Whenever people have to think about a singer, they usually have an image of a well-dressed handsome young man or a pretty colorful little lady. However this is not true with "SHBAK" (a pseudo-name), a singer in my small town. Contrary to all the other singers, Shbak is a strange person for he has a very noisy manner of singing, arrhythmic sounds, incomprehensible lyrics and sometimes very odd expressions. Moreover, he has a funny walking fashion, and he drinks far too much.
Probably Shbak's most vulgar habit is his laughable way of singing. For instance, I remember now a special exciting incident during a "henna" party at El-Hadj Essaid's when Shbak was asked to sing the famous song which was the vogue those days, notably "shoufi ghirouh" ( Look for somebody else..) The bride hadn't made her celebrated entrance to put the "henna" on her hands and feet yet and Shbak didn't learn the song very well; so he managed a "Tan-Tan...Tabaah!" or so it sounded, and almost directly added, "Look at the bitch always following him", as he struck the upper string of his Lute as if he tolled a knell. Consequently Nana El-Hadj Essaid, a very fond of music old lady, threw a full hot teapot at him.
In addition to this, one of Shbak's closest friends said, "Whenever Shbak has to sing in a wedding ceremony we dare not use loud-speakers because his throat is sufficient for the great commotion it causes by its own". Besides, Shbak fascinates many fans by his trotting way of walking. When he walks or say better leaps, he throws his feet onwards as far as his legs could allow in such a hurrying rate. He habitually walks in such a speed that he often is likely to lose poise. Zmim, an old friend of mine, once remarked, "When it happens that you see Shbak trotting or even pacing and almost sliding and losing his balance as if hurrying to a very important meeting which he fears he might miss, you should know simply that he is just..taking a walk". Furthermore, it is quite difficult for our famous singer to stop at once while walking, which make people enjoy that. Because of his funny hasty way of walking, no one of Shbak's friends accompanied him for a walk along the main Boulevard where people most of the time prefer to take a walk.
Shbak is also queer because he is fond of hot spirits. In every party or ceremony, the first thing he requires is wine. He can never sing unless he is completely drunk. His untidy house is all the time full of empty bottles of different brands of liqueur. One day, while we were talking about the unusual manner Shbak imbibed alcoholic drinks, my friend Lakhlafa, his neighbour, confided that people used to bet on how many days would pass before anyone met Shbak without smelling alcohol running out of his mouth. Considering this, all the local youngsters took it for granted that they would never meet him fully conscious.
From hitherto given facts about his remarkable habits, Shbak is a strange person whose manner of singing, walking, and imbibing make him a jeering particular case in human species. If he were in a town rather than "Erfoud", he wouldn't be so loved,admired or even noticed.