Sunday, April 30, 2006

Tense negotiations

As I mentioned earlier, I am engaged in talks that could potentially net Pug Life Ministries millions of dollars. I will now give you a rare glimpse into these tense negotiations. I suspect that this will easily be the longest post in the history of The Ayatollah's Teachings, and this gives me pause. As any canine who has played tug-of-war knows, humans have notoriously short attention spans. But I believe this information is too important, too historically significant to be edited down. It must run in full. The e-mail exchanges that you are about to read are 100 percent, word-for-word as they have occurred over the last 48 hours. As you will see at the end, I am still awaiting a final agreement. God willing, this African banker will accept my terms.

Messages from me are in the customary Ayatollah Yellow.
Messages from Mr. Ibrahim Wata are written in green.

And now, let the messages begin:

Dear Sir/Madam
I know that this letter may come to you as a surprise but due to the urgency of this transaction.First I must solicit your confidence in this transaction, this is by virtue of it's nature as being utterly confidential and top secret. Though I know that a transaction of this magnitude will make any one apprehensive and worried, but I am assuring you that all will be well at the end of the day. There is no doubt that trust conceptually is a conundrum which leadsitself to deferring interpretation, we have decided to contact you due to the urgency of this transaction.
I am the manager of bill and exchange at the foreign remittance department of BANK OF AFRICA(BOA). I came to know you in my private search for a reliable and reputable person to handle this Confidential Transaction, which involves thetransfer of a huge sum of money to a foreign account requiring maximum confidence.
I am writing to you, following the impressive information received about you from the chambers of commerce. I believed that you are capable and reliable to champion this business opportunity. In my department we discovered an abandoned sum of $14.5m US dollars (Fourteen million five hundred thusand US dollars). In an account that belongs to one of our foreign customer who died along with his entire family On August 23, 2000 through Gulf Air Flight 72 with Airbus A320 crashed off, killing all 143 people on board and you can view the site for more details:
Since we got information about his death, we have been expecting his next of kin to come over and claim his money because we cannot release it unless somebody applies for it as next of kin or relation to the deceased as indicated in our banking guidelines but unfortunately we learnt that all his supposed next of kin or relation died alongside with him at the plane crash leaving nobody behind for the claim. It is therefore upon this discovery that I and other officials in my department now decided to make this business proposal to you and release the money to you as the next of kin or relation to the deceased for safety and subsequent disbursement since nobody is coming for it and we don't want this money to go into the Bank treasury as unclaimed Bill.
The Banking law and guideline here stipulates that if such money remained unclaimed after five years, the money will be transferred into the Bank treasury as unclaimed fund. The request of foreigner as next of kin in this business is occasioned by the fact that the customer was a foreigner and a Burkinabe cannot stand as next of kin to a foreigner.
We agree that 35% of this money will be for you as foreign partner, in respect to the provision of a foreign account, 5 % will be set aside for expenses incurred during the business and 60 % would be for me and my colleagues. There after I and my colleagues will visit your country for disbursement according to the percentages indicated.
Therefore to enable the immediate transfer of this fund to you as arranged, you must apply first to the bank as relations or next of kin of the deceased indicating your bank name, your bank account number,your private telephone and fax number for easy and effective communication and location where in the money will be remitted.
Upon receipt of your reply, I will send to you by fax or email the text of the application. I will not fail to bring to your notice that this transaction is hitch free and that you should not entertain any atom of fear as all required arrangements have been made for the transfer.
You should contact me immediately as soon as you receive this letter.
Trusting to hear from you immediately.
Yours faithfully,

Bill and exchange manager,

I will require 40 percent of the money, in unmarked $1 bills. Reply urgently if this is acceptable.

Dear Ayatollah Mugsy,
Thanks for your last mail in respect of my proposed business transaction sent to you ealier. I will like to be honest with you, base on the fact that, what will bring the success of this transaction is trust and understanding. As regards to your request i have agreed with my partner to give you 32% of the total fund.
Also i wish to let you know that if you know that you will not keep this transaction as a top secret is better you forget about it, because i have spent a lot of money in this transaction before contacting you. I will not be happy to lose the fund. This fund belongs to our deceased customer(MR.CHRISTAIN EICH ) From AUSTRALIAN. He died on 31/07/ 2000 along with his supposed next of kin in an air crash. He nationalized here for years before his death. He executed alot of contracts here before his death and he was also the major supplier of agricultural equipments in West Africa. The banking law here stipulates that if such money remains unclaimed after 6 year, it will go to the bank treasury as unclaimed bills. We discovered the money during our last auditing in our department. we have made all necessary enquries to find out if we can get any of his relation so that they will come for the claims but to no avail. I decided to contact you and release the fund to you as the nearest person to the dead man because I dont want the money to go into the bank treasury as unclaimed fund and besides nobody is coming for the fund again. Many Banks in African use to confiscate alot of foreigners money i our bank after the fund lying dormant in the Bank.We Poor Bankers dont gain anything if the fund is confiscated. I got this last oppurtunity at this my old aged and decided to contact you,for the mutual benefit of our both families. The transaction has to undergo normal banking procedures of transfering inheritance fund.You will apply as the nearest person to the deceased customer while i will be here as your partner in the business,guiding you on what to do until the fund enters your account. For immediate execution of this transaction,you have to communicate me with those information below; 1) your full name, 2) your occupation, 3) your country, 4) your age, 5) your telephone and fax number. 6) your banking details where you shall receive the fund so that i will email you a text of application that you will use to apply for releasing of the fund. And i will like to know how capable you are to receive this huge amount into your account, and i hope that you will not betray me when the money enter into your account in your country?. Upon receipt of the above mentioned,i will send you a text of application which you will use to apply to the Foreign Remittance Department in our Bank,for easy execution of the transaction. This transaction is 100% hitch-free on both sides and has no atom of negativity on both side but you must try to keep it confidential and as a top secret as you may wish to know that we are this Bank Officials. I once again wish to inform you that 32% of the total sum will be for you for the provision of account were we will transfer the money and the rest will be for me and my colleague who is also involved in the business. Here will be a little expencess in other to get some documents to back up this claims. Which i feel that you will a bit assist me when needed for that. As i hard spent a lot of money in gathering the information of this transaction before contacted you. I have worked very hard in my life and this one oppurtunity that i dont want play with. 1) My full name is Mr. Ibrahim Wata, Manager Foreign Remmittance Dept Bank of Africa(B.O.A) 2) I am 50 years old with 4 children with an aged mother and father. 3) My house address is No 25, suma street dapoyah Ouagadougou Burkina Faso. 4) My private phone number+226-7647-1708. I have worked with this bank for many years now. i don't want to lose this last opportunity allmighty God gave to me at this old age. You must assure me of your sincerity,so that this transaction is not broght to odium.Please kindly back-out if you can not assure me of your sincerity in this transaction. Have agreat day as i await your return mail. Mr.Ibrahim Wata, Nb: The 32% of total sum is for you as the provider of foreign account. the 60% is me and my partner here also the 10% is for any expencess. and you will send me a letter of invitation immedaitely your receive the fund into your account, as to enable me get my visa to your country to collect my share.
For the confidencialty of this transaction warrant me to direct you through this my private email address. Please if you need more question you can ask.

First you offer me 35 percent, and now you offer only 32 percent? This is not the way to negotiate. Frankly, I am offended. Do you know who you are dealing with? Perhaps you should visit my blog at to see. I am not one to be trifled with. Unless you consent to the full 40 percent I seek, I will find another shady African banker to do business with.
Supreme Ayatollah
Pug Life Ministries

Dear Ayatollah Mugsy,

Thanks for your last mail. I have gone through your site. Really i offerd 35% for the first time, but i was not happy when you needed me to add more 5% making 40% as you know that we are two down here.

If we give you 40% how much due you think that me and my partner here who is involved in this transaction will share?. Please you have to accept the 35% as you know that we are two here. So that we shall start the business as you know that we don't have enough time to waste.

Best regards

Mr.Ibrahim Wata.


You drive a hard bargain, Mr. Wata. I am ready to accept your 35 percent offer if -- and this is a big "if" -- you will throw in a large box of Milkbone dog biscuits at the completion of this transaction. It should be sent via UPS Priority Shipping. If you will consent to this minor concession, I will be willing to facilitate this transfer of funds. I believe this could be a great opportunity, both for you and your partner and for my congregation.
Best regards,
Supreme Ayatollah
Pug Life Ministries

P.S. -- Can you guarantee that my personal banking information will be safe in your hands? It occurs to me that this might be a slightly risky endeavour.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Our big break

I am in negotiations regarding an exciting new partnership that could bring immense financial rewards to the ministry. Details to come ...

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Mugsy takes Manhattan

I have returned from New York with much to share -- travel photos, souvenirs, possible news of an exciting and well-deserved boycott. But first, I will turn to the issue that took me to New York: the push for Pugistan. I know you have all been waiting for details with baited, rawhide-scented breath, so here is a brief recap.

I strode to the U.N. headquarters in Manhattan. Out in front, the flags of 191 nations billowed in the stiff East River breeze. My goal was to add No. 192. I walked past the crowd of tourists to the VIP (Very Important Pug) entrance. Security was tight on this momentous day. After running my collar and turban through the X-ray machine, I passed through the metal detector and entered the complex, where I was greeted by Secretary-General Kofi Annan. He took me to a private room, where I looked over my speech one last time. My big moment awaited.

Ninety minutes later, the U.N. General Assembly fell silent. My mother led me to the stage and tied my leash to the lectern. It was now or never. I made an impassioned appeal for support. I told the assembled nations of the plight of millions of disenfranchised canines, of our manifest destiny to finally claim the territory that our forefathers had marked. I asked for their support on humanitarian, economic and religious grounds. But I made it clear that Pugistan would become a reality with or without the backing of the international community. "You are either with us or against us!" I barked. All eyes were fixed upon me as I banged my mother's shoe on the lectern three times for emphasis. These diplomats could see that I meant business. And then, in one final symbolic show of strength, I ate the shoe.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Holding down the fort

My intelligence operatives have detected some disturbing "chatter" over the last 24 hours. It seems that certain groups are hoping to take advantage of my absence while I am in New York. Did they really think I would leave my estate unguarded? And did they think I was kidding when I defended my domestic surveillance program? Although I could have let these infidels find out the hard way -- by nursing a pair of puncture wounds on their backsides -- I am a merciful pug. So I will tell you about Cleveland. This brave lieutenant in the Armed Revolutionary Forces (ARF) has volunteered to patrol the grounds of the ayatollah compound while I am away. His highly trained sniffer can detect burglars or U.N. nuclear inspectors from 500 yards away. And just look at his face: Even with a bow on his head, it is clear that he means business. Believe me, infidels, you do not want to cross Lt. Cleveland. He is a true patriot for the canine cause who made his bones fighting alongside Supreme Commander Brody in the Phat Dog Down conflict. Consider yourselves warned.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Taking a bite out of the Big Apple

I am leaving for New York on Saturday to drum up support for our Pugistan secession movement. I will address the U.N. General Assembly next week. The French seem quite receptive to the idea, but Condoleezza Rice will no doubt try to thwart our plans. Does anybody have any suggestions on what to see or do in Manhattan while I'm not engaging in diplomacy?

Thursday, April 13, 2006

The dream has a name

The longest-running election in modern history has come to a close, my friends. The canines have spoken. Freedom, thy name is Pugistan. When I started this blog, I had two goals: unspeakable wealth and the formation of an autonomous pug homeland in the American Southwest. We are 0 for 2 so far, but at least our future global superpower now has a name. Other nations will look up to Pugistan as a beacon of canine freedom. They will quake before our military might. And if we play our cards right, God willing, they will send us billions in foreign aid. The dream of Pugistan is closer than you think to becoming a reality. To borrow an analogy from my April Fool’s Day joke, we are like a bowling ball rolling slowly down the lane. Sometimes, it takes a while to reach the pins. But only a supreme weakling’s roll will lose its momentum and stop mid-lane. And I am no weakling -- just ask anyone who has played tug-of-war with me. Pugistan is our destiny.

But Pugistan is not our only destiny. What began as a pug secessionist movement has blossomed into an all-encompassing quest for canine nationhood. As one of this blog’s longest-serving and most respected readers pointed out, Pug Life Ministries is not just for pugs anymore. Our ranks include bulldogs and schnauzers, Jack Russell terriers and weimaraners, Brittany spaniels and Boston terriers. And don’t forget the beloved mutts. Every breed imaginable is represented in this congregation.

So Pugistan is only the beginning. We will form a federation of canine states, with open borders among them and free trade and universal access to rawhide. Perhaps we will call our federation the United Canine Emirates, or maybe another name will emerge. The name isn’t what matters; the important thing is that Pugistan will be but one of many canine states, from sea to shining sea.

Can you smell that smell, my friends? It is the future.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

What is this world coming to?

WASHINGTON (AP) – A cargo plane chartered by the Girl Scouts of America was stolen in a daring mid-air hijacking Wednesday, and officials say it vanished without a trace. The massive jet was transporting over 1 million Girl Scout cookies to troops serving in Iraq.

The three crew members, found hanging by their parachutes from a tree in Hampton, Va., said they were forced to jump from the Boeing 747-400 at about 20,000 feet. They were all unharmed.

The crew members said they heard scratching noises on the door leading from the cockpit to the cargo bay, and when the co-pilot went to check on the noise, a team of stocky, black-clad assailants stormed the cockpit.

The pilot, who asked not to be identified because he feared for his life, said he spotted a small red biplane flying dangerously close to the cargo jet shortly before the hijacking occurred.

"I know this sounds crazy," he said, "but it looked like a white beagle was flying the plane."

Risky business

As I read about Iran's successful enrichment of uranium, all I could think about was one thing: My fellow ayatollahs are going to have a hard time finding affordable health insurance for these dancers.
"As part of the ceremony, costumed dancers performed on the stage, holding aloft vials of raw uranium and also chanting 'Allahu akbar.'"

Sweet sentiment

Although there is an undeniable divide in this country over the war in Iraq, I think we can all agree that the troops serving there deserve any treat they can get. So I commend the Girl Scouts of America for sending more than 1 million cookies to our brave troops overseas. May this shipment arrive safely, and may every soldier’s sweet tooth be sated.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Big love to give

I was watching the HBO show Big Love a few hours ago, and I was struck by just how little our great nation has accomplished in terms of civil rights. Here is this poor, fictional Mormon man, married with children. Then married twice more with children. And because of our legal system, he is forced to hide his polygamist ways. How sad it is that he is not allowed to legally marry all three of his soulmates. In a nation that supposedly believes in religious freedom, this strikes me as awfully intolerant. Many Mormons believe in the sanctity of plural marriage, as do many of my fellow Muslims. It is generally accepted that the Quran allows a male to have up to four wives, provided he is able to care for all of them adequately. And frankly, I believe there is a bit of wiggle room on that four-wife limit, especially for an esteemed pug such as myself.

Now, I am not saying that I am ready to settle down and take a wife or four. I am still a young pug, and my ministry, harem and chew toys keep me fully occupied. But it would truly be a shame if only one lovely lady were someday able to join me in holy matrimony. Would it not be cruel to force the second-, third- and fourth-place finishers to settle for a lesser man when they could marry a real-life ayatollah? And this is to say nothing of their families. Imagine the pride that a father would feel having me as a pug-in-law. He could feel secure, knowing that I would use his substantial dowry to provide for all of his daughter's needs. Call me a romantic, but I believe it's time to change these unfair laws.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Super news

I have an exciting announcement today, my friends. Although the auditions for Team Pugforce continue under the watchful eye of Ryan Seacrest, I have booked a very special group to make guest appearances in several cities. The Pug League of America will thrill you with their feats of strength, and they will amaze you with their knowledge of the hadiths. Among the performers are the Incredible Hulking Pug, who can lift a minivan as if it were a marshmallow. Superpug, who is so powerful that only a fictional element from another planet can stop him. Wonderpug, whose lasso of truth will show unbelievers the way. And, of course, Robin Pug, who can take any phrase and make it holy (Holy Bill of Rights, Batpug!). Tickets will surely go fast, so don't miss out.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Speak softly, and carry a big stick

A word of advice to my fellow ayatollahs in Iran: Your weapons are not "top secret" if you continually make announcements about them. Notice that you never hear me boast about the shock-and-awe-inspiring ARF arsenal.

You're hired

CBS News needed someone with the gravitas, the credibility, the journalistic integrity to fill the anchor seat once occupied by Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite and kept warm by Dan Rather. Instead, it hired Katie Couric.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Successful surgery

I had surgery today at the prestigious Pepper Square Pet Clinic to remove the red spot below my lip. The veterinarian said the procedure went well, and -- thank Allah -- I do not have to wear a cone around my neck. I am going to have to give my parents a stern talking-to for scheduling this operation on my fifth birthday. Some present that was ... to be knocked unconscious and carved up like a Thanksgiving turkey. But I digress. My parents tell me I now appear to be drunk. Obviously, with me being a good Muslim pug, this is not the case. I am simply groggy from the anesthesia. So I think I will go take another nap now. But, dear parents, don't think I've forgotten about my birthday. I will expect presents first thing tomorrow.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

April Fool's!

I have a confession to make, my befuddled flock. My Bowling Pug persona was merely an April Fool's joke. I believe that to be effective, a ministry must make at least an occasional attempt at humor. So why did I begin this ruse on March 30? A few reasons:

1. Some of our less devout Pug Lifers aren't daily readers, so I wanted to make sure I fooled a good number of congregants.
2. Our weekday readership is generally higher than our weekend readership (a sure sign of the productivity of the American workforce).
3. It just seemed sneakier that way.

So hopefully I fooled a few of you (I know of at least one fellow educator who found me out). In addition to providing holiday merriment, this exercise was intended to ferret out some of the enemies of Pug Life. The ultra-secret Kanine Gathering Bureau rounded up a half dozen humans who expressed elation at my apparent career change, and they have been sent to the appropriate re-education camps.

I thank those of you who supported me in my fictional bowling endeavor or offered
Randy Quaid-related cautionary tales, and I commend the Armed Revolutionary Forces for maintaining order. Supreme Commander Brody is especially deserving of thanks. Not only did he think to declare martial law and a 6 p.m. curfew, but he also found the time for a little mountainside sculpting. Well done, Bro.

Recent bowling scores

I bowled three games last night. I started strong with a 68 and a 77, but then I regressed in the third game with a 60. I've got to find a venue without that infernal disco bowling. It's much too distracting for a serious athlete like myself.