Friday, October 11, 2013

Were You Invited?


Will we ever get the whole invitation card thing right? Do people bother to read what’s written on the invitation card? No, they don’t. Do people steal invitation cards? Yes, they do. Do people still try and crash functions? Ha, they do.

I was at a function recently and the invitation card was explicit. The invitation only invited the person whose name appeared on the card.

Not perturbed, Young Man duly turned up to the function all dressed in white along with his better half. At the entrance and upon presenting his card, Card Attendant told him the card was addressed to him alone – not to him and Better Half.

Young Man stood looking at Card Attendant in disbelief, then at Better Half while trying to figure out what to do next. “But I have an invitation card” he blurted out to which Card Attendant swiftly responded by saying: “You do, but the card admits you and not you and Better Half.”

What happened next was unexpected. Rather than walk away, his mouth opened and out gushed a torrent of abuse.

“You people are stupid. Next time, be better organized. You send me a card and now you tell me Better Half can’t get in? What kind of function is this?”

If Young Man thought his tirade intimidated Card Attendant, he was wrong. She stood her ground and when reality dawned on him that Better Half would have to trudge home or wait by the boda boda stage while he attended the function, he cut his losses, turned on his heels and off he went stamping his feet in a last act of defiance.

Two of the hardest card attendants that I know of are Thalma and Priscilla. Starting off with Priscilla, she can give an icy stare that is enough to give you goose pimple even on a hot day. I have seen her get rid of uninvited people with ruthless efficiency. And she does not give a hoot at your standing in society - whether you are an MP, minister or CEO.

Thalma, is hard and once her dreadlocks start fraying, its game over. She will tell you once – as she indeed told me at a function where I had turned up without my invitation card. “Yes, I know who you are, but you still need to present your invitation card”. I was lucky to have been saved by the event organizers otherwise it would have been a humiliating long walk back to the car.

But people are still brazen. At one of the Royal Ascot Goat Races in Munyonyo, ‘Guest’ had the nerve to tell the main sponsor – Sudhir Ruparelia, that he (Guest) had an invitation card and that he (Sudhir) had no right to stop him from getting into the Crane Bank tent.

Guest: “I was personally invited by Sudhir so why can’t I get in?”

Sudhir: “Sudhir personally invited you?”

Guest: “He did. I even have a card!”

Invitation cards to the goat races as everybody knows will not get you into the hospitality tents. What will, is the wristband.

And how was the situation resolved? Sudhir looked at Guest, shook his head and walked away while Guest shouted out how he was going to report him to Sudhir. Hmm!

But spare a thought for Jacob Oulanya, deputy speaker of parliament who, I almost bounced at The White Party at Kati Kati recently. He had no invitation and I also knew he was not on the guest list. Fortunately, his name was on another guest list I was not privy to otherwise, I wonder who would have been more embarrassed if I really did have to bounce him – he or I?