Two years ago, to mark Halloween, I related the frightening but true story of the Headless Camelman of Fallujah. Having nothing better to do today except laugh at Bush's mounting problems, I decided to take a break from that and retell the Camelman story. I must reiterate that this is all true.... It also serves to explain why the people of Fallujah are so loyal to little ol' me. Enjoy.
When I was growing up, and even as a young, studly man baggin' babes left and right, I used to hear stories about some half-man, half-camel creature known as "Camelman." Supposedly this beast prowled the desert of northwestern Iraq, occassionally feasting on unsuspecting good looking teenagers foolishly caught in the throes of unbridled hormonal passion. But I, as all other well educated Iraqi citizens (both of them) dismissed the tales as fables concocted by superstitious villagers to keep the kids in line. However, I would soon learn that it was I who was ignorant....
It was late 1973 when I was on a date with Barbara Streisand. We were in the backseat of my brand new Chevy Vega while parked at the Tikrit Drive-In Cinema and Drafthouse. All of a sudden, Babs jumped up and said she thought she heard something.
Well, I'm busy rounding third base and heading for home plate, so of course I'm going to tell her that I didn't hear anything, so please put your hand back where it was.
No sooner did I start to slide in for the score, that the car began rocking back & forth, up and down, and side to side. Meanwhile, Barbara's screaming at the top of her lungs, "OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD...." Needless to say I was feeling pretty darn proud of my performance.... Or at least I was until I realized I wasn't the one rocking the car... OR Barbara!
I looked up only to see some hideous apparition with a furry face, big ears, and a great big hump on his back clawing at the windows! Well, I immediately yelled and reached for my gun, but the man-beast galloped off into the night before I could shoot my load.
Er, the load in my gun, I mean.
So a few years later, after I had come to power, I kept hearing the tales about Camelman. The beast continued to terrorize the people in the area between Baghdad, Tikrit, and Fallujah, and my fellow Sunnis were begging me to help. Of course, my aids all thought these people were nuts, and I couldn't let on that I knew the stories were true. Plus, we were at war with Iran, so I couldn't just order my generals to go chasing after some myth. Well, I guess I could have, but then they'd start talking behind my back, and I'd have to launch a purge, and execute dozens of previously loyal underlings. And going into a war, I frankly didn't need the distraction.
So in September of '81 I recruited 18 students from Baghdad's Kadhimya High School to go look for Camelman. Well, except I kind of lied. First time in my life, too. I told them it was part of some sort of science project. I calculated that if they disappeared, then I'd have an excuse to send military units up there to search for them.... And for anything else... "suspicious."
Needless to say, they vanished without a trace.
So I began sending army units into the area. But they, too, would either disappear entirely, or else turn up dead and horribly mutilated.
Meanwhile, I'm trying to fight a frikkin' war with Iran, so my resources were somewhat limited. Yet, I also couldn't just ignore the Camelman problem. If he had been victimizing Kurds or Shiites, I wouldn't have given a crap. But this... "thing" was eating my fellow Sunni Muslims! We were already a minority of the population, so I could ill afford to keep losing supporters. Plus, I shrewdly realized that if I got rid of Camelman once and for all, the people of the "Sunni Triangle" would be forever indebted to me. After all, one never knows when one might need to go into hiding for an extended period of time....
So the last week of October, I decided to go after Camelman myself. Nothing happened the first few nights, but on the 31st, I heard a strange noise outside my tank. I peeked outside, and sure enough, it was HIM!!!
But before I could react, Camelman ripped the main barrel right off the turret and ate it. Hoping for reinforcements, I immediatly started driving towards Fallujah with him right behind me. Then, on the outskirts of the city, the stupid tank ran out of gas! I scrambled out the safety hatch just as he began tearing the turret to shreds. I bravely began lobbing grenades at the creature, but Camelman just ate those as well. I tried firing a few mortar rounds at him, but he was still hungry.
I briefly toyed with the idea of taming Camelman and starting an animal act in Vegas, but that dream disappeared in a puff of reality when the beast devoured my machine gun. It was at this point, seemingly face to face with the instrument of my death, that I vowed to never again be caught without a supply of weapons of mass destruction.
My eyes gaught the gleam of my sword amid the tattered remains of my tank. It had only recently been forged from special steel in Japan by a retired Samurai Master. And for the skeptics among you, I'm actually quite good with a sword. Who do you think taught Uma Thurman her technique in Kill Bill? That's right; it was me! Back when the two of us were dating, of course.
But I digress....
In a bold move, I somersaulted over the creature's head, performing a dramatic slow-motion triple backflip in midair for no discernable reason except that it looked really cool, and landed behind Camelman. He swung at me wildly with his tail, but I deftly avoided it by cartwheeling across the ground. In one smooth move I grabbed my sword, lept to my feet, and ran up the wall of a nearby three story building to the roof. From there. I saw a telephone cable directly over the now thoroughly confused creature's head and jumped. Grabbing the cable with one hand and holding the sword in the other, I sliced through the thick wire like it was butter. I swung down towards Camelman, and blindly swung the blade.
As I landed in a cloud of dust just down the street, I turned just in time to see the beast's head fall to the ground and roll down a storm drain. The rest of the body stood there motionless for a moment, then toppled forward and landed with a dull thud in the dirt.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, was the end of Camelman.
Stories persist to this day that the ghost of Camelman appears every Halloween and wanders the streets of Fallujah searching for his missing head. However, in 22 years, there has never been another documented attack by the creature.