I genuinely thought until recently that being overtaken is a sign of weakness. I love competition and I do anything and everything that gives me an edge in any competitive activity that tickles my passion. This of course means that winning is embedded in my primal instincts, it is not just an indulgence- it is a necessity. I cannot explain how many times I have raced a car on the highways after being overtaken in what I would regard a lesser car. It is serious and life threatening but it floats my boat and the car is always borrowed or hired. Just last week, I had a stomach upset that ran on for days after losing a Fifa tournament to my millennial cousin that ended with my team harnessing a miserly two points by the end of the league.
Back in high school, there were a myriad of opportunities for competition. Being an all-boys school, there was a little game that was played every Monday evening after supper. We were fed a dinner of chapattis and green-grams or ‘Ndengu’ as they are popularly known in Kenya. It was simply one of the most coveted meals of the week because it not only served as a meal but also as a trade commodity.
Anyway, I have no idea why the meal gave just about everybody a bloated stomach, and I mean everybody even the teaching staff although I have no way of verifying this. Mondays nights were characterized with methane strung classrooms that were potential fire hazards. During the Monday night prep as everybody was busy fighting their study demons, an individual would let out a fart if the deemed it fit.
Nobody would pay any mind to the inaudible ones or the shrill ones that sounded like a chocked cat. The loudest and most boisterous sounding however, got a round of applause lasting about five seconds before everybody continued with their studies. It was a mundane game but it still brings tears to my eyes in laughter because most of these characters I mention are now fathers, lawyers and other persons of repute in society. Yet, I still remember the guy who used to fart loudest. He was the Michael Schumacher of farting and in a that regard we held him in high esteem as far as farting was concerned. The only reason I remember this is because it would have mattered to me if I was the one that held that title.
This is my bone of contention; the other day as I watched re-runs of the show Top Gear from ten years ago, I watched Jeremy Clarkson tactfully weave an interview of Usain Bolt. I realized that competition mattered to him too, maybe as much as it does to me. He was among the top half of stars in a reasonably priced car and only failed because he is a big chap who weighs a lot and cars do not like that. Which drove me to thinking that Usain Bolt recently, at the IAAf championships in London 2017, let Justin Gatlin an American win. It is a despicable thing to do from my stand point despite the fact that it was very kind gesture to a lesser sportsman. Mr Bolt is indeed the bigger man, his size notwithstanding.
Margaret Atwood once said that she believed that everybody her age was an adult whereas she was merely in disguise. I share in those very woes. I am surrounded by adults who care about things, like whether the colours of their belts match with that of their shoes. Adults care about what their favourite political icon said or what he had for dinner. In my world these are trivialities, painful bores that drove me to questioning, when does one really grow up?
Every time I find myself in an ATM cubicle, I engage in what would best be described as momentary lunacy. One of either two things happen; I either make a crazy dance while facing the camera which is mostly mounted to the back of the ATM user or I repeatedly make obscene gestures at the same camera usually a middle finger. The dance is saved for the times when my account balance is good and the latter is used when I am displeased with my balance. It is never a something I consciously plan on doing but I cannot help myself; I do it even when I have left a line of people waiting to use the facility. Over the years I have told myself that I would quit the habit, I even included it in my new year’s resolutions in the year 2015. However nothing seems to work, I have little in the way of explanation but I do this as impulsively as African political leaders ask for votes every voting season.
I love dancing in empty elevators for no apparent reason and in the event I find myself in the same elevator as my woman, I quickly degenerate to a horny teenager. I unsuccessfully try to instigate a make out session much to her dismay and embarrassment. I remember this one time she used to work at some office that had those elevators that have mirrors all around. I would bear with the silly security checks at the ground floor just to dance my way to the seventeenth floor. One day on our journey down I tried to instigate a make out session but this time my woman was not in the mood to stomach my juvenile habit. I was ousted from the elevator and to cut the long story short I walked the stairs from the fifteenth floor. This did not hinder my habit either.
In truth, most of us are children deep under the layers of titles, weaves, professions and college degrees. Some people have perfected the art of allowing this child within them to only come out and play during certain times of day and only with the right company. However, for some of us the child is who we are, it is embedded into our very being and we can hardly downplay this. That is why we still compete with our ten year old cousins on fruit ninja and street fighter and relish beating them at their own games- literally. We row our boats down the stream of life, never gently but merrily as only a child knows how to make merry!
I honestly believe that the most comparable thing to an opinion is an asshole. Everybody has one and they are all the same in that they serve the same purpose, they show us or at least give an insight as to what goes on inside us. In the case of opinions it gives an insight into our souls while the latter gives an insight into our bowel habits. That being said, I find it a tad bit primitive and utterly distasteful to flaunt your opinion because you believe in its superiority. It’s a lot like walking around bending over backwards (Naked) claiming the flawlessness of your asshole. Thus we can successfully draw the inference that opinions are like assholes, everybody has got one but none could possibly be better than the other.
It is a political year in Kenya, and opinions are a dime a dozen depending on which political preference you are skewed towards. The nullification of the presidential election did not do much in the way of easing the tension that plagued the country like a dark wind. I am politically apathetic and I rarely engage in political banter, I’d much rather have my nipples pierced as than talk politics. Unfortunately this is just but a front; I care deeply about the future of this country. I care so much that each time I switch on the TV and watch inflammatory speeches it eats me away. Each time I refrain from political discussions I secretly realize that it is the only thing I care to do even in my head. Yet I constantly lie to myself that I don’t just so I can get through the day.
It is a trying time this, because I know of relationships that have been strained and ties that have been severed courtesy of the political stand-off in the country. Kenyans living abroad have all these idealistic opinions about how the country should be governed and they too care enough to share. Those within the country are divided into the candidates with whom their allegiance is tied.
I completely understand those Kenyans fasting and praying for a peaceful election because I feel the same way too. I feel that we as a people are losing interest in what is really important. We do not care how each other’s day was or which group of people we are waging meaningless 140-character warfare on Twitter. People are not showing much interest in conversations other than politics. People are slowly backing out of living and it breaks my heart because there is nothing you can do but keep smiling politely and pretending you do not notice.
The most critical thing to appreciate is even if we cannot agree politically; we are inevitably part of each other’s lives. Remember that your opinion is the asshole of your mind, please refrain from thinking that it is superior to any other that is divergent from your own! Be smart. Be Kenyan.
I am typing this from an old Nokia that I purchased in the January of the year 2012. It is literally falling apart; the keypad is worn out from the countless words I have typed from it. It fits the Nokia memes that mock the infallibility of the brand; it has swum with the fishes, danced with the stars and slammed the floor more than John Cena’s head has in his entire wrestling career.
My siblings hate my phone, so much so that my brother has offered to buy me any phone under KES 20,000 which is a lot given that I am piss poor. I have driven my woman to despair and even phone snatchers in the slum I live in pay me no mind. In my defense, I am a pack rat and I rarely throw anything away to begin with. Secondly, I was still nursing heartache from the death of the Nokia brand until it re-emerged late last year. Besides, the Kenyan market only had on offer Chinese brands like Techno and Infix both of which leave a bad taste in my mouth despite how clever the devices come.
I love this phone, I can draft entire blog posts from it, it fits into my palm and most importantly it has buttons. The love affair I have with my phone is somewhat like falling in love with that girl from your village with plain looks but is gifted in the sack. People may ridicule your relationship but the toe curling orgasms you experience invalidate their opinions a million times over. That notwithstanding, it is common knowledge that everyone promises forever until they find something better…
My mother once told me that I will only meet two types of women in this world. The first kind will give you the love that you deserve and the second will accord me the status that you desire. She went ahead to say that it would behoove me to choose love every time. Thankfully, this applies in the exact opposite when it comes to phones. A female friend whose identity I choose to keep anonymous recently acquired an iPhone 7. It has completely changed her life; she is vibrant and full of life. She has lost weight in all the right places and is finally dating a man she adores. Her photos on social media have funny and witty captions while attracting four digit likes and hearts. In all fairness she looks like she bathes in caramel and uses white chocolate for face mask. She embodies the spirit of those models on Pwani Oil advertisements who look like they whisper in their panties instead of farting.
It even seems like, and I’m trying to be very serious here; she has found true happiness. I am not one given to envy but the straw that broke the camel’s back was when she told me she was up for consideration in a very exclusive list of guests that would be attending the president’s inaugural party. I have resolved to own an iPhone 7 in this lifetime and the next. The iPhone 7 is a happiness magnet, if I buy one, good things and boosts up the social ladder will be drawn to you…
It so happens that any unconventional truth becomes fact when it remains unchanged for a certain length of time. That being said, and speaking from experience, I believe that a real man’s heart, with copious amounts of testosterone in his veins, cannot be broken by a woman. Not really anyway, the worst that can happen is the woman in question managing to chip it in a new place. In any man’s life, (even the gay ones unfortunately) there is only room for three women; let me rephrase that. There is only room for three great loves. Be that as it may, these great loves only come once in a lifetime and in no particular order. The tragedy is that one man may have met the entire trio of belles by the time he breaks his voice and the other may meet third on his death bed as she administers hand jobs to his unresponsive middle-aged member see? Fortunately for most men age is never a factor, in any case these situations almost always have a happy ending (read: Anna Nicole Smith/ Celine Dion).
The Starter Love
This is genesis, where it all started. The starter love gets the full brunt of an inexperienced man. She gets to date a man in his most raw form when he can barely successfully meet any of her three cardinal needs which are food, Range Rover and WiFi. The starter love is a diamond in the rough herself because she is usually only too glad to be dating to care about the flaws of the idiot she’s dating. This serves as the binding agent for this relationship; her need for security and his need for sex. Unfortunately for the starter love, her bliss is never permanent. She may be a good cook, great in bed and even approved by his then clique of friends but her fate remains the same. She unwittingly engineers her own downfall because the man she dates irrevocably changes when his self-esteem grows too big for her to accommodate. He is constantly bugged by the possibilities that he could do better than her and in that light the starter love exits stage. She either continues living in her naivety or becomes the proverbial ‘good girl gone bad’ but that is the story for another day. The best starter girl does for the man is build him up to the asshole that he eventually will be.
The Halle Berry
The adage goes that you do good until you know better, and once you know better; you do better. This is the upgrade woman that replaces the starter love. She embodies the fantasy that the man had been conjuring in his head during lunch dates with starter girl. She wears darkness and strength equally well; the girl is half goddess and part hell. She is the epitome of femininity hence the name Halle Berry. She is the kind that men feel privileged to be sharing room temperature with let alone have Sunday morning brunch naked in bed while binge watching wedding shows. This woman definitely has her shit together or at least she seems to be. She does not cook and clean because she is too posh for that. She has all the red flags but every man is so grateful to have someone so exotic that they’d overlook anything including her brother being a cannibalistic mass murderer. The Halle Berry in every man’s life torments him in such ways he never thought imaginable; she wants to be texted 14 times an hour to be reminded how beautiful she is. She wants to have sex in a rental car with the windows down in the traffic jam, while upside down updating her Instagram Bio, and takes offence when you call her ridiculous. The Halle Berry’s role is to drain the said man of his strength and whim, convert him to a humourless drone that tends to her excessive needs. Halle Berry serves as karma’s tool to kick the wind right of the sails of his high-flying pimp ship. In most cases Halle Berry destroys the man in the most beautiful way possible by the time she leaves he understands why storms are named after women!
The Florence Nightingale
The density of a man’s skull reduces in direct proportion to how bad Halle Berry bruised his ego. The man usually craves Florence so bad that he literally aches (But it really only is Blue Balls). Florence may not stop traffic or make love all night; she may not prepare gourmet meals but she laughs at the man’s jokes. Florence reminds him how much she loves him every day nursing his insecurities so that he never has to second guess her love for him. Florence does not always get it right but she is worth it because she is so full of love that she soothes the souls of all the people around her. The man shapes up gradually because even Rome was not built in a day. Yet its very foundation was built on ruins. Florence ends up getting the proposal because she is not a demon but she is no angel either; she is an imperfect angel. That makes her the best candidate to ride with into the sunset…
Ever man, in his heart of hearts where reality surely dwells, knows whether or not he has already met these women. He knows whether he is still in the search for any one of them and what he has to do to better his chances. These are the chaps with a glitter in their eye whenever they spot an eligible female. Then there is the lot who know that they have squandered their chances. These men make you appreciate why people them smoke their lungs black and drink away their livers into the wee hours of the night.
There are only two ways to find unconditional love in this world. The first is to charm the masses in an intimate way. To command emotion from the human beings at a primal level, like Fidel Castro or Nelson Mandela. This would call for tons of character and charisma that boarder that of the Biblical Moses. In any case, this calls for a lot of personal input in the way of time and/or personal sacrifice. If you happen to be a regular slob like me and like things easy and quick please pay me undue attention for the next 300 words for I shall be handing you pearls here.
Get a Dog.
Have you seen that movie ‘Marley’ starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson? No? Well, that movie is the inspiration behind Bobby. I named him Bobby after Bob Marley the Reggae icon; it was a no-brainer because I couldn’t call him Marley as that would have been too cliché. Bob was purchased from my friend John of Shujaa Dog Breeders and Trainers for KES 19,000 which is roughly the equivalent of USD190. I felt it was a steep price for a five month old puppy whose only promise for a bright future was the fact that he was the healthiest at birth relative to his four siblings.
I took him home to my parents who live in Murang’a which is in Central Kenya. My parents are middle-aged folks with a nurturing spirit that is only rivalled by that of Florence Nightingale. I knew Bobby would be in the right hands. The only problem with my parents is that they have a way to spoil anything they nurture with too much love. Yes, there is such a thing as too much love. For instance, Bobby was raised on Dog food for most of his puppy years, thereafter; he was introduced to beef which is only served boiled and cold. Occasionally when the beef is not present he is served with Ugali made from maize flour that is fortified with blended fish. That may not mean much in first world countries but it is definitely champagne life for a dog in Kenya where a dog’s main diet is left-overs from the master’s table. Thus Bobby is spoilt in that way.
In many ways Bobby is similar to Marley from the movie. He occasionally chews on shoes and he has destroyed at least one pair of my favourite moccasins. There was a phase where he would pull on all the clothes from the clothes line and my parents had to re-do their laundry. Then came the dip-in-the-mud phase where he would find the nearest puddle and douse himself in some red mud all over his fur. However, do not mistake Bobby for the cuddly canine I describe him as. He may be clumsy and may sometimes venture outside the line but on the right command he can easily maul your heart out.
We live in a beautiful time of jealousy envy and greed. My parents live in the snobbiest part of the town where almost all households own a car and nobody uses the pavement. Seeing as how I have no car, it is in that light that I keep a regular schedule walking Bobby whenever I am at home. Nothing says I am better than you to a fellow social climber than a healthy looking, well-groomed canine pulling on a leash. I am addicted to the marvel of security guards and the motorists who lower the tinted windows on their Camrys and Lexus RX300s at the speed bumps to have a glimpse of my canine companion. The ogles drive me crazy and I feel like Franklin from Grand Theft Auto V complete with the cargo pants and wife-beater to match. I couldn’t think of a cheaper way to harness the rock star experience…
I don’t date fat women. As crass as that may sound, it is the truth. I can be friends with them though because unlike skinny women, they are very warm individuals in most cases. I also do not care much for short women because most of them are short tempered and ruthless in their dealings. Indeed short and fat are relative terms, so to put that into perspective; in my world any woman less than 5’ 7” is short and those weighing a gram more than 65 kilograms are fat. Citing my dating history, my sample size may not be large enough to satisfy a panel of snobbish college professors, but my personal prejudices are dearer to me than my own genitals. Thus I shall stand by those controversial sentiments.
That notwithstanding, I had a girlfriend in my starter years that I could not go beyond second base with. As usual as it is with these things, I could not tell why despite the fact that her frustration was mounting exponentially. Many a time I found myself mulling over the issue wondering whatever it is was the matter. I even questioned my own sexual orientation and began toying with the thought that I could have been gay. I imagined how disappointed my father would be, and the way it would worry my mother (her husband’s depression that is, not my men love). I combed the internet ceaselessly for answers, Reddit, yahoo and some creepy Google groups that I am ashamed to mention. Than romance fizzled out primarily due to the fact it was not consummated. The mounting frustration was slowly growing into resentment and thus I kicked in and severed that union. I was a gentleman about it and never quite disclosed what really the matter was. I did manage though to do what a typical teenager would do; I projected my inadequacies into my relationship and made her feel like it was all her fault.
In truth, most the women I had seen naked in my teens were centerfolds on playboy magazine and pop stars like Beyoncé. I was conditioned to expecting that the female human body was for the most part hairless. I also thought pot bellies were a reserve for new mothers. They say that hindsight is 20/20 and that could not be more true than in this case. When I come to power in the year 2030, I shall make pornography legal to match with the moral decay of the time. However, not all types of porn will be allowed. The only type that shall be in circulation will be the unedited versions of homemade couples with pot bellies and hairy pits and pubes. The same standard will be mandatory operational policy across the board for the advertisement industry. The crew for National carriers both rail and air will be under strict instructions to show preference for qualified women with acne and other physical blemishes that are otherwise frowned upon by the plastic society of present day. Last and most important, body shaming will be an offense punishable by death and/or life imprisonment. I am the future embodied; Vote Masharia Kanyari for president 2030!