Monday, February 12, 2007


Dear Readers,

First, I would like to thank you all for coming here day in and day out. Your time has always been appreciated and I hope that these chronicles were as much fun for you to read as they were for me to write.

This blog is now closed until further notice. The dating adventures of Haroun El Poussah have now come to an end.

Haroun El Poussah

Friday, February 09, 2007

Is she worth it?

Relationships are hard. They are hard to start, hard to maintain and hard to end. Relationships are also complicated. No matter what we say, any relationship worth having is both hard and complicated. The question that I often ask myself when I look at a woman is: Is she worth it? You see, in my opinion when I start a relationship, I take on a series of responsibilities and challenges. Starting a relationship means not running away at the first sign of trouble, it means sticking by her during the good times and the bad times, it means accepting the unacceptable, it means compromising on what you thought was un-compromisable, it means swallowing your pride to preserve hers, it means loosing yourself so that she can find herself. These are not easy things to do. But once you start the relationship, this is what you must be prepared to go through.

So, back to my question: “Is she worth it?”. “Would I be willing to go through the gates of hell for her?”. If the answer is no, then better to walk away. I always feel that relationships are out of 10. If one party gives 8, the other will give 2, if one party gives 4 the other will give 6. When I explain this concept to most people, they immediately assume that the successful relationships are those where both give 5. This is, in my opinion, not correct. Successful relationships are those where the numbers change constantly and no one keeps track.

Unfortunately it is very difficult not to keep track. It’s human nature. It is human nature to bicker and count mistakes and to re-open dead issues over and over and over again. That’s just the way we are. It takes a supreme effort that goes against everything we stand for as human beings to not do that. So, my second question for a relationship is “Is she worth it?”. Is she worth that effort? When the day comes that I have to choose between her and the bickering, who/what will my choice be?

Relationships are hard. They end. They end badly. They end in disaster. And they hurt. However, there are also good things in relationships: The companionship, the closeness, the sharing, the intimacy, the comfort and so much more. How do you balance those two? For me, I simply try to weight one against the other and just ask myself “Is she worth it? Is she worth the risk?

The beauty about such a question is that it really allows me to test everything against it. For me, it just comes down to that simple equation. Is everything that will happen next worth the risk of what might happen afterwards?

I know it might sound selfish at first glance. But when you really look at it, it is not really. It is a question that insures that I will try my very best, each and every time. No compromises on that. If she’s worth it, then she deserves my best, nothing less

Haroun El Poussah

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Snob or Gay?

Last night I was on a date! I had dinner. It was a nice dinner, by the beach, weather was very nice, a good amount of alcohol was consumed, and the company was great. 4 hours flew by without me noticing at all. She was smart, funny, interesting and most of all making me laugh. Amazingly I didn’t drop anything on my shirt, jeans or hair and I didn’t make an ass of myself as I usually do (Well, at least I think I didn’t).

As I was driving her home, she turns to me and in the most serious of tones she says: “You’re quite a snob”

According to Wikipedia: A snob, guilty of snobbery, is a person that adopts the world-view that other people are inherently inferior for any one of a variety of reasons including supposed intellect, wealth, education, ancestry, etc. A snob imitates the manners, adopts the world-view and affects the lifestyle of a social class of people to which he or she aspires. That "right" is not necessarily a birth-right: a Pseudo-intellectual is a type of snob. A snob is perceived by those being imitated as an "arriviste", perhaps nouveau riche or parvenu, and the elite group closes ranks to exclude such outsiders, often by developing elaborate social codes, symbolic status and recognizable marks of language. The snobs in response refine their behavior model (Norbert Elias 1983).

Apparently, I treated waiters to harshly, not giving them the proper respect they are due. Having thought about it, I decided to mend my ways. So, at lunch today, this is what happened:

Me: “Good afternoon. Before we order, I would like to thank you for being our waiter today. It is a pleasure, an honor and a privilege to be served by you today”
Claire: “Huh?”
Me: “If you don’t mind, I will start with a Caesar salad”
Claire: “uhu”
Me: “To be followed, with your permission, by a steak”
Claire: “uhu”
Me: “Do you have any suggestions as to how I would want to have it cooked?”
Claire: “huh?”
Me: “May I have it Medium well please?”
Claire: “uhu”
Me: “Thank you very much Claire, it was so kind of you to spend some time at our table”
Claire: “huh?”

Claire: “I have a weirdo on table 4. He is either hitting on me or he’s gay”
Sheryll: “Fucking weirdo!”
Claire: “uhu”

Me: “Excuse me Claire, may you be so kind as to get me some extra water?”
Claire: “uhu”
Me: “Thank you kindly”
Claire: “huh?”

Claire: “He’s gay”
Sheryll: “Let’s set him up with Antonio, the chef”
Claire: “uhu”

Haroun El Poussah

Monday, February 05, 2007


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream--and not make dreams your master,
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Iraqi Business

Medium Kahuna – My new Boss - MK: “Good morning Herlock”
Small Kahuna (me): “Good morning MK”
MK: “I just got back from Washington and we need to open an office in Iraq”
Me: “where?”
MK: “Iraq”
Me: “Which Iraq? The one next to Kuwait?”
MK: “No, no, Iraq in the Middle East. You know, Iraq”
Me: “Oh, that one”
MK: “Yes, we have to open an office there”
Me: “Why?”
MK: “Well, my contacts in DC, that’s our capital here in America, are telling me that they are pumping a lot of money into Iraq and as American companies we need to invest there to take the money back to America. We get tax breaks for that”
Me: “Will your contact in DC come to our opening there?”
MK :”No, of course not”
Me: “Will you come? I think it would show that we are serious about the business there”
MK : “No, I can’t go, I am American”
Me :”Since when do American need permission to got to Iraq? You have 150,000 people there without permission”
MK :”No, I meant it’s dangerous for me”
Me: “Oh, I see. Well who will open it then? We need a Medium Kahuna to open a new office, nothing less will do”
MK: “You open it. You are only a small Kahuna but it’s ok for Iraq”
Me:: “I see, you don’t want to go to Iraq yourself because it is dangerous but you want me to go”
MK: “Yes, you speak Arabic”
Me: “I thought American English was the national language of Iraq now”
MK: “Don’t get smart with me”
Me: “You think Arabic words will stop the bullets or the axe?”
MK :” Well, let’s get an Iraqi to do it”
Me: “And where will we find an Iraqi willing to work for an American company in Baghdad?”
MK: “That’s your problem”
Me: “Ok, fair enough. Please let me know who the company lawyer is who will travel to Baghdad to set up the legalities of the office”
MK: “Our legal department is in the UK, you know that”
Me: “And?”
MK: “They can’t travel to Iraq”
Me: “There are over 12,000 Brits in Iraq as we speak. How did they get there?”
MK: “Listen, these are your problems, handle them! Bye”

On this wonderful conversation, I decided to call Big Kahuna, Medium Kahuna’s boss and the company’s second to top Kahuna

Me: “Good morning BK”
BK: “ Herlock what a pleasant surprise. We were just talking about you yesterday in DC, that’s our capital here in America, and we were saying how wonderful it would be to have an office in Iraq”
Me: “That’s why I am calling, I think it is a great idea. Wonderful really”
BK: “Yes, I am very excited”
Me: “It will require some investment though”
BK: “Anything you need Herlock, anything you need. We are really 100% committed to doing this and we really support you on it with anything you need”
Me: “Excellent, so I will coordinate with your secretary to organize your visit to the opening”
BK: “Opening?”
Me: “Office Opening”
BK: “I can’t come over to Iraq”
Me: “Why not, this is really important to show commitment”
BK: “I am American, I can’t go to Iraq”
Me: “Why not”
BK: “Americans are not allowed in Iraq”
Me: “Really?”
BK: “Absolutely, you’ll have to find someone else”
Me: “Hum, I think it will look really bad if an American company opens up in Iraq but none of the American leadership shows up. It will send a message that they are scared shitless to be there”
BK: “We are scared shitless. They kill Americans over there”
BK: “Listen, Bush, that’s our president here in America, is sending more troops to Iraq. So the situation will stabilize in no time. Let’s talk about it again then”

And, that, ladies and gentlemen is how you avoid opening offices in Iraq

Herlock Sholmes