Allahu Akbar In Desert Storm Park

Post Urban Culture

Desert Storm Park is directly across the street from my apartment in Phoenix.  Built into a sloping foothill a mile from Piestewa Peak, the public space is nothing more than a bulbous teardrop shaped field, surrounded by a ¼ mile sidewalk.  An earthen amphitheater is on the southern slope and a few picnic tables stand under a gazebo on the northern rim.

Essentially, Desert Storm Park is a rather large hole in ground.

I find myself walking/running the sidewalk to clear my head in between writing sessions or to loosen up before I go ride the exercise bike in my gym.  Aside from the local school kids playing kickball or the twelve Mexican kids who play polo on their bicycles in the gloaming every few nights, the park is pretty much left to several dog walkers and me.

Yesterday, as I walked across Colter Street to stretch my legs in my four or five laps around the park, I heard a bat crack and a scream and then a few moments later, another bat crack and another scream. I thought I’d see some fathers and sons playing baseball. Ah, hope springs eternal.

Instead, I found 18 Pakistani’s playing cricket scream ‘Allahu Akbar’ every time their flat bat made contact with the green tennis balls.  So after walking/running my five or six laps, almost ducking each time the batter got a hit, I ran into the house.  Polo on bikes by flashlights, a park in the desert that only closes for flooding and now cricketeers praising the Almighty in a phrase many associate with the 9/11 terrorists and their knucklehead ilk.

Of course, this begs the question: if one of these rather religious Islamic sportsmen turns out to be one of the knucklehead fascists and detonates in the hole in the ground park, will anyone notice the difference?





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