Saturday, March 25, 2017
AM NOT a sadist. The boy that I was when I was when growing up and the man that I am now, are two different people. As youngsters, we are shaped by what we see happening around us. When boys are growing up, they are ‘danger driven’ – throwing stones to enrage Farmers bull, climbing the fene tree, experimenting with match boxes and fuel and climbing out of the window of Parents crib, onto the roof and jumping off. As a boy, my life was constantly one stunt after the other – enough for perturbed Parent to call an ‘elders meeting’ to find out who, in the family, has the ‘mad streak’ in them and had passed it down the line to me.
Dad – Mr Bukumunhe that is, will tell you that at school when it came to physics or anything to do with sciences, it was not my cup of tea. I found the lessons rather tedious and as boring and dull as Teacher who taught the subject. Until he livened things up. To illustrate a point, he told class that a cat has nine lives. He didn’t stop there. He also told us, that if you flung it upside down off a roof, it would invert itself and always land on its feet.
The ramifications of that revelation especially on nine-year-old highly strung boys, was akin to being given ten crates of Coke and the entire week’s stock of Queens cakes that the local dukka has and told to go and have a blast. Until term ended, I had the same recurring dream – ‘nine lives and it always lands on its feet.’ I just could not wait for the summer holiday to roll on and tell my boys in Tank Hill where we lived.
Back then we had cats – two of them and I guess at this point, I should issue a distress advisory note to cat lovers before they read on.
With the unsuspecting cat in tow, we scaled onto the roof of Parents house to do the deed. Like I said at the start, we were not sadists. It’s just that we didn’t feel that what we were about to do was wrong. We were simply being boys, and we were experimenting.
And just like that, we flung the cat off the roof and like Teacher had taught months earlier, it did invert itself and land on its feet. We marvelled so much that we did it again and again and again until the cat perhaps feeling that his nine lives were almost up, fled and sought refuge in Neighbour’s house for the rest of my holiday.
I was in kyalo when Cousin asked if I wanted to see something ‘interesting’. Cousin should I say, was not like me – a boy doing boy things. He, was doing things that made me question his sanity.
In one of the storerooms, they had discovered a litter of rats that had just been born – no more than a few hours old. They huddled, their fragile pink bodies together for warmth while hissing and squeaking. While I knew that rats are vermin and are to be killed on sight, what I didn’t know, is how they got rid of the new born. But Cousin did.
Cousin scoped all 14 of them onto a grubby shovel and called in Dr Death - the sinister looking black kyalo cat that always gave me the creeps, to come and do the needful. It did. It didn’t first play with them as I thought it might, but with evil, relish and greed, it picked them up as they squealed and savagely started chomping into them. All 14 of them till they were gone then, then sat in the corner by the TV stand with a smug look while licking away at its paws.
That night, when Dr Death came to slumber at the foot of my crib as it always did, I was not having any of it and by then, had I not outgrown the ‘tossing off the roof' fad, you surly know what I would have done to Dr Death - don't you?
Friday, March 17, 2017
I'm a realist. I believe, that we men need to have ourselves groomed from time to time so we come across as being respectable and presentable. However, I believe some assurances should be melted out to Barber the moment we step into the salon.
Back in the day when I worked with WBS and when it was still located in Spear House on Jinja Road, there was a salon on the top floor of the building. Seeing it was owned by Wava Daughter, there was an agreement between the salon and WBS in that, WBS on-air presenters could have their haircuts done there on account. Obviously, I was taking liberties by going there seeing I was not an on-air presenter.
When I breezed into it on my first visit, I expected nothing but a quick cut and shave with enough time left over to pop into The Pub on DeWinton Road for TMLs and wile away the evening with Peter Ntimba from the news department. Except, it didn’t happen that way.
Barber didn’t get straight to work as I expected. Rather, he started off with giving my scalp a massage. While it felt good, I found it embarrassing because real men like me and UPDF’s finest don’t have head massages. I let it slide. Twenty minutes later, the cutting started and jeez, being cut by Barber was done with the almost the same clinical precision a doctor about to perform a lobotomy. With each snip, he would stop and bring out three different sized hair brushes and do some brushing. If not, it would be a tiny comb which baffled me because the teeth of the comb couldn’t grasp my hair. Satisfied that he had gotten the first snip right, he walked over to the television and gazed at it for a while and then surfed channels, increased the volume followed by having a snoop at what sort of haircut Colleague Barber was giving the customer he was working on.
And then he ambled back to me. Another small snip and out came the brush again, followed by a stroll to the window to keep abreast of what was happening down at the taxi rank and to see if Mandazi Woman had passed or just gawp out of the window for no reason - except, err, gawp.
His curiosity satisfied, he returned, adjusted the shaver and started hacking off wads of unwanted hair while contorting my neck backwards, then left, then right and finally forward like he was trying to get me into a wrestling headlock. After almost an hour of being swirled about in the chair, just as I thought he was calling time, there was hooting on the street below which, necessitated him making another trip to the window to be nosey.
Satisfied the person hooting could get on without his help, he swaged himself back to my scalp via a television pit stop to change the channel to Channel O. After a wash, I was all good to head to The Pub – except, he wasn’t done. “Mzee, I am almost” he said and with that, I braced myself for another hour in the seat.
What happened next defied all acceptable rules of male grooming etiquette. It was rape and with hindsight, I should have swung him two hot slaps and thrown him out of the window along with his assortment of hair brushes. Do you know what he did!? Dude reached for the trolley, picked up a toothbrush and began brushing my eyebrows and eyelashes! Do you see why I would have been justified in ejecting him through the 5th floor window?
The final straw by way of a volley of foul language came when he picked the trimmer and tried to trim my brows into shape. Jeez!
Saturday, March 11, 2017
Note: This week’s column contains an image that may not agree with all of you.
I don’t believe in body mutilation. FGM is a barbaric female practice, just as much as I think male circumcision is a draconian horror.
Diehard fans of Quinten Tarantino’s 1994 movie, Pulp Fiction, will be all too aware of the quote by Jody (Rosanna Arquette) which, went along these lines. “All of my piercings – 16 places on my body, all of them were done with a needle. Five in each ear, one through the nipple on my left breast, one through my right nostril, one through my left eyebrow, one in my lip, one in my clit and I wear a stud in my tongue.”
‘Body mutilation’ is big business and people mutilate themselves for various reasons. For example, some women pierce their nipples because of an ‘enhanced sexual arousal created by the nipple and areola stimulation’. Others, like Younger Generation, they do it because of the pressures heaped on them by society to ‘fit in’. If not, they want to be like the stars they idolise - Rihanna, Lady Gaga or Black Chyna. Closer to home and perhaps fuelled by the desire to grace the pages of Kampala Sun, Daughter cottoned on that you only get into those pages for being outrageous and shocking - like leaking nude selfies or exposing piercings in places that would make Porn Cop - Father Lokodo, squirm, start ranting and calling for legislation on where earrings can and can’t be worn.
Tattoos are not a new fad, while nipple piercing – at least in the Western world, dates back to the 14th Century. In my growing up era, girls only had two piercings on their bodies – one on each of their ear lobes to be precise, while we boys, we had nothing – not even a tattoo because it would not meet parental approval.
But in today’s world order, Parent has resigned themselves to seeing Daughter (and Son) ears full of bling. Worse, Daughter and Son are also piercing eyebrows, tongues and lower lips. And if that’s not enough, Daughter has a ‘bull ring’ in her nose and she so proudly struts around town showing it off like she is the prized cow at the Jinja Agricultural Show. Seriously, for the life of me, I can’t figure out how a bull ring enhances sexual desire – unless it’s some macabre sex thing?
Eyebrows and tongues aside, wait for this shocker. Daughter – and Son are also into mutilating things ‘down there’. Looking at some of the images of Daughter and Son who have mutilated ‘down there’, all I can say is, ouch, it looks nasty, it’s a turnoff and it must have really hurt.
Not all women are mutilators and perhaps we ought to spare a thought for that geek, so not streetwise, naïve and closeted Daughter who went to Gayaza High School. In all her outings to Senga, and the awkward lectures she got on what to expect on her wedding night, I don’t think that she (Senga) would have told her that Hubby-to-be might have had himself mutilated – and we are not talking just about circumcision, but that his thingy might be covered in more bling than the actor Mr T has round his neck. If not, he might have had it tattooed with the words: ‘TNT Dynamite’ running all the way down. Or up?
But hey, if that’s how Sista and Bruv get their kicks, it’s cool with me but will say, stretched ear lobes, bull rings, rings in noses, eyebrows, tongues, mouths and down there, is not sexy. Its morbid. And Sista and Bruv, if you don’t mind my asking this: “Don’t the rings and studs on ‘things down there’ rip the condom to shreds? What about the ammonia in the susu, won’t it bring about some about corrosion that will lead to an infection?”
Saturday, March 4, 2017
I think, I am a very helpful person. If I can help, I go out of my way to do so.
Let’s call him Charlie. Charlie was frus that Daughter was sitting at home doing nothing – if not, going to town to do something called ‘passing time’. Rather than her idle away, he asked if I could help her connect with Silk Events – seeing I knew the MD.
I had met Daughter – briefly, and she’d come across as the ‘impressionable type’ - very scattered and trailing the rest of the world. Before I met her, I advised that he makes sure she’s organised in her dress, CV and does some reading on what Silk Events does.
On the anointed day when I met her, of the five young women sprawled out in reception, it was difficult to know who had turned up for the interview. All of them were dressed like they were going to a school leavers bash in Entebbe. If not, a Butcherman kiggunda at Gaba beach. Ripped jeans, more bling than Mr T, and tops that had their bosoms spiralling out of control.
When she saw me, she laboriously trudged over – almost like Charlie had forced her into attending the interview against her will. As to the other girls, she said: “My BFs. They gave me a push.” WTF, which mulalu asks her BFs to give them a push to an interview?
Let’s pause a paragraph or two while I bring in Patrick Otembo – one time head of Sales and Marketing at Capital FM back in the day. I was in his office when Interviewee turned up wearing jeans and a polo t-shirt. When he presented his CV, it was plainly obvious that it was a photocopy of a photocopy, of a photocopy, of a photocopy – so faded, you could hardly read what was on it. Worse, it looked like it had been photocopied using a cheap copier in Wandegeya market in that, when the CV was placed on the plate, it was not placed straight but, at an angle which meant, some of the words on the CV had been sliced off. While Interviewee didn’t see anything erroneous with the way he dressed or his pitiful attempt at photocopying his CV, Patrick furiously did.
Patrick let rip and went to town on him. He flogged him. Then chopped and diced him into mincemeat. Not done, he unleashed a barrage of vulgarities, belittled him, before haranguing the stunned and petrified fellow out of his office and all while ripping up his CV and throwing it at him.
Getting back, I too could have pulled ‘a Patrick’, but like I said at the start, I am a helpful person. Rather, I hauled her into a side room to tell her of her errors. It was a mistake.
Daughter swung me the most vicious and vindictive look when I dared suggest that The Malaya Convention was not taking place here. Her boobs were so in my face, I could literally make out the veins in them plus, her filthy and no longer white bra straps, really needed a good week-long soaking in a basin of concentrated Jik.
As for her CV, from the start, it was riddled with a diarrhoea of errors. It was titled: ‘Curriculum Vitae Resume’. Hmm. Under nationality she had stated ‘Alur’ instead of ‘Ugandan’. As I pointed out each blunder, Daughter fumed and frothed more at the mouth – interpreting my trying to help her as an unpardonable aggravation. Oh, I almost forgot. Guess what she listed as her only hobby? Mbu ‘going to town’. Hmm.
But digest on the ending to the tale. Days later when I met Charlie, he too was bitching and irate like Daughter. “TB, the whole idea of Daughter coming to see you, was to get her a job – not to give her a lecture.”
Gratitude is such a rare commodity in Ug.
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