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Unbranded and home on the range.

Oh you think you’re funny huh?

A while back, in an effort to get my baby brother [now 15 years of age] to build some thicker skin, I told him to take any insult someone threw at him and roll it right back with a lighthearted add-on intended to show the insulter that he wasn’t hurt or fazed by the insult, and rather, was having fun with the insult. So for example if someone called him a “LOSER!”, he should just crack a smile, make a goofy face and correct the person by saying “Loser with a Life, yo!” or if someone called him a “RETARD!”, he might reply back saying “Retard keepin’ it Real, baybeh!” and perhaps accentuate the retort with a snap of the fingers, or pointing at himself, or shrugging his shoulders, etc. The idea was to not only show complete indifference to the insult, but to even toss it back with his own spin on it.

So tonight at the dinner table as I was scooping my rice and meat out onto my plate, my sister made some stale sarcastic joke, and I forced a stunted, artificial stream of laughter and followed up with “WHAT A FUNNY!” while keeping a poker face. And then that reminded me of the odd time I’ve heard my parents toss the term “mutafunnee” about when one or both of them were angry at us. Its a term in both Arabiy and Hindi that loosely translated, means “troublemaker”.

Well, you can guess what happened next.

My face lit up like I had just discovered the cure for cancer as I looked over at my baby brother who was sitting on the computer in the breakfast area. “OMG! Next time Mom calls you mutafunnee, you can just laugh and say “VAT-A-FUNNY!” … I found this proposal to be so hilarious I nearly collapsed from laughing so hard. I had to first cover my face with my hands because I couldn’t stop laughing, and then I slapped my hands on the countertop and then buried my face in my arms, still laughing my head off. My mom, standing behind me was slightly amused at the proposal, but moreso at my uncontrollable laughter. She couldn’t resist slapping my back while laughing herself. My sister and my baby brother were snickering either with me or at me, I didn’t care.

What’s even more funny was that I had no clue what “mutafunnee” means. My mom said she had never seen it actually written in literature, but only heard people saying it. She vaguely recalled it meaning something like troublemaker or rascal. We had a brief discussion at the dinner table about what the root word was. My sister suggested fitnah or fitan, but I said no because the root didn’t seem to be F T N.

A little while later I was asking an associate  – Basboosa  – what the word meant. Here’s our brief exchange:

Salmaan says:
I have a question
Salmaan says:
do you know what the urdu term “mutafunni” means?
Basboosa says:
I have a answer
Salmaan says:
i know its like, an insult or something
Basboosa says:
someone is fat and funny
Salmaan says:
but i’m not sure what it means
Basboosa says:
AHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA
Basboosa says:
HAHAHAHAHAHAHHA

… lawlz.

Get it? MOTA + FUNNY …. fat and funny?

That was good.

Gosh I love turning my brain off and becoming an airhead. The laughs come so easily at anything and everything.

Anyways. Later I asked Dr. Saima if she had the answer and here’s what she said:

Mari  – says:
mutafannin : crafty [fanna] Hin mutafanni
Mari  – says:
mutafanni itself is arabic
Salmaan says:
mutafanneen is from arabiy?
Mari  – says:
yep
Salmaan says:
and in hindi it became mutafannee?
Salmaan says:
meaning? crafty? troublemaker?
Salmaan says:
what?
Mari  – says:
fanna=thats hindi, but i dont know what exactly that means
Mari  – says:
mutafannin
Mari  – says:
is arabic

Filed under: Ghetto, Laced, Miscellany, MSN Ejecta

I see dead people.

So, beause today’s Friday and because I closed a good opportunity that had been in the pipeline for quite a while, I was of course, kinda happy and walking on cloud nine. The kid inside of me felt like celebrating so I started spinning myself around and around in my chair, getting delieriously drunk on the dizzyness until … I fell outta my chair. All 170 pounds of me came tumbling onto the floor, limbs splayed out, and then I was clutching my head with both hands, moaning and trying to get up off the floor.

I tried but fell over again.

A colleague several cubicles away, was walking by and stopped, sipping on a drink with one hand and the other hand stuffed in his pocket. I heard him sarcastically quip about calling 9-1-1, and then he nonchalantly walked off. Then a minute later another colleague thought to extract his face away from his monitor and looked over at me and asked in a distant voice “oh did you just fall outta yer chair?” and then promptly went back to laughing at whatever stuff was on his screen.

…. annnnd, that was it. Everyone was either cold and heartless and didn’t give a jack about anyone else because they’re all scared of getting sued for being nice and helpful. Or, they’re thought I was well within my standard parameters of normal behavior.

But, hey! Social experimentation is cool!

Filed under: Ghetto, Laced, Miscellany

Your Biggest. Game. Ever. [Part One]

Just one night before the competition…
I find no rest, no sleep, just intuition.

Tomorrow I will hear Let The Games Begin…
Everyone scores, but I have to win.

I will be much faster than the speed of light…
I’m stronger than a lion in a fight.
This song, a reminder in my heart
For my people, for my country and for us
ELLAS ELLAS ELLAS

“Let the Games Begin”
– Nikki & Christina.

THIS IS IT BABY!!!

It’s the biggest World Cup finale ever. There has NEVER been any series as hyped as this one, ever in the history of professional sports. This is the game that’s on the minds and lips of everyone from the presidents and prime ministers, to the halls of power and business, of governments and mega-corporations, on the streets and schoolyards, in the places of worship and sanctuary, in the dance-clubs, malls and cafes, to all the way down to the small towns and fishing villages dotting the globe like sand on the beach.

The stadium is bursting at the seams, crammed with 200,000 fans and nearly a thousand media personnel, with hundreds of high-definition digital cameras broadcasting the game worldwide, where over a billion people are glued to screens large and small, fervently praying for their favorite team. Billions more are listening on the radio, on the net, or asking others about The Game.

No series has been so heavily contested such as this one, so pregnant with your victory and indeed these are the last moments before delivery. The stakes are piled sky-high: the winners go home with the Cup and with all the prestige and glory of a triumphant army coming home after a long war, the bragging rights are unparalleled, the paychecks are going to have double-digit zeros on them, your fellow compatriots will be congratulated wherever ’round the world they go and the envy of other nations will no longer be hidden. The losing team will be scorned, mocked, and spat on for years to come by their own countrymen and even families, for bringing such unbelievable ignominy and shame to the nation, until they find themselves to be outcasts.

The teams are tied but because they have more playoff series points than your team, a tie will spell a disastrous loss for your team and for your nation. Every player is calling upon their innermost hidden reserves of strength to carry them through. Sinewy muscles bulge; foreheads are riven by overloaded arteries, adrenaline flows in torrential amounts through the veins of every player.

The opposing team has pulled their goalie off their net to add another player into the mix, to throw you off-balance and to gain numbers and strength against you. And now, with the ball in your end of the field, it would be suicidal to pull your goalie off as well, and so you fight insanely for the ball, ignoring the pain in your shins and knees, never letting it out of your eyesight, madly driven to keep it from getting past your goalkeeper. You keep getting closer and closer to it, just grazing it with your knees or knocking it back down with a perfectly synchronized head-butt while it continues to be fiercely fought over.

… and then, it’s yours …

You have the ball and your deft feet handle the ball like a music conductor handles his baton in front of the Symphony Orchestra. Your team sees you with it and you hear them screaming at you to come down the left side where they’ve engaged the opposing team and cleared a path only for you, giving you a window of just a few seconds to break free of the melee. And instinctively, without a second thought, you take the ball and barrel right through that small breach and into the wide open field, streaking across the grass with one singular, overriding objective – the empty goal you see on the other side. You don’t even hear the screams of despair of the opposing team. Four-letter words and other expletives come forth like water over the Niagara Falls. Driven by desperation, they lunge forward trying to catch even a sliver of your shadow but they know all is lost. Their morale dropping faster than a bullet fired straight downwards, their faces betray them before their bodies do. Not even Superman could reach you in time, and they know this. Even you know it.

Before, what seemed to be mere lightning flashing in the distance has now coalesced into thousands upon thousands of camera flashes going off in rapid-fire succession, straining to capture The Moment, that exact point in time when your powerful thighs deliver that final blow, slamming home that ball like a hammering in the final nail in a coffin. The sportscasters lose their composure and bellow into the microphones about the lone comet they see ripping across the field unhindered, unchallenged.

But you don’t hear them or the earth-shattering, roaring crowd. The unending barrage of dazzling sparks is denied entry into your visual cortex. You block everything out. You’re in the Zone, and you’re high on the colossal, near-illegal boost of adrenaline. You’ve expertly bent the entire world to conform to your desires, all down to this every moment where everything has given way to you and your superior mastery. No one else in history has ever commanded such a clear shot at the goal, and you know no one else ever will.

This is going to be the shot heard and seen around the world, to be recounted across many generations until it becomes a permanent legend seared into the eternal, collective memory of your nation.

The crowd boils over. The thunderous screams of your name can be heard across the city. Traffic stops. Horns blow; people exchange glances and presume your impending victory. The millions-strong crowd surrounding the stadium is now a live, pulsating, and cheering monster dancing in the streets. In front of screens around the world, in front of Times Square displays and in front of radio sets in cities and villages, the tension mounts and overflows as premature cheers of euphoria erupt. Hands are raised to the sky; tears come unbidden to millions of eyes, cascading down wet cheeks. Never before has such a massive amount of humanity come together and willed for such a pivotal triumph to come into existence …

…and then, you don’t take the shot.

It’s not like you swung at the ball and missed, it’s not like you actually belted it out and it bounced off the goalpost. It’s not like some mad maverick on the opposing team intervened and stole it away from you.

No.

You Just. Never. Took. The Shot.

“You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.”
– Wayne Gretzky


To be continued.

Filed under: Cradle, Laced, Leadership, Quotable Quotes, Riposte

Fa’sabrun Jameel …

There’s a bro I know who’s in jail, he’s fairly young, about 18 or so. The following is part of a letter he wrote to his family counseling them to patience – when ironically, it was his family and friends who were always writing letters to him, advising him to be patient and not go give up hope.

“I don’t really know what to say as we already talk soooo often. All words of encouragement have already been exhausted, yet I still repeat Yaqoob (as)’s words when he truthfully said “Patience is beautiful!”This beauty is beyond the beauty a Man finds in nature, it’s beyond the beauty of a bride on her wedding night; it’s beyond the beauty of our glittering jewelry and it’s beyond the beauty of watching our wealth amass for a ‘secure’ future.Why? Because this is beauty that can only be encaptured by the heart. The majority of people can see with their eyes, hear wih their ears and smell with their noses. But Allah swt only hand-picks a few of His slaves to envision and perceive through their hearts. So be of those slaves. Steer your heart towards bliss by using it to guide you, by using it as your sense of perception, and by completely engulfing it in hope of Allah’s Mercy.

Have complete Yaqeen that Allah does not wrong His slaves. Every moment will be recompensed and the TRUE Beauty, the REAL Beauty, the ABSOLUTE Beauty which currently only resides as a sensation of the heart, will one day be actualized through sight, sound, smell & feel in their absolute PERFECT form inshallah.”

The beauty and strength of his letter left us all silenced and at a complete loss for words.

Filed under: Laced, Leadership, Solace

Imagine.

Imagine yourself gazing upon the Earth.

In near orbit.

There are a few massive yet graceful space stations in geosynchronous orbit. Ships capable of near-space travel dock at the station, disgorging dozens, or even hundreds, of tourists and businesspeople. Supply barges constantly ply established routes bringing vital supplies and refills to the station. Private space yachts glide about here and there, letting their owners enjoy unparalleled, sweeping vistas of the whole globe.

Farther away, nearly invisible against the sheer blackness of space, are smaller research stations. There, scientists are constantly developing new ways to fight diseases, to grow plants with greater crop yields, pioneering new breakthrough technologies for people who are blind or deaf, and finding new ways to improve the standard of living on Earth. Other, larger stations farther out in orbit serve as way-stations for massive freight barges returning from the moon, Mars, or perhaps even the asteroid belt, with cargo holds full of ore and minerals, en-route to planet-side industries.

Closer to home, imagine entire areas – miles and miles – of the Sahara turned into Africa’s breadbasket, thanks to new irrigation, soil engineering, and soil reclamation technologies. Famine on that continent has receded into the collective memory of its’ senior citizens and is now just a shadow of its former self, the remnant of a bad dream from which the world has woken up from and found Africa not only sustaining itself but even exporting grains and produce to other growing markets.
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Filed under: Exhaust, Laced, Leadership

BETTER THAN EID!!!

OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG

MY MISHY-BABY FOUND ME!!!

I’M SO HAPPY OH MY OH LA LAAAAAAAAAAAAA

YOU SEE THIS DAMN SMILE ON MY FACE??!!! IT AINT GOING NOWHERE, NOT FOR A LONGGG TIME!!!!

Filed under: Ghetto, Laced

Of Corporations and Cows.

SOCIALISM: You have 2 cows and you give one to your neighbor.

COMMUNISM: You have 2 cows; the Government takes both and gives you some milk.

FASCISM: You have 2 cows; the Government takes both and sells you some milk.

NAZISM: You have 2 cows. The Government takes both and shoots you.

BUREAUCRATISM: You have 2 cows; the Government takes both, shoots one, milks the other and throws the milk away…

TRADITIONAL CAPITALISM: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull. Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows. You sell them and retire on the income.

AN AMERICAN CORPORATION: You have two cows. You sell one, and force the other to produce the milk of four cows. Later, you hire a consultant to analyze why the cow dropped dead.

A FRENCH CORPORATION: You have two cows. You go on strike because you want three cows.

A JAPANESE CORPORATION: You have two cows. You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk. You then create a clever cow cartoon image called Cowkimon and market them worldwide.

A GERMAN CORPORATION: You have two cows. You reengineer them so they live for 100 years, eat once a month, and milk themselves.

AN ITALIAN CORPORATION: You have two cows, but you don’t know where they are. You break for lunch.

A RUSSIAN CORPORATION: You have two cows. You count them and learn you have five cows. You count them again and learn you have 42 cows. You count them again and learn you have 2 cows. You stop counting cows and open another bottle of vodka.

A SWISS CORPORATION: You have 5000 cows, none of which belong to you. You charge others for storing them.

A CHINESE CORPORATION: You have two cows. You have 300 people milking them. You claim full employment, high bovine productivity, and arrest the newsman who reported the numbers.

AN INDIAN CORPORATION: They have two cows. They worship them.

A BRITISH CORPORATION: You have two cows. Both are mad.

AN EGYPTIAN CORPORATION: You have 2 cows, they both vote for Mubarak

Filed under: Ghetto, Laced

Selfish and Full Of It.

Do you want to be Selfish, Narcissistic, Loaded, Greedy, Full Of It and yet … still come out on top of the game after it’s all over? Don’t screw your face and squirm in your seat. Its not like this is the first time you’re being asked an existentialist question. Think fast, cut to the chase and make a decision. Just answer the question man.

Yes, or No?

If you’re trying to be momma’s boy or a goody-two-shoes and you answered No, then pack your bags and get outta here. You’re a spineless piece of phlegm with no idea of how to prioritize your own interests above that of others. Adieu. And if you’re sitting on the fence and unsure, then you can join Club No as well, and leave. Thanks for coming and don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Ciao.

Now, as for all of you greedy and esurient little loan-sharks who shamelessly said Yes – all right! Lets do lunch.

Here’s the story:

Turns out the Central Bank has a Platinum 5-star plan for investors, with a global reach. Even the lowest-performing stock in their diverse array of portfolios has a return rate of 70% (SEVENTY) compounded annually on the original principal. You can add to the principal amount whenever you like and they adjust the returns by back-dating it to the point of deposit of the original principal.

I checked out their referral program and it is unbelievably out of this world – for every investor you refer to the Bank, you get paid a high double-digit percentage of whatever the Bank pays to the new investor, as an absolute. Meaning the new investor you referred to them will make 100% of the stated ROI on whatever portfolio he or she chose, but your referral payout is on top of that, not cut from it. If the one you referred to the Bank refers others as well, then you not only make a nice percentage off of those new inductees, but you are paid out the original percentage of the new amount that your original referral is now making on his / her own referrals.

If you’re interested in prime real estate, they have a wide variety of portfolios in that sector as well. All of their locales are very well placed and pristine. We’re talking about lush foliage, close to rivers and oceans, breath-taking scenery, stuff folks have never dreamed of.

They also have a preferred partner programs for lenders and underwriters. I’ve personally never seen anything like this.

So, now you want to know what kind of connections I had to go through to get the scoop on such a deal. Did I have to sell my soul? Probably. But greed is a virtue. Even excessive, rampant greed. It can be used as a force for good.

What am I on about?

Well if you think about it, on Judgement Day you’re going to be having a bad day. Stress, like you’ve never known it in your entire life, haha. Sweat is going to be pouring out of you by the buckets. Your hair is going to be growing white at supersonic speeds. You’re going to wish you could go back into your life and just start pumping out good deeds like crazy. I’m not talking about cranking the the faucet up full blast. I’m not even talking about good deeds like the water coming over the Niagara Falls, hell no I’m talking about good deeds like a waterfall the size of the Pacific Ocean, packin’ it on some celestial brand of steroids.

And your single, motivating factor? Greed. You heard me, damn right. Don’t deny it – denial is the most easiest and predictable of all human emotions.

You’re greedy because you want Allah’s Mercy. And you hope that by His Mercy you’ll be entered into Jannatul Firdaus al a3la.

All those good deeds you’ll do with that smile spread like butter across your face, that sincerity, that cute and endearing charm, forgiving others if they wrong you, holding your tongue and hands from undesirable speech and actions, that oh-so pure selflessness … all just a facade for your Greed to to hide behind. You’ll be lying there at night wondering what your bottom line looks like. Billions upon trillions of hasanaat just piling up. And all of it compounded at a factor of 1:70 or more.

Now go back and read it all again, from the start.

You only have this one life, so get going.

Filed under: Laced, Leadership, Riposte

The 411 on (Muslim) guys who want to get married.

So, I was being asked by some women about characteristics of guys who want to get married (desperately or not). I’ve been around for a while, traveled the world over, and I’ve found some pretty common items wherever I go. Be it in North America, Europe, the Mideast, whatever. Please bear in mind some of the following are trade secrets.

Guys who want to get married, desperately or not, will do the following:

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Filed under: Ghetto, Laced, Riposte, Women

She did WHAT?!!!

My brother-in-law was over tonight and during a conversation, he was telling me about some of the crazier insurance lawsuits he’s read about during his sojourn so far as a Director of the Insurance division of a large insurance company. He said the most retarded one (sic) he had ever come across was as follows:

A woman was sued by her daughter for bodily injuries sustained while the woman was driving a car which was involved in an accident.

(So I’m thinking, Yeah okay, thats not a big deal. Kids do even worse to their parents these days)

The kicker is: The woman was alone when driving. There was no other car. She had gone out during some bad weather, her car hit some black ice, skidded and rolled into a ditch. The car was totaled and she was injured.

And her daughter? A five month old fetus inside. Also injured during the accident.

The accident was only a couple of years back. December 2000 to be exact. The mother was the defendant, and the daughter (who was born blind, brain-damaged and somewhat paralyzed) was the plaintiff. The mother (and her husband) hired the lawyers for their daughter, and the lawyers sued the mother on the child’s behalf. In cases involving insurance, the lawyers are actually suing the insurance company. After the child turned three, the case moved forward and dragged on for about a year or two through the courts. Recently the final ruling was handed down, and the child won, thereby forcing the insurance company to pay for years and years of 24/7 expensive medical care.

The law has set a new precedent whereby, as per a 1999 landmark ruling by the Supreme Court, children cannot sue their mothers for damages incurred while they were in-feta. But the Court left a loophole whereby the exception is made if it was in a car accident.

Read more:

Apr. 2004: Legislation to allow girl to sue mother put on hold
Dec. 2005: New Alberta law will permit some lawsuits against mothers
Dec. 2006: Alberta family wins landmark settlement for injuries to fetus

Filed under: Current Affairs, Ghetto, Laced