Reaching Out to My USA Readers Using The Satire of Andy Borowitz; Ketchup and French Fries Not Lethal; Conversation with Saudi Man Provides Humor and a Possible Living Space; A Rant on Unsolicited Advice; Unsolicited Advice Heeded; An Obligation to Ban Tour Bus Hooligans Accepted; Photo of Two Books and Wonderful Muslim Women 

I am not sure if it was a bad dream (or what) but it suddenly occurred to me that I cannot just desert my USA readers as they are in the majority. Do not care to get all involved in Trump’s latest indictment or Biden’s increasing senility but it is necessary to throw the USA folks some crumbs. Where did I go? To Andy Borowitz of course. Have a handy dandy New Yorker subscription so it is easy enough to do. He delivered – do not have to know anything about US politics to find this funny. It appeared on July 19,2023: Police Baffled at Who Threw Ketchup at D.O.J. Building. (Department of Justice Building, for all those not of the USA). 

“WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Police in Washington, D.C., say they are “baffled” as to the identity of the person who hurled ketchup at the Department of Justice headquarters.The act of vandalism, which occurred in the early hours of Tuesday, left a red smear the approximate size of a paper plate on the side of the D.O.J. building, the Metropolitan Police Department has confirmed.” 

Not particularly funny so far. It does have one wondering why this is so worrisome considering the squalor and crime that surrounds the Washington D.C. capital. It has for years and years and years. I visited the capital thirty-seven years ago and was stranded in a black neighborhood as taxis did not pick up fares in those neighborhoods. Obviously I got out, cannot remember how (or what I was doing there in the first place). I tend to forget about the fact that I have been adventurous my whole life and LIVED TO TELL ABOUT IT. 

Back to Borowitz briefly: 

“An investigation of debris near the smear site indicates that French fries “may have played a role” in the incident, according to an M.P.D. spokesman.The spokesman, Harland Dorrinson, held an impromptu press conference to urge residents of the District to “remain calm,” assuring them that the ketchup-hurling event “appears to be an isolated incident,” though the identity of the perpetrator remains unknown.“M.P.D. profilers are working on this case around the clock,” he said. “They are attempting to determine who had the motivation, the lack of impulse control, and the access to ketchup and fries to commit such an act.”

What makes this both amusing and horrifying is that they are applying the same police investigative techniques as they do to the multiple mass gun murderers. The M.P.D. as well as all other ‘crime busters’ look to motivation, lack of impulse control and access – not to ketchup and fries but to weapons of mass destruction. Usually the perpetrator is known and dead when weapons of mass destruction are used. But apparently not when ketchup and French fries are employed. 

I hope this made you happy, you US folk. I shall try to amuse you and living in that wretched land is not fun. It certainly was in 1967 when I went to San Francisco, during the Summer of Love, wearing flowers in my hair. But NO MORE. 

Yesterday met another amazing Saudi man, who is encouraging me to live in Medina – make Medina my home. He even has a brilliant idea which may well be beyond my means. 

He: There is a compound here in Medina with people of various nationalities. There are villas for sale. I will inquire for you. 

Me: I do not need a villa. I am only one person. I do not want to buy because I am old with no children, no family, not even any girlfriends I want to live with. So why would I need a villa? And I have no furniture. 

He: I will inquire to see if they have rentals. There are smaller units. 

Me: Okay. I will be staying in this hotel when I first return and we can talk then. 

He spent time with me – telling me of his experiences. It was fascinating. He has a degree in Business Administration, a rather useless degree he admits. He was first hired as the Public Relations Director for the Medina Oberoi Hotel. In that capacity he met Princes, Kinds, Heads of State. He pleaded them naturally and was therefore ultimately successful. He is now the Resident Manager. 

Me: You and I have three things in common. 1) We are both Muslims 2) We both are able to please  Royalty and rich multibillionaires by just being ourselves  3) Before, when I worked, my desk was as messy as yours. Look at that pile of stuff. But you can find something in a minute. If somebody cleans you desk things are lost forever. 

He: Yes! My staff is warned – never touch my desk. Leave things where they are. 

He did give me some unsolicited advice. Amazingly I shall heed it. I usually am not the proud recipient of unsolicited advice. I shall first begin a rant against unsolicited advice.. 

This is where it will begin. “Something unsolicited was not asked for and possibly not wanted. Unsolicited calls and advice come whether we want them or not. One very common use of this word is in discussing “unsolicited advice” or feedback, which definitely has a negative spin.”Is it rude to offer unsolicited advice? “A habit of offering unsolicited advice is rude. This type of person sends signals of, “I think you have no idea what you’re doing, I’ll tell you what to do.” And their advice may be right or wrong. It may offer a relatable perspective or not.” The next question: Why do people give non solicited advice? Sometimes a stranger offers unsolicited advice as a way to start a conversation. Or a friend gives advice to forge a connection. Friends often assume they can help you by offering a solution, even if you didn’t ask for one. This type of advice is well-meaning. 

I have problems with that well-meaning concept. I would rather be destroyed, maimed or made unhappy by someone that has malice or is evil than to be destroyed mained or made unhappy by someone who is well-meaning. It is possible to defend oneself against an aggressor, a bully or a Satan. It is most difficult, if not impossible, to defend oneself against a well-meaning person. Allah (SWT) provides guidance in this instance. Well-meaning people are actually hypocrites. Hypocrites are mentioned constantly, consistently in the Quran – and never in a good way. Follow the Quran, treat the well-meaning person like a hypocrite and you shall earn Allah’s favor. 

But back to unsolicited advice. Why is it harmful? Unsolicited advice can be a type of manipulation because you may be trying to control an outcome for another person. Even if you have good intentions, the outcome can be detrimental to you. It is not your job to give advice to someone unless they have explicitly asked for it. Why is unsolicited advice wrong? Advice is actually a form of judgement over support. You might think you are being helpful by offering unsolicited advice, but giving your opinion freely actually says to another, ‘I don’t think you are smart enough to find your own answers. What do you call a person who gives unsolicited advice? A person who habitually gives unsolicited advice is often called a (or Mister) Know-it-all (or Know-all). Unsolicited advice is a form of aggression at worst and blurred boundaries at best

Despite all of this and that, I listened to this gem of unsolicited advice. It went like this. 

He: You need to stop telling people you are eighty. 

Me: Why? It is the truth and I am proud of it. 

He: But then people say you do not look like you are eighty (and you do not). So you are actually bragging when you say this and you might make others feel badly as they are not as blessed as you. 

Me: I never looked at it that way. You are right. I will stop doing that. But if people ask, is it okay to tell them my age? 

He: No, just be evasive. 

Me: Okay. I guess I cannot say: “None of your business, buddy”! 

He: No, that is not a good idea. 

Me: Okay. I will say: “Old enough to know better” or something like that. 

He: Very good response. 

Me: Thanks. By the way, how old are you? 

He: I am not telling! 

Me: Keep your silly secret. I do not care anyway. I am not planning to marry you. 

He: That is good. 

Me: For both of us. Hahahaha 

He: Hahaha 

That conversation actually took place, more or less. 

This morning was planned with some precision. Usually I awake Fajr prayer, groggily have coffee, make a list of intentions for the day, systematically preform them and cross them off the list, do some preliminary research and write the blog. Today was different. I awoke, got dressed and went out and about while it was sort of cool out. It was SO busy. I was amazed. Met a wonderful woman from Malaysia. Here are snippets from our conversation. 

Me: I understand that Malaysians who come to Hajj must pass a test first, Show that you have knowledge of the importance, the significance of Hajj and all that is expected of you. 

She: Yes. That is true. It is considered a privilege, an honor, a blessing bestowed by Allah (SWT) 

Me: That must be made mandatory for all countries. I was almost trampled alive two days ago with the absolute rudeness and animal like behavior of tour bus pilgrims. It was a desecration of the holy site of Rawdah. My prayers interrupted five times and those of my companions. It was a free for all. I could not believe the disrespect. It happens all the time, Even with the men, apparently. Hooligans have taken over the most precious of all holy places. It must stop, it is my mission.   

Hooligan is not the perfect word as it means: a violent young troublemaker, typically one of a gang. These women were not young. But the synonyms are descriptive: lout, vandal, ruffian, rowdy, troublemaker; tearaway;. rough, bruiser, roughneck, lager lout, chav, hoodie

You: That is a bit harsh 

Me: You were not there being trampled shoved and pushed while trying to offer prayers. One rowdy grabbed me for support. I dug my fingernails into her arm in self defense. I was determined not to be a martyr like those 68 heroes always remembered here in Medina. They were killed in the Battle of Umrah when deserted by the bow and arrow guys who left their positions to pillage as they thought victory was at hand. Greed motivated them and motivates the Hajj tour bus operators. The Prophet (PBUH) sacrificed his life to make Mecca, the House of Abraham Holy again. I intend to make Medina holy. If I loose my life in the process I will certainly go to Jannah. 

On the way back to my precious Oberoi Hotel stopped at a bookstore,, purchasing two books. One a child’s book which shall assist me in my abolition. The other chronicles the life of Ali – Fatima’s husband. I have decided, wished and prayed that my Ali  is waiting for me in Jannah. We shall see. 

Photos of my treasured books and people met on the morning outing to the Prophet’s Mosque.