‘More haste, less speed!’ [Archives:2003/53/Last Page]

December 24 2003

Written by Abdulrahman Mutahhar
Translated by Janet Watson
Ma – Now tell me, my crazy husband, did we go out in the car to buy the shopping or did we go out to have an argument with other people in the middle of the street?
M – What could I do, Mus’ida? It wasn’t my doing. The whole thing suddenly popped up out of the blue!
Ma – The only thing that popped up out of the blue was you! Honestly, I don’t know anyone like you!
M – What on earth have I done now?
Ma – You know perfectly well what you’ve done! The people who clean the street, who take away all the rubbish which makes the city an eyesore, told you to wait until they had swept that pile of rubbish out of your way. You thought you were above them and couldn’t care less for their efforts, though, and simply ploughed through the rubbish, scattering it all over the street.
M – I was in a hurry. I wanted to get your shopping and take you back to the house, and then go back to sign on at work!
Ma – Oh so that’s it is it! You were trying to help me, and I couldn’t care less. Well you didn’t consider the street cleaners while you were trying to help me, did you! You went and hit that man’s car, smashing his brake lights, and all because of your arrogance with the poor street cleaners, and because of driving too fast down a street packed with traffic and pedestrians. Where’s all that modesty and patience that you keep going on about, eh?
M – Oh go on! Why don’t you just get a rod and give me a good hiding?!
Ma – I don’t need to, you’ve already given yourself a good hiding! You thought you were above the street cleaners and the rules of the road. You smashed that driver’s brake lights and stopped him being able to go to work. Then you and he went and had a wrestling match in the middle of the road, and everyone gathered round to see what his Lordship was doing. The money we were going to use for the shopping was used to pay for the lights, and we came back home without any shopping, all because of your legendary patience and brilliant behaviour! As the Yemeni proverb goes, ‘He who sees Mus’id in the marketplace congratulates his family!’