I really wanted to write about Lebanese gentlemen this week, but since my writing is inspired from what I see around me, and since Lebanese gentlemen have become quite the endangered species, I decided to write about the notorious Lebanese Wazwaz instead.
Whether you have lived in Lebanon all your life or you are a tourist visiting for a week, you must surely be familiar with the term Wazwaz and what/who/how the Wazwaz is.
The Wazwaz always has spicy nicknames. Why? Because a normal name doesn’t do justice to such a powerful, dangerous beast. Abul Zouz, Zouzou (Ebba), Abul Ghadab, Abul Leil, Abu Rabba, Jix, Aantar, Abu Ali – sorry I’ll have to stop at that; I’m embarrassed enough to know this number of names. My favorite nickname is Zouzou, so I will use it in reference to the Wazwaz club members throughout this entry.
Zouzou’s favorite accessory is his moped. Regardless of traffic or people or cars on the street, he will always ride it on one wheel; hence, “Ebba ya Zouzou ebba!” Eww. Yesterday as I was driving over to my friend’s place, Zouzou was showing off his moped “ebba” skills and holding up traffic. He was right in front of me . . . for ten minutes until my anger got the best of me, at which point I drove up to him, honked like a Zouzou myself, and yelled at him, “FHEMNA! CAN YOU MOVE NOW?” Zouzou was surprisingly . . . surprised! Did he think he was impressing us?
Zouzou knows his toys. A moped is one of them, a compact 1970’s Volkswagen, Renault, or BMW will make him king of his alley. The “Pimp My Ride” Zouzou edition involves decorating the car with stickers, “If you want to die, follow me . . .” Those cars always have an extremely noisy exhaust and an obnoxiously loud sound system that plays “tish-tik-tah-tah” music – Haifa Wehbe is a favorite. Their English music selection usually includes Yves Larock’s “Rise Up” and 666’s “Alarma”. Yes, so dangerous. Zouzou’s car will always beat any Ferrari, Porsche, or Lamborghini he comes across on the highway. It doesn’t matter if Zouzou’s car bursts into flames because its engine exploded . . . he’ll always find a convincing reason as to why the Ferrari won. Hence, the “Abu Rabba” nickname.
Zouzou’s favorite line is “Shuuuuu??” pronounced as “Shaaaaaaaaa?”
He sees his friend: “Shaaaaaaaaa?”
He sees his father: “Shaaaaaaaaa?”
He sees his neighbor: “Shaaaaaaaaa?”
He sees the garbage man: “Shaaaaaaaaa?”
He sees a female: “Shaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa?”
Speaking of which, Zouzou has no control of his “zizi” or of his speech, behavior, and thoughts when he sees a female – especially if she’s walking down the street.
“Shaaaaa ya ashta?!”
Of course Zouzou expects her to be charmed and jump on that moped with him as he rides her into the sunset.
God forbid she’s licking a Popsicle: “Wlek ya raytne el bouza!!”
No, this is not harassment at all! It’s not weird at all for a strange man to shout out to a woman that he’d like it if she “licks him like a Popsicle”. Eukh!
This happened to me once. I was so offended I simply had to throw my Popsicle at him and run off. Once again Zouzou was surprisingly surprised. I still think of what reaction he may have been anticipating (moped . . . sunset . . . baby Zouzous).
Zouzou almost always looks like
a) a gangster
b) a homeless street boy
c) a rapist
d) all of the above
He almost always has a tattoo . . . or five. It’s either a cross, a dagger, a tiger, a skull, or maybe all combined into one big mess of a black ink catastrophe. Him and his posse probably all went together to “Abul Ghadab Tattoo Parlor” to get tats done together; the stamp for the “Zouzou Brotherhood”. In the absence of a tattoo, Zouzou definitely has burn scar tissue in the form of a cross on his arm, shoulder, or back. This is back from the high school days (if he got that far) where his Aantar-ness and beastly manliness were tested. No it’s not disgusting; it’s COOL!
Zouzou’s clothing style and trends are to be envied. His faded ripped jeans, wife-beater (sleeveless shirt), thick black belt with a Wazwaz buckle the size of Texas, Pointy shoes or cowboy boots (or as Zouzou says, “Coyboy”) and enough gel in his head to hold together the tower of Pisa. Some have the army haircut; the “tanjara”. It’s quite a favorite among the Zouzous.
When a Zouzou looks at you, you know he’s thinking of one of two things:
1) The quickest way to steal your money
2) The quickest way to grab your ass
In any case, this is bad news. The best thing you can do in such circumstances is ignore the Zouzou.
If you are a woman, you certain don’t want to engage in a stare down with Zouzou. He will interpret it as one of two things:
a) “Bayye a2wa men bayyak” – could you possibly think for a minute that you are more worthy than Zouzou? *Gasp* In this case he’ll get very defensive and aggressive. He’ll forget about raping you and will want to beat you . . . after he floods you with every possible below the belt insult. These insults usually involve your mother, father, great grandmother, dancing on your grave, a donkey’s penis, and things like that all coming together to form one glorious insult.
b) “Enta ktir wahesh” – yes, Zouzou already knows he’s a lover hotter than lava. Now he knows that you know. Whether you know it or not is irrelevant. Whether you’re looking at him in the most disgusted way is irrelevant. Whether you’re holding back vomit is irrelevant. Next thing you know he’ll be telling you, “Shu hal jassad ya assad,” or “Habbaytik wein baytik,” as he gives you his sexy signature stares. At this point, even if you scream in his face . . . it’s irrelevant.
If you are a man, regardless of what you say to him or how you look at him, it’s over. He’ll unleash the “Tatari” beast within upon you.
What is the best way to insult Zouzou? Just say “Immak” (Yo Mama!) – You are guaranteed to have a “mashkal”, Zouzou style! Regardless of what you’re trying to say about Zouzou’s mom, he will interpret it as an insult if he hears the word “Immak”.
Zouzou’s Friend: “Kifa Immak? Sarit Sehta Ahsan?”
Zouzou: “Shu assdak wleh?! Immak enta el sh*******!”
With one phone call, Zouzou has already rounded up an army of Zouzous on mopeds ready to fight with their fists and baseball bats (ironically enough, none of them play baseball).
Rule number 1: take your shirts off.
Rule number 2: don’t stop till the “darak” arrive.
Bear in mind that Zouzou probably insults and/or beats his mother every day, but no one else has the right to say her name – regardless of the context.
I truly love Zouzous. They crack me up. Lebanon would be a lot duller if we didn’t have these annoying guys verbally harassing us every day. A walk to the supermarket would become uneventful. Eating ice cream would become . . . just eating ice cream. Wearing a skirt would become bland. Moped salesmen wouldn’t be able to put bread on the table anymore (same goes for hair gel distributers). Last week I thought flies were useless until one of my readers informed me that birds (or frogs or something) enjoy eating them. The same logic applies for Zouzou – as annoying as he is, who could imagine a Lebanon without him?
“You wanna f*** with me? Okay. You wanna play rough? Okay. Say hello to my little friend!” Tony Montana