Posts Tagged ‘Congo’
“Hey, you can be so stupid sometimes,” chimed in another of the guys. “That’s a monkey tooth. I’m sure of it. Of course, how would you know, since you’ve never been close to a monkey!”
The traveler was a college-educated westerner with a late-Victorian attitude about Africans. The idea that all Africans are at least a little subhuman would have been a starting point for him. Throwing in a tribe here and there with especially cannibalistic or otherwise uncouth tendencies would be typical. Running into a group of individuals that looked to him almost like a separate species would be notable, and he did in fact make note of it, but this would be something he would take in stride.
As you observe this ritual, you notice that the person engaged in the task is clearly doing it wrong. The process itself…the order in which things are being done…is inefficient. The way in which the funnel is used, the kind of container used to store the paraffin, the choice of device used to trim the wicks, and so on–all can be improved. You wonder how it is that these people could have survived here a year being so stupid about something as basic as maintaining and lighting the hurricane lamps they use every day.
What a dumb-ass you are being.