A private matter
"I need you to fix my daughter's problem"
By Siamack Baniameri
October 6, 2000
My cell phone rang while I was in a meeting with a client. I didn't
recognize the number so I sent the call to my voice mail. A few hours later,
I checked my messages and heard a man's voice speaking English with a thick
accent. I didn't understand half the message and didn't catch the name.
But I was able to make out the phone number.
I got worried for a second. I thought there might be a family emergency
back home. I hesitantly dialed the number. A woman answered the phone.
"Pardon me, my name's Siamack and I'm returning a call that was
placed to my cell phone about an hour ago. I didn't catch the name but
I got this number."
"Excuse me, my name is Siamack. Is someone there trying to get
a hold of me?"
I thought my phone dropped the call. I looked at the console but the
connection was still there.
"Is anybody there?"
A man answered. "Alloo?"
"Sir, my name is Siamack. Is someone there trying to get a hold
"Alloo agha, I'm sorry for the confusion. I'm surrounded by idiots.
I got your number from a mutual friend. Your services are highly recommended.
My partner and I would like to set up a private appointment for lunch and
discuss a rather private matter with you, if possible."
I explained I preferred them to stop by my office. He insisted on lunch
and told me repeatedly that the matter was extremely private and felt more
comfortable discussing it in a more casual location. I was a bit confused.
This was highly unusual. But curiosity got the best of me. I asked him
if he could give me a clue as to what services he required. But again he
insisted that the matter was private and couldn't discuss it over the phone.
I arrived at the restaurant on time and looked around. The hostess asked
me if I was meeting anyone for lunch. I told her I was meeting two gentlemen
but wasn't sure what they looked like. The hostess was a smart little girl.
One look at my features and she knew exactly who I was meeting.
"Right this way, sir."
I followed her around to a table occupied by two super deluxe jaahels.
They looked like something out of an old Fardin movie; rough-looking guys
with big bushy mustaches, curly hair, big beer bellies, and wide shoulders.
One was taller, the other fatter. Sort of characters you ran away from
when you were a kid.
I am wondering, "What in the world can I do for these guys?"
We got engaged in small talk. They were done with lunch and were sipping
their teas. The waitress arrived with the check. Both of them grabbed the
bill at the same time. The waitress jumped back in fear. They stood up.
Two big, hairy Iranian men pulling on a piece of paper, shoving each other
back and forth. The entire restaurant was looking in our direction. The
waitress had a look of disbelief and panic on her face. I was sinking low
in my chair avoiding eye contact with other customers. A big plastic cup
full of ice flew off our table.
"No way. I'm not gonna let you pay."
"I get upset. Get your hands off that bill."
"No, I beg you. It's my treat."
The manager was making his way towards us. The couple siting next to
us switched tables. The hostess was on her way to call 911. I said, "Guys,
why don't the two of you figure out how much you owe and pay your shares."
I was ignored. The shoving match continued and both men were violently
pulling on the paper. The check tore apart and both men jerked backward
with heavy steps, each holding half of the bill. "There we go,"
I said. "Now you can each pay half." I was ignored again.
The taller man grabbed the waitress. I was waiting for her to start
screaming. He put a hundred-dollar bill in her hand and pushed her away.
The fat guy started running after her but got tackled by the tall man and
lost his momentum. The waitress was running towards the cash register,
pushing customers out of the way with the quickness of a professional running
back. The fat guy was out of breath already. The taller man sat back down
at the table with a smile that projected victory and satisfaction.
I looked around slowly to make sure there was no one in the restaurant
I knew. Finally, the fat guy sat down and started talking.
"Agha joon, you are here because you are highly recommended by
a friend who swears by your work."
"I'm flattered, but could you tell me who the mutual friend might
"He wants to stay anonymous in this transaction."
This is getting weird now, I'm thinking.
"Agha joon," he continues, "I'm not going to beat around
the bush and I'll tell you like it is. You have done this before so you
know perfectly what I'm going through. My 16-year-old daughter who is a
pain in my ass, ran off with some guy six mounts ago. Her mother and I
were devastated. We are a traditional Iranian family here and we can not
discuss a sensitive issue like this with anyone. Anyway, She ran out of
money and came home about a mount ago. She broke up with that son of a
bitch. You are young and don't understand how difficult it is to raise
a daughter in this country. Your children think you are an idiot. They
don't listen to anything you say. They spit on your face and call you names.
Anyway, I have a major problem on my hands. You see she has lost her virginity.
She has brought shame to my family."
I can't believe what I'm hearing. Why is he telling ME all this?
"I'm sorry, but what can I possibly do to help?"
"This is where you come into the picture. I need you to perform
one of your private services for my daughter."
"What private service?"
"You know. I need you to fix the little virginity problem."
"I'm not sure what you mean."
"I need you to perform the operation and sew up the damaged good."
"What damaged good? What are you talking about?" I cried out.
"I need you to perform the operation and fix my daughter's problem
like you always do. I need it to be absolutely confidential."
I am turning red and speechless. Stunned, I sip the glass of water.
"What the hell is the matter with you?" said the taller man.
"Sir," I stuttered, "I own a web design company. I develop
web sites. I write programs in HTML. I have never sewed a button in my
life, let alone a woman's mid section. You must have gotten me confused
with someone else."
The two men looked puzzled and confused. They were turning red. I thought
I was about to die. I pulled my seat back and was ready to run. The fat
man, looking seriously agitated asked, "Aren't you Dr. ...?"
"No sir, I'm no doctor."
They looked at each other again. The taller guy pulled out a piece of
paper, slammed it on the table in front of me and shouted, "Is this
your phone number?" I looked at the paper "No sir, the last digit
of my number is a 2 not 3."
Both men stood up and gave me a fierce look. The fat guy shouted , "If
you tell anyone about this , I will kill you. You son of a bitch".