Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Do Animals Really Have Rights?

A few weeks ago, I chanced on a disturbing website – is not for the faint hearted for it features such things as beheadings, firing squads and thieves being burnt alive.

But I persisted and watched a ten minute clip of beheadings in northern Nigeria. Well it wasn’t a beheading, but more like slicing off the head at the neck with a knife. One-by-one men were taken to the edge of a mass grave where they laid down and with Executioners foot stamped on Victims head. Executioner then takes the knife and slices through the neck much like we do when we slice through a steak at Silver City. Like I said, not a video for the faint hearted.

People can be sadists. They don’t care how they kill, as long as they kill. Years back, the PLO were considered sadist killers, then came Hamas, Al-Oueda, the Taleban, Al-Shabab and now in Iraq there is a group called, ISIS who in their killing make the Taleban look like saints.

When I was in my early teens, I displayed sadist tendencies, a trait which worried my parents.

I started with the cat and when I found out that if I threw it off the roof and upside down, midway it would flip round and always land on its feet.

Along with Friend, we hauled the cat nine meters up onto the roof of Dad’s double storied house and flung it off. And sure enough, midway, the cat turned round and landed on its feet.

We did this again and again over the summer recess and each day the cat saw Friend or I, it would take off and hide. And we would hunt it down, drag it back  up to the roof and throw it off as we watched, totally mesmerized at its ability to turn round mid air.

Except that we took things too far. One morning after spending hours hunting it down, this time when we flung it off the roof, it did not turn round in the air and land on its feet. It landed on its head and breathed its last.

In a panic, we hid it in the trash by the fence and calmly went about the rest our holiday like nothing had happened. No guilt, no remorse.

Whenever we went to the village, Cousin and I could hardly wait until the order was given. The order of slaughtering a chicken for supper.

On one occasion, rather than pluck the feathers off its neck and slitting its throat, we plucked off all its feathers then let it loose, a move that saw us spend more than an hour trying to re-capture it. Frustrated that that we were unable to catch it, Cousin threw a small rock at it, which caught the chicken on its head and the rest was history. As we ate it for lunch, we still felt no guilt or remorse.

However, it was Billy Goat that brought out the worst in us. Billy Goat died a horrible death from multiple stab wounds. No matter how loud it bleated as we stabbed it, we just carried on. We had this sense of ‘teenage pride’ in watching it die slowly. We were not bothered about the pain we were inflicted on it, rather we wanted to see how many stabs it could endure before it died.

We were rumbled when Dad asked for the skin which was riddled with lacerations. He didn’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out what had happened.

But suffice to say, I am no longer a sadist and I can’t bear the sight of seeing an animal slaughtered – no matter how humane Slaughterer does it.              

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Ugandan Men, The UK Is Looking For Sperm Donors!

Out there, there are a number of people who are into healthy living. They watch their salt and sugar intake and they drink water. They also go to the gym and so on. Suffice to say, I am so not one of them!

I am not one of them because, whenever I read the health pages in newspapers or magazines, the stories are alarmist. One day they will tell you that drinking two glasses of wine a day is good for you and come the following week, they say it’s not good. One day tea is good for you and the next, it isn’t. Red meat is not good for you as is pork, coffee and even some vegetables so they claim. If you really follow the health pages, they would have us starve to death because all that we eat is not good for our bodies. And I am not prepared to do that – to starve.

However, in the UK, the health experts are in a panic and not because the amount of pork people are eating or wine they are quaffing. They have a far more important issue to worry about like the lack of good quality sperms! Yes, in the UK, the men who donate their sperm to the sperm banks are donating low quality sperms.

Just like we donate blood in Uganda, in the US and Europe, men also donate sperms which, makes good economic sense. When we donate blood, all we get from Nakasero Blood Bank, is a warm Coke or Fanta and a stale Marie biscuit. They don’t even give you transport.

But donating sperm in the US is a different matter. Not only will they give you Playboy magazine or a porn movie to watch whilst you are in the hospital cubicle and for the lack of a better phrase to use – ‘masturbating into a test tube’, they also pay you $80 (Sh180,000) for your efforts!

Though the UK does not pay, you can be compensated for "loss of earnings". The amount you can claim depends on how long the ‘masturbating took’. Hmm!

Now this is where Allan Pacey, chairman of the British Fertility Society comes in. In a press statement issued last week, he said: 'We simply do not have enough sperm donors in the UK'.

I managed to get hold of Pacey’s e-mail address and this is what I had to tell him.

Dear Mr. Pacey,

It is quite obvious why you don’t have enough sperm donors. In the US they pay $80 a pop and in the UK, you get nothing. Don’t you think that men are bored of locking themselves up in the clinic cubicle with a test tube, a pornographic movie or Playboy without getting financial compensation? Do you know how much effort they have to put in while masturbating?

In Uganda, we have many men who are idle. With your permission, I could round up a hundred fit men and have them flown over to London where they would be happy to donate their sperm on condition that they are compensated.

As expected, Mr. Pacey has yet to reply. But what are the long term effects to those born by test tube? I mean, in the school playgrounds when a kid asks, where does your dad come from, what would the reply be? “From a test tube?

And if Uganda had a sperm bank, would the corporate fraternity and celebs line up to give their sperms? Who sperm would be on demand? Stephen Kiprotich? Golola Moses? Amooti, the comedian? Or perhaps James ‘FatBoy’ Onen? They downside for the women who would buy the sperm, is that the clinic will not tell you whose sperm you got. Think about it.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Pigs And Sheep Are Not Pets But Bar-Be-Cue!

In 1995, Universal Pictures released the movie Babe. It tells the story of a pig that wants to be a sheep dog and it was a movie that brought just about every six-year-old to ten-year-old in America to tears. It was such a hit that, from its $30 million production budget, it grossed $254,134,190 worldwide.

It didn’t end there. Activists around the country besieged movie theatres with flyers documenting the real life abuses of pigs. Further, pork sales went into a sharp decline because at the dinner table, kids would cry at the thought of having to eat Babe or one of its cousins. They also forbade their parents from buying pork and all because of the movie. On top of that, many kids started keeping piglets and pigs as pets.

There is also the story of 8-year-old Sarah who lived on a farm in North Yorkshire, England. When one of the sheep gave birth and rejected one of its lamb, Sarah, stepped in to save the day. She took the little lamb under her wings and mothered it as a pet. However, a few days before Christmas, the lamb got out of its pen and wandered off to the main road where, a 40-foot container truck did the needful and splattered its brains all over the motorway.

Sarah was so distraught that the incident made the national papers. It also got the attention of the then PM, Tony Blair, who invited her to Downing Street where he present her with another lamb.

This is where I come in. I was 10-years-old I guess, when on a trip to the village, Grand Dad give me a goat. Unlike Sarah, I didn’t think of looking after it as a pet – making sure it has eaten and all that crap. Rather, my thoughts revolved round: “Which knife is Farmhand going to use to slit its throat?”

Two days later and at the crack of dawn in the matooke plantation, with a steely Al Queda stare, Farmhand put the blade the goats throat that guess what we had for lunch – roast goat.

Black Kid and White Kid differ. Black Kid would still have eaten pork no matter how many times they saw Babe. And to go telling their dads not to buy pork because it might be Babe, or that a pet is being eaten, what nonsense is that? If I told Grand Dad that when he gave me the goat, his response would have been instantaneous – a swift left across my cheeks followed by: “Silly, tumbavu!”

If a speeding Gaga bus on its way to Kabale, knocked and killed a piglet that was a pet to a four-year-old from Ntungamo, I don’t see President Museveni inviting her to State House so that he can console her. He would think it a joke and would wonder what kind of broken and unserious home she came from. 

Ugandan kids have real pets, and I mean real pets like Pit Bull Terriers, Doberman Pinschers and Rottweiler’s. Not namby-pamby White Kid pets like goldfish or rabbits. In fact, any dog that is savage enough and has teeth with a potential to rip or maim at the snap of a finger, Black Kid considers it a pet.

So White Kid, listen up here. Ducks, pigs, piglets, goats and lamb are NOT pets! They are food! When you see them, don’t think pets rather, think of barbecue sauce coated racks of ribs roasting away on a bar-be-que on a Sunday afternoon. Do you see where I am coming from!? By the way White Kid, Black Kid and I are already devouring the ribs as you cry away for your pets. Tasty, very tasty!        

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Soiled Knickers In The Post

When it comes to sex, Ugandans, pretend to be prudish and years ago, seeing a couple walk down Kampala Road and hand-in-hand would have be the talk of town. A couple kissing would evoke not only whispers but glaring stares.
But Uganda 2014 has changed. It’s no big deal now. It happens everywhere and so frequently that nobody gives a hoot except when women wear miniskirts or couples flaunt their gay and lesbianism feelings.
Behind closed doors, things happen that people swear never happen. In some secluded shops in Kampala, sex toys are openly sold and to people who go out of their way to portray themselves as squeaky clean sex saints.
London in the 80s was on ‘heat’ with sex. Telephone booths had stickers advertising anything from: ‘Big breasted blonde seeks mature man for afternoon of lust’ to ‘sexy tigress wants to whip you’.
Those were the ‘nice’ adverts. But, there were others that were hard to stomach like: ‘Blond nurse will send you her soiled knickers for 25 Pounds (sh105,000)’. If not that: ‘Glamour female banker selling her urine sample.’
Gary Nesbitt, my dwang at the time and I, always had this feeling that the adverts were a scam operated by London’s unscrupulous. But whatever reservations we had, we felt it was a scam worth investing in and in Blond Nurse for her soiled undies.
A week went by and every morning the postman delivered nothing but bills. Another ten days went by and again, no knickers but bills. Then one Friday he delivered a padded A3 sized envelope. The nondescript brown envelope got our hearts racing. What this it, did it contain the soiled knickers?  Ripping the envelope apart, out fell a plastic bag – similar to those used by the police to store crime scene evidence, and in it, its contents were all too evident. They were indeed knickers and on close inspection, they looked soiled though I can’t say for sure if the they were authentically soiled or not.

On a trip to Europe, we breezed into a small town called Bruges, on the Holland/Dutch border on a Sunday when families were strolling around and basking the in the summer wave. In just about every hypermarket, cafĂ©, restaurant or store that we walked into, there was a family presence. In some cases, there were three or more generations of families – something that you do not see in Uganda.

In one hypermarket that we piled into, we found it was a sex shop with more floor space than Nakumatt, Game and Uchumi put together.
The first part of the store sold the usual stuff – Playboy, Penthouse or Mayfair magazines. But the further in that you walked, the magazines got more graphic as did the titles – Hustler, Knave and one that derives its name from a young cat – not a kitten, but the other young cat which, people call pussy, if you get my drift. At far end of the warehouse were toys for those into sadomasochism stuff - handcuffs, masks, chains, whips and so on.
While it was an eye opener, what is interesting, is that the Belgians and the Dutch are pretty much open when it comes to sex and are not embarrassed about it. Mum and Dad don’t shop for sex toys alone. They take along their sons and daughters plus their sons’ and daughters’-in-laws, uncles and aunts and grandparents regardless of age.
If a Ugandan bought soiled knickers or took his family to a sex shop, there would be a national outcry and they would be branded vile and immoral. But why? Everybody has a sexual fetish of some sort including, the prudes who claim to have squeaky clean sex lives!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Are We Getting Value For Money?

Are we getting value for our money? In this austere economic climate, like most people, I am careful whenever I spend. 

It had been a miserable Tuesday and beers were necessary to drink the misery go away. In the kafunda, when Waitress popped open the TML, its contents, shot out with the same gusto as a bottle of Moet et Chandon. When the gusto subsided, more than half of the beer was snaking its way across the dusty table and floor.

When the second bottle was served and bearing in mind the disaster that happened when the first bottle was opened, I told her to take her time but rather than heed my advice, I got the waitress smirk – you know the one that reads: “I have been in this job since I was 15-years old, so I think I know how to open a bottle of beer!” Once again, the beer came shooting out like Moet.

Cutting my losses, I the guzzled the rest of the beer and summoned for the bill. As expected, she had charged me 6k for both bottles. Hmm, I didn’t get value for money so I swung her 3k for both bottles which provoked an argument. When Waitress argues, it’s never between you and her. Ok it is, but she makes sure everybody in the bar, Boda Chap and the woman in the salon next door, know that she is in an argument. But I was not going to pay for what I didn’t drink.

“You gave me half a bottle and I will pay for half a bottle” I smirked back at her. Reluctantly, she accepted but after trying to put me on a guilt trip of how her boss is going to cut her wages. Guilt trips don’t work with me.

When I got home, I find that the tin of Nescafe which cost me almost 20k from Nakumatt is not full, but three quarters full as is, the bag of Omo and Jessa’s cup of yoghurt. To make matters even worse, DStv was showing last year’s repeats of Top Gear. Am I getting value for my money? No I am so NOT!

Come Sunday, a friend takes me out to brunch at Kampala Sheraton. Brunch runs from noon to 4:00pm and with their hefty prices (though I was not paying), we expected value for money. We did not want to hear that after the first helping, that was it. We wanted to eat our fill right up until 4:00pm when F&B Manager, Simon Kizito shuts down the kitchen.

After our first helping, Waitress cleared the plates and returned with the bill holder and that got our blood boiling. “65k for a side plate of cold meats and now you want us to pay and go” we sort of lashed out at her. But Waitress was composed and pleasant enough to tell us the bill holder contained ‘the comments card’, otherwise we were free to serve ourselves as many times as we wanted. Didn’t we looked stupid but hmm, value for money from the Sheraton!

The day however, was spoilt by a visit to the kafunda shop. Kafunda Shopkeeper has pre-packed bags of sugar from 1kg, to 5kg to 10kg. I bought the 5kg bag. However, when I plonked it on my scales at home, it was not 5kg, but 4.4kg. Jeez, Kafunda Shopkeeper is also trying to squeeze me just like Butcher did. It was only when I got home that I discovered Butcher had given me 4kg of bones and fat and only one kilo of meat which is not value for money. I wonder if Friend will take me back to the Sheraton?           


Expelled From School And Sent to Prison

I was fortunate enough, that during my academic career, I was never suspended or expelled from school – not because I was a good boy who to...