Archive Sections: letters | music | index | features | photos | arts/lit | satire Find Iranian singles today!

The screen door
“Oh, Condi! Vow, hi! Big sooprise!”



The Badder Brigade
December 13, 2006

(It is the beginning to look like the evening through the windows, and Ali and his lovely wife are seated in an unremarkable kitchen in front of a kitchen table for four that just functioned both as the prep and dining area for their dinner.  A good meal has just been eaten, and a bottle or two of bootleg wine has been drunk.  The kitchen windows and back door are open to a purple sky.  Ali sits languidly on his chair, possibly listening to the music from the stereo and/or his wife’s conversation, or neither.  Every now and again, he nods his head downward slowly, his eyelids touching each time he does so.  The phone on the kitchen counter rings once, twice, three times, and by the fourth ring Ali has gotten up and -- grudgingly -- answered). 

Alo?”  (Silence, save for barely audible breathing and the static of mediocre telephone reception)  “Alo?

“It’s me.”

Eh, babakhseed ... ”

“Huh?  It’s me, dummy.”

(Hesitant, but snapping out of it and making an impressive recovery from his previous stupor) 

“Oh, Condi!  Vow, hi!  Big sooprise!”

(At the table, his wife instantly narrows her eyes upon hearing his words and tunes in to the developing conversation)

“How are you?”

“I am great!  I’m just ... making dinner.  Vow!  It is good to hear from y--”

“Is it?”

“Yes, of course!  Vell, tell me how you doing--”

“I’m not interrupting you, am I?”

“No, I--”

“Because if you’re having dinner with some people or someone, I could call back any other time.”

(Ali muffles the phone)  “Musiqi rah ghat kon va boro.  Boro baalaa.  Sedaai azat dar nayaad--”

“Are you with someone?”

“No, yes, just my brudder--”

“I could call back later if you are with someone right now.”

“No, I’m just making someting, just someting for my ... dinner, just some-“

“Ali, I understand.  Just tell me if you’re with someone, go ahead.  I’ll just call at another time.”

“Is just my brudder vit his radio, no, I am serious ... but if you vant later--”

“Ok, sure.”

(Silence reigns on both sides of the phone line.  Ali’s mouth is open, ready to speak, but waiting to see if she says anything first)

“Ok.  Ok ... vell it vas great--”

“So what are you doing these days?”

“I am, you know, same old tings, just vork, noting really--”

“Really?  You’re not getting out at all?  You should, you know.”

“I know, I vish I am going.  But really, I am serious, I don’t have time to go out to anyting but vork.” 

(Sighs)  “I understand.  We’ve certainly had a rough stretch these past few months.  It’s been a constant shitstorm over here, you know.”

“Eh ... ” (Ali searches his pockets for his cigarettes)  “Really. eshit estorm ... how did dat vork for you?”

“Well, I made it out, but the Party had a real setback.  We lost both the House and the Senate, and Bolton is out of the picture too.”

“Oh my godness, you lost house?  I am so sorry to hear dat--” 

“Yes, so am I.  (Sighs)  The only good thing that happened was that it all finally convinced George to drop that Dumsfeld, thank God.  He’s one reason why we’ve slowed down in the past few years.”



“Dat is de ... de Iraq guy, right?”

“What do you mean?”

“De guy who always go to Iraq--”

“Now wait Ali, I don’t understand.  Lots of people go to Iraq.  I go to Iraq.  Am I a guy?  Do I not show my support for our war?  Are you impugning on my support for my nation’s military?”

“No, I mean, he always see de, how do you say ... ”

“The troops?”

“Troops!  He is de Iraq troops guy.”

“He’s certainly not the only one who saw troops, by any means.  I’ve seen the troops.  In fact, I continue to see the troops.”

(Silence.  Ali is sitting resignedly at the table, resting his face on his hand-- a familiar gesture in such situations)

“I’m sorry Ali, it’s not your fault.  It’s just that so many people have been impugning on my dignity and reputation lately, and it angers me that people would impugn upon my dignity.  Impugn.  Anyway, don’t take Donald too seriously.  It was all just PR and politics to him.”

(Ali takes a drag off his cigarette)  “Vell, not anymore, right?”

(Condi laughs at a freakishly high pitch)  “Ha ha ha ha ha ... !”

“Yes, right?  And now you, you are so zerang, did you get his job?”

(The laughing stops immediately)

“No.  My job now is more important than his was.  Much more important.  Besides, I did his job half the time anyway.”

“Really?  He didn’t come to vork?”

“He came, but he didn’t do much.”

“Vas he drug addict or someting?”

(Another high pitched laughing fit from Condi)

“Oh, Ali, that’s just funny ... do you know how much trouble you’d get into for saying something like that in America?”

“Vell, dat is vhy I live in Iran, vere I get congratulations to say tings like dat!”

“Ha ha HA!  Oh, Ali, you kill me... (a sigh, followed by a short lull)  “But, you know, it all depends on how you look at it.”

“How are you saying?”

“I mean that some people wouldn’t congratulate you for living in Iran and saying things like that.  Some people, in fact, would wish that you were here in America, even if you were to say and do anti-American things.”

(Ali laughs uncomfortably, takes another drag)  “Yes, of course.  It is bad ting I live in Iran, because you are in Amrika, Condi.  Dere is no Condi here in Qazvin for me.”

(Silence.  Finally, it is broken by Condi’s gushing)

“Well ... what if we could do something about that?”

“Oh believe me, I vish dat ve could do someting about it.  It’s too bad tings are so bad vit Iran and USA.  It is impossible for me and you to see each udder.”

(The smile can be heard in Condi’s voice)  “Well ... what if I told you that, um ... that I was maybe somewhere in the neighborhood?”

“Vow!  Really?  Vere, are you in Istanbul?”

“I could be ... but I could also be a little closer than that.”

“So ve are playing dis game ... ok ... are you in Baku?”


(Ali takes a long drag and exhales forcefully)  “Don’t tell me you are in Tehran!”

“I won’t.  But I can’t promise to tell you that I’m not in Qazvin.”

(Ali suddenly begins to cough, the cigarette flying from his mouth.  He slams the phone on the receiver immediately, then sits and stares ahead blankly, coughing and quietly hyperventilating at the same time, contemplating what he has just done.  Several seconds pass.  He looks down at the phone.  He continues to look.  It rings again.) Comment

The Badder Brigade is a brigade of truth, enlightenment, and aggressive posturing. And love. The Badder Brigade does not opine; it presents facts, objective analyses, and frequent brilliance. It features peer-reviewed scholarship and commentary from important people with important views to share. The writers of the Badder Brigade will under no circumstances respond to emails, whether from sympathetic readers or outraged moralists, frankly because they do not have the time or patience to do so. Finally, the Badder Brigade has absolutely no relation to the Badr Brigade, other than a mutual fondness for the term 'brigade', and possibly 'brigadier'.


The Badder Brigade



The Pursuit of Pleasure
Drugs and Stimulants in Iranian History, 1500-1900
by Rudi Matthee

Copyright 1995-2013, Iranian LLC.   |    User Agreement and Privacy Policy   |    Rights and Permissions