Abottabad Blues. A One-Act Play
Curtain. In a luxurious room, OSAMA , a tall man in mid-East dress, rushes about packing suitcases. He is trailed everywhere by his butler, ZAWAHRI, who ceaselessly attempts to connect his master to a small, creaking, wheeled dialysis machine. A sulky, veiled beauty, NAHID* KLEIN, watches proceedings from the vast plush bed. From outside we hear muted shouting and machine-gun fire.
OSAMA. Seals. Fucking seals! Did we not reach out to the seal-lovers, Zawahri? Didn’t we? So much for your eco-Koran initiative, Z. Where are my good sandals, you titless chicken? Now that your precious infidel seals are shooting at us?
ZAWAHRI. Please, sir… sheikh… leader… monsieur… boss… master… you must take some medicine for your kidneys. Or you will go into a diabetic coma. I beg you, I beg you. You are awkward to carry when unconscious, all due respect….
OSAMA. Nahid Klein, slap him, please.
NAHID languidly pulls an Uzi from the bedclothes and hits Z. in the forehead with it. He collapses. OSAMA continues to rush about packing and muttering. We hear explosions from outside. NAHID throws back her hair and licks her lips.
NAHID. Osama, my love, these are different seals. They do not bark. They throw grenades. As my fourth sister-wife was trying to tell you the other day.
OSAMA (distracted). Are you talking about Nashida, woman? My ninth wife?
NAHID. No, sheikh, I speak of Nazirah, your fourth wife. The short one.
OSAMA. Oh, the bitchy short one?
NAHID. Only Allah can say what makes a woman bitchy, my lord. But the Hadith says a stumpy-legged woman might betray –
A thunderous explosion shakes the room. Plaster falls from the ceiling. OSAMA and NAHID stare at each other, terrified. ZAWAHRI stirs from the floor.
ZAWAHRI. General! Commander… my manager. We must flee now, governor. Please, take your insulin immediately. We have friends in Peshawar, there is medicine…
OSAMA clocks Z. in the face with the rifle-butt again. He falls.
OSAMA. Are you saying you’re jealous, baby?
NAHID. Only of my second, fourth and ninth sister-wives, husband. And sometimes the seventh.
OSAMA. You mean Jamilah, with the moustache?
OSAMA. Aaaahhh! This is not the time! Find my laptop, woman! Zawahri, you lazy pig, wake up! Find my second-best turban, now!
ZAWAHRI. Unnnnngh. Ermf. Whassup?
NASHID (leaping into action) Hurry, dog! Stop bleeding. Your master wants you to put all his CDs into the box now!
ZAWAHRI. Right, right… ah… in the hidden compartment in the dialysis machine here?
NASHID. The klezmer records there, yes. Everything else in the big suitcase with the wheels, understand? Go! Go!
OSAMA (peering out the window) Yeah, they don’t look like seals. Seals wouldn’t shoot all my bodyguards in the face, would they? (Turns.) Are they some kind of… manatee force?
NASHID. What a crappy husband you’ve been.
NASHID. One-fourteenth of a crappy husband, too.
ZAWAHRI. Professor! Doctor! Commander bin Laden! EAT THIS HANDFUL OF ICING SUGAR! NOW! PLEASE!
OSAMA. Say again, dude?
A resounding explosion. Darkness. Curtain.
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*”Nahid”, Arabic equivalent of “Naomi”, meaning “One with full, round breasts”