Allah in Estonia

Children in the Estonian capital Tallinn are seriously annoying adults, at least this is what the largest Estonian daily Postimees reports today. Well, this is nothing new, you might say, kids are known to have disturbed and angered their elders for millennia. We don’t of course know about such difficulties regarding generation-gap communication before the advent of copious superfluous writing, approximately at the time of the Greeks and the Romans. Whatever, kids have always been a nuisance, it seems.

What is new, however, is that the kids in Tallinn, who have somewhat prematurely acquired a hefty supply of New Year’s firecrackers, are crying "Allah Akhbar!" while setting off their crackers. Innovative, sort of, cosidering that the Muslim fraction of the Estonian population is close to nonexistent.

I'd love to be a few decades younger.

Not amused by childish pranks in bad taste? A foreign-born acquaintance of mine wasn’t either :

-- My cousin was among the killed in 9/11, he explained sombrely.

-- Oh, I’m sorry, what was he doing when it happened?

-- He was flying the plane.

Convenience Store Karma

So Last Saturday night I was talking to my wife's cousin's husband. It was a very interesting conversation, to say the least.

Apparently, he had some info on the lowlife scum that stole my van (see here for more info on that). Brian (my wife's cousin's husband) knew a guy, we'll call him "Texan," who'd had his truck stolen one night around the same area where I used to work/where my van was stolen, off of Broadway in North St. Louis. Much like myself, Texan comes outside and says "Where...where's my truck? It's gotta be around here somewhere." Well it wasn't. When he called the cops to report it stolen, his almost brand new Ford truck, he told them they'd better find the thief that did before he did. He was not joking. Texan, who was a trash hauler like Brian, called his Nextel phone. The thief answered. The conversation went something like this:

"Hello?"
"Who the fuck is this?!"
"I'm the dude who stole alla yo shit, bitch, whatchoo gonna do about it?!"
"Well you're screwed, I have a tracker on that phone and--!"

Well, as soon as Texan said this, the thief tossed the phone out of the window. So that's not what actually led to his capture.

They found Texan's truck a street over from where they found my van (his truck was stolen several days before my van was stolen). That must have been how they'd found my van so quickly; the cops knew to look there because it was a popular dumping place for our auto thief. It would have been nice to have been enlightened to this fact by my cops, but oh well.

Several days after my van was stolen Texan was at a convenience store off of Broadway. He happened to see/hear this short black guy, about 5'5" or 5'6" or something, bragging to the clerk about how he had stolen this stupid white guy's truck, and how he'd called him on the phone, etc. Texan walked up to him and asked "Was 'Texan' on the license plate?!"

"Yeah--!"

WHAM!!!

Texan slams the dude's head into the counter (while the Clerk watches with mouth agape), blood starts getting everywhere, Texan continues to beat the shit out of the dude. He stops to call the cops and says "Better come pick this guy up before I kill him!" and then goes back to beating him.

He put the thief in a coma! Texan went to jail, but got out a short time later. The thief's mother said she'd drop assault charges, supposedly, if he dropped the theft charges. Well, the thief was already in trouble for nine other auto thefts, so Texan said "Sure, whatever."

It turns out our thief had just gotten out of jail for - guess what - auto theft. As soon as he was out he went on an auto theft spree all up and down Broadway in the following weeks, a spree that was ended - for now - by some convenience store karma. How about that? It gives me pleasure and satisfaction to know that the scum who stole my van got what was coming to him.

Back again with another serving of cricket.

Seems as though I'm doing better in U/16s than I am with C Grade. I had an absolutely awesome day today. I know I've told you that I'm a hell of a rabbit, and I was demoted from 4th to 6th place in the batting lineup today... more details after the rest of the story.

My father, a teammate and I arrived three minutes before the game was scheduled to start. That meant we missed the toss. But wouldn't you know it, all the sweat I lost was for nothing. The game didn't start for another ten minutes. Wouldn't you hate that?

We were put into the field. It was a fast ground and an easy team to dispatch, but we were still carted for the first few overs. We got two three a certain amount of wickets before I was called on to bowl my team-famous leg breaks.

First ball I was hit to the boundary. Second ball I was hit over the boundary. Ten runs in two balls. The batsman calmed down a little after that and only managed one. So I was to face a kid that hadn't faced me yet. The Number 3, or supposedly, the best batsman in the side.

He made the stupidest shot ever and was caught in the covers. Next ball I took out another kid, stumped. I was on another hat-trick. That's two for the season if you don't count the one I was a batsman in. Heh. That's a habit now, according to my father.

The next kid bashed the ball hard into the ground and stayed in his crease. Thus endeth the hat-trick attempt, and also my first over.

Next over I took out two more kids, and I now had four wickets. The spinner at the other end, a great mate of mine, had taken one out already, and took another one after my double-wicket maiden. Heh. That left us with one wicket, and the race was on to see who would get it: me, bagging me five wickets for the first time in my life, or him.

He got it.

I had an uneventful over that over, except for two or three runs. My mate took the other wicket in the very next over. Bugger. Well, I still ended up with 4/14, which is now officially my second-best bowling performance ever. That would be good enough for most people. And it was good enough for me.

But! I wasn't finished yet. As I said before, I was demoted to 6th, but I still got my pads on nice and early. It turns out I needed them.

A rain shower accompanied by thunder came across shortly after we started the innings. Pomonal kept battling through it, trying to reach 78 and win the game. One of our lads retired, and three others went out. I went in with the lad we call "Tubber", who went out, bowled, after a little while.

All I had to do today was score one run to break the string of ducks that I had been on - five in a row. First over, though, there were calls for LBW and caught behind. However, the umpire turned them down (due to an inside edge and the ball hitting the pad respectively).

The first opportunity I got was a fullish delivery on middle. I bent, pulled the bat around, and I heard a lovely *Crack!* I had hit the ball out of the infield for the first time this year. I ran one, but the kid's arm was good and I didn't want to go for a second.

So now I had my run, we had won the game (we continued nevertheless) and at least 10 overs in hand. I had plenty of time to think and make more. After that first run, the bowlers bowled right into my hands, but I mistimed most of my shots and they ended up soaring past my bat and into the keeper's hands. However, I hit three more: two singles and a beautiful shot that hit the meat of the bat (the thickest part of the bat), was excellently timed (not superbly, though) and went running down to the boundary for my first U/16s four. During that spell, more rain came, but we battled through it.

Then it started growing darker because of the heavy rain clouds, and our captain called it off. I was one run short of my U/16s high score, but I didn't care. I had broken my string of ducks, I had bowled magnificently, and I was feeling ecstatic.

This may actually be a dream log.

I was asked to come on board a private jet. There was a pilot who appeared to be an older version of myself. There was a woman who was my angel, Anastasia.

Someone else was on the plane with me. It may have been The Muse, but I am not certain. Parts of the dream remain very vivid. Others are cloudy.

Anastasia asked me "How is the mood down there?" I responded by saying it was very bad. Life had become dominated by chaos, which I explained as relating to cowardice.

"When one's leaders are cowards because they resist admitting they are wrong when they no longer have any moral ground to stand on, having violated every premise on which they have acted, how can you blame the people for not accepting the results of their actions?"

Anastasia agreed, stating that the time had come for poor leaders to assume leadership over a misguided people, acting as a mirror for their rationalization based approach to life. Then she asked me which test I was prepared to take. Would I take "the snowball test" or the "seek and hit" test. I knew the first involved firing upon a snowball and being drawn into the first fragment that drew my attention. The "seek and hit" test involved watching a changing target and hitting it when I was ready to assume the role of the target. I was deciding upon my next life through target practice.

The pilot told me, "I will go very fast. I will fly very fast. Keep your eyes focused."

The plane rolled down a road to a point where there was a very large "Road Closed" construction sign. When it reached the sign, the plane took off, shooting over the sign and needing no space to taxi.

The dream was of death. I was chosing my next life. The road was closed ahead. It was a dream of when I would end.

"The time is almost here. Can you feel it?" Anastasia asked me. "I have about an hour after this to visit the old hoodie. How are things there?"

"They are not good," I reported.

"We have been waiting for this time, as it was predicted. The most untrustworthy leaders to ever hold power have spoken and they will lead the people into chaos. It is coming. Now, you must pass the test."

I gripped what appeared to be a remote for a car alarm and pressed both the lock and unlock buttons at the same time. Something clicked, and then there were many stars dancing in front of my eyes.

"So, how's Nikki?" asked Anastasia, referring to a girl from the shelter I work at who left to enter a foster home two month ago.

I woke up and the dream ended. For some reason, Anastasia's mention of Nikki deeply disturbed me more than any other aspect of the dream.

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