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HELP

It’s laid-back Saturday evening and I’m hanging out with my folks. My dad is keen on BBC News while my mom is stretched on the couch admiring her new phone. I have a laptop on my lap and I’m trying to structure the week’s post. I have to get this over and done with tonight since I will be occupied on Sunday. My mom keeps interrupting me to show off some cool computer tricks she’s learnt while I was away. It’s her laptop and I have no choice but to pass it over to her. I watch her attentively and I tell her she’s smart (Penny will see that and think that I was being sarcastic). I’m not. Bill Gates would be so proud if he saw what my mom can do on Windows 7.

Out of the blue she asks me about my girlfriend. Normally I would brush aside the topic. But after the ‘Muffled Killer’ feature that aired on KTN last weekend (the one on gay sex workers and their astoundingly huge clientele), I figure it’s best I put her mind at ease. By the way if you’re a man of a certain age and you’re not showing any prospects of settling down, be sure that for a week now, your mom has not had a good night’s sleep. It gets worse if she’s been complaining of disturbing nightmares. That would mean you are doing badly. It’s high time you stepped up bro.

Daddy and I engage in small talk. We talk about work and life in general. He knows better than to discuss world politics with me. That’s the surest way of sending me to bed. He reserves that for my elder brother. He tells me about the high suicide rates in Russia. Apparently every minute someone attempts suicide in Russia. Staggering fact. “And we think we have problems in Kenya,” he says and chuckles.

He also tells me that a study conducted in Japan revealed that thirty percent of young men there do not want anything to do with women. Women are not in their long-term plans. He says that and waits for me to comment. I’m tempted to tell him that I do not find the Japanese ladies that attractive either. I’m tempted to tell him that if those little dudes came to Nairobi they would understand why God created Eve.

He notices that I’m occupied on the laptop and turns to me and asks what I’m so busy doing. I tell him that I’m working on my typing skills. Pathetic answer but at least it gets him off my back. In case you are wondering why I can’t let him know that I blog, the reasons are explained here. At quarter to eleven, he leads us in prayer and they retire to bed.  I go to the study room to finish up on the post.

So last week on Wednesday I met this acquaintance of mine who has established himself as a broadcaster. He saw me and hollered boisterously as the car he was in drove by. The encounter gave me an idea. You know one of those ideas that hit you and you feel like you’re on the verge of a breakthrough. It occurred to me that I could ask this guy for hook-ups with his pips in print media. So later in the day I send the guy a detailed email. Basically I introduce myself and then I ask him if he knows anyone in print media who might fancy my kind writing.

I went ahead and contacted two more established writers; one is also an acquaintance while the other is just a writer I admire. After sending the emails I sat back feeling all clever. I felt I had done something ingenious. And I spent the rest of the day refreshing my inbox expecting to see that life-changing email any minute.

Well, the only email I received that afternoon was a forward saying that Jesus loves me. The day after did not bring with it any luck either. I stayed positive though. I did not lose hope. Media personalities are very busy people you know. I imagine their inboxes are always full of very important, news-breaking emails. I figured I just need to be patient and anytime between now and my 60th birthday I might just get a reply.

The broadcaster I met is a cool guy. There’s no way he would holler at me so enthusiastically and then go ahead and snub me. I was sure he didn’t just shout my name because he was in the back left of a sleek BMW and I was walking on the pavement being scorched by an unforgiving sun. Or because he wanted me to see the flashy Beats by Dre headphones on his companion’s head. No. The guy is awesome.

On Saturday morning I wake up and I see an email from him! I am so excited and I quickly open it. I immediately notice it’s distinctively short. Seven words and two punctuation marks, to be exact. It reads ‘have you considered entering any writing competitions..’ Such a bright idea! How had I not thought of that? Any writer worth his salt probably started out by winning a writing competition. No? Sure?

On Friday, I coincidentally meet the accomplished writer whom I had emailed. We shake hands and after a bit of chitchat I tell him that I’d sent him an email earlier on in the week. At that moment he places me and admits he was having trouble ascertaining the sender. He says he will get back to me. You can’t help but admire the humility on this guy. I googled him and found him on Wikipedia. He has some prestigious accolades under his belt and you wouldn’t even tell.

I have never met the third writer that I contacted. I don’t even know how he looks like. I just know he has a big nose. I very much admire his writing though. He has such amazing talent and I read his articles with such allegiance. If only I had the same dedication in school. In his articles he projects himself as a courteous and down-to-earth guy. I couldn’t get his email address so I wrote him a message on his facebook fan page. He has not gotten back to me. I assume he has not logged into facebook yet. I’m sure he didn’t just see my message and think ‘pfft yet another groupie who thinks he is the first person to have a dream. Martin Luther King Jr. had one too. Chill out dude!’

I can now relate to my neighbor’s poodle.

My neighbor recently bought this miniature dog. The little doggy is as playful as they come. The only thing it does better is crapping. It takes crapping seriously. Every time it sees a human it gets so excited and it runs towards them and starts nibbling on their shoes and pants (or socks if you’re wearing three-quarter pants).

It used to be fun the first few days. Nowadays I do not have the time to hang around and play. Whenever it sees me and comes running towards me, I look away and pay zero attention to it. You should see the dejected look on its eyes whenever I ignore it. If the little dog came with a translator, he would translate that expression to something like, “Sir, the dog says, and I quote, I hope you die in your sleep you mean b*stard.”

The dog’s happiness is dependent on the mood of the person it comes across.

More often than not, in life we have to rely on other people. No man is an island. No man is a one-stop shop. There are times when we have to swallow our pride and ask for help. Some of the people you will stretch your arm toward will be ready to lend a helping hand, others will give you a cold shoulder. But you will not know unless you try.

I hear boys talking about their side hustles and I get envious. I suck at hustling. But if it came through writing I believe I would enjoy it. I would like to write professionally some day. If you are out there and you need a writing assistant, feel free to drop me an email on the address joeytales@gmail.com. I do not mind starting small. Help out a brother.

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Categories: People
  1. Anonymous
    February 13, 2012 at 8:31 am

    Always a great way to start off the week and if you keep writing the way you do im sure u’ll get your big break soon, keep up the good work!!!!

    • February 14, 2012 at 10:22 am

      Will sure do. Thanks a lot.

  2. Rita Murugi
    February 13, 2012 at 9:22 am

    u r a great writer Joel,sooner than you know, you will b like oyunga pala….even better!!wish u the very best

    • February 14, 2012 at 10:18 am

      You flatter me too much Rita. Thanks a lot.

  3. February 13, 2012 at 11:27 am

    keep keeping at it dude you’ll catch a break soon enough. i like that part for telling your mum you have a chille cause of that muffled feature shit on tv.

    • February 14, 2012 at 10:22 am

      Had to make it clear which side I root for.

  4. Linda
    February 13, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    You think you need a writing assistant job…I don’t think so. You already have a hustle as it is. I think you know how to make this work and work big time for you….you just haven’t quite put your finger on what will make it huge 🙂 You are on the right track by talking to people who have made it in the field you are interested in, so keep at it…get your ideas on paper. Keep giving us joeytales every Monday and work on getting us a BOGOF deal if possible…(lolest, its a harmless joke!) Oyunga Pala and Kate Getao didn’t make it in a week or a month but they got where they got by keeping at it and improving their work. You do have what it takes.

    I have my eye on joeytales 🙂

    • February 14, 2012 at 10:16 am

      Hehe BOGOF coming soon. Thank you Linda.

  5. February 13, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Good work man.

    Breaks come when you hardly expect them.Least of all on the refresh button.Keep it up.

  6. February 13, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    Your opportunity will come….be sure of it!

    Great piece and I liked that Japan paragraph.

    ps. does media have ‘pips’? 😉

    • February 14, 2012 at 10:13 am

      Oops… I mis-spelled ‘peeps’. And now because of you everyone will notice.

      Those Japs need some serious Project 44 counsel.

      Thanks.

  7. Anonymous
    February 17, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    Yes I will see that you are….great post dude…Penny

  8. February 18, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Ever heard of this quote by Charles kettering ,”Keep on going and the chances are you’ll stumble on something,perhaps when you are least expecting..”.You’re about to stumble on something,so don’t worry.Great work.

  9. Newest fan
    June 19, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    Hehe, your old man is something

  10. Liberty
    August 21, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    You’re on the right track Joey because you’re an excellent writer,however,this post was all over the place……….there was no flow:(

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