My financial woes are over. When I get my payout from SAB-Miller I’ll be able to afford the lifestyle I so obviously deserve.
You see, if I hadn’t used so much of their product in my youth I would have been at least a billionaire and quite possibly the chairman of a FTSE 100 company. The money I spent purchasing beer by the cubic meter would have been invested in dot com start-ups and then sold before the bubble burst; my brain would have been unrotted by booze and, with steady hands and a clear-eyed, steely gaze, I would have ascended the corporate ladder, yeah, even unto the highest rung. I therefore intend to file suit and sue the brewery for leading me astray and depriving me of the riches that should have been mine.
I suppose you think I’ve eaten of the insane root that takes the reason prisoner, and I don’t blame you; but what I described above is what, in essence, the mellifluously named Arquimedes Nganga is doing, except that the defendant in his case is the Baptist Church, and it wasn’t beer that was his downfall, but religious mania.
When he fell into the thrall of the church he was a mediocre semi-professional footballer who took home a pay check of around £200 per month from his third-division team in Portugal. After his induction into the church, however, he threw himself wholeheartedly into evangelising to, he says, the detriment of his football.
I could definitely have had a long career in the Premiership. I see many players playing today who I am not inferior to–and perhaps even better than. Most midfielders are either defensive or attacking but I was both. I had something new.
His footballing skills were obviously only exceeded by his becoming modesty.
He has filed suit against the Baptist Union of Great Britain, claiming £10 million on the grounds that he would have made £20,000 a week playing for Manchester United had he not scored an own-goal by joining the church. He is also claiming that the church destroyed his social life–well, it would, wouldn’t it? Who in their right mind would want to socialise with a religious nut who tries to convert everyone within earshot?–, caused him psychological harm, and defrauded him of money through compulsory donations he was expected to make.
Those who know me, or who are regular readers of this blog, will be aware of my contempt for religious institutions of all denominations. In this case, however, I am reluctantly forced to defend the Baptist Church. Mr Nganga’s case is ridiculous because he cannot show that he actually would have risen to the heights he claims; no one held a gun to his head and forced him to believe the hogwash he was told; there was nothing stopping him from continuing to play football and evangelising on his days off; and the entire case is based on his abdication of responsibility for his own actions.
Whilst his case is certainly doomed to failure, there is an interesting angle that could be taken. If the church told him that he would go to hell if he didn’t make certain donations, he could lodge a criminal charge of demanding money with menaces.
The outcome of that case would be of considerable interest to me.
Grumpy Old Man by Mark Widdicombe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 License