How flipping the bird led to national crisis

I want to draw attention to a grave matter that may lead to national disaster if we neglect it.

I’m not talking about the sectarian strife between Muslims, Christians and Baha’is that we suffer from, or the security forces beating our sons and daughters in demonstrations, or the black comedy that followed it when an MP in parliament’s kitchen called for shooting them and throwing their bodies in ditches to get rid of the evidence.

Nor am I talking about whether Mohamed ElBaradei would make it to the presidency, or the soaring prices of the meat that we carnivores cannot live without. And I’m definitely not talking about the water shortages that will prevent shop owners from sprinkling the sidewalks in front of their shops to create a nice breeze.

All those things are trivialities compared to the grave issue I am warning of, namely, the middle finger of Barakat, the famous footballer that we all used to cheer for. The guy suddenly went crazy after he scored his equalizer to save the nation from yet more sectarian strife, this time between the Ahly and Zamalek football teams.

Fans of the losing team were prepared to clash with those of the winning team as usual–on Gamet el-Dowal Street or before the stadium–but the match ended in a draw when Barakat scored his goal.

But how can we Egyptians leave it at that? We have to create some problem–otherwise, what would we have to chatter about? Wage increases?

And thus came the issue of Barakat flipping the bird to the camera at the end of the match. The hundred thousand spectators in the stadium saw nothing besides Barakat’s finger–as if the guy had four normal-size fingers and one giant middle finger the size of a slab of pastrami.

The universe stopped and voices were silenced as that middle finger became the only thing in existence.

Then Barakat appeared in a talk show, swearing it wasn’t his middle finger, explaining that he always keeps his middle finger firmly next to the others because he knows that it’s naughty and may do things on its own.

This made Barakat’s other fingers jealous. Why should only the middle finger get all the fame? And his toe also envied the middle finger, requesting part of the glory. So Barakat has decided to wear slippers from now on to give a chance for his toe to be noticed–lest it become the hero in the next Vodafone TV commercial.

Still people didn’t want to believe Barakat, claiming he used special effects afterwards in the video that caught him in the act.

And so the Football Federation reviews the video in slow motion to see for itself which finger popped out, while Zamalek fans take to the streets, demanding the execution of Barakat like the MP that demanded the shooting of protesters, with Ahly fans calling for international arbitration.

I repeat: This is a national crisis, which I believe was connived by some foreign power, probably the Mossad. But Barakat is innocent because I know he loves his country and would not take part in any conspiracy against it.

He might just be weak when it comes to his fingers–especially the middle one.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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