I'm just off a plane from Dubai, and if you have any desire to know what that was like, simply fold yourself up like an origami swan and have somebody blow kebab smoke into your face for fourteen hours. So I'm going to have Skip, our intern from the junior college, unpack my bags and draw me a warm bath, and then I'm going to float a number of shot glasses full of Black Maple Hill in the water and crawl in and soak for two days. Before I do, though: You may have read in the International Herald Tribune that there was some trouble between me and the administration of the University of Dubai, resulting in the sudden withdrawal of my stipend and the termination of my teaching position. The IHT story is a little hazy on the details, which it should be, given the outrageous fees I paid to my Dubaian attorneys to keep the thing low-profile. (Honestly, you haven't lived until you've gotten a cease-and-desist letter from the firm of al Shaibani and bin Hader LLC.) For the record, though, let me state the following:
At no time did I jokingly refer to the U of D football team as the "Fighting Disgraced Pop Stars." (Their actual mascot is the camel. No points for originality there.)
While it may be true that I have in the past characterized Dubai as "The Foxwoods Casino of the UAE," it is also true that I happen to like the Foxwoods Casino, where the slots are loose and easy and the breakfast buffet just can't be beat! And say, did somebody say Acres and acres of parking? That's Foxwoods, just off Rte. 2 in Mashantucket, CT!
There is no truth to the rumor, as reported in some maliciously unscrupulous newspapers and weblogs, that I "drank the bar dry one night at the Hilton Dubai Jumeirah, got into a slapfight with the teenaged daughter of the Oil Minister, and threatened to 'sue this sorry Third World backwater straight into the Persian Gulf'." Those statements, had they actually been made, would have been without foundation and reckless and untrue.
Anyway, I'm home again at Irresponsible World HQ and looking forward to getting back to work. Stay tuned. And if you happened to be at the Jumeirah on the night of May 3rd, or for that matter the Burj al-Arab anytime during the weekend of April 29-30, when a tall Westerner who identified himself as Mr. Irresponsible apparently ran up a gigantic room service bill and skipped without his luggage, I'm sure the responsible party regrets the incidents. And please direct any further inquiries to al Shaibani and bin Hader LLC. They're in the book.