We received a very nice fax at work the other day, from Mrs. Nazek Audi Hariri. I’m sure you’ve heard of her husband, Rafik Baha al-din Hariri. Or at least, it’s possible you once raised a din while driving your Audi in Baha.
Mrs. Audi Hariri offered to give us 20% of 36 million dollars.
I thought to myself, “Well, we’re all getting raises this year!
It seems her husband, a respected businessman and politician in Lebanon, was killed in an explosion on Valentines Day, 2005. Tragic, right? But afterward, Mrs. Hariri was contacted by a European security firm, which held a trunk that belonged to her husband – a trunk containing the aforementioned three dozen million bucks, all in cash, which no doubt cushioned the lady’s grief and provided a nice little late Valentines gift.
Apparently the money was from business associates, and was meant to be used for Mr. Hariri’s next election campaign. I’m guessing the campaign finance laws work a little differently in Lebanon.
This is all good, what with her giving us 20%, which amounts to, um, let me do some quick math … $76,000,000. I’m guessing I forgot to carry a decimal point, there. (Hey, I’m not used to dealing with any number over three digits.) Let’s try again … okay, now I’ve got it at 7 mil, give or take. And really, at that point do a few hundred more bucks really matter? I could buy a lot of ramen noodles with a seven and six ones.
Now, here’s where things get a bit fuzzy: The reason Mrs. Hairy sent this fax is because a person receiving it, identified by her as “you”, is one of her husband’s business partners. But the fax came to my work, and anybody working there who had enough money to contribute toward a multi-million dollar campaign fund would NOT be working there.
Mrs. Heshe explained it all in this clear and concise sentence:
“The part of services the diplomat is required to render is to assist you in claiming the consignments from the terminal of the security company and to set up a transit domiciliary account in your name in one of the prime bank he has contacts to carry out the exercise through the back door.”
Oh. Well, when you put it that way, it all makes sense: She’s sending her money through the back door.
Besides, I checked into the story. There really was a Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, who really was killed in an explosion, and he really was estimated to be worth billions. Which is like millions, only more. He even has a son named Baha:
“What are you going to name your son?”
“Well, what happens in California stays in California. Where are you vacationing next year?”
Granted, I wasn’t able to find much mention of Mrs. Hibijibi. But I got everything else off the internet, so it must be true.
I immediately called her contact person, a diplomat in London named Mark Johnson. “I’d like to help with the Audi Hariri Funny Honey Money Fund,” I told him.
“You would?” I couldn’t figure out why he was so surprised. After all, 20% of 36 million is … um … well, so much money that I’ll never have to do math again.
“I sure do. I mean, the poor lady’s so oppressed that she can’t even go through her front door! If this keeps up, they’ll take her names away, one by one. First she won’t have an Audi, then she won’t be Hariri any more, and next thing you know she’ll never get to go to Baha again.”
“Ah, yes …” He seemed a little uncertain about whether I was for real, which I can understand – after all, people do crazy things for that much money. “Well, with this much cash flow involved, you must understand that certain guarantees will be needed, certain, ah, capital assistance to provide for the transference of funds.”
“Well,” I said, “I live in the capital of Noble County. Does that help?”
“What I’m saying is, a certain amount of financial incentive on your part will be needed to assist in the transference of cash into your account.”
“Are you saying I need to send you money in order to get money? So in return for services, you need a financial contribution?”
“Well … yes.”
“So you’re like the federal government?”
I thought about that for a moment. “Look, here’s the thing. Mrs. Hihickey obviously needs our help, so how about if you bring the money over yourself? It just so happens that we have a place right in the building where I work where you can stay while we get this all sorted out. You’ll get a nice bed, three square meals a day, entertainment, and even people who’ll stay with you and help you acclimate into our society.”
“Really? Where would that be?”
“The Noble County Jail. Now, if you’ll just give me your –“
But that’s when Mr. Mark Johnson hung up, and he wouldn’t answer my return calls. Honestly, I’m beginning to suspect he wasn’t on the level.