"...so Father summons me into his main office, I have no idea whatsoever what he wants, he's standing there with this real sad look on his face, and he puts his hand on my shoulder and tells me 'Alaa, I'm afraid you're never going to be president'. Can you believe it, Gamal? That is the same thing he's been telling me since you and I were children."
"Funny, Alaa, you cause me to smile. I think he was trying to break the same news to me, but every time he started to speak I would tell him that I had an important business call on my Blackberry. He finally said 'But Gamal, I do not hear any ringing'. I told him 'It ison vibrate, Father, out of respect for you' and by then some General had him by the arm. All you need to do is stall him for five minutes."
"As I clearly know, since I am the one who showed you that little ploy, but he caught me by surprise, the words came out so quickly. I felt that I should feign an expression of dismay and despair, yet all that I could manage was a mighty guffaw. Quite rude, I fear."
"You know how senile he has been getting, Alaa. He probably thought you chortled at his plight."
"Perhaps a little, but not without sympathy, although I must admit that a guffaw is not usually seen as the most sympathetic of responses... How are you doing, Gamal? Father always used to tell you that one day you would rule all of Egypt."
"Yes, yes, you make me smile again. He used those very words, 'Someday, Gamal, you will rule all of Egypt, as far as the eye can see'. Of course, when I got older he tended to promote it more as an excellent career move."
"With a hint of destiny thrown in. Poor old Father, hanging on to the presidency until he is 82 and then watching it all go to hell."
"Because of poor old Father, I will need to take an extended vacation, Alaa. Yes, it is true there there have been times when I have pondered the possibility of the presidency, but now if I were to give it serious thought, I would have the entire Arab street howling for my scalp."
"Not the entire Arab street, Gamal, but assuredly a healthy portion of it."
"They already are, yet I have never committed to anything. Accursed media... You should give travel arrangements some serious thought, Alaa. If things proceed downhill any more swiftly, you too could find yourself in an unfortunate situation."
"Better safe than sorry, Gamal, and I could probably use a little down time."
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