Letting the qat out of the bag…

May 16, 2011

Blog Guy, I read with interest your item about the goofy protesters in Yemen. You know, the snake-biters, the bread-heads and so on.

So have they made progress since they started getting goofier? I’ve seen plenty of photos of angry crowds over there.

Not really. See, those shots are taken in the morning, when there’s plenty of rage.

Only in the morning? What happens in the afternoon?

According to our stories, the people go off and get stoned on a stimulant leaf called qat, which more than half of Yemen’s population chews daily.

It’s the reason why they seem a lot more mellow as the day wears on. It’s also the reason they look like Popeye the Sailor, with bulging cheeks full of green glop.

Isn’t it hard for regular folks to get hold of something like that?

Hardly. It’s the country’s top cash crop.

But that’s incredible! What’s to stop the government soldiers from coming after the vulnerable protesters while they’re stoned in the afternoons?

You see that dude saluting in the top photo?

Yes, why?

He’s a soldier.

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Top: A Yemeni soldier chewing qat salutes during an anti-government rally to demand the ouster of Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa, May 9, 2011.  REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

Combo left: An anti-government protester chews qat as he attends a rally to demand the ouster of Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa, May 12, 2011.  REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

Combo right: An anti-government protester shouts slogans as he chews qat during a sit-in in Sanaa, April 4, 2011.  REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

Lower right: An anti-government protester chews qat during a rally in Sanaa, May 8, 2011.  REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

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15 comments

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That is just… dont you just….
I mean I…

feel like closing my mouth right now..

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

I guess the second picture is of the qat in the hat.

So, after they get stoned, do they start to say, “I can has cheezburger now?”

Posted by skeres | Report as abusive

What a bunch of qat…or over here, is it quat? Or maybe squat. At the risk of Shra’s Zapper, why is it that upwards of 90 percent of men in Yemen chew the stuff regularly but only 10+ percent of women? Who’s getting all the work done, do ya think?

Posted by Moonshine | Report as abusive

Icky, icky, icky. I know your visit to the Holiday Inn Express on Mt. Everest took you to new heights, but this story is a new low. Revolting. (But welcome back anyway, BG–we missed you.)

Posted by slick9 | Report as abusive

Maybe Popeye was really chewing qat?

Posted by AllThatJazz | Report as abusive

Oh come on now, who doesn’t like to dip into the bag of trimmings after mowing the lawn?

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

I was introduced to Provigil, the Armys answer to qat (which REALLY wakes me up and keeps me going), legally, by an Army Doctor at the Eisenhower Hospital, which is on Fort Gordon, Georgia. 6 years later, I am taking its more powerful sister drug, Nuvigil. Paid for by Tricare, the services retirees insurance company. 0.0

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armodafinil

Posted by uncarastus | Report as abusive

I guess that makes getting shot less painful? Or maybe you just don’t care. Hmmmm, could go a long ways towards ‘splaining the general FUBAR atmosphere there.

Posted by Dave_not_dave | Report as abusive

Dave, it means that I won’t be fallng asleep as I retrieve the bullet that got me, and I can suture it up without going into la la land, either.

Then, without catching some zzzs in the meantime, I can chase down the sniper and give him a stern lecture about shooting at me, who never did him any harm…and what would his mother think of him doing that, yo?!? Why, I never! Yadda yadda yadda!

Posted by uncarastus | Report as abusive

Number four has nice eyes.

Posted by CrowGirl | Report as abusive

Wecome back, BG!

The shirt on the dude in photo one is, um, interesting. Wonder if all that metal trim heats up in the sun. When I first looked at the photo, I was a tad concerned he might have a frog in his mouth, not his throat…

Posted by Onedoor | Report as abusive

I wonder if the qat has their tongues!

Posted by Jibberish | Report as abusive

CrowGirl: Those are qats’ eyes.

Posted by Malteser | Report as abusive

Moonshine – did you say that Yemeni men chew 10% of Yemeni women? Does that mean that they chew 10% of each woman, or do they somehow select 10% of the female poplulation to chew on?
Or maybe I’m just confused yet again.

Posted by Nosmo_King | Report as abusive

Nosmo, Talk about some twisted statistics! Now I think I’m confused – or maybe it’s just the extra sprinkles on that last donut.

OK – in my best Nixonian impersonation; no wait, it’a an Obama-ism. Drat, now I know I AM confused – at any rate….Let me make one thing perfectly clear: Upwards of 90 percent of men in Yemen chew the stuff regularly but only 10+ percent of women in Yemen chew the stuff regularly.

Clear as qat now, right?

Posted by Moonshine | Report as abusive

[...] you nuts? That highway robber? No, I go to Blades R Us, over on 28th Street! That guy chews a lot of qat, so he’ll take whatever you offer [...]