MUBARAK’S VALENTINE’S DAY by Wajahat Ali
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OBAMA: All right, SOS, have we sent the usual fruit baskets, Gilmore Girls DVD’s, snarky e-cards, Fair and Lovely cream, and excessive weaponry and gratuitous foreign aid to our questionable allies?
SECRETARY OF STATE CLINTON (CLINTON): Sir, we’ve covered Jordan and Israel, but the budget is tight… and it seems our annual tokens of love to the Mid East have to be “creatively downsized.” I told them you’d inform them of their gifts – personally.
OBAMA: Damn it! All right, I guess we can Skype them in. By the way, how’s Mubarak holding up?
CLINTON: I told him to stop sexting me, Sir, but the man doesn’t just get the memo. I told him, “It’s over. We’ve moved on.” He can’t delude himself any further – he’s living in a fantasy world.
OBAMA: Don’t be so hard on him – think of his heart…his 82 year old heart. And, especially today –
(Clinton’s BlackBerry messenger starts buzzing. She receives a text from “Mu-Heart-Barack”)
MU- ♥- BARACK: “Salams, habibti, salaams. Did u get Mubarak’s 12 boxes of camel milk chocolate for the Cabinet? And the robe made of Egyptian cotton for the Bresident? And for you, habibti, Mubarak’s autographed bicture of Mubarak… signed by Mubarak?”
HIL STREET BLUES (Clinton’s BlackBerry Messenger Handle):
(Texting) “Yes. Thank U. No need. Much Appreciated. Bye now.”
MU- ♥-BARACK: “Mu-barack <3 you. Do you <3 Mu-barack, too?”
CLINTON: Jesus, he’s buzzing me again! What do I do?
(Clinton Shows Obama the text. He shakes his head and sighs.)
OBAMA: We have to “Noriega” him.
CLINTON: But sir!
OBAMA: I tried to “Shah” him. But…he’s too far gone. Do it. Noriega him.
(Clinton holds her heart. Exhales. Nods her head with a steely-faced resolve.)
HIL STREET BLUES: “Mubarak, it’s finished. We R no longer a couple. It’s time 2 start seeing new people.”
(Clinton’s eyes start welling with tears. She is visibly shaken.)
CLINTON: I’ m…I’m….startled, Mr. President. That was…hard for me. You see, “I really consider President and Mrs. Mubarak to be friends of my family. So I hope[d] to see him often here in Egypt and in the United States.”
OBAMA: Time will heal all.
(Clinton’s BBM buzzes again. This time it’s a message from MU-BROKEN.)
MU-BROKEN: “Does that U mean that U want to get back together with Mubarak? This is what U mean, yes, habibti???”
CLINTON: Good lord!
HIL STREET BLUES: “No, Mubarak, you know what it means! It is over!!! I’m deleting your phone number. If U ever call me or contact me again, I’ll have intelligence forcefully remove your facebook profile, twitter account, 4g phone & laptop. We. R. Over!!!”
MU-BROKEN: “Mubarak is Cubid and you are his baramour. This BBM Message is his arrow delivering a boem of Love from Egypt’s most beloved singer, Umm Kulthum, to bierce your heart and melt your coldness with warmth and tenderness. Mubarak even translated it from Arabic for you in his own English –
You have no lover but me, not after or before.
I’ve given you without your asking.
I’ve learnt you without your learning.
And what I’ve given you …if you count it with your fingers,
you’ll see my favors to you, are bigger than ever.
So give up to us, give up to us.
OBAMA: Oh, my…he’s resorted to quoting Umm Kulthum. Time to unleash desperate measures – hit him with the “Allende-Lumumba” knockout punch.
HIL STREET BLUES: “Mubarak, it’s not U – it’s me. Ok, that was a lie. It’s U. It’s all U.
If U continue harassing me, I’ll be forced to ban all sales of hair coloring to you for the rest of your living life. It hurts me to hurt you. Instead, help me – help you. Help me – help you…to move on. Good bye, Hosni.”
MU-BROKEN: “Let Mubarak hear it from his habibi! Let Obama tell Mubarak directly – to Mubarak’s face! Mubarak has earned that much! Blease, Hil, for old time’s sake?
HIL STREET BLUES: I’m sorry, Moobs. I can’t help you now.
MU-BROKEN: “Mubarak demands to be dumped broberly – with respect and honor!”
HIL STREET BLUES : “Mubarak, please, stop acting like a petulant child. Be a man! Walk away with what little pride you have left. Please!”
MU-BROKEN: “Mubarak demands to sbeak with his former habibi, Obama!”
HIL STREET BLUES: “He is busy. Sorry.”
MU-BROKEN: “For how long?”
HIL STREET BLUES: “Forever.”
MU-BROKEN: “Don’t make Mubarak angry. You wouldn’t like Mubarak when he’s angry.”
HIL STREET BLUES: Are you threatening us, Mubarak? Is that a threat? Really? You’re 82 years old! You‘re like the poor man’s Black Adam from DC Comics. You have no military anymore. Your Swiss accounts are frozen. Your own people hate you. You were just peacefully removed from power after a 30 year dictatorship. You have no more allies or friends. Really? U are threatening ME? Why are you trying to hurt me?”
MU-BROKEN: “Mubarak not trying to hurt U, Mubarak loves you!”
HIL STREET BLUES: “You what?”
MU-BROKEN “Mubarak loves you!”
HIL STREET BLUES: “You don’t even know me!”
MU-BROKEN: “How can U say that?!?!?”
CLINTON: President Obama, I fear he might go “Alex Forrest” on us.
OBAMA: We’ll deal with it. You know what you have to do. Do it.
HIL STREET BLUES: “I’m blocking you!”
OBAMA: I’m proud of you.
CLINTON: Damn you! (Holding back tears as she rushes out of the office)
(OBAMA computer screen flashes and he receives a SKYPE video chat invitation from someone named “ABD”)
ABD: Assalam Alikum, ya habibi, kay fil hal?
OBAMA: Ma-salaama, ya King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia!
ABD: (Abd reflecting some hesitation in his voice): Bro, eh, if I may, for a moment, please, talk to you about…eh, our mutual friend, Mubarak.
OBAMA: It’s over and done with it. The people of Egypt have spoken and we have decided to respect their wishes and support their peaceful transition to democracy.
ABD: Bro, bro, but you didn’t have to humiliate Mubarak. You humiliated him, bro. He came to me, crying – like a little school girl. He’s here, right now, with me, in my palace. I can see his tears ruining his dry-cleaned silk shirt. He is frantically plucking his unnatural jet-black hair out of his scalp, beating his chest, and loudly wailing like a melodramatic Arab soap opera actress.
(Obama hears Mubarak’s wailing in the background.)
OBAMA: Mubarak is a big boy. He was a dictator for 30 years and he had it coming. Plus, he threatened me earlier today.
ABD: Aw, now that, that was nothin’, Bro. Now, now, uh, Mubarak didn’t mean nothin’ by that. Sure he flies off the handle once in a while, but Mubarak and me, we’re good friends. Right?
OBAMA: Sorry, Abd. It’s over.
ABD: Wait a minute. (Talks to Mubarak off-screen). Mubarak, Mubarak, I got an idea. Hilary, you’re the SOS and you can talk to Don Bush, you can explain …
CLINTON: Just a minute, now. Bush is no longer President and he’s on a national book tour, and Obama is in charge of the Oval Office. Now, if you have anything to say, say it to Obama.
OBAMA: Abd, tell Hosni we’re through.
ABD: (He can no longer hide his anger and embarrassment) Obama! You don’t come to the Middle East and talk to a man like Mubarak like that! Don’t do this, Bro. Don’t do this. If you don’t support him, then, I’m sorry, but I will.
OBAMA: (Coolly replies) Abdullah, you’re my elder, and I love you. But don’t ever take sides with anyone against the Family again. Ever.
ABD: You’re right, you’re right. I’m sorry. Maafi, habibi, forgive me. I’ll …. tell Mubarak the bad news. Thank you again for the presents, bro. And salaams to the family. (He signs off.)
(SHIMMY sends a SKYPE Video conference request)
OBAMA: Shimon, buddy, we sent you and Bibi a surprise package today. We know you’ll love it.
SHIMON PERES (President of Israel): Likewise, my friend. I wanted to talk to you about Mubarak. I want you to reconsider your position in supporting Egyptian democracy. “Democracy without peace is not a democracy. We fear there will be a change in government without a change in the circumstances which led to this state….Mubarak’s contribution to peace will never be forgotten”
OBAMA: Respectfully, I disagree with you on this one, Concigliere. However, out of respect, I will take your advice into consideration, even thoughyou continue to wantonly embarrass us, break international law and openly defy our stance on building settlements on occupied territories. Enjoy the missiles, jets, tanks and foreign aid!
SHIMON: And you enjoy sucking on our giant matzah balls! (He signs off.)
CLINTON : Sir, the others, they’re all waiting for you.
OBAMA: (Sighs) Ok, Skype them in one at a time. Let’s make this quick.
(Ousted President of Tunisia, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali appears on screen wearing a beret, drinking champagne and eating an almond croissant with fenugreek and coriander.)
BEN ALI: Voulez-vous coucher avec moi…ce soir?
(OBAMA lowers his head, shakes it, forces himself to be composed.)
OBAMA: Sorry, Ben Ali. We try not to steal other people’s mistresses. We recommend you taking a long, long vacation in France. Or, try hitting up Blackwater’s Erick Prince about retiring in Abu Dhabi. Au revoir.
(Syria’s President, Bashar-al-Assad now appears on the Skype video chat)
ASSAD: Bro, it’s been a long time since we’ve talked. You know about my…addictions. Please…please tell me you can supply me. On this day, bro, please be my Cupid.
OBAMA: Sorry, Assad. We’re trying to go legit and gradually phase out of the rendition industry. However, out of respect for our past business, we’ve put in a good word for you with Omar Sulaiman, Egypt’s new Vice President. He’s thoroughly qualified in this field. He’ll consider being your new supplier.
ASSAD: Shukran, habibi, shukran!!! (He signs off.)
(A man appears on the computer screen with a perverted grin, twirling the ends of his moustache)
OBAMA: Ok, let’s cut to the chase, Zardari. You know what I want and I know what you want.
ZARDARI: Bring her to me.
OBAMA: You know I can’t do that.
ZARDARI: Just let me touch her.
ZARDARI Can I just hug her please?
OBAMA You had your chance with Sarah Palin and you blew it!
ZARDARI: I have your envoy. (Melodramatically twirls the ends of his moustache like a 1980’s Bollywood villain)
OBAMA Yes, you have our innocent U.S. envoy who killed two men in broad daylight, in self defense I might add, and you refuse to hand him over. So, we’ll compromise. I’ll send over Bristol Palin to do a pro-abstinence campaign in Karachi, and you send me –
ZARDARI: The envoy. Agreed. Zardari…khush huwa (Urdu/Hindi meaning “Zardari…is now content” He signs off.)
CLINTON: Sorry, President. But, you have one more guest on Skype. He insisted on speaking to you.
OBAMA: (Groans) Is this necessary?
CLINTON : He’s been waiting all day…along with 500 gorgeous Italian women whom he claims are his security detail and nurses. It’s…bizarre.
OBAMA: Gaddafi, let’s make this quick. Don’t say a word. We’ve sent you 1,000 pairs of white gloves, Michael Jackson’s original Captain EO jacket and Monica Belluci’s personal email address. In turn, you promise never to speak at the UN General Assembly, capice?
(Gaddafi waves his right hand which is adorned with a white glove and nods.)
(Meanwhile, a closed box arrives in the Oval Office. Steam is escaping from the box.)
OBAMA: What’s in the box?
(Clinton opens it up and sees a cooking pot. She opens the lid and sees an Obama Pez dispenser emerge from the boiling water. She shrieks.)
(Mubarak now suddenly joins the Skype conference with Obama and Gaddafi. His Skype name is Mu-Barracuda…and he’s angry.)
OBAMA: Mubarak, what did you do?!
MU-BARRACUDA: Well, what was Mubarak supposed to do? You won’t answer Mubarak’s calls! You change your number! I mean, Mubarak’s not gonna’ be ignored! You play fair with Mubarak, Mubarak play fair with you!
OBAMA This has got to stop!
MU-BARRACUDA This is not gonna’ stop. It keeps going on and on.
(Gaddafi can no longer contain himself.)
GADDAFI: It seems Fredo has gone Fatal Attraction on you! Oh how the mighty have fallen. Hehehe.
MU-BARRACUDA Mubarak is not Fredo!
GADDAFI: Raise your hand if you’re a leader of a country? Oh, oops, sorry, not so fast, Mubarak. Hahaha.
MU-BARRACUDA Mubarak is not Fredo! Mubarak is the other one.
CLINTON: Sonny? The strong, impulsive brother with a hot temper who was well endowed and bed many women?
MU-BARRACUDA Mubarak is Sonny!
CLINTON: You sure you want to be Sonny? His own brother in law betrayed him and he ended up dying a violent death gunned down by rival families.
MU-BARRACUDA Mubarak is Sonny!
OBAMA: Enough! (Slams his hand violently on his desk, then calms down.) This one time…this one time, I’ll let you ask me for something.
MUBARAK: “It is not my nature to give up responsibility…I never wanted power or prestige” Mubarak is tired. Mubarak is fed up. The burden…it is too much. Mubarak was lonely. Mubarak just wanted someone to…listen.
OBAMA: Mubarak, would you like a parting gift?
MUBARAK: Blease, habibi.
OBAMA: Clinton, give another call to Abu Dhabi.
(Gaddafi and Mubarak sign off. Obama and Clinton exhale and relax).
OBAMA: Mo ho’s, mo problems.