Tuesday, March 16, 2010

If only...

My son Steele and I were driving through downtown Cape Town today, when someone offered us a leaflet, as we stopped at the traffic light'

I always open my window and take one, even though I thankfully don't need car repairs, or short term loans which is what they usually advertise.

I take one and smile, because that is what you do for someone, who is forced to hand out leaflets at the robots for a pittance everyday.

Steele and I mused over today's offering:

Fortune Teller
Prof Moi From Kenya Consultation: fee R50. 00

The professor uses 'pure natural herbal medicine from the masaai land to heal his patients' He also makes use of his spiritual powers to treat problems like:

Bring back lost lover
Settling your debts
Worried about court cases
Employment difficulties
Penis enlargement
Bad luck
Ghosts and demons in your house
Heavy drinking and smoking
To perform at school...

The Prof also has the cure for 'heave (sic) woman flow, body pains and boils', as well as many other disturbing ailments!

We both thought it was very funny but of course, it also made us think of all the many countless people, ready to pay their R50. 00, in the gullible hope that such things are possible.

It made me think of journalist John Diamond's book, 'Snake oil and other preoccupations'. John, who (in a stroke of Divine irony) was married to Nigella Lawson, died of throat and tongue cancer some years back, and his book included an examination of the countless alternative healings offered to the desperate, and the dying.

Healing is a mystery. Death an inevitability. And. Life. An extraordinary possibility! That's why we should live it with every ounce of our being, as best we can. And if you are on a 'grape cure', eating shark cartilage, making Castor oil poultices or meeting with Prof Moi:

Please keep seeing your doctor too!

xxx elle


  1. What a beautiful way to nudge people in the right direction. I know a woman who died of cancer because she believed what 'snake charmers' said. And, if the cancer had been treated when she first noticed the lump, it would have been treatable. Everyone needs to read this post. Thank you!

  2. Interesting and the same all over the world.
    Yet here we in the US fight over Health Care Reform.
    People so want instant cures or at the very least hope.