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Stench Politics

(Writing under the pen-name of Scarlett Katzen)

I was lounging on my couch on Friday afternoon reading the weekend edition of the Herald Tribune and munching pistachio nuts, when I was assailed by a rather hideous picture of Germany's former Chancellor, Helmut Kohl. Actually, to be perfectly frank, for a few seconds I thought I was looking at yet another picture of our incumbent prime minister, Ariel Sharon, the two of them being of equal girth and largesse. Being of a rather creative (and not often sound) mind, I suddenly had this image of Sharon and Kohl, wearing nothing but sexy Sumo diapers and slicked back hairdos, wrestling each other in front of screaming skinheads and militant settlers. I do not profess to know much about politics, but I do know Sumo talent when I see it. My great-grandfather was a Jewish Jap.

By the way, allow me to introduce myself. The name is Scarlett. Be warned: I am a slayer of sacred cows (I have a Beth Din shochat license) and, furthermore, should a mad one cross my path, the ailing bovine will be deported back to England quicker than Tony Blair can say "Moo." I wonder whether the acne-ridden, academic geeks at Oxbridge are now considering changing the famous English expression, "Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun" to "Only mad cows and Englishmen go out in the midday sun." More accurate I should think, except for the part about there ever being a midday sun in Englandů.

But I digress. What a week it's been here in Israel. The shock of the week was not so much that Ariel Sharon won the elections by a landslide, but that I was still able to step outside my apartment without passing out from the stench of rotting garbage. Ho hum, Israel's municipal workers are on strike, yet again.

International journalists just don't get it. They wonder why the heck there was such a low voter turn out when the reasons are as obvious as the putrid smell that hangs in the air like a floating pigsty. Many people, especially the elderly, couldn't wade through garbage to reach the polling stations, or those that did heroically make it out their homes, either collapsed en route or were so high on the fumes of decomposition, that they forgot why they had left their homes in the first place or voted for Sharon. The result: a low turn out, and an election result that stinks to high heaven.

Not that Ehud was much of a worthy candidate either. He's made more mistakes than Dan Quayle has made spelling errors (and that's saying a lot!), but he did try, at least half-heartedly, to crank up the peace process. But let's face it, Barak didn't have a chance on Tuesday. How could he possibly compete against the PR of a guy whose sheer physique engulfs two-thirds and a half of our television screens? By comparison, if it wasn't for Barak's birthmark on his cheek, we would never have even spotted him in his own TV ad campaigns! I don't know what Sharon eats for breakfast, but I'm guessing it could probably solve the Third World's hunger problem.

But back to the Middle East: it is time the garbage strikers pull themselves together and go back to the important business of cleaning our streets. If they want cushy desk jobs and high salaries, let them join the high tech world and suffer like the rest of us! Or even better, let them run for political election - they'll feel right at home in the aromatic corridors of power.