One of the best ways to keep warm during this cold season is by engaging in regular exercise, which is why some learned people like yours truly are always carting around a bag stashed with old exercise books.
Our villages organised a sporting contest. It was a tree climbing contest, which is, for one, the healthiest way to get high without necessarily having to visit Sue’s drinking den.
Competitors in the game will intermittently make subtle political statements; it was in the preparations for these games that I realised that Kinuthia’s son, Njogu, was shaking the tree, in Kiswahili kutingiza mti, to distract his rivals.
He was weakening the roots of the tree, and we cannot forget that he got (literally) high up the tree once and fell with a bang.
It was Paul, Clarissa’s son, who won the village championship. He was to represent us in Kabati, a village well over 10 kilometres away, in the inter-village competition.
The village was to dip a hand into the public coffers and award Paul and three other participants, who managed to hang onto some of the lower branches, showing the potential to become perfect branch managers.
We were to hire a Peugeot 504, the only one in the village, to ferry these champions to the competition.
The public coffers have been looted dry by my avaricious uncle, who has also ran the church bankrupt as he chews tithe like gum.
We went to Sue and took a loan, which was not to attract any interest as she is no longer interested in Harold, and I doubt she misses me either.
Armed with the money, we booked the Peugeot 504 and used the rest of the money as collateral for more lending from Sue.
Paul practised every day, hanging from the rafters alongside strands of soot every day, preparing for the grand contest.
When the day came, he woke up early, ready to travel. But when we all met at Harold’s Assembly of Holy Associates (HAHA) church, Harold announced that Paul would not be the first person to leave the village.
Harold read the names of those who were to leave in the Peugeot 504. None of the competitors were on it, even the driver was not on the list.
When Paul protested, he was reminded that he was a foreigner (he came to the village end of 2021 when his mother, who was Harold’s girlfriend for just a day a long time ago, came looking for her ex-boyfriend). Clarissa and Paul came from a neighbouring village.
With its 10 passengers - there was barely any space for the driver. We pushed him in and helped push the car so the engine could start.
The car reappeared at midday to ferry the second batch of participants. We wished Paul and the other competitors a successful outing.
When they got to Kabati, Paul and co realised that the contests were almost in the final stages. The contestants had been crammed in the Peugeot 504, 13 of them, and Paul’s hands and feet were sore.