Monthly Archives: December 2012

115. Prophecy

Well, here we are, today and ever more will always be a mystery.  The Mayan’s long count calendar has finally finished and since it was able to accurately predict absolutely everything from 3012BC until today – including the lottery numbers I may add, missed that trick – we can now move on; the future is officially here.

Over the last week the media has been working up a bit of a frenzy, albeit saturated in mocking-drenched discourse.  They have enjoyed putting the fear of God into their readers.  We have all been titillated by the catchy headlines and the pictures of planets crashing into Africa and have read such articles only for light relief.  We have kept our tongues firmly in our cheeks and have chuckled at the pictures of all the people wearing tin-foil hats and sitting in dinghy’s in the middle of Welsh fields for our amusement.  We wonder what on Earth went so wrong for these people at one point in their lives that they felt they had to head to a hillside in Serbia to wait for a flying saucer to emerge from it.

But now the fabled – and incorrect – date has been and gone, what happens now?  I mean we all knew it was nonsense and all seemed very far fetched, but what will all the mad druids who dance around Stonehenge in their pyjamas refer to as gospel now?  Well, here in the UAE there has been a discovery; a new doomsday calendar.  Yep, it’s called the UAE Uncut Calendar and has been carved into the side of an ancient beer mat.  Where this artefact was found I cannot say but I can tell you that it was sent straight to the Lablogatory and given 10 thumbs up for authenticity by the UAE Uncut science department.  Then it was sent to the UAE Uncut Xenolinguistics department and the results were quite shocking.  If you believe that a couple of 5000 year old masons were able to predict the future without an iPad, then you certainly won’t like what’s coming next…

It would appear that this new calendar predicts the future of the UAE.  Although the details appear a little vague and quite general and all-encompassing, it has some interesting points that are worth noting.  Firstly it predicts that Abu Dhabi’s oil reserves will run out at some point in the 21st Century.  This is bad news for ADNOC and the emirate in general.  Because although a lot of the oil wealth has been reinvested in Abu Dhabi with the idea of making it a major tourist attraction, most of the revenue is in fact going to be invested further into Manchester City FC.  It would seem that Roberto Mancini is sacked at the end of 2012/13 season and the managerial nomad that is Mark Hughes is curiously reinstated.  Lusting for vengeance on the City board after his 2009 sacking, he cancels all first team players contracts, meaning that they all receive a payout totalling billions.  They are then relegated from the Premier League and the investment is lost.

Elsewhere in Abu Dhabi, the Ultimate Fighting Championship hits rocky ground when a campaign is launched that brands the entire thing, and I quote, “A massive, hypocritical joke.”  It would seem that pitting two metro-sexual men wearing only a pair of Y-fronts and some socks in a cage together defies the moral code that the UAE has instilled in its people.  The calendar predicts uproar from the people when a poster of one fighting man is displayed by the Corniche Road.  The inappropriate image of a man in pants whilst standing on the head of his defeated opponent was branded “negative” by a consortium of conservatives.

Dubai too is set for hard times.  In the same way that the Mayans predicted the 2008 global financial crisis, the UAE Uncut Calendar confirms that there will be another collapse in 2015.  This is set to be ten times worse than the ’08 crunch and is caused by the collapse of the Euro and the onset of World War III in Europe, when Greece invades Germany and asks for its change.  It will cause untold misery for Dubai’s contractors and investors.  It would seem that starting a AED 3 billion project with nothing for capital than a bag full of magic beans has repercussions when, like before, all the suppliers want paying and all the staff want their wages.  The Deira region of Dubai is left in an apocalyptic state with half finished buildings and floating canals peppered with red and white blocks and motionless cranes.

The calendar also hints that Dubai will turn to its far richer neighbour – Abu Dhabi – and ask for another loan.  They are laughed out of the room after being reminded that they are still trying to repay the $44 billion loan from before.  The attempt proved futile anyway as Abu Dhabi won’t have much left either because it has gone to Mario Balotelli and Carlos Tevez.

To try and claw back some of the multi-billion dollar deficit, a salary restructure together with taxation on income is then implemented across all seven emirates in 2016.  This results in substantial salary cuts for all public sector workers meaning that they will be paid what the job is actually worth, and not what they simply want it to be.  The pay for private sector employees remains undefined but people still refuse to enter it because it is trending on Twitter as #uncool.

Those who once enjoyed a lavish and hedonistic lifestyle soon begin to learn the importance of money and, of those that don’t kill themselves, start to make some changes.  People will no longer be able to pay for maids, or personal drivers or even more than one car.  As a result the second hand car market is flooded with Land Cruisers, but as demand is so low the cars lose 95% of their value, making them nigh on worthless.  Real estate agents become inundated with fancy houses that are just uneconomical to rent, no one can afford to buy, and the market collapses.  The lights are turned out.

Don’t worry everyone, if the Mayan calendar is anything to go by then this is all just meaningless scribbles on a proverbial slate.  If, however, the IMF calendar is anything to go by then run, run for the hills…

…But not the hill with the UFO buried under it, because that’s bullshit…

Know it here first...

Know it here first…

UAE Uncut is shutting down for the festive period.  We will return in January with more inane crap for you to use to fill 5 minutes of your day.  Thank you to everyone who takes time to read the pointless ramblings of my good self.  Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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114. Horn

As you know, here at UAE Uncut headquarters we do like a good invention and we are also very fond of history.  Of all the species on Earth, man can lay claim to some of the greatest inventions in the entire history of the world.  What have those lazy badgers ever built?  Or those good for nothing whales?  Nothing, all they have ever done is exist solely to provide National Geographic with something to air when nothing else is on any of the good channels.

No, the human race is replete with iconic names of great men and women who have dreamt, designed and engineered everything you see around you, from the Kia Sportage you drove to work this morning to the zipper on your trousers.  Inventions are nothing new; we’ve been at it for years.  It started with some hairy cave dwellers making wheels, progressed a little bit when the Romans built the sword, horse and aqueduct, then kind of stayed fairly flat for a while until the Georgians built the regal wig.  Then, when the Victorians turned up we went on a roll.  All of a sudden we had steam locomotives, were able to harness electricity, talk to people over great distances with two cups and a piece of string and then the car came along.

Thomas Edison, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Archimedes of Syracuse, well ok, he was ancient Greek.  Oh, and Leonardo Da Vinci, he was before the Victorians, but I’ve discarded him because that code film he made was boring.  Ok, Edison was American, not a British Victorian, but, you know.  Yes I know that Brunel wasn’t an inventor but an Engineer… shut up and let me write.  Anyway the point is that the general public began to benefit from inventions for everyday use more so in the 19th Century than they did in any century previously.

Sadly, letting the public loose with wonderful inventions can have its own perils and tribulations.  Things get copied, broken, abused and of course misused.  For example, the hammer was invented as a tool so you could tap nails into things; it was not designed as a weapon.  DVD players were invented to play DVD’s and not to hold doors open and kettles were meant to boil water, not become part of a Tate Modern exhibit.  Then what about Apple?  They invent the same thing over and over again, just in different sizes, and we go out, buy them and pretend that they are phones.

As you would expect, then, there is one device that has completely lost its purpose in life, misused for decades and cursed by all mortals; the car horn.  Yes, the car horn was designed and intended for a purpose that very few alive today actually realise.  The history books sadly do not credit the individual mastermind behind the car horn, but its intentions however are clearly documented.

In the late 19th Century the amount of cars on the city roads began to increase; pathetic Austin Metro’s, horrible Austin Allegro’s and rubbish Austin Princess’s were everywhere.  Of course back then, particularly in London, the road was still for horses, carriages, pedestrians, market stalls and truant children.  The car – with its ferocious capability of being able to reach speeds in excess of 4 mph – needed a way of letting people know that it was coming.  As such each vehicle was fitted with a noise-making device that could be sounded whenever the driver approached a slow-trotting nag or an annoying pedestrian.  It was a warning that they were there and in all far better for everyone concerned.

Sadly, as mans arrogance began to surge throughout the 20th Century the use of the horn took on an array of different meanings.  Now we’re in the futuristic 21st Century it can also mean: “Get out of my way”, “I’m coming through”, “Oi”, “Look at me, look at me, look at me”, “I’m an idiot who lacks in the gentleman’s department”, “I don’t like you”, “Waiter, waiter!  I’m hungry, please bring me some diabetes”, “I like you very much indeed”, “Will you go out with me?”, “I like your car”, “I hate your face”, “You just cut me up on the roundabout”, “You’re driving too slowly”, “I’m in a rush, but not really, but I just want to get in front of you”, “You’re not doing anything wrong, I just really like my horn”, “Blast this infernal traffic”, “I’m showing my friends how badass I am” and of course “The traffic light is red, why are you still waiting there, motionless, for it to change to green?”

Most of you in the Western world – apart from those in Rome maybe – haven’t heard many of these horn meanings, but I assure you, in the UAE they are in plentiful supply.  There you are sitting at the red lights and the clown behind you in his Land Cruiser starts sounding the horn.  What does he expect you to do, mow the pedestrians down?  Then you’re sitting at a busy roundabout trying to pull out safely, waiting for a safe gap so you are not killed, and yep, there he is, Johnny Moron and his horn right behind you.

Lookit pal, it says right here on line 5, and I quote "thou shalt not use thee horn in an underground car park for 40 minutes."  That English bloke in the Hyundai will thump you...

Lookit pal, it says right here on line 5, and I quote “thou shalt not use thee horn in an underground car park for 40 minutes.” That English bloke in the Hyundai will thump you if you carry on…

Then you’re walking along the street and Johnny Lazy-ass pulls up in front of a restaurant.  You’d expect a normal person to get out of the car and go inside but no, the horn is sounded and a little man in red trousers and a rather fetching hat comes running out with a menu.  Later, you’re driving home waiting at the lights and the gomer alongside sounds the horn to get your attention.  You wind down your window and, after some alarming lip licking, he begins to pitch woo.  Then it’s late on a Thursday night and you’re off out for a beer.  Before you can walk into the hotel bar and have your ear drums turned into a fine dust you are subjected to a barrage of beeps and honks outside the hotel main entrance.  No, they’re not trying to attract the attention of the concierge; they’re trying to let you know that they can afford a Mercedes AMG and that you should be very, very impressed.  We’re not, mate.

I was in Dubai Mall on Monday night at closing, and I won’t lie, trying to leave the car park was a nightmare, it was backed up for miles.  That didn’t stop the ill-educated imbecile 3 cars ahead of me sounding the horn constantly for 40 solid minutes, relentlessly, without pause.  What did he think was going to happen?  Did he think Moses would show up and part the sea of cars?

There is no solution for this as far as I can tell.  The horn was invented as a warning to let those around know that you were there, now, it simply serves as a warning that you are near an idiot.

Why couldn’t man foresee the consequences of inventing something that causes such misery?

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113. Rain

Being English I have a not so unique ability to comment on the weather an awful lot.  When I was still living in Surrey I used to awake from slumber each morning, draw back the curtains and assess what the weather was up to.  More often than not I would be confronted with grey skies and a pathetic drizzle that would always play havoc with my hair.  But every now and again there was a surprise, I would pull the curtains open and be confronted with a sunny, clear day.  What a refreshing change it was.

Sheikh Zayed Road

Sheikh Zayed Road

You can’t beat a sunny day in south west London.  You can go for a walk by the Thames, head over to Richmond Park or sit out outside and have a beer.  Of course the fact that sunny, warm day’s aren’t that common anymore – because people drive cars and want electricity – means that when they come around they are a welcome relief from the norm.  Yes, whenever a hot day comes around people wish they weren’t at work but everything carries on as normal.  That is the way of the world, rain, wind or shine, we carry on.  Apart from snow, we’re screwed when it snows.

As you would expect things aren’t quite the same in the UAE, typically.  For about 360 days a year the sun shines, relentlessly, and we all walk around letting each other know just how good that is.  But is it?  I beg to differ.

The more or less constant guarantee of sunshine in the UAE makes people very complacent; as such the country has not been designed to deal with the 5 days a year when it rains.  Let’s start with the roads; Dubai struggles more than Abu Dhabi because Dubai is “older”.  When it was built the small detail that is proper drainage was overlooked.  It was scientifically proven in 1952 that if you do not have adequate drainage when it rains then the rain will pool up and cause something called a “flood”.

To add to that, the roads are built flat without a crown so the water doesn’t run to the sides but instead pools up everywhere else.  The roads here are made with a very smooth tarmac, which in the dry offers you so much grip.  The downside is that when the rain falls it becomes very slippery.  This makes driving very tricky indeed.

That leads us on to the next thing; a lot of people living in UAE just do not have a clue how to drive in the rain.  You can’t just give it the beans because you will lose control and crash.  You and I know this so we all slow it down and adopt a far more conservative approach.  But we come from a part of the world that knows the perils of a wet road.  Johnny Land Cruiser and Jimmy Hilux with his bald tyres are out of their depth at the best of times and scary thing is they don’t even realise.

Then we have buildings.  As well as all having doors and windows, all buildings in the UAE also share a feature that means that they must leak whenever the precipitation commences.  It doesn’t matter if you are in a labourer’s camp or walking around Dubai Mall, if it’s raining outside you will see the effects inside.

We also know that electrics over here aren’t up to the standards that you would expect to find in the Space Shuttle or Microsoft HQ.  They leave a lot to be desired and it is very common to see bare wires buzzing and sparking.  In the sun, no problem, let it fizz and crackle, but one drop of rain and its blackout city.

Contractors openly come out and say that the hole in your roof doesn’t matter because “it only rains once or twice a year” and they’re half right.  It may only indeed rain once or twice a year but when it does, it comes down hard.

The most staggering factor of it all is that when “the rains” – plural – come everyone takes a day off.  There are enough public holidays already but no, whenever it starts spitting the children are taken to “Fun City” instead of school, adults go to “Fun City” instead of going to work and morons take cars they don’t know how to handle out onto the roads and try to kill themselves.

After having lived here for 5 years I’ll be honest when I say I miss the rain.  When I open the curtains and see grey skies I find it a welcome relief from the usual blitzkrieg but God have mercy, it’s dangerous out there and the whole country comes to a stand still.

Going back to my earlier question, is it a good thing that it is always sunny?  Well no, if it rained more then the dangers and laziness would eventually get cancelled out, people would eventually learn to adapt.  Having constant sunshine is like having too much of a good thing, like chocolate.  Its great all the time until you want to go for a run and you realise that you can’t because you’re about to have a heart attack and you’re gym shorts haven’t fitted you for 12 years.

What is the solution to surviving the rain then?  Stay indoors and eat chocolate.


Sadly, former Rotana Moodz DJ Lee James passed away last night after a short battle with illness.  Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.  Al Ain will never be the same without you.  Marty

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112. Desert

Being a cross breed of English and Irish I have a particular penchant for greenery.  I love it and I miss it.  I miss looking out of my old bedroom window at the oak trees, or going up to the Epsom Downs to practice my handbrake turns in my old Escort.  I miss the simple pleasure of a tree in the sunlight, or having a back garden in which to shoot squirrels with an air rifle.  I was in Ireland this summer with my fiancé and the green surroundings over there are even more breathtaking than they are around the Costa del Thames.  It’s the simple things in life that we miss over here.  The green rolling hills, the trees, the ambience of tweeting birds and so on, it’s all so tranquil and harmless.

Of course the UAE has its own natural surrounding beauty; the desert.  It’s tens of thousands of square miles of barren, featureless terrain with each dune as similar as the one next to it.  What a hopeless, desolate place it is.  It may sound a bit funny coming from a British tax exile who has openly opted to come and live in the desert, but truth be told, I’m not a fan.  Nothing about the desert is hospitable, every conceivable aspect of it is life threatening.

Let’s start with the facts; the desert is everywhere, from surrounding your town to in your corn flakes in the morning, there is no escape from the relentless sand.  Access to the desert is simple, you simply pull off the road…and that’s it.  You’re in it.  But you can’t just veer off the road in your Kia Sportage and hope for the best, no.  In order to go desert trekking properly you need some local knowledge, such as what time to go.  The shammal (winds) usually pick up at a certain time and if you’re out there having a beer when a sandstorm strikes you’re finished.  You need to know where the dunes are, or where they were, because they won’t be in the same place as they were when you thought they were somewhere else…

The iPad may save you from boredom, but it can't save you from the desert

The iPad may save you from boredom, but it can’t save you from the desert

You also need about as much equipment with you as you would if you were to embark upon a trek to the North Pole.  You need a spare fuel can, which is recommended to be full of fuel.  You need a crate of water and salts in case you get thirsty or are feeling a touch dehydrated.  You need an iPad for entertainment.  You also need a spade, for either burying whoever you have accidentally killed to death or for digging yourself out of the sand if you have been driving like a pillock and gotten stuck.  You will need a compressor to inflate your tyres when you’re done since you have to let most of the air out in order to survive the torment at the beginning of the proceedings.

Most curiously, you also need a long wave radio that can contact help should you need any.  I find this weird, surely mobile phones work out there, they work everywhere these days.  But really, what do you tell Desert Rescue?  “Help, I’m stuck in the desert” you say.  “Whereabouts my good man?” would be the response.  “Well, I’m near the sand dune that looks like a sand dune.”

The bottom line is, if you have gone in there far enough and something goes wrong, like you roll your stupid Land Cruiser or you breakdown, then you’re going to die.  What can you do?  Walk for help?  Hitchhike?  Send up a flare which you most definitely will have forgotten to pack?  No, you’ll put your warning triangle up, kill your friend, eat the salt tablets and wait in hope for another bozo to get lost with you.

Then, once you’ve buried your friend and eaten your iPad you will have to contend with the wildlife.  There is nothing in the desert that is even remotely friendly.  If you find one of those weird mouse/bird things then you’ve done well, otherwise all you will have for company is scorpions, snakes and spiders of such size that you will have wished your friend killed you rather than the other way around.

No, much like the Amazon rainforest, all the inhabitants of the desert are there to kill you in the most horrific of ways.  To come face to face with anything that is not a camel or the aforementioned mouse/bird thing will likely give you a massive coronary.  Such an end would be preferable to what happens if a little black scorpion gets you…

If by the grace of God you last the night with at least three of your limbs then what?  Morning is here and you are still stuck by your Land Cruiser, you’ve drunk all the petrol, Desert Rescue (if such a thing exists) is looking under the wrong sand dune 1000 miles away and you also forgot to pack your cyanide capsule.

The amount of young boys and girls who get stuck out in the desert is staggeringly high.  I find it remarkable that a 17 year old child is allowed to drive a 4.7 litre V8 Toyota Land Cruiser when even a British skilled professional couldn’t afford such a thing.  Children that age can’t handle the power, nor are they experienced at anything, apart from shouting and Call of Duty.  Give them the keys to a 4×4 and show them the way to the desert and you are going to have a problem.

This is why for the first few years that we can drive in Britain we can only afford clapped out bangers from the 80’s and 90’s.  You wouldn’t dare take a Mark IV Escort into the desert, nor would you attempt such a thing in a Datsun Cherry or Citroen Saxo, you’d scuff your Max Power body-kit and lose your Porsche Engineering sticker.  No, you can harp on about the deserts beauty and grandeur until you’re blue in the face; it’s a vicious, hostile, unforgiving monster that when mixed with the young and the ill-educated will try to kill you.  Can you imagine the Epsom Downs trying to kill you?  “Oh no a pigeon.  Oh no a fox.  Oh no, damp grass.  Call Dad and ask for the tow rope.”  Give me the Surrey Downs or County Wicklow any day of the week.

Of course, if you turn off after the 72km marker Al Ain bound on the way from Abu Dhabi there is a nice little bit, especially at sunrise, which makes you realise that it does have its moments.  It’s some light relief in a horror film, like that part in Jaws when the boy is playing in the sea, just before he’s eaten.

But beware of the camels; they come across as friendly at first but let your guard down for a second and one of those bastards will try to nick your fiancé…

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111. School

It would seem that no matter where you are in the world the topic of good school-bad school is never too far from the tip of ones tongue.  In the UK we have a superb system that provides free education, well tax-payer funded but basically free, for all kids up to the age of 16, and then up to 18 if they wish to continue.  You can decide whether you want to attend a regular state comprehensive, a grammar school or secondary modern school.  If your parents are flush then you could attend a private school, or public school as they are called, although they’re not public, they’re private.

What a grand system we have.  There is never a shortage of teachers and if one gets a tummy ache and can’t come into work then there is a supply teacher sitting at home waiting for the call.  Public schools (the expensive, non-public ones) are great; they allow the richer echelons of society to gather together in their own clique so they don’t clog up the system for everyone else.  Public schools are indeed a privilege for those who go on to join politics, manage the nation’s banks or merge airlines.  The rest of us make do with the state to pay for our maths books and Acorn computers.  The rich are few and far between in the UK, so 90% of us go the state schools and the lucky few go to ones that used to be Stately homes, but what if we were all rich?  Would we all go to public schools?

Head Teacher: Mercedes Gucci School for Bright Boys and Girls...

Head Teacher: Mercedes Gucci School for Bright Boys and Girls…

When it comes to working as a teacher in a school, what you face is no different to anything else.  You can either work in the private sector; earn much less money but have the benefit of impressing your boss so much so that you move up the order.  Or you can work in the public sector, earn a higher salary but be kicked out on your arse if your work falls below standard because there are hundreds of people queuing up for your job.

Anyway, we know that the UAE is a very proud nation, and although it is widely known that the country relies on the expatriate community to keep the cogs turning, they still want to champion their own people as much as possible.  Who could ever argue with that?  It was reported today that there is an alarming lack of Emirati teachers in Dubai’s private schools.  Even more alarmingly half of all the local children in Dubai attend these private schools.  Hang on there, half?!  That’s tens of thousands of children all in private schools?!  You see this is the problem you get when everyone is rich.

The state schools in Dubai are fine, there are plenty of Emirati teachers teaching prime values to the other half of Dubai’s kids, but because they’re not sponsored by Mercedes or Gucci the parents don’t want to send their kids there.  Schools are being treated like fashion accessories.

So why are there so few Emirati teachers in the private schools, and why are they all working in the state schools?  Well isn’t obvious?  If you willingly opt to work in a private school, as with any private sector company, you will work far longer hours, often without extra pay and your salary will be comparatively small.  In a state school, backed by a bloated annual budget, you will earn a far higher salary, work regimented hours, be paid for any overtime etc. etc.  Both jobs require you to have the same qualifications so if you had to choose, which one?

This one area highlights a major problem that the UAE is going to struggle to deal with in the not too distant future.  Everyone want to work in the public sector because the work days are shorter, you get more time off with extra public holidays, the salaries are far higher yet you don’t need any further qualifications, or any qualifications at all in some cases.  The private sector can’t offer you that, not even close.

This is why I fear that the Emiratisation scheme is going to flounder.  There really are only two possibilities to get more Emirati’s working in private schools (and the private sector in general) and that is to a) rule that all public sector employees receive a massive pay cut and are forced to work longer hours or b) fund the private schools with state money thereby turning them into state schools.

The UAE needs to stop for a second and get itself in order.  We live in a capitalist world, yep, even China, and money talks wherever you go, yep, even North Korea.  We chase money.  In Dubai, the families want to show off how much they have so they send their children to the Mercedes Gucci School for Bright Boys and Girls whereas the teachers want to earn as much money as they can so will work for the local state school.  If only there was a way the two could meet?  Get rid of the private schools for Emirati’s, they’re not needed and as far as I know the teaching is no better, since the higher paid teachers are in the comps.

They might not be as glamorous as the Mercedes Gucci School for Bright Boys and Girls but it will be a taster of what is yet to come…

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110. Round up

One or two of you may have noticed that UAE Uncut has been unusually quiet over the last week or so.  Don’t fret, I’m ok, but sadly my laptop is not.  The old girl gave off a light smell of burning before telling me that she couldn’t take the risk anymore.  She has been sent to the laptop hospital in Al Ain to see if she can be resuscitated, as such I am using my fiancé’s laptop.  I apologise for my spelling, the keys are too far apart and I keep pressing enter whenever I want to backspace.

Anyway, she’s at work now so I can type freely.  Without having a laptop at my disposal 24/7 I found myself bewildered and lost.  I have been cut off from the world and as such have not been able to trawl the UAE press looking for plans and schemes to analyse, query and dissect.  Since today’s missive has no actual theme, and Mel will be back in 15 minutes, lets have a quick round up of eye catching news from around the Emirates…

First off, it has been reported that a man, labourer by trade, decided one night to chop his three roommates up with a meat cleaver and a chainsaw.  This sounds like quite a curious crime and if Hollywood is anything to go by you would expect swift legal action against him.  Alarmingly no, despite the attack being premeditated, in the sense that he actually went out to buy a cleaver and a chainsaw especially, he will not be tried.  Nope, apparently the poor sod is insane and as such his tribe will only have to pay AED 200,000 to each of the three families of the deceased.

You don’t have to be Lt. Horatio “H” Caine from CSI: Miami to work out that a man who willingly opts to chop his roommates up into thin strips of meat might not be all there.  He claims that he thought – that’s thought, not confirmed – that his roommates were mocking him and performing sexual acts on him whilst he slept.  He became paranoid about this so popped down to Ace Hardware to put his mind at rest.  I’m not sure what’s more alarming, the acceptance by the courts that this guy is too insane to stand trial or that the lives of the three Indian workers are penned at a gentleman’s AED 200,000 a piece, that’s £33,333 each.  That’s a human life for less than the price of a bottom range BMW 5 Series.  A tough pill to swallow since the killer’s tribe and not the killer himself has to foot the bill, and they aren’t even in the country.

Stay away from my monkey; bitch

Stay away from my monkey; bitch

Elsewhere, an Emirati man was killed the other week by sand after engaging in a fight with another Emirati man who was, at the time, walking his pet monkey.  Yes, that’s right.  So, a man called SE was walking his pet monkey one balmy night when another man called “Neighbour” hollered from afar.  As it turns out both men were courting the same barmaid, who was not indentified.  Of course the surplus in male hubris meant that the men challenged each other to a fight, so hand in hand they went walking, with the primate in tow, to a suitable place.

Eventually they found a park with some railings and to make it a fair bout SE tied the monkey to the fence.  Neighbour, a renowned opportunist, saw a chance and gave SE an unsporting bop over the head.  He apparently came at SE with a knife, but decided to poke him in the eye instead, and then threw sand in his face.

A scuffle ensued, presumably with the Star Trek fight music from the 60’s playing loudly in the backgrounud.  SE clattered Neighbour to the ground and thought best to give his nose a bite and then proceeded to fill his mouth with sand.  Neighbour, who wasn’t a fan of sand, showed signs of obvious asphyxiation and started struggling.  It was at this point that SE decided to take a different approach; he could see that Neighbour was in jeopardy so went to the nearby Abu Jamal Grocery and paid AED 3 for a bottle of water.  He rushed back to Neighbour and gave him the water.  Sadly Neighbour’s conditioned worsened so SE did what any honourable fighting man would do and rushed home to tell his brother, after untying his monkey.

SE’s brother, RE, went to the scene of the crime, spotted that a man was indeed lying there dead so popped round to Neighbours house to tell his family what had gone on.   After a brief confab it was agreed that the police should be called and that they would be best placed to deal with the situation.  SE made a full confession without resistance that he caused death by assault whilst under the influence of narcotics and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.  He was, however, given a couple of weeks to appeal the decision if he didn’t fancy jail.  Blood money was not specified.

Elsewhere in the Emirates, another massive push for Emiratisation is underway.  For those that don’t know, Emiratisation is a scheme intended to get more locals working in the private sector.  Despite the fact that working for government institutions in the public sector pays 4-5 times more per annum, confidence of duping people to accept private sector employment remains naively high.

So there we have it, all the relatively latest big news stories over the last month from the UAE, I’m Martin Fullard, and that was the UAE…Uncut.

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109. Accountants

Mankind has been through a hell of a lot over the last 2000 years or so.  We really have had it all; disease, war, famine, genocide, natural disasters, Christmas.  As a collective unit we have scaled Everest with nothing more than a piece of rope and some mittens, we have ventured to the poles and we have sent men to the moon, allegedly.  We now have cures for diseases that were a death sentence only 15 years ago.  Billions of humans have died over the years all in the name of the greater good.  What a tragedy to know that your ancestors who died at Waterloo or fighting the Zulu’s did so in the name of incompetence.

The world is a changing place and it seems that the more we progress technologically the more stupid we become.  In the old days, Generals could win wars with crudely drawn maps and soldiers could defeat German machine guns with sticks.  Men were proud and tough, skinning a rabbit and eating it for dinner was the only way a British solider knew how to survive during the Peninsula war.  These days, grown men go for pedicures, spray tanning and our only chance of winning a war rests solely on the hopes of our adversaries’ incompetence.  We used to invent things like the steam locomotive, the automobile and the light-bulb; but not any more.  Today we like inventing stupid things designed to make another mans life as miserable and as un-necessary as possible, presumably in the name of accountancy.

Accountants may well run the world but will eventually have to answer to the Devil...

Accountants may well run the world but will eventually have to answer to the Devil…

This weekend – between modelling in the desert and watching a dirty, filthy, scummy, plastic, stinking, odious, abhorrent, repulsive, vile, contemptible, despicable, shameful, wicked, loathsome football franchise beat my beloved AFC Wimbledon – I stayed in a top 5 star hotel in the nation’s capital city.  The day was going quite well, sitting by the pool, lunch, reading a book and so on but then I got thirsty.  This is where the problem started.

Dry mouthed and parched I gingerly approached the poolside bar.  As I was to be driving later that day I could not have a beer, so opted to whet my whistle with something alien; a soft drink.  Things were going quite well, I was asked by the bartender if I would like anything, why else did he think I was there? I played it safe and kindly asked the man for a 7-Up.  The chosen refreshment was in my sight, in the glass door fridge directly behind him.  The man instead walked off and returned some seconds later empty handed.  He then looked at the fridge and upon spotting the 7-Up proceeded to take it to the counter-top.

I said to the man that there was no need for a glass, ice or a slice of fruit, but that the can on its own would be sufficient.  Still, however, he attempted to pour it into a glass with ice.  No matter.  I was just trying to save him some clearly needed time.  He then asked if I would like to pay for the item.  Since I can’t afford to be a thief and subsequently put in the same bracket as Pete Winkelman of the MK Dons, I replied saying that I would prefer to pay, not steal.

Things were starting to get worse.  The man went over to his point-of-sale and went about entering much data.  I felt that he assumed I was also going to be paying for everyone else at the pool too; he was pressing an awful lot of buttons.  After several minutes two copies of my bill were presented to me in a neat, leather book wallet together with a pen – which wasn’t complementary – and some promotional material.  The cost of this solitary can of 7-Up was AED 15, that’s just short of £3.  No matter, these 5 star hotels seem to be beyond the law of rational reason when it comes to such things and one simply needs to swallow it, if you’ll pardon the pun.

The only suitable denomination of money I had about my person was a AED 20 note, this meant that I would be furnished with AED 5 in change.  I placed the note neatly in the leather book wallet and waited for the man to come back.  Once he had finished chopping up the ice cubes he returned to me and took the payment back over to his point-of-sale.  Again he proceeded to input lots of data into his computer and eventually, as if by magic, the till draw popped open.

To make sure everything was in order, and that the point-of-sale had done its job correctly, he got out the calculator.  After three attempts it became clear that I was indeed owed AED 5 in change so he placed five, shiny coins into the leather book wallet, together with 2 copies of my bill before it had been paid and 2 copies of my bill after it had been paid.  The pen had been removed but the promotional material remained.  I scooped up the 5 coins, reluctantly said thank you and walked off leaving the leather book wallet and its contents there on the bar.

By the time I went to sip my 7-Up it had evaporated and I was 73 years old.  Who on God’s green Earth decided that this process of buying a drink was a good idea?  Identify yourselves to us now.  Aha!  The accountants!  Well, the finance directors to be more precise.  I know several accountants and they are nice, normal people.  Put one in the boardroom however and what you have is a load of lazy bastards who are simply getting the underpaid barman to do the maths for them.

The whole escapade took several long minutes and I contemplated drowning the poor man at one point.  On the customer satisfaction ratio this was on a par with finding a dead horse on your hotel bed or having the concierge hack off one of your extremities.  It was insufferable.  In my local Abu Jamal Grocery buying such a thing takes less than 5 seconds, why?  It’s because the shopkeeper doesn’t fanny around with computers. No, he simply presses one button on the till, it opens, he puts my cash in and hands me my change back.  I’m out of the door before I even went in and his books still balance at the end of the month.

Our forefathers fought for a world free of tyranny but it would seem that the very people they were fighting for – you and I – have betrayed them and embraced the tyranny of the accountants.  That’s the scary thing, accountants are running the world these days and their number one weapon, the computer, cannot be done away with.

If the computers went away we might be back to skinning rabbits for dinner and war on horse-back, but at least we wouldn’t be thirsty.

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