Sunday, October 29, 2006

A few days ago Negar of Location Texas made a comment about me being pregnant. As I’m sure you would all agree, predicting that someone in Oxford is with child, all the way from Texas is no easy feat.
Now those of you who know Negar know that she has been fasting all Ramadan and altogether really is quite holy (overlooking her foot obsession. Actually Jesus quite enjoyed washing other people’s feet) So I’ve been thinking, now we don’t know yet if I am or not but supposing for a minute that I am pregnant, shouldn’t that be considered a kind of miracle on Negar’s part? And if yes, shouldn’t that make her allegeable for canonization and ultimately sainthood? Of course she will still be needing one more miracle to become a fully functional saint but it’s a start isn’t it? Wouldn’t it be cool though? Saint Negar of Texas. Has a real ring to it wouldn’t you say?

I don’t want to alarm you but did you know ‘Saints almost went out of style in the 1960s’? (according to Don Lattin of San Francisco Chronicle) I know! It’s unthinkable, isn’t it? ‘Those were the days when many church leaders saw Catholic saints -- and the miracles performed in their name -- as outdated…’ Uhh!
Those were the terrible times during which many saints were either downgraded to mere martyrs or were stripped off their holiness altogether.
They even made a television programme about it called, ‘The Weakest Saint’ which was presented by the fierce Sister, Anna Robinson.
‘Now, who is two miracles short of a sainthood?’ she would say to the terrified saints standing all around her in a large circle, ‘Who has managed to pull the wool over the eyes of the cardinals of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints? Which one of you has been canonized when they should have been shot out of a cannon?’ she would throw her icy stare at the saints; unforgiving, brutal, ‘Which one of you has been acting all holy when in reality you are only as holey as a tramp’s undergarment? It’s time to reveal, the weakest saint.’
The BBC refused to air the programme however claiming that no one would watch it on account of saints and martyrs being so passé. Well they had almost gone out of style then as we said earlier.

One of the saints that were dropped during the downsizing was poor old Saint Christopher, the patron saint of travellers (I don’t know why that was, I suppose he had dreadlocks and lived in a caravan) who once carried the weight of the whole world across a river. Well he did it by accident actually or more to the point, he was tricked into doing it.
One day poor old Christopher was about to cross a river when a child came up to him and said, ‘Hewwo mister Chwistopey. I’m onwy a wittoy baby. Wiww you take me to the othey side of this big wivey wiv you pwease?’
But when Christopher put the child on his shoulders, he realised that he was unbelievably heavy. On further inspection he noticed that the child was in fact none other than our own Lord Jesus Christ (who died on the cross to save all our sins) carrying the weight of the whole world! Talk about mardeh rend, Minoo! That’s just so unfair isn’t it?
God asks his son to take the world from one side of the river to the other and he’s thinking, ‘Ugh, I have to do evvverything around here.’
I heard that.
‘Course you did, you’re always eavesdropping.’
And you are always moaning, ‘Oh do I have to daddy? but I don’t like touching other people’s feet’, ‘oh why do I have to walk on water? Why can’t I part the sea like Moses?...
‘Ok ok, I get the massage. I’ll do it. Why do I need to take the whole world across the river anyway?’
We’re going on a picnic.
‘Can’t we just take sandwiches like everyone else?’
HuH, see? Always moaning, ‘Oh but do I have to daddy? why Can’t we just take sandwiches…
‘OK OK! Jeeeesus! I said I’ll do it didn’t I?’
Ok then you move the world and I’ll go and get the Thermos and the picnic blanket.
‘Yes you go and do that father, I’ll just take the world to the other side, no problem.
Is he gone? Phew. I thought he’d never leave. I’m just sick of this you know, he’s always giving me inappropriate tasks, ‘Let them eat your flesh and drink your blood.’ ! ‘Raise the dead.’ It wasn’t even Halloween.
Now I have to carry the whole world to the other side of the river and what for? We’re not Iranians. We don’t have to take everything we own with us on a picnic so we can cook rice and aubergine stew from scratch…Hey who’s that? Is that Christopher coming this way? Hmm, that has just given me an idea.
Hewwo mister Chwistopey…’

That’s a joke obviously but I’m not surprised if Jesus is a little bitter about his miracles. Moses got all the best ones really didn’t he? He turned a cane into a snake, parted the red sea, ate red hot charcoal and burnt his mouth. Now those of you who are not familiar with the story of Moses are probably thinking that the latter can’t have been a miracle if he actually burnt his mouth, but it was.
Basically Moses being a prophet was different from all the other kids right from the start and as time went by, Pharaoh got more and more suspicious. Until one day he said to his wife, ‘Listen Missy, I’m not all that crazy about this basket boy you’ve brought in here. I’m thinking about having him you know…What do you think?’
‘What?’ his wife replied, horrified, ‘Are you crazy?’
‘Well he just makes me feel uneasy you know.’ Said the Pharaoh, ‘Look at him sitting there all quietly on top of the desk.’
Wife: ‘What’s wrong with that? He is just drawing.’
Pharaoh: ‘He is drawing up blueprints for a bridge that he is planning to build over the river Nile.’
Wife: ‘Hmm, yeah maybe he is a little advanced for his age but he is still only a harmless wikkle baby.’
So they walked over to the desk.
Wife: ‘Helllo wikkle Mozy pozy. Do you have a little kiss for mummy?’
Moses: ‘Later doll, yeah? I’m really busy right now.’
‘You see what I mean?’ Pharaoh whispered to his wife, ‘He’s not normal.’
Moses: ‘Yo Pharaoh, wanna come down to the river with me tomorrow? I’m going to pick a nice spot for my bridge.’
Pharaoh: ‘No I don’t like going by the river. There are frogs there. I don’t like frogs.’
Moses: ‘Really? You don’t like frogs? Huh, wha’doyouknow!’

So the next day when Moses came back home from picking a nice spot for his bridge, a table had been set for him with two plates on it, one containing a piece of red hot charcoal and the other a piece of cold, black charcoal. This was a test devised by the Pharaoh to separate the prophets from kids and the logic behind it was that the genuine child, being a bit of a dumb-dumb by nature, would be attracted to the redness of the red, hot charcoal while the baby prophet, being a bit clever and having supernatural powers, will eat the cold charcoal! Or say, ‘Goodie! Is it Egyptian fondue night? Make your own kebab type thing? Where’s the meat?’
However the poor Pharaoh had not taken into account that prophets don’t always play fair, especially the baby ones who can be extremely crafty at times. So he was tricked by baby Moses who picked the hot charcoal.

For a while now I’ve been begging a friend of mine to let me try this out on her baby but she is just one of those overprotective mothers who would never let their kid do things like eating hot charcoal (hopefully Saint Negar is correct and soon I won’t have to keep begging others for every little experiment that I want to do).
Finally the other day, we settled on a much safer option. I was well up for it at first but then I lost interest when I realised that she’d said raisin and not razor.
She offered the baby a raisin and a grape. He picked neither as he was busy chewing on a slug he had found in the garden. An imbecile or a messenger from god? We will just have to wait and see with that one I suppose.

When it comes to prophets, I really think Noah drew the shortest straw. The poor guy really had his work cut out for him there didn’t he? First he had to single-handedly build a ship. Then he had to go and pick out two of each animal to get on his ship so they could later repopulate the world. That must have been really hard because he must have had to put them through vigorous tests and interviews to be able to pick out the best and the healthiest. Well it would have been terrible if after the flood he realised that the male zebra he’d picked had a low sperm count or something.

Is there anyone in the family with this problem?
Have you attended alternative practitioners like an Osteopath?
Has it stopped you going to work?
Have you felt resentment for being off work?

Do any problems arise out of going to the toilet so often?
What about social problems, work problems, with opening your bowels so often.
What actually was the original problem?

Are you able to get about?
Can you walk upstairs?
How far can you actually walk?
Are Social Services involved (e.g. meals on wheels, home help)?

What actually happened at the time?
Is there any difficulty with speech?
Are there problems with swallowing?
What treatment are you on at the moment to prevent further attacks?

Do you get the Flu Vaccine and Pneumonia Vaccine on a regular basis?

Have you ever been admitted to Hospital with too much sugar in your blood?
Has it affected you from an Insurance point of view?

How did you first notice that her memory was going?
Would she get lost if allowed out alone?
Is she able to take part in any conversation?
Does she repeat things very often?
Does she get more confused at any particular time of the day?
Is she likely to wander?
Is she likely to do other things like leaving the gas stove on?

I don’t know what he did about lazy animals like pandas and koalas and things like that. Koalas are apparently as lazy as they come. I once saw this programme about koalas and in it they were saying that koalas are too lazy to mate and so there was this guy who was in charge of koalas’ mating. So I thought he would be lighting scented candles for them and playing Barry White on the stereo but I was wrong, his job was definitely a lot more hands-on.
This is what he did: He went over to a sleeping male koala, holding onto a tree and started, humm, let’s say, “pleasuring him”, manually. Once the male koala was good and ready, he grabbed him by the scurf of the neck and rammed him on top of another sleeping koala, on another tree (this one female). You would think the koalas would take it from there themselves but oh no, the job of the koala fiddler was not yet complete.
The female koala didn’t even wake up all the way through. The male opened his eyes briefly (well I say opened. Half opened really). He looked unimpressed and rightly so; the guy didn’t have much of a rhythm. And to top it off he was talking to the camera the whole time which must have been quite off-putting.
That’s some job that guy has, isn’t it? ‘And what does your father do little Sheila?’
Hope poor Noah didn’t have to do that.

Oh sorry, I just realised I’ve left you all high and dry by dropping the bombshell of, ‘Saints almost went out of style in the 1960s’ on you at the beginning, without letting you know that there really is no need to panic because only a few years later, saints made a huge comeback all thanks to the king of cool, John Paul II and the one and only, Mother Teresa. Phew!
Now Mother Teresa, like our very own Negar, has performed one miracle so far. A medallion with a picture of Mother Teresa was taped to the stomach of a woman suffering from a cancerous tumour and after a while the tumour disappeared.
Now there are those, like Dr. Ranjan Kumar Mustafi who refuse to accept that this was a miracle. ‘She had a medium-sized tumor in her lower abdomen caused by tuberculosis,’ he (nicknamed Dr Tattletale by the supporters of Mother Teresa) told the Sunday Telegraph, ‘The drugs she was given eventually reduced the mystic mass and it disappeared after a year’s treatment.’
Doctors, ey? Always trying to take all the credit. So answer me this then Mr Smarty Pants, who made the tumor in the first place, ey? I suppose next you’ll be wanting to take credit for that too. It’s all me, me, me with these doctors isn’t it?

Anyway enough about Mother Teresa. I think Negar’s miracle is much better. Predicting pregnancy from thousands of miles away! That’s really something. I’m sure neither Dr. Ranjan Kumar Mustafi nor the Pope himself will able to argue with that one.
Humm, Saint Negar of Texas, the patron saint of bloggers.


bijan said...

Shirin what did you do? Now that Negar is on her way to sainthood, she won’t have time to blog anymore! So, is three years average for blogger burnout? So, was she right? Are you pregnant?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

the result???

Negar said...

oh my! i feel like i'm blushing. [picks up a mirror] damn, i am blushing! oops, did the saint just say damn?
but seriously...the patron saint of bloggers? what are you trying to do? trick me into returning to Blog Land? how much did "they" pay you? huh?
to be honest though, i'm a little shocked about my miracle. i mean i'm the person who worked with a professor for a whole semester and on the last weekly session found out that she was pregnant and due in a few weeks- not just increasingly fat! and i swear i wouldn't have found out if she had not touched her big belly and said "by the time my child goes to college blah blah blah" well she didn't say blah blah blah...ok now i'm just distracting myself. but i'm not kidding. i actually thought she was getting fat!
anyways, congratulations to you and Kamyar. although i'm still not sure if this post means i was right or not (am i the dumbest saint ever or what?) but you know what? congratulations either way!

great post (not just because i'm in it, although that's a huge plus)! i loved the Moses story and the job description of the koala breeders!
once again thanks. may our lord bless you or whatever!

GazanKhan said...

Long but very sweet and really artistic Shirin. I guess you know that kuala sleeps 22 hours out of 24, bastards. And Mother Thresa had another miracle and I have it's picture if you like I'll send you a copy. You probably have seen it yourself, it's a biscuit or a piece of bread that has come out the stove exactly like the holly mother2 herself.

Anonymous said...

شیرین جان دلم طولانی بود اما من که کیف کردم. آخه اصولاٌ اهل خوندنم نظر
can you read this Shirin jan?

jarvenpa said...

So, is your lovely Texas Saint correct?
What a nice post, Shirin--you frequently make me smile. That's a sweet thing in a complicated world.

Shirin said...

Keep your shirts on people (namely Bijan, Foulla, Negar, Jarvenpa and also anyone else wondering if I am pregnant)! Haven’t you heard of a little something called “the cycle”? Have to wait until the time is right to have the test done don’t I? Plus those bloody sticks are £14.99! Who would have thought that a stick to pee on would be so dear? That’s more than the quote the Polish builder gave us to redo our entire bathroom! Anyway we will have to wait for a few days because if I’m going to spend our unborn child’s entire college fund on a test to confirm his/her existence, I think I should at least make sure the time is right.

Yes I agree with you Negar, that is a bit dumb but maybe your powers only work when the pregnant person is thousands of miles away. We will still have to wait and see if there actually was a miracle or not but you know what the freakiest thing about this whole thing is? Take a look at these steps to sainthood:
Step one: the process must begin five years after the candidate’s death. Don’t worry though because Pope John Paul II waived this requirement after the case of Mother Teresa. Phew!
Step two: Local bishop investigates the life of the candidate and the findings are sent to Vatican.
Step three: After approval by a panel of theologians and cardinals, the pope proclaims the candidate is “venerable”, meaning a role model of Roman Catholic virtues.
Step four: is Beatification (and here’s the freaky part) which is when it is determined by the church that the candidate is responsible for a miracle after his or her death.
Now what does death mean in a religious sense? Doesn’t it mean leaving this world for another? And so in the case of bloggers, isn’t that when they leave the blogsphere in favour of the real world (i.e. get a life)? Told you it was freaky didn’t I?

I’ve heard about that Gazankhan but I think the church decided to stop recording toast appearances as miracles once the likes of Michael Jackson and James Blunt started popping up on them all over the place. These celebrities really have to overdo everything to the point of sickness. I mean there was a time when Jesus appearing on toast would be considered a miracle but these days most people would probably be a bit miffed if they got him again since they’re after, say, David Beckham to complete their Barcelona team toast set.

بله انانیموس جان، می تونم بخونم. می زنم به تخته که یک وقت نظر نخورید شما! راستی چطور اسمتون رو ننوشتین؟

Hi Jarvenpa, it’s great to hear from you. Hope I can keep on making you smile :-)

Anonymous said...

You're simply the best!

Anahita said...

us docs arent all me me.....i always work overtime to help out my patients even when im meant to go home!!..sorry had to defend myself on that one..though i know there is a wide variety of people in the world in every for the koala story im very disturbed by that imagery... :(

Anahita said...

also.....keeping my fingers crossed you get the result you want....oh- and you can always go to the doctors to have a pregnancy test done so you dont have to pay for it....either that or though im not sure its worth the wait....also a lot of my patients are now saying they use the tescos own brand tests which are half the price and allegedly the same accuracy.....they are sometimes wrong even at the hospital, believe me!

Shirin said...

Better than all the rest? ;-) hee hee

Oh dear! Anahita I really don’t know what to say. To me this whole thing was so clearly a joke right from the start that I just didn’t think I had to keep saying ‘by the way I’m joking here’ and ‘this part is a joke too’ you know? I apologize to you anyway if I’ve offended you but seriously, ‘Dr Tattletale’?! ‘Who made the tumour in the first place?’? did you really think I was serious? And if you think that I actually believe that Mother Teresa cured that woman’s stomach cancer, I must say I’m really insulted :-(
Yes your patients are right about Tesco’s own brand. Those are actually only £3.99. Bargain!

Anonymous said...

Dear Shirin,
I think you will be a fabulous mother, and I applaud your baby for trying to be born. You GO, little foetus!

negar said...

i know this is an invasion of your privacy but when do we find out?!


Shirin said...

Ah thanks Atmikha, that is so sweet :-)

Negar jaan, all will be revealed next week ;-)