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Satire

Harfe man, harfe mardom 
I said, they said

By Karim Shirazi
January 20, 2004
iranian.com

The story happened about 45 years ago when I was half way thru first grade in New Year breaks. That day my dad was in a business trip and my brother out with his friends and it made me quite bored being by myself and all that while my mom was cooking in the kitchen.

That's when the devil come to me in a whispering voice and said: "You should go to a movie!"

I knew he always was putting me in trouble so I told him, "Noo!"

And he said, "Yees."

And I said, "No, I never been to a movie."

And he said, "It is fun, goo."

And I said, "Yeees," and jumped up, put on one of those cutie faces and went to my mom.

"Mamaan! Can I have 8 rials?"

"What you want 8 rials for?"

"I am bored I want to go buy the toy I saw the other day. And she said, no. But after a little whining and crying she got tired and gave me the money and I run to the movie theater in a flash."

It was always easy to full my mom to help me in my mischievous deeds. Dad knew better to let me do anything and my older brother which was 12 years older than me already had a claim on teaching me 1 or 2 lessons on how a good kid has to behave and since he himself was an active member of neighborhood trouble makers association he knew all the tricks on the book and I was very much afraid of him and his smacks on the back of my head.

But in reality I was 7 years old and I knew most everything I needed to know about everything. So I went to the theater spend 6 rials on the ticket, 2 rials for noon o aaloo (potato) and squeezed myself to the first row of the theater with a hole bunch of other kids, and every one of us enjoyed the movie more than mother's milk without even knowing what is going on as far as the story was concerned.

You should be a very lucky kid if the first movie you see in your life be a double feature full of fist fight and singing and dancing and I am telling you I was the happiest kid in the world that night until the movie finished and I walked out of theater.

As I said the movie was a double feature, one Iranian comedy with Taabesh and Ghadakchiaan and second one, I remember was "seven bride for seven brothers" -- a 3 hour long color musical and both together about five hours worth of movies for my money which took way to the midnight and when I walked out of the theater I saw the surprise of my 7 year long life.

The circle in front of the theater was dark, the stores were closed and nobody was in the street except the late moviegoers. It was almost midnight.

Oh my god what am I gonna do, they're going to kill me if I go home this time of night, beside the ally is dark and some jen is going to attack me, I thought in terror.

I almost start to cry when the devil came to my help one more time, he whispered to me: "You are going to Shah Cheragh and sleep there tonight." And I said, "Noo". And he said, " Yees."

And there was no other choice. I heard a lot of people from small towns come to Shah Cheragh shrine in Shiraz and say they are sick and they let them sleep in the mausoleum.

"I go tell them I am sick too."

And he said, "What a boy! Right on! Hurry up and run".

And I started running toward Shah Cheragh. But when I got there, another surprise of my life. The door was closed and there was nobody around but some thieves, beggars and peddlers getting ready to go home. Now I was really scared, I could not think any more, what am I going to do now? I better get some help. The devil was not there this time so I went to a peddler.

In a whispering voice I said, "Mashti! Where are the people who sleep in Shah Cheragh?"

And he said, "Why?"

"I am sick, I want to sleep in there."

"You don't look sick."

I started crying: "It is too late and I can't go home. They are going to beat me up."

And those were the words that turned my life upside down.

As soon as I said that, he called all the thieves, beggars and peddlers and in no time about 20 of them surrounded me, all with their own questions and concerns and I tried to answer every one of them to the best of my ability but somehow the story did not come out right.

They were talking among themselves and analyzing the information to figure out what the real story was. They kept talking and the story would go round and round and kept changing and I kept correcting them. But who is going to listen to a 7 year old kid anyway?

Finally they decided to send me home with the police. And now I was really, really in trouble. One of them called on Sed Jalaal, the man in blue! Sed Jalaal, a very skinny tall man with his pants tided with a big belt right on his ribs and a hat bigger than his head, slowly walked toward the crowd and asked: "Haa... what is going on?"

Smebody from the crowed explained, "This boy's mother divorced his old father and married a young man."

I screamed, "Noo!" But who listens to a 7 year old anyway?

"Now the new husband doesn't like the kid, so he beats him up and throws him out into the ally every night. Please take him to his house and find out why they are mean to this poor kid." (Didn't I tell you I was in trouble?)

Sed Jalaal taped me on the back and said, "Let's go," and we walked toward my house, in absolute darkness but in the shadow of the law. Although I was not afraid of any jen
attacks with a cop by my side, I was more afraid of what laid ahead at home.

Finally we got to the house and Sed Jalaal knocked on the door just the way any man of the law knocks and in 2 seconds my mom and brother flashed at the opening and as soon as Sed Jalaal saw them he started shouting at my mom, "You old witch! Aren't you ashamed of your self? Divorcing the father of your child (and my mom's jaw dropped) and marrying a young man like this (and my brother's jaws dropped). Aren't you ashamed?"

That's when my brother grabbed me by arm and said, "You go to your room." But I did not go. I knew there was way too much heat in my room that night so I went straight inside the closet and closed the door without turning the lights on. The jen didn't matter to me any more. I just wanted to know what was going to happened next.

It took them a long time before they came upstairs and I heard my mom whispered to my brother, "Leave him alone tonight." To me it was a gleam of hope; I wouldn't be killed tonight and tomorrow was another day. Ten minutes later the closet door slightly opened and a warm kind small hand pushed a bowl of food inside and said, "Bokhor... khabar-e marget!" ("Eat... You're dead!").

When I woke up in the morning I did not have the guts to go out. I was just sitting there thinking how people can ruin your life by making up stories. I waited to see when my brother left the room. I wanted to go to the ally and tell my buddies about the movie I had seen the night before.

Suddenly the door opened and my brother told me to get out. I was trying to run from under his arm when he grabbed my left ear (and I hated that). He pulled me all the way to the corner of the room and threw me on the floor and that is first time I saw a belt in his hand.

I screamed "Maamaan.........!" But there was no maamaan, she was out shopping. With a devilish smile, my brother looked into my eyes, raised the belt over his head and said, "Your mom divorced your dad!"

And I said, "Noo." (Slash).

"And married a young man!"

"Noo." (Slash).

"They beat you!"

"Noo." (Slash).

"And throw you out into the ally!"

"Noo," and I start crying.

He stopped and said, "Now get lost and remember not to make these kinds of stories, you put the whole family in shame!" And when I was running out of his way he shouted, "And you are not going out in the ally!"

The rest of the day I stayed home recuperating from the ordeal. But the next day early in the morning I was in the ally telling the kids all about the fist fights in the movie.

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