Alas, winter is went. And with the wenting of winter, gone are the wonderful opportunities to sight that most wonderful of Dubai organisms, the Party Animal.
Let us don our anthropological hats and, like Darwin, explore this most multifaceted of evolutions.
EVERYWHEREOSAURUS – As the party season begins, this animal emerges from hiding to scavenge for invitations. His dietary nutrients come from a daily supply of cocktail snacks, buffets and bubbly. To satiate his hunger, he has to be invited to events that freely, emphasis on free, supply his dietary needs. For example, the launch of a new fridge magnet, followed by dinner, will have him promptly in attendance. You will witness him applauding energetically at cutting edge magnet technology, when he has his hands free from stuffing his face.
THE LEOPARD (PRINT) – What good is an animal if it is not wearing the right skin. And in Dubai, the right skin can be purchased in any mall of repute. The Leopard has many sub-species, most of them tacky in nature. The anthological debate continues on what is tackier; full body print such as a dress or tracksuit, or a hint of print, such as handbag, shoes or bra strap. Either way, this species thrives, ignoring personal size, style and good taste.
Word of advice, the Leopard does not take kindly to being approached and addressed with ‘Now who’s a pretty kitty?’ Resist the temptation to avoid being mauled.
Imustbeseencat –The species can be best identified by the compulsive need to be recognised. To be fair, they are more discerning that the Everywhereosaurus. The Imustbeseencat doesn’t show up for everything, and probably doesn’t eat at all. Their preening presence, often in vivid, shiny colours, is only marked at important social events in the jungle of Dubai, usually where the photographers are.
There exists a sub-species, the Imustbeheardcat. Usually a screechy animal with a loud cackle. Dangerous due to its ability to bore you to death. Best to be avoided, preferably shot at sight.
IAMFABULOUSOBIAN – Known talents of the Iamfabulousobian is his ability to shake hands, hand out his card and start talking about his achievements even before you can get a word in edgeways. The nature of conversation is always about his activities and the way he is about to change the world. The veterans put out a studied inflection that makes it sound impressive and modest at the same time. This is a practiced art form and it takes a finely honed bullshit detector to be able to sense the oncoming onslaught and step away.
The more evolved sub-species of this group, the Dropnamesobian, have the added talent of being able to drop famous names into the monologue. Key warning signs of upcoming namedrops include the terms ‘my good friend…..’ and ‘I was on the phone with…..’.
The appropriate manner to end this conversation is for you to use same person whose name has been dropped in the sentence ‘When I was in bed with…..’.
PICKUPOTAMUS – A slightly oily, thick skinned creature and a well known member of the predator family. His approach is smooth, sometimes you are not even aware you are the prey up until he has his claws in you. Is known to morph between his reptilian and feral nature. He will make his approach in a slithery fashion towards you. Due to his smooth outward appearance, you sometimes feel the need to humour him, perhaps even pet him. Once you are in a complacent space, his feral nature emerges as he readies for the pounce. He can usually be found in the shadier areas of the urban forest, such as parties and networking events where nobody knows anybody. An experienced dweller of this forest can spot him at the distance and he can be shooed away with nothing more than a cold stare. If you are unfortunately already in his grasp, the escape can be anything from a pretend phone call on your allegedly vibrating mobile phone or in extreme cases, a well placed knee aimed at the low hanging fruit.
This aim of this not necessarily exhaustive, but certainly indicative anthropological listing of Dubai’s wildlife, is to prepare you for the next party season. So go forth, dear modern day Darwins, and welcome to the jungle.