But the Muammar I knew back when we were kids was not the same Muammar I know now.
"Nick," he'd say to me in anguished Sunday-afternoon tones in England, where we both went to school (albeit in separate dormitories). "Nick, do I have to be a dictator?"
"Yep, Mummy," (that was my nickname for him) "you've got to kill anyone who gets in your way. Anyone who isn't corrupt, anyone who's honest to a fault, anyone who wants deals with narcotraficantes and goes behind your back, anyone whose c**k (that means "cook", but his cooks are so terrible) your son s**ks (that's "sacks", because his son is always sacking cooks) " . . . yes, you've got to kill them all."
|Qaddafi about to sack cook|
He gives me his spaniel eyes. Tears roll down his already prepped-for-botox face. "But I don't WANT to be a dictator!!"
We are silent for a moment. His eyes brighten with a sudden thought. "At least not an ORDINARY dictator!"
We both smile at this old joke and stab each other in the back.