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U.S., Israeli, Palestinian Leaders’ Wives: Husbands Refuse to Ask Directions, Insist on Relying on Map

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SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (SP) — The wives of current and former U.S., Israeli, and Palestinian leaders complain that their husbands consistently refuse to stop and ask for directions, insisting instead on consulting a tattered and out-of-date "4 P's Gas 'n' Go" road map. "This road map, 4 P's or whatever, is completely useless, and yet Georgey will just not pull over and ask someone for directions," said Laura Bush, wife of U.S. President George W. Bush.

Former Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat's wife Suha voiced a similar complaint about her husband. "Since Yasser retired we have gone on several road trips, and it's always the same. His driving's still good, for his age, but can't follow a map to save his life. Whenever I suggest we stop at a service centre, he just gets all quiet and pretends like he's concentrating on the old 4 P's road map he keeps in the glove compartment. You know how he does it, with his spectacles down at the end of his nose." On their last trip, the Arafats brought along Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, a family friend. "Somehow I thought having another person in the car would help. Apparently not if it's another man. You should have seen them squabble over that old map. If I hadn't rolled down the window and shouted questions at passers-by every time we hit a stop sign, we'd never have gotten there."

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's late wife Lily is known to have complained on numerous occasions about her husband's being "cartographically challenged". In a 1985 home video, she is heard talking to her two sons:
"You should've heard your father as we were driving our tank across the Sinai back in '73. I can hear it like it was yesterday:
'There it is, finally, the Gulf of Suez,' he says.
'Ari, that's the Gulf of Aqaba,' I say.
'Will you cut out the back-seat driving, already? How could it be Aqaba? The 4 P's map says Suez.'
'Look at the sign, Ari. Aqaba. Aqaba. A-Q-A-B-A: Aqaba.'
'Okay, okay, Aqaba! Quit saying it, will you? Should've kept going straight back at Sarabit el Khadim... maybe if we'd asked that putz of a camel herder...'"

Above: The bane of Laura, Lily, and Suha's road-trip existence.
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