If you missed part one, you can find it here
Talib was feeling very uncomfortable indeed, and as he and Hamoud spun round in circles at the top of the street he almost dismissed it as nausea from the doughnuts they were pulling at the top of the road. "Stop Hamoud!" shouted talib. Hamoud stopped the car. "what is it bud? You ok?" asked Hamoud with concern.
Talib was silent for a moment, and then confessed to the weird feeling that had been welling up inside him. "Hamoud, I think that perhaps we are making the problem here worse with our sight seeing and fast driving. These people have lost almost everything they owned, they do not look so rich and maybe they cannot call their daddies to ask for new ones. I think we should be helping, it is our duty." Hamoud thought it over, and agreed, because even he had been feeling a little guilty too.
"perhaps we could send our houseboy and driver to them?" offered Hamoud. but then he decided that it was best to help out himself, what with actually being there and all.
They turned back down the street, and driving much slower this time looked for a likely candidate to whom they could offer assistance. They passed the crazy woman who had given up on making the truck live again and was now sweeping mud out of the house with a baby on her hip. She said some words to them that Hamoud and Talib vowed to look up in a dictionary at their earliest convenience.
Eventually, they pulled up beside some apartment blocks, where there was a family who's ground floor accommodation had been completely wiped out. Mother, father and the kiddies were slowly moving furniture out and brushing at the mud, making slow but definite progress. Hamoud approached the man of the house, and introduced himself, proffering help in any way necessary. The man was delighted, and gratefully accepted their assistance.
The two young men entered the house and were each presented with a long stick that had smaller sticks or pieces of rope on the ends. The man indicated that by using these primitive tools, they could push the mud out of the house and into the yard.
"What the hell is this?" asked a befuddled Talib. Hamoud thought about it and then replied "I think they call it a mop, I have seen my housemaid use one like it before"
"and that! What is that?" enquired Talib, gesturing at the thing in Hamoud's hands. "It's a broom, like those guys in the orange coveralls use to clean the highway."
Hamoud and talib set to work, using the mop and the broom to push the mud out of the kitchen. They felt a real sense of satisfaction seeing the progress that they were making,. They righted the refrigerator, and packed up the spoiled food into garbage bags, and hauled small appliances that were beyond repair to the growing pile of garbage next to the street. The kitchen was looking good, or as good as a flooded kitchen can look, so they moved onto the living room.
It was in the living room that Hamoud and Talib fully grasped the scale of the tragedy. There, lying on the floor next to the television was the family's PS3. It was muddied and waterlogged, with the controllers and power cables snaking out from it like body parts in a post-mortem. Hamoud and talib were moved, And realised that they had been somewhat selfish earlier in the day, not fully grasping the scale of the losses to other members of the community.
When they left for home that night, muddy and tired, Hamoud and Talib were changed men. They were shocked by the devastation they had seen, but proud of thier efforts and progress in helping the small family. They had seen the contribution they could make to the well being of others, and a way in which they could serve their great country in it's time of need.
They became hard working and productive members of society, married nice girls and raised nice babies.
For those of you who couldn't tell, the first part of this story was true. The second part of the story is what I imagined might have happened an hour later, when they grew tired of driving around and creating mini-tsunami's on my street.
Starting tomorrow, some local news, and a slightly less angry tone of voice from me. Maybe.