Archive

Archive for March, 2012

What the hell!

March 26, 2012 14 comments

Is it just me or has today’s fashion elevated to an insane level? I was in the streets running some errands on Saturday when I ran into this youthful guy that looked like he had escaped from a psychiatric institution! Picture this outfit: The guy was wearing this big sunglasses that made his face look like an owl; a very tight, purple t-shirt that only Jimmy Gait would wear; some clownish checked skinny pants that had all the colors of the rainbow; and purple loafers. To top it all, he was rocking a Mohawk. One of those big ones that makes a guy look like he’s growing a fence on his head.

You’ve probably spotted a similar look in town. That’s the trend today. And it’s outrageous. If you’re over 18 (like the guy in our case study) and you have a mohawk on your head then you’re not only very confused, you are also a lunatic. If I had to choose between having my hair cut by a blind barber and wearing a mohawk, I’d go for the former. I’ve never seen anything as awful on top of a head. Every time I meet a guy in a mohawk I’m tempted to punch the daylights out of him. Why would you do that to yourself?

I would understand if an adolescent spots the dreadful hairstyle. He has a right to be confused at that age. I would want to meet his parents though. I can’t picture myself sitting opposite my mohawked son at the dinner table and acting all cool. It would drive me nuts. I’d reach over, get him in a choke hold and cut it with a table knife. How would such a parent even introduce his/her son? “Hey this is my son. He was last in his class so I got him a mohawk. Cool huh?”

Then what’s with the color chat look? Is that the in thing now? I think if a chameleon happened to fall on our guy, those rolling eyes would roll forever. If you have the guts to walk in town looking like that, then you’re definitely on the border of slightly insane and very insane. But I guess if Saturday was Judgement day, our conspicuous guy would be the first to be lifted to the heavens.

People need to understand that there’s a difference between fitting and disturbingly tight. It’s not fitting if it makes you look like a smokie. It’s not fitting if it makes your head look big. It’s not fitting if it makes you walk like you’re having a hernia. Guys, it’s just not fitting if it makes Cain and Abel feel like they are being punished.

Kanye West and Soulja Boy can dress however they please because they thrive in publicity. If today Kanye walked around New York wearing nothing but a bull horn covering his nether regions, the hype would only result to more albums sales. Sir, you are not Kanye West, you’re just weird.

Having pointed that out, I witnessed something very interesting as I walked through the estate last week. A woman came out of her gate and asked a kid to go inside and take a bath. The kid’s response shocked the wax out of my ears. He shouted, “ah mum you can’t see I’m playing?” I covered my eyes to keep them from seeing the thrashing that was about to erupt. But the mum’s response was even more shocking. She simply shrugged and said, “aki huyu mtoto!” (Loosely translated to I can’t believe this child). Then she went back to the house.

I couldn’t believe it! I stood there for a short while waiting to see if she would emerge with a slipper in hand. Or a rungu.  But she did not come back. The kid got away with it. I wanted to go lift him off the ground by his ears and admonish him. Or grab a branch and beat some manners into him. But what I wanted even more was to go after the mum and let her know what a pathetic parent she was. I wanted to tell her to MUM THE HELL UP. It’s only a matter of time before that kid wears a Mohawk and the mom will not be able to do anything about it.

It was distressing to watch a kid disrespect his mother like that. Even more distressing was the mother’s implausible reaction. During our days you wouldn’t even wait for your mom to come out to remind you that it was time to take a bath. You learnt to tell these things by observing the position of the sun. If your mum had to come out for you she would pull you into the house by your ear like a suitcase.

I remember when I was a kid and one of my playmates clicked at his mom after she called him into the house. You bet he got a lesson he was never going to forget. Not just him but that woman made sure none of us would ever be rude toward our moms.

If there was one thing our moms were good at, it was pinching. Those fingers could squeeze hard. It’s like women were given pinching lessons during baby showers. My mom would pinch me and it would feel like my ear has been set on fire. Even now I wouldn’t dare piss her off. I fear she still got it.

I wonder what changed. Grounding your child is not enough. Especially if he has a playstation. I’ve heard young mothers proudly saying they wouldn’t lay a finger on their dear children. You wait till he gets to form two and he grows a big head. You will be surprised at the rate at which your pleas enter one ear and leave through the other. You wait till you have to sit with him at the dinner table and he’s wearing a fence on his head. You just wait.

Categories: People

Blank mind

March 19, 2012 9 comments

It is every blogger’s wish that whatever he/she writes turns out to be the best thing to have happened to humanity since Kentucky Fried Chicken. We hope that our work would be shared all over the globe and readers would fall in love with it. However, that is not always the case. Most people just don’t give a hoot. As far as they are concerned, so long as it does not put bread on their tables, the writer and his article can as well go conserve the environment. So you can imagine my amazement last Monday when I checked the stats for the day’s post and it had quite a significant number of views. By 5pm the post had more views than the average views I get in a whole week.

WordPress has this new feature that allows you to see which countries your viewers are from and the post had viewers from as far as Iceland and Russia! As in despite that biting cold, somewhere in Russia was a dude/chick just chilling with a glass of vodka reading joeytales? (you know how folks like their drink chilled so they have it on the rocks? In Russia and Iceland it’s the opposite. The bartender puts your drink in the microwave to defrost before serving you). Anyway, cheers my freezing readers.

Problem now is that I have to try and keep up the quality that got the blog so many views. It would not be fair for Mr. Vladimir to wipe the ice off his laptop and go to joeytales then find a crappy post. Now the pressure is on. You’ve already noticed that this week’s article is unusually short. Trust me, it’s not because I figured I better summarize it before and Icelander turns into an iceberg; the truth is that everything I’ve tried putting down ended up sounding so boring you would have more fun reading the laws of physics.

Folks, I just couldn’t come up with anything interesting this week. My mind simply refused to function. Not even coffee or redbull could jump-start it. As I write this it’s 10pm on Sunday and I am frustrated. I have tried three different ideas but I’ve had to drop them halfway through after I started dozing off. Only a man suffering from ED would understand the predicament I’m in. I feel like going all psycho on this laptop. But the laptop is innocent; it’s my mind that has failed me. I wonder if that’s how it feels being senile. You know, the way in the movies old folks just chill on the balcony staring into space. You would push his wheelchair into a club and he would still maintain that blank stare. That’s how I feel right now.

I could use a guest post. If you can come up with an interesting article that you would like to share, send it to me on the address joeytales@gmail.com. If I like it I will publish it. Do not worry, I will not pass it as my own and claim that I suddenly got an epiphany. I will give you the credit.

Categories: Uncategorized

Something for the ladies

March 12, 2012 16 comments

Last week on Thursday as soon I sat my desk ready for the day’s work, I received an sms from my good friend Joram wishing me a happy Women’s Day. I am used to such low blows from him so the first thing I did was to confirm if Alfred Mutua had shown some solidarity with our women and declared the day a national holiday. I suppose he was not aware of any occasion. Anyway I was curious to find out what Women’s Day was really about and I got onto the web to find some answers.

Wikipedia says: International Women’s Day is marked on March 8 every year. In different regions the focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women to a celebration for women’s economic, political and social achievements.

What would we do without Wikipedia? I had no idea there was a specific date set aside to mark Women’s Day. I however like the idea of acknowledging our women on a regular basis. It is irrefutable that they are the building blocks of our society. I am not sure Kenyan men did a lot of celebrating though. Every other day, on the news we see a man lamenting like a little girl after having the dickens beaten out of him by his wife. I have a feeling the last thing some Kenyan men wanted to see was girl-power being promoted. You would be surprised to learn that some men would rather see the 2nd of January all over again than see Women’s Day.

On a more serious note, no one can dispute the fact that women play a crucial role in our lives. They raise us, they nurture us, and when we’re all grown up they become our companions. They deserve to be respected. No doubt about that. What I do not get is the advocacy of equality and the way it is being propagated. We have activists advocating for equality yet the same people contradict themselves when they demand for unmerited statuses and positions for their fellow women. I see a huge paradox here.

It is Gandhi who said that, “Woman is the companion of man, gifted with equal mental capacity”. I have no doubt that what women can accomplish is boundless. Instead of demanding for favors women should fold their sleeves and earn it. Joan of Arc, the Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher, Mother Theresa, not to mention our very own Wangari Maathai did it.

I have my own perception of the ideal woman in my mind: She is delightful, not just in her looks, but more so in her mannerisms. She is the kind of woman that commands respect. She is a compound of a number of attributes that I have compiled. Here we go:

The ideal woman is realistic. She knows she’s more likely to come across a laughing donkey than to find ‘the perfect man’. She does not compare her relationship with what she sees on soaps. She does not pick fights unnecessarily. She does not sulk the whole day because her man failed to notice that her toe nails looked different. She is not petty. The ideal woman is understanding and forgiving.

The ideal woman is strong – not physically but mentally. She is assertive and can stand up for herself. She walks with her head held up. She looks people in the eye and speaks with purpose. She does not giggle frivolously when any man makes a pass at her. She does not beat around the bush when she wants to say something. She is not easily intimidated. The ideal woman is self-assured.

The ideal woman is a lady. She is not desperate. She is not an attention seeker. She does not walk around looking like she tripped and fell face-first on make-up.  She does not laugh out too loudly with her mouth wide open looking like a starving alligator (and most certainly does not roll on the floor laughing). She does not fish for compliments. She is not a drama queen. She does not smash a bottle on another girl’s face because she winked at her man. The ideal woman is dignified: Calm and collected.

The ideal woman makes efforts to look beautiful. She tries to keep her weight in check. She however does not walk with downcast eyes because she is overly self-conscious of her naturally big body. She is comfortable with the way the Lord made her. She loves herself, but is not conceited. The ideal woman gets her hair done once in a while. She ensures she smells nice. She takes care of her skin. She always carries a lip balm – any woman walking around with cracked lips should be arrested and detained.

The ideal woman knows how to manage her finances. She is not always in debt. She does not shoplift. She pays her dues in time. She lives within her means. She does not buy something just because she saw Eva Longoria flaunting it on Desperate housewives. She does not sit around and wait for a man to take care of her. She does not smile at men in  bars so as to get free drinks. The ideal woman is responsible.

The ideal woman walks with a smile on her face even when her life is in shambles. She leaves her personal issues at home. She does not stress her colleagues because her husband came home with a lip print on his shirt. Even when times are tough, she does not walk around looking like the world is against her very existence.  She finds the will to dust herself off and carry on when things do not work out. The ideal woman keeps her cool even in the face of adversity.

The ideal woman is organized. She is orderly, neat and clean. She keeps her house tidy. She does not let dirty dishes accumulate in her sink for a week. She knows hygiene. She does not walk around with sweat dripping down her face – unless she is in a walking competition. She does not hang onto her weave until it smells like old sneakers. The ideal woman is immaculate.

The ideal woman adores her man. She respects him as the man of the house. She cooks for him and serves him. She is gentle when dealing with him. She knows when to talk and when to remain silent. She is not obscene – the ideal woman does not curse or hurl insults like Lil Kim is her role model. She acts like a lady, and dresses like one. The ideal woman is graceful.

The ideal woman stays faithful to her man.

On a lighter note, an ideal woman should be able to dance – well, at least sway her hips. You can’t just sit on your bum the whole night spectating like you just landed from another planet. You should have gone to watch a play or something.

That’s just my two cents worth. I will leave you with the words of Eleanor Roosevelt: Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.

Categories: Behavior

LENNY (PART TWO)

March 5, 2012 12 comments

Four months after writing my second post Lenny, I still get bashed by readers who found the ending to be too brutal. I therefore decided to come up with a sequel before mercenaries are sent for my head. I’m calling a truce.

Just like a ship diminishes as it sails toward the horizon, the disheartening occurrence with Valentine was slowly fading from Lenny’s mind. It had been four months and he was proud of the fact that he could now go for days without wallowing about her. He no longer felt like throwing himself off a cliff every time thoughts of Valentine crept into his mind.  It had taken time, but he was finally getting his mind back on track.

Well this was until one momentous Sunday afternoon when he bumped into her as he was shopping in a supermarket. He was at the rice section trying to pick out the best brand and just as he grabbed a bag from the shelf, a female voice behind him teased, “trust me, that one tastes like sorghum.”

Lenny had a response as he turned towards his adviser, “and what do I owe you for such invaluable…” The sight of Valentine made him freeze. He didn’t get to finish his statement. With his mouth agape, he stood there staring at her. His eyes were locked with hers. He soon came back to his senses and extended his hand to greet her.

“Wow Valentine… it’s nice… it’s… how… how are you doing? I didn’t expect to see you.”

They engaged in a little chitchat. It was awkward. At some point he told her that she looked fabulous. Valentine actually looked like she was auditioning for a makeover. She was in a track suit and some cheap sandals, not to mention that her hair looked like she’d just survived electrocution. He excused himself after an uncomfortable silence and walked away. He was tempted to pick up a china plate and smash it over his head.

As he drove home, his mind was clouded. He had his eyes fixed on the road but his mind was elsewhere. He steered the car through sheer instinct. His mind was still in the supermarket next to the rice aisle. He was thinking about the lady he had met. Her frame still lingered in his mind. He had noticed that she had grown significantly slimmer.

Once again, Valentine would become etched on Lenny’s mind. Despite the weight loss, she was still a goddess. Her smile was as heartwarming as ever; her eyes, as enchanting as the sunrise. She was still God’s finest work of art.

In an instant, an astounding realization rocked Lenny’s mind like a gigantic wave rocks a vessel. A realization so significant he impulsively stepped on the brakes, causing the car to swerve on the tarmac. He got the car under control and pulled over.

Lenny could not remember seeing the sparkling of the engagement ring on Valentine’s finger. He replayed his encounter again and again.  He was certain there was no ring on Valentine’s middle finger. Such a profound realization!

It was getting unbearably hot in the car. His underarm was soaked. He switched on the air conditioning and switched off the radio. He deliberated for about half an hour before getting back on the road. He had conceived a plan. He would call her that evening and confirm his suspicions.

That evening, he was watching the clock tick as he recited out loud what he had planned to say. His insides felt constricted. A feeling all too familiar. At exactly half past seven, he picked up his phone and scrolled down his phonebook. Much to his surprise, Valentines name was not in his list of contacts. At that point he remembered that day at the restaurant when he deleted it out of despair.

He sat back with hands clasped behind his head. He was frustrated.

He could remember some digits though. He picked up a pen and paper and wrote down the digits he could remember. After battling with his mind for a while, only one digit of the prefix was unclear to him. He however knew that there was the digit 2 somewhere. He decided to try his luck and start with the prefix 0722… He would then try 0721, 0720 and 0712. The first call was picked by a drunk man with a heavy Meru accent. The second and third calls were not successful either.

He was successful with the fourth call. After ringing twice, he was startled by Valentine’s voice.

“Hi Lenny! It’s nice to see your phone still works.”

Lenny was surprised to realize she had kept his number. He kept his cool and responded cleverly, “hey! I got it fixed so I could thank you for helping me out of my rice situation. This one you selected is so tasty I only had to sprinkle a pinch of salt over my white rice and I had myself a meal.”

Valentine let out a hearty laughter just like he had hoped.

Lenny then changed his tone to a more serious one and admitted that he had called her because he’d noticed something was different about her. He expressed that he’d noticed the missing ring then paused for a moment before asking Valentine if she was still engaged.

For a moment there was pin-drop silence. Valentine then cleared her throat. She was obviously struggling to find her words. Lenny waited eagerly to hear what she had to say. But when she finally managed to speak, she said she would rather not talk about it.

“I understand Valentine. I do.” Lenny said empathetically, “but believe it or not, I am in such tremendous anguish here. Just tell me if you are still seeing someone. That’s all I need to know.”

Valentine contemplated for some time and revealed that she was single. She said that she had not been seeing anyone for a while and she was comfortable that way.

Lenny thanked her for being honest with him. He had noticed how unhappy she sounded and before he hung up, he told her that he would make it his job to cheer her up every single day. He said that he would not just do it because he wanted her to be happy, but because making her happy was all he cared to do. He told her that he was glad they had met that afternoon, and concluded by saying that everything happens for a reason.

Ok, I have just realized I cannot complete the story in one post without it seeming rushed. Someday when I get inspired the story will continue.

Categories: Fiction