LIVE AND LET DYE. In reference to Osama bin Laden's apparent beard dye-job, Michelle Tsai explores the question: "Are Muslims allowed to dye their facial hair?" My immediate response is that if Osama believes he can reconcile mass murder with Islam, justifying beard-dyeing is probably a small deal.

I enjoyed Andrew Sullivan's take on the metrosexual implications of Osama's hair color, but what really intrigues me is the conversation that took place between Osama and whomever he sent out to get the dye. To deal with my curiosity, I've written a short play:

(INTERIOR: A small hut near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Osama bin Laden and his intern, Mike, are sitting on the floor.)

Osama: Okay, you got the list, right? Eggs, bread, TP. Cookies, too. Oreos. Double Stuffs if you can find them, insha'Allah, otherwise the regular kind. And then of course I'll need some milk in which to dip them. And the new issue of the Weekly Standard. Those guys are helping keep us in business, so it's the least I can do. Also, I like to read it while I eat my Oreos.

Intern: Yes, Sheikh. Anything else?

Osama: Erm, yes, okay, some hair dye, for my beard. Keep this quiet, okay? I don't want the mujahedeen giving me a hard time. Make sure to get something natural-looking, I don't want any of that inky black stuff like the Saud family uses. That stuff is so fake.

Intern: Yes.

Osama: They're supposed to be the guardians of the holy places of Islam, but their beards look like they dipped them in copier toner.

Intern: Yes.

Osama: Just looks bad. Add that to the list of reasons why their apostate regime must be destroyed.

Intern: Okay.

Osama: No, really. Add it to the list. I don't see you adding it to the list.

Intern: Okay, done. Anything else?

Osama: Umm, no. Okay, yes, if you can find season 2 of the Office on DVD. I really want to know what happens with Jim and Pam.

Intern: Okay.

Osama: They really know how to keep you guessing.

Intern: Right.

Osama: I'm really starting to care about those two.

Intern: Yes.

Osama: Take Jim and Pam off the list.


--Matthew Duss