Rushing, tumbling and lugging bags I finally reached the car and my hopes of making out of the gates of the building like a bat out of hell to run a presentation for few educators at a neighbouring institution were shattered to the ground when I came to a screeching halt before the closed gates. I was running late, which I despised more than anything else I did, and when I looked around for assistance, I noticed a cleaning staff ten metres away. My heart sank, as it would have been easier to convince Saint Peter, the gatekeeper of heaven, to use his keys to open the Kingdom of Heaven than the cleaning staff to open the gates of the school. His prime reason being that it was not outlined in his job description despite the fact that he was at close quarters and had all the keys of the school in his possession. Feeling pressured, with increasing number of cars joining the queue, I blurted thoughtlessly and loudly, “Whoever is responsible for this will break their legs, fall and die”. To add to my frustration, I noticed a beige coloured van parked parallel, outside the gates with an African woman at its wheels in such a way that even if the gates were open there would have been temporary obstruction and delay. As soon as I uttered this, miraculously a teaching staff, who must have been called for assistance, opened the gates and the woman veered the vehicle from the gates a few metres away to the kerbside. Without further thoughts I reached my destination, successfully ran the presentation and while returning I began to wonder what influenced that insane utterance.
In that split second, I realised that the situation had transformed me into the character Abigail portrayed in Arthur Miller’s play ‘The Crucible’. Just as she had threatened her friends how she would harm them if they were to confess having practised witchcraft in the woods as in the lines, “let either of you breathe a word, or the edge of a word about the other things, and I will come to you in the black of some terrible night and I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you,” I cursed the perpetrator of my troubles. Now that I had slipped into the shoes of Abigail, I used cunning and manipulation to find scapegoats, my situation and the presence of Tituba at the wheels of a van, for my reckless words. I have heard of the sway internet influencers have on society but this is the first time I gave any serious thought to author influencers.