Friday, September 2, 2011
These stories were collected from Najibe who was at the time a street boy/hustler in the fabulous city of Fes. I describe him in a posting for February of 2010. I have many pages of these. They vary from old jokes to folk motifs to careless obscenity. I imagine I was influenced by Paul Bowles who gathered such fine narratives from similar informants.
The Moroccan Visits Paris
One time a Moroccan man went to Paris and there he spent all that he had for a suit of clothes and he went to see the rich people and he convinced them he is the rich man of Morocco. He found the richest man there and he borrowed five million francs from him. He said, “Come to visit me in Fes, and I will pay you back. My name is Sidi Monarfft.” [?] Now what that means is “I don’t know.” So then the next week, the rich Frenchman went to Morocco and he saw a big building, seventeen stories high and he asked the man in front of it who owns it and the man says “Monarfft.” [“I don’t know.”] He strolled into the market and saw a huge rug shop with many salesman, and he asked a passerby whose shop it is and he was told again “Monarfft.” He thought his friend must be indeed wealthy, perhaps even wealthier than himself. Then he passed by a home decked out in mourning. He asked who had died and was told “Monarfft.” “Oh, no,” he thought, “now he’s dead! My money’s gone!”
Zh’hah is Caught Pickpocketing
One day Zh’hah go pickpocketing – he’s caught and brought before the king and the king sentenced him to three hundred lashes. “Oh, king,” he begged, “please permit me first to go and inform my aged mother of my disgrace. I promise to return promptly.” The king gave him permission, but he did not go to his mother’s house. He went instead to the market where he began calling out, “Three hundred clubs for sale. Three hundred strong ones. My price is not high.” And he found a customer and brought the man before the king and said that he had purchased the punishment.
The Fat Man and the Baby
There was once this man who was very fat and he was feeling he should do something so he went to see a doctor and asked if he could become thinner. Now this doctor, he had one woman who makes love for money and she had a baby that she did not want. So he told her to put that baby in his laboratory and he made that fat man go to sleep and when he woke up he gave him baby and said, “Look what I found inside of you!” And the man said, “I don’t seem thinner yet,” and the doctor said, “Don’t worry. Take these pills and you will be” and he sent him out the door with the baby. And the man went to his driver who was waiting by the car and he said, “Look what you do! You joke around with me and so now we have baby!”
The European, the Jew and the Muslim
Some guys were walking along, three of them, a European and a Muslim and Jew and they saw a girl and they went, you know, to speak with her, and she said, “No it’s late now. Tomorrow come see me.” And the first one to come to visit her was the European and he asked her, “What is your name?” and she said “Life.” And then she asked him what he wanted most and he could get it right away. He said, “I want to study” for in Europe everyone is a student. “Give me a book to read,” he said. Now the next to come is the Jew and he said, “Give me good business and intelligent men to help.” Now the third to come was the Muslim who said, “I just want to fuck.”
The Moslem and his Jewish Neighbor
There was a Jew and a Moslem who lived next door to each other in Fes and the Moslem noticed that the Jew went to his Jewish mosque every day. One day the Moslem go first to that place, very early, in disguise and he hid in the attic and later the Jew came in to say prayers and the Moslem called out from the attic, “I am you god, what you want?” The Jew say, “What I want is big money business” and the Moslem in the attic say, “That is easy. Just give ten dirham to your neighbor the Moslem who live on the same street and soon your wish will be granted.” He say, “Okay,” and the Moslem from above say “Then go get all your Jewish friends to come and see god too” and each of them he told to give five dirham, and that’s how one Moslem got to be rich as Jew.
Where Silver Comes From
The teacher in school ask where silver comes from, and one boy says, “That is easy. I know the answer,” and the teacher ask “Where?” and the boy say, “When I need coins for market, I ask, and the silver comes from my mother.”
One man had a telephone that didn’t work and he looked out the window and saw someone coming, but he didn’t want to talk to anyone in person – he just wanted to be able to use the telephone. So he stood right in his front window and pretended to be talking on the telephone. He said, “No, I can’t see you, I am too busy. I don’t care how important your business is. I can’t see anyone.” And the man who had come walking up knocked on the door and the man look out the window and said, “You cannot come – I am too busy. You must have heard me telling this other one.” And the visitor said, “I have come to fix your broken phone.”
The Kief Smokers
One day two fellows are sitting smoking kief, you know, just like us, and one fellow he sees a fly on the ceiling and he says “Is King Fly,” and the other says “If is King Fly you need a motorcycle.”