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The Porcupine's Quill:
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the satire column
Porcupine's Quill
February 20, 2011


by Arshad M. Khan

Let me tell you a story.  I am
Kamal bin-Dust and I live in ...
well, I have to be careful;  
even though the old man is
gone, his cronies are still
around, and I don't want to
end up, you know where,
getting a permanent manicure
-- the kind where you can no longer give a good scratch to an itch.

Yes, I and many of my kind have been eating out of dustbins long enough,
eating the scraps of the rich long enough, been pushed around, beaten
down, long enough.  We want change, even small change.  I want a piece of
the pie -- never had a taste of it, let alone a fair share.  That's why I am out
here.  You know, we belong to a species that can go days without water or
food.  We are adapted to harsh conditions but who doesn't like a good gorge
now and again?

What is our life now?  We give rides to fat, overfed, pink-faced tourists who
think us a novelty.  Imagine coming all this way to look at the graves of
abusive, deluded dictators who used thousands of slaves and poor laborers
(and my ancestors) to build themselves monuments in preparation for an
after-life in mummified bodies.  Not much has changed -- just look at their
descendants ... still preparing for later life, and still abusing us.  I just want
to be free like they say in the great land beyond the shining waters ... before
sending out their CIA to install yet another dictator on some unsuspecting
country; or worse, sending out the military to destroy it with some lame
excuse or lie.  That's the way it is -- no one is ever really free, not even
those with the biggest militaries in the world who are imprisoned by their
own fears.