Life continues. My flatmate, The Hairy One, is editing a book of tswer, quranic interpretation, by a mandate era sheikh who’s notions of scientific research, logic and good writing have either dated or been lost in translation. Too much Mullaho is having a slightly serial effect on our lives.
‘Hay, listen to this’ my flat mate puts on his Mullaho voice and reads. ‘Wise and sagacious, noble, honorable and pure, gentle and kind. Who can hear the qualities of the beaver commander without feeling admiration?’ Do you think Beaver Commander is one of the appellations of Mohammad,’ he asks, in his normal voice ‘cus like beavers are hardworking, or is it a mistake?’
‘The only appellation of Mohamed I know is mostafah.
Humm. ‘the chosen one, the commander of the beaver’
We decided that as the Arabian Peninsula is not a land famed for its mighty rivers or many trees it was probably beaver free in the 14th century and its therefore unlikely that ‘beaver commander’ is one of Mohamed titles.
The Hairy One is also suffering after a hard drive accident that’s left him with 18 Bob Dylan albums and not much else. With a Mullaho and Dylan combination it was probably inevitable that we’d end up putting Mullaho to music, something that fills our spare time with joy. Our masterpiece starts ‘He spent his life in research, his name we’re gonna besmirch.’ I am responsible for providing harmonica effects, I don’t let having no instrument stop me.
The other night the hairy one insisted that we take advantage of living in a country with a middle eastern climate but a distinctly un-middle eastern approach to everyone’s favorite Arab invention: alcohol and go to Mushroom Park, just of Straight Street to drink beer and eat sujuk.
In former times Mushroom Park was the hang out of choice for language students with nothing better to do and Chammi youth who couldn’t afford to see and be seen anywhere else. Hardly had The Hairy One and I arrived and started wishing we hadn’t when we were swooped on by someone ‘The Fixer tries to avoid,’ and his friends who catapulted us into the world of ‘rich young Syrians who wish they were black American gangsters.’
They were very excited to see us, and were immediately telling us about there favorite month (April) and airport (Heathrow!), their uncles firm (boring) and asking us to help them get English teaching jobs (they spoke it flawlessly). What would daddy diplomat and uncle entrepreneur say if they could see their delicately reared offspring?
Our ones were lucky enough to be friends with someone who claims to be a genuine black man from Ohio. He was strangely elusive about why his family and he are living in Dwela, a suburb that makes Jermanna look structurally sound; we think hes a Somali refugee. All the Somalis I’ve met could tell at a glance that I don’t know about the differences between East and West coast rap, and then lectured me on it in American accents, though I’m told the women are very devout. We couldn’t tell if our friends barely incomprehensible English is Somali plus The Wire (His accent sounds spot on, but do they speak like that in Ohio?) or fluent gangster rapesse. He advised The Hairy One to avoid ‘the dog game,’ not to ‘masterfate,’ with an f, and to find himself a girlfriend.
Meanwhile the Syrians, one of which introduced himself as MC Wolf Rapper, were encouraging me to smell their genuinely Syrian cigarettes and their ‘Hennesseys.’ The Somali/American had taught them to refer to all strong liquor as Henessys and this was in fact XXL, 10% vodka-redbull in a tin and I did not appreciate em ramming it in my face. Despite being roughly my age, well traveled and well educated they were charmingly naive. They asked us if we’d ever heard of Hashiesh (has anyone in the UK over the age of 8 not?) and were amazed that people like us, who willingly drank 4% beer knew about drugs. We felt a bit bad about laughing at MC Wolf Wrapper and his Merry Men as they had no idea that we were, but they did provide us a name for our ‘bluesy rock songs with a story’ outfit, we’re Malice and Wonderland