Since 1902

Memoirs of a scribe: There’s no fool like an old fool

With Benson Riungu

My village, Uturine, is served by a watering hole going by the name Undecided Leisure Lodge. Nobody is quite sure what inspired the ‘undecided’ part of the name, although it might have something to do with the fact that many of the customers have to be bodily thrown out after the official Mututho hour of 11pm.

The ‘leisure’ and ‘lodge’, I can say without fear of contradiction, as our political leaders are fond of saying, are fanciful creations of the bar owner, and bear no relation to the reality.

The centrepiece of the watering hole is Karembo, a woman who is nicknamed ‘Momo’, and is a darling of the male customers, especially when they are in their cups. The nickname is inspired by her physical proportions, which are truly amazing.

Men who prefer their women built conventionally would consider Karembo gross. There is nothing remarkable about her face, which is in fact a little plain. The bosom and waist are also pretty regular, if you get my meaning.

But then things take a dramatic turn from there downwards. She flares out to the extent that she has to pass through a door sideways, otherwise she would get stuck. The resulting hourglass figure has a strange effect on certain men after they have had a few drinks. They open their wallets wide for Karembo, and start revealing all their assets.

Particularly vulnerable are recent retirees afflicted with the 55-to-60-year itch. This is a phenomenon that smites people who have recently received their lumpsum pension payout.

The payment stirs up their fast diminishing hormones, and gives them the false feeling that they are in their 20s again. Many have been known to suffer fatal heart attacks when they get entangled with women like Karembo.

This is a condition women of Karembo’s type learn to spot when they are in the womb. Lately, she has been doing roaring business as the public service offloads employees who had got a reprieve when David Mwiraria extended the retirement age from 55 to 60 years.

Lately, Uturine Village has been receiving a steady stream of senior citizens, who seem to go berserk as soon as they land at Undecided Leisure Lodge and Karembo wiggles her bottom suggestively. They say there is no fool like an old fool, and the fact that the village is full of older senior citizens who went through the ‘Momo treatment’ and today roam about penniless is no deterrent to the newcomers.

Indeed, there is a part of Undecided Leisure Lodge known as the ‘Relics Corner’, where Karembo’s victims nurse their misery in the evenings. They hope that the good Lord will touch her heart so that she may remember the happy times they had together while their pension lasted. He is yet to do this, however, and to her, they are invisible non-persons.

For a reason I only learned recently, I also fall in this group, and am yet to enjoy her favours. I was in the male urinal adjoining the women’s privy when I heard her confide to a colleague that she has no time for retirees like myself.

Watu wa magazeti hawana pesa,” she said scornfully.

She, however, swore to do justice to the others: “Nitwanyoa bila maji!”