July 24, 2009

Perhaps a reason I gravitate towards anthropology is because I be fascinated with the peculiarities of humanity. It intrigues me, for example, that once upon a time Anglo-Saxons firmly believed that Friday was an unlucky day. So unlucky that they ritually slaughtered any child unfortunate enough to be born on that day. A tribute to human perversity, Norsemen (ancient adversaries of Saxons) ritually considered Friday to be the 'luckiest' day of the week, reputedly the best day for weddings or other celebrations. Saxons, also the earliest Christians, may be averse to Fridays as it was the day of the week Christ when was crucified. But that doesn't explain why both Buddhists and Brahmins also consider Friday to be not-so-very-lucky. Incidentally, I read-someplace-I-forget-where that Islamic belief prescribes Friday to be the day when Adam was created. Friday was also the day when Adam & Eve ate the forbidden apple and it was on a Friday when they were supposed to have died and (we hope) returned to heaven.


Did you know that pogonophobia is the fear of beards? Although I've never met anyone with this particular problem, I've been told that it is surprisingly common. Not to be mean or anything, but imagine a pogonophobe stuck amongst our friends the Taliban! :P According to this source, he may suffer: breathlessness, excessive sweating, nausea, dry mouth, feeling sick, heart palpitations, inability to speak or think clearly, a fear of dying, becoming mad or losing control, a sensation of detachment from reality all the way to a full blown anxiety attack. Incidentally, one does not need to despair. A range of treatments for ponogophobes exists out there from hypnotherapy (repeat after me: I no longer fear beards, I no longer fear beards) to neuro-linguistic programming (remember: there is no such thing as beards, there is no such thing as beards) or energy psychology (as each needle pokes you, note that there are many things scarier than beards).


Once-upon-a-time a couple with the name of Ralph and Carolyn Cummins had five children. You will no doubt wonder what be blog-worthy about that given that in Pakistan five children is considered a modest form of old-age insurance. All five of these children born between 1952 - 1966 were hatched on a single day: 20th February. How be that for family planning? I believe that FPAP (you got it: Family Planning Association of Pakistan) should immediately offer this couple a consultancy contract. As-it-is, our wonderful government is all-for giving aid money right back to the Americans in return for 'technical assistance' which we don't ever really need.


It be no secret that relationships suck-eth. Human beings have registered this fact ever since Eve fooled Adam into eating the shiny red fruit. But perhaps the suckiest relationships moments occur when one party realizes that they have been cheated on by another. His Royal Highness, Peter the Great most definitely experienced the twinges of pain that strike the heart of a man cuckolded. His disillusionment, no doubt, propelled him to orchestrate a grand revenge sequence where he ordered the head of his wife's lover cut off and put into a jar of preserving alcohol, which he then ordered to be placed by her bed. I-bet-you-that-taught-the-bitch-a-lesson!


As you have no doubt noticed, the pressure of selecting 'one' prince amongst men for matrimony has become a real headache. How-oh-how does one choose a single specimen and expect him to fruitfully deliver forever-and-ever? I, and Rakhiji of the infamous swayamwar, are both envious of women in parts of Malaya who have never had to bother with such a silly choice, sensibly resorting to keeping harems (of men, naturally) instead. And, if one particular harem becomes tiresome, methinks both Rakhiji and I should resort to the simple but effective solution put forward by a 17th century Sultan of Turkey when he ordered his entire harem of drowned, and (obviously) replaced with a new one.


An excerpt from the world of etymology: did you know that it was the custom in Ancient Rome for the men to place their right hand on their testicles when taking an oath. The modern term 'testimony' is derived from this tradition. And speaking of 'ologies', did you know that the study of stupidity is called 'monology'. Don't-look-at-me, I was shocked by this one too. I could have sworn, that it was called 'politics'. :P

6 comments:

Gaia said...

lol, edifying post! i think i'm pogonophobic :p

Wei-Yee Angela said...

what an interesting post!

-angela

heewa said...

haha xainab, you make me laughhh :)

KP said...

just bumped into your blog ......
and read a couple of posts...
and am really tempted to be anonymous just for the heck of it :D
anyways...enjoyed this post. you write well.
I am gonna look up all sorts of phobias out there now...

KP said...

hahahaha

and i found this
http://www.phobialist.com/

Deepak Iyer said...

Finally read this post after having kept it unread for so long.

I am so glad you have taken a liking to Rakhiji too.

So is this post a gist of what you study ? And what kind of jobs do anthropologists take up ?