Satan has landed in Cairo and it is time for us to clean up our collective act. Suddenly it all made sense, all those times I wondered how it was possible for people to behave the way they do was explained. Now that I know what to look for I see them everywhere. Spending a random half hour in Cairo traffic reveals several examples of the cloven-hoofed one, leering men groping unsuspecting bums on the streets are of course demons in disguise and let’s not even talk about politics.
This week I lost my innocent belief that I was living in a safe country. Yes, I know there has been theft, repression and sexual assault and all that, but on a very basic level I had thought myself protected. I previously figured that living on land where deities have been revered for thousands of years must have blessed this part of earth one way or another and I was sure Egypt was under the protection of the Gods. Five times a day the call to prayer finds me, and sometimes several of them at the same time. Loudly. The occasional church adds their hymns to the cacophony of Cairo and rumour has it there is a synagogue or two around somewhere. The streets of Cairo are literally paved with prayers.
But my bubble of believed blessings was rudely burst by some fundamentally fearless individuals as they roamed the cultural venues of the capital to smoke out traces of the Prince of Darkness. Well, not smoke out exactly, since the venue that got accused of hosting those who serve Satan does not allow smoking on the premises. Nor alcohol, come to think of it. Nevertheless, the fearsome fighters found irrefutable proof that devil worshippers congregated for their spooky rituals during a brimstone-scented happening that was disguised as a concert. Those in the know were not fooled though, they saw right through the howling guitars and screaming singer. Heavy metal is a euphemism for the devil, we all know that.
Foolishly I had always considered the cultural centre as one of the more benign places in Cairo, even to the point of being a bit boring. Shows you what I know. I have woken up now though and fuelled with a desire to follow in these Salem-like heroes’ footsteps I have made some drastic changes in my life. I suddenly saw and understood what these fierce young warriors of light had known all along. The devil is everywhere. A proper clean up of home and act was indicated.
Salman Rushdie was ruthlessly banned from my bookshelves, as was a chick-lit present from a friend. Who cares the Lucifer shops at Prada? Away with the filth! Dante? Done for. My movie collection has also been reduced. Sweeney Todd? The demon barber disappeared in the garbage. Satan’s lawyer? I don’t care how much I like Pacino in that movie, out it went. Since I don’t want to wait until the man-down-under knows I am dead, Seymour Hoffman disappeared in the bin. On it went. And no more cartoons for me, Tasmanian or otherwise.
My collection of songs was up next. Queen bit the dust with their Beelzebub glorifying rhapsody, no more Stones with their sympathy for the devil, who knew the Dead were friends of the devil, devil in a blue dress – short stop at my closet there – Johnny Cash, Metallica… there is very little left in my music file.
I have adjusted my manner of speech. No mentioning of the cloven-hoofed one, lest he appears. I make myself think of things all the time, since I don’t want Mammon to turn my brain into a workshop when I leave it idle. I finally became aware I must have been dealing with the devil I know, so I have erased my contact list from my phone. That works out well actually, because I would not be able to serve devilled eggs or devil’s food cake at parties anymore.
I have given up good intentions, since they pave the road to eternal fire. I refuse to give the devil his due – he will get nothing from me. And no more hand baskets in my house, supposedly they will take you straight to the Hall of Flame.
So here I am. Finally safe from demons and the disciples of the Dark Lord. In a nearly empty, silent house. Without friends. And without a job. My managing editor did not take it very well that I objected to her black nail polish. Witch.
Oh dear, that opened a whole new can of worms. Good thing I already threw out the Witches of Eastwick.