I had a very strange conversation with Ali this morning. We were enjoying a cup of tea at my kitchen table, and the topic fell to politics. Now, as I am sure you know, Ali is my Syrian gardener. He came to Canada as a refugee with his lovely two daughters and wife.
I am so pleased to say his girls are doing to so well. They’re both A grade students now, and are loving high school here in Montreal. Ali himself was a professor at Damascus University in the Biology department. His special interest is, unsurprisingly, botany.
I found it most curious to hear him talk about American politics.
Looking very thoughtful he said in a very considered manner, “it’s really very reminiscent of home.”
He must have seen the look of surprise on my face.
“Really, these rallies Mr. Trump has. They are just like ours back home.”
“I hardly think…”
“It’s just the same. The words are a little different. But other than that, it’s very similar,” Ali insisted
“Ali, it’s completely different,” I protested.
“I’ll admit, our young men were chanting “Death to America”, instead of “Knock her up”, but it’s all the same really.”
I poured a little more tea before pointing out, “I think you’ll find they’re chanting “Lock her up!”
“Oh,” he said looking a little crestfallen. “I thought it was some sort of virility thing. Trying to get his wife pregnant…”
Clearly Ali was confused.
“It’s about Hilary,” I said. “Hilary Clinton.”
“Really,” he said. “My English is not so good. I thought it was about his wife. Ivanka.”
“Ivanka’s his daughter,” I said shaking my head.
“He want’s to get her pregnant?” Ali looked shocked and confused. “She’s pretty – how do you say it – ‘hot’.”
“No, Ali. But, you’re right, he did say something about her being hot. But that was different.”
“His wife is Melania,” I said to clarify.
Ali paused and stared into his tea cup. Then very deliberately looked at me and asked, “Why would he want to lock Melania up?”
Sometimes I get the distinct impression Ali is playing with me. I sipped the tea and tried to arrange my words to be very clear.
“It’s Hilary he wants to lock up,” I explained.
“So, who’s he going to grab by the pussy? By the way, that reminds me. Marjory has borrowed one of my hoes.”
It’s important to get out and vote in the elections, preferably wearing something nice. I’m not going to suggest which particular group of idiots you may wish to vote for, but I would point out that one group are rapidly eroding LGBTQ rights and trying to prevent some very dedicated and brave individuals from serving in the military, promoting hatred and division, and pursuing a series of policies that leaves the US looking like a laughing stock in front of the remainder of the world. Not to worry though, if there was ever a time we needed humor it’s today.
As my Japanese calligraphy teacher always says – ‘Do your duty and keep your election under control.’
However, that’s not the main reason I’m writing. We’ve got an exciting new development. We’re running a new moderated Whatsapp group. You can read all about it here. It’s a fast paced chat group with daily content from myself and other active members. If you’d like to join just be sure to sign up and read the guidelines.
Have a lovely week, and don’t forget to vote.