We think we are old but we’re only babes

The Middle East (ME) gets lots of nasty press around the world, for many obvious and sad reasons. But MB can assure you, given his many years there, that it’s full of characters who would be right at home in any Irish pub on any given night – Muslim of not! – telling tales and spinning yarns over a beer or three. Take MB’s friend SAM for example. SAM is MB’s longest enduring friend in the ME, both having made the acquaintance of the other in Week Nr 1 of MB’s ME sojourn. MB & SAM are also approximately of a similar age.

SAM hails from one of the craziest places MB has ever visited – the Yemen. Yemen is a truly mad, wild, tribal world; is Nr 2 in the world for per capita gun ownership (USA is Nr 1!) and has some of the craziest friendliest people on the entire planet. MB could easily describe the Yemenis as ‘Irish with Turbans’, and he wouldn’t be too far off the mark. Indeed, SAM knows many Irish people through his day job in Dubai, and is convinced there must be some historical connection, way far back, between the Arabs and the Irish, so many similarities does he see in such daily encounters.

SAM comes from the largest province of Yemen, called Hadramaut, which covers approx 50% of the land area of the country. A native of Hadramaut is called, according to SAM, an Hadrumi. And Hadrumis are probably the most crazy and most friendly people in all the Yemen. Great characters one and all, with automatic rifles slung over their shoulders and sacrificial daggers dangling from their belts, as they proudly boast of their particular tribal background. A little, or a lot, like parish footballers back in Ireland. Those similarities again! But enough of the Nat Geo nonscense. Back to SAM.

About two weeks back, SAM called MB just to say hello to his Irish brother, following a few weeks of no contact, and to shoot the breeze a little. And MB must tell HX followers, conversations with SAM are always memorable, even telephone ones.

After a few pleasantries were exchanged on both sides, SAM gave MB some joyous news concerning his 90 year old friend back home. “My friend back in Hadramaut, who is 90 years old, has just become a daddy MB. I am very happy for him” said SAM. “Masha’allah and f@!k me pink” exclaimed MB (translation for the non-Arab HX Blog followers – “Allah be praised, and WTF”). “That is amazing” continued MB, “he is indeed a reproductive king amongst men.”

“And how, pray tell, did his presumably 70 to 80 year old wife somehow manage to produce a fertile egg for such a conception and production” asked the gynecologically-challenged MB, and wondering at same time if the entirety of Irish womanhood shouldn’t be immediately transported to sunny but Biblical Hadramaut. “Al wife is not 70 or 80 MB” said SAM, “she is, I believe, approximately, 24 or 25 years old.” Masha’allah and f@!k me pink again” exclaimed MB for the second time.

“And how in God’s name does a 90 year old Hadrumi male, obviously frail and infirm (but obviously not limp) manage to mate with a fresh 25 year old Hadrumi female?” asked the incredulous MB. “I asked him the very same question MB” retorted SAM, “and this is how he does it – not occasionally like you and I might have though MB, but every single night. Yes indeed MB, he mates with his 25 year old Hadrumi wife ever single night. And the new baby is as a result of the matings.”

“When they get into the bed every night MB, he puts her in the spoon position. At his age he is very grateful for her warmth, and after a certain period of time, the warmth flows through him, until reaching the critical areas. My friend is then ready for the baby-making action, and the baby-making action then duly takes place. And that MB, is exactly how a 90 year old Hadrumi male makes a baby with his 25 year old Hadrumi missus”. Not a single word from MB. Stupefied total silence from MB, as he played the virtual video of it all in his mile-a-minute mind.

“When you think about it MB, we think we are old, but we are only babes. You and I could be producing babies and getting the warmth for many years yet. And now that I think about it some more, I believe the Muslim idea of multiple wives is a correct and natural one. We only have to look to nature for guidance, do we not MB? If you look at the farmyard you will see one healthy cockerel servicing 15 or 20 female chickens. “True” said MB, he being reared on an Irish farm, and knowing full well the prowess of one healthy male cockerel. “And when we look to the fields MB, we will see one bull mating with many cows, will we not?” “True again SAM”, said MB, warming a little to the ‘look to nature’ idea, and remembering the many hundreds of baby calves MB had seen and personally delivered with bare hands, a rope and some warm water in his much younger days. And all from the loins of a single healthy bull.

And there, following the briefest of maa salamas, the conversation ended, as a phone rang in the distance at SAMs place of work and he killed the call to deal with it.

Warmth. Nature. Babies.

Food for thought ladies!





6 Comments on “We think we are old but we’re only babes

  1. Absolutely brilliant, MB! I think I will change my holiday destination from Lanzarote to Y…..

    Greetings from TH.


  2. Thanks Gypsy. Bit of fun!
    But remember such societies are strong on the ‘greater’ extended family and the tribe. Inshallah one of the older wives will also lend a hand when that sad day comes. I doubt she will be left destitute. Inshallah.


    • If ‘greater’ male family intentions are good, then yes, of course, they’ll all be cared for (because ultimately the men, not the women, have the final say).
      If, however, the husband’s brother is partial to one of the earlier wives who doesn’t much like the young Mama, the child may be cared for but not the Mama.
      If, worst case scenario, the brother is a not so very nice person at all … well, everyone, including the child, may end up paying the price.
      The point is … Mama’s say on her child’s future will depend on the say of others she may or may not have chosen to have in her life.
      I understand the society. I live in it. I know many women here. There’s a lot of good. And there’s a lot of bad. And there are many, many destitute widows in the homeland that surrounds us.
      But like everything, it depends on perspective. From a woman’s, I can assure you there’s not much to appreciate about landing a 90-year-old babe. Not much at all.


  3. Bwahahaha! MB! I’d forgotten how funny you could be 🙂
    All tongue in cheek (I’m hoping!) aside … I’m sad to think what will happen to this young babe when his Papa goes and his young Mama is left widowed and destitute. It’s likely Mama will have no say as a widowed mom in her homeland, ”Sa”?
    Every last one of us is still a babe at heart … but because we are human, not cocks nor bulls, it is assumed most of us will provide for our offspring. And when I say provide, I don’t limit to finance; I mean stick around long enough to be the example we need to be in that child’s life.
    As romantic a notion as newborns sprung from the loins of old bulls may be … well, it’s still a load of bull 😉 Sa?
    (Brilliant conversation starter, btw!)


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