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Tuesday, June 22, 2004

The Nigerian Candidate

Russ Vaughn has made another contribution to Esoteric * Diatribe.

Hey Ken,

The simultaneous arrival in my mailbox of several Nigerian scams and a John Kerry solicitation resulted in the following. I know it’s long but it’s hard to stop when you’re having fun.

Russ Vaughn

The Nigerian Candidate

It is with the utmost pleasure that I have this opportunity to inform you of the good fortune that awaits you. Please allow me to introduce myself. I am Solicitor Zhanif Kiri, mighty warrior and sitting member of the High Council at Wazshi Dun, representing the great province of Masi Kuzats. I am tribal kinsman to most honorable Adwar Dkindi, he of the fabulously rich Dkindi clan of Masi Kuzats and most honorable Mahri Okwomo, former chief of the province of Nuyuk, home of the wisest and most elite members of our tribe, and site of our most sacred oracle, the Taimz. They, and clan leaders such as Tomas Dazeel, Nzeepi Lozee, Chaz al-Shumar, Ho Wadeen and many others, are supporting me as the 2004 Nigerian Candidate and leader of our tribe, the Dmuk a-Ratz. On behalf of our tribe, I now proffer this opportunity to participate in the salvation of our most sacred tribal practice, Libr al-Ism, which has fallen from favor among the unenlightened and is in grave danger of becoming extinct in the Motherland. We of the Dkindi, Okwomo, and other clans, once omnipotent and controlling all high courts and councils, have endured many ignominious losses to the fiercely dedicated Kon Zur Fateef tribe led by their treacherous master, that dark prince of deceit, the despised despot, George Dabaya.

I do not boast idly when I say that I have seen battle and led warriors, although I did so but briefly. Fearing for my well being, I invoked a little known convention of battle allowing me to return to the safety of Masi Kuzats, bathed in glory and adorned with many medals or ribbons (whatever) attesting to my bravery and the harsh wounds I thrice suffered. I boasted mightily of my valor to the maidens and the virgins but found them indifferent. For you see, in my absence, the youthful members of the tribe, especially those in study at the lyceums and academies in our province capitols, had embraced our practice of Libr al-Ism with a fervor that had heretofore been unseen in the young. With that headstrong self-righteousness so common to our youth, they followed those agent provocateurs lecturing in their academies and began protesting the conflict then raging between our provinces of V’Nam Nord and V’Nam Sur. They unquestioningly embraced the philosophies of that barbaric tribe far to the north, the pale Rusi and the even larger tribe to the faraway east, the yellow Cheena, practitioners of an advanced form of our own beliefs which they call Zosh al-Ism. And truly, it was if the adherents of Libr al-Ism and Zosh al-Ism began to speak with one voice, so similar were their goals, demands and proclamations. Thus did our students, our maidens and the callow youth of our tribes become the unwitting but impassioned vanguard of the Rusi and the Cheena, the veritable tip of the spear of Zosh al-Ism.

A cunning lad I, (Zhanif means hyena in our dialect), I readily perceived the value to be gained by joining this movement; and so, with alacrity, did I alter my views as to be once again in favor with the maidens and the virgins, in spite of having a face resembling that of my namesake. As a former warrior quite willing to shamelessly denounce those still in battle and now out of favor, I was soon elevated to leadership among these insurrectionists, a position almost equal that of Princess Zhanafonda, the most celebrated and strident voice among us. I served on their councils and became a favored spokesman for their cause. I went before the High Council at Wazshi Dun, and with cunning, audacious sophistry, delivered the words of the Rusi and the Cheena as if they were my own. I negotiated with emissaries of V’Nam Nord, willfully abetting them in their quest for dominance over their benighted southern cousins. Here I must pause to confess my admiration for the bravado of Princess Zhanafonda, who dared above all others, to enter into the lair of the war chiefs of V’Nam Nord, there to strike defiant poses inspiring to all true believers of Libr al-Ism, posturing for photographers while draped in battle raiment and manning armaments of that peace-loving province. However, while I admired such exuberance, I shrewdly did not emulate it; for I wisely feared it would draw the enduring wrath of the Kon Zur Fateefs, who, to this very day believe as one, that Princess Zhanafonda’s behavior was symptomatic of her terrible infection with that dread malady, Duduinduh Bahrain, which, for some reason, is quite prevalent and extremely contagious among the true believers.

Forgive me but I must boast openly now, for we were, through our sly and skillful exploitation of that dated practice the Kon Zur Fateefs call “Tuhrooth,” a premise long out of favor among the Dmuk a-Ratz, at last triumphant. We watched with unbridled joy the cinematic accounts of the remaining warriors fleeing for their lives, abandoning the hapless tribes in the south to their fate at the hands of their new northern masters. Together with the Rusi and Cheena, whose leaders graciously praised the vital importance of our contribution to this endeavor, we exulted in our triumph and watched with great satisfaction as the commoners greeted the returning warriors with scorn and contempt. And while those warriors were met with disdain, great honor and fame soon attached to the name of this great warrior, Zhanif Kiri. My tribal kinsman, Adwar Dkindi, and his clan chose me to serve as loyal lieutenant to the province chief of Masi Kuzats, Mik al-Dookakiz, a true believer and unsuccessful Nigerian Candidate in 1988. Ultimately my kinsmen permitted me to sit on the High Council at Wazshi Dun, representing my home province while furthering the interests of the Dkindis, the Dmuk a-Ratz and Libr al-Ism. There I was so steadfast in my support of Libr al-Ism that I soon surpassed the feats of our hitherto champion, my own tribal brother, Adwar Dkindi. And for my stalwart opposition to the Kon Zur Fateefs and their chief, Rhan al-Ragn, I was awarded a bride from a respected Nuyuk clan, a woman who brought to her new master a considerable dowry. A person of privilege from birth, I became, with the aid of this newfound wealth, accustomed to living in even greater comfort, far above the means, or even dreams, of mere commoners. Though, naturally, even while enjoying such privilege and being the master of many servants, I continued to espouse the cause of my inferiors, deploring their plight vociferously at every opportunity, a behavior quite common among the many affluent adherents to Libr al-Ism. Regrettably, my highbred wife, after many years of my use of her body and her dowry, did come to displease me; so much so in fact, that, weary of her company, I renounced my vows and banished her back to her clan.

Being unskilled and unpracticed in providing for my own comfort and well being, I found it necessary to take another wife, this time the widow of a rival leader who had sat with me upon the High Council at Wazshi Dun, and whose clan, the Hyn Dzuh, had amassed great wealth from village markets, though I suspect still less than the Dkindis, whom I fear I am forever doomed to emulate and envy. This new wife, Tooh Rasa, mindful of my ambition to become the Nigerian Candidate, willingly forsook her husband’s tribe and summarily converted to Libr al-Ism, quickly becoming one of the most zealous of true believers. I know there are many who scoff at the sincerity of her conversion, but I dare not share such doubts, for it is indeed a costly venture to be the Nigerian Candidate. While dutifully obedient and attentive to my present needs, Tooh Rasa engages in a practice quite contrary to those of our clan in that she retains ownership of all property she brought to our marital consociation. I must admit, in moments of contemplation, an uncertain presentiment does make me wonder if this strange behavior could have some import. Do you suppose Tooh Rasa is perhaps more nuanced than even I?

Whatever then, I submit to you that these are my credentials to be the anointed leader and favored designee of the Dkindi and Okwomo-led Dmuk a-Ratz. And despite the unvoiced but widely known desire of the former Nigerian Candidate, Nutti al-Gor, to reprise his role, I am now the chosen one. I must confess that my greatest fear is that Nutti will actually embrace me and openly champion my cause. That most surely would be the kiss of the viper, as deadly for my ambitions as it was for Ho Wadeen’s, or promoters of the Kyoto protocol. One cannot help but ponder the thought that perhaps Nutti misguidedly chews Kat or smokes ganja before mounting a podium. As for Ho Wadeen, I know that I must break bread with that treacherous little monkey to maintain tribal solidarity, knowing all the while that diminutive imp covets my leadership. And though the followers of Libr al-Ism are not much given to worship, I have heard it said that my health is the subject of Ho Wadeen’s frequent and fervent prayers, as well as those of his intractable acolytes. Why is it, do you suppose, that I am unable to take comfort from their implorations?

But, all that aside, it is only due and proper that I now inform you that great rewards await you, if you but assist me in my quest to be Chief of the Motherland and help me dethrone that usurper, George Dabaya, the dark prince of deceit (or defeat if you’re Nutti) and that gaggle of bandits who protect him, like that scheming sorcerer, Kar al-Rov, and that warmongering, Dun al-Rumzf al-Dah. Only with your help can I achieve my goal of sending them in full flight from our councils so that true believers of Libr al-Ism are able to recapture our rightful place in Wazshi Dun, there to impose our enlightened governance and high tariffs on all tribes. Should you elect to become a devoted and generous servant to our mission, you will be selected to be among the elite of the Dmuk a-Ratz and join us in deciding what is beneficial to the lesser of our people. Together we will impose many great tithes and tariffs to support the generous public programs of Libr al-Ism, no doubt causing some revisionists to protest our progressive ways. But we will heed them not; for they are but benighted commoners who should be grateful to dwell in the peace we shall bring them. I vow to you now that I will avoid all conflict and engage only in talks of conciliation, which I will conduct with the nuanced skills that permit me to support both sides of any issue, a talent much envied by Nutti al-Gor and Ho Wadeen, both of whom equate discourse with decibels. And while some among the Kon Zur Fateefs may snidely criticize the unusual length of my countenance, I prefer to view it as a priceless political gift to have, at any given time, more than enough face to effect a concurrent but conflicting pair.

I must caution that high position in the Dmuk a-Ratz is awarded only to those who make substantial contributions to our cause. Word of your munificence has come to my attention; thus, this moment of enormous opportunity is being offered you. As indication of your acceptance, we require nothing more than the following items: account numbers for all bank, credit card and investment accounts with usernames, passwords, your mother’s maiden name and the name of your first pet. And while not an absolute requirement, suspension of common sense is suggested as well. It will certainly facilitate your acceptance by, and interaction with, other true believers. For such generous support of my great quest and the greater glory of Libr al-Ism, you will be rewarded with a much-coveted position in my entourage and the charms of fifty virgins.

Your Most Exalted Leader,
Zhanif Kiri,
The Nigerian Candidate

Alas, an aide cautions that I must regretfully retract the offer of virgins. Due to the practices of Libr al-Ism, he informs me we no longer have any.

Do you suppose if I win, the true believers in Ha al-Iwud will create a cinema of my triumph? “The Nigerian Candidate” has a rather catchy ring to it don’t you think?

Did I mention that I served in V’Nam Sur with great distinction, won many honors, and was thrice wounded
Interesting concept, mixing a contribution solicitation and a Nigerian Scam email. It did run a bit long though and was a little hard to follow at times, but Esoteric * Diatribe fans always enjoy Russ's contributions.

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