We were so close. We were literally one week shy of our one-year-in-Cairo anniversary (April 24th). We had almost made it!!
But apparently fate can be cruel. Oh, so very very cruel. And while out shopping with friends in Maadi this past weekend, Ron, who can’t see a colander when it’s at eye-level in the cupboard, caught a glimpse out of the corner of his eye and … well, what can I say? We made it 358 days in Cairo without acquiring any more mudmen. Much as the OSHA incident calendar resorts to “Zero days without an accident” when there’s a chemical spill, we too have to turn back the calendar and say with a heavy heavy heart, “Zero days without a mudman purchase.”
While Ron was gleefully making his purchases, I was busy puttering about in Denialville, refusing to acknowledge and therefore intervene in his transactions. Regardless of my known, and very vocal, dislike of the creepy things, I still overheard phrases like, “Yes, the WHOLE band!” and the proprietor saying, “I have others, do you want to see?” (He saw the word “sucker” in multiple languages on Ron’s forehead.) Ron was very adamant about having them all wrapped carefully, because the last time he bought them and shipped them home, many resorted to their original form of dust, and others lost heads, wagon wheels and other “add-ons.” I was able to convince Ron to discard the most egregiously damaged before we moved, but unfortunately he found great delight in keeping the headless cabbage sellers and rug merchants. They all now live in what we call, “The Village.”
After the deed was done, and Ron was carrying his bag of bundled goodies, I found myself praying for a deluge like that last seen by Noah. But fate was in a loathsome mood and just kept things dry and sunny. And considering these mudmen are made, I’m convinced, of dried dog poo, shaped and painted bright colors, with hideously nightmarish faces, they only thrive in these desert-like conditions.
I’m trying to convince Ron that they would be best displayed in his bathroom where it would be FUN to watch them slowly melt away with the daily steam buildup (and a few buckets of water to move things along). But Ron disagreed and with great care, childlike delight and glee, (and at times a rather crazed glint, as you can see by the photo), he lovingly unwrapped each of the SEVENTEEN he bought and arranged them for my viewing. So now I will inflict them on you as well. Enjoy! And if you are as entranced by them as Ron is, please let me know and I’ll direct you to a secret Ebay auction to be held in the near future.