Tuesday, December 5, 2006

6 Weird Things About Me

6 Weird Things About Me

There is one BIG weird thing I haven't told you:

Weird Thing #1

Growing up I had pet porcupines.

This is very strange. It's just about the strangest thing you can have for a pet. My dad was a wildlife biologist, infact if you google him, you 'll see all his studies on porcupines. Mama porcupines only have one baby at a time and they are not good at adopting little ones that aren't their own. An orphaned porcupine baby will simply die and so rather than let that happen, my dad brought Ernie home.

Ernie was the first. I don't remember him as well, since I was around four years old. He got some press coverage and appeared in the local newspaper. He grew up in a cage out back and was released into the wild once he was older. Blondie was next. I have photos with her. I was older by then so I got to be more "hands on" as it were.

You can actually pet a porcupine. You start at the head and move towards the tail, just like you would a dog's fur. My dad would put on big leather gloves to handle her and then I could pet her.Some people think that porcupines shoot their quills. They can no more do that than you could shoot your hair. Their most dangerous quills are on their back and tail. That tail is powerful and acts like a rudder when they do their low waddle. They are not graceful and they are not fast. But Subanawatallah has given it a defense against predators.

I did get 15 quills in my right knee once, when I fell. My dad methodically pulled them out. If you don't get all the pieces of the barbed, hollow, spear of a quill, then the parts can travel through your body and attack your organs. In my crazier, over-tired moments when I can't get to sleep, I wonder if the pieces really were all removed.

Their natural born enemy is the fisher, which is like a weasel. It is super speedy and very crafty. It knows that the porcupine doesn't have quills on its soft underbelly. So the fisher zooms around and around the porcupine trying to get it off balance. When that happens, the fishers torpedo its abdomen and bites into it with its sharp pointed teeth.

The modern day enemy of the porucpine is us. Because they are so slow, many are killed crossing the road. It is sad for me to think that drivers can't wait 30 seconds in their commute to avoid killing nature. The other way porcupines are suffering is through deforestation. Their habitat is in fallen trees, their safety is in climbing trees, and their food are young branches and leaves. They need the forests much more than we need another Walmart.

Blondie was funny. She loved peanut butter and bananas. I mean, my dad would cut fresh branches for her every day, and I think he fed her monkey chow. She would make these lovely little pleasure sounds when she ate; like a baby nursing.

One day, she got into my Hubba Bubba Bubblegum. Boy! Was that a mess!

She was one of the family. She used to go sailing with us. She was great on the boat. She had better sea legs than anyone, due to her low center of gravity. She'd waddle down the hill into the small town sometimes. We'd take her around. The townsfolk got use to her.She got more press coverage as my dad was the director of an ecological institute. He'd take her to work. There was one terrific photo of him at the office talking on the phone, while she sat on her haunches trying to eat a pen. The funny thing is to see my handsome dad completely unfazed by the porcupine on his desk.

The photo of me and Blondie was taken because my classmates in the city didn't believe me. I had to provide photographic proof. I brought some quills too. Isn't that something? For most of my life I haven't been believed.Blondie was released to the wild eventually. She visited once. I'm sure she's long since passed away. I never really thought of her as dead until just now. I guess I just thought of her as still in the wild, muching away. Her descendants, enshahallah, are out there. And I bet they have an unrealized craving for peanutbutter and bananas.

Weird Thing #2

I didn't drive until I was 23.

Weird Thing #3

You might have heard my voice already.

Years ago, my voice was recorded for a well-known amusement park and used for the instructions at the beginnings of the rides. "Welcome! During the duration of the ride, please keep your arms and legs..."So, chances are, some of you have heard my voice without even knowing it was old Honorary Arab herself!

Weird Thing #4

I have a dime-sized brown birth mark on my left thumb. It's the EXACT same color as my husband's skin. I explained to him that after God was done making him, there was just this little extra skin left over and I got it, since I'd be united with him later on. Subhanallah. I use to hate it and cover it up. Teachers always thought it was dirt and make me wash up again.

Weird Thing #5

I used to keep a list of all the countries and then write down the name of the foreigner from that country once I had kissed him. My goal was to kiss a man from every country.

Weird Thing #6

My husband is in Egypt trying to marry his ex-wife whom he divorced three times, but she says ...OH! You already know that one!

How about this one...

I was once addicted to the British soap opera EastEnders. I collected all the clippings, the books, the vids, the mugs, the Tshirts and then I went for the autographs. I wrote to all my favorites and got their signed glossies.

I idolized them, astragferallah. I use to attend a weekly EastEnders web chat, write for a newsletter, appear on live PBS pledge breaks, and even write for a British fan club's website. It was way out of hand until I decided to stop watching their fictional life and start concentrating on my actual life.

There! That's six! You know the rest!

originally posted as Honorary Arab

1 comment:

Londoneya said...

Haha @ Eastenders! Used to watch that growing up in London, but slowly got bored of it. Since I moved to Egypt I sometimes watch a few mins of it on YouTube just out of nostalgia for the country and its pavements!