Hot, oh so hot.

The air around your face has become hot all of a sudden. Either the cat has breathed on you or some idiot has, for the third time tonight, pulled the windows shut. You don’t want to check, because if you find them closed, the rage. Oh the rage. Flicking on a light is out of the question because lights generate warmth plus you don’t want thieves and other night creatures to see your window light up invitingly. They are not welcome.

You try and remember whether or not you had a bath before you entered your bed, which you didn’t obviously because only grownups do that and you wouldn’t be on this page if you were well and truly grown. You hear what sounds like a talon tapping your roof and that is when it occurs to you that rain is beginning to fall. Yay!

Ten minutes later, the sky is having a fully-fledged quarrel with your roof. The rain must be beating the heat monsters out of the air into the ground, right? Right? Why are you still sweating then? How can it be raining outside and baking inside? And no, central heating is not to blame. You live in Uganda for heaven’s sake. You’re marinating in a pool of your own sweat. You must taste delicious.

Perhaps the house is digesting you.

Sorry about that. Here’s a guide to surviving the night heat.

That pillow: Every ten minutes, quickly lift your body off the bed, turn the pillow and then slowly place your head on the cooler side. Sigh with appreciation. Savour the cool, airy cotton. Pretend not to notice that it’s warming up until you start to feel sweat trickling out of your ear. Repeat till morning.

Blow: Get your significant other to blow on your skin. What did they think for better or worse meant? You are currently experiencing a ‘for worse’ moment. That you’ve turned into the kind of maniac who expects people to abandon their sleep to blow cool air at you is his or her ‘for worse’ moment. Suffer together. Joy cometh in the morning.

Go and bathe: Even if you have to take five baths. On a normal night, bathing that often is a sign of low self-esteem. It is a sign that you can’t stand your God given smell or that you don’t trust your deodorant, in which case you don’t believe in your deodorant choosing skills. Low self-esteem! Shower with conviction, with faith and hope that sleep is eagerlywaiting to attack your eyeballs maumau style the moment you step out of the shower.

Commando: Rid your body of all things unnatural. If you weren’t born with it, discard it. Then sprawl until all four points touch all the corners of your bed. This usually helps. If you share your bed, establish dominance by pushing your bedmate off, then establish your compassion by throwing the bed clothes on top of them.

If none of the above work, go outside and stare disapprovingly at the air.

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Is your significant other an oversharer?

Get a life! is no longer guaranteed to shut an annoying person up. Did you know? Because they’ll just drag you to the nearest computer/phone screen and point triumphantly at their facebook profiles that will appear blurry because of how much life will be vibrating on there.

Never has the world’s populace been so willing to masturbate their lives into the public space that is the internet. People want you to know, like and comment on their latest neuroses, deepest fears, shades of lipstick, etc and, you know, that’s OK. It’s fun to know people’s lugambo without having to indulge in gossip.

But what happens when your significant other/ partner in slime/ friend with benefits/God assigned housemate is the one who’s just…oozing their lives onto the wild world web (is that it?)? Things change, don’t they? And when they start to include you in their over detailed posts, then things get downright uncomfortable.

I mean, I assume you’re OK with them tweeting excitedly about your new shoes, but not the boil in your instep. It’s charming for them to write winding statuses about their love for you and your konadancing skills, but surely not about your recent alimentary tribulations. I mean diarrhea.

The most common effect of over sharing is kamanyiro. The lonely members of your collective internet circle become infested with opinions on your relationship, opinions which they’ll be shaking into your ears like some kind of dog wearing a jacket made entirely of fleas.

So if your significant other/ partner in slime/ friend with benefits/God assigned housemate takes facebook’s “what’s on your mind” too literally, walk over to them right this moment and pass them the paper.  This is for them.

Dear oversharers:

Do it for the love. If you truly can’t survive without the likes and the comments and the attention that exposing your personal stories has been affording you, make stuff up. Be absurd. Be outrageous. Be anything that will take your relationship out of the spotlight. Because the man/woman who just handed you this paper is about to dump your sorry self.

Do it for the gadgetry. The moment your person runs out of ways to justify your over sharing ways, their supply of sanity will dry up. They’ve already shrugged and said: she’s just sensitive. He just needs attention. He just needs validation. She’s just chatty; so the next step is a violent madness that will see them dropkicking your laptop/ phone into a latrine.

Do it for the love, again. Because word travels fast. If you get dumped for being unable to shut up a little, nobody is going to want to date you. You’ll end up alone.

For more love? Because nobody is really that interested in your details, I promise. Try not behaving like some sort of social network telenovella and see. Nobody will die. Go for a jog. Or something.

Over sharer, I have no sound advice for you. I think that is clear. Sorry for wasting your time. Pass the paper back.

KCCA, start with the idle men.

April was sexual assault awareness month and many stories were shared across myriad forums. Shirts were made, protests organized and blog posts written (I got to know about it from Chatter).

I read about unrape; a situation where somebody makes you feel vulnerable and used by negatively altering your psyche, perception of self or your ability to make decisions. One example of unrape is when your significant other threatens you with a ticket to celibacy town for suggesting birth control. Another fairly common one is when your supervisor calls your intercom just to breathe heavily into it.

People of all ages and sexes suffer assault but females, unlike males, do not get less vulnerable with the passing of time. From childhood to maidenhood to motherhood to cronehood, the risk of assault that females face remains the same while for guys, their deepening voices, growing muscles and elongating legs form a shield between them and most lechers. Men in our society are also brought up to believe that they have every right to any woman that they see, regardless of whether or not she encourages their attentions.

For objectivity’s sake, I asked 6 men and 6 women about how their average day moving around Kampala goes. All of the men’s responses can be summed up in, “Meh. Nothing special. I do what I’m there for and go home. The jam sucks though”

The women, “It’s really crowded…normalreally, apart from those random men who disturb you.”

There. An 11 year old boy, by virtue of having testicles, is better equipped to navigate this city than I am. As long as I walk around with a male, I pass by taxi stops, boda stages and walk the streets unmolested but the moment he leaves my side, all kinds of lechers spring to life and commence tongue waggling, hissing and pawing. They start to make kissing sounds and act generally vulgar, in a way that they wouldn’t have dared to behave if I had a man/boy by my side.

On the 30TH of March (I remember because that was the day Eric Wainaina was performing at Jazzville), I saw a guard at City Oil-Kamwokya violently shovea woman away from where she was standing. He claimed that she had no right to wait for a taxi there and she protested his methods of communicating this to her. All of a sudden, he lifted his gun, cocked it and threatened to shoot her and anybody else who dared to question his actions. He kept shouting, “I don’t care! I’ll kill you! I’ll fuck you. I don’t care!”

There were two policemen at the roundabout just a few meters away but except for a couple of bored glances from them, the scuffle went interrupted.

The disinterest those police exhibited is not surprising. They’ve already shown that all their priorities lie in grabbing and manhandling everything that we consider private and sacred from our bodies to the lives bubbling in them to our wallets; all this with full support of our policy makers.

Kampala City is teeming with lechers and abusive idlers, something that KCCA need s to fix even more urgently than our pothole riddled roads for the sake of our mental health and the safety of these louts (we women are about to get violent). On to you, Ms. Musisi.

A Tale of Two Black Hens

A long time ago in one of Bugoloobi’s bungalows, there lived two very black hens. They weren’t originally from Bugoloobi; in fact, they’d had to travel 200 miles on the floor of a Nile Coach bus to get there.

These chickens weren’t predisposed to like one another.They had too much in common. Every cluck, every caw, every wing flap was the same. This annoyed them, but also strengthened their bond.

The family that inhabited their bungalow kept other chickens. Red, white, orange, grey, but no black ones so naturally, they called this pair the ‘blackieblackies’.

Blackie blackies were wild. They did not have it wired into their brains to walk into the chicken house every 6pm. They did not know that the brown dog was friendly and the black dog was evil and fierce. They didn’t even want to know because in their opinion, they were far more evolved than the others. They slept in trees!

And then one day as they were strolling like bosses through the gardens of the home, they met a cock. He was fat and handsome. He winked at them both. One blackieblackie ruffled her feathers and crowed with indignation. The other one kept quiet.

They went on peacefully doing their thing; staying away from the rest, keeping different meal times, avoiding both dogs and sleeping in trees, until one blackie said to the other, “I’m having eggs. I’m going to sleep in the chicken house from now on. Catch you later!” and ran into the arms of the fat handsome cock.

Without her friend, lonely blackie became more defiant than before. She swore to herself that she wouldn’t give in to the fey charms of the home’s cocks. She refused to entertain jealous thoughts and minded her own business as best she could.

Meanwhile, sellout blackie was fatter and happier than ever before. She hatched her eggs into a dozen chicks of many colors and became friendly with the other chickens. She still walked with lonely blackie, but not as often before. Besides, lonely blackie was always saying terrible things about her babydaddy, like, “You can do so much better! Remember how fantastic your exes looked!”

But after a while, lonelyblackie started to have a change of heart. Whereas it’s fun to feel better than everybody else, cleverer, more evolved, it sucks to be alone. She wanted her behind to swell like sell-out blackie’s. She wanted to have friends to fight over bread crumbs with. She experienced a curious jolt whenever she saw the other hens sitting on their chicks to protect them from kites. She wanted babies! So she came up with a plan.The next time she met a cock, she’d cluck flirtatiously.

This happened soon enough. They met, she clucked, he laughed out loud. When this happened three more times, she started to entertain doubts. Was she ugly? No. Maybe that just wasn’t a good day for cock-hunting. Besides, sell-out blackie looked exactly like her and look how many cocks now wanted to merge DNA with her.

The next week wasn’t much different. Lonely blackie failed to find love. She decided to escape and seek her fortune outside that gate.  She flew onto the wall and threw herself over.

This is a true story, by the way.

There’s a card on someecards.com that reads something like: I hope your recent bout of happiness doesn’t ruin our mutually beneficial relationship based on complaining.

The truest test of friendship is whether or not you remain friends when good things happen to only one of you.

A (not so) deep analysis of THUMBS.

Every human being is entitled to two thumbs. Whether or not they have them at birth depends entirely on the integrity of their genes. If the thumb fund is diverted, you end up with one or no thumbs.

Because they’re rebellious and prefer to hangout on their own, on a lower level than the rest, thumbs are the most likely of your fingers to be caught between stapler jaws, trapped by car doors, hit by hammers.

They come in the same shape, mostly. Sharp head, broad face, flat back. If your thumb has booty, youwant to report that to your doctor. Many butchers have flat headed thumbs, for obvious reasons.

Some of them are disjointed, giving them the ability to swivel wantonly inside their sockets like…strippers. Owners of stripper thumbs need to stop showing off because it is not a super power. It is being disabled. Get that, Jero?

There is this joke that was very popular in 2003 about a waitress who has a very sore thumb but can’t get the day off because her boss is mean. To soothe it, she sticks it into the soup bowls of the restaurant’s diners, until one of them notices and makes a very big fuss. To shame her and placate the customer, her boss shouts at her saying, “Why was your finger in the customer’s soup?!” She says, “My thumb is so unbearably sore that if I don’t stick it into soup, I’ll surely pass out from the pain”. “What about when you’re not carrying soup? How come you don’t pass out then?” to which she answers, “well, I stick my finger into the next best thing. My bum.” That was the joke. I swear. Thumbs have been the butt(s) of some really bad jokes.

You can do neat stuff with your thumbs like:

Twiddle them to seem like something out of Noddy and Friends. If you had a massive crush on Noddy as you were growing up, put your thumb up. You are awesome.

You can make political decisions with them i.e. voting and then flash the ink stain at your peers as a symbol of your patriotism. Their admiration makes up for how slowly the dumb stain fades away.

You can surreptitiously dislodge boogers from deep deep inside your trunk with quick flicks to the tip of your nose.

You can state your opinion like a bawss. It’s still cool to hold your thumb high in approval and jab the air in a violent downward motion when unimpressed.

You can confuse opponents and sidestep violence by pointing thumbs instead of index fingers at them. It’s less offensive and more random. Nobody wants to engage in fisticuffs with unpredictable people. Thumb pointing is two steps away from hair chewing which is a half a skip away from back kicking.

Are you too lazy/poor to buy your own breakfast gnuts, mandazi, gonja? Do you rely on other people’s plates for morning nourishment? Does everybody hate you for it? Score begging points by wrapping a bandaid around your thumb. When people think you’re hurt, they’re more generous with their food.

 

On stilettos, fishing gear and everything in-between.

Stereotypes are irritating and have the power to turn this lady into a raging mess. One that most girls have been fed years before they’re even ready to date is ‘All men are cheating dogs’. This, apart from being a huge source of frustration and resentment for all men who are not, in fact cheaters, is kind of silly. Why dogs? Dogs are really loyal. All men are cheating cats would be worlds more accurate.

I’m sick of hearing things like: all women go crazy for chocolate/ a Ugandan chick won’t date you unless your wallet is larger than her behind/ women will date the first person who shows them attention, e.t.c not because I can prove them wrong but because it’s terrible to judge all women by some narrow standard you got from dating all of three. Femininity cannot be narrowed down to diamonds or shoes or wallets or the color pink.

When people approach me and say “That Stiletto Point column of yours? I know what it’s about. All you write about is fashion, shoes, manya dresses. You’re a chick. That’s all y’all think about”, I get very irritated and not just because what they’re really saying is that they don’t read Stiletto point at all.

Today’s story was supposed to be about the time I nearly drowned in the kiddie pool of a certain swimming establishment in Bugoloobi but because I’ve already spent 200 words on ranting, we’re going to explore uber masculine stuff, to, you know, balance things a bit. That drowning story might have gotten me sued anyway.

Fist fights: I’ve gotten into exactly four of these and I was defending one of my girlfriends, every single time. I can’t stand bad manners. If my friend is uninterested in speaking to you and you hover behind her, tap her body and then laugh with your crew when she jumps in alarm, I don’t care how high my heels are. Your nose is going to be meeting my fist the minute I take my earrings off.

Spandex: This, according to every superhero movie I’ve watched, is the manliest material on earth.  Super, Spider, Aqua and Baconman all dig it because of all the publicity it gives their muscles.  I’ve been trying to encourage the male people in my life to incorporate this material into their wardrobes (with rotten results). I’m however optimistic about its future in men’s fashion.

Fishing: The Old Man and The Sea by Hemmingway is a classic. A classic because after reading it, people feel like they’ve learnt stuff about life, the universe and everything. I’m enjoying it at the slow rate of a page a day, not because I’m failing to, you know, get the point. There’s just too much talk about fishing and gear and fathoms and harpoons. Yea, sure, it’s a book about a fisherman, going out to sea, to fish, but…

Feet: Male ones in particular. 99% of the guys I’ve met have terrible looking toes and crusty nails. What’s with that?