Sunday, April 27, 2008

Has Anybody Seen My ... uh ... Never Mind

Just when you thought things couldn't get any weirder...

Last Tuesday in my post titled Just True Enough..., I wrote about my endless fascination with all the really bizarre things people will believe no matter how much contradictory evidence you provide. Just to reinforce my point, I call your attention to this Reuters news story that is truly more outlandish than anything I could ever make up: "Lynchings in Congo as Penis Theft Panic Hits Capital."

Yes, you read that correctly. According to the first sentence of the story, "Police in Congo have arrested 13 suspected sorcerers accused of using black magic to steal or shrink men's penises after a wave of panic and attempted lynchings triggered by the alleged witchcraft."

As a man, I know that I would be horrified at the possible loss of my manly hydraulics. But it occurs to me that an easy way to verify if I'd been so ensorcerated (I made that word up on the spot, looking for something more horrifying than "bewitched"), might be to simply unzip, look down, sigh in relief, and move on. In fact, in this country, many young men probably wouldn't have to unzip, since they already wear their pants riding so low that you could probably tell.

(Note to Serena at (Parenthetically Speaking) - you are welcome to use "ensorcerated" as you see fit!)

But back to the point at hand.

The Reuters story goes on to note that fear of the theft of body parts for sorcery is not uncommon in parts of Africa where ancient religious beliefs hold sway, and murders of suspected witches are a periodic occurrence. Jean-Dieudonne Oleko, Kinshasha's police chief, was quoted in the story as saying, "...when you try to tell the victims that their penises are still there, they tell you that it's become tiny or that they've become impotent. To that I tell them, 'How do you know if you haven't gone home and tried it?'"


I've just checked, and everything looks normal. Nevertheless, perhaps I should go and wake Agnes to help me find out for sure.

I'll be back tomorrow.

Have a good day. More thoughts coming.


1 comment:

Mike said...

Every since I read that story I keep mine wrapped up in aluminum foil to protect it from any magical magnetic waves that might be beamed my way.

You might think that it would be a nuisance to do that, but that's nothing compared to the grounding chain that's wrapped around the foil and dragging the ground behind me. What a pain!