She Digs My Lists

All good things must come to an end. So must crappy things. Indeed, all things, good and crappy, must end. Except Keith Richards' life. It will never come to an end. Following the apocalypse, he will be the only surviving human on the planet, just wandering around the smoldering, cratered wasteland that once was Earth, sucking on a Marlboro and strumming "Wild Horses," looking for chicks.

In honor of my looming departure from Jordan after two years, I hereby present the following list. My wife digs lists. And I live to do things my wife digs. Except sliding dachshunds into old pairs of pantyhose and slinging them through the goalposts at the high school football field. Although she digs that, I won't do it. Last time we had to take out a loan to post my bail.

Top 3 things I'll miss about Jordan:

3. The Nissan Sunny. In the States, they must call this model something else. Maybe it's the Altima or something. But here, it's called a Sunny. I love it. Most of the taxis puttering around Amman are Sunnys. How can you pull up behind a cute yellow taxi with the word "Sunny" slapped across the trunk and not feel like singing? Or at least humming. Tapping your pointer finger on the steering wheel to a jaunty beat? Dude, c'mon, lighten up. Listen to C+C Music Factory for a few hours and call me in the morning.

2.5 -- "Great Wall" brand pickups. They're like Toyota pickups in the States, except "Great Wall" is written across the tailgate. I just think that's pretty cool. Sometimes I follow them around because they make me happy. Then I walk home because I'm out of gas.

2. No traffic rules. A lot of Americans hate the chaotic roads, but I like them. I like that I don't have to signal to change lanes. I like that I can stop and throw it in reverse on the freeway if I miss my exit. I like that I can honk if I'm happy. I like that I can double park. Or triple park. I like that I can pass on the right. Or the left. Or pass on the left, hit the brakes and let the guy pass me, then pass again on the right.

1. Hummus. Yeah, they have it in the States but it tastes like the plaster you make pinatas out of. Here they use freshly slaughtered hummuses. I guess animal rights groups have a lot of problems with the "inhumane" hummus farms, where they lock the cute little baby hummuses in cages and feed them falafel balls to fatten them up before selling them to Ahmad down at the hummus store who clubs them out back. But, look, the ends justify the means, okay? There's nothing like freshly slaughtered hummus. I'm hoping to bring me home a hummus-skin coat. How do you like that, Jane Fonda?

Top 3 things I won't miss about Jordan:

3. The gardener. The guy knows nothing about gardening. He murders green things. He steals our hoses. I'm telling you, he's a criminal. But you can't fire him. He comes with the apartment. He lives downstairs. It's like buying a car that comes with a kid in the trunk who pops out once every few days and keys your driver's side door. What the-? But you can't get rid of him because he lives in the trunk. Oh, and also, he speaks Icelandic and just grins blankly when you tell him you wish he'd spontaneously combust.

2. Moustaches. Look, I'm sorry. They look stupid. I don't know any other way to say it. Arab, American, El Salvadoran... I don't care what culture you belong to. Your moustache looks hideous. Please. Shave. It. Off.

1. Smoking. I'm not going to judge people who smoke. But I will judge the guy smoking directly beneath the "No Smoking" sign. And I'll judge the police guy walking by yapping to Muhammad on his cell phone but not enforcing the freaking no smoking law. And I'll judge the guy pumping my gas with a cig hanging out of his mouth. Do they have a word for "combustible" in Arabic? Dude, you blow up my car and I swear I'll... sit there while the coroner identifies my remains by my crooked lower middle tooth.