Sunday, August 31, 2014

Bad Manners At The Party

Do we have to vet the people we invite to our homes for a house party? Yes we do.
Patrick has a huge frame but despite it, he is not threatening and is a very likable and jolly person. Well he was until the last person to use the toilet in his house during a house party, decided to pee on the floor. That was it. The party which was in full swing with a mayhem of conversation, food, drink and music came to a stop. Not mincing his words, he barked out: “And which one of you has pissed all over my floor?” The silence was so deftly that it freaked.
Obviously, nobody owned up, so he asked again and this time in a gruff and threatening manner – enough to induce the girl sitting next to me to start her menstrual cycle four days early. With no reply forthcoming, he turned the music back on and spent the rest of the party vexing about how grown up people had messed up his toilet floor.
And then I had to go for a pee which got me into a panic. What if I ended up messing his floor? What would he do? To be on the safe side, I gave the toilet a miss, took a walk into his gardens, flopped ‘him’ out and squirted all over his roses. Half way into the squirt, I heard him. I heard the gruff voice bark: “Who is pissing on my roses?” When he saw me, he too started peeing over his roses while assuring me that I was not like the other mother f****rs who pissed on his floor.
Three weeks ago, Anus threw a party for his kid at home. There was enough to drink and eat and for those who primarily drink beer, were waiting for the sun to go down before starting on the spirits – especially the Vodka.
However, there were two guests – one male, one female who were on a different agenda. Female Guest walked up to the drinks table, picked up a bottle of wine, had a taster then walked off with the bottle. Hmm, giving her ten minutes to settle in, I walked over to her and asked her for the wine. She looked at me all confused - as if she could have sworn she heard me asking for the bottle of wine. So I repeated myself. With more than a tad of anger in her voice, she calmly told me that she was going to share the bottle with Girlfriend. “What about the other wine drinkers” I shot back. Looking round and then into my face, with a smirk, she says: “They are drinking beer!”
But it was the vodka bottle that irked. It irked Anus and everybody else who was looking forward to having a tot or two. Anus eventually found the empty bottle under one of the guests seats. Guest had made the bottle exclusively his own to drink. I was not to be shared with anybody and it had to be hidden out of sight.
Anus walked off but Guest was not all that bothered. Leaning over he asks me: “Is he going to bring another bottle?” That floored me.

At another party, Female Guest came with two plastic containers into which she was packing food. When asked what on earth she thought she was doing, her answer was to the point. “Seeing that I did not cook for the kids before I left home, I am packing takeaway for them.” But when told that the food is for guests who are present, with no shame, she responded: “Then they should have invited my kids.” E-mail me and I will tell you who she is just in case you have invited her to your party next week.     

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Gatecrasher Photographer

Year after year, the universities churn out a number of graduates. Graduate rightfully expects that as a graduate, there is a job waiting for him. Sometimes there is, but on most occasions, there is nothing. Walking from office to office the answer is usually the same – ‘do you have experience’ or ‘there are no jobs at this time’.
Graduate is then faced with a number of options – well tell a lie, not a number of options, but two options - to sit at home or create his own job.
Photography, especially wedding photography, is one field that Graduate has invaded and given himself a job title of - Gatecrasher Photographer. All he needs is a small digital Samsung or Canon camera, go to one of the churches on a Saturday when there is a wedding and start snapping away. As soon as the service is over, rush to the studio, have the photos printed out and head crash the reception. Selling each photo at 5k, Graduate can be lucky enough to walk away with more than 100k for a couple of hours work.
I was at a wedding a couple of weeks ago, and as I walked up to the reception, a photographer started taking my pictures.
An hour later and midway through the speeches, photographs were thrust in my face with a 10k price tag. Hmm, that’s funny. Why is Official Photographer selling photographs? Looking round at other people part with money for the photographs, it dawned on me that the man who took my picture at the entrance was not Official Photographer but Gatecrasher Photographer.
I looked at the two photographs and they were not good. They were over exposed and in one of them, part of my head had been chopped off so I didn’t buy. This is what happened next.
Gatecrasher Photographer: “Naye mzee,these are the photographs that you posed for.”
TB: “I didn’t pose for any photographs. I was walking into the reception and you started taking my pictures.”
Gatecrasher Photographer: “Mzee, it will be sh10,000.”
TB: “Sh10,000 for what?”
Gatecrasher Photographer: “For the two photographs that you posed for.”
TB: “Listen here you snivelling mother f****r, get out of my face! I did not pose for photographs. You hear me?!”
Gatecrasher Photographer: “But you man, then next time don’t go to my wedding and pose for my photographs!”
His wedding?! With that, off he went in a rage, a frothing rage and no doubt mumbling to himself how he was short of earnings by 10k. I let him be.
As he trudged off, it was something I thought about. Nine times out of ten, Gatecrasher Photographer won’t ask if they can come and take photographs of your wedding and sell them to your guests. They take it as their right, their right to simply turn at church and take pictures while getting in the way of Official Photographer and blocking the view for your guests.
But that said, Guest would also want a picture of themselves at the wedding so, there is a service that Gatecrasher Photographer provides. However, if he had permission of Bride and Groom, all would be okay. And if I was the groom, I would insist on my cut of the takings – 60/40 in my favour.

Hours later and as I left, Gatecrasher Photographer had set up a table by the entrance and as soon as he saw me, he accosted me. “Mzee, your photographs” he shouted out. If only he had humbled himself the way Hawker does when he really wants you to buy from him, I wouldn’t have told Gatecrasher Photographer: “Tell me once more about the photographs and I will thump you. Tumbavu!”

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Real Men Don't Have Time For Fancy Grooming

Back then, ‘grooming’ was an alien concept to men. “To groom for what and for whom” we would ask ourselves. Wearing the same underwear or socks for weeks-on-end without having washed them was no problem to us while deodorants and after shaves were, considered an unnecessary luxury.

If we did buy a deodorant, it was the cheapest brand that Hawker sold like Brut. And in the villages where Hawker did not sell Brut, Village Man would go to the nearest lemon tree, pluck a lemon off, slice it in half and squirt the lime juices into his armpits.

In Kampala, for our haircuts, we would not go to the salon like it is done today, but to Kinyozi. Kinyozi used to ply his trade under the mango trees behind UMA trade show grounds – the road that runs at the back of Shoprite all the way down to Cooper Motors in Naguru. There was no fanfare about it. Simply sit on a stool or ‘foam bench’ and Kinyozi would whip out a mechanical clipper that did not require power and it would all be over in less than ten minutes.

Sadly, today’s man has been spoilt by magazines like Esquire, Men’s Health and GQ. These magazines have encouraged use to pamper ourselves. They want us to look good and to wear clean underwear every day. Eek!

A couple of days ago, I was in a new salon near my house. It was clean and what caught my eye, is that Barber had a vast array of hair cutting appliances neatly laid out much like Dentist or Medical Surgeon would have their tools of the trade laid out.

During the cut, every ten seconds or so he would stop and clean out the cutter with a small shoe brush. If not, he would tilt my head to make sure he was getting the cut right.

As he cut, I sort of dozed off and sliding into a light dream, I thought I felt a brush smoothing down my eyebrows. Groggy, I opened my eyes and yes, I could have sworn I saw him brush down my eyebrows. But what happened next alarmed. He got the trimmer and began to shape and trim my eyebrows much like they do with women.

That move electrocuted me back to life and necessitated an action of the violent kind. I swung round and grabbing Barber by the shirt collar, I assured him to never brush down my eyebrows or give them a trim unless he wanted me to slit his throat. In fright he took off to the entrance to get his nerves back in order.

With the haircut done, he sunk to greater depths. He started to massage my neck. Again I turned round and assured him that real men don’t have their necks massaged and he quickly stopped.

The final straw came when he whipped out some oil to massage my fingers. That was it! I stood up and barked at him and asking him what his problem was, to which he had no response save for a puzzled and very frightened look.

Degrading and further insulting me, he asks for 10k for the cut. Yes, a staggering 10k!

What man pays 10k for a haircut? The most Kinyozi would charge is 2k! And when real men go for haircuts, a haircut is all we want – period! We don’t want pampering, having our eyebrows trimmed and brushed or having our necks and fingers massaged because we are real men – gruff, rugged and who are content to use lemon as a deodorant and wear the same underwear for weeks on end because we have not been spoilt by Esquire, Men’s Health and GQ magazines.


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Men Don't Wear Knicker's And Bra's!

What’s happening out there? Have we lost the plot? Are we doing things that are not of the norm? Do we need help, especially help from a shrink? I think we do.
I am tempted to believe that back in the day, Caveman was happy with his physical features as indeed was Cavewoman. As long as Caveman went hunting and came back with a slab of meat, Cavewoman was happy. And I also think that Caveman was not perturbed by the amount of hair on Cavewoman’s body.
In today’s world order, we are unhappy with our bodies. We are not satisfied with the way we have been created that we go to great lengths to find a solution. Fat people want to be smaller. Women with droopy breasts want them uplifted and made to look perky. Some women want bigger butts and others want small rounded ones. And men want a bigger muscular look, if not, an enlargement of their ‘thingy’.
But I say, be happy with what you have, though I make an exception for women who have beards and hair between their boobs. That is so not on in today’s world order!
There is a group who believe that if they were born as men, it was a mistake. They were supposed to be women. And there are women who also believe they were supposed to be born as men. But how would they know that?
I watched a documentary – The Flipside, which tried to shed some light on what’s going wrong with society.
Daniel, from North Carolina in the US, claims he knew he was supposed to be a woman when he saw his mum and sisters underwear hanging on the clothes line to dry. After that he started rifling through their knickers draws and he liked the way the silky fabric felt on his skin that he started wearing them. He was quick to add that these days he buys his own.
Perhaps I should pause for a while as you digest and try to come to terms with that revelation before I move on? Is a minute enough time?
Okay, what on earth would possess a grown man to rifle through his mum and sisters’ underwear draws and steal their knickers so that he can wear them? And it didn’t just stop at knickers. He also wears their bras!
It got me thinking – what would be the repercussions if I too, had taken to stealing and wearing  Mum’s and Sister’s underwear?
No doubt Dad would have beaten the life out me while Mum would have spent the rest of her life with Vicar and in prayer. What would Neighbour say if he found out I wore knickers and a bra to school or to the office? How could I expect to be taken seriously in the locker room after a game of rugby while standing in a pair of frilly teen girls knickers with the word ‘Tuesday’ written across the front?
As we watch our children grow in this fast developing world and with the internet bringing the world to them, do you ever think how they might turn out?
Those of you who have boys, will they end up as doctors, lawyers or thugs who break into homes and offices while everyone is asleep? Perhaps, they will they end up as mad men sniffing aviation fuel in Namuwongo?
If there was a Bukumunhe boy, hell, even if he didn’t make it in life and ended up as a murderer, rapist, thug or an aviation fuel sniffer that, I can bite and accept. I really can. Anything as long as he is not wearing knickers and bra’s under his clothing because if he did, he is a sick man who needs to be in Butabika !   

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Ganja, Crack, Heroin? Not For Me

Hollywood glamorizes drugs. In the movies that feature drugs, they portray a cool image of Mexican, Colombian and Jamaican drug barons snorting coke and smoking marijuana and injecting themselves with crack cocaine. But the reality, is that drugs are not glamorous. Drugs will mess you up. If they don’t mess you up, they will lead you into a life of crime to feed the habit. And once you have passed those two stages, drugs will eventually kill you.    

In Kabalagala, there is a reggae bar near the junction that heads down the Kikubamutwe slum. The bar plays a ballistic selection of reggae music and at first glance, it is decent enough and the dreadlocked patrons are harmless enough. However, at the back, there is a ‘VIP wing’, where the smokers go. But Smoker does not go there to smoke Sportsman or Dunhill. Smoker goes there to smoke the real deal – marijuana and more.

On this occasion, Smoker who barely looked eighteen years-old, after snorting a line of coke, started frothing at the mouth and nose and eventually collapsed in a heap. Fearing for the worst least it becomes a police matter, other smokers quickly left the bar. What eventually happened to him I have yet to find out.

In my first year at university in England, campus was awash with drugs. You could buy anything from cocaine to LSD, ecstasy pills to Moroccan black and heroin. My neighbour Rachael Moss was a squeaky clean girl who came from a good family in XXXXX. Basically she was the girl next door.

Alas she fell into the wrong crowd, the crowd that glamorised drugs. By the time she was through with the first year, she had graduated from smoking a marijuana joint to injecting herself with cocaine between her toes. She did that because having needle marks on her arm would have easily identified her as a cocaine addict. By doing it in between her toes where nobody would venture to look, she could get away with it. Suffice to say that midway during her second year she had a run in with the police and we never saw her again.

Tamara who was two years ahead of me was streetwise. She too was into drugs but kept it at smoking the odd joint here and there. Every now and again when I was in her room, she would offer me a joint which I would turn down. She never forced or pushed me and while I did smoke cigarettes, the idea of doing a joint didn’t really appeal to me.

On one occasion and unknown to me, in a cake that she was baking, Tamara laced it with drugs and invited a few people to her room. It was a cheese cake and I ate three slices as well as drinking beer.

When I thought I was getting drunk, I wasn’t. I started to hallucinate and simple tasks became difficult to perform. I couldn’t even remember how to pour my beer into the glass. It became a task as complex as trying to get the answer to a mathematical calculation that had failed Einstein.

When I got into bed that night, rather than having a sound sleep, the bed ‘flew’ – much like the bed flew in the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. If my bed was not flying, at one point I was chatting with the grim reaper or I was in a dark cave with vampires and bats. To drug addicts, they term that period ‘tripping’.

While drug addicts will claim it makes them feel relaxed and gay, the reality is, is that it is messing up your life. It is that downward spiral to hell. If you have just started out on drugs, get out now before it is too late unless you want to wind up dead.      


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...