Friday, February 10, 2017

Don't Ask. Just Take

Bluntly speaking, they don’t ask. They take and with no shame.

Avid fountain pen connoisseurs like, NSSF MD, Richard Byarugaba (Below) and ODD Concepts MD, Oscar Mulira, will tell you that a fountain pen is not to be shared. The nib of the pen is fragile and it moulds itself into the users writing style. If somebody else uses it, it ruins the style in that when you get it back, it won’t feel or write in the same way.

A Mont Blanc, is top-of-the range when it comes to fountain pens, and it was nestled in my shirt pocket with a House of Plastic biro in my trousers. When it was time to sign, They Don’t Ask felt about himself for a pen and realising he didn’t have one, he looked up at me and straight away his squinty eyes zeroed in on the Mont Blanc. I tried to reach for the House of Plastic biro, but by the time I whipped it out, They Don’t Ask had already delved into my pocket, harnessed the Mont Blanc and set about to scribble on the dotted line.

They Don’t Ask had a nasty and savage street prostitute writing style - almost like he worked for UNRA and was using a pneumatic drill to drill some culverts on the Entebbe Express highway. He pressed so hard into the paper that the nib split.

When he was done, he looked at the pen, put the cover back on and wait for it, wait for it – he didn’t give it back. Rather, he played about with it, finished off his beer then stood up. “TB, I best be heading off” he said. With that, he put to sleep the Mont Blanc in his shirt pocket and walked off.

He didn’t ask. He just took.

Another They Don’t Ask came to visit one Sunday. In the living room, he marvelled at my CD collection that he wasted no time in pulling up a chair and started going through them. He’d pick up a CD, read through the booklet and put it back. But some, he didn’t put back. He put them on the coffee table. I wasn’t perturbed, because I assumed he was making a selection to listen to. Except as you may have already guessed, he didn’t listen to them.

When it was time to leave, I popped into the kitchen while he went to his ride. By the time I got to him, he was about to pull away. I just about made it to his side of the ride to bid him farewell and enough time to catch a glimpse of a stack of CDs on the passenger seat. I didn’t think much about it until I went back to the living room and realised the assembled stack of CDs on the coffee table was gone.

He didn’t ask. He just took.

Doing some shopping in Gaba market, I chanced upon Chap selling baseball caps. I am a cap person so obviously, it necessitated a stop to browse through his stock. Hidden at the very back was a cap in near mint condition that bore the Apple Computer logo. 5k and two minutes later, it was in a kaveera heading home with me.

The Apple cap made its debut at the Kampala Marathon and while I was quaffing TML in MTN hospitality tent, I took it off and laid it on the table. When They Don’t Ask sat down next to me, he wasted no time in spitting out - “Wabula TB, you got some good caps.” With his ‘theft’ statement out of the way, he picked it up and plonked it on his head.

When it was time to go, I pointed at the cap and his response? “But TB…” and then he sprinted off into the crowd.

He didn’t ask. He just took. 

Pictures: NSSF, Internet



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