"Woof, woof, the woof is on fire, we don't need no water let the motherfucker burn. Woof, woof, the woof is on fire, we don't..."

"Pardon me, Sahij, but I believe that the correct words to the song you are singing are 'the roof is on fire."

"And exactly how would that relate to a dog, Ahmad?"

"I fear I do not understand your question..."

"The flaming dog of the infidels, you man who does not hear what is clearly true. The song addresses the incineration of Western decadence. These blasphemous beasts dare to insult our great prophet Mohammed by putting him into a cartoon, as though he were a Snoopy dog. What about that concept do you find so difficult to understand?"

"A thousand pardons, Sahij. I have heard that song a million times and I always thought they were saying roof... but... you know, roof does kind of work here since we are in the process of burning the Danish embassy..."

"You are right in what you say, Ahmad. Look! The roof is on fire."

"Yes, glorious is it not? Praise Allah."

"That goes without saying. And don't forget to praise the Prophet. That is the reason we are here today."

"Indeed, Sahij. It is a wonderful thing to live in a country such as Syria where we have the freedom to express our religious outrage. You know, I have to pinch myself that we have such great and good fortune as to have three embassies under one roof the way we do here. The Norwegian portion is now on fire as well."

"Woof, woof, burn motherfucker, we don't need no water let the motherfucker burn."

"Roof, roof. I thought we were now in accordance on the matter of the lyrics."

"Not me, Ahmad. I like the traditional lyrics. Say, I was thinking about Chile..."

"An excellent idea, Sahij. I too could go for a delicious bowl of hot steaming chili, accompanied perhaps with a cold frothy Brada Lite or two."

"Hold your tongue, Ahmad. Why would you settle for a Brada Lite when the canteen next door has Al-Sharqs on ice?"

"Al-Sharqs? Oh, and now you seek to get all fancy with me and drink Al-Sharqs. In the Prophet's name, I swear to you that not even Allah himself would drink a Syrian beer. Why do we not go all the way and travel to the Akbar Lounge at the Damascus Marriott? It is said that if you make the sign of the thirsty camel they will fill your mug with smuggled Heineken."

"Can your words be true? Surely the government would be aware of such an operation."

"Ha. I laugh. Half the tables at the Akbar are filled with government officials. Sahij?"

"Yes, Ahmad."

"They say that the beers are served by unveiled women."

"Then let us depart. Our work here is done."



2006, Mark Hoback