Not that we have to agree but let me ask you something. Suppose you happen to meet a person that held a high ranking position during Shah’s regime and had the opportunity to be close to the Shah. Wouldn’t you agree that if this person intends to share some of his memories with you and the rest of the world, he needs to stick with those events that are at least thought-provoking or reflection of a part of history?
Well, to elaborate and hit the point, let me share a completely fictitious story with you, but hopefully with some useful conclusion. Let’s assume I am a former Iranian diplomat served back in late 50’s and early 60’s and among many memories there are two that stand out. The first one is about the Shah of Iran’s active role in a conspiracy leading to assassination of JFK. However, being a typical former Iranian diplomat I change my mind and want to share with you the second story which is below.
In late 50’s during one of his vacations to Europe, His Imperial Majesty was the guest of Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly the royal couple of Monaco. I was a diplomat at the Iranian embassy in Liechtenstein and served as the Charge d’Affair and Cultural Attaché.
The ambassador and I were invited to accompany His Majesty and their hosts and another important guest Prince Agha Khan, and attend a private picnic in the suburb of Monaco. The picnic was His Majesty’s idea and we were all to travel the short distance with a huge Rolls Royce limousine that easily accommodated up to fifteen people and was provided by the Iranian Embassy.
There were actually only ten of us on that day and the Iranian diplomats had prepared the picnic baskets with variety of food and drinks and placed them inside the trunk of the limousine and soon we were all on our way to the picnic ground which was only a short distance from the royal palace in Monaco.
Ten minutes into our short trip when things got complicated and a critical situation that only a true diplomat could have solved and dealt with it. As we started the trip, we noticed Grace Kelly and Prince Phillip started to sniff and snuffle their noses in an inquisitive way, like two little poppies trying to search the source of a bad smell. Grace Kelly a beautiful and elegant lady cracked the window a little for fresh air and told his Majesty the Shah:
“Something smells so awful, I wonder what it is?”
Prince Rainier agreed also that something smelled weird and he used the words “dog’s poop.”
Well, the quick thinking of His Majesty and his wit saved the day and potentially an embarassment. Since His Majesty was quite close to Agha Khan and their friendship went back many years and knowing precisely where the smell was coming from His Majesty had to divert everyone’s attention from the actual source of the smell and so he turned to Agha Khan and said:
“Prince, did you fart?”
That being said everyone burst into laughter and His Majesty also told us in Persian “Agha Khan choseed” and we just could not stop laughing all the way to the picnic ground.
That was more than half century ago and now you wonder where was the bad smell coming from? You see the smell was from the food containers in the trunk of the car where we were carrying hot Chelokabob koobideh. Back then we didn’t know but today any normal Persian knows that if you carry kabob koobideh (which is made with ground beef and onion) in your car, it makes the entire car smell like someone just had a bowel movement! We could not ruin the picnic by telling someone as elegant as Grace Kelly that the smell was from what she was going to have for lunch, and I assume you all agree?
So, the morale of this story is threefold:
1. No one should under any circumstances carry chelokabob koobideh in their car while driving from point A to point B. Eat the damn thing in the restaurant or have it delivered to you, but do not carry it in your own car. Can you imagine if you get stopped by a police officer for any reason and he walks to your car and as he bends down to talk to you smells that odor? What is he going to think of you? Well, he probably thinks you were so scared that you just soiled your pants.
2. If you have a non-Persian hot date, don’t assume that you will make a huge impression by treating her to chelokabob and forcing her to eat the raw onion! Swallow your national pride and take her to a steak house.
3. If you are an ex-diplomat and want to share a story with the world, avoid the usual pitfals and please bring forward and offer something that we can all benefit from.