Do You Suffer from an Irony Deficiency?
Over the course of the last few years, listening to war news from Iraq, I often heard the city of Samarra mentioned. And every time I heard its name, I was reminded of this re-telling of an Arabian folk story by W. Somerset Maugham.
Death speaks: There was a merchant in Baghdad who sent his servant to market to buy provisions and in a little while the servant came back, white and trembling, and said, Master, just now when I was in the marketplace I was jostled by a woman in the crowd and when I turned I saw it was Death that jostled me. She looked at me and made a threatening gesture; now, lend me your horse, and I will ride away from this city and avoid my fate. I will go to Samarra and there death will not find me. The merchant lent him his horse, and ...