“Hey guys, what’s up?”
“Where’ve you been all summer? It’s the first day of school and we never even got to hang out!” Habib complained.
“You’d never believe me.” Abdul shook his head with a wry grin. “It’s too…amazing.”
“Sure we would. C’mon! Give it up!” Ali urged.
“Well, okay.” Abdul shrugged. “My dad had to go to Cairo on business, and…”
“All the way to Cairo?” Habib interrupted. “That’s exactly 313 miles from here!”
“I know,” Abdul replied. “It’s a three-day camel ride, for real.”
“He took you with him? And you went by camel?” Habib inquired, removing his glasses.
Abdul sighed. “Yes, he took me with him, and no, we didn’t ride camels,” he explained. “‘A three-day camel ride’ is an expression, you know?”
“Will you shut up and let him talk?” Ali was impatient. “You ask the stupidest questions, Habib.”
“Geez! Sorry!” Habib busied himself wiping the fingerprints from his glasses, muttering under his breath.
“So what happened in Cairo, Abdul?”
“Well, my dad was in meetings most of the time, so I had…”
“Meetings? What kind of meetings?” Habib finished with his glasses and was now digging in his ear.
“For those CamelToes™ jeans he designs. They turned out to be a really popular all over the world! Almost every woman wears them, from what I understand, because guys like ’em.
“They do?” Habib inspected the ball of earwax he’d rolled between his thumb and index finger. “Why?”
“Really, Habib?” “Really?“
“Now, what?” Habib flicked his ball of earwax at Ali in irritation.
“Do you guys want to hear the story or not?”
“Go ahead, Abdul.” Ali said, shooting Habib a warning glance.
“Pfft!” Ali stuck his tongue out at Habib.
Abdul cleared his throat. “Okay, so my dad was in meetings a lot and I got bored. So, he told me to go play in the desert.”
Habib opened his mouth to speak, but thought better of it.
“The desert was just as boring as CamelToes™, until…”
“Until what?” It was Ali’s turn to interrupt. Habib cocked an eyebrow in satisfaction.
“Until I found…a spoon!”
“A spoon?” Habib couldn’t help himself. “What’s so great about a spoon, and how did one wind up in the desert?”
Ali waved Habib’s comment away and waited for his friend to finish.
“Remember how we used to try to dig a hole to China in our sandboxes?”
“That doesn’t work, you know.” Habib piped up. “You don’t end up in China. You end up in very south of the Pacific Ocean halfway between Adelaide, Australia and Buenos Aires, Argentina.”
“What are you, Habib? A walking world atlas?”
“More or less.” He beamed with pride.
“ANYWAY…for lack of anything better to do, I started digging, spoonful by spoonful. I dug for hours. It was so hot; man, was it hot. Sweat was pouring off of me, but I kept digging, and digging, and digging. And just when I was about to give up…” Abdul paused for effect.
“What? What happened?
“Yeah, C’mon. Tell us!
BRRRRRRNNNGGGG! BRRRRRRNNNGGGG! It was the school bell. Class was about to start.
“Darn it! We gotta go in. I’ll finish telling you guys at recess.”
“No, now.” Ali said. “I gotta know what happens!”
“Yeah, just say it real fast.” Habib begged. “Please?”
“See you guys at recess!”
With that, Abdul trotted off to class—hoping he could think of something ‘amazing’ to tell them by recess.