This was written by Jaya Govinda Prabhu who is a devotee caught up in the war in Iraq. It seems he has managed to keep his eye on the real target even in such spiritually austere circumstances. (This is submitted with his permission.)
Joe Millionaire Gains Wealth in Iraq
August 24, 2004 – The star of the popular reality T.V. show, ‘Joe Millionaire’, paid a visit to Camp Anaconda today, accompanied by the Miller Lite Girls, as part of a month-long “morale boosting” tour of Iraq.
Call me crazy, but I just wasn’t impressed when he walked in with his “I don’t have to shave ‘cause I’m rich and famous and all puffed up” look and a “I may be dumb, but it’s nothing a little cosmetic surgery can’t take care of” girl in each arm.
How on earth could I give up this opportunity?!
I ran back to my nearest book cache and grabbed a hard Gita and a couple medium-softs, and headed back to what had now become an autograph session. Most of the soldiers were primarily interested in the Miller Girls, go figure. Troops lined up to snap photos of themselves with Joe and the girls, while others grabbed napkins, notebooks and other ‘to be signed’ materials.
When it came time for me to step up to the plate, Joe Millionaire looked at me and asked “You got some paper or somethin’?”
“No, I don’t have anything you could sign”, I replied, “but I have something to give you, and I’LL sign it.”
I handed him the Gita, which took him by somewhat of a delightful surprise, and he briefly fingered the pages while the girls gathered in. I handed each of them a smaller book with a lot of pictures, and they happily perused the contents.
“I don’t want to hold you up, but I’d like you to read this book very carefully”, I said to Joe, as I felt the crowd behind me growing impatient. “Why don’t you give me a donation to cover the printing costs?”
“What…umm, well….how much?” muttered Joe. I had put him on the spot.
“Well, you’re a millionaire. Gimme forty bucks for the Gita.”
He felt that the price was a little high for a book. I understood. I cut him a deal.
“Okay, check this out. I’ll give you the Gita for half off, and you can buy the ladies their books for ten bucks each. That’s not a bad deal, and it’s very gentlemanly. Hmmm?”
With that, he pulled out the money and handed it over, looking down at the book with, what I hope was, anticipation. The girls each gave him an appreciative kiss on the cheek.
I looked Joe in the eyes and said, somewhat somberly, “This is real wealth. Now, you’re actually a wealthy man.” Then, turning to leave, I smiled at one of the Miller Girls, pointed to a picture of Krsna that she had left the book opened to, and said “Krsna is very attractive, isn’t He?”. She nodded an enthusiastic ‘yes’. I picked up the book and handed it to her, and said “Now you have something very attractive.”