Seabee and Mai focus on the serious news on today's Gulf News front page, asserting (with no more detail than this) that expatriates returning to the UAE will have to produce a medical certificate certifying that they are free of H1N1 virus,both sending out a well deserved "Whaat?" In the direction of the story and, in Seabee's case, the sloppy reporting. The front page GN story was later debunked by The National's reporters and by WAM.
However, I was rather more taken with a lovely little nugget nestling snugly further in my 460grammes of papery daily fun and frolics.
The search is on for an AVA - an Ambassador with a Voice for Animals. Acronyms are so this year. We had Paris combing Dubai for a BFF - although I have to say, the search for an AVA actually left me more with a WTF?
Organisers are promising to seek women who have a genuine passion for animals and their welfare. The winner will get the chance to spend time at K Friends and Feline Friends (one can only assume it'll be the chance to muck out the kennels) and be expected to educate the public and spread awareness about how a pet needs to be looked after, according to GN.
This is all laudable enough, but rather had me wondering why the whole thing was illustrated by a bunch of birds on a stairway, decked out in high heels and LBDs. And then we get to the good bit. The competition will include a 'pageant'. Not, you can be sure, a 'Beauty Pageant' - because those are naughty and banned.
Oh no. Not that. This is a 'pageant'. The girls who have convinced judges that they are passionate about pooches and crazy about kitties will take part in the 'pageant' that will 'feature all the contestants parading first in t-shirts and shorts and then in an evening dress'.
Because, let's face it, having nice long legs and being righteously stacked are what animal welfare's all about, eh, girls? Let's have a nice smile for the cameras! Hands on hips and say Poneeee!
Muslim women, we can only assume, need not apply. Unless they're willing to dance around half-naked in public grinning at a panel of drooling 'judges' who'll be marking them on their 'presentation' and 'poise'...
Rather fittingly, the story goes on to confirm that one of the judges is also a leading judge at the world's leading dog show Crufts.