Monday, November 23, 2015

I Now Engage Brain Before I Open Mouth

Opposite me, White Lady wasn’t exactly smiling – not that it bothered me. When Overtly Fat Man, creaked his mass down the aisle and sat next to her, the mass more than encroached onto her part of the seat – squashing her slender self right up against the frame of the train. Seconds later, she burst into tears. His response? “Jeez,” a ‘hmm’ stare and heaving his mass off the seat-and-a-half to creak his way further down the carriage.

Trying to make light of the situation, I leant over telling her that I too would have cried had he sat next to me and squashed against me. What happened next was not part of the script.

She let rip with a loud tirade along the lines of: “F**k you! I am not crying about him. Just because he’s fat, you think it is okay to ridicule him? How would you like it if people said they would cry because a black man sat next to them?” She really went on.

We all make gaffs – uttering the wrong things at the wrong time because our brain is in a meltdown and not taking stock of the bigger picture.

Last year I was in Monot having drinks and brought up the topic of what would each one of us would be doing assuming we hadn’t gone to school. Everybody at the table – Labo, Julius, Doc, Vinta, Muloodi, Nodin, PK, Lukwago said they would be anything from Taxi Conductor to House-ee. But Quiet Man who I didn’t know and had never met was not offering an opinion.

So I zeroed on him: “And you, what would you be doing?” No answer. I pressed again and still no answer. Sitting next to me, Labo furiously tugged at my shirt while under the table, kung-fu kicks from Julius and PK rained on my legs.

The kung fu kicks and tugging should have jolted brain out of the meltdown but didn’t. In the end and with all modesty, Quiet Man in Luganda said: “I didn’t go to school, but I own the Sir Jose Hotel chain and out of my own pocket, today I laid tarmac from Gaba Road right up to my hotel and beyond.”

Anybody who knows the road that leads up to Sir Jose hotel in Buziga will know what I am talking about. He added – “Come for a complimentary weekend.”

Ouch, ouch ouch! My throat dried up. I looked for support from the rest which of course, was not forthcoming that seeking refuge with the blue flies in the depths of a cesspit was an option worth considering.

I’ve known Greg since he took up the position as GM at Speke Resort Munyonyo. One Friday evening, I walked into his office to go through the details of a service to be held for Expat Worker who had died days earlier. In his office was Young Lady who I didn’t know and paid no attention to. I simply let rip - proffering my thoughts on what could have killed him, how he was a Don Juan with an endless string of girlfriends and so forth.

As I blabbered, Greg was giving me ferocious ‘if eyes could kill’ stares that my brain wasn’t digesting. Then out of the blue, Young Lady started crying and ran off to the washroom. Bemused, I asked what her problem was. Greg was to the point. “You idiot, that was his girlfriend!” There was no recourse but to grab my TML and hastily scatter before she returned.

These days whenever I’m out, I only open the mudomo to have a swig of TML and not to jazz - just in case brain is on a meltdown.

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