Eateries in the Middle East have their regulars, but every once in a while you get a new person. Sometimes they become regulars; sometimes they're just tourists. The opportunity for fun with tourists is great. You can trick 'em six ways to Sunday. But this particular altercation was a bit different. I realized what the poor tourist didn't: He was confusing Hammam (toilet ) with Hamam (pigeon). I have transcribed as much as I remember.


 Tourist: Excuse me. Where is the hamam?

Cook: Hamam? Why, there are millions of them!

Tourist: So why can't I find one?

 Cook: What do you mean? They're just outside. They're everywhere. You can't get rid of them, the dirty things!

Tourist: Why would you want to get rid of them? Wouldn't that make the customers angry? I mean, they ought to be annoyed that they're outside. But I don't see where they are. Why not have them in the building?

Cook: Have those dirty things in the building? The health inspectors would pitch a fit!

Tourist: They don't pitch a fit about having none?

Cook: Look, I don't want those things in here, crapping all over the place and pecking at the food. Don't you get it? They're not allowed in here.

Tourist: the food? I mean, I understand the crap, but how does a -- 

Cook: Just go outside and play with your lovely little hamam and leave me alone.

Tourist: But there are none outside!

Cook: They're right there, you ninny!

Tourist: What are you talking about? I don't see anything! You're just trying to trick me, aren't you? That's just like a -- 


At that point, he was thrown bodily out the door.

But then he came right back in, and he and the cook bowed to the whole place, and everyone applauded.

 That's the first time I've ever been fooled by a tourist.

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