So the cousin from southern California and her husband made a quick day trip to hang with us hillbillies at the beach.
Things were moving along fine, we were excited to get some treats from the Middle East from her hubs (he’s from Jordan so he knows where to buy all the good grub locally) and we could barely hold ourselves back from tearing into some sangak — a very chewy flat bread with sesame seeds that is divine — and the must-have block of Nabulsi cheese. It’s a flavorful squeaky cheese with little black caraway seeds that is mighty addicting.
By flavorful, I mean salty. But ooooh. It is good.
We were sitting around chatting about life in general and asking how the other members of the family were getting along and having some laughs when the man from the Middle East starts railing against Romney.
I had to laugh because he railed against Bush, he railed against Obama, he rails against Netanyahu ... if you wanna pick a political fight with someone, he’s your man. He doesn’t really know a whole lot about politics, only what he gets from NBC or Rachael Maddow.
“Trusted” news sources.
I asked him what his beef with Romney was.
“He didn’t pay taxes!” he said excitedly, scooting his bull-sized frame to the edge of the groaning love seat.
“What? What are you talking about? Didn’t pay taxes? Where did you hear that? Oh, no, you weren’t listening to the liberal media again were you?” I just kept laughing because getting hostile about politics is his favorite thing. I have never seen a person get more animated. And to hear someone talk about American politics with a heavy Middle Eastern accent just makes it all the more fun.
He is, by the way, an American citizen. He went through all the legal channels. Now, however, he’s been unemployed for about two years but can’t get unemployment because he didn’t work anywhere long enough to qualify.
He tried selling cars, and I was very enthusiastic for him, but after about six weeks on the job, I realized he knew nothing about the cars he was selling. He was merely on the lot to have an audience every day.
We took a van out for a test drive. High-end Toyota.
“Does this have a sun roof?”
It did, but he didn’t know how to get it working.
Didn’t know how the power seats worked.
Didn’t know how to turn on the air conditioning.
Didn’t know the gas mileage.
Wasn’t sure about the price.
He sat in the back, like we were taking him to the airport.
“Hey, how’s the view from back there?” I hollered out to him.
“Oh, just fine! Keep driving!” he said.
I looked back a couple of minutes later and he was sawin’ logs.
I guess it’s a good reason to take someone out for a test drive. You get to have a little cat nap!
After we’d gone around the block a couple of times, he slowly came around and said, “Where are we?”
I said, “Don’t worry, we haven’t left the state yet!”
He laughed and said, “Well, we should go back or I’m gonna get in trouble! So, you buyin’ this baby today?”
“It’s too expensive and too low to the ground. I don’t like the big skirt around it. Nice interior, though!”
Back at the dealership, he put on a big show for the manager who was there peeking out through the blinds. I said, “Is he gonna come out and hard sell us?”
“No. Ziss guy, he’s an idiot. I don’t like him.”
It just hit me who he reminds me of.
Sgt. Schultz, on “Hogan’s Heroes.” Only Middle Eastern.
OK, so know you have a picture of what cousin’s hubs is like.
He started going at Romney like Mitt had just hit the big red “I Dare You” button on the desk in the Oval Office.
I said, “You know what? You’re just jealous because he figured out how to keep his millions and not have all his money tank on the stock market. That’s all.”
“No! I don’t like him because he doesn’t pay taxes!”
I had to go look up what Romney’s released tax statements were and I said, “If he hadn’t paid, he wouldn’t get to run. That’s all there is to it. Here. Look.”
He came around to see my computer and started laughing.
“OK, are you satisfied now?” I asked him.
“No, because I think it’s a lie! He lies juss like every other politician!”
“Oh now, don’t tell me you’re gonna vote for Obama again?”
“No, I won’t vote for him because he is Muslim! I don’t like Muslims!”
“Now how do you know he’s a Muslim?”
Yes, I like to antagonize him just as much as he likes to put on the gloves.
“He is Muslim because (and here he paused) he BOWS to them like he is their BROTHER! Come on! Ziss guy ... he is Muslim!”
We went round and round about it and I asked him if he was going to vote.
“Of course! I’m a citizen, why shouldn’t I vote?”
“And although it ain’t a dang bit of my business, who are you going to vote for?”
He sat down, laughing out loud like he normally does, and slapped his knees.
“Romney!” he shouted.
“Why is that?”
“Because ... (another pause) ... I’m not stupid.”
Welcome to the club, my friend.
Welcome to the club.