another email to Chris entitled: Discount rate for dogs 🐕.
Me: Beryl can be an honorary member of Elvis Presley fan club for two pounds. Offer must be accepted immediately upon receipt of this email. The Prez Alexis
Chris: She ain’t nothin but a hound dog 🐕 cryin’ all the time..xx
Me: I am dying laughing. This is definitely going on the blog.

I suppose being the President of the Elvis Presley fan club is not a serious matter but being the President of the United States is a serious matter. Andy Borowitz adds carefreeness, light-mindedness, high spirits, vivacity, liveliness, conviviality, cheerfulness, cheeriness, humor, gaiety, fun, jocularity, hilarity, frivolity,, amusement, mirth, laughter, merriment, glee, comedy, funniness, wit, wittiness, joviality, joking, drollery, good cheer, sportiveness, nonsense, irreverence, facetiousness, flippancy, blitheness, triviality, silliness, foolishness. His New Yorker satire provides all of that and he did it again.

This entitled: “Trump Claims Justice Department Cannot Prove He Ever Acted as a President.” There is a photo of Trump looking most smug, a perfect photo for what lies ahead. WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Predicting that “their case is about to fall apart,” Donald J. Trump claimed that the Department of Justice has “zero proof” that he ever acted as a President. “This is the greatest witch hunt of all time,” Trump told Fox News’s Sean Hannity. “Merrick Garland and the D.O.J. will never, ever find evidence of me doing something a President would do.”

I love it – “their case is going to fall apart”. But there is more. “This is like accusing Rudy Giuliani of being a lawyer,” he added.As for the White House aides who have been called before a grand jury, Trump said, “If any of them come up with even one example of me being a President, they’re lying.”Calling the D.O.J.’s investigation of him a “disgrace,” he warned, “If I can be accused of being a President, then anyone can. This should never be allowed to happen in our country.”

That is a killer, those last two lines: if I can be accused of being a President than anyone can”, coupled with this should never be allowed to happen in our country.” That does really say it all, now doesn’t it?!?! Satire is incredible social commentary, if truly is.

More humour from the New Yorker was a cartoon showing the Little Engine That Could with this caption. “The little engine that was tired of being a pawn in the coal industry, as there were many other more sustainable forms of power available” Now that is funny!.

The UAE has no postal service so I lived for five months without any mail. To say the very least it was disruptive and alienating leaving me feeling hopeless and helpless. As was the inability to have a bank account, a phone, an apartment or any signs of permanence and reliability. Without an Emerati ID nothing is possible and my retirement visa was denied after months of limbo. It was denied because my retirement fund is managed by the Marin County Employee’s Retirement Association not a bank. To receive the five year retirement visa the banks of the UAE must have your money. The banks are owned by the Royal Families. This unknown in the remainder od the world – the Windsors do not own or control the Bank of England nor any other banks. UAE visas are easily obtainable to set up businesses, the business account is held by one of the Royal banks. If the visa holder decides to leave the UAE they leave their money behind. Did not realize that when first going there – was assured that with the acceptable documentation of my pension income all I needed to give them was six months of bank records and my retirement visa would be assured. But my bank records showed the deposit of my monthly income not the three billion well managed monies that funded it. One can also obtain an Emeriti ID and visa if you invest in property. But the property is never held in a freehold but reverts back to Royalty. Selling the property not a viable option because Dubai, in particular, is overbuilt. There are hundreds of vacant buildings sometimes built with dirty money. I know all of this because people talk to me, trust me and talk to me. My hotel, the Abu Dhabi Airport Premier Inn was a center for people coming and going from the country so I met many people in dire straits, leaving their fortunes behind in the rapacious hand of Royalty. Rapacious is aggressively greedy or grasping. Its synonyms describe the activity: grasping, greedy, avaricious, acquisitive, covetous, mercenary, materialistic, insatiable, predatory, voracious, usurious, extortionate; money-grubbing; grabby. What was (and remains) so confusing to me is that I was in that country seeking refuge as a Muslim. The Rulers of the Middle East are Muslims. Allah abhors extravagance. It was all rather mind boggling. But the good news is that with my Canadian passport I was able to flee and live here. I have it all – an apartment, a phone, a bank account, a cadre of incredible professionals and a mail box where I can regularly and routinely receive mail. It is slightly slow and the zip codes with their letters and numbers difficult to remember but it comes. I now can receive the magazine of my New Yorker subscription. Therefore, humor again shall rule.

By the way, I had decided not to speak out about the ‘Babylon’ system in the UAE. Originally intended to when I could speak out without fear of reprisal but decided to move on with my life. However, Instagram brought tragic news of the death of a woman I met in Abu Dhabi and held dear. She had been victimized for years by the employment situation and lack of freedoms she experienced. Shall speak of this in a later blog.

But onward with the cartoons.

Of the first cartoon I say: “I do not cook much but my oven is still an oven.” The second cartoon does have a subtle message. Muslim women wear head scarves to identify themselves as Muslims. In some societies it does make them vulnerable to ridicule by bigots. I do love the third cartoon about spelling bees – we adults can take the fun away from everything.

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