Written by Wordsmith
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Friday, 22 February 2008

image for Middle Eastern Quartet assembled in Baghdad The “Five Bayonet Quartet” (above) tuning their instruments before a show.

Amidst the microcosm of sectarian violence and insurgent attacks, five Iraqis came together on an endeavor of menacingly musical temerity and agreed to start a band. They couldn't afford instruments and even more so the social embarrassment of pots and pans. Mortar attacks were too unpredictable which eliminated bass, so they decided to use their weapons. At first they were going to name themselves "The Five Bayonet Quartet" but then settled on "Bombs over Baghdad." Abd al-Hasan a former militant turned lover, has been playing the M16 for over 10 years and could be seen firing his automatic rifle into the sky and then sullenly shaking his head. He had good reason to be melancholic, for it was only a year ago he saw the biggest bird he had ever seen and naturally began shooting at it. After its tail began smoking he realized he had shot down a Boeing 747 which forced him to go into exile. A year later he decided to pay homage to the family of the Boeing 747 vowing to assemble a band of merry miscreants and tour the war torn nation raising money for fallen planes and other haphazardly perilous events.

The organization of this band was going to be tough. He was poised to find some superciliously swaggering high-sounding bombastic bastards dauntlessly unperturbed by the current torrents of errant artillery and encompassing explosions and after two dry weeks he nearly gave up. But that was when he met Mohammad al-Mohammedawi, a former culinary guru ostracized after serving a meal that apparently had the image of the Virgin Mary in his famous beef curry. After spending 3 months in prison for treason, he was driven out into the middle of the desert and left there. Food was scarce but delirium was bountiful. For water he would run down a stray camel and poke a straw into its hump. When Abd al-Hasan found him, he had been trying to cook a pile of sand. When asked what he was going to do with the sand Mohammad seemed to wince in pain and said cheerfully "sandwiches, I'm making sandwiches." Abd al-Hasan exhibited much concern over this man, and knocked him out with his rifle and dragged him back to his crumbling abode.

Mohammad remained in a coma induced by severe dehydration and malnutrition for over 5 days before regaining consciousness and ability to differentiate between sand and actual sandwiches. His life had been saved so he felt benevolent enough to offer Abd al-Hasan anything he wanted or that his crippled finances would permit. That was when Abd al-Hasan seemed to go into a trance as if hypnotized by his proposition and finally looked him in the eyes and said "can you fire a gun; I'm looking to organize a musical band of 5 so if you could find two more members we'll be even Steven." Immediately Mohammad leapt out of bed and called his three older brothers Ali 28, Alamrea 36 and Alshabe 42 who hastily acquiesced to his request. Two hours later there was a knock at the door; it was Mohammad's brothers armed with two SKS assault rifles and an assortment of rocked propelled grenades. Finding their niche was a slow process, especially in Abd al-Hasan's garage where during a cover song of Black Sabbaths "Iron Man" they blew apart the roof and nearly collapsed the stone structure after an RPG misfired. Mohammad was deemed the lead singer after that destructive manifestation, and besides, he was so turgid with fear that only his high pitched scream could be heard above all the rancor.

Now they were officially ready for gigs, but who would sign them? In a city laden with a barrage of insurgents and suicide attacks the morale was low and dire conditions would pose as the inspiration for their band. War approvals have gone from 62 percent three years ago to 43 percent among US troops and weekend recreation has become barren for those late night romps of binge drinking and camel tipping despairing on improvised explosives and stealthily orchestrated onslaughts. And so it was decided that they would ride into the ravaged heart of Baghdad on horseback and play their newly revised musical instruments errantly in synch to Metallica's "For whom the bell tolls" as children of all ages swarmed the streets and explosions from the distant Howitzer artillery blasts rocked the background in loud shockwaves, but the accumulation of people seemed unphased. Abd al-Hasan began shooting in the air spooking his horse which began bucking and howling until he was thrown off. Then Mohammad began screaming like an enraged chicken as the crowd erupted with cheers bobbing their heads up and down and starting mosh pits dancing around trash fires.

The war in Iraq is expected to last for years to come, a gaping hole of irreparable anguish eating away the years like a flesh eating virus. And so through futility possibility has been bred for the five members of "Bombs over Baghdad." Who have devised quite possibly the perfect distraction for diverting everyone's attention away from the maelstroms of malevolence with their violent concerto of immeasurable proportions. If they are ever able to leave their home state and obtain visas, Caesars Palace is already prepared to book them on a 3-month tour.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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