And no, it wasn't the TV.
For the next 2 hours after the incident my nostrils burnt faintly with the smell of gunpowder and spent shell casings.
I being OPNO, of course, went soundly back to sleep shortly after the incident. Afterall, after living in Oman this long, I am no longer afraid of driving with people who go 150 mph while not wearing seatbelts and not even looking out the front window, and of course, my experiences of escaping from would-be molester taxi drivers, and dealing with a corrupt ROP officer (and the ROP officer was just my first week back in Oman;p). People who know me have a saying, that if anything bad is going to happen it is going happen to this OPNO. Who will, of course, escape/and/or be rescued just in the nick of time.
But don't worry, this is not really one of those stories.
Two things you should know before I begin my tale.
Number one, while I am not afraid of very many things, including scorpians, spiders, vipers, Omani driving, and sitting through two hours of that horrible Arabic soap opera about that woman who accidently managed to marry 5 men at the same time, I am... horribly afraid of those lizards that make clicking sounds. And yes, I know, they don't even bite, and are only poisonous if you accidently cook them up in the bottom of massive batch of harees and serve it up at a wedding by mistake, sending over forty people to the Royal Hosiptal... but, well, they creep me out.
Number 2 thing you must know... In my husband's village it has been lamented that young men are not what they used to be. They used to never go out of their homes without their khanjar dagger strapped on, and carrying their assa stick. If you were poor, at least you'd stick a knife through your belt to try to look presentable. And if you were visiting another village you'd strap you old rifle on as well as two belts of bullets to make your way, even if you were just going to the next village to sell your vegetables.
I, in my way, and with my experience with taxi drivers, follow this rule. I always have a massively heavy object to wail at somebody's head if they try to grab my leg or something, plus it works wonders to open windows. I told you. Am a tough girl. Which almost nobody expects.
But tongue-clicking creepy lizards still freak me out.
For most of Oman, and Omanis, those days are gone. But my husband is from an old family and he grew up doing things the old fashioned way which means he still has his ancient family khanjar and assa with us in the car when we go out, and we have a rifle.
Well, the other night, as I was getting dressed for bed, I jumped right out of my skin because I saw (and heard) my arch-nemesis, the old yellow tongue-clicker reptile.
I screamed and threw a date-palm frond broom at it, but it, of course, eluded my cowardly attempt and scaled to the ceiling, where it stared down, at me, clicking.
I told MOP (my Omani husband) about it, saying I couldn't sleep if I knew it was up there, watching me, and clicking.
So he said, go to bed, I'll take care of it.
Well, back in the West when I was little girl and scared of poisonous black widow spiders (only cuz their bite can kill you and if it doesn't is as excrutiaingly painful as giving birth---and it was a rule in my house not to touch them) I would yell for my Daddy to come save me, and he'd place a jar over the spider and slide a piece of paper underneath and/or squish it with a shoe. Which is what I obviously thought MOP would do, because I finished getting dressed, and slipped into bed.
Half asleep I heard,
"Kaboom!" "Kaboom!" and splinters of the plaster/cement of the walls flew at me.
My little creepy lizard fell dead, and MOP put his rifle aside proudly as he got up from the side of the bed to retrieve the lizard carcass in a piece of kleenex.
MOP beamed at me and tried to shove the dead thing rolled in tissue under my face. My husband, beaming proudly at me, and trying to force my to look at the dead thing in his hand, said, "Look habibti! I got it right through the eye!"
I resisted saying, "Love, we rent you know?"
Oman.... Cooooooooooouldn't make it up if you tried.
Somehow I feel this is one story I will leave out when I introduce MOP to my "Daddy" from back West.