I posted this in the technical support forum first, for reasons that probably have more to do with the fact that I’ve had three Martinis than any other ones, but where was I? Oh yes, stories about my mother’s time in Saudi Arabia are popular, as are Schadenfreude tales, so I thought you’d like this.
My mother was working in Saudi Arabia and got a boyfriend there, an American CIA agent whose day job was teaching battlefield communications and whose night job was running a private casino/brothel for blackmail purposes of the US government. She figured it out when all his paycheques came from the Pentagon, and I figured it out when I heard he’d been in prison on a 20-year sentence, was released when he agreed to serve in Vietnam, and that his CO in Saudi in the 80’s was (coincidentally?) also his CO in Vietnam. As for the blackmail, it went “hello, PrinceWhatever, we have photos. We would like the development contract for X province”.
Anyway they bought a fake marriage certificate from a Filipino forger who was, apparently, legendary in the days before desktop publishing and swung through Riyadh once a year (she briefly considered buying me a Harvard PhD but it was $500 and she cheaped out, which is why I still have to scramble for a living BUT I’M SO OVER THAT) and lived as a married couple. I met that guy’s son many years later in a small town in Indonesia, but that’s a tale for another time.
My mother brought Jerry From Alabama, her boyfriend, back to Vancouver to meet her daughters. Well, the acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree and we’re both very opinionated my sister and me. And while my sister isn’t a snob, I did get that gene, plus her share. My sister somehow got the “obliging” gene (and GOD knows where she got it from) so she adopted his accent instantly and he could NOT figure out why he liked her better than me, right from the start. But then, maybe he was just psychic.
So, we’re sitting at dinner with Jerry, and my mother has obviously told him I’m a snob (taking credit for her ,work? I dunno), and at some point something happens And. Dude looks me in the eye, takes off his watch, hands it to me (WTF?!) and says, “What do you think of that?”
I look at it. It’s a “Cartier” but the second hand ticks, it doesn’t sweep. I turn it over, and it has the classic beefy Cartier back.
I say, honestly, “That’s a really good fake.”
He collapses in mortification, and my mother collapses in laughter.