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Jewish World Review
Feb. 8, 2005
/ 29 Shevat, 5765
Iraqis paint fingers purple to pick up women
Phony voters pack Baghdad's bars
In Iraq, where a purple finger became a purple badge of courage after last week's historic elections, thousands of non-voting Iraqi men have started painting their fingers purple in order to pick up women, Iraqi women complain.
"Women won't look at you twice if you don't have a purple finger," says Beshar Yousif, 27, a bicycle messenger who sat out the election but waited for hours to get his finger painted in one of the many finger-painting shops that have opened in Baghdad in the aftermath of the vote.
Purple fingers have become such a status symbol in Iraq in recent days, observers say, that the price of a barrel of purple paint has soared to over ninety dollars a barrel, outpacing the price of a barrel of oil.
But all of the purple-finger fakery is not sitting well with Iraqi women like Jumana Akrawy, 32, who said that she "felt like an idiot" after being picked up at a bar last week by a purple-fingered man who turned out to be a non-voting fraud.
"His purple finger had me at 'hello,'" she recalls ruefully.
But the thrill was gone, Ms. Akrawy says, once she asked her suitor who he voted for on Sunday: "He was like, 'Abu… uh, Ahmed… Number 167?"
Ms. Akrawy, who voted in the election, now sees democracy as something of a mixed blessing: "As far as I can see, it's just given men another way to lie to you."
Elsewhere, President Bush said today that significant Social Security savings could be achieved by eliminating payments to Barbara Boxer.
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JWR Contributor Andy Borowitz, the first-ever recipient of the National Press Club's Award for Humor, is a former president of the Harvard Lampoon,and a regular humor columnist for Newsweek.com, The New Yorker, The New York Times and TV Guide. Recognized by Esquire magazine as one of the most powerful producers in television, he was the creator and producer of the hit TV series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and producer of the Oscar-nominated film Pleasantville.
© 2005 Andy Borowitz