---------------------------------------------- Serious satire "Humor is a funny way of being serious" -Thomas Edison -------------------- To have your emails deleted please write to me at renatoobeid@hotmail.com -------------------- Copyright© 2001-2010, Renato Obeid

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    "Top blog/Renato Obeid's World/Today's pick: This rambling weblog is worth reading not so much for its satirical posts but more for its insight into the minutiae of life in Lebanon, including the etiquette of road accidents and how to hire a taxi.” -Jane Perrone, The Guardian

    Friday, March 28, 2003  
    Although I made that up, it's not as improbable as it sounds.
    The Beirut franchise of the American TGIF (Thank God It's Friday) chain should certainly be renamed that for one.
    Years ago I was refused a beer there because it was the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan – although it was nighttime, i.e. long after that day's fasting period had ended (the fast being observed from sunup to sundown).
    The waiter mumbled something about the owner being a Kuwaiti, to which I replied that they should change the establishment's name to Thank Allah It's Thursday in that case.
    I'm not a bigot (live and let live as far as I'm concerned) nor an alcoholic for that matter but I think that a Christian (or even a non-observing or progressive Muslim) should be able to get a drink in a public establishment in the capital of his own country - multi-confessional Lebanon which is notionally half Christian and half Muslim.
    There are nineteen officially state-recognized sects in this country – let's drink to that! Whatever and whenever we bloody want to!

    What I like about Sydney is that no matter how casually dressed you are, think you are or are afraid you'll be, you're never as casually dressed as you think you are and can never be too casually dressed.
    Fashion-wise, anything goes (or doesn’t go for that matter) in the Harbour city, with the exception of a few establishments – e.g. RSL and Leagues Clubs who have signs out the front informing, in words and pictures, that items such as singlets, shorts and thongs (the old Australian uniform until Melbournians came along and forced us all to dress like Italians*) are prohibited.
    Only in Australia (particularly in Sydney) is that sort of signage required!
    That's why Australia is the lucky country - "we don't (as the Australian mantra goes) take ourselves too seriously".
    The paradoxical ironic exception to that is that the only thing Australians are serious about is "not taking themselves too seriously"
    Go figure!
    My entire kingdom (namely www.renatoobeidsworld.blogspot.com) to the wise man who can solve a riddle much more complex than the Riddle of the Sphinx, namely "why are Australians so serious about not taking themselves too seriously?"
    Put that on a bloody pyramid!
    If, somewhere out there in the desert, there's an Australian pyrmaid that we've yet to discover,you can be sure that that's the inscription on it!
    My guess is that this is a consequence of Australia’s myth of egalitarianism and informality.
    But the fact is that Australians take themselves as seriously or not seriously as any other people do and the fact that they’re so serious about not taking themselves too serious by definition does indeed mean that they do take themselves too seriously.Methinks they protest too much
    Australia abolished the death penalty long ago but "taking yourself too seriously" is practically a capital offence.
    Despite all that, every year thousand of Australians somehow manage to "take themselves too seriously".
    That’s why, as a community service, I'm publishing the toll-free dob in hotline number of The National Don't Take Oneself Too Seriously Council – 1800 SERIOUS TAKERS.
    Australia – we don't take ourselves too seriously! ® **

    *I'm still Renato from the block – the block grid city (Melbourne) and proud of it but fair's fair.
    **(Paradoxical) Conditions apply

    One million Australians live overseas; five hundred thousand of them earn at least one million AUD per annum.
    I'm not one of them.
    One of them earns at least zero AUD a year.
    I'm one of them*.
    At least I've got my health and, much more importantly, I don't take myself too seriously

    *Figures correct at time of writing – I'm open to offers (come on, lets make it five hundred thousand and one Australians living abroad who are making over a million dollars!).

    The other day at the pub quiz we were asked "which European country has the smallest coastline?"
    The answer being Monaco, off course, which we, off course, got right but I overheard Peter Bollocks, on a nearby table, answering amongst his teammates some landlocked European country.
    When somebody pointed out to him that that country was indeed landlocked, thus no coastline, he blusteringly replied "well, how much smaller a coastline can you get than nothing?"
    Maybe he's right in a way.
    Speaking of pub quizzes, one of the reasons why I like Madonna's latest song, "American Life", is that the video clip is practically a table round.
    For those who, unlike me, have a life and aren’t familiar with pub quizzing, a table round is the middle round in the quiz where you're given a sheet of paper pasted with the faces of celebrities, flags of countries etc.
    "American Life" is essentially a video table round because it basically consists of a face shot of Madonna with images of the words flags superimposed in the background – albeit a speeded up table round in that those flags are shown individually for barely a split second (enough time though to recognize them though).


    1:10 am

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