Jul/Aug 2008 Humor/Satire

The Waterboarding Olympics: Up Close and Personal

by Eric Thurschwell

To: Dick Ebersol, Chairman, NBC Universal Sports & Olympics
From: Sue Stark, Production Dept.
Re: Waterboarding profiles
FYI: Here's the transcript. Still working on the narration and background music.

Iqbal al-Balad: When I was young, my family had nothing. Zionist agents conspired to prevent my father from finding employment, and so my sisters had to sell themselves while I worked in the local carpet factory. I was unsupervised and alone, and consumed alcohol and Baywatch videotapes provided by merchants of the Great Satan. Sometimes I would pass out on the street from drinking too much. It is a wonder that the Jews did not drain my blood to bake their vile crackers.

One night The Prophet came to me in a dream. He said, "I have but one word for you, Iqbal." Was the word "rugs?" No! Was the word "C.J.?" No! Was the word "water-soluble bikini?" No! The word was "Jihad!" And so I became a soldier of Allah. And even though I cannot swim, my faith has revealed to me that waterboarding is my destiny.

How can I hold my breath for so long? When I am submerged, I tell myself that I am taking a soothing bath in the cleansing waters that Western degenerates denied me in my youth. And what if my lungs should fail me, and I should never breathe again on this earth? Then I will meet 72 black-eyed virgins in Paradise.

Perhaps they will have blue eyes.


Samah Fatah: Somehow it does not feel correct that I should be receiving so much attention now, when I owe everything to my classmates and teachers in my madrasa. Without them, I would not be here. I especially want to thank my mentor, Ibrahim Rukan Hasan. Years ago, Mullah Hasan was a role model for me. This was before the IOC sanctioned waterboarding as an Olympic event, although of course it had been practiced in many countries for centuries.

Mullah Hasan was a legend to us. His creativity and dramatic abilities were almost as astounding as his pulmonary capacity. Once he was waterboarded for 40 days and 40 nights, while he regaled the event's sponsors with tale after tale, each more inventive than the preceding one. He sent them on a merry chase through a dozen cities and five countries. All this without the benefit of the state-of-the-art training center that we so enjoy!

Mullah Hasan truly had the common touch. No friend, relative, or acquaintance was too humble to be mentioned by him, even as he gasped for breath. He magnanimously acknowledged people he hadn't spoken to for decades, even some who were long dead or never existed. It is said that in the third week of his—how might the young Americans say?—"dunkathon"—after the competition's organizers, following the clues he so graciously provided, had scurried to two addresses in Cairo and four in Aqaba, then to the gravesites of his childhood pets, and then to the home of the Polish Ambassador to the Maldives, all to no avail—it is said that Mullah Hasan greeted their return with a cheery "Is your bomb still ticking?" For he was a man of great humor as well as humility!

Indeed, it is reported on good authority that the Mullah, towards the end of his final contest, whimsically suggested to his ever-eager interviewers that they might wish to chat with one Ugla Kamal al Sayf and Ugla's wife Huda Talfah. The tournament's officials embarked immediately to Riyadh, the hometown of the couple, little suspecting that Huda was Mullah Hasan's whore of a sister, who had twice been seen in public unaccompanied by a male relative, and that Ugla was an apostate known to doubt the veracity of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Neither the Mullah's in-laws, nor alas, the Mullah himself have been seen or heard from since.

I dedicate whatever success I have in these Olympics to Mullah Ibrahim Rukan Hasan, the greatest waterboarder who ever lived!


Barzan Khalifa al-Latif: I was a simple shepherd. Then one day, while tending my flock, I was swept up by forces beyond my control and chosen to represent my nation at the Olympics! In preparation for this great event I was taken far away, confined in a narrow cell for two months, and regularly beaten on the soles of my feet. I do not see how this will help my waterboarding, but the IOC knows best!

What did I do to deserve such an honor? I feel unworthy and worry about my performance. The IOC asks me many questions that I do not understand, and seem displeased when I tell them about my sheep. I do not want to disappoint my countrymen. It is a good thing that Uday Hussein is no longer around to torture athletes.


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