Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/11/18/afghan_rumpus/
Afghan elders refuse to be labelled pimps by number 39
Have no truck with concept of pimping their rides either
Plans to extend the London 39 bus route from Putney Bridge Station to Kabul are reportedly on hold after the number of shame caused a bit of a rumpus at a gathering of Afghan elders.
President Hamid Karzai convened the "loya jirga" to chew the fat over US-Afghan relations, but made the mistake of dividing the shindig into 40 committees.
Delegates assigned to committee 39 refused point-blank to take their chairs, lest they be tainted by association with the "pimp" number.
Regular readers will recall that 39 scuppered Kabul car sales earlier this year, as buyers shunned registration plates beginning with the numerals. Legend has it that the whole numerical kerfuffle began with an Iranian pimp nicknamed "39", whose own number plate declared as much, and ever since the conservative Afghans have associated 39 with whoremongering.
A loya jirga participant explained to the Beeb: "I don't want to return to my area and be called a pimp. I don't care if it is true or not, but people out there believe in it. Look no one wants to have a vehicle with number plate 39. And yet, you want me to be in 39?''
Another delegate was less than impressed. He said: "It is sad to see delegates raise such issues at such an important meeting. We have more important things to deal with."
In order to get the elders back to their important business, officials were obliged to formulate a cunning plan, and simply renumbered the offending committee to "41". ®
El Reg spoke earlier today a 39-year-old man, who lives at 39 Chicken Street, Kabul. On condition of anonymity, he told us he was looking for a new house to lock himself in until his next birthday, and that he "certainly wouldn't be listening to Queen's A Night at the Opera for the foreseeable future". ®