Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Fall and Rise of the House of Salim 7

7
The Land of Milk and Money

Finally he stood up again, and walked back to his grandmother's house, that he had last visited before fleeing the city. He found there the box of money and jewels that he had hidden, because he had written this on the back cover of his copy of the Koran. He realized the money had greatly decayed in value, but that the jewels were much more valuable than before, and this more than evened out. He walked back to the small city of his birth, by his old house, and found that it was up for sale. He briefly thought of buying it, but decided that a house in town without wives to keep it, was far too much trouble.
So he went wandering until he found a dilapidated farm for sale, though no one was around. Realizing that the wrong thing to do is the right thing to do, he simply took the sign down, and moved in. He bought cattle and set up a dairy.
This life suited Salim better than any since he pissed for a living, since running a dairy is basically getting cows to piss milk. He had a bad memory, but since he had to do the same things day in and day out, it was not so bad. The fences were in such bad repair, that bulls got in and mated with the cows, so he did not have to do anything but feed the cows, milk the cows, and sell the milk. He spent the first money to buy a book on dairy farming, and he read this every single day.

After his time in America, Salim returned home to his hometown, now a small city of 7 millions. He bought the house he was born in, and paid to clean it up. He then decided to find out the fates of his four wives.
He found out that his first wife had gone back into being a Madame, and was found after having been run over by a truck, four times. According to the news story, she had been stealing from customers when they were having sex.
God is good. God is great. But don't mess with him while he is getting it on.
He found out that his second wife had gone to America, and gotten married to a woman. The woman then had a sex change operation to being a man. The two of them had been deported for two parking tickets, and fought the government to have their marriage recognized. They were living in poverty in the same city. Salim sent them some money, and a week later they were found dead having been robbed and raped by a man who was taken away shouting that he was going to cure all the lesbians in Longwindia the same way. The man was acquitted at his trial and ran for parliament.
God is good. God is great. But not everyone seems to appreciate his gay children.
His third wife had gone into acting in pornography, and had contracted AIDS after doing a movie where she had anal sex with 15 men. She was now in a hospital near Mumblebuy.
God is good. God is great. But perhaps he is not so fond of gang bang videos.
His fourth wife he found working in a small shop. She immediately recognized him, and flattered him. He was so enamored of her sweet words that he took her back in, along with their two children.

God is good. God is great. Especially to gold diggers.

Current Novel Lengths

                                        finished     completed    up
Marne                               31,000           40,000

New Testment
 Mark                                 41,000           41,000        *
 Rendition                          36,000          37,000

Mars                                  76,000           76,000       *
Salim                                 18,000           18,000       *
Ishar                                  26,000           26,000

Seven Sons for Seven  Sisters
 Silent Sphere                   125,000         125,000    *
 Warren of Undercurrert    39,000          125,000

I Have an Idea

 it involves a place known as Earthsea.  and while there is some relationship to  Ursula K Le Guin,  it has a completely separate worldview.  if anyone knows anyone who was playing at MIT ever so long ago,  they would like it.  it will come out in about 6 to 9 months from now.

It will be called Farsea.

a question of translation

Ian gives another excellent post

Arabic literature in English has really good post up

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Fall and Rise of the House of Salim 6

6
The Wanderings of Salim, Master Fakir

So out went Salim, emptied of all possessions, wearing only a simple pancha, and carrying only a begging bowl. He hoped that all of the people looking for him would never guess that the once rich Salim, and the once famous Salome, had been reduced to this. His one compensation was that as he stopped drinking the tea, his manhood grew back, and back, and back, and back, until he had testicles the size of watermelons, and a dick that swung between his knees. So while he was very happy that there was more of him than ever before, he was unhappy that he had no wives, and that he had to waddle back and forth on his way down the road. Unbeknownst to him, the waddling had made his rice bag swing back and forth, and bang against his knees. So absorbed in his own problems was Salim, that he did not notice it. Over time the banging had made a hole in the rice bag, and grains of rice were dropping out, one by one, as he waddled along. So absorbed in is own problems was Salim, that he did not notice this.
As he did so, a small group of baby ducks saw him, and their mother and father being away, they began to follow him, because he waddled like a duck, picking up the grains of rice that fell out of his bowl. And while they followed, quacking, they looked at each other, as if talking. Salim waddled, the ducks waddled and quacked. So absorbed in his own problems was Salim, he did not notice this.
Not long there afterwards, a cat started following the baby ducks, but because Salim was so close by, the cat did not dare take one of the ducklings. But he did yowl from time to time in frustration. Salim waddled, the ducks waddled and quacked, the cat followed and yowled. So absorbed in his own problems was Salim, he did not notice this.
Not long there afterwards, a dog started to follow the cat. But because of the noise of the ducklings, he did not dare attack the cat. But he did bark from time to time, to scare the cat. Salim waddled, the ducks waddled and quacked, the cat followed and yowled, the dog ran and barked. So absorbed in his own problems was Salim, he did not notice this.
Not long there afterwards, some birds landed on the back of the dog, to pick at his fleas. The dog was annoyed at first, but the birds were picking at the fleas, and this was such a relief, that he put up with it. They began chirping. Salim waddled, the ducks waddled and quacked, the cat followed and yowled, the dog ran and barked, the birds chirped. So absorbed in his own problems was Salim, he did not notice this.
Not long there afterwards, two cattle heard the birds, and knowing that this was the sound of the cattle egret, they followed hoping to get their own backs picked clean. The egret saw them and began fluttering around, and picking at the parasites on the back of the cattle. The cattle brayed as they walked. Salim waddled, the ducks waddled and quacked, the cat followed and yowled, the dog ran and barked, the birds chirped, the cattle brayed and walked. So absorbed in his own problems was Salim, he did not notice this.
Finally an elephant heard the noise, and pushed aside the fence that was in its way. It saw the cattle egrets, and the cattle, and hoped to have its back picked clean. So the egret flew from the running dog, to the walking cattle, to the trumpeting elephant. And still so absorbed in his own problems was Salim, that he still did not notice this.
However the town he was walking through was filled with people who stopped and gaped. Children pointed, old men stared, old women gossiped. Mothers hushed their sons, not to disturb such an obvious holy man in the middle of leading the animals on a pilgrimage.
A beggar saw the procession, and he thought what a wonderful meal the ducklings would make, and so he grabbed a bag and began stalking the procession, hoping to get a duckling. An old woman with a dinner party saw the procession, and she thought the cat would make a perfect delicacy to serve, so she took her pot, and began chasing after the whole procession. The cats of the town saw a single dog, and all those birds, and decided that if they killed the dog, they could hunt the birds and have a truly sumptuous repast. The farmer who owned the cattle, who had been chasing after them for many miles finally caught up with them, slowly panting as he walked, half bent over, but determined to get his cattle back. A great white hunter saw the elephant, and thought this was his chance to make up for shooting the governor on the last hunt, so he loaded his big, heavy, elephant gun, and went out to shoot the elephant.
This whole mob chased after Salim and his pilgrimage of animals.

Salim waddled.

The ducks quacked.

The cat followed.

The dog barked.

The birds flew and chirped.

The cattle wandered.

The elephant trumpeted.

The beggar chased the ducks.

The woman chased the cat.

The cats chased the dog and the birds.

The farmer chased the cattle.

The hunter chased the elephant.

And the people watched. Clearly this was a very holy man.
When Salim reached the center of the square, he finally turned around, just to see how far he had walked, and he looked at the entire assembly, and they all looked at him, and every duck, dog, cat, cattle, and person ran and scattered in every direction.

There was a huge commotion.
God is good, God is great. If you wish peace to be upon you, praise God. And get out of the way of any charging elephants, or you will have more peace than you know what to do with.
The people watching applauded; it was one of the most amazing sights they had ever seen.
They talked among themselves, and agreed that this was the greatest fakir they had seen. Well, all but three, who were all fakirs who had hoped to set themselves up in the town, but now knew that until they dethroned this interloper, that they had no chance at all.
So the first fakir came up to Salim, and he looked at Salim, and Salim looked at him. The first fakir said. “I accuse you of being a fake fakir.”
“No,” said Salim, “I am not a fake fakir, because I am not a fakir at all. I am just wandering begging for my living.”
“That is a lie, you purposefully created a great spectacle to show off your abilities.”

“If you say so.” Said Salim, confused.
“I challenge you to a breathing contest, I can go hours without breathing, and if you are a greater fakir than I, you have to prove it by going longer between breathes than I.”
“If you insist,” said Salim. Because, after all, since he was not a fakir, claiming to be one was the wrong thing to do, and the wrong thing to do is the right thing to do.
So they set themselves up in the square, and a judge was appointed, the first fakir grew calm and began to ready himself. But because he knew that the people loved Salim already, he wanted to watch to make sure that if by some miracle the contest was close, he would not be cheated.
The judge raised his hand, they both took their last breaths, and the judge dropped his hand, signaling that the contest was to begin. The fakir was still. Salim, however, knew no more about holding his breath than, well, he knew about anything else, and immediately his cheeks puffed out. He had to bear down his jaw to hold in his cheeks. He then grabbed his nose with his fingers, and had to grab his hand with his other hand. He was shaking and fell over, his arms twisting and writhing. The fakir pointed and said, “There, he took a breath.” But Salim, despite all the thrashing around, had not taken a breath, and everyone had seen this. The judge pointed at the first fakir, and said, “You have lost.”
The crowd cheered. Someone shook some bells and small cymbals.
God is good. God is great. Praise be to God. Otherwise, it is often better to keep your mouth shut.
So the second fakir walked up, and said, “I accuse you of being a fake fakir.”
Salim, having gained confidence from the first time, said “I am at least as real as the first fakir who challenged me.”
“Well he is obviously fake too.”
“If you say so. But it seems to me that a real fakir would be less concerned with other fakirs.”
“I say that the first fake fakir was your confederate, who you paid to fail in such an obvious way to enhance your standing.”
Salim shook his head, and said, “I can truly say that I had never seen him before, never talked to him before, and have never paid him anything to the best of my memory.”
“I challenge you to a fire walking contest. You have to be able to walk farther than I, or you are a fake.”
Salim, thought, well since I am still not a fakir, then claiming to be one is the wrong thing to do. So, since the wrong thing to do, is the right thing to do, I should accept.
“I accept.”
So the town's folk built a big bonfire, and it was let to go to coals. The second fakir insisted that Salim walk in front, because he was afraid that Salim would not walk the coals. Salim lined up and stared at the roiling hot bed of coals, and he was afraid, because, of course, he knew no more about firewalking than he knew about anything else. He decided to just walk forward, because caution was the right thing to do, and the right thing to do is the wrong thing to do. He took a step, and his watermelon sized balls swung one way, and his long dick swung the other way, and he felt a pain on his foot that made him take another step. The second fakir was almost to the point of laughter, but remembering how the first fakir had failed, kept his mouth shut and walked right behind Salim, hoping, if nothing else to be able to push him down.
Salim was in a terrible shape, every step was painful, and he almost had to dance to prevent himself from screaming. He jumped up and down, spun, and did the steps from dancing from his time as Salome. These were burned into his brain, and he did not even know he knew them. Every moment the second fakir was right behind him, but was also in terrible shape, because Salim was making such slow progress that the second fakir's own feet were being burned. Even worse, Salim's dancing and jumping meant that the swinging of his balls and dick were fanning the coals to be even hotter.
Finally the second fakir was spending so much energy fighting the pain, that when he looked up and saw Salim jumping and spinning, his dick sticking out three feet as he spiraled around, his balls smashing into his thighs, that the fakir could not help but laughing from his belly. This proved, alas to be fatal, as he then fell straight over into the flames. They tried to pull him out, but he was burned horribly, and died several days later in terrible pain.
Salim did not even notice this, but hopped, howled, and spun, to the other side.
The judge declared Salim the winner again.
The crowd cheered. Someone shook some bells and small cymbals.

The third fakir strode forward, confident that he had discovered the key to success. He knew that the best way to lie, was to tell the truth. Or most of it.
Salim looked at him.
“So you accuse me of being a fake fakir?” Asked Salim.
“No. I freely admit, oh stranger, that after seeing your pilgrimage of animals, and your victory in the breathing contest, and your victory in the firewalking contest, that you are a great and mighty fakir.”
Salim was puzzled, because, after all, if someone is doing the right thing, it must be because they think it to be the wrong thing.
“That is very generous of you.”

“You are so great and mighty, that I will tell you that the whole town wants you to be their fakir.”
“Well that is very kind of them, but I am a wanderer, and do not want to settle down again.”

“No, really, we all insist very much that you settle down and be the fakir.”

“I have denied once wanting to be fakir, now I deny it twice.”

“Truly your humility is overwhelmingly great.”

“I have twice denied wanting to be fakir, now I deny it thrice.”

“So you do not want to be fakir?”

“I do not want to be fakir of the town.”

“So you would not mind if I nominate myself to be fakir of the town.”

“That's between you and the town. I am just a wanderer.”

The crowd was very disappointed, but accepted that Salim was a wanderer, and that was his karma.

So Salim wandered on alone, still trailing rice behind him, though from a full rice bag. The third fakir took over, taking no pay at all, saying the job was his satisfaction. As far as anyone knows he is still the fakir of the town, and fucking the young boys without anyone knowing, because, of course, that is what he had always intended to do. He only did it for the satisfaction.

God is good. God is great. But most people, somewhat less noble.

And in this way Salim made his progress. He begged for rice, lost most of it to the hole in the bag, and was always followed by birds of the air and water. People thought him to be more and more holy. As the months wore on, Salim's manhood slowly went back to the their right proportions, and his sandals were worn thin. He finally sat down one day, and began to read the Koran.
A revelation came to him.
His feet hurt, and he did not want to walk any more.


the old generation speaks, and we should listen

Last night was a very odd.  I talked to two very old friends,  who are in that twilight of a region which could go on for some time,  and to hear their thoughts about the state of the world.  realize that they are  both very  very much in a hurry,  because they only have a little time.  and therefore they want to get on with things,  because very much in a hurry could be 20 years or so.

They were both thinking of what can be done very soon,  to reach future goals that are on tap.  realize there much more in a hurry then my generation,  who realizes that they actually have to think something,  rather than do something.  My generation is in the grinding mode,  where things like equal marriage are going to happen,  and  relatively quickly in the long scale of things.  but my generation has realized that they aren't the youngest  generation anymore,  which in some ways is good,  because change is fighting for something,  it's watching the old generation die.  and the old generation,  the really old generation,  wasn't actually present,   they are slipping their bonds and just going away.

Anyway,  the old generation has something to say which we in our 30 and 40 somethings should listen to.  just as 15 years ago the older generation said that they were not going to fight for capital punishment,  though a majority still wanted it,  they weren't going to pull the trigger,  so while the deep conservative states were going to quash  more bodies there would be fewer in number,  say New Hampshire.

So what divide is our divine?  In one simple phrase,  the environment.  All the older generation doesn't concern themselves,  really,  with the environment,  the younger generation does.  the older generation says it does something,  but like Ebola it's really just a scare tactic.  The  younger generation things not about Ebola but all of this still yet unnamed pathogens that don't yet have a name.  the older generation wants to wipe out things that have the name,  the younger generation wants to wipe out things that don't have a name.

The other thing that the older generation is saying to itself,  and the rest of the us should listen,  is that  gay marriage is done for,  and they should get used.  the younger crowd hasn't even got this on the radar,  and the older generation is coming to terms with that.

Now I'm going to get back to my fiction,  so long for now.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Fall and Rise of the House of Salim 5

5
Salim becomes Salome

Salim, still dressed in women's clothes ran away from the city as fast as he could, which was quite fast, since he was young, thin, and got lots of exercise. He ran past the decaying bridges, he ran past the crumbling schools. He ran past the over age libraries. But the police stations were all shiny and new.
He ran out to the countryside as night fell, but still he kept running. In the dark, he stumbled into a camp and tripped over a tent and fell forward. They looked at this person, who they saw in women's clothes and stood him up. It was clear that he was a man in women's clothes. He looked around, most of the people he saw were also in women's clothing, and most were clearly men, and most of the rest were not clearly women.
Then a wiry old man pointed at the new comer and said.

“Look, a new Hijra come to join us!”

They all clapped and applauded.

Soon several were clustered around him, very very close, but not touching. Then finally one began to stroke Salim's face, which was just developing a ragged beard. Other reached out and twirled a finger in his hair, which was still short, and another touched the hem of his clothes, which was worn. Then, as if by signal they descended upon him, cleaning his nails, shaving his face, scenting his hair, putting on make up. Salim was too terrified to move.
They continued to tease the hair, they pasted false finger nails on, and false eyelashes, they rouged his cheeks again, they pushed him into high wedge shoes, they put a red dot on his forehead, and they dropped large sunglasses on his face, round with turtleshell rims.

God is good. God is great, but even God can go gaga.

When they were done, there stood a glowing apparition, which, if it could not have possibly been taken for a woman, was clearly no longer presenting as a man. Salim was speechless as they rolled up a mirror, but not in a good way.
His knees knocked together, he was terrified, he knew no more about being a Hijra, really, than he knew about anything. However, this was refuge of a sort, and if he could simply slip away at some point, he could collect the money and valuables that he had hidden in his grandmother's house, and be free, after a fashion, to find his wives, and somehow bounce back from this most recent reverse.
For once, he really was not in any difficulty as to knowing the wrong thing to do, he was sure that hiding like this as a coward, while who knows what was done to his wives and his children, was the wrong thing to do.
God is good. God is great. Particularly great at providing those painful moments of unforgettable clarity.
At this point, they took him before the guru, who leered a lecherous leer at him, but made no motion towards him physically. Salim felt his bones turn to yoghurt, and his meat become as flaccid as chicken cooked in a clay pot, almost ready to fall apart at the slightest touch.
The guru clapped his hands together three times.
“Wonderful! Since we have weddings soon, the new she must be taught how to dance!” There was noise and clapping and shaking of bells and small cymbals.

“Now tell me, what was your name in your old life?”
Salim did not like the sound of that, but in a quavering voice he said: “Salim.”
“Wonderful, you are half way to a new life.”
There was noise and clapping and shaking of bells and small cymbals.
“Your new name, is Salome.”
There was noise and clapping and shaking of bells and small cymbals.
“Do you have anything to say, Salome?”
Salim had nothing to say, but he found that Salome had a good deal to say.
“I am not sure I am really meant for this,” and then remembering some ghost of the manners he was taught, quickly changed course, “Attention and care. You are all too kind, and I am positively unworthy.”
“So, you, Salome, think you are not really cut out for this?”
“Well, yes.” Said Salome. Or Salim. Both, either. It really was a duet in one voice on that one.

“Wonderful!”

There was noise and clapping and the shaking of bells and small cymbals.

“So, Salome, we will make the final cut on you in a week, and then you will truly feel cut out for this.”
Salome wasn't sure about this, and Salim was positively horrified.
God is good. God is great. God gives you want you deserve to get.
So they took Salome away and began teaching her the dances and chants and gestures that made up their wedding dance. Sadly, neither Salim nor Salome had any rhythm what-so-ever, and had no voice at all. In part, this was because every moment he was quaking with dread about what was to happen, and partly because, well he had no talent at all. Whenever he was to turn left, she went right, whenever he was supposed to go towards the audience, she went away, whenever he was supposed to spin right, she spun left.
But this worked, since everyone quickly learned that Salome could not remember the steps, but had an almost instinctual ability to read everyone else and go exactly the wrong way, it made Salome a natural star of the dancing. After two days, they were very happy, but of course, Salome was miserable. Finally, one very old Hijra came to Salome's tent late at night. Salim and Salome were both scared that he was going to be used like a woman, but instead the old Hijra spoke softly and said.
“I have seen that you are frightened.”
Salim and Salome both bobbed their head up and down violently.
“It is natural.”
Salim thought because all of this it was unnatural, at least for him.

“So because of this, I give you this.” She offered up a bag that was fragrant of some hard to place odor.
“What will it do, oh old wise one?” Salome at least, could find her voice, Salim was still busy grieving his not yet lost manhood.
“This will make your manhood shrivel, and your testicles ascend, it will weaken their effect, but it is almost always reversible. We give this to those who are not quite sure yet that they want to go this road permanently.
Salim was overjoyed, rapidly thanks flowed, and Salim listened very attentively, very, very, oh so attentively, to the instructions for preparation and application. He wanted to use not a drop more than needed, but not a drop less either.
So several days passed, and when the time came Salome was given time to make up her mind, as is the prerogative of women the world over. But they did working her in the weddings. Salim had to get used to all of the indignities that women are subject to at such events, or should have, but never did. Every time he would come back sweating and uncomfortable.
But his being exactly off rapidly became considered to be an attraction. Salim thought that truly, even in dancing, the wrong thing to do, was the right thing to do.
God is good. God is great. And god loves a good party.

However, at one particularly large wedding, with a large and complex dance routine, Salome came too aware of how she was out of step, and of course, she then turned right when she was supposed to. This was a disaster, as one dancer after another tripped and stacked up, creating a huge pile in the center. The drums kept beating. There was noise, there was clapping, there was the shaking o bells and small cymbals. Never had the guests seen such an occurrence. They paid double and then double again for this once in a life time spectacle of every dancer on the stage being wrong, except the one who had been out of step for all of the rest of the dance.
However, sadly for Salim, Salome's leg was broken, and she would not be able to dance for the next several weddings. This, according to the iron laws of the troupe, meant she would not be fed, unless she worked as a sacred prostitute instead. The days passed, and Salim was again terrified. Then on the last meal before the next wedding, inspiration struck. Salim asked for a chance to see the great guru, and Salome was granted time alone with him.
Salome walked in, her brocade dresses having gotten finer and finer as she had brought in more and more money. They rustled softly, as Salome's body had gotten softer under the influence of the tea. The guru gave a lecherous leer. Outside there was noise, and clapping, and the shaking of bells and small cymbals.
“Great guru.”
“Yes, Salome?” His voice dripping with expectation, as much as Salome's body was dripping with sweat.
“I have come to enlightenment on something.”

“Yes, Salome?” The guru's hands were shaking in expectation, as much as Salome's hands were shaking in fear.

“There is something I want as much as life itself.”

“Yes, Salome?” The guru's man flesh grew hard, as much as Salome's ass was hard with clenched up panic.

“I know what I need to do in place of dancing.”

“Yes, Salome?” The guru's body rolled back and forward, as much as Salome's stomach rolled up and down.”

“In the ceremony, it is often the case that a Hijra gives marriage advice.”

The guru thought how wonderful it would be to add Salome to his wives.

“And you have decided?”

“That is the job I want, so that I can be here without being a burden. We do not have one right now.”

The guru's heart sank, the guru's gut sank. But most importantly, the guru's dick sank. But, in the cold light of thought, he thought that this was an idea. A truly horrible idea.
“But Salome, how can you give advice, if you haven't been married.”
The guru gave a lecherous leer, and outside there was noise and all that, because of course the guru had pulled the tent open behind Salome, and everyone could see and hear the whole thing.
“In my old life, I was married. Four times.”

“And so divorced three times. That would disqualify you.”

“No, I was one of the faithful, and had four wives.”

“And stayed married to all of them?”

“Yes, guru.”

Even the guru was impressed, and so he gave his consent.

And there was noise, and clapping, and the shaking of bells and small cymbals.
So the day of the wedding came to pass. The troupe went into town, making noise and clapping, and rattling bells and small cymbals. There was a crowd to meet them, throwing coins at them, while they threw flowers and garlands and containers of lipstick back.
The wedding was held, and after the dancing, Salome was set on a small seat, and the first couple came up, they were both richly dressed and were quite rotund with prosperity. They were also both clearly miserable. The husband mumbled something, and then the wife spoke. She explained that her husband was a successful farmer, and insisted on doing everything himself. She stayed at home, and all she had to do was to cook to occupy her time. So they were fat, but unhappy. Very, very, very, unhappy. The wife moaned about how the husband left her alone in a small house with a leaky roof, and then only came back to shovel food into his face before falling asleep. And snoring. Loudly.

So Salome sat, and Salim had an idea.

“You are to manage the farm, and your husband stay home, and cook for a year.”

“Really?”

“Truly,” said Salome, “The wrong thing to do, is the right thing to do.”

There was noise and clapping, and the shaking of bells and small cymbals. What an appropriate decision!

Both made a face, and looked unhappy, but it was less unhappy than before, so they agreed to try it.

The next couple came up.

They were both small boned and thin, and had seen some number of years, though it was hard to say how many. The husband explained that they seemed to be strangers. The wife complained they never talked any more.

This one was easy.

“I want you to fight at least once a day, it does not matter how small a matter it is over. One fight, every day.

“Really?”

“Truly,” said Salome, “The wrong thing to do, is the right thing to do.”

There was deadly silence. What a dreadful decision!

Then the third couple came up. They were both slouched forward, and disheveled, as if they barely had had the energy to get dressed.

The wife explained their problem. It seemed they both were depressed because they could not have children, and did not know what to live for.

“Then kill yourselves. Obviously.”

“Really?”

“Truly,” said Salome, “The wrong thing to do, is the right thing to do.”

They went around this way, and for months, it seemed they were becoming more and more popular. It seemed that everyone wanted to find out what horrible thing Salome would say next. Finally a whole year had passed, and they came back to the same town that Salome had first officiated a wedding.

The troupe came back, making noise and clapping, and rattling bells and small cymbals. There was a crowd to meet them, throwing coins at them, while they threw flowers and garlands and containers of lipstick back. While they paraded in, a thin woman ran up to Salome, and a thin man behind her. The thin woman threw her arms around Salome. “It is so good of you to return! You have saved our marriage.” Salim's memory was still not good, but even if it had been, it would have been difficult to recognize the person.

“What happened?”

“We were the first couple at the wedding a year ago.”

“And.”

“You told us that we had to swap our duties. I was to run the farm, and he was to cook and clean.”

“And how did it work?”

“Well, first, my husband is a terrible cook. So we both stopped eating because his food was so bad.”

“And.”

“Well we were very unhappy, and it turned out I was a terrible farmer, I wasn't even close enough to strong enough to pull the plow, or to pump the water into the rice paddies.”

“And.”

“Well at first we were miserable, but we thought, you gave us the advice, and we should give it a whole year.”

“And.”

“So we started to lose weight, and I was near home all the time.”

“And.”

“So we began to talk again, and we were both much healthier, having lost so much weight. And I planted vegetables and flowers and other small things.”

“And.”

“Well at this point we were not so unhappy.”

“And.”

“Well I sold the vegetables and flowers, and we had as much money as my husband made from wheat and rice. So we were less unhappy. And another thing, as we lost weight, we both snored less.”

“And.”

“Well then there was a massive typhoon, it ruined the whole grain harvest. We would have been wiped out!”

“Did your husband ever become a better cook?”

“Oh no, but that is the strangest thing, once he was home he did all the cleaning I was not strong enough to do, and did all the repairs that I was not strong enough to do, such as fixing the roof. When the storm came, everything was ready, and we were safe. We stayed the storm out, ate our vegetables, and looked into each other's eyes. Now I am pregnant and we are very happy.”

“Good. See, the wrong thing to do, is the right thing to do.”

“Yes! Thank you Mistress Salome.”

The troupe walked a little way farther, and then a man and a woman ran up to her and embraced her. Salim's memory was still quite poor, but even if it had been better, it would have been difficult to recognize the couple, they looked young, and both of them had skin that was taut.

“Oh Mistress Salome, we are so grateful.”

“What happened?”

“We were the second couple you advised at the wedding.”

“And what happened?”

“Well we started out fighting every day. We were so miserable, and the fighting made it worse! But, we thought, since you gave us the advice, we should try it for a whole year.”

“And.”

“Well, while we fought, at least we were talking to each other, and everything that we had never said came out. Oh so often, the other person had been doing something wrong, and not knowing it. So we changed these things one by one. We were a little less unhappy.”

“And.”

“Two things happened. First, we started talking without fighting, and second, we became so good at arguing, that we both applied to law school, and have both been accepted. So now, we will both be lawyers, and be respected and well off. All because of fighting every day!”
“That's wonderful. Remember, the wrong thing to do, is the right thing to do.”
“Yes, Mistress Salome!” And they both thanked her.
The troupe progressed very slowly at this point, because they were very near the center of town. When they reached the center, a man and a woman ran up to her and embraced her. Salim's memory was still quite poor, but even if it had been better, it would have been difficult to recognize the couple, they were bright eyed and energetic, and filled with life.

“Oh, Mistress Salome, we are so grateful.”

“What happened?”

“We were the third couple you advised at the wedding.”

“And what happened?”

“Well, we were so depressed, that we agreed to kill each other, but we were both afraid. So my husband studied to be a police officer, and I studied to be an apothecary. We agreed that I would poison him, and he would shoot me.”

“And.”

“Well on the appointed day, we both realized how much we loved life, and how much we had to live for, with him almost ready to graduate and be a police officer, and with me having a good future as an apothecary. So we broke down in tears and hugged each other, and decided never to waste another day.”

“Good. See, the wrong thing to do, is the right thing to do.”

“Yes! Thank you Mistress Salome.”

And so it was, that the fame of Mistress Salome's marriage advice grew, and this went on for another year, until someone came to the troupe and offered Salome a radio show. But Salim refused, since it would mean never escaping this identity, which he still intended to do.
Also during this time, the wise woman who was providing Salome with the tea noticed how he read the Koran every day. She also noticed that whenever he read certain verses, he would become agitated, so she started cutting out whatever he read the night before. Over the two years, she cut a great deal. By the end, Salim was reading all of what he had in only 10 days.

He was becoming holier and holier.

God is good. God is great. We just need to make a few small changes. Though many people are waiting for the director's cut.

After two years, the troupe prospered, and Salome was famous. The guru had become very rich but he was very very unhappy. Salome was renowned for wisdom, and the guru knew that she was a fool. Salome was more and more renowned for her beauty, and his wives and hijra were jealous. Salome was famous, and he was obscure.

All of this made her want to fuck her even more than before, but as she became more famous, she was less and less in danger of any such thing happening.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Fall and Rise of the House of Salim 4

4
The Miracle of Utter Rubbish

After five years, Salim was only 17, but already, because of the tireless efforts of his wives, he had managed not to become the poorest man in the small city of now six millions, and so was by default one of the richest men in the small city of now six millions. It seemed appropriate that Salim become more involved in the affairs of the town, and despite his youth, because of his rapidly growing wealth, he had a reputation for brilliance. All anyone knew is that he constantly entered businesses and left them, and each time turned out to be richer and more influential than the time before.

So, since he was so rich, he had to be smart.

There was a hunger upon the city, and so the new city elders, the ones that replaced the ones that had disliked Salim so much, came to Salim, and asked him what he had helped accomplish the last time. He told them that if you tried to help the poor things would get better before they got worse, but if you tried to hurt the poor, things would better before they got worse.

The city elders were very confused about this, and asked Salim for an example. So he told them: “Once they took the bad grain, and they fed it to the poor.”

“Oh, this is terrible, how inhumane!”

'The poor got sick and died, and the city was free of poor.”

“That is brilliant!” They exclaimed, “Why didn't we think of that!”

“What is more,” he went on, “burying all the dead was very profitable for a while; so many grew rich."
“That is amazing!” said the town fathers, almost pissing themselves in eagerness to enact this plan
.
“But then no work got done, because with out the very poor to do everything that no one wanted to do, there was no one to do everything that everyone wanted done, but no one wanted to do. So when the last poor person died, who was there to pay 10 rupees to bury the poor, and charge 100 rupees from the pauper's burial fund, or to beg for it from other people?”
“But,” the town fathers asked, “aren't there always more poor? Won't more just come here?”

“No,” he said, “because the poor attract the poor.”

“So what about the other way?”

“Well if you feed the poor, there will be more poor.”

“Ah, so it is inhuman to be humane.”

“So it seems.”

“So how do you resolve this?”

“I have thought long and hard. My blessed father told me that the right thing to do, is the wrong thing to do.”

“That seems strange.”

“Stranger than you might think.” Said Salim.

“How so?” The town fathers asked.

“Consider. If you do the right thing hoping for a reward, does not the holy Koran say that it will be the wrong thing?”

“Well if you are muslim.”

“So I am. Is it so?”

“It is so.”

“Very well then. If you do the wrong thing, it is also the wrong thing.”

“Yes.”

“So if you do the right thing, and hope for gain, it is the wrong thing. So you should do the right thing, so it becomes the wrong thing. And so the right thing to do is the right thing to do, because it is the wrong thing to do. So you shouldn't do it.”

“That is terrible. And if we do the wrong thing, does it become the right thing?”
“Yes, but then it is the wrong thing, because you hoped to do the wrong thing.”

“Such a quandary!”

“Yes, but I have found an answer.”

“Tell us, O wise, rich Salim.” But they repeated themselves.

“God wants what is easy, not what is hard.”

“Yes, so it says.”

“So the easy thing to do is to do nothing about it.”

“Yes.”

“So do whatever is easiest, and don't think about the consequences, because then, if it is the right thing to do, it is virtuous and will be rewarded, because you did not hope for benefit. And if it is the wrong thing to do, you will gain because the wrong thing to do is the right thing to do.”

“How brilliant!” And so the scribes copied it down, and the sermons repeated it, and the town father's had it written on the city gates: “The right thing to do, is the wrong thing to do.”
And it became the motto of Udder Prudish. The official policy of the government was to take the easy way out of any problem.

Soon industry was booming and there were no problems with the poor, because the air was so polluted that people died quickly. This also balanced the state's pension fund, because with people dying so quickly, they cost less in pensions. Because the prognosis was so poor, they saved money on the state health insurance system, because treatments were declared to be “not cost effective.” The more this happened, the more money the state saved. The next step was to take the garbage from all of the other parts of Longwindia, because Salim told them how he had made money on shitty glass. So soon the dumps of the state were bulging with needles, and thorium sludge and everything everyone else would not take. When the garbage dump exploded, they gave honors to the plant manager for his saving millions of rupees in health expenses, pension expenses, aid to the poor, and school education expenses. The town fathers remarked that it was amazing how cheap government could be if you didn't have any people.

Soon the state was being written about in the Economist as the model for the “Boom in Shitty Longwindia.” There was even a vote to change the name from “Udder Prudish” to “Utter Rubbish.” It passed overwhelmingly, but the Super's said "No."  By 5 to 4, of course, with one conservative setting with four liberals.

All of this even rated a chapter in the new edition of “The World is Fat.”

God is good. God is great. And garbage is his profit.

Salim was a minor celebrity; he was interviewed by television stations, and even a producer came from Holeywood, in America, to see if this life story would make a good movie. The producer sat down with Salim, and asked him about his life. Salim spared no detail, including having four wives, and how he had gotten success by poison grain, loose sewage, and prostitution. The producer wrote all of this down and called his executive producer, who listened intently and said that all that sex would never do to keep an “R” rating, and asked if they could change it to Salim popping his wives' eyes out to keep it down to a PG-13.
The producer asked, but Salim said that he couldn't imagine such a thing.
The producer called his executive producer back, and they tried asking about amputations with chainsaws, peeling skin off with scalpels, burning hair off with gasoline, and dunking them in acid. All, they assured Salim, would be rated PG-13 or less in America, and so a big box office smash.

They were very disappointed when Salim said “No.” Imagine, though the producer, a film about a man having sex with his wives. It would cause western civilization to collapse if people saw such heinous acts on screen.

But never fear, a producer from Mumblebuy, came, and a Follywood movie was made, only all the names were changed, and the women were all better singers and lighter skinned than Salim's wives. It did very well, especially in Africa. So a studio bought the rights to this, and turned it into a slasher film, proclaiming it “based on a true story!” It made a great deal of money around the world, especially in America. After all, all you need is love.

God is good! God is great! But God is no longer rated G.

There was so much savings in government, that the bond rating of the state of the nicknamed Utter Rubbish was slashed, and the interest rates they had to pay went up. The Wall Street Journal said that this was because of the high corporate tax rate of 1%. So the government lowered taxes to −10% on corporations, paying 10 rupees for every 100 rupee that a company made, since how could people be expected to invest in the state which was called Utter Rubbish, unless it was rated AAA by Standard and Poors.

Begrudgingly, the rating was raised back, but they were warned, that now that revenues had gone down, they needed to cut services to match revenues. So the government scratched their head. “Our people don't have clean water, most don't have electricity, and only a few have telephones. How can we cut services?”
They needed more revenue, so they came to Salim. He said that the government of the state should find a way to get at all the freeloaders who the state buried, taking up precious land resources. He also said that high death taxes should be cut, because, of course, high death taxes would discourage people from dying. So they ended inheritance taxes and went on by imposing a “Final Destination Fee” for dying inside of Utter Rubbish. After all, why should people slack off by such a dodge as dying.
But even this wasn't enough, so they came to Salim. He said that the government of the state should sell the water rights, because of all the success he had had in sewage. So they sold the water rights. People were arrested for walking out in the rain, because they were stopping water from getting to its rightful owner. There were disturbances, but they were put down harshly. Even the old Marxists came out and declared that there was never an excuse for violence. Except when there was, like when Christopher Hitchens pissed his pants over something.
But even this was not enough, so they came to Salim. He said that the government of the state should remove all laws on guns. First he said that if you never did anything wrong, you would never have anything to fear, and then pointing out that every death was a savings against the spiraling pension costs, and every shooting created work in taking care of injuries. They could also cut the police, and the court costs as well. So that is what was done, and the government launched the program under the slogan: “Kill People, not Jobs.” And “In the long run, you are all dead.”
But even this wasn't enough, so they came to Salim. He pointed out that people always needed to breathe, but that clean air was very costly for all the businesses that created jobs. And so the public air rights were sold. People had to buy private air licenses from meters, and any time the wind died, the state of Utter Rubbish had to pay an abatement fee to the private company for compensatory damages. People started to hold their breath as they ran from building to building. When the managers of the air rights realized this, they started putting televisions tuned to Fox News on every street corner, and so many people burst out laughing, and gulping down air, that it more than made up for those who could ignore the screens.
But even this wasn't enough, so they came to Salim. He pointed out that it was terrible the people would cast their shade on the creative people. There was only so much sunlight, and it had to be allocated in the most efficient way possible. Who knows what great idea would be inspired by a lovely sunset, that would be ruined with other people in the way. So they sold the sun rights in Utter Rubbish to a foreign private equity firm, because, after all, the free market can do anything better, and who knows if the sun will go out if there aren't people with a property interest in keeping it going. Of course, astronomers might say that there is enough hydrogen to keep the sun going for billions of years. But who knows if that is true, after all, the sun has gotten colder and hotter over time. After all, policy should never be made being influenced by a cabal of junk scientists.
God is good. God is great. And god is definitely in gilts these days.
With all of this the economy of Utter Rubbish virtually collapsed, and investors happily bought up bonds because of the model policies they were pursuing. They were sure that the confidence faeries would be stepping in to buy any time. The governor of Utter Rubbish cut the state pension system again, saying that “the demand for cat food will lead our recovery.”
Salim's First wife followed all of this carefully, and she took a razor blade to many, many verses of the Koran. Salim was pleasantly surprised, when he found out that it took him only 15 days now to read the Koran from cover to cover. He was becoming a holier man all the time.

However, not everyone was so happy with all of the savings going on. Specifically the people who were being saved were not so happy. Soon they were marching on the cities of Utter Rubbish, once called Udder Prudish, but there was a great deal of confusion. Soon there were two warring factions. One wanted to tax all people born on odd days to pay for the benefits of people born on even days, these were called the “Evens,” and the other faction demanded that people born on even days be taxed to pay for people born on odd days. These were called the “Odds.”
There was a huge rally one day. From one side of the city, there were huge banners for the evens. They proclaimed, “We are getting even, while they are getting odd.” The main speakers all proclaimed that it was perfectly fair to have the people born on odd days pay for the people born on even days. Their plan was to bring about change by doing all of the wrong things.
From the other side of the city, there were banners for the Odds. They proclaimed, “You'll never get even, if you are already odd.” These speakers proclaimed the injustice that people who were so foolish as to be born on an even day should have a free ride on the backs of people who were born on an odd day. They presented a comprehensive plan to bring about change by doing none of the right things.
They met in the middle, and there was a horrible clash. But finally they compromised, and agreed to do all of the wrong things, and none of the right things.
So unified, they began to terrorize the town, telling everyone if the other party won, there would be horrible consequences. “If our party wins, we will compromise with them. But if their party wins, they will compromise with us!”
And so the partisans of both sides, when they weren't screaming at each other, were screaming at everyone else.
Seeing all of this, Salim told his wives that it was time to prepare, in case something happened. But they were all happy with how things were and did not listen. Salim, however, hid a small box of money in the old grandmother's house, and made sure that his copy of the Koran was in a safe place in the house, it being the one thing that he felt was truly his.
There were desperate negotiations, and finally their leaders came up with a compromise, and all were joined together in one front, though of course they would run as two parties, so that there would be no third choice, which both agreed that the only thing worse than having two parties to choose from, was having two parties to choose from. The united front was called “Socially Progressive Austere Majority.” They proposed an immediate program of raising taxes on the young, and raising services for the old. Satisfied that they had finally found a compromise for the clash between evens and odds, they were immediately dubbed the “Olds".

They objected to this, and insisted on being called the “Betters.” The Olds rioted in favor of their platform, and threw in jail as many young people as they could for not paying their school loans, house loans, job loans, water loans, and air loans. “We were here first!” Was their rallying cry.
God is good. God is great. God smiles on those who peacefully hire other people to beat other people to death.
But finally all of this boiled over, and the olds began smashing into buildings. They reached Salim's house, and smashed everything. They looked for Salim, but he was not there.
You might think that a young man with four wives who has money and time would be at home being happy. But not Salim. He was not at home. Instead he was at a brothel on the corner of town. You might think that a man with four lovely wives, hand-picked by a Madame, would be paying for sex only with a woman more beautiful than any of the others. But not Salim.
Instead he was having sex with a fat woman. A truly almost morbidly obese woman in fact. Total tub of lard, such as might come from Mississippi. He was fascinated by how here large floppy breasts bounced up and down and smacked her shoulders and then her round belly, and how her hips shook up and down. It was like watching a mountain fuck.
Salim heard the noise and the confusion, and when the mob broke in, his young face was fortunately smashed between her hips while his tongue was seeking her spring of moisture. The mob assumed he had to be old, and left him alone.
Salim was terrified, and he grabbed women's clothes off a hook, and covered his face, and raced around the city. He passed by his home, and saw it already had been looted, and that his wives were already gone. Heartbroken, he went to all of the businesses, and found that they had all been looted as well. Finally he found that even the sewage plant had been broken into. In panic, he only had time to grab his personal copy of the Koran, and then he ran out of the city, still wearing women's clothes, and out into the country side.
That night, the new leaders of the town held a meeting, and determined that the only way to save their children and have a future, was to kill all the young people. They couldn't afford all the costs of them.
God is good. God is great. And God is very old.
And so it was done. For the children of course. All for the children. But for Salim's most of all.