Previously on the Arabian Night: Operation Camel Jockey
10:15 P.M-CELL # 128
It was Saturday night and that could only mean one thing: camel racing!
I was reclining on my bed waiting for the race to begin on ESPN Desert Sports, while
my friend Sami was standing beside my bed.
Prison cells are tiny by design; imagine a steel bed, a steel desk, a T.V stand, a steel
toilet, and a steel sink, all crammed up in a room just a little bigger than your walk-in
Then add two people to it.
The most popular camel race announcer on the planet, “Lightning Larabie”, appeared
on screen as the crowd in the stands began to cheer his name. He once claimed that one
of his ancestors was half man/half camel. Everyone believed him. However,
official documents later surfaced revealing that he was just a French farm boy from
“Ladies and gents, it looks like the moment of truth is upon us…”
DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING!
Oh, and the race begins!
Donaldhump gets the jump
Smoothsand is close in third
They’re making the turn
Donaldhump keeps the lead
Oh, Whatsmells is making his move!
Just look at those humps!
Smoothsand is falling behind
Whatsmells is neck and neck with Donaldhump
It’s a close race
Look at that sand fly!
Holy camel hoof!
Whatsmells pushes ahead
Oh my goodness! He’s taken the lead
He’s going! going! GONE!
HISTORY HAS JUST BEEN MADE!
WHATSMELLS HAS JUST WON THE SAHARA DERBY TO CAPTURE THE TRIPLE
HUMP FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER!
THE CROWD IS GOING WILD IN THE SAND!
Oh,Uh! The A.K’s are coming out!
I’m taking cover
TA! TA! TA! TATATAT! TATTAT!
Meanwhile, I was going nuts: Jumping on my bed, yelling at the top of my voice,
shooting my imaginary pistol directly upwards (like a typical Arab, so the bullets could
come back down and hit me), and following it all up with the most ridiculous Arab
dance I could pull off.
I couldn’t believe what I just witnessed! I’ve been watching camel racing since I was 26
days old, and it never crossed my mind that I would ever live to see this moment!
My friend Sami on the other hand just stood there like a statue, staring despondently at
the screen without a trace of emotion. He’s been depressed like this ever since I met
him; I tried putting him on anti-depressants but his condition hasn’t improved.
(By the way, Sami was a donkey.)
“Sami man, cheer up! It’s not that bad. Sure we’re in prison, but things can always be
“My name is not Sami” he somberly said using a deep baritone voice as he spoke for the
first time. Having been used to his silence, it took me a few seconds to register what he
“So what’s your name then?”
“My name is Friedrich Nietzsche”
“That is the name of a famous German philosopher!”
“Yes. My father admired him greatly so he named me after him. I personally prefer
“I had no idea that donkeys were into philosophy, but like I said, you can’t just be depressed all the time. I mean, I get it, it happens to all of us, but you have to find a way to come out of it. You can’t just surrender to it”
I was becoming used to his delayed responses by now; he appeared to be pondering.
“What is the point of being alive?” he suddenly started to speak again. “Suffering
stamps us with its ugly mark from the moment we are born. Do we not enter this
world crying? As children, our innocence is stripped away, as youth, our idealism is
smashed to bits, and as adults, we’re forced to bury our dreams in the cemetery of our
future graves. Innocence lost, ideals abandoned, and the curse of living while one’s dreams are dead. Everything we know will disappear and everyone we love will die. Meaningless… It’s all
meaningless.” He somberly said.
I was still standing on my bed when he spoke those words, so I slowly stepped down
and sat on its edge like a boy dangling his feet down a well. I sat there for a moment
with my head bowed, silently taking in the full weight of his words, with all their truth,
pain, and sadness.
“I get what you mean.” I began to answer him. “Everything you said makes sense, but
only when you view life through a selfish lens. The truth is that life is not just
about you, in fact, it never was. There are countless of other beings that share this world with you. A man could suffer much in life, yet still go on to relieve someone else of
their suffering; He could have no reason to smile or laugh for years, yet still go on to be
the reason for someone else’s joy and laughter. You’re right; life will always be meaningless…until we learn to look beyond ourselves“
I noticed the somber expression on his face begin to dissipate.
“What you said….” He began to slowly say, “was profound…”
An awkward silence followed; the kind we experience after having a deep exchange
with someone else…
Trying to break the ice, he said: “Umm….Whatsmells…. Whatsmells was magnificent
tonight,” so I smiled and said: “Yes….yes he was, wasn’t he?”
“So what do you want to watch tonight?” I asked
“I love Animal Cops: Philadelphia” he answered
“Alright” I said with a chuckle, “Animal Cops it’ll be.”
We spent the rest of the night watching T.V, joking around,
talking about our previous
lives, and eating stale Uncle Ray’s Hot Chips. It was fantastic!
OFFICER FINKLESTEIN’ S REPORT
“At the 10:30 night count, Mr. Amara and his donkey were observed braying back and forth. Their conversation was completely meaningless. I recommend that Mr. Amara be transferred to the Regional Treatment Center for a psychiatric evaluation.”