The renaming of the roads in Durban has reached the next stage where the old names are now being taken down and most of us (if not all of us) are navigating a foreign city. I was pondering this while reading a history of one of South Africa's great tourist routes, the magnificent Chapman's Peak Drive in Cape Town.
I wondered what suitably Afrique Nuveau nomenclature could be affixed to this craggy bit of Africana should the ANC retake the Cape Town City and what the Hotel at the end would be called. For most Capetonians, the verhanda at 'Chappies' is synonymous with copious calamari. However, hitting a very blank wall, I instead recalled a childhood memory of Chappies Chewing Gum.
So it is that I want to share with you 2 tales entitled....'Believe it or not....with Chappies Chewing Gum" and in doing remind you that on the 12th February it is Charles Darwin's 200th birthday.
(Names have been changed to protect me from lightning)
I am having tea with my mum this morning and she tells me how my late Dad was a religious man but not fanatical. She goes on to tell how he had a theory that Moses had been a sharp meteorologist who knew when the rapid tides came and went in the Red Sea and was thus able to escape with the Jews from Egypt and drown the pursuing Egyptians. She then told me how her late father had explained the Jewish tradition of not eating pork by his theory that Abraham was a less successful pig farmer than his brother Isaac, so, using his position in the church, he banned the eating of pork....
My mum before reading Revelations...
The conversation went on ad infinitum till we were talking about the contradiction in Genesis re who married Cain (son of Adam and Eve) when Adam and Eve were the first humans created by God. My mum's explanation is that there were 'other people from another world' to which Cain fled, but she skirted around the issue of how and when God had actually created these other people. Clearly, she claims, they were black Africans, because we know that Adam and Eve lived in Jerusalem which is close to Africa and that is how Cain managed to go into exile and marry one of the dark people.
My mum after reading Revelations.
She then asked me how well I knew Revelations to which I replied that I had read it once, but could not recall the content too well. Mum assured me that she knew her bible inside out and that Relevations states that the white race will rule the earth for many years and then it will be taken over by the black race. But, in time, the white race will overcome the blacks and will rule forever. It is written in Revelations, she insisted. I, naturally, suggested that we should get the bible that I could see sitting on her dressing table from where we were having tea. She then said, 'No, we can't do that, I do not have the time, I have lots of house work to do!'
I said that I would get it and search Revelations from beginning to end and she could carry on working. She then wagged her finger at me and said, 'Don't you dare touch my bible!'
So we had another cup of tea and I pondered how similar my mother is to every priest, priestess or holy man I have ever met.
Thank god for Charles Darwin and Five Roses Tea!
As an adjunct, I was at the beach with a friend who is a young nurse, 'Vanessa' and I were chatting about how she deals with seeing dying people. Vanessa (who is a comitted christian) said that she feels sorry for Hindus as they are going to hell. A member of our party then pointed out that she should in fact then be very happy when Christians die in the ward as they are going to a wonderful place. Maybe, on the other hand, this experience of dying was giving her some doubts? No, on the contrary, says Vanessa, when you see how wonderful the human body is inside, how intricate is the heart and veins and valves, you know that it could only have been made by the supreme designer. My natural response was that clearly, the designer was not very good at all and had clearly not even passed his woodwork exam as the human body is full of flaws and mistakes (as a natural result of evolution). Vanessa raised her hands in horror and said, 'No, you can't say that! It's blasphemous!'
So we had another cup of tea, laughed and went home.
Thank Richard Dawkins for god.