A stopper is a small metallic or rubber object used to keep women and men who wear jewelry from going insane.
It was invented to reduce and eventually bring a stop to the disturbing noises that would shoot out of people’s mouths when their earrings fell to the ground, especially if they rolled into hard to reach places.
The word stopper is also this week’s metaphor for limit .People usually have limits. Even Eve probably wouldn’t have eaten the forbidden fruit if it had been dangling from the branch of the tree that she and Adam used for toilet.
In order to be considered responsible and likeable members of society, people set limits and follow them. They say, “The next time my boyfriend cheats on me, I’ll donate his liver to the local butchery” or “I won’t eat more than two bars of chocolate at a go” or “It’s not good form to flirt with best friends simultaneously, so I won’t do it”.
However, some people have no limits at all. They’ve got no stoppers to stand in the way of them committing preposterous acts. These people are not to be hated and drowned in Bwaise. They’re to be tolerated, especially if they’re sweet and female and me.
When you’re a kid, in lower primary school, you’re really intolerant of annoying classmates, right? So when a small boy comes and threatens to report you to teacher for saying a bad word, a word that you haven’t said on account of you having been writing your surname over and over on a piece of paper all morning in an attempt to master its spelling so that you won’t suffer during the next exam, you’re not amused. When this pest refuses to go away, you plead with him. “I didn’t. I’ll give you one musibatie at break time. Please don’t report me” and when he leans over to stick his tongue out, you shove your pencil into his nose. Hard. Blood gets everywhere and you hear the teacher mutter, “children just don’t have limits”.
It’s a barbeque and an almost scary number of animals have been slaughtered. So many that animal heaven will probably not have enough time to make preparations for the stampede of souls that it’s about to face. You stumble back home from a party at which you ate a piece of cake that must have been made using every intoxicant in the land. Your head is not OK. Your eyes are trying to expand, which is a lot more painful than you thought possible.
When you’re spotted by fussy family members, a mountain of roasted meat is placed before you. Because you need to stay awake, you eat and eat until your body is disgusted by the amount of foreign flesh in it. Your mind clears up enough to ask, “Banaye chick. Don’t you have limits?”
After violently smashing your fist into his onions in response to his annoying slowness in opening the car door, a casual war ensues. He hits your bottom with the tips of his uncouthly long finger nails. You pour a handful of sand down the back of his shirt after which he splashes water on your face. This prompts you to drop his phone in the lake. In your head, events are progressing naturally and it’s only when the phone dies that you feel a tiny prick of remorse. Nobody in your party says anything about limits but their faces are oozing disbelief.
What? He shouldn’t have splashed that water.