Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmas Carols With A Twist


My neighbour so it seems, has made his first Christmas investment. Not a couple of turkeys from a farm in deep Masaka, but a music system that has enough volume output to blow my ear drums. He also got a string of Christmas themed CDs and a friend who is looking over my shoulder as I type my column, has told me that they are not called ‘Christmas themed songs’ but ‘Christmas carols’.

Neighbour started playing Christmas carols at the end of November and if I am not mistaken, November is just a normal run-of-the mill month so why would he play Christmas carols?

Sometimes he starts as early as 8:00am rendering himself a nuisance. He usually kicks off with a Jimmy Katumba and the Ebonies song which, he stops halfway through and then repeats it. Next up is the Celine Dion song – My Heart Will Go On, but I don’t know what the song has to do with Christmas. Is it not a ‘death song’ in the movie, Titanic and was played as the character Jack, (Leonardo DiCaprio) was drowning? Anyway, Neighbour has made it one of his Christmas carols. After the ‘death song’, he follows up with numerous gospel songs for about an hour before he unleashes some Lingala and I had no idea that you could buy Lingala Christmas carols.

But Neighbour, is not the only person making a nuisance of himself. Since the start of December, it has been hard to concentrate – not just at work, but out shopping and especially while having a drink in a kafunda. 

You see, every ten to fifteen minutes, a truck will pass by and on the back of each truck are huge speakers blaring out distorted music and seeing it’s December, I assume it’s Christmas carols blaring out. Along with the loud and distorted carols, there is a nigga (as they like to call themselves) on each truck doing a sales pitch – screaming into the microphone while, an army of foot soldiers run amok, swarming the kafunda’s and trying to shove Jim Reeves CDs down our throats.

The carols were so loud that I presume Waitress did not hear what beer I asked for and brought me the wrong one though truth be told, she still would have bought the wrong beer even if the kafunda was as quiet as a hospital operating theatre and she had heard every word I said. Because that is what Waitress is supposed to do – to bring you the wrong order.

Foot Soldiers wanted me to buy “Do They Know Its Christmas” by Band Aid. In my worst Luganda and Foot Soldier, in his worst English, the conversation went along these staggered lines.

Foot Soldier: “Boss, this one is nice.”

TB: “No, it’s for the bafu (dead) who died in the Ethiopian famine of 1984.”

Foot Soldier: “Boss, eno nnyimba ya Ssekukulu.”

TB: “Yeah, nnyimba about the bafu in Ethiopia!”

As he walked off, above what I am sure was the carol, Silent Night, I hear Foot Soldier mutter to his colleague that: “Oyo, mukadde, tamanyi nnyimba za Ssekukulu (he is old, he has no idea about Christmas carols).

I shouted out my favoured word, that of tumbavu, but he didn’t hear me for, Silent Night was now at fever pitch and Waitress had served me yet another wrong beer.

With ten days to go to Christmas, how many Christmas carols will we have to endure at a fever pitch volume as we shop or have a drink? Will Neighbour have graduated from Jimmy Katumba and Celine Dion? Would Foot Soldier have finally worked out that, Do They know its Christmas, is not a carol but a song for the bafu?

But what the heck, it’s the Christmas season, the silly season where everybody takes leave of their senses.