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June 21, 2006



PLINQO, Iraq, June 21 ... Benwa "Jojo" Ameesh is one of the lucky ones. He is rich beyond his wildest dreams because he is in the spider business.

“Ha, ha, ha, my father told me there could be no future in spiders; that stupid fool - he was so wrong,” Ameesh says while taking a fresh roll of dinars from a burlap sack and ordering another pitcher of his favorite drink.

He opens his jacket to reveal his spider, Flunker. He pets the arachnid gently.

Spider Cave, the store Ameesh opened the day American troops invaded Iraq, sold over three billion dinars worth of spiders last year. He finds them in dank, dark caves on the outskirts of Mothra.

"Everybody in Iraq buy spider as pet. They bring good luck," he smiles as a bomb explodes in the distance. "Spider, spider, spider - they good for me."

Very good, in fact. It’s why Ameesh sits at Baghdad Girl drinking expensive Pulsay Kudars (chilled potato vodka, bathwater, grenadine) and watching bazoombas with a Bon Jovi cassette blasting from a cheap boombox.

“Pulsay Kudar is good,” Ameesh slurs. “Bazoombas good … spider good ... everything is good.”

He rolls a crisp dinar bill, sticks it in his mouth like a cigarette, and waits for a dancing Connie to come to him. Connie sees the dinar and wahtusis over. Ameesh lovingly nuzzles the money into a purple G-string that barely covers her poosay.

The spider seller lingers there ...

Apparently too long as a husky bouncer grabs him by the collar of his polyester cloak and whips him out the door onto the hard dirt road. A bartender tells a writer this same scene is replayed every night.

Ameesh gets up and dusts himself off. He takes Flunker out of his pocket and places him on his shoulder.

He stumbles into the warm Iraqi night and walks the 60-odd miles to get home.

A.) Wow, nightlife is off the hook in Iraq.
B.) Sounds like it to me. Thank God for the War.
C.) We're lucky letters to be living in such exciting times.
A.) So fucking lucky.
B.) I concur.
C.) Yep.


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