Last night, I realised the man I swap stories with at my local is an idiot. By the time you finish reading this post, you will ask me why I didn’t whip out my belt and lash him like a small boy. Now, read along. For the rest of this tale, I will refer to him as the idiot or fool, and I will appropriately call myself, the wise man.
The idiot spotted a good looking woman standing near the counter. He told me he would wish to squish her juicy bits or juice her squishy bits.
So I raised my eyes and stared intently at the jiggly bits. Before I could make a clear SWOT analysis (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threats assessment) of the fool’s object of desire, my thoughts were jarred by the fool’s phone. It was ringing.
‘Mum calling’ flashed on the screen.
The fool looked at it, sighed and took a sip of his beer. The call went unanswered. I looked at him, and gently nudged him.
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“Your mum just called. Aren’t you going to pick?” The wise man asked.
“Yes, I will call her later,” the fool said and continued starring at the woman, who was now seated at the counter, sipping a Redbull. I guess she had activity later in the night that require high energy levels.
A minute passed. The phone rang again. The idiot simply disconnected the call.
I then stared deeply into my whisky glass, looking at the golden brown liquid, matured in oak casks for 12 years, smoky taste, character subsumed in its dark aromas.
The type of drink you pay attention to, you know? The kind of whiskey you DONT drink and at the same time check your Blackberry to see if the ‘new project’ has replied to your flirtatious text message.
Where was I?
Yes, back to the idiot.
This man had just ignored two phone calls from his mother. I know the old lady can’t call him during the day because the idiot is ‘busy.’ She can only call at eight in the night because she assumes the idiot, is at home playing with the children. She can’t also call past nine because she knows the idiot will be playing with mama watoto.
I am sure if it had been Ciku or Akinyi Jaber calling, the idiot would have left the pub in a flash to pick the call.
I don’t know what his mum ever did to him, but if my father calls me and I am driving, I will park by the road side and pick his calls. If he calls me and I am in a meeting, I will walk out.
There is no greater emergency than a phone call from my dad, siblings or the woman my sons call mum. They are family.
The only time I can’t pick my dad’s phone, is when I am in church, and mum and aunties would highly approve of that, or when I am ‘busy doing other things’ and my dad and uncles would smile coyly and approve.
My father never gave up on me when I chewed school fees. He beat me up, and didn’t pay the fees balance directly to the school account, but gave me the cash, and threatened, “Shika fees, uende ukule tena” A second chance.
He never gave up on me when I was expelled from high school in form four first term. It was my fault, something about the deputy principal, her younger sister and me. Dad home schooled me and I only went back to St Mary’s to do my final exams. A second chance.
When I got into a spot of bother with my first employer, who threw me into police cells, my dad traveled overnight from Kisumu, to come and help me sort it out. He cleared with my employer, mzee to mzee. So many chances.
This is a man who wore the same pair of shoes for years, yet he bought me leather shoes every school term because I told him other kids laugh at my old shoes.
This man, Odongo Odinga, my father... why should I ignore his calls? He probably wants to know how his grandchildren are doing, or tell me that his 124 Mercedes Benz E200 has started making a funny noise during ignition.
Day or night, family comes first. Shame on you idiot.
PS: The woman seated at the counter drinking Redbull? A man driving a black Land Cruiser VX with tinted windows picked her.