Monday, July 27, 2009

Driving Me Crazy


A woman who faked her orgasm was yesterday arrested in a hotel room in Nyahururu Town.

She was arraigned in court and convicted on her own plea of guilt. She was jailed for 2 years without an option of a fine.

“I apologize to the government, the police and to this court. I made a mistake.” she said.

“The offence is serious. You caused mental anguish and anxiety. Your actions call for a deterrent sentence.” the magistrate told her.

‘Bring that newspaper here!’ I said and snatched the newspaper from Alfie.

Turns out that Alfie, sick and tired of me not bothering to read the newspapers, was just playing a silly game where you delete a word from a newspaper report and replace it with another. The word in this case was ‘kidnap’ not ‘orgasm’.

He must think am some sort of nutter. I banned the listening of Classic 105 as I was ill and tired of the wankathons that go on the whole day; the crazy ad placements in each spoken word; the seemingly incessant use of a broken CD that repeats the same music each day…

Pardon my manners. Alfie. Yes, who is Alfie? One of the little perks that come with making pardner is getting a driver. It is the biggest irony that the people who are most driven get rewarded by being allocated a driver. So finally being a Divorce Lawyer is paying off. My colleagues in the Criminal Litigation Department, whom I call my ‘Partners in Crime’ aren’t entirely happy that a lazy bum like me gets such rewards.

I actually don’t see it as a reward. Alfie is the most insane driver you can ever get. I think I don’t just get him.

First his lingo is really one that can make you go postal. He has a different word from what I use for every thing that ever walked Gods green earth. You want an illustration? Righto!

“Nikojolee moteh,” he says as we pull into a petrol station.

I complain and ask him to speak in a language that I can understand. He calms me down by telling me: “Tazama sinema” and points at fuel pump.

‘What is moteh?’ I demand.

‘Brown,’ he responds and breaks into one of those permanent smiles that he was blessed or cursed with, depending on your mood.

Alfie’s mood is always happy. And happy go lucky. There are times he would be stopped by a stern looking traffic cop who will berate him for breaking one rule or the other.

“This is a one-way street!” a traffic cop recently barked.

“Asante kwa maoni,” Alfie responds.

I think the cop was more baffled than pissed for this truly was an order and not an opinion. I don’t think Alfie quite grasps the difference and I long gave up trying when I once found the car very dirty and told him in a manner likely to suggest an express order that he should always keep the car clean and he responded with the ‘Asante kwa maoni’ comment.

If there is something else you notice about Alfie is that he is always talking even when all you need is quietude.

“Hey, Mutoko, songa. Tunachelewa!” he would say leaving me quizzical as whom he was talking about. After all, no one but me could hear him. The answer lay in the car ahead of us.

Holy Molly! You have to realize that when Tevin Campbell was singing about ‘Can we talk, for a minute…’ and wanting to us that minute to know the girl’s name, he had probably never seem anything quite like this. He could have simply let he drive in front of him and saved himself airtime for one minute.

As we slowed down to negotiate the roundabout, which has some markings that look like zebra crossings nowadays, some matatu overtook us at a high speed leading to a whistle from Alfie.

“Wow! Innocent Egbunike!” he said.

“Who?!” I wondered. That driver, if he was called innocent, had all the hallmarks of guilt written all over him for putting a prodigious distance between us.

“Innocent Egbunike ni yule mNaija ali-overtake David Kitur huko Kasarani wakati wa All Africa Games 1987 akashinda 4 by 400 metres relay”

Now, taking me back over twenty years to explain a miscreant driver that is speeding is something only Alfie and probably Chirau Mwakwere can do.

Speaking of Mwakwere, no one but Alfie had told me a few days ago how when you said out the name Mwakwere without the first W, it meant something different and in fact it was an insult. I had yet to verify that when Alfie then went ahead to tell me his text tale.

“Ni kama mimi siku moja nilitumia KBG wangu SMS nikimuuliza ‘Kwani unamanga?”

Now I have been around Alfie long enough to know that reference to KBG is to a new found girlfriend. Now, surely, writing a text message to your girl asking her if she is eating isn’t something that is news worthy. Well sometimes Alfie rallies, sometime he don’t! This time he did.

“Kumbe nimeandika ‘Kwani unamangwa?”

Oh what a difference a W makes.

“The only good thing about this incident is that she was on loan”.

I told you. You can never quite follow what he is talking about. After prodding, he offers that a woman on loan is one in a come-we-stay relationship. So I ask Alfie why this girl is on loan.

“Huyo siwezi ku-afford transfer fees!” he replies.

He can’t pay dowry. But does he love her? I mean, if you love a woman, nothing, even an extra ordinary demand for bride-price should act as a bar to living together forever.

“Kweli. Inabidi. Ningalijua hivi ningalitumia hiyo January transfer window. Sasa ameninyima Sandra wiki yote,” Alfie complains.

Sandra? What is this? The V Monologues? Classic 105? At this rate, I could enjoy a private joke by grabbing lipstick and smearing ‘I HEART SANDRA’ on that snorkel.

You can never stop the chatter. What alarms me more is that sometimes there are lapses on concentration on the road.

It was him, for instance, who pointed out to me that there was a huge billboard near the City Mortuary with the slogan: KARIBU MEMBER.

As a G4S Securicor van zooms past with an escort of armed policemen in a saloon car trailing it.

“Wanapelekea Ringera mshahara wake! Mabanga!,” Alfie deadpans.

I really doubt that the head of the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission is paid in coins. Alfie must think two million shillings is all the money in the country. This concept of funding had been raised a few days before when a female hawker had approached the car with some wares and mentioned to us that they were on the cheap. She was selling underwear.

“Buy one get one free!” she implored. “Bro, its only 100 bob! Only”

“Unafikiri sijavaa kitu kuficha hizi 2B Continued zangu?” Alfie inquired of her. “Do you want to see it?”

“Alfie!” I shouted. I don’t subscribe to the notion that the only way to get rid of a persistent hawker is to be rude to them. In fact, no one should be rude to no one. So it was also pointless for Alfie to be stopped by cops and declare that he is not giving any of them a lift, even before they asked for such lift.

“Hawa wakorino wapendwa wanapenda hizo za bilashi” he defends himself. Typical irony, referring to cops as ‘beloved’.

But you have to live with rumour mongering if you have to spend some time with Alfie. It is from him that I learnt that Kioko was recently dumped by his on-loan girlfriend over the phone.

“Chinti alimkarangia simu, na Kioko hakusema eti ‘Halo – Tulia – kuna EC Pill’. La! Mude alikuwa asha-mtema! Simu aliangusha na kuendelea kuchora bizna. Ni mimi niliokota simu nikarudisha kwa masikio yake!”

Oh well. I pulled into a take away and waited for some pizza. Alfie decided to fill me in with his warped news briefings.


President Kibaki and Prime Minister Odinga shared a meal at the Prime Minister’s home in Bondo yesterday.

The President jokingly stated that his tour had been successful and that amongst the goodies that he had brought to the region during his tour was rain.

"My last rally in Ugenya was rained off. I take this as a blessing, since residents have been yearning for it all this season," he said amid cheers.

He he Alfie. Am not going to fall for that again.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Green Mosquitoes

I am still in shock! I can’t believe he passed away! For death is always even more haunting when it comes so suddenly. Death may be an old phenomenon but the news of his death was as usual broken by way of modern gadgetry. From all my friends, Twitter posts, Text messages, Facebook statuses all screamed ‘He is dead!’

My first reaction I must say was to stifle an ‘Oh my God!’ My second reaction was to stifle another ‘Oh my God!’ My third reaction was to give up stifling and I actually managed to utter an ‘Oh God, noooo!’

He was gone.

I immediately called Roni. When she answered the phone, I could hear her voice falter.

‘Why?’ she asked.

‘We never can ask why’, I consoled us.

More muffled sounds from the tender Roni.

‘The boy could sing, eh?’ Roni observed.

It was easily the best understatement of the year. You know how the Swahili say - alimtoa nyoka pangoni - that someone can charm a snake out of its hiding place. The deceased, could do more than just that! He could charm the snake out of its hiding place, it would then go back and bring with its relations to listen to him sing.

It was easily one of the gifts that stood out from his rather short life. Whilst people like me had to get an Excusometer to hide our lack of singing talent, he shone brightly making me once wish that I was him. And now, here it was, that he was gone too soon. If I was him, I would be dead, you know!

Nat was dead. My co-boyfriend. He had passed away that cold Friday morning in Mombasa in a car crash.

At the time, the details of the accident were sketchy but from what we had gathered, he had been going to work early in the morning and had just alighted when the speeding car that was behind the car he had just un-boarded hit him and flung him almost ten metres away.

He was pronounced D.E.A.D. at the Coast Provincial Hospital but by then, the news of his accident had already spilled into the aforesaid modern gadgetry.

Nat and I shared something very special. Roni. We both dated Roni at the same time in the past and she couldn’t quite make up her mind whom she thought was the better lover. She enjoyed my writing just as much as she enjoyed his singing. And how he played the guitar. I remember how he once sang a cover of the Bryan Adams questionable ‘Have You Ever Loved A Woman’ and everyone thought that he deserved her. But both of us could see our unborn children in Roni’s eyes.

She called the two of us ‘The Special Two’ long before Jose Mourinho came to the scene and pronounced himself the Special One.

Our dating arrangement for Roni had taken most people who didn’t think sharing was caring by surprise as we jokingly called each other ‘Co-boyfriend.’ It was never going to mature into ‘Co-husband’ only for the reason that that is just that: illegal.

We split the days we spent with Roni. He had her on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays whilst I had her on Saturdays, Mondays and Wednesdays. We kept Friday free for a toss up.

I won most toss ups. How ironic then that Nat would also pass away on a Friday.

Nat clearly hated Fridays. Just like he hated the Beatles. Yet he also loved The Mosquitoes.

Green Mosquitoes was the name of our local football team. They played in green uniforms hence the colouring scheme in the title. I served as the Secretary General whilst Nat was the Organizing Secretary. With the advent of time, we had relinquished our positions but still supported the team in kind.

Nat had recently started a computer project to digitalize our village. He had roped in no less a person that our local Member of Parliament.

The last time I had met Nat was during Easter… and now I was meeting him again, only this time, he could not see me, or talk to me, or sing. Or kiss Roni.

Roni was in attendance at the funeral as was Nat’s widow and their very young child. Roni’s husband was seated a few metres away from where I sat with her whilst Monique had been gracious to put our recent estrangement aside to join me on this trip but sat in the car just sipping on Dasani. Some youngsters had sagging jeans perhaps to emphasize Nat was going down.

A few people were also screaming like toddlers who had lost their favourite crayons.

It felt odd to see someone filming the funeral. Even odder when the film crew opened the casket and filmed an up-close. The impact to his face after the accident had been rather shocking to say the least. What world do these people live? Unless they were shooting an advert for cremation.

The funeral service started with some tributes from all and sundry including our neighbours, his workmates, the Green Mosquitoes, the MP and some church fellows.

“Nat is not dead!” declared an old lady. “Who says Nat is dead? He is not dead!”

I looked over at the guys who were digging the grave. ‘Hang on! Hold the jembes!’ my inner voice spoke. If this old lady was right and we are not confused... we're burying the wrong dude.

“Nat lives on!” she continued. Oh well. She then broke into tears. She was led away. Nut.

The next speaker from The Mosquitoes had an analogy about how life was unfair. “If life was football, we would all get injury time and then extra time before sudden death penalties”. Roni and I exchanged glances. Nat had been injured just before he passed on and some would have said he got injury time before the sudden death.

A middle aged man stood and complained that old men were still living and yet productive men were dying. “Why doesn’t God take one of these useless old men, some of whom are here!” he thundered to lots or murmurs from old men at the ground. It almost turned into a riot and on account of the heckling, the tribute ended.

The MP stood to speak and paid glowing tribute to the digital village that had been the brainchild of Nat. “He is now teaching the angels how to use computers.”

Before the interment, there was still reserved a tribute from his best friend. I demurred as did Roni but the chance was quickly taken up by George Cheloti, whom I didn’t quite recognize as a close chum to Nat. And soon we knew why he had jumped at the chance to speak.

He started by saying that we are all going to die. “Even you Nat’s mum! Even you Our Kid! Even you Roni. Even you Bwana MP!” We are all going to die sooner or later and join Nat.

At a time we all needed comforting, this was discomforting.

George then went on to describe Nat’s widow as a stunning beauty and hint that if she ever got lonely, she should not forget that where Nat came from there were more handsome men such as himself. “If we had a beauty competition at this funeral, she will emerge as Miss Funeral!”

Comforting 0 Discomforting 2.

You know at this point am thinking, maybe the widow should have missed the funeral. George paused and looked at all of us and nodded. This guy was made for such events. “Could someone get me some bottled water from my BMW” he asked and pointed his keys to the car park and unlocked his car.

There has never been a bigger product placement since some guy wore the Brookside t-shirt in the video for the hit song Apewe Sifa by Wangeci Mbogo.

George then decided to take this a notch higher.

“The Good Book says: Let the dead bury their dead! So I will move on to some living testimonies”

By George!

“There was a man who was driving his fancy car - like my Beamer - when he saw a hot woman just like Nat’s widow, standing by the roadside. She was wearing a very short mini-skirt, they call them micro minis…”

This sure didn’t sound like a funeral story. Especially when our friend died in a car crash.

“He slammed the brakes! The girl had on the roundest bum he had ever seen! He quickly opened the door and beckoned her in…”

Memo to the middle aged man. The old men shouldn’t have been killed. George should.

“As she sat, her mini slipped up and all the young man could see were tracks of thigh! He pretended he was looking to engage the gear and slipped his hand between her thighs...”

Roni pressed my hand as if to say, ‘Do something!’ Her husband frowned.

“The girl said Matthew 7:7…and the young man quickly took away his hands. But he couldn’t concentrate on the road so he stole a glance at her thighs. He looked her chest and she was breathing heavily…. He wanted to squeeze those boobs but chose to slip his hands between her thighs…”

You could hear a pin drop at the funeral. The MP’s mouth was agape. Some older women could hardly remember the last time they read Mills & Boon leave alone experienced such tension.

“She whispered in a softer voice Matthew ... 7… 7… and the young man took away his hand again. Like all journeys, this one came to an end and the girl started to alight, her rounded bum filling the entire visual spectrum of the young man. She turned around, smiled and sashayed away. After his Little Man dropped, the young man took out his Blackberry, logged onto the internet and Googled Matthew 7:7”

What gall. What harrowing moment. What a way to send Nat off. I stood and was walking towards the sound system.

“It says: Ask and it shall be given to you… seek, and you shall find… knock and it shall be opened unto you”

I switched off the sound system to applause from all.

George came over to and said I had sabotaged him as was just about to announce that he will contest the elections for Member of Parliament in 2012. He was merely stating his intention through a parable. Tell that to the mosquitoes!

May the Good Lord bless Nat’s soul. And that of George C. Looney!

Oh... and apparently Michael Jackson also died.