Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Here I Come March

A man has never been happier to see a month end. Since that time when I woke up hungry one morning only to find that the rat had chewed on my bread; the car wouldn’t start as I hastened to be at work in time for a crucial assignment; and the wailing baby in the next seat pissed onto my shirt on its debut when i opted to take the famed K'la taxis, I haven’t had it as rough as this February.


To kick off the bad month, I borrow a friend’s car to go see friends for a get together on the other side of town. Driving in K'la the 'Pot Hole Capital of the World', the oil tank is damaged when I hit a pothole. Before I know it, all the oil has spilled out, the science of friction has done its job, and I have an engine knock on my hands. The bill amounts to $50, not to mention the night I spend at the police reception when the traffic warden literally accuses me of navigating the pot holes poorly. I miss the ‘thing’ with the boys and my cheap phone (kabiriti) I had grown fond of is arrested by the cops as an ‘accomplice’ never to be seen again.


A few days later, I switch on my computer and nothing happens. Upon investigation, I discover that the hard disk has thrown in the towel for no apparent reason. Which would be fine – I guess even a machine has the right to retire – except that all my data of three years is locked up on the machine. Don’t tell me about backups. Everyone knows that they should back up their data, but no body really does. I take the computer to a technician who tells me that for $20, he can ‘try’ to recover the data. I figure that my data is worth much more than that, so I pay the money. He gets the hard disk working again alright, but then, he loses all the data in the process! He then adds insult to injury by saying there is no refund for the shoddy work he has done. I’m seething with anger now and just make an exit to avoid creating a scene; after all I’m not as endowed in the muscular stakes as he is. Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, I get home one evening to find that burglars have invaded my room, wrecked every thing and burst a water pipe leaving the floor flooded. Every thing on the floor, which is pretty much everything if you know how much I like throwing things on the floor, is damaged. The cost? We can’t even talk about that one. And no, I didn’t have any insurance for anything. I am a true African who tends to leave things in God’s hands (I’m not very proud of that anyway).

And just when I'm thinking I've seen enough misfortunes for the month, the beloved Owino market burns to ashes so i have to wait for probably another month or so to revamp my already ageing wardrobe. A day later I'm faced with my biggest work load in the history of my rather young life in work. I'm too busy i don't eat a thing till it is 3:45 pm when even my very demanding ulcers are tired of tying to grab my attention. Right after my meal I ran into Bobi Wine and his 16 man crew of unkempt, filthy and high on a substance i can only speculate about in the hallway; i almost surrender my food to them but just get myself together. I settle at my desk, nauseating and i think I'm going to fall sick! His entourage, a pack of equally filthy riders on their scooters stay camped outside the office premises making a lot of noise and chanting slogans of the ghetto where they claim they are proud to hail from! I can't concetrate now and there is pure pandemonium as every one wants to get a glimpse of the show that has unravelled. I'm totally bored stiff. So I am grumpy and depressed about the February misfortunes? Hell no. Only last weekend, I was out partying the whole night. I mean, it is not like I have lost a leg or something.


Still I will be glad to see Feb go. The only good thing that happened to me in the entire month is some girl who decided that I wasn’t ‘lucky’ enough for her liking and took a walk just before the 14th, promising to see how next month would pan out, then take a step further after that.

Now that is something to smile about

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Dining Solo

Every so often I have to eat out. These occasions are rare and far between for no other reason than that I don't enjoy them.

You walk into a restaurant and look around for for a table set for one. In your dreams! So you settle for a table set for two, hopefully in a corner. Of course everyone is watching and wondering....then the waiter comes up to you and asks if you want to order the immediately or wait for....You pretend you didn't hear the last part and ask for the menu. Since you have no one to talk to, unless there is a television screen, you idly watch the other diners who are trying hard not to stare your way as you wait for the food. Starring back doesn't help-I tried.

Now I carry a book and bury my nose in it till the food arrives and through the meal. Alternatively, I take some work with me and you would be amazed how much concentration I can put into it. Also, it offers a plausible reason for the solo dinner-work pressures.
I ask for and pay the bill when I am half way through, so I can flee once I am done eating.

Bottom line: Eating alone in a restaurant is depressing.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Coming Unstuck Part 2

A sequel to the most comprehensive guide to getting out of sticky situations.

You're stuck with the bill
OK you've chosen to storm the Emin Pasha with this girl who could easily pass for your sister (you look disturbingly alike), of course with the insane hope of scoring later on. The tasty food you've consumed has connived with the bill to deny you the little credibility you might have achieved through the date. Avoid the drama that may ensue. You can avoid this altogether by uttering a single sentence the second the bill touches the table: 'do you want to split this evenly?' Tried it in fifth grade and it didn't work but since every body's in a recession, the brains may be AWOL making it worth the try!

A porn flick is stuck in your video player
One silly man i know once wrecked a $699 VCR so he wouldn't have to pay a $4 late fine on The Godfather. You can do the maths. A wiser or more patient man might have fixed the problem in 20 seconds. Just sitch the beast off and give it time to re-initialise or just visit fixer.com and get graphic detail on how to open it up. Or rather wreck the TV set, it gives you an extra day not to get caught!

Your zip is stuck
Yell out 'ouch' if it has anything to do with southerly skin. The rest is for you to figure out since they say experience teaches best! My painful remedy is to drop some hot wax on the zip to lubricate it.

You are stuck in the middle of a fight
Why would you be there anyway? But now that you are dont grab one bloke saying 'dont swing'. it is the worst thing you can do in a fight, because you're giving a clear shot to the other person, which your most likely to do anyway. Well just run for your life, update your insurance policy then call the medics to retrieve what may be left of the fighters'.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Come Unstuck Part 1.

When you were a kid you were always getting stuck- between railings,up trees, halfway through your maths homework. But you could always rely on an adult to come to your rescue or tell you what a hypotenuse was. now that you're a grown up, tearfully running to your dad when things go wrong is, sadly, no longer an option. That's why you need my comprehensive guide to getting out of any awkward situation. From freeing a stuck trouser zip to removing a rude film that's jammed in your video machine. Of course, i'm not suggesting that the two events are, in any way, connected....

You're stuck with a Q but no U in Scrabble
Don't quit in a fit of pique: you can conquer this quandary. Quite a few U-less Q-words exist. 'Qat' is the best known - it is a variation of 'kat', an African shrub with leaves that are chewed as a stimulant. Or 'Qi', pronounced chi, a Chinese life-force. Actually, some Scrabble experts don't always know the definitions of the words they use, but I've included them so you can show off:
qadi: a muslim ruler
qanat: a sewer system in Israel
qintar: a unit of Albanian currency
qoph: a letter in the Hebrew alphabet
Words with both Q's and U's - but not where you'd expect them:
buqsha: a Yemeni monetary unit
qivuit: the wool of a musk ox
If you're stuck with too many vowels, Payo suggests that you rid of them via fake-looking but genuine words such as: aa, aia, oe, cooee, euouae, moue, or jiao. If you're stuck with all consonants, try 'crwth', or the ever-popular 'cwm'. Good luck.

You're stuck without a partner on Saturday night
We know how this goes. Your first instinct is to stay home and watch Big Break. But then you start thinking about how you're never going to meet anyone if you don't go out , so you phone some idiot and go to a bookshop cafe by yourself. Select some reading material, preferably a magazine such as Vibe. Buy a coffee. Scan the room until you find a woman sitting alone at a table, and ask if she minds if you sit with her. Now you can flash her a few shy smiles and start a conversation by showing her something brilliantly funny or insightful you've just read. After all, she's probably there for the same reason you are.

You're crazy about someone who is off-limits to you
This may sound hard, but forget about her: you can find another woman you love just as much, without the strings attached. You have to ask yourself why you persist with one person. It could be that you're too scared of the pain of the pain of giving up fixation . The fact is that there are probably thousands of suitable partners out there - if you're brave enough to give up this fictional relationship with a person who's unavailable. Pull yourself together man!