A trip to the Muscat Nike Outlet

Okay, first, we were in Oman. It was just a stopover, though – a few days at the hotel, then we’d be on our way to Yemen. Then Kentucky. Via Yemen. Because we started in Oman.

Something about beaches and outlet mall shopping – in Oman or Kentucky, it’s not clear.

Except some crazy shit was going down in Oman. The locals were rounding up Americans and shooting them in the streets. Seriously. This was bad, y’all.

We hid in the closet for awhile, but 18 people in one closet is kind of pushing it. So we planned our escape.

My assistant manager and one of the kids I used to supervise decided we’d shoot our way out. Good plan, but we had no guns.

A grad school classmate and actress Cobie Smulders said we could just lie, say we’re Canadian. Because everyone knows Canadians are universally accepted. Also, easy for you to say, Cobie. You are fucking Canadian.

A coworker figured that staying in the closet was probably our best bet. I agreed, and sent Juanita a text: We’re in Oman. Things are bad here.
What are you talking about?
 she responds (was she confused about my cryptic message? Or why I was in Oman?)
Watch the news I text back, not 100% sure that a few street executions in the Arabian peninsula would garner CNN coverage.

But we begin to worry that the hotel management would tip off the Bad Guys with Guns – rebels? Terrorists? I think we were calling them terrorists. They were pretty fucking terrifying.

So the logical next step would be to proceed as if innocent people weren’t being slaughtered outside our hotel window. A dinner seating was beginning outside. A few of us venture out.

The server takes our drink orders. I order Molson. We’re Canadian, right? We begin to use catchphrases from the 80s, because everyone also knows Canada is twenty years behind the States. That Molson is rad, eh?

A cadre of terrorists appears before us. They call my name. In retrospect, I probably should not have stood up and followed them.

They take me to an interrogation room. It is an exact replica of Juanita’s bedroom. Head Terrorist sits on the bed. I sit across from him, with Terrorist Number Two keeping one finger on the crook of my arm. Because this is how Terrorists detect lies.

I tell him right off the bat that I’m Canadian. “You are a very calm liar,” says Head Terrorist. I graciously accept his compliment. “Yes, thank you, sir.”

“You are in your 20s, no?” he asks. “Yes!” I say. Then, correcting myself: “Oh, no. I just turned 30.”

“Good job,” he says. “That was a test.”

“Good one,” I say. “You really got me there.”

He then informs me that they are going to perform a dental cleaning. “Would you like to be asleep or awake?” he asks.

I express my confusion at his concern for my oral hygiene, and he smiles.

“We want your teeth to be clean before we break your face!” he says. Cue maniacal laughter.

I choose to not be awake for the procedure.

He then informs me that “his men” are experts in inflicting pain, and some other kind of anatomical nonsense about the nerves in my face. Awesome.

Nurses appear, and I am made to drink some kind of liquid and swallow a couple of pills. Well, what the hell. Here goes nothing. Down the hatch!

And then I woke up.


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