The day before yesterday, a certain exposé on TV said of how some lady shared the now famed Ksh. 791 m NYS loot. It seemed so real, except I am not sure how someone from so deep in the inner circle could come out to expose such. But what do I know?
Anyway, the exposé, like many other things, reminded me of myself. I thought, may be the beautiful CS stole, yes, but there is another possibility that no one is exploring. May be even she cannot comprehend what happened. Let me explain.
The year is 2001. Yours truly has risen through the ranks and now holds the post of Troop Commander- Sungura scouts, at St. Mary’s. Baden Powell day is nigh, so preparations are in full gear for the celebrations in Nyírí. Right turn, left turn, mark time scout promise, scout laws…Check! Behind the scenes, a tidy sum has been kept away for use on the big day.
>>> Fast forward. [Nyeri]
Here we are. There are so many people the thought of getting lost is constantly at the back of my mind. But we keep matching, going around and singing mosquito………..zzzzzz……kill it pah! [clap] That is the only song we know, but as they say, the scout movement emphasizes brotherhood; our high school comrades teach us nice songs with a good vulgarity in them. This is fun.
They look so good in those khaki trousers and purple scarves; I can’t wait to get to high school. Even better looking are those girls in scout tunics that leaves bare that so beautiful part behind the knee. I swear that part….anyway, my blood is flowing much better!
So we keep marching and singing…twamkumbukaaa, papa yetuuu, Baaaden Poooo!!!!!…..arikufaaa…..
Then it strikes me! There, in front of me, is the ultimate camping knife! I pull Anoxx Nthambiri out of the procession and drag him to the stand. How much? I ask. 1500 shillings. My heart breaks, I can literally feel the pieces falling in my stomach.
We turn to leave, not because the knife is expensive, it can’t be, not when it is a replica of Baden Poos, but because we simply cannot fika bei. We barely make a half turn (scout lingo) before the seller asks, kwani how much do you have. I make an immediate full turn, turn all my pockets inside out and make the count. 700 in all.
Ongeza mia……I look at all my upturned pockets to indicate I got no supplementary budget, so the seller gives Annox the ‘do sum’n’ look. Anno shakes his head no, and the last piece of my heart falls with a cling.
But then the spirit of our Lord enters the seller, susas a bit and causes the seller to say: Bring that 700, just because it’s Baden Poo day. Mwathani Wa Isiraeli!
I tuck the knife away inside my shorts and continue marching. I cannot keep it exposed because even though we are told scouting is a brotherly movement, you can never be too sure. Even though I cannot afford a Fudge for the rest of the day, touching my shorts and feeling the bulge of my knife gives me satisfaction.
Problem is, the big girls keep looking at the bulge and laughing. At my age, this is embarrassing. They give me the ‘that’s a big one down there’ look, and I shoot them back the c’mon, it’s just a harmless camping knife. It is a long day, a mixture of shame, insecurity and happiness. Until I get home.
My intention is to keep the knife concealed, but you know a lad’s excitement, aye? When mum asks me to open a sack of charcoal, I immediately fish it out and start doing the honors. And that is when trouble breaks out.
Whose knife is that? Mine. Where did you get it? I bought it at Nyírí. Haiyaa…ebu go show it to your father.
I walk out briskly like Kithinji the butcher straight to the Man Beaters throne. What?…Mum has asked me to show you this. MB holds out his hand and I hand MY knife over. He tests the blade with his fingers. He turns it in his hand and feels the strength of the blade. I swear he has a proud look on his face.
But what has to be done has to be done.
Where did you get this? I bought it. Where? Nyírí? How much?…..I think of lying, but remember the MB is omnipotent. 700.
He turns to me with a look that reads ‘double trouble!’ What? This should not cost more than 100 shillings! But, that aside, where did you get that money? Nowhere.
Aiyayaya, I remember nowhere, nothing and such other null answers are null and void before the MB. But in this case, I honestly don’t know. Al I know is that it is my own honest, hard earned money. And that is MY KNIFE. Mugambi muue na kisu umpe! I obviously don’t say that aloud.
Anyway, you can guess what ensue, si you know the MB. I won’t go into details because, well, dirty linen hadharani.
Now here I am, embroiled in a Ksh. 700 scandal. Things are so hot feels like I will step aside from school, and home…and life! But let me ask this one question before I die. Has any one of you lost Ksh 700? See, MB, see? No one has lost any money, no one! Not even you. IT. IS. MY. MONEYYYYY!!!!
Waiguru. I feel you, rather iRelate!
PS: Someway somehow, I didn’t get kicked out. A few measures were put in place, like automated payments (parent paying fare directly to the conductor) etc.
That I bought a knife and not a doll or a new trouser must have been my savior. You know, he felt he was bringing up a man. Just ask around, and you will realize how many men are worried their sons may turn into some little gay shit. Boys who are tying their bathing towels above their chest. Just ask.
The man beater has never returned MY knife. Either:
- It must have been an excellent knife. (The price he mentioned is a manly tactic called, beat stupid into them till they feel it themselves)
- He is keeping it away to remind me of my poor decision making someday, you know, the genesis of my poor financial discipline. ( He knew of ‘pics or it didn’t happen long ago, this man Beater)