Tuesday, July 20, 2004

I've got this friend. A surly muddle of a person, mouthy and dissolute, but we get on well. Recently, this person informed me of his fondest wish for his own life. What does he hope for most ardently in this world? To conquer his occasional stammer? Stop trying to bait cops into fistfights? Never again be caught singing "Norwegian Wood" in lilting French in the shower, as I recently caught him doing? No, it's nothing so self-improving. Instead, this fine citizen's most deeply-held dream is apparently to be photographed on holiday in Africa, embracing one of those purportedly tame hyenas tourists can, in some rough and under-legislated parts, pay to be snapped with. Because of his love of the creatures? Oh no. To torture me. To, as he put it to me, "make the envy eat right through your skin". He wants to have his arms around its dear scruffy neck, and he wants to be offering his middle finger to the camera and perhaps be holding a hand-lettered sign further taunting me. His fondest wish. It's nice to have friends.


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