Monday, November 21, 2011

Dealing With The Porn Merchant

I rarely go to town on a Sunday. I mean why would I? Perhaps being able to drive from Wandegeya to Shell Jinja Road in a matter of minutes because the roads are devoid of traffic? Better still, the pavements (if at all they can be called pavements because there are so many manholes that lack covers that it is much safer to walk on the congested roads than the pavements) are devoid of people who walk without plan or thought. You know the people who just stop dead in their tracks or the people who can’t walk in a straight line?

Anyway, this Sunday I find myself at Kassalina’s early in the evening. Kassalina’s, which is opposite the Post Office, must be a diehard haunt for the Baganda if the numerous pictures of the Buganda royal family that cover once section of the wall are anything to go by.

Going to the lower level, I place an order for a cold Club beer and a glass. The beer, when it is presented, is not exactly ice cold but will do. The glass on the other hand is a tankard but it is the smallest tankard I had set my eyes on. In fact, it looked more like spirits measurements glass than a beer tankard.
Obviously the Club beer that I am holding rejects the tankard. I ask for another glass and Waitress tells me the other glasses are strictly reserved for people drinking juice. Not one to give up, I insist that surely she must have a decent glass tucked away somewhere.

She does. When it lands on the bar counter, it’s a wine glass! I should have unleashed my standard one liner – “tumbavu!” on her, but I bite my tongue, let it slide and take my Club and myself to a seat as far away from her as possible.
Settling into a high table and contemplating drinking the Club from the bottle, I see him tumbling down the stairs clutching a batch of DVDs.

He makes a beeline for me and well before I have the chance to say ‘no’ to him, three DVDs are in my face. I glance at them and sensing that I am not interested, five more DVDs are unleashed followed by a commentary in Luganda about how they are action movies.

To sweeten the deal, out come other DVDs. “Kartooni e’za abaana” (cartoons for the kids). I must point out that my spoken or written Luganda is not all that and seeing that my vivacious editor, Esther can’t read Luganda she probably has no idea either if “kartooni e’za abaana” are words that exist in Luganda.

Then something strange happens. Tucked in between the kiddie’s movies, The Lion King and Snow White, he flips out four DVDs after first casing the room. When I look down at them, it takes me a while to figure what I am looking at. They are blue movies. Hardcore porn to be precise!

The covers were graphic – pictures of two naked women and a man doing imaginable sexual acts to each other. It was not for the faint hearted. Former minister Nsaba Buturo, would have passed out had he seen them as would the Pope, Nelson Mandela, Bad Black and even Saddam Hussein and Gadaffi had they still been alive.

According to DVD Hawker, two of the movies were filmed in Kigali and the other two in Kampala – Bwaise to be exact so he tells me. Sensing he has got my attention, he gives me a brief narrative on one of the movies and it is hard to believe that what he is telling me is actually on film.

I am sold, and decide to buy the lot. Before I go on, I have to insert a disclaimer here. ‘Timothy Bukumunhe bought the porn DVDs for purposes of research only. Should there be anybody out there doing research in the same field, please feel free to get in touch with me so I give you the said DVDs’.

Before I pay him, I berate him for having positioned the porn between The Lion King and Snow White. “Do you want to tarnish Snow White’s squeaky clean image?” It was followed up with the “tumbavu” that I was supposed to have unleashed on Waitress for offending me with a wine glass. Just to make sure the message had sunk in, I give him a slap on the back and send him scurrying off for a black plastic bag. What, did you expected me to have a Sunday afternoon stroll through town while clutching four porno DVDs? Hmm!

The DVDs packed into a black bag and with the Club done, I am on my way. But for some reason as I walk down to Nakumatt, everybody is ‘looking’ at me. Even the people in cars appear to slow down, peer at me and either shake their heads or wag their fingers.

I am so convinced that DVD Hawker went to Clock Tower and with the aid of a megaphone, blurted out how I had bought porn DVDs for the world to hear. I consider ditching them into KCCA or perhaps Parliaments compound but I hold on to them.

At Nakumatt I am rumbled. I have been in and out of Nakumatt a million times with CDs in a black plastic bag and the guard has never looks in my bag. This time he stops me and after running the metal detector over me, he not only peers into the black bag but also takes the DVDs out. Immediately Second Guard’s attention has been diverted from checking people to looking at the offending pornography that I was trying to smuggle into the store. Worse, a man out with his family catches sight of the DVD and mutters away to Wifey who turns round to give me a so not approving look.

“Chief” so I tell Guard, “Is all this necessary?” He retorts: “We have to check everything.”

My humiliation over I wander about the store while wondering what brought me here in the first place. I am in the DVD player section and when I look round I see Guard giving me a quizzical look. I think he thinks I am going to slot one of the DVDs into the player. Dazed and confused, I flee empty handed only to be stopped by Guard again – this time to make sure I have not swiped anything from the store.

A few days later I am sitting at my desk and though the office is full, I decide to watch the porno that was filmed in Bwaise. As I hear the DVD whirl into life, through the corner of my eye, I see some visitors who are being shown round the office. No need for them to interrupt my movie so I adjust my desk and screen and plug in some headphones.

But alas, I plugged the headphones into the wrong port terminal. The first two minutes of the movie was all about noise and noise of a sexual content and at a high volume. I saw the office freeze then saw Visitors giving me a nasty look. As all that was happening, I tried desperately to mute the volume but I couldn't get the cursor to stop on the mute button.

I went in for plan B – shut to computer off and pull the power cable out of the socket. But it took forever and a quick glance at the screen revealed some horrible things going on. Eventually the computer was switched off but for an agonizing 30 or so seconds, the office including Visitors looked at me with mouths agape. Of course they would, wouldn’t they?

Once the storm had passed in which numerous Sportsman cigarettes would have been smoked but for BAT not wanting to stock the old Sporti packs, I settled for two Club beers.

Back at my desk I turned on the PC and it started doing things it was not supposed to do. Seeking help from IT, they diagnosed the problem in a matter of minutes. The porn had given my PC a virus and it has since been taken away for repair.

That said, would anybody mind if I came over and I watched the DVDs from their crib –Barbie, Mzee, Willo, Dr. Muloodi, Paulo, Phado, what say you? I’ll bring the beers.