Sunday, March 2, 2014

If You Crash, Have Some Style


On the calendar this year, the biggest social event has been the Meera Ruparelia wedding in Speke Resort, Munyonyo a few weeks back. The grand finale to the week-long celebrations had a guest list of close to 2,000 people.

It was deemed to be the hottest invite in town and for those who were not invited they had two choices to contend with. The first was to read about it in the papers the following day and the second, to simply crash the party.

The hard core’s crashed because it’s a thing Ugandan’s do when they have not been invited.

I had to turn my phones off for the duration of the wedding week because the calls I was getting went along these lines.

Caller: “Yo TB, what’s up?”

TB: “Bleak.”

Caller: “So what’s the way forward?”

TB: “The way forward for what?”

Caller: “Meera’s wedding, how do I get in?”

TB: “At the entrance, just show your card.”

Caller: “But TB, you know these things. The mullah does not know me. Can’t you get me in?”

And this call is from somebody who only calls me when he wants an invite to party, a boat cruise or the goat races.

Since I started out in the media, I have met my fair share of gate crashers. But there are two who stand out. They both work in the Prime Minister’s Office. When I first got to know them, I thought they were important because every party I went to cover, they were there.

However, as the parties wore on, I realised that something was amiss because they always hung around the bar. If not, near the entrance to the kitchen – because as soon as the platter of fish fingers, meatballs and chicken wings came out, they would be the first to attack Waitresses.

At the Garba Dance, the second of the wedding functions that Meera held, they turned up. As they sat, ate and drank their fill, Security Guard was not having any of it. He deftly approached them, asked for their invites to which he was told Sudhir had invited them.

“That’s no problem” Security Guard retorted, “simply come with me and we ask him.” The game was up and they were ejected.

At the grand wedding, Gate Crashers dressed up. It was difficult to spot them at the entrance but all one had to do was to sit back and wait till Waiter served them drinks or it was time to eat.

Gate Crasher on the table next to me had crashed with his girlfriend and was trying to impress upon her. Oh yes he did by drinking champagne out of a beer glass and using a dessert fork and spoon for his main course. And when he tried to nail the roast potato with his spoon, it jumped off his plate and slithered across the table. In Luganda, he said something along the lines of: “The potato has jumped off my plate. Hmm, it has survived."

And when he came back with dessert, he had heaped it with everything that was on the dessert stand but only managed to eat half an apple before pushing the plate away.

I couldn’t resist. I walked over to him and asked him: “Are you sure you are at the right wedding? I think the one you are supposed to be attending is at Ggaba landing site where they remove the fish entrails?”

Obviously he did click where I was coming from. The last I saw of him, he was blazed with his head on the table, his mouth gaped open and spewing out more than just driblets of excessive champagne and Johnnie Walker.         

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