“Boy, I’m telling ya, somebody has got to do somethin bout them Mugabes,” Alvin had just finished cutting a kids hair and was leaning back in his chair reading an old L. A. Times.
The three of us—Jabo, Leroy, and me—groaned: “Oh, Jesus Christ, Alvin, not Mugabe again.”
“Look here, turkeys, yo’ll got to pay attention to what’s happenin in the mother land. Especially now that our President is a child of one of the countries in the mother land.” He scolded us like we were schoolboys, which of course we resented, but since it was his place, and we liked being in out of the cold, we just listened.
“We got to keep up with what’s happenin over there…”
“But Alvin,” I broke in, “Sudan and Somali, what’s happening in those countries is worse than what’s happening in Zimbabwe. Man, they killing folks. How come you ain’t interested in them countries.”?
“Cause my people, my ancestry, come from Zimbabwe, that’s how come,” he said with a straight face.
Jabo took it this time. “Alvin, you didn’t know nothin bout Zimbabwe until the mess over there started. How you know your people come from there?”
“Well, they might have. Anyway, that is neither here nor there. What I’m trying to tell you turkeys is Robert Mugabe’s nephew, Leo Mugabe talks to God. How do I know? Cause he said so, right here in the paper. Now did any of them tyrants in them countries you named say anything about talkin to God? No, they have not.”
“Okay, Alvin,” I said, “I haven’t read anything yet about anybody in Sudan or Somalia talking to God, but I’m betting some leader has identified himself with God.”
Alvin ignored me. “Leo Mugabe says that the financial mess the world is in is an act of God. God punishin us for what we doin to Zimbabwe but He is on Zimbabwe’s side. I mean, man, the dude puts a smiley face on everythin goin on in the country.”
Leroy joined the conversation. “You know, my cousin twice removed on my father’s side talked to God. She spoke in tongues every Sunday in church.”
We all knew about his cousin because we attended the church when we were boys.
“Leroy,” Jabo addressed him, “did God every answer cousin Bertha?”
“Man, I don’t know,” Leroy answered, “she never said.”
“Okay, you turkeys,” Alvin addressed us again, “you don’t care nothin bout the Mugabes in Africa. But you better pay ‘tention to Kenya, cause they gon be askin President Obama for money, you just wait and see.”