Apr. 14, 2016

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   "I took a seat on the edge of Edna’s modest bed next to her.  Still reticent, she pulled open the drawer of the nightstand and withdrew a pre-rolled spleef, which she placed between her gloss covered lips.  After locating a box of matches, she lit the joint and took a few hits, exhaling a large, billowing cloud of smoke with each drag.  Then, extending a long elegant arm in my direction, offered me a hit. Finally breaking her silence, her previously stoic expression turned into an alluring smile and she said, “You be a fine boy.”   

     In an attempt to impress and entertain, I decided to introduce her to a new way of smoking pot. “You know what to be a shotgun?” I asked. This was the wrong thing to say. Her eyes grew large and the seductive expression became one of shock as she abruptly scooted away from me on the bed.

      I did not know it at that time, but Ghanaians are very disturbed by white people’s relationship with firearms, and the attitude continues to this day. Having watched too many Hollywood movies, they have the impression that all white people are liable to be armed and are as trigger happy as is Clint Eastwood in a spaghetti western. Although many Ghanaians own guns, shootings are practically unheard of, and they have great respect for the potential of the weapons to kill and to cause bodily harm. The classic figure of the old west gunfighter, who coldly snuffs out a life or two, and then proceeds to twirl his pistols on his index fingers before re- holstering them, doesn’t appear to a Ghanaian as some sort of romantic folk hero. Rather, he seems him like a bloodthirsty killer, who not only enjoys using human beings for target practice but has a penchant for precariously playing with the dangerous weapons as well."