Of Uncle Habakkuk visit and thought-provoking queries
The other day, I received a call from my famous uncle Habakkuk, informing me that instead of visiting him in the village, he would prefer to come to the city.
I agreed to host him, along with his wife of many years, one Nereah Waithiegeni, the proud owner of the only provision store in the village but whose proceeds only Habakkuk manages to access unfettered.
I find this arrangement of theirs rather strange, knowing as I do that the man loves his regular dose of muratina, which the wife knows very well but still allows him access to the shop kitty, which also serves as the depository for the local women’s chama.
This sort of submission by a woman to her husband is the envy of many peers, especially in towns where the couple has relatives. But that is a story for another day.
I was telling you about the sudden call in which my uncle literally invited himself to my abode over Christmas.
As soon as the couple arrived, we had our first dilemma, in which we were unable to decide whether we should check into a restaurant for refreshments or to a bar.
If Nereah were not there, complete in a head gear that could easily outdo those donned by our city drama mama, Orie Rogo Manduli, the choice of venue would have been as easy as eating pie.
We would have trooped to Lizy’s Pub, my favourite local haunt and started things from there. You recall, of course, that Njoro’s mutura banda is not far from there, so that serves as an annexe of sorts to the alcohol-imbibing adventures of ours.
This Njoro guy, remind me some day to tell you more about how he arrived in the city, armed with Sh 2,000 and plenty of ambition to become the owner of the most popular mutura and soup joint in the estate.
But back to our story, of the newly arrived village couple, each tagging their own bag.
Nereah’s presence complicated things a bit for us as the idea of entering a pub would have been Nereah’s idea of the deadliest sin.
Habakkuk and I went through the painful process of having to pretend to enjoy taking tea at a restaurant whose menu was on the wall.
At the even more painful prodding by my auntie, we even asked for mandazi, those big triangular things that have more air than substance inside.
Habakkuk asked for a samosa, which he stuffed inside the mandazi to make a sandwish (as he called it) of sorts.
As any beer taker will readily tell you, those mandazi and chapatti things are not to be allowed within a kilometre’s radious of a fellow who plans to enjoy alcohol any time after that.
How the stomach becomes a factory of sorts, releasing noxious gases and causing the tummy to rumble like a regiment of soldiers on the march is the stuff of nightmares.
After we ensured Nereah was safely at home, imbibing yet more tea, Habakkuk and I stealthily escaped to my favourite haunt where we settled on our frothy stuff, the mutura chopping board just an elbow away.
“Do you know who your governor is?” he asked me, which caused my mouth to drop open. “Of course,” I replied.
“No, you don’t!” he retorted. I asked him to explain. And he shot questions at me like an AK47.
“I read somewhere, indeed, saw a copy of the document myself, that the man died long ago and a death certificate was issued in his name,” he continued. “So, who’s the guy claiming to be him?”
I stared at the man as the truth of his words sank. I said nothing.
“I also heard that Santa came to the city and was given mchele in some pub at a city estate. Do you know where he is? Did he recover?” Habbakuk went on. I continued staring at the man, searching for answers.
“You claim to live in the city of many lights but do not know these things?” he posed, again.
His last narrative was from the village, in which a bloke who has been walking for decades, Johnnie Walker ditched his footwear for gumboots, carried a gunny bag and started making bootleg liquour, which cost less than the original stuff and made village men pee in their pants in half the time. Real kill me quick.
This uncle is not done yet! Have a sober week, folks! – The writer is Assignments Editor, People Daily