There has just been another traffic accident outside my office. Nothing remarkable about that, there are at least two or three per day and they are only interesting if the matter cannot be amicably resolved. Then there is real wahala and the outcome is anything but predictable and usually highly entertaining. This time a police car was at fault for making an illegal U-turn into the path of oncoming traffic. No wahala this time as the police have two things on their side. Firstly, as upholders of the law, they can never be wrong and secondly, they have guns and as upholders of the law they have a God given right to use them. What caught my eye this time, though, was a man running by the roadside, presumably hurrying so as not to miss first blood should there be any. He wore a red T-shirt emblazoned with ‘Where the possessed go to mingle’. Well what the hell does that mean?
It was like the stickers announcing, ‘A Night of Bliss’ that suddenly appeared all round the office. Now I had to be careful lest a simple desire to prevent the building being defaced offended some deity so far unknown to me and I found myself the subject of a Jihad. This ‘night of bliss’ was the religious equivalent of a marathon jam session but instead of all night reggae, armfuls of writhing girls and as many spliffs as you could choke down, this was a two day sermon by some unheard of preacher where the only relief would be fainting from the heat. I have no objection to people suffering for their faith, if it is self inflicted. To each his own. In fact I can think of a few faithful where the thought of them suffering would warm my heart but I’ll be buggered if I have to put up with my nice, bland office environment being turned into a bill post board. The no smoking signs are offensive enough. I am sure they knew that there would be objections and had thought it through in advance. These stickers would adhere to the hull of a nuclear submarine. Ripping them off doesn’t merely pull the paint off underneath, usually you’ll dislodge a couple of breeze blocks as well.
48 hours of oppressive heat and some zealot convincing everyone that we are all going to hell unless we repent and that true evidence of remorse is to donate to the ‘church’? I would have been convinced I was in Hell already and would gladly have paid to get out. A night of bliss has other connotations for me and my wife would send me to hell soon enough just for thinking about it. I guess by the definition of these zealots, I am possessed. So maybe this unknown place where the possessed go to mingle is exactly the place for me. Maybe it is an all night jam session, loads of reggae, girls and intoxicants. Next time I see the guy in the t-shirt I’ll ask him.
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