You probably think wax is nice. Harmless. Completely inanimate.

There are certain inanimate things that could take over the world if they wanted to. Its only out of their benevolence, their goodwill that they haven’t yet demonstrated to humanity who wears the pants. Who the balls really hang on. 

Consider fabric. If hooded jackets started transmitting voices into the unsuspecting minds of wearers, instructing them bottle up and hurl their smelliest farts in the general direction of those people eyeing Mabira, we’d be completely helpless to stop them. If all the dresses in Uganda stuck to wearers’ skins today, refusing to be taken off until wearing sundresses all the time, everyday was declared compulsory for all Ugandans (with guys having to wear kanzus in bright colors), we’d have no choice but to obey.

But fabric is nothing compared to Wax.

Wax is so badass that it erased this article from my hard drive. I was made to understand my position: I am only a lowly purveyor of the awesomeness of wax. Golola, Chuck Norris, Bauer, all those people respect wax. Take it from the person who had to type this article thrice.

Everything made out of this substance could cause serious problems for the world if it wanted to. So I hope that you go away from here doing the smart thing, paying homage.

Lipstick is one of those things that a lot of women can’t live without. They wear it to feel pretty, to threaten rivals, to get men in trouble with their wives. This tantalizing oily substance is made mostly of wax.

Just imagine that it decided to stop doing its job. Many lips would drop off in protest! Many men would be paralyzed with sorrow and there would be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Imagine that instead of making women look hot; it started controlling their mouths, distorting them into disturbing shapes during dinners with their in laws. Mayhem! Slaps!

Dreadlocks: Look to your to your right and to your left. Don’t bother looking ahead. The only people who sit ahead of you in office are either pen thieves or tools (and sometimes both). Do you see anybody with dreadlocks? Of course. Do you see how awesome they look? Wax is responsible for the mass of attractive coils on their heads. Using it, hair is painstakingly rolled into little tubular masses that mature into nice dreadlocks after six months.

Just imagine wax decided to zombiefy your dreadlocks, making them thrash around like medusa’s hair. You’d look terrifying! Wax could turn the sweet, sexy dreads on your head into knives and stab you in the eyes! Or into worms that could wiggle into your ears.  It could even make your dreadlocks pull themselves off. Man.

Ears

There’s a whole lot of this stuff in our ears. It’s supposed to be a bouncer of sorts, standing in front of our ears and denying access to insects like cockroaches, objects like beads, dust, etc. It’s even bitter, which means it’s supposed to deny access to tongues as well.

Take the hint, boys.

Ear wax isn’t as malicious as its brothers. The one bad thing it can do is pile up and up and up and then drop out of your ear as a hard disgusting and slightly smelly black ball as you throw your head back to laugh at something amusing that your crush just said.

 Cute accessories. Like buttons:

Close your eyes and be transported to your first date with that cute I.T guy from your office. He’s just made you blush by saying something incredibly nice about the buttons stuck all over the front of your dress (with, you know it, wax). Imagine that this wax decides to melt. When you first feel the heat, you mistake it for chemistry between you and your date but then things get uncomfortably hot. It hits you that you’re burning up and you start to yell: “Help, date. I’m on fire! It’s getting hot in here! I’m burning up!”

But will he take you seriously? Nooo. He’ll mistake your theatrics for enthusiasm and leer happily at you.

Candles and aha! Paraffin

Now that Umeme is threatening to make electricity extinct, visibility in the dark can only be achieved by putting your kitty on a leash and making it lead you around the house. We need candles and paraffin more than ever.  Because they are made almost entirely of wax, your 2000 shilling candles from Nakumatt can decide to deprive you of light by snuffing themselves out exactly 5 minutes after you’ve lit them. Why? Because they’ve got the power. Power.

The moment you’re well settled at your table and have started to enjoy your meal, they’ll go out. This will upset you very much if your meal is very delicious, like the New Vision cafeteria byenda. So be sure to pay wax a little respect today. Smile at your candle as you light it.

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8 things you ABSOLUTELY must do before your next birthday

Lists like this one are all over the place. On the internet, on posters, T-shirts, people everywhere always feel that they know just the thing you’re not doing that you must START doing before you get to a particular age(22 :), else your chance will have passed and you’ll feel wistful and unfulfilled for the rest of your life. Or something.

I’m not sure whether the writers of such lists become rich and famous, but a chick can try, right?

Doing any of these might get you into trouble with the law, your mother, your colon and your God. Here goes:

Come up with your own recipe. It doesn’t have to be sophisticated or delicious. It can even be very disgusting if you want. As long as you’re confident that nobody else on the planet can claim rights to it, you’re set.  A great one is roasted groundnuts and mayonnaise, which I invented on campus. A friend and I fed on this mix for a week because, well, we were starving and broke.

Go out broke:  After one such horrible meal, Brenda and I were bored. Foolish youth shinning in our eyes, we decided to go and shake our penniless bottoms at rock night. As we walked to steak out, we comforted ourselves with words like ‘We’re young, rocker chicks who don’t need drinks or money to have a good time’.

The dancing began. By 3am we were thirsty as hell. Determined not to let it show, we danced even more manically. Our eyes grew redder, our voices cracked and our smiles got more and more pathetic. Having been stripped of our ideals by thirst and exhaustion, we nearly exploded with shame and gratitude when some kind hearted dude came and offered us a Smirnoff each. We then tried to kill him but that’s a story for some other article.

Be stuffy and serious: Talk about things like ‘career’ and ‘gross salary’ and ‘5 year goal’  and then land a great job. Appear talented and focused to your peers until you all of a sudden lose this job because your boss, who is an extremely untalented douche, a cretin of the vilest order, calls the shots. Douche!

Stalk somebody you really really like and not only on facebook. Trail them from the market and mark where they stay. Ring their bell and run down the stairs. Phone them. When they get tired of your silliness and accuse you of ‘desparacy’, be sure to sternly correct their grammar. Say, ‘Dude. Its ‘desperation’ and I’m not desperate. I love you, OK? Deal’.

Use the men’s loo at work everyday for a week. Sure, ladies’ bathrooms all over the world are prettier, cleaner and some of them even have sofas so that your friends who’ve only come to the toilet to keep you company can be comfortable as they gossip, but for some reason, they run out of toilet paper every 5 minutes or so.

This is why you should sneak into the men’s, stand in front of the urinals with arms on hips and chin thrust out like you’ve just been crowned ‘Queen of urinals’. This will give you SUCH an incredible rush.

Get addicted to something ridiculous, for example, tiny mangoes: If you work a 9-5 job, you know you have to reboot yourself with breaks (regular ones) or else your brain will just rot from all the boredom. Some people go outside and have a cigarette; some take a quick slurp from the tot they keep in their bottom drawer, others log on to urbanlegendkampala.com.

When, instead of doing one of the above you go to the parking lot to pluck and eat tiny mangoes from the sad looking tree that sits in the roundabout, (and you get addicted to said mangoes), it’s entirely possible that one day, half the office will quietly congregate to watch you plucking them. Once you realize that they’re watching you, you mustn’t stop! It will seem like you care what they think; and you don’t. Continue harvesting raw mangoes and gain a reputation as the hungry pregnant/malarial workmate who can’t afford escort for break tea.

Buy Fantastic looking stripper heels (like an idiot) 20 minutes before a concert. First of all, it doesn’t make sense to wear heels to a concert, because you intend to dance. One thing that isn’t going to arise is an opportunity for you to hoist your feet onto the table and stop the show with the beauty of your shoes. I wish I’d had somebody to say this to me before I bought 4 inch heels to go with my gorgeous dress 20 minutes before the Oliver Mtukudzi show. The pain. The discomfort. The wobbling. That was a good learning experience.

Send yourself birthday greetings. Like this: Happy Birthday to you Mildred!!! Smiley face! Smilier! Smiliest! Be absolutely in love with your birthday, people. Because you rock.

When Furniture Hits Back.

You’ve all danced on (or at least climbed atop) furniture, right? In our development into right thinking members of society, clambering is a full time activity for all human beings. We introduce the soles of our feet to the tops of tables, chairs, bar stools, club speakers… it’s perfectly normal. So before we go on, we should agree that you, reader, have disgraced yourself and your mother on top of a piece of furniture once, twice, even four times. No need to feel shy or anything. You’re among friends.

Origins:

This obsession with climbing starts when you turn two and realize that wheeee you have legs. You straddle the living room sofa, claw your way to the top of the chair and jump down. Then you do it over and over again until you fall and break your arm in 5 places. This cures your obsession with high places. For a while.

Another try:

As a kid, you watch a lot of Cartoon Network and all those nimble agile cartoon kids have tree houses which they use to have a lot of fun and plan secret missions from and all of that. You also watch Maria and the Von Trapp children swinging like happy monkeys off the trees in Sound of Music and these combine to make you feel, at 7, that you’re not really living, which is when you decide to build a tree house.

This project fails immediately because no Ugandan parent has ever accepted to leave their children, hammers and nails in the same room together. Ug kids are crazy. Being young and adaptable, you do the next best thing. You climb trees with your friends. This fun lasts until twick! The branch you’re on commits suicide and drops you straight into a full body cast. This cures your obsession with high places. For a while.

Once Again:

Come young adulthood, standing on furniture takes on a new relevance. It’s the best way to seem cool. To seem ca-raaaazy. So we throw our inhibitions to The Grrrraaaawwwnnnndd! like Lonely Island and proceed to show the world how wild and carefree we are.

Like Mabel, only wilder.

During my phase, the coolest person in the bar was the one who danced on the most precarious furniture; for example dancing on top of a bar stool wasn’t enough. It had to be the shakiest, most splintered piece of ugly in the bar. If you were seen on top of a relatively safe broad backed table, the first person to hop onto a stool would steal all your glory.

These are a few other reasons why, as a young adult you may find yourself lifting your legs onto furniture like a two year old and thundering your body to the applause of other (stupid) young adults:

It’s instinct:

As a primate, it’s only natural to want to assert superiority over other primates, because drat, all of us having functioning minds is no fun. When God made Adam, he made him the only creature with a mind, right? This is how things were supposed to be which explains why we climb tables in bars. To seem taller than everybody else thus communicating to them that we’re more virile/ cooler/ evolved than they are.

Assorted intoxicants: 

These have the effect of elevating one. They get you high. Thanks to the greediness of human nature, you want to achieve even greater heights. How better to achieve this than to physically rise above everybody else in the bar by legging a table?

To show off Nature’s gifts:

Because you’ve just rounded the corner from adolescence, everything is brand new. Those legs. Those hips. That beard. Quite understandably, you want to show them off. You also want to be able to sing “I’m hot coz i’m fly you a’int coz you not” with conviction, so you climb a table and wave your hands like you’re flying to , you know, bring authenticity to  Mims’ lyrics.

Passive smoking? ‘nuther level.

In a club situation where everyone is puff-puffing away to look cool, people who don’t/ can’t smoke   get bored so they take passive smoking to a higher level. Since, according to physics, smoke pools in the ceiling, they follow it there thus alleviating whatever guilt that actual smoking might bring while still appearing sophisticated for ingesting tobacco.

About this time, furniture is a bit sick and tired of you and your antics. I mean what the hell, you’ve been abusing it for all of 21 years and now, it’s taken a stand. Right in the middle of one of your more ridiculous displays, the table you’re abusing crumbles beneath you, making you crash very loudly to the ground.

The people who one nanosecond ago were cheering you on will burst into such malicious laughter that you’ll remain on the ground wondering whether you imagined the applause of yester-minute. You’ll then pretend to faint to avoid facing your shame.

This will cure your obsession with high places. For a while.

Poetry in Session. Attend it. It’s cool. Srsly.

WRITERS will do almost anything to avoid writing. They’ll wander to the toilet and play with the soap dispenser. They’ll have long, detailed daydreams about the people around them. They’ll go downstairs and pluck raw mangoes off the tree that sits in the middle of the parking lot.

Drat. Mangoes too high.

The ones who battle this horrible laziness hard enough and emerge victorious with readable work are very keen to show it off, which explains the mega boom of poetry societies and nights in Kampala which are so many that listing them all will take a whole half page. So, quickly: The Lantern Meet Of Poets, Open Mic Kampala, Mo Fire, Resurrection Of The Spoken Truth and Poetry In Session.

Poetry In Session is one of the most popular, if the multitudes that flock to Isha’s Gallery in Kamwokya every last Tuesday of the month are anything to go by. It gets so tightly packed that arriving late means sitting on whatever surface will support your weight be it a flower pot, gravel, some poor persons elbow…

Isha’s is tucked right in the armpit of Kira Road Police Station and is hell to find for a first timer but because of how cozy, warm and welcoming this space is, it’s absolutely addictive. I don’t know anybody who has been for Poetry In Session just once.

Its Roshan Karmali’s brainchild, which makes her all sorts of awesome. I’m saying this in the sneaky hope that the next time I attend and try to buy one of her T-shirts, she’ll give me a discount.

This is she.

Her tees say wonderful things like ‘Phenomenal Woman’ and ‘Rooted’, which is really the sort of affirmation you want stretched across your chest, isn’t it? If you have money, it’s humanly impossible to leave without buying at least three.

If you have money but are a cheap bastard to whom the idea of paying sh35,000 for a good quality shirt makes you want to howl “thievery, murder, hide your kids, hide your wife!” then you’ll miss out.

The reciting begins between 8:00 and 8:30pm, which gives you enough time to dash home from work, wash off the smell of deadness that you’ve accumulated between 9:00am and 5:00pm and saunter in fashionably late.

Of course, if you can’t be bothered with all of that and the idea of staying at work till 8:00pm makes you want to shoot your brain out, you can head straight there after work, sink into one of their comfy chairs and stare at the masks hanging on the walls.

There’s only so much sitting and ogling one can do and so pretty soon, the smell of good cooking invades your nose. Your stomach, on cue, starts to rumble.

Your wallet, which is psychic and can foresee the emptying that it’s going to be subjected to cries foul and tries to hide itself deeper in your bag.

Your money will even stick itself to the zipper of your wallet, man. Because while their food is far from expensive, the prices are not what you want to be parting with 10 days to the end of the month when you’re so broke, your continued survival from day to day is a freaking art form. But if you can, by all means try their food. It is delicious. It might make you walk to work for 2 days but it will leave your tongue wondering what the hell just happened and asking when it will happen again.

When people settle down and the presentation of poetry does start, the annoying things that we’ve come to expect at gatherings all feature i.e. ringing phones, neighbors who just won’t shut up, people who laugh too loudly for too long and the irritable guy who keeps yelling “Shut the f*** up!!!!!!!’.

This is a space where everybody is encouraged to write and perform poetry, which is very noble but also horrible, because there’s nothing worse than being made to sit through bad poetry.

The crowd is extremely expressive and it’s easy to tell when a performer has been enjoyed (they stomp their feet, yell “have my babies” and “Encore naawe! Encore!”) And even easier to tell when they’re unimpressed because they serve you crickets. That’s right. Painful silence which you deserve for sucking.

Networking was practically invented here. There’s always a sort of intermission where the emcee encourages people to invade each other’s space with chirpy introductions and (hopefully), engaging conversation, so come to Isha’s and make a friend. Hell, find a girlfriend, then a boyfriend, have children, make them write poetry at Poetry In Session, etc.

One thing. One bad thing. There was a horrible smell of piss where I sat. This may have been because I sat next to a wall which most probably doubles as a toilet for the little boys on the other side.

It could also (maybe) be blamed on my arriving earliest and taking the seat right next to the toilet. What kind of madness is that? The kind that deserves to have a strong smell of piss pressed up its nose for hours.

Do me a solid. Don’t beat my breasts.

When you enter the old taxi park, it’s a given that you’re going to be abused. Its therefore wise to prepare your mind, skin and ears for the brushing, grabbing, shoving, eardrumbusting trauma. Why? To avoid losing your temper, is why.

Because if you think that you have the hottest, most terrifying temper on the planet, be assured that the park contains (and will produce on demand) a person with an even hotter one. By bad luck, this is the person you’ll shout at for stepping on your toes and they’ll waste no time in tripping you, sitting on your back and rubbing your face in the dirt. Things can get bulade.

How do you prepare?

Step 1: Flare out your nostrils as far as they can go and breathe in khuuuuffff then breathe out phooooom.

Step 2: Make sure your money, phone and book are secure in your bag and that the handle of said bag is firmly clutched in your palm. Even better, to your chest.

Step 3: Hold your breath and plunge, elbows first into the seething mass of limbs and smells that is the park. Bolt like speedy Gonzales to wherever your damn taxis are hiding, not forgetting to ogle the pretty dresses on display over the taxis. This ogling is essential because you never know when or where you will find the dress of your life. Your toes are even more essential so try not to lose them to homicidal drivers.

Dress of my life.

 With all of this going on, it doesn’t occur to one to protect ones chest, which is exactly what the boob slammer has been waiting for.

Boobs? Slamming? What’s going on?

Two Sundays ago, a few meters from my taxi, some stupid man ran at me and slammed my poor unsuspecting bosom with his shoulder and then swaggered away.

What?

Yes. He cocked his shoulder in the attitude of an agitated cock, ran at me and shoulder-bombed my chest fat.

Being unprepared for any of this, my mind reacted slowly. I stood and gaped; wondering whether or not crying would help the situation and quickly decided it wouldn’t because this called for RAGE.

The famous Apenyo rage that puts people in mind of supernovas and exploding balls of  lava, you mean?

Yep. But by the time my shock had turned into indignation, hatred and finally bloodlust, the suppurating cockroach corpse had already found safety in the leering crowd and all I could do was stand there thinking to myself, ‘Hmm. This can be turned into an article, can’t it?’

Really? That’s what you were thinking?

No. I was cursing and swearing and wishing him death by all sorts of painful bodily dysfunctions for example, I wished for his colon to liquefy and come rushing out of his fucking bums.

That experience left my twins and I with questions because even the bitterest misogynist will agree that my chest is fantastic. Its aesthetic value is inescapable. What kind of demons would make a man actively try to hurt these creatures that only seek to bring joy and bounciness to the world?

 Ssebo, tell me. Do you habour a particular hatred of bosoms? Or was it my chest which offended your sensibilities?

Boobs like these make his shoulder itch

This fool performed a random act of violence against bosoms, which can only mean one of four things:

a) His mom forcefully breast fed him until he turned 21

b) For the whole of his school life, he inspired violent, spontaneous hatred in his female teachers (who all possessed ample bosoms) and now he goes around tackling all the unsuspecting, unprepared female chests that he meets in revenge. Which is unfair. We’re innocent.

c) Once, in his haste to slam a very large, wobbly chest, he neglected to ascertain the sex of his victim and only realized that he had attacked a very fat man after receiving the worst punch of his life.  That experience has made it impossible for him to ever stop because he doesn’t want to seem like a wuss, like he’s stopping because of that beating.

d) He’s bitter because he’s only been acquainted with boobs that look like squidward’s nose.

His nose

 Mssswwwww

One more thing. This dude had really smelly armpits.  I’ll never forget the way his underarms quivered as threw himself at leftie, the way sweat poured freel… eew you guy. Why don’t you just use a deodorant also you?

One day when I’m not so busy, I’ll seek you out and clobber you to death, watch you reincarnate into a worm and clobber it too.

I’ll smash your slimy wormy corpse (tchwack tchwack) into a paste, put it between two slices of mugati and refrain from eating it ONLY because it smells too much of armpits, a smell that even as a worm, you’ve failed to shake.