Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Goha's Nail

Goha is believed to have lived in Mesopotamia (currently Iraq). He could well be a fictional character. His stories combine wisdom with humor. His stories are well known in Egypt folklore and some might have been added locally. Some stories are so well known that you might hear someone say “I am afraid this issue is going to become Goha’s nail.” Here is the story of Goha’s Nail
Goha had to rent out his house for some reason. Maybe it was court ordered, or perhaps he owed money to some mean people. He didn’t want to rent out his house but he agreed to rent the house and all the furnishings with one condition. There was one nail on the wall inside the house that is not to be part of the deal. He told the tenants, “You may use anything in this house any way you like except for this nail. It is mine. You can’t hang anything on it or do anything to it. You can’t move it.” The tenants agreed thinking, “Fine, no big deal”. The rent is to be paid up front. No refunds. If they decide to move out early they lose the rent. Goha had to live with some of his relatives. Next day Goha knocked on the door of his house.
What do you want?
I am here to check on my nail.
Nail is fine.
I just need to take a quick look at it to make sure everything is OK.
Fine, come on in.
Next day, the same thing; and the next day, and the next day.
They got tired of this and went to the judge. Goha told the judge, “This nail is mine. It is not rented to these tenants. I need to check on it.” The judge said Goha has a right to check on his property.
 After that Goha started coming twice a day, and then three times a day. He started knocking on the door in the middle of the night. The tenants had no choice. They moved out. And Goha moved back home and lived happily ever after.
(Contrary to the story as quoted in some sources, Goha  did not tell the tenants that he will be coming to check on the nail.)

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