Weight Room Title Bar

by The Ol' Muse

Ron walked into the closet that the University whimsically called his "office." The computer on his desk indicated four messages on the voicemail. Dropping the briefcase to the floor, he tapped the keyboard of the computer to retrieve his messages.

Two hangups; one telemarketer; and his advisor.

"Ron, its Evelyn. I think I've found your dissertation project stop by my office as soon as you can."

"Wow. Maybe a chance to finish this anthropology degree and move on," Ron thought. "Wonder what sort of busywork she has in mind?"

Anthropology, like private investigation, involved a lot of digging into human behavior sometimes including such glorious tasks as rummaging through garbage and sewage. "Oh,well," thought Ron, "if it'll get my degree finished and get me a job, I'd better learn to enjoy it."

Grabbing a legal pad and a pen, Ron strode out the door of his office, and went down the hall to Dr. Evelyn Hesselroth's office.

Students respected Evelyn Hesselroth as a professor, mostly because she was more willing to do hands-on anthropology work than her colleagues...more than willing to get dirt under her fingernails. Also, in Ron's mind, she was a very attractive woman of thirty-six years: Her auburn hair, flashing green eyes and slightly plump curves kept Ron keenly aware of the University's rule that students do not fraternize with profs, period. So along with respect for her skills as a teacher, Ron kept a respectful distance.

He knocked on the door, and heard a resonant contralto say, "Come in." Opening the door, he entered the room. Evelyn greeted him with a broad smile. She was seated behind her desk, folder in hand, the desk mercifully hiding her lower body from Ron's view.

"Thanks for coming so quickly, Ron."

"No problem, Dr. H. ...anything to finish this doctorate and get a job."

"Motivated...good. I've got quite the project for you. Ever heard of Djerba?"

"Djerba? Isn't that a small rodent?"

"You're a funny guy, Ron. That's a gerbil."

She wasn't laughing better be serious, Ron-boy.

"Let me try again. Djerba? Part of Africa, right?"

"Correct. It's a small island north of Tunisia. Not much there...people vacation there and honeymoon there because there's nothing to _do_ on Djerba. Good place to unwind."

Oh, God she's sending me to Siberia, he thought.

"Now, ever heard of the Fantino project?"

"Fantino? The name sounds familiar. Why is that?"

She raised the folder to Ron's hand.

"Ron, here's an information packet on Fantino's study. Read it.

"All I'll say right now, until you've done your reading, is that based on Fantino's work, pursuing the process from start to finish would make a good dissertation topic. Trust me.

"Now, go read, and get back to me on Monday."

He took the folder from her, and after one more stop at his office, Ron, went back to his rooms to study and read.

Ron pored over the packet again and again during that weekend. Physiologist Marc Fantino performed a study of Djerban brides. Part of the wedding preparation involved ritual feeding fattening the women up for their weddings, with the help of the family and friends. Fantino's study involved checking the newlyweds' tastes for food, after absorbing so much of it as part of the courtship ritual. Evelyn's suggested proposal would follow young women from engagement to a year after marriage, to see where the weights and girths started and ended, as well as following up on Fantino's taste apathy studies made in the early 1980s.

Ron had always adored and lusted after larger women so going on a trip to Djerba using school funds sounded like a dream come true. He had run into writings somewhere about nyghuko ritual feeding of engaged women as done in Nigeria but had some doubts about whether the University would approve the project. He'd ask Evelyn about those doubts on Monday.

* * * * * * * *

Monday arrived. Ron met with Evelyn in the Commons faculty dining room. As they finished lunch, they moved from small talk to the main subject: The island of Djerba.

"Dr. H., I guess my big question is an ethical one: Will the University accept what amounts to a sequel to someone else's work as a dissertation topic?"

"Yes, they will...and they have."

"What?!? You submitted the proposal without asking me?!?" Ron was furious! He didn't care who she was, advisor or not, this was uncalled-for!

Evelyn smiled that "calm-down, Grasshopper" smile that she reserved for soothing graduate student egos in mid-tantrum.

"Ron, let's be realistic for a moment, then you can get mad if you need to do so. Please?"

Caught off-guard, Ron dropped the tantrum and took a breath. "Okay, let's hear it. I'll behave."

"Good." Evelyn sipped her cappuccino, savoring both the coffee and the quiet. Call her what you will, Ron thought, she sure knows her drama. He waited for her to continue.

The smile faded.

"Ron, you're how old? Twenty-nine?"

"Thirty-two, actually."

"Okay. And you've been a student here for how many years?"

"Too many," he replied.

"And we've looked over what, a dozen dissertation topics?"


"And none of them suited you, you said."

He knew where this was leading. He'd almost run out of assistantship grants and time.

"We've traveled this road before, and this is the last trip. As _your_ advisor "

Uh-oh. Ultimatum time.

" I have gotten the word from _my_ advisors: If you don't select a topic pronto, the University is going to toss you out, with no option for you but to start again from scratch at some other school. Do you understand?"

"Yes, but "

"NO. I don't think you do." The voice stayed level but with a cold edge to it and the green eyes glowed. Ron backed off, waiting for the inevitable.

"I've lost too many students with a lot of potential, Ron. They became hangers-on, who wore out their welcome here, only to start over at another school, and once they'd gotten all they could from that school, gone to another. And another."

Ron squirmed internally. Stay focused, guy, this is important.

"Those people became perpetual students among the lowest creatures in education. I lost two that way, and after the last one, who was topnotch teaching material, I vowed never to lose another."

Evelyn paused, took a deep breath, and took another sip of cappuccino.

"You're a good student, Ron. Among my best. There are no options left, and I will not lose you to the world of those academic lowlifers. You either take this topic and run with it the University has accepted it, and arrangements are underway or you leave here in disgrace.

"I really hate laying it out for you like this, but it's time for the reality readout. What'll it be success or failure?"

Evelyn sat back and levelled her stare at Ron. Ron nodded.

"Success. 'Look to your advisor for guidance. The advisor knows best.'"

"Don't spit that student handbook crap at me I wrote that line."

"And the 'knowledge is good' line?"

"Er no. Got that from 'Animal House.'"

Both burst into loud, tension-breaking laughter. Takes a big person to admit she watched that film and enjoyed it enough to remember that bit of trivia.

"Thanks, Dr. H. I'm sorry I got angry. You're known for stepping in on a student's behalf "

"Even if it's not what the student had in mind?" Evelyn smiled.

" even if it's not what the student had in mind, yes."

"Ron, you're a good man. I don't want to see you drop into that academic abyss."

"Thanks." Ron paused a beat, and continued. "What's next?"

Evelyn smiled. "No packet this time, Ron. You're on your own. Get a passport, get your shots, start making an itinerary, and run it by me for approval. We'll meet tomorrow during my office hours to discuss the arrangements. And, Ron "


"I want to make sure you finish this project. Make arrangements for two I'm going with you."

Uh-oh. She's serious.

* * * * * * * *

Ron worked feverishly over the next few days to set up their travel arrangements, itinerary, and research facilities. He even spoke with Fantino himself, who was thrilled that someone had actually read his study, let alone planned to follow up on it.

Evelyn checked Ron's progress on a daily basis, doing what an advisor does best advising the best routes to take, keeping Ron on track. Evelyn should have been helping in preparations, Ron thought initially, but this was not a team effort: This was Ron's project, he was the sheep, and she was acting as a shepherd, as it should have been.

Mostly, the two met over lunch. Ron marveled at Evelyn's picking at lunch, while maintaining her soft curves. He dismissed these thoughts immediately, remembering University policy.

* * * * * * * *

After a number of long flights, and a stopover in Paris to confirm contact names with Fantino, the pair landed in Tunisia. After hitting the market for more appropriate clothing, they took a ferry to Djerba and began the project in earnest.

First step, other than recovering from the trip and setting up the lab, was visitation with the subjects of Fantino's study, to see how quality of life had affected them during these last ten years. Weighings, measurements, and interviews showed them all healthy, about as happy with marriage as most women could be, and weighing in at about the same 200 pound range they had held at the end of engagement (and engorgement, Ron thought) time. These women all looked good for fifteen years' marriage, a few kids, and enforced gains through their families.

Following up briefly on Fantino's study, most of the old brides held about the same opinions of taste they'd had in the late 70s and early 80s probably from taste-bud burn-out, Ron thought: Most Tunisian foods tend to be very, very spicy.

Next step was to start collecting data for the new group of brides. Evelyn went off to see the contacts and make some final arrangements, while Ron visited the of brides-to-be on the list. Each household was a blur of activity, with a young woman at its center. Couscous, lamb, chick peas, stuffed peppers, sticky cakes, stews parents gone wild in a feeding frenzy, all to add shape to their daughters. Ron chatted with each bride-to-be and set of parents, took some quick measurements (after careful explanation to parents), accepted samples of Tunisian food out of politeness to his hosts, and moved on to the next subject's house. Ron found the visits, and the sight of so much flesh at one time, definite motivation to conscientiously keep the data current.

After the fourth house, Ron realized something was wrong. These women looked a bit too well-rounded to be just starting the rituals, compared to the single gals he noticed on the street, concealing clothing or not. He finished his rounds, backtracked to chat again with the first four families, and caught a cab back to the hotel.

* * * * * * * *

Ron and Evelyn almost collided with one another in the lobby.

"We've got a problem," both said in unison.

Ron blinked. "You first, Doc."

"We've come into the cycle too late for this crowd. They've been undergoing the ritual feeding for a month now. We should have been here when it started."

Ron nodded. "I determined that during my rounds today. Can we find a new crop of brides just starting out?"

"Not on such short notice." Evelyn groaned. "It would be a major undertaking to get new families to accept us we were lucky to have Fantino's crowd available. The University's going to be very unhappy when we go back with an incomplete dissertation project." A pause while both let these words sink in. Evelyn continued. "Any ideas, Ron?"

Ron thought a moment. "Well, all we need is _one_ control someone to start from scratch, during the allotted time." He stopped and thought of an impossible proposal. Before he could reroute the question from his lips, he heard himself say," How about you, Doc?"

Evelyn was clearly surprised by this question. "Who? I?!? You're suggesting that _I_ become the control?"

"Yes, you." Ron cleared his throat, as he watched her wind up for a tirade. "My turn to ask you for calm reasoning." Evelyn held her tongue, and Ron continued.

"Here are the facts.

"First: We've only got a year to complete this project, so we need to start immediately even if we could find a ritual feeding starting next month, the inroads to be accepted by the families would take far too long, and we'd then be without a completed dissertation project a ready-to-hitch bride. Agreed?"

Evelyn stared at her student, pleased at his deductive reasoning, but dismayed at the direction he was taking. "Go on, Ron."

"Second: I've looked at all of the ladies involved, and gotten a good look at the single ladies running around the island or as best I can, from the local dress.

"You appear to closely match the height, build and weight of most Djerban single women. The metabolism may be a bit different because of eating habits and activity, but I think you'd make a good control subject with your permission. And "

Evelyn nodded. "And?"

" third, and finally: If we don't bring back thorough research, the University will be pissed, as you've already pointed out. Therefore, I propose that we continue the research as planned, and with the help of a family that's already working on a daughter, use you as the control subject.

"It's really the best solution that I can see. Do you have a better one, Doc?"

Evelyn shook her head. "This is not what "

Ron spoke gently. " not what the advisor had in mind? I know it's the last thing _I_ had in mind. But I ask you to do this, in the name of science, and to save both our reputations. Or yours, at the very least."

Evelyn stared down the street, lost in thought, for what seemed a very long time. She turned back to Ron, and asked, "Shouldn't the student sacrifice himself for the project?" There should have been laughter in her voice there wasn't.

"The key word there is 'himself,' Doc. The Djerbans don't fatten up the men, at least until after marriage. It's your call."

"Success or failure, eh? Sounds too familiar to me. "

Something's wrong, here, Ron thought. She's stalling. "Doc? What's on your mind?"

She visibly fought with her words for a few seconds took a deep breath, and spoke.

"Ron, I've spent too many years fighting with my weight genetic battle of the bulge, you see. Both of my parents were large, and I vowed not to be that way. It hasn't really gotten me anything but frustration. Then again, can't fight genetics."

"Doc, we are what we are. Besides, many guys prefer larger women "

"Many Djerban guys, you mean?"

" guys throughout the world." Ron almost said, "I do," but decided not to take this discussion off-track.

Evelyn again paused. She spoke, sounding a bit defeated. "Well, I can't fight my body type, and both our careers depend on whether or not I start living like a Djerban bride-to-be. I vote for success even though it's partly acknowledging one little failure in my life. What next, Ron?"

"One of the bridal families has offered to take you in the daughter and parents are very interested in American culture, and they feel that an information exchange will give their daughter some insight that she can't get from books. So, you have a place to absorb Tunisian culture first-hand, a place to live free of charge, the ritual feeding process at no cost to us or the University, and a potential student to educate in ways American. You can still use the hotel, of course, but I think they want you live-in. I do, too we want to be as close to actual field conditions as possible.

"Now, we need to hit the lab, so I can take starting measurements and weight."

Evelyn's eyes narrowed. "Why do I get the feeling you're enjoying this too much? Are you one of those control freaks outside of school?"

Ron shook his head. "No, Doc, not at all." We'll discuss it another time, he thought.

* * * * * * * *

They went to the lab, where Ron took starting weight (170# not bad for a 5' 7" frame) and measurements. After some haggling in the local market, they bought larger clothing, following the advice of Evelyn's hosts, and moved Evelyn's personal belongings to the host house.

* * * * * * * *

Evelyn and her host family kept the bargain. The family jumped into gorging the American woman with the same gusto they'd reserved for their daughter. Evelyn and the daughter were waited on hand and foot by the family, in exchange for the daughter's learning all she could about the United States from a native's perspective. Two natives, actually Ron spent a good deal of time at this household as well. Since he needed to update Evelyn on a regular basis, and Evelyn spent most of her time at the host house as part of the ritual, Ron was a daily visitor to the home, and was also a regular part of the daughter's education in American customs.

As the control, Ron needed to weigh and measure Evelyn as he did with all the test subjects. He was stunned when, within a month of beginning the process, Evelyn stepped on the scale and weighed in at 184 lbs. She and her hosts' daughter were taking long walks, to ensure that they kept fit in spite of the added weight, so the new growth had pretty evenly distributed itself. Her ass and thighs had new roundness to them, punctuated by a swelling belly. Her breasts were more prominent as well. But fourteen pounds in four weeks? None of the other women in the group had gained half that much!

Evelyn noticed Ron staring at his clipboard, pondering the gain. She had a pretty clear picture by now what was running through Ron's mind. She'd watched him carefully this last month, as he stared at the two women eating for four and five people. She'd detected a slight rise in his pulse when he'd applied the tape measure during weigh-ins.

Evelyn knew he was attracted to her, and knew now that he lusted after larger women in general. And she noticed that, without the commercial America "Think Thin" attitude battering her brain, and without her family grousing at her to keep her weight down, she felt comfortable no, she felt _powerful_ with this new body that had lain dormant.

"Something wrong?" she asked, smiling sweetly.

Ron did what most easily-embarrassed men do when caught in mid-ogle: He made a futile attempt to cover his tracks. He mumbled something about charts and graphs, sweated through the measurings, made some notes, and beat a hasty retreat.

Evelyn smiled to herself as Ron stumbled out the door. How about that? I'm a tease, she thought to herself, as she returned to her meal.

* * * * * * * *

This is not good, Ron thought. Once outside, Ron decided to absorb himself in his research. He was here on business, and and what? No hanky-panky with faculty, that's what. I'll absorb myself in my work. Yeah. Sublimation. That'll keep the sex drive in check.

He called the local college, and hired a student assistant to do a few weigh-ins and measurings, which happened to include Evelyn and her young charge. Once the assistant had her assignments, Ron sent the assistant with a letter to Evelyn's host family.

* * * * * * * *

Evelyn and her cultural student had grown quite close in the last few weeks. In fact, Evelyn had nicknamed the girl "Ruthie," after a childhood friend. Their walks were educational experiences in themselves, as both shared quite openly with one another. Evelyn found Ruthie a good listener, and wise beyond her years. Ruthie viewed Evelyn as a practical woman, still with some youthful nature.

* * * * * * * *

Later that day, Evelyn and Ruthie returned from their walk. Ruthie's father handed Evelyn an envelope when she returned. The envelope contained a simple, businesslike note from Ron, informing her that he was going to concentrate on the other end of the island, and had hired on a student assistant to handle calls on this end of the island. She read the note, placed it in her files, and walked out the door. Ruthie caught up with her just outside the girl may have been fat, but she moved like a panther.

"Please, may I go with you?" the girl asked.

Evelyn replied, with some definite anger in her voice, "I need the time alone."

"I think not. I think you need someone to listen."

Evelyn was taken aback by that statement coming from the youngster. When it became clear that the kid wasn't going to relent, Evelyn shrugged, and both of them set out.

The walk began in silence. Evelyn's mind was full of noise, though, and the quiet was a welcome time to sort through her confusion. After about twenty minutes of hearing nothing from Evelyn, Ruthie said,

"You read that letter, and your whole mood went dark. Tell me what is troubling you. I may be young, and I may not understand, but you know I shall listen."

After a few more silent minutes, Evelyn told Ruthie what happened at check-in earlier that day. Ruthie smiled.

"He finds you attractive. He was that way when you first got here, Evelyn."

Evelyn laughed. "That's ridiculous, Ruthie! Our relationship is professional, nothing more."

Ruthie shook her head. "You are lying to yourself. No one in my family could avoid noticing the way he looked at you while you weren't looking. That was a look of longing."

Evelyn stopped short and turned a stare toward Ruthie. "Go on you have my attention."

Ruthie continued, "Whether you want to admit it to yourself or not, you looked at him the same way while _he_ was not looking. You noticed him getting excited today, and you teased him about it. I think he is actually quite shy, and you frightened him away."

Evelyn glared at the girl. Painful, but true, she thought.

Ruthie ignored the flashing eyes and went on. "So Evelyn, what do you feel for him? Love? Desire? Lust? The need to bed him down just to see if you can?"

Evelyn paused, then spoke with some disbelief in her voice. "You are full of surprises today, Ruthie. What would a youngster like you know of love?"

Ruthie placed her hands on a formidable pair of hips. "What would _I_ know? I know enough that I shall be married soon to a boy with a good name. Enough that my love drives me to participate in an ancient ritual that most of the world views with puzzlement. Enough to be waited on hand and foot by my family. Enough to indulge myself so that my wedding robes will be nicely shaped, and my love will have a soft, warm woman to share his bed.

"So, Evelyn, I shall ask you that same question what do _you_ know of love? Or have you spent more time in the library than you have in the company of men?"

"Ummmm. I've been on dates. I've bedded down a few men. I've had a few relationships."

"And what happened?"

Another pause, then Evelyn shook her head.

"Losers, all. I suppose you're right, Ruthie. Unlike the other men in my life, Ron was a friend first, as well as a student.

"Yes, I find him attractive. He has a passion for life and work, as yet untapped. I forced him to do this project because he'd reached a crossroads in his life, and I hoped this would help him draw on that passion. It has helped, and I have high hopes for him at the college level. He needed a kick, and I chose to be the kicker."

Evelyn sighed.

"I do believe I'm falling in love with him, Ruthie. Love has never been a problem. As you said, 'more time in the library than in the company of men' libraries don't hurt you, except for really high overdue fees."

Ruthie stared. "I do not understand was that a joke?"

Evelyn smiled. "Yes, and a poor one. I fear the pain. I've had enough near-miss relationships to know that opening myself up is leaving myself open to pain. Never mind that Ron is a really nice guy logic doesn't enter into this subject."

Ruthie nodded. "Now what, Evelyn? You are interested in a man who has an interest in you, and who definitely likes what he sees, now that you have experienced Djerban hospitality and good eating. He is scared right now, but that will not last forever. What will you do until he returns?"

Evelyn stood, lost in thought. Then a smile crept across her face. She took Ruthie's hand and started toward home.

"Ruthie, first thing we do is have dinner. Then we'll have dessert. Let's be good Djerban girls, and give our lovers what they want."

Ruthie smiled broadly at Evelyn. "Welcome to our world, Evelyn. But wait. What will you do if Ron does not return?"

"My dear, if he doesn't come to me, I shall go to him when the time is ripe. Or when I'm ripe, whichever comes first."

The women laughed merrily as they headed home for dinner.

* * * * * * * *

The weeks flew by. Ron's time was almost completely eclipsed with visitations, weigh-ins and measurements. The wedding dates for the groups were approaching rapidly, and consequently, the end of their feeding rituals were just ahead as well. Memos flew back and forth between Ron and Evelyn regarding their control studies, but Ron turned that information over to the student assistant. Evelyn's memos asked Ron to stop in, but he found excuse after excuse to beg off. He managed to be off on rounds when Evelyn stopped by.

Ron had enough to do compiling the data for the existing ladies, based on what the student assistant graciously keyed into the computer. After making his rounds, Ron would often collapse on the bed in exhaustion.

Besides, after the incident a few weeks back, he was still quite embarrassed about seeing Evelyn. He was scared, to the point where he stopped reading the memos, and didn't even check out Evelyn's weights and measures. Ron would examine the data later, and deal with Evelyn later as well too much else to do right now.

* * * * * * * *

Evelyn and Ruthie were busy as well. Between daily walks and the two goading each other on at mealtimes, the word was spreading around the town about these two women taking ritual feeding to some very unusual heights. Evelyn, by nature of her build and ancestry, was becoming downright plump, a quality truly sought-after by the men of this strange and wonderful island.

As the sixth week since Ron had distanced himself drew to a close, Evelyn decided it was time to pay a visit to her student. She and Ruthie bought some wonderful mauve fabric from a shop, and Ruthie helped Evelyn assemble an outfit based on the local garb.

* * * * * * * *

Ron was visiting a bride-to-be and checking measurements and weights (a sixteen-pound gain? Hey, not too shabby for six weeks!), when he heard the family discussing "the pale woman." He had a vague idea of who that was, as most Djerbans were dark-complexioned, but asked who "the pale woman" was, anyway.

The family's patriarch responded, "Your friend, sir the one called Evelyn. The town has watched her progress these last six weeks our girls in town are " he spoke the word in his native language.

Ron dug into his brain for the translation. "Envious, is that the word?"

The patriarch nodded. "Have you not seen your professor recently?"

Ron shook his head. "I've been busy " avoiding her " with the other girls the last three weeks. I assumed she could handle things on her own." As he said it, he realized what a poor excuse it was.

The words "progress" and the amount of time elapsed finally sank into Ron's fatigued brain. Finding the courage that he'd somehow mislaid the last fortnight, he snapped his briefcase shut, and raced for the door. "Er I'll see you next week!"

The patriarch waved, and smiled the smile that most Djerban men wear when they think of their women.

* * * * * * * *

Ron took a cab back to his digs, booted up the computer, and opened the worksheet containing the gains. He stared at Evelyn's figures in total disbelief: She'd gone from 184 to 210 in six weeks. As he read the measurements, he felt something shifting his briefs.

"Ron? You have some explaining to do."

He turned with a start. Evelyn was standing in the doorway, smiling.

He stared at Evelyn's figure in total disbelief. The fabric she wore, while providing lots of coverage, draped in such a way as to leave very little to the imagination. Her round breasts, curving thighs and belly, and swelling hips, made for a true knockout on the island of Djerba. The outfit was designed to push Ron (and just about any man on the island) long past the edge of restraint.

It succeeded. He leapt from his chair, embraced Evelyn, and kissed her deeply. As they kissed, he reveled in touching her new fleshiness rubbing, gently grasping and Evelyn enjoyed every moment as much as Ron. When they came up for air, she asked, "So, uhhh What's your attitude toward the University's 'no-fraternization' regulation?"

"Tease," he growled, as they dashed hand-in-hand for the bed.

* * * * * * * *

The two were invited to every wedding whose family had been involved in the study. As far as the Djerbans were concerned, Ron and Evelyn _were_ family, as the couple shared two things with their hosts: The knowledge of this culinary rite of passage, and first-hand experience in the rite. Ron smiled as he watched Evelyn carrying on with Ruthie, and most of the other daughters.

Evelyn watched, too, as the menfolk congratulated Ron on such a fine, shapely lady for a companion, and drew him into their circle of companionship.

They finished the project, and returned to the States just long enough to finish Ron's doctoral program. Once he received the degree, the two sold everything they had and bought one-way tickets to Tunisia. They returned to Djerba, married in a modest ceremony, and have lived there ever since. They both teach at colleges on Djerba and in Tunisia, and lecture worldwide on ritual feeding. Evelyn's weight eventually leveled off at 230, and Ron looks like he's gained a few pounds himself. The travel guides are wrong there's lots to do on Djerba.

[Notes: Yes, there is an island of Djerba, and yes, they do ritually feed their engaged women. I read about M. Fantino's study in an old science magazine ("Obesity Island: taste apathy in [D]jerban women," Science Digest, March 19, 1982), and read some material on Djerban weddings in a memoir of a Tunisian visit. Comments and technical corrections are welcome. Enjoy, and have some more couscous. The Ol' Muse]