That bastion of conservative frugality and useful accomplishments, The United Nations, is wanting to assess retroactive cash payments from nations who may or may not have produced greenhouse gasses contributing to global climate change which may or may not have damaged certain unspecified nations at some point in the past, or may or may not damage them at some point in the future. The USA, Japan, Canada, and Russia are refusing. China and Brazil are exempted. The too-liberal-for-their-own-good EU, relying on Germany to foot any bills it may incur is on board, along with 135 other nations who may stand to receive some of this money. After the UN is through with the costs of administration of the $200 billion or so it greedily plans to collect each year, as much as four or five million dollars will likely be available for distribution among the damaged, of which all will most likely be sequestered for their own benefit by corrupt government leaders in third-world countries. If the UN is successful, this will only be used to fatten the UN.
I can think of few things the UN has actually done other than severely disturb parking in downtown New York and defrauding the City of New York out of millions of dollars of revenue from unpaid parking tickets. New York expects me to pay my parking tickets. They expect you to pay your parking tickets. The UN, however, does not expect its members, minions, agents, heirs, successors, or assigns to pay their parking tickets.
How about this for a proposal: The USA will contribute as much money to this program as the UN administration and member nations actually pay in back parking tickets, interest, and penalties to the City of New York. This flood of revenue should help New York hire all the law enforcement personnel and restaurant inspectors needed to protect its citizens from those menacing drinks that are larger than 16 ounces while simultaneously helping the United Nations advance its great desire to redistribute wealth from rich nations into its own coffers, ostensibly, for re-redistribution to the wealthy despots of poor nations.
The United Nations is the only place where small dogs routinely bite the hands that feed them. Real small dogs mostly know better than this. People, though, do not seem to understand it, especially when headphones are placed on their ears that automatically translate what the speaker is saying into their native language. Maybe the UN uses GOOGLE TRANSLATOR as its translation service. Have you ever tried GOOGLE TRANSLATOR? My own translation of Uzbeck or Urdu would be as beneficial for your use.
No wonder those UN diplomats all seem to be sleeping. The first thing – you have a diplomat speaking . . . that alone is enough to put one to sleep. Second – you have diplomats incapable of doing anything but speaking speaking about things they can do absolutely nothing about. Third – you have this useless speech being translated by some mysterious translator sitting somewhere in some back room who is as sleepy as the diplomats listening to the speech, and perhaps as good at speaking a second language as the person you get when you call your credit card company customer service. Fourth – What time is lunch, anyway? Fifth – though they bring in food for the diplomats, most of them choose to eat out since lunch is from 11:00AM until 3:30PM, even though the assembly comes to order at 10:30AM and adjourns at 4:00PM.
Those diplomats must do something between the call to order and adjournment, so they put on their headphones and listen to badly translated diplomatic speeches . . . or are they really listening to John Tesh?? Either way, they are bound to be lulled right to sleep from their early call to order, and of course they will be wanting another nap after their exhausting lunch.
Where else on earth can a person from a third-world country whose per capita income is measured in goats, and a wealthy man is anyone who has over five, come and be a clerk, live like a king with a hundred thousand dollars a year in salary, all the perquisites of UN employment, and permanent free parking in one of the earth’s most expensive cities, and never again venture back to their home country? Only the UN offers this kind of opportunity. How does one become a janitor at the UN, I wonder? These are no doubt some of the most coveted jobs in all the world.
“What do you do for the UN, Prubaptha?” asked Gwanibje during a lunch break at the UN World Agricultural Central Planning Conference being held in Copenhagen.
“I am an assistant deputy junior clerk in the office of the sub-secretary of the UN Council on Pan-Asian Goat Milk Statistic Assimilation.”
“Ahh! Excellent! I am the Apprentice Level 3 clerk at the UN Equatorial Administrative Region Agricultural Practicalization Committee for Goat Milking,” said Gwanibje. Then, turning to his neighbor at the bar, seeing the name badge on his lapel, he asked, “Achmed, what do you do?”
“I am a goat herder,” said Achmed.
“And what UN agency do you work for?” asked Gwanibje.
“I am a goat herder,” said Achmed.
“Yes, of course, you said that. But for what UN agency do you teach people to herd the goats?” asked Gwanibje.
“I do not teach people how to herd goats. I herd the goats for myself and the goats. It is good for the goats, and it is good for me,” said Achmed.
“But you have no connection to the UN?” asked Gwanibje.
“What is the UN? I am a simple man . . . just a goat herder,” said Achmed.
“Well, it certainly is remarkable that you are here, with this name badge, in this bar in Copenhagen at this very time, and you are a goat herder unconnected with the UN. I wonder how this came to be?”
“I live just outside Copenhagen,” said Achmed. “This bar buys fresh goat milk from me to use in their lattes. Someone told me I had to have on a name badge to enter here today, so they gave me a name badge.”
“Well you are certainly in the right place. We can help you with all your goat problems since we are both with UN agencies that promote goat agriculturalism,” said Prubaptha.
Achmed looked at them both, carefully. He paused, brushed his moustache back on each side of his mouth, lightly blew on his cup then took a sip of his tea. “So, you know about goats?” he asked.
Gwanibje and Prubaptha both started talking excitedly all at once about all the UN offices of agricultural-animal husbandry dealing with goats and other ruminants, and all the various programs, sub-programs, and thousands and thousands of administrators and support personnel all based at UN headquarters in New York, but currently in Copenhagen for the UN World Agricultural Central Planning Conference, who could help him with his goats. There were dozens of people in this very bar whose specialty was goats.
“Ah! Then!! It is kismet that has brought me here! Yes, I think you can help me. I would like to buy one more goat, but I don’t have the money,” said Achmed. “I have five goats, but I really need one more nanny so I can have enough milk to sell and still have some for myself.”
“You own five goats already?” asked Gwanibje.
“Yes,” said Achmed, “but I really need another nanny goat from a different blood line.”
“But our program is for poor people, not wealthy ones” said Prubaptha. Achmed looked at her with surprise at the notion that he was a wealthy man. She continued, “Because you own five goats, you are considered wealthy, therefore the UN can be of no assistance to you.”
“Five goats might make one wealthy in his own homeland, but in Copenhagen, I’m afraid five goats doesn’t make me part of the wealthy class,” said Achmed.
Prubaptha and Gwanibje both laughed at this. Achmed was offended by their mirth at his expense, but he held his tongue.
“Where do you think we are from?” asked Gwanibje.
“From your dress and speech I would say that one of you is from India, and the other from Central Africa, but I am a simple man . . . a goat herder. I am not educated in such things,” said Achmed.
“We are both from New York City,” laughed Prubaptha, “and five goats won’t make you wealthy there, either. You can’t even have a goat in New York City.” Both of them laughed at the thought. Achmed did not laugh. He thought about his five goats. He also thought about his cupboards, bare except for the largesse of the Danish government, and his five goats. He did not understand how he could be considered wealthy. Maybe they knew something he didn’t, he thought to himself, since after all he was a mere goat herder, though he suspected that he knew far more about goats than they did.
“So you have never seen goats?” he asked.
“Well, not REALLY,” said Gwanibje. Prubaptha nodded. “But we know all about them. Trust us. We are working for the world’s foremost United Nations goat agencies.”
“Ah! I understand!,” said Achmed. “Tomorrow, I will bring you some of my goat’s milk if you will still be here, as a gesture of friendship. Goodbye then.”
“Yes, we will be right here at this same time and would like that very much,” said Gwanibje. Prubaptha nodded, smiling with delight that she had managed to get this close to the very essence her UN job had prepared her for, yet disappointed that Achmed was a wealthy goat-herder, thus beyond the scope of her work. She was excited, nevertheless.
“We will drink to your health!” said Achmed as he saluted and turned to go with a smile, friendly towards his two new acquaintances, but a bit twisted as he turned to the door and made his way out. He thought about how, tomorrow, they would enjoy the taste of their goat’s milk lattes laced with a touch of aged billy-goat urine. A drop or two would do the trick. As they sipped their lattes, he’d drip some of the essence of the billy goat onto their shoes. As the goat urine warmed to their body temperature, others would begin to notice and continually steer clear of them long before they would discover that the smell stuck in their noses was coming from their own bodies. It seemed that Achmed actually knew more about goats than they did, though they thought not. He was not a simple man, as he had said, but very complex, with a long and reliable memory.
Upon his return the next day, Achmed was greeted with the warmest smiles from Gwanibje and Prubaptha, who arranged to introduce him to many of their UN goat-expert clerk friends, all of them anxiously awaiting to meet someone who actually raised goats and to taste the fresh goat’s milk for their lattes. As they crowded around, Achmed admonished them cheerfully, “There is plenty for everyone. Take your time. Take your time. Achmed will serve you!”
He smiled to them all as he clandestinely dribbled the goat urine onto Prubaptha’s shoes. She took a long sip of her latte, held it up to Gwanibje and said, “This is the best goat’s milk I’ve ever tasted.” Gwanibje agreed. Achmed just smiled and said, “It is nice to have my goat’s milk so well enjoyed by those who know goats so well. I am just a simple man. I am just a goat herder.” He dribbled some of the goat urine onto Gwanibje’s shoes, too.
Achmed left shortly thereafter, leaving the aged billy-goat urine to work its magic. As the evening wore on, Gwanibje thought that Prubaptha must have forgotten to shower. Prubaptha kept casting furtive glances at Gwanibje, suspecting he was the source of the foul odor. During that night’s banquet, they noticed that as others approached their table to sit with them, after placing their plates on the table, they suddenly feigned interest in an old friend they spotted across the room and rushed over to sit at another table. They even noticed that a couple of those feigning interest in old friends sat alone. Prubaptha was afraid that people thought she was the source of the smell. Gwanibje was certain she was. He finally got up, bid farewell to Prubaptha, saying, “Tomorrow is a very busy day for the Equatorial Administrative Region Agricultural Practicalization Committee for Goat Milking. We convene at lunch-time, then off to tour the sites of Copenhagen, courtesy of the Danish UN diplomatic mission. I must be off to prepare. Good night, Prubaptha.”
“Yes, and the Council on Pan-Asian Goat Milk Statistic Assimilation has a working breakfast meeting early in the morning at 10:30. Then, a luncheon at noon at which we will host the UN General Agricultural Council to present them with the past year’s assimilated data. Though we have already sent it out by e-mail, the official presentation is a protocol formality. I must also go and prepare for tomorrow,” she said, squirming uncomfortably in her chair at the smell of Gwanibje, holding back a retch that was approaching the upper part of her throat, wishing he would hurry up and leave. They both rose and turned to go, sorry for how the night had passed, with each having thoughts of having been stigmatized by the other.
As they parted company, they noticed that the stench did not seem to be the less. As they entered separate elevators in different parts of the hotel, they both noticed how people stared at them, moving as far away from them as they could. Each heard a gag or two, as people tried to suppress them, not wanting to seem impolite.
A elderly, callous, well, perhaps better yet, unchivalrous Texan, staying at the hotel in Copenhagen on business completely unrelated to the UN looked directly into Gwanibje’s eyes as they rode up on the elevator and said, “Son, you smell like you bathed in goat piss. You might try a different cologne. That one’s not working for you!” Everyone on the elevator tried unsuccessfully not to laugh, and the only ones who didn’t at first were the ones who did not have the benefit of their UN translators, but soon, they joined the laughing as they recognized that the brash Texan had no doubt made a comment about the terrible odor coming from Gwanibje. Only an American, they thought, would be so crude as to mention something like this. They were proud that they were not so impolite, but when the doors opened on floor three, they all got off the elevator, even though not a one of them were staying on the third floor. The person waiting on floor three who had mashed the elevator up button took one whiff as everyone got off and decided to pass. They’d all wait for another elevator. Not the Texan, though. He stayed on with Gwanibje. Goat-piss was not enough to drive him off the elevator. He’d smelled it before. He’d smell it again. It was just a strong smell to the Texan; but to Gwanibje, it was beyond revolting . . . it was nauseating.
The Texan bent down and took a sniff of Gwanibje, looking at the spots on his shoes. “Son, I believe a billy-goat’s done pissed on your shoes,” he said. “Where’d you get pissed on by a billy-goat in downtown Copenhagen?”
“Achmed!” said Gwanibje, the light bulb finally lit.
“Where is Achmed?” asked the Texan.
“Achmed is a person, not a place,” said Gwanibje.
“Well, Achmed, who has apparently pissed on your shoes, has too close a relationship with billy-goats if you ask me,” said the Texan, now laughing out loud.
“Sir, pardon my arrogance, but just how would you know the smell of goat urine,” asked an indignant Gwanibje.
“There ain’t a farm boy in Texas that don’t know that smell,” said the Texan. “A billy-goat’s about the nastiest thing there is. You smell that once and you never forget it.”
“So you know about goats in Texas?” asked Gwanibje.
“Barbecue one or two cabritos every Labor Day,” said the Texan, “But not a buck-grown billy. They ain’t fit to eat. Their meat smells just like your shoes even after it’s cooked. Can’t get rid of that smell. You’ll have to throw them shoes away, socks, and most likely that colorful robe you’re wearing, too. And, I’d steer clear of that Achmed. A feller that’d goat-piss on your shoes is not exactly a friend.”
The doors to the elevator opened and the still laughing Texan stepped off, turning to face Gwanibje before the doors closed and said, “Nice chattin’ with you. I’d find that Achmed and put them shoes under his pillow if I were you.” The elevator doors closed. As the elevator began to move, Gwanibje could still hear guffaws of laughter coming from the rude Texan. It seemed he could hear his laughter for several floors. It seemed he could hear the laughter as he placed the shoes and socks in a trash can in the vending area on his floor, walking barefooted the rest of the way to his room. He could hear the laughter as he washed his feet, washed his body, scrubbed and scrubbed, and heard the laughter continuously while nothing seemed to be able to mask the stench in his nose, nor the vile essence that seemed to have been absorbed by his skin and now into his bloodstream, as even his breath seemed to reek of goat-piss.
As Achmed lay down that night, his final thought before a peaceful sleep overtook him on the outskirts of Copenhagen was that there were at least two people at the UN goat conference who now knew more about goats than they did when they arrived. He took great satisfaction from that. Had he known about the Texan, he would have liked to have made his acquaintance and shaken his hand.