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Category Archives: Exercise

The Barmaid and the Boy who Kissed an Inexperienced Bed


To the creative writer, there is something morbidly inspiring about morgues and barstools. Morgues because dead men tell no tales, as the saying goes, and the man looking for inspiration wants to tell tales. Barstools because, well, just barstools.

I often wonder how all the people who work in morgues live without a daily dose of writing about their experiences, about the different people they meet every day. But barstools are the place to be, partly because you do not look like an insane person when you talk to the person on the other side and partly because imbibing has a way of opening up the creative juices. The bar is morbidly relaxing, if you enjoy the sound of your own thoughts or if you are lucky enough to have good, non-demanding company.

Its times like that that seemingly small things become writing ideas, and you sit at 5.30 AM in the morning, with pains in places that probably should not hurt, and pen a story about the struggles of writing and the barmaid who might not know she is a shrink of sorts.

Immortality would not be good for any species, especially our kind for whom sated primal needs such as food and sex are not enough to keep our non-existent sanity. In case you do not bother to be regaled with stories of a man looking for inspiration, here is a link to flexible women, everybody likes flexible women, I am not so sure about pregnant women doing the split though.
I am thinking about sitting at the bar because I met Joyce this past weekend, a barmaid with a keen eye and a soft motherly look. Actually, I called her ‘mami’ several times before she gave me the evil eye and said ‘Ninaitwa Joyce’ (my name is Joyce) and someone pointed out that she actually had a tattoo of her name on her left arm. I had already been imbibing before I sat at the bar so a little blindness was allowed.

I like to watch barmaids/men work, there is something about the woman or man behind the counter passing out poisons to men and women looking for escapism that is intriguing. The barmaid at my kalocal, a heavy woman called Mumbi, or something like that, was a scary woman I used to stare at through the grills and wonder whether she enjoyed her work. She had no life in her, no spirit to make conversation, except when talking to older men who looked to have a woman listen without necessarily having to listen to their bantering in return.

Mumbi, or whatever her name was, was replaced by a thin thing with absolutely no life at all, even when an smiling old man bought her shots of things strong and potent. I have not cared to know her name, partly because I ‘bonded’ with Njeri, a waitress who has a happy face. Okay, I think she has a permanent smile but in actual sense she has one of those teeth structures that make the teeth stick out of the mouth at all times. I am sure you know someone with teeth like that, an oddly smiley face. I always wonder how people who look like that kiss without harming the other party.
Talking about risky kissing, I recently recalled an old story from high school. A student sleeping on the lower bunk was woken up in the middle of the night by a sharp searing pain in his upper lip and an odd weight. The weight was the upper bunk, complete with its occupant, which had come off the hooks on the ‘head-side’ and fallen on our protagonist. Sharp pain, and the weight meant that he could not scream, or he could, but it would emerge as a muffled cry like that of screamer with a pillow on her mouth.

For the few seconds it took the occupant of the upper bunk to realize he was now sleeping on his bunk mate, and not in a good way, our protagonist had a wound that required about fourteen stitches on his upper lip. On the bright side, my high school is next to a world-class hospital with a lot of hot nurses and doctors-hoping a good friend of mine does not read this because his sister works there-and a higher than proportionate number of white staff.

On the dull side, however, he now had to spot a bandage for a few weeks as the wound healed. Anyone who went through high school knows that there is a special place in hell for the kind of sadists who walk around in high school uniforms or with chalk imprints on their jackets. One of those men was Mr. Kiroko, a burly man who could chew on a blade of grass like there was a gift somewhere in the middle, and ignore the dripping drops of saliva, and overly disgusted students, trying hard to ignore him.

Granted, he was a Physics and Metalwork lecturer, perhaps the worst combination of disciplines for anyone hoping to be sane. Mr. Kiroko walks to our bandaged friend and asks

“Joseph, nini lifanyika?” (Joseph, what happened to you?”
Since there is no way of answering the question without it coming out as plain weird…
Joseph: Niliangukiwa na kitanda (The bed fell on me)

Mr. Kiroko (laughing): Ooohhh, I thought you had been kissed by an inexperienced person.

Those are the kind of men who deserve to burn at the stake for making sick and injured people laugh their way back to the theatre.
Okay, yes, barmaids. Njeri is special, she reminds me of the barmaid at another kalocal in South C who does not mind placing a lid over my unfinished beer and keeping it until I go back, even when it is a few days later. I first met Njeri on my birthday, when three girls raided my house and dragged me to a bar to stop mulling over my first major event as a single guy. She could not get over the fact that I had three women in a bar on a Saturday when the bar lacks any despite being in the residential area next to a public university.

I think I made around ten friends that day, men giving me the evil look because I seemed to be hoarding a precious commodity. Old men, to be precise, with clear worry lines on their face that only come from having two children, mortgage, a nagging wife, a demanding concubine, an old car and loans from all banks. They are the kind of men with tired looks on their face like the weight of all the people in the world has been placed upon their shoulders. They love sweet young things who can marvel at their experiences, and who are impressed by their seemingly fat wallets despite the fact that half the weight is just business cards.
I saw the kind at a club some time when I misguidedly decided to see what goes on in the dark side of Corner House. On the table next to me was a young girl, probably what Waga Odongo call’s ‘girl’s born in the multiparty era’ with two old men who could only have been her dad and uncle, or vice versa. One was fat and stubby, wearing the kind of coat you are sure your dad either looted from a stall during the 1982 coup or has had since his university days when Sabina Joy was still cool.

The other guy was younger, probably in his forties but was not interested in the particular girl. It was weird because she was dancing along, and she had moves from an alien planet, the kind that make you wonder whether the dancer has any bone structure at all, especially a pelvis, how can someone survive without a pelvis? The guys, on the other hand, were doing moves akin to swallowing a Taser gun and a raccoon with untrimmed nails.

Njeri still marvels at that, and every time I am hit by my withdrawals and I need to sit among strangers and block out the world, she always asks me why ‘my women’ are not with me. I smile then, because I do not want to tell her I have noises in my head that need silence in the middle of all the noise, and a fixation like counting the drinks behind the counter. I know she means well, so I buy her a beer, a Guinness Kubwa at the lower limit of Mututho time and shake my head as she tries to make conversation. She is hard to read, partly because her teeth are distracting and partly because I do not care to do so. It would not help either of us, she believes I am a pimp and I am happy to let her think so.
I met Joyce on Saturday, the barmaid with a tattoo of her name on her hand. That’s either vanity, or there is some sort of kidnapping ring going around in Kenya where people are tattooed their own names for easier identification. Maybe the bar is her prison? Think about it, she does not move from the bar, so maybe her legs are chained to something underneath so she does not move outside. She has to say in her circle, figuratively, and semi-circle, literally. It could be a project by the evil overlord, he of the all-seeing eye in the form of a bouncer who stares at your date like you are a chicken sticking its neck out begging to be killed. The thought crossed my mind, but I could not save her even if she was. She is not exactly hot, and the good lord, or evolution, or wherever it is we wretched beings came from, saw it fit to give me an untamed mind in place of smashing princely look. I do not think her parents are royalty so ours would not be a Shrek-kind of a story, so I let her be, and followed her with my eyes as she did her job.
There is something intriguing about the barman/barmaid and the way they maintain sanity in the middle of madness. Joyce even has a system behind her, which I noticed when I tipped her and she took the note and placed it on a tumbler on one of the shelves. The tumbler had her name, and there were other tumblers, probably five or six, with names of people I guess are the waitresses. The system seems pretty simple, given the madness of a bar, so everytime anyone gets a tip they take the money to her and she, hopefully faithfully, places it in the respective tumbler. I sit there and try to guess what led her to this life that is still not fully appreciated as an art in our country.

Is she happy about what she does?

Does she have kids?

Do they know their mother is pharmacist with a limited inventory who cures the worries of men by feeding them on what they order?

If she is a slave, does she have any sexy stories about why she is now behind the bar?

Like she tried to run away and her captors chained her there, so her way of asking to be saved is to tell me her name so I can stop calling her ‘mami’?

I missed the cues then I guess, and she is destined to live in captivity behind a bar her entire working life.

Owaahh, 2012.

 

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Philosophical Musings on the Withdrawal Method


So when is it ever the right moment to make a tactical retreat? To the emancipated mind this should be a question of chance and choice, it has everything to do with one’s decision-making abilities as well as the willingness to follow through. Evolution has seen it best that once the train leaves the station, there is no stopping it until it gets to a station, any station. It cannot be derailed or bombed off its hinges. Any effort to do so would end in sheer pain and utter failure as the amount of pressure exerted can cause severe mind flashes, paralysis and, although the claim is not supported by any scientific data, a nuclear explosion. It can be diverted to a dummy station, however, and this is the basis of most male-oriented forms of contraception. The idea is to lie to oneself that the primal need of coital satisfaction and procreation can be separated into two goals. Once one accepts this as the premise of the act then a decision has to be made about the right moment.

Or 2 pages, depending on how long you can read.

Consider then  the dilemma, the level of self-awareness required to make the withdrawal method an effective mode of contraception. According to Abraham’s Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, coitus is at the base of the pyramid, next to food and oxygen. Self-actualization, the kind of self-awareness and confidence required to choose and act at the right moment, is at the helm of the pyramid. This implies that one must jump from top to bottom of the pyramid in the blink of an eye, literally and figuratively, to actually make the method effective.
What defines this moment? I believe it varies from one species to the other, although I have observed rabbits in their 15-second binges and pounced on a few National Geographic-filmed animal pornography clips to get to the conclusion that underneath our sophistication, we are at best lions. Our only advantage used to be that we were the only species known to engage in copulation ‘for fun’ and the only one capable, and insistent, on doing it face-to-face. Dolphins have already taken away the former, and the latter is in question because new species of crazy organisms are being discovered every day. The right moment therefore matters, and the decision-maker needs the support of the team player to act upon the decision of time.

It is also key to establish that testosterone, the euphoria driver in the male species, does not, for some odd reason, block one’s memory of the selected mode of contraception. One must remember to do it, and then decide on the moment, and then do it, and then stand/kneel/crawl/gyrate there with a smug on his face. If he has accomplished what is required of him by natural selection, then the team player is too euphoric to comprehend what has just occurred.  If possible, she must be saved from the ghastly sight and sounds of the frozen man. The alpha-female will demand that the moment must be had, for the sport to be fair, but the alpha-male must be in it to please and then and only then, to focus on his own desires. It means that all effort must be made to please the other party during the foreplay sections of the ordeal so that they can be cooperative when one needs to, as the common saying goes, ‘pull out’.

Such a decision can fail for several reasons. One, the connection between all our primal sense, coming together in harmony in one specific place, and dragging with it the rest of the body, is impossible to master. Some will howl, some will grunt, some will look up or cry but the common denominator is a loss of sense of control. How then does one regain control at the very moment when all senses are meant, rightly so, to be lost? Two, it is also dependent on the willingness of the participant to let go, and if a safe word has indeed been established beforehand. Such boundaries should be set early in the game, before the candles blow out, so that any scream of ‘pineapples’ or ‘incoming’ is understood as a wail for help to withdraw. A man in tune with his primal self must then come into consciousness at just the right moment to not pre-empt the moment itself by too far a point that it warrants a re-invasion, and not to hold out for too long that the moment is lost and other methods need be sort.  Three, coordination is key.  A decision can be made to make a tactical retreat but the forces of nature such as a flood or hurricane force the invading army inland. The decision of the commander must be relayed through an analogue system to various limbs, and a spine already in motion, that the battle has been won and the main force should be capped before all hell breaks loose.

At that moment, John knew all of his life’s work would amount to nothing…

The next challenge then is where to ‘deliver’ and what one should do during the few seconds the moment itself is destined to last. For most people, the moment must enjoyed with the chills it sends through the body, the bang that hits the spine and the high that overcomes all senses, at least momentarily. Since the primal moment has already been lost, and coitus interruptus selected as the method of contraception, the interrupter must hold it, either in hand or on a surface, until it is done, or ‘walk away’. I have heard from some sources that there is a cadre of man mammals who walk away as the moment progresses! I do not know the truth of this claim, but I imagine it would be very hard for a normal mammal to establish the pattern of walking while such a glorious result of natural selection occurs. Perhaps the motion is spasmic, if such an adjective exists, and makes the walker look like he has the tics.
Once the moment is chosen, and executed, and all clean-up of activities of the oil spill-a term selected for more than one reason-completed, the emancipated man can then re-engage and continue to make sure the team player has the experience of a lifetime. The re-engagement need not be a frontal or rear attack, as with a conquering army, and Alexander the Great need not lead the second conquest.  Evolution, or if religion is to be believed, a Superior being, granted the human being, and to some degree his ape cousins, a thumb separated from the rest of this fingers to make it easier to grasp and twist things. With such unique ability then, and with strong muscles in a ‘limb of sorts’ that resides in the loudest orifice-unless one is having the farts, then its second loudest- the next attack can establish one a kingdom and win a war. The mediocre man might choose the way of sleep, without even considering that the rush of serotonin in the team-players innards is exhibited by an inherent need to cuddle and smooch. Such desires are core in human interaction, and should be provided except in exceptions expressly allowed, marked, and indicated in bold font on one’s man-card.
So, of what importance is the withdrawal method to the world economy? If a measure of the ability of a man to withdraw from the most basic and the most primal activity in his life could be established then most of life’s questions would be established. The man granted a short span of time must be aware from the start of the experience that at any one time in the following ten to forty seconds, a life decision will have to be made, with only the shouting of a predetermined alarm allowed. The man with more time can take his time, like an athlete in a marathon who can afford to run briskly for two hours before choosing the right moment to sprint ‘away from the crowd’.

ADDITION on 25th March, 2013

The Holy See endorses, passively, coitus interruptus as a method of contraception. Surprisingly, the deity for who the See of Rome is Vicar once struck a man for doing exactly that. There is no inconsistency here, and one might argue that by the sheer volume of soldiers who never make it to Canaan-again a scriptural reference-the respective deity, and evolution, meant for it to be one big game of Russian Roulette. The only difference being, of course, the presence of more chances of failure and success, and less players, at least in the conventional games. The preceding statement does not apply to those to whom the groupie appeals, as the game then, void of a permanent contraception method, becomes many games of Russian Roulette embedded into one big job.

Owaahh

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2012 in Causes, Despair, Events, Exercise, Morbid, Random, Stupidity

 

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The Msema Kweli, and the Mad Woman who Wanted A fight


On a whiff of randomness the other day, I opened a facebook group for my primary school. Karunga Primary School, tucked somewhere in Kiambu, is where I spent eight years of my life learning everything from ABCD from Mrs. Dorothy (she had that musky old-woman smell) to present and past participles from Miss. Virginia. You know what happens when you start a group like that, people start remembering, photos start appearing, the friend requests start flowing. I still have my khaki shirt hanged somewhere in my parents’ house and numerous photos of my class.
It also makes one remember small things…


The lastborn of my sisters left primary school when I was in class four and in those four years where we had to go to school together every morning, I think the number of times I got to school before the bell rang at 6.45 pale in comparison to those I had to stand in line for the whipping or to run several times around the school field (outside PE lessons, this was considered a punishment).
When she finally did leave primary school and I was left to tend to myself, I still couldn’t make it to school on time. I was a teachers’ pet though, and I was a lazy thing so looking for any alternatives to getting beaten was the order of every morning.  I sneaked into school several times through a hole in the fence. I think I should add it was Kei apple fence, complete with thorns sewn meticulously into the wire mesh by the school factotum, who was the school gardener, fence-trimmer, carpenter and mechanic, and worker extraordinare. Sneaking in was therefore a ninja affair, the kind of slow motion you see in scenes where Angelina Jolie is working the laser system. I survived that, and I survived Mr. Mwai, our science teacher who had a small stiff rubber cane he christened (the) ‘Msema-kweli’.

A cane, and the concept of pain, is supposed to be a deterrent towards the act for which one is being punished. The msema-kweli, shaped like Africa with oblong sides on the North and South (One for grip, the other for contact), did exactly that. It was a short rubber cane, as long as the grown man’s palm but not as wide (Physics comes into play here). It integrated science into your palms as heat and pain and sometimes made you aware that keeping time  and getting 70% in a test were not requests. He died several years ago, Mr. Mwai, but I am sure someone somewhere has preserved that cane he whipped generations of students with, and always fished out of his back pocket when you did something wrong (it gave us a false sense of security because he could not use anything else to beat students. That is, until he reached for his back pocket and the sense of security levitated out of the room). I also survived the female teacher who had surname like mine (her husband and my old man are distant cousins and share the same second name) who used to hide her car behind the classes so you would get to school late and think you were safe, only to run towards the class and find other unlucky culprits kneeling behind the school tank.And we fell for it, every time.
There are several anecdotes as to why our time-keeping got worse when she got to class six. It all started with a woman who, for the sake of this article, we shall christen Wamatumbi* (I know, a mouthful, it means ‘one of the eggs’). Wamatumbi was a mentally disabled woman who lived next to our school. I dated her sister later, for a day or two I think, but that’s a story for another day. My sister has always been a healthy child (read fat*) and has therefore always seemed more mature than her current age….and Wamatumbi*, if she is still alive, is a very fat woman too (women, stop cringing, as the captain of this story, I am allowed to call women ‘fat’). A heavyset woman who had a retarded look on her face, like one eye was bigger than the other, ogling at you, waiting for you to make eye contact so that the fight could start.
One day, my sister was leaving school when she met out antagonist. They did not know each other so well but I suspect that at Wamatumbi had at one time been a student at our school. Still, Wamatumbi called out my sister’s name. You know how, as a society, we like to treat the mentally or physically challenged, if we are not directly related to them, we try to walk past them as fast as possible. That is exactly what my sister was trying to do, but Wamatumbi had a better idea.
“You! Stand there we fight.” Wamatumbi shouted.
“I am sorry, I do not fight with people who are bigger than me,” my sister replied, trying to walk away as fast as possible.
“Are you calling me fat?” an increasingly agitated Wamatumbi asked.
“No, no, I was just saying you are older than me, so I can’t fight you,” My sister should, at this point, have done the clever thing and asked for a lawyer.
“Aaaaah, so you are calling me old huh? You are insulting me? I will show you….” Wamatumbi replied as she gave chase.
Now picture this, two fat women chasing each other, actually, one woman chasing two girls (My sister was walking with a cousin). You can see it, hear the screaming and thumping of legs as one person looks for a fight and two girls run as fast as they can?

As they run towards home, everybody stops to see, some sadists laughing, some pastor praying, kids getting out of the way, a story to tell.

The heaving, the thuds, as one unhealthy woman chases two unhealthy ones. It was a hilarious sight but they got away, proving that equally matched opponents can never defeat each other.

Where our antagonist lives is directly behind the fence of the school, next to one of the two access points to the main gate. This meant that we risked meeting her anytime on our way out of and headed to school. To solve this situation, our headmaster, a well-groomed man with a shining bald head who was said to do more than teach beautiful girls, allowed my sister to use a smaller gate reserved for teachers.

The gate, for it is still there, allows one to cut the distance by around 300 meters by accessing the school directly from the main road and into what used to be the school shamba instead of following the school fence all the way to the main gate. This meant that we could enter the school without using the common route, where a teacher would be standing at a vantage point with a whip every morning at 6:46, rearing to transfer the potential energy in her body into kinetic energy on a poor boy’s behind or poor girl’s hands. That’s something I can never get, to this day, why girl’s would be whipped on the hands and not on the bottom like the boys. Someone mentioned something about their sexuality but still, anatomy shows that on average, women have a greater layering on the bottom than men which would make them better equipped to handle such beatings. Anyway, those are years gone…
Still, to access this ‘special gate’ meant using the longer route to school which meant that we were late every morning. We devised ways of hiding it, there was the few times I ran to the back of the class, called out my desk mates name and handed him my bag, then pretended I was heading back to class from the washrooms. It seems wrong to call them washrooms because they were just two sets of pit latrines and three walls with a trench at the bottom.

One set of pit latrines, the one used by the girls, sank into itself during the El Nino rains of 1998. We just got to school one morning and there was no toilet, only a huge gaping hole with lots of shit and maggots (I see you cringing) where the Ladies once stood (You.See.What.I.Just.Did.There?). It meant that we now had to share the toilets, and there are stories…of happenings…

They finally built new modern toilets at the turn of the new millennium, the kind with a plastered sewer system and filled with water to break down the sewage. They are the kind that, when you are taking a dump, you can hear the distant sound of your turds or the trickle hitting the water. If it sounds disturbing, it’s because it was.
Yours truly had gotten to school late more than a few times, but on almost all accounts, I would be freed so my sister would be beaten on my behalf. I suspect the teachers knew it was her fault, all the time, but it also meant that from that time on, she had no qualms leaving me behind if I delayed by a second. To be whipped double your ‘bill’ on a cold morning for your small brother is a touch price to pay, but she used to bully me at home so I guess, debt paid?

Still, as she went to class six and her eyesight started failing, I became her second set of eyes, always keeping an eye out for Wamatumbi* and another guy who we shall call John came into the picture, albeit momentarily. The story of John is sadly funny, he approached my sister once in the thicket as she was headed home. Now, any guy who has a crush on a girl knows that the best time to make his feelings known is when and if he can find her alone. Find her with her girlfriends and you are in trouble, women tend to be cruel in groups, alone, it is easier to make known your feelings without the distraction of her hotter friends. Approach a woman alone in the thicket when darkness is falling and the situation changes, Cupid, changes into possible rape, and we have a whole different scenario.
“ How are you?” He asks, walking slowly towards the now startled girl.
“Poa sana…” she replies, trying to walk away as fast as possible.
“ Please stop, I need you, sorry, I need to talk to you, I thirst for you (his words not mine, even worse in vernacular), I have always thirsted for you…” our would-be rapist says, bowing as he does so, as if ashamed at making his cravings for this girl known.
“You know, John, its John, right? (Ouch) When we thirst we drink  Jesus (Huh, what now?), you should try it too.” This is the same girl who only went to church because it was the usual thing at home.

.
He increases his pace, thinking of his next line, he can’t lose her, no, not today.
“Can Jesus really satisfy my thirst for you?” He asks, desperately now.
“Yes, yes he can,” she answers as she looks back and suddenly breaks into a run.
John never bothered my sister again, not because he gave his quest but because she never used that route again. It was a cursed route because it led directly to where our earlier antagonist lives and it goes to show that life, and even fellow thickset women, have never been fair to thickset women. Luckily, unlike her, he did not chase after her which perhaps means he was either not as ‘thirsty as he thought’ or he was ‘too thirsty’ to run after love (sic!).

Owaahh
 

How to Fund the Next Elections


Actually, this is a manual for all elections, past and future…

Engaging in a lively discussion with a sibling of mine the other day, I realized that we both complained about the rising cost of everything through 80% of the conversation. Seeing that she has a family and mine is still, safely I must add, lodged in my loins waiting for either lower prices or more wealth, she had more to add about how the price of sugar is constantly screwing with the (second) sweetest thing of all.

We all know what’s happening. We all know that elections in Kenya are funded through corruption, uncouth and vile economic manipulation and simple thievery. We know that someone is somewhere in the backrooms of the Mumias Sugar Company, behind the fake wall that has a small latch that is easy to miss, next to the volumetric flask full of random boiling stuff, doing the maniacal laugh as the coins and notes fall into his lair. We know this to be true…

MUhahahahahaha*Hahahahabananahahahahaha (Did You see the -banana-??)

We also know that there is flour and there is fuel, condoms went up 100% despite the market conditions. A pack of tissues now costs so much that being called an a**h**** is no longer an insult, it is somewhat of a complement to a white elephant, because that is what the ordinary Kenyan has become to himself and herself. We have become white elephants because the simple act of excreting now costs more money than the meal we probably digested. Think of the water to flush, the Harpic, the energy required, the…Let me just stop there; I am sure you get the idea.

It’s the same story everywhere. And we know who is screwing with us, we know whom, although we might not know whom exactly, but we know whom. We know every economic crisis in the free market is a carefully orchestrated way of keeping the poor, ignorant and unwilling at work, to motivate us to work more and build our country some more. We watched the shilling fall, much to the chagrin of some four banks CEO’s laughing in their money labs as their minions scuttled around, careful not to step on anything that would interfere with their bosses gloating…

Clearly, same guy, different eyes...

But elections must be funded…

Elections must be rigged and made a bit or a lot, irregular so that international observers have work to do.

Bribes must be paid to the actual owners of the economy.

Expensive fuel guzzling cars must be bought for stature and practicality.

Yes, an election is an election by any other name.

So, what is my proposal for funding the elections all over the world in the coming year? Simple actually…digress with me…

In his essay, a modest proposal, Jonathan Swift makes a simple and perhaps the most economically viable solution to the problems of the Ireland at the time, and perhaps until now. If you have never read it and do not like reading such long things (which is poor given that the moment you stop reading this blog post and start doing something else, it will cost you money, try it and see…look around, see the walls that need paint you can’t buy, the children that need a Christmas you can’t afford and fees you don’t have? Yeah, so…as I was saying…), the short of it is that Swift proposes that the children of the poor are the real problem. They require much for so dim a future, they need food and care that keeps their parents too busy to be productive, they are likely to be poor all their lives thus the best way is to sell the children of the poor to the wealthy for food and skin.

Yea, you read the right! This was back in the 17th Century, and no, eating the flesh of children between the ages of twelve and thirteen was not part of the cuisine, it was a necessity. I doubt anyone followed Swift’s advice, but I think it is most relevant to us today. Economically speaking, a small population is what we need right now. The factors of production are precariously imbalanced and lesser demand would push most prices down and rive down, politically speaking, the need to mobilize vast amounts of money.

I posed this question to some acquaintances of mine who have had an experience or several with the bodies of those who have made the right choice. I should probable add that these acquaintances of mine meet with such experiences almost every day of their life, not because they are sexually deprived, but because handling such cold matter is their gainful engagement. I asked them to tell me whether, driven to the edge of poverty and desperation, they would partake of their trade. Without hesitation, they all agreed that if need be, the human flesh would end up in their lunch and they would not even care to pray about their souls after that.

As I staggered away scared, with my heart in my mouth (I was not chewing), I thought about it and isn’t that what we are doing right now? Are we not eating the poor and drinking from their drying blood? Who are the poor? Politicians, poor people, posh places, po-things…

I am of the opinion that for every seat we need to vote for, we need to mark several kids to be sold into the slave markets of Saudi Arabia, the ranks of the AL Shabaab, to fight in the remnants of the Arab Spring, to be modern slaves in the Gulf States, to be drug mules in South America. Yes! If I had a bath tub and could afford to fill it with water without worrying that my water bill will rise above 200 bob and I will have to actually think it significant, I would jump out of it and run around screaming EUREKA, scaring my ‘mukurinu’ neighbor into morning devotion.

I am suggesting that we do not need to wait. Drug lords will pay premium for young children who have little to look forward to; they would provide them with food, money, water and mostly, drugs for experiments and as drug mules. Given that the drug trade saved the world economy by constantly injecting billions of dollars into an economy that did not show equal exit of products, then you see the vital position that these children will occupy. Being a modern slave in Saudi Arabia or the Gulf States is much better than toiling away in the farm you used to own. It allows you to be part of oil economies, to be part, eventually, of those privileged enough to pay low prices for fuel with money that has been obtained by people who paid exorbitant prices.

Yes, replace even Da Vinci's work with someone more....urmmm...media savvy character...

It’s the story of humanity, the fact that we are all at peace because there are so many people we pay to do the violence for us. All am saying is, we should not strive to reduce the economy by birth control. Forget condoms, forget contraceptives and safe days (and safe houses, but that is a story for another day). Like the Pope says, or rather implies, women should stick to mathematics to control the number of children they get, they should, however, give Chemistry, Biology and Physics the bad eye (and probably, English, saying ‘no’ is an officially accepted act of birth control).

Children are a blessing from God or from whichever deity you choose to bequeath such honors. They are tender in flesh, young and inexperienced; they can fund the future if you follow this modest proposal to find them meaningful lifelong employment.

The choice you have is to let them live it out, constantly get screwed by greed and pervasion, get knocked hard by the high prices, live for fear of eating sugar because they know that each spoon of sugar they steal is anything between 20-40 bob, and that if you know, you are likely to kill them anyway.

…and lucky are those who know nothing else, for they need to know nothing else.

Owaahh

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Posted by on December 16, 2011 in Causes, Despair, Exercise, Random, Uncategorized

 

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Kahawa Sukari & the Second Random Walk


Another random walk. Another blank page.

Clean and fed now, it all seems like a blur, becoming clearer as the words flow out 😉

Okay, not this words..but a threat is a good way to start 😉

Unlike last time, today was driven purely by the spirit of adventure. I was minding my own business (read surfing over 15 tabs at more or less the same time) when my friend Bill came to visit. All men know that after two males explore the topics of women, booze, sex (different from women, in a way) and money (genre includes cars and all that it can buy), what follows is the weird silence. Where ladies would normally fill it up with conversations of their boyfriends, hairdresser, or a good shoe she saw at Jade Collections, we men are not inclined to do the same. It is the spirit of the Bro Code 😉

So after roughly fifteen minutes of conversation, with all topics explored beyond all points of available research at the time, Bill and I decided to take a walk. It was meant to be random, no direction at all, and so it was.

We left, followed Thika Road for sometime, which I must say is turning up to be quite something (although I still think the foot bridges are overdue, I saw someone narrowly miss getting hit by a speeding car yesterday), and walked leisurely. First stop, a furniture store where I saw this nice sofa bed(huh?), nice ended when the lady outside told me it is worth 40K. You know that feeling you get when something turns up to be too expensive to be beautiful? Yup, that kind..

Where was I?

At the Kahawa Sukari (which always sounds like a different way of saying chips funga) turn, the idea to enter Cyber Inn (the CRAPIEST name ever given to a club) and find out how good their nyama choma is, but it remained just that, an idea. Then there is the place where Pause Club (which I always thought was ‘Paws’) used to be, that little deformed club that was actually just one triangle tent at the end of the petrol station?

Into Kahawa Sukari, and the journey began…

If you have ever been at the Kahawa Sukari shopping Centre, then you know that as a visitor, there is not much to see except a few shops, clubs and such shenanigans. For the keen eye though, the economy of that little shopping centre seems to be built on something else that is not visible, at first. That’s when you notice the posh cars following the road…and what used to be a big barrier for getting into the estate. Now, when you look at it from the road, it seems like a small estate, I have only been there once before, a few months before I joined campus, and I kind of got lost…but that’s an embarrassing story only my journal knows ;)..

Two packs of sugarcane worth 10 bob each and the journey began…we just walked in as if we know the place, followed the tarmac road. Proboxes and its cousins the Succeed and other ugly but still practical cars were in plenty, I think I almost got hit thrice because I thought they were leaner than they seemed, like we could both fit on the road.

Kahawa Sukari is a posh estate, posh in the sense that you can see the well-manicured lawns and the effort placed on making the outside of the houses fit in. There are small shopping centers, a lot of quiet and peace after you have left the business of the highway. Bill asked me a funny question, it was funny to me because I was thinking it too, ‘how comes I do not know a single person who lives here?’. It is not like I would have dropped in or anything, but none of us knows anyone, at all, or has ever known anyone, who lives in this Sukari place. It is an upper middle class, mildly rich place, the kind of place you move to after several promotions, with or without quotes. It gives you a sense of what the gated communities such as Tatu City will look like when and if the court battles and greed ever end.

We stalked a girl for a while, okay, I just said that to sound creepy, we did not stalk her, she just happened to be headed the same way, and she kept looking behind like we were rapists at 3 PM (very few freaks have those kind of balls missus). Anyway, it is a boring place, there is little to see except big houses built on one of the few tracts of land that the Kenyatta family has sold. There were huge gates, monstrous houses, too much effort on the outside appearance, except for one guy who had what seemed like the empty crates side of EABL and KWAL combined on his balcony…trophies?

So we kept walking…

An hour later, we came to what we had been looking for, the end of the tarmac road. For the seasoned adventurer, this is where the learning begins. But it had already begun a few meters before…At the end of the tarmac is an academy whose name escapes me. It looks posh-ish, not exaggerated, but you can tell that only a good payslip can afford it. Next to it, next like sharing an electric fence (‘sharing’ in that one side erected it and the other has to live with it) is a public primary school with dilapidated buildings, and children with torn uniform. My camera was working, but I could not bring myself to take a photo of the school sign erected a few meters in. There is no gate, no fence except the one that divides them from Kahawa Sukari. It is Irony at its crudest…

Anyway, where was I? The end of the tarmac…yes…

And the snaking earth road where we had to hop into the tall grass to escape the dust from passing trucks and Proboxes (this things are everywhere!). 200 meters and we found the stage where those tiny matatus (if you can call them that) behind Engen dock, were in Mwihoko.

Mwihoko means hope in Kikuyu, and its on the other side of the valley from Kahawa Sukari. Its situational irony, or the person who named it wanted to pass a message. There is little to see in this place, the dilapidated houses, the new apartments, the dust, the clay soil…When you look behind you, the beautiful houses from where we just were in this journey. This are the unofficial servant quarters of the Sukari side, I presume. This is where the gardeners, house helps, drivers, watchmen, out-of-town thugs, come from. It has little to show except for open fields, and in the horizon, the Eastern Bypass. I actually saw a plane take off from afar, then when I was going to show it to Bill, it was not there anymore. I am sure I saw one, at least I was at the time…

The weird thing is, there was no hotel where the sign was pointing, not even a kiosk..

Yes, Mwihoko was not the end, we just walked into the town, getting dusty in the process, with the early evening sun doing what it does best. The valley stretches for miles and miles, with little civilization in the dry river between the two humanities. It is a weird balance, yet it shows the perils of capitalism, the way some have and some do not, and in most cases, it is a fault of neither. So whom do you blame for such an imbalance?

We just followed the road, staring at the little children with running noses outside their houses as we passed. Mwihoko is not a slum, at least not in the context of dilapidated houses. Actually, after a few turns you can see nice houses, and fenced plots of land. There are no paper houses, at least in the parts I saw, and there is breathing space. Some houses are so good that they seem lost on this side of the valley, but somehow, they seem to fit in…

Houses, almost in the middle of nowhere...

SO we walked on…

Then we got to what looked like an open field, it was not a field, it’s a huge tract of undeveloped land which am suspecting belongs to that family from Gatundu. Its an expansive tract of land, I think it took us about half an hour to cross it, and on the way we saw a couple of teenagers making out, that, or they were miming at each other, cows in abundance, and a lot of excrement. I cannot say here whether it was all animal or not, but I bet there is something from intelligible life from other life forms there.

At some point I thought we would emerge somewhere in Mwiki, or the backside of Kasarani (which sounds so wrong), but when we got to the civilization we had been seeing all along, I knew where we were, Kimbo, where I was in my other random walk! Phew! For finding, we had not gone so far, and darn! For the dust attack we were just about to endure…and endure we did. We walked all the way back, sometimes walking for hundreds of meters without saying a word. There was little to see, at least for me, until the turn where we could escape the dusty road and head back to Wendani, but there were more than three weddings. I am not one to show concern for such ceremonies, but the dust…I guess someone will have to take a very long shower before those honeymoon perks can be viable.

Then there was a road (thats Bill on the left)

the Dust, and thats when there was only one vehicle on the road..

And there was litter of cute dogs, cute, until their mother growled from underneath them when I went too close. I guess today’s walk was somehere between 12-17 kilometers, which is not the longest I have done in the name of randomness, but it ranks as one of the most random. Bill said he got three coats of dust from the changes from tarmac, clay soil, weird looking dusty murram, and the dusty soil whose name I did not care to even guess. That, and that the Nakumatt attendant almost held her nose when I walked up to her.

...and then the evening sun...

 

So, where to next?

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2011 in Exercise, Random

 

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Kahawa Wendani and the Random Walk


Dusty. Tired, hungry and in the dark. That is Kahawa Wendani and I right now.

Since my bachelor pad is less than a minutes walk from Thika Road, I tend to exist without really exploring my neighborhood but today, the universe conspired against me. Bogged down with writing contracts, deadlines and no inspiration at all, I called one of the few people who know me well enough to know that a ‘writer’s block’ is a code red state for me. She offered several solutions, the most striking of which was something I used to do some years back, walking. I did not think it was a good idea at the time, but when KPLC decided that I have been paying the bill for too long and they want to help me save some money (scoundrels!) I decided to walk to Nakumatt Wendani and window shop (and maybe buy a pack of Tic Tacs). If you have ever been to Kahawa, then you know that the paved road ends just at the turn to get to Nakumatt. Beyond that is what looks like, and probably is, the dustiest road in Kenya (I thought that for a time, but I have had a change of mind). In a moment of randomness, I ventured towards that stretch of dust, walking with the pace my old man taught me-Which reminds me, it is his 65th Birthday today, and am sure he is doing what he does every evening, walking-the dust was unbearable at first, but a faint heart never found new shores.

The only aim of taking the walk today was to explore and get inspired, and that I did. I now know I live in a cocoon of apartments and well-developed residences. I found the real Kahawa Wendani as I ventured further and further inside. I also know why the boda boda guys at the stage are increasing by the day; there are people who live far from the road, dusty, dusty far. It reminded me of Kiambu, where I was born on bred, the serene atmosphere, the simplicity of the neighborhood, the bougainvillea fences and mabati gates, the incomplete houses and unfenced-interconnected homesteads. I knew it was only time before I found a river, and after following the road for sometime, I found the bridge, but that’s not exactly my idea of a river, it looks green and slimy. So one mark off for this place being all-natural….

When am walking with no direction except where the road leads, I adhere to a few rules. You could call it my guide to safe random walking, but it has worked for me so far. These are the five simple things to remember:

  1. Blend in! It does not matter whether you are walking in your estate or your shags; try to look like you belong.
  2. Dress simply-There are two reasons for this, one, unless you are walking in a posh estate, a simple jeans-t-shirt-jumper-rubbers will do. Two, refer to Rule 1 above.
  3. Walk confidently-Not necessarily fast, confidently. Thieves and con artists, and wayside Jehovah Witnesses, can tell a sucker from miles away. If you walk as if you are lost, you will be. Even if you are lost, try to walk like you know where you are going. Ask for directions from shopkeepers or guards in uniform, preferably those who are alone, and preferably women ( I know the last part is stereotypic and a shot in the dark because women are blessed with many things but direction-telling abilities, but it is less likely that a woman will screw you up)
  4. Follow the road: Keep to the center of the road if it is deserted, or to the walkways. A road will always lead somewhere, of that you can be sure. Where a road exists, people have made it going to a place of importance to them. If you follow the road, even when you are lost, you will find a feeder road, or something that will get you back on track.
  5. Be paranoid: You are walking randomly, note, not aimlessly, and the natives of the place can tell you are headed nowhere. If you think you are being followed, walk fast, and follow rule 4 above. If your instincts tell you to run, and you are fit enough to do so, then for Heaven’s sake SPRINT! You might look like a lunatic or a budding marathoner, but it is better to be safe.

but I digress….

Then I saw a guy in his shamba in gumboots, digging so hard you could tell he is being paid for it. Mind you, it was five in the evening, which tells you he might have been doing this all day, or it is his idea of a side gig. Then I passed the village goons, okay, I think I overrated them, they were teenage boys in Arsenal T-shirts trying to look tough. I walked past them, and found the residential ‘bridge’ between Wendani and Sukari (I wonder what pervert named this places). On one side are the posh houses, with well-maintained lush lawns and gleaming walls, telling stories or upper middle class people trying to outdo each other, and on the other, the simple houses of people who have been watching the world change around them, without them. I eavesdropped on two old women discussing ‘tights’, the new fashion in town, they were 70 years old at the least, and they were sited about ten meters from the road. One said something about ‘airitu’ and ‘thuruari’ ( Girls and pants) and I pieced the rest together because I doubt they were talking about boycuts.

As all good roads go, the one I had been on for about forty-five minutes turned out to be a feeder road for another one. This is where you learn to tell whether you are decisive or not, you get to a bigger road and you have to decide whether to go right or left, the former will lead somewhere to Githurai, and the latter will lead to Sukari. I chose the former, not because am mad or I wanted mbogas from Githurai 45 (forte fae) but because I have always wondered how far inside it stretches. Turning to Sukari would have led me to the boring posh estates, somehow a part of me wishes I had taken that option…

I passed a church, then a school, then another church, then a deserted homestead, or so it seemed until a girl emerged pushing a wheelbarrow with three mitungis of water. Right behind her was her younger brother, he could not have been anything older than 13, with three on his wheelbarrow too. Water is an issue in this sides, and by the look of things, so are clothes. This story sounds familiar, where life is so hard that when you get home from your primary school, you must do all your chores in your school uniform. It is no easy task, looking for water, and seeing that young boy so determined to outdo his younger his sister was quite something…anyway, I digress.

I got to Kimbo, which is basically the shags of Githurai 45. If you have seen those old matatus with number plates issued a decade ago, with broken windscreens replaced with clear-but-now-dusty-as-hell paper bags somewhere in Githurai 45, then they go past here, and its far. I have not encountered such a health hazard in the recent past, but any one raising their kids in this place is signing a waiver for their child’s health. The road is so dusty it is impossible to see five meters around you. Since it is busy enough, you can bet that a  car will pass every minute, and with it, raise even more and thicker clouds of dust. Then you see the four year olds minding their own business, playing and jumping onto the road before they disappear into their homes, and you know asthma and a million other respiratory diseases have a future. That, and the fact that for the entire stretch of the road until I emerged in Githurai 45, the drainage trench on my left was full of sewage, greed, weird-looking, smelly sewage. It looks like it has been building for quite some time, a year maybe, and yet a few kilometers away, we boast of a 30 billion shilling road.

I could have stopped one of those creaky matatus and saved myself from the dust outside for the dust inside, but that is not fair to the art of walking randomly. I chose to walk, but I got one disposable hanky from my pocket and held it to my nose for the entire four kilometers. I doubt any description of the amount of dust I encountered would do it justice but suffice to say that if I had not followed my Rule 1 on blending in when I started, then by the time I was halfway to wherever t was that I was headed, I was as dusty as the next guy, if not dustier, because the damned dust seemed to be picking on me.

Girls? I did see one, she was busty! I think I saw them first and then I saw her, but I could tell she was underage because she was looking at me ( And statutory rape is not really in my bucket list). So I ignored her, or rather I turned to steal a glance on whether in a few years, I should make the walk again. I should…

Pregnant women? One, and she looked moody as hell, or she is in a sneering competition…

I wish I had carried a camera since my phone was dead ( no thanks to KPLC again). I saw a sign saying VUNDI WA VIATU  and I cringed, like you just have…and then there was End Hours Revival Ministry, MABOYZ KEG, MABROSE ENTERPRISES….

Anyway, two hours after starting my journey, I emerged under the flyover on Thika Road. I was dusty as hell (I think hell is more of smoky, but it must be dusty too), tired, hungry and now extremely paranoid because it was 7 in the evening and I was in what is perhaps the most insecure place in this lairs. I found nothing that qualified to find its way back as a trophy, but the blue jeans I am going to scrub in a few hours will probably tell the dusty tale for years to come.

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2011 in Exercise, Random

 

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