My neighbors had a funeral for an old lady yesterday. The deceased might have been someone I never met but who had once called this place home, or she might have been someone I walked past a thousand times and never really noticed. I know it was an old lady because during the church service Friday night, they kept saying “mukegulu”, which means “old lady”. At this point I could go on a tangent about South Africans’ strange naming habits, how even at a person’s funeral they will refer to someone by her age rather than her name. I could vent my frustrations at how hard it is to get into their culture, how the service was in Sepedi and not Tshivenda, and halfway through I realized I was sitting on the side of the tent for women and I was the only man wearing a hat. I could talk about how different South African funerals are, a topic I believe I’ve discussed before. But no, I can’t afford to get distracted today. Every second I delay is a second the Illuminati gains on me.
At the funeral Saturday, some of the men were sitting under the tent drinking their traditional beer, and one of them called me over. He’s in grade 11 if I’m not mistaken and he likes to talk.
“Did you hear that Obama’s visiting?” he mentioned in the conversation.
“Oh, really. I should call him and tell him to visit me here.” I’m used to being asked if I know any American that happens to be South Africa-famous, and it’s gotten to the point where I always just pretend we’re close friends.
“Obama’s here to visit Nelson Mandela since they are friends. We’ll all be very sad when he dies.” The news I’ve read said that Mandela isn’t taking visitors, but the grade 11 was right on that last part. I’m expecting the events after Mandela’s death to be memorable.
He continued, “Obama’s a devil-worshiper, did you know?”
“No, I didn’t know what.” In South Africa, devil worship is an accusation leveled at anything that isn’t Christian, so I’ve learned to stop taking it seriously.
“It’s true. Obama’s in the Illuminati.”
Oh boy. I’ve heard of the Illuminati jokingly, but I’ve never heard a serious accusation that someone is part of it. According to the board game Paranoia, “The Illuminati is a secretive organization whose goals are so well hidden that most members don’t know them.”
The boy kept on talking. “It’s true. Chris Brown, Rhianna, most Americans are members of the Illuminati… Except you. They don’t believe in God.”
“Wait, they don’t believe in God but they believe in the devil?” I asked, trying to bring some sense back to the conversation.
“No, they worship idols.” This led to an interrogation on my religion, to make sure I wasn’t one of them. People don’t drink traditional African beer for its taste, I’ll tell you that much.
So there you have it, folks. The Illuminati run USA. I don’t know what they’re up to, but consider yourself warned.