Monday, July 22, 2013

The Flat Iron or Ironing Box?

I do listen to radio but it’s not my hobby as Contestant claimed at the recently concluded Miss Uganda finals. I do listen to Fat Boy’s rants on Sanyu FM and to Val on his Capital FM late show. Transgressing slightly, is Val not a girl’s name? Hmm! Getting back, the other day I while listening to Capital FM, Presenter kept on urging us to get ourselves down to a huge supermarket where we could win prizes if we bought a certain brand of washing powder.


No problem with that except when he mentioned the prizes on offer, he kept on referring to the iron which was one prizes to be won as, a flat iron. That got me thinking. I had always thought an iron was flat but clearly and going by Presenter’s word, there are irons that are not flat. Maybe they have grooves, lines or humps in them? I did take myself down to the said supermarket and all the irons on display were flat. Not one of them had a groove, lines or humps in them. So why was Presenter insistent on referring to the iron as a flat iron?

The story does not end there. Seemingly tired of referring to the iron as a flat iron, after a couple of commercial breaks he then started calling it an iron box. This really irked me, for it necessitated me having to turn the ride around, then look for a parking spot and then having to deal with shoppers who really didn’t know what to buy and were needlessly clogging up the aisles.

In the iron section I looked for the iron box but couldn’t find it. Exasperated I took myself down to the information desk, asked Young Lady where I could find a flat iron or better still an iron box. She took me down to the iron aisle and showed me a selection or rather a brand of irons. The conversation went along these lines:

TB: “Madame, I want the flat iron or the iron box that Presenter was talking about on radio.”

Young Lady: “All the irons we have are flat.”

TB: “Do you have any which are not flat?”

Young Lady: “This is what we have” and promptly walked off.

In a nutshell, an iron is called an iron. It is not a flat iron seeing that all irons are flat and neither is it called an iron box.

Moving on, there is a strange disease that affects waitresses. In Luganda they call it okwe mola mola and the best translation I can give it in English is: “Being there there”. As the ride was being washed, I called her over and she dillydallied herself from the bar to me. And then she did a thing that irked me. She leant on the back of my chair. Of course I gave her a roasting (not the kind of roasting that is done by English Premiership players) but she was unperturbed. She merely smirked and walked off. Then she brought the beer, then had to go back for the glass then had to go back again for the opener. And all this she did as she kew molad her way to and from the bar. For good measure, she gave me an aloof smile each time she came to the table.

But I was being daft for I eventually figured out it was far easier and less taxing if I got my rear off the seat and took myself to the bar to make my order.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

It's All In The Name

I do stand to be corrected on this topic, but in one of small islands near Australia – New Zealand that is, and whose only contribution to civilization has been rearing large tracks of lamb farms and being extremely good at rugby and cricket.

“So what I” said to myself once I had completed the intro this Sunday tale

Well in New Zealand, there is a government department known as the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages and you really don’t have to be a pit latrine digger to figure out the nature of the work they do.

But the people who work in the births department are not an easy bunch of women and men for in New Zealand, the given name to a baby must first be approved by them. It is the law!

Since 2001, the name King has been attempted 32 times, Lucifer 6 times and Duke 10 times.

Since 1995, legislation has provided a set of rules for acceptable names for New Zealanders where "a name, or combination of names, should not cause offence, be unreasonably long or resemble an official title or rank," a spokesperson for New Zealand's department of internal affairs tells me.

In 2008, a 9-year-old girl named “Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii” was put under New Zealand family court’s guardianship to change her name since it “makes a fool of the child,” the Guardian reports.

But not all outrageous names have been given the boot. Midnight Chardonnay, Number 16 Bus Shelter and Violence have all been approved.

Here’s the list of New Zeeland’s banned names since 2001.

Justice, King, Princess, Prince, Rol, Duke, Major, Bishop, Majesty, J, Lucifer, using brackets around middle names, Knight, Lady, using back slash between names, Judge, Royale, Messiah, T, I, Queen, II, Sir, III, Jr, E, V,

There is more. Justus, Master, Constable, Queen Victoria, Regal, Emperor, Christ, Juztice, 3rd, C J, G, Roman numerals III, plus General, Saint, Lord. (full stop),89, Eminence, M, VI, Mafia No Fear, 2nd, Majesti, Rogue, 4real:, (star symbol)

There is also 5th, S P, C, Sargent, Honour, D, Minister, MJ, Chief, Mr, V8, President, MC:1 Anal, A.J, ,Baron, L B, H-Q, and finally Queen V,

My daughters don’t have conventional names like Nancy, Susan or Bridget for example. They have exotic - Gaana and Natal. Jean Bagaire too, has a daughter called Mali. The football pundit Aldrine Nsubuga who scribbles on about sports in the sports section of this paper, I think has a son named Anfield after the Liverpool football club stadium.

But better still in my circles we have a friend call Anus Mzee – and this is no word of a lie and seeing that Anal is on the list of the New Zealand banned names, there is a good chance that he changed his names from Anal to Anus so he could fit in.

There is a good chance that Mali, Gaana and Natal plus Anfield would have gotten away with those names had they been born in New Zealand, but spare a thought for that young Buganda royal. Her name is Sangalyamgobo. No offence meant to her, but when I asked a couple of New Zealand friends what they thought of the name, they didn’t think it would pass the New Zealand laws while other thought it was some kind of canned dog’s food!

And what about the man they call Ssebabi who was once voted Uganda ugliest man. Did his parents give that name because of his looks? I recall seeing him at Nakivubo Stadium and my response to his looks? I puked. But all is well for him, He has a vivacious wife and good looking kids .

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Rant

Andy Murray is a tennis player who can’t rant. The man is tedious, a bore, who makes it look like it’s a burden to talk. Watching the post match press conferences from The All England Tennis Championships in Wimbledon, the people from Sky Sports, hardly give him space because he is tedious and he can’t rant.


But I know of people who could like, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Fidel Castro, Nikita Khrushchev and Muhammer Gadaffi. They were exceptional. They could rant for hours on end and the more they ranted, the more their rants did not make sense.

I am a ranter. I enjoy a good rant. When it comes to ranting, there are certain rules to be observed and when I rant, it is usually against traffic policeman, security guards, waiters and waitresses.

I let them decide the rules of the rant – are we going to rant like boxers do at a pre-match press conference? Are we going to be civil and try to keep our voices down? Or is it going to degenerate into finger pointing and rounded off with a melee? I let them decide for I am only too happy to play to any of the rules that they suggest.

The last rant I had was with Kisseka Market Mechanic. I knew I was going to rant because in my books, going to Kisseka Market = A rant. And I should have a beer beforehand but I didn’t.

No sooner had I parked, than Kisseka Market Mechanic was all over the ride diagnosing problems that the ride didn’t have. And I had only been there for less than thirty seconds and unleashed four tumbavu’s. Kisseka Market Mechanic was an irritant. He got under my skin, and the more he did, the more I saw the makings of a good rant taking place.

I ranted. I also kicked a stack of tyres that toppled over which aggravated the situation because they did not belong to him but somebody else. At that point there was no stopping me. I was on the verge of winning the ranting gold medal and just when I thought it was in my grasp, a police patrol pick-up laden with cops in full riot fatigues showed up and just like that, the rant war was over.

But I had made a point for as I drove off I heard one of the mechanics tell his friend that: “That man has a foul mouth!” And it made me feel good.

But the feel good factor didn’t last that long for as I checked my mail later during the day, there was a rant from Ernest Bazanye, the chap I usually share this double spread page with.

He was ranting because I copied his writing style. Pause there a minute for I hadn’t realized you can rant via e-mail. When EB rants, he rants and it was necessary to remove some of the stronger words he used. This is what he said:

“But you other columnists and your swagger jacking. Bad Idea was made with subheadings to differentiate it from other columns. Yours is personality-based musings about the characters writing.

Bad Idea was designed with the red subheads to show that it was not about the writer per se, it was just a different format. When the subs remove the subheads I even throw dung around like a furious monkey...”

Am sorry EB, I am really sorry I plagiarized your writing style. Please forgive me and I promise it won’t happen again. You were right to rant at me but can we still be friends?

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