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Praying the cost of living down

Sunday Magazine

When we said we needed to weed out all the rogue elements in government, it is almost as if the weed went straight to the cost of living, which is now very, very high.

Here in Gitegi, and specifically in the brown house, we cannot afford a slice of avocado which makes me, an avocado critic, a bit excited. Harold can still afford his drink at Sue’s, but then the agreement between these two is more complicated than Wagner’s ties to the Kremlin.

If elections were to happen today, I doubt Harold would buy voters using his little wit and lies I participate in devising. Even the electorate, often blind and afraid to engage all mental faculties when it matters most, are now a tad too expensive for any politician.

Everything is expensive. Harold was explaining to me a plan he has to charge for prayers that will help worshippers, among other things, chance upon money dropped on pathways, confuse shopkeepers and obtain excess change and chip off money off accounts of the rich and deposit them into his faithful’s.

“So, do you think she will accept that offer? he asked.

“Who?”

He accused me of not paying attention but with this economy, no one can really pay for anything.

“I am asking if you think Sue will be okay if I pay for my outstanding bills in prayers, which is my main cash crop,” Harold asked.

This time around, every skill is being used to negotiate debt repayment. Corny bilateral lenders will be happy to accept what may look like bad deals because they very well know they hide a crucial card to the world. Sue could accept prayers, Harold thinks.

And why does Harold think that Sue would accept prayers as repayment for alcohol?

It is because we have been made to believe that all our problems can be solved using prayers. It is not raining because you cut down trees? Don’t plant; pray. The persons you entrusted with The Lord’s sheep decided to slaughter them and make a barbecue for themselves? Pray. You took a dive on a submersible which had mechanical doubts and your life is threatened undersea? Pray.

The economy is performing badly? Well, you know what to do.

So Harold is about to pull the biggest heist of his career, praying for an economy while those who should be fixing it continue to do very little to right it. He will be offering prayers and solving all problems caused by human negligence.

If you cooked your rooster for Eid al adha, worry not. A prayer, at a fee, will correct that. If you lost your girlfriends, don’t worry. Prayers will bring you some more, return the old ones or make you forget you ever were in love. If you have run your economy to the ground, prayers will work.

Today afternoon, at Harold Assemblies of Holy Associates (HAHA), we have our first edition of these very special prayers. We are praying for the cost of living. That last penny you have, which you have probably stored for your loaf of bread, we need it to make a prayer so you can find a way to afford your loaf tomorrow. Do not ask how; it is a country of prayers, a village of prayers, the glue that mends everything. We will do this until we pray the cost of living down.  

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