Then he died. A play (mbu).

Taxis are great for ideas. There’s something about humanity crushing in on you from all sides that makes your brain bubble over with them. Most of the stuff you read on this blog has been conceived in a matatu or on a boda, including the “Play” below.

Then he died.

Scene one (and only)

The room is small, dark and empty save for a plastic chair and a fraying settee. On the chair is a person of ambiguous gender wearing a doctor’s coat with the words Dr. Kyrte scrawled on its collar. A few meters across from him/her is a man trying to occupy as little space on the settee as possible. His name is Bo.

Dr. Kyrte:  Speak.

Bo: I can’t understand why he did it…I mean, I could have forgiven loud sniffing, taking up more leg space than he was entitled to…even aimless conversation, I would have tolerated. But dying! What I could have done to make him so angry that he decided to die on me?

Dr. Kyrte: Start from the beginning, Bo. As you never fail to remind me, you’re paying for this time.

Bo: That’s right, Doctor Kyrt. I am.

Dr. Kyrte: Kyrt-E. So what died and where?

Bo: Two days ago, I woke up at what must have been 7am although it could have been 9 or 10.

Dr. Kyrte: Right.

Bo: I had a cup of porridge, burnt, because my maid is a hater. I don’t understand why he couldn’t have done the social equivalent of burning porridge! Clearly, he found the experience of sitting next to me very unpleasant. (blows nose loudly)

Dr. Kyrte: Did any dying occur before you left home?

Bo: No.

Dr. Kyrte: As I never fail to remind you Bo, the only minutes I am willing to spend in your company are the ones you pay for.

Bo: You’re so unkind. I walked up to the taxi stage, arrived winded, waved a taxi down, sat on the chair next to the driver and greeted him. When he didn’t respond, I got out, waited for somebody else to occupy the seat next to him and sat on the big chair near the door.

Dr. Kyrte: Go on. Starts to shoot saliva through the gaps between his/her teeth

Bo: The taxi began to move. Could you …not do that? The guy who’d occupied the seat next the driver…he died.

Dr. Kyrte: Died?

Bo: Yes.

Dr. Kyrte: How?

Bo: He just groaned a bit and died. His corpse then slid onto my lap.

Dr. Kyrte: How didthat make you feel?

Bo: Hateful but triumphant. He must have been spiteful because I’d made him sit on the small chair.

Dr. Kyrte: What happened after that?

Bo: Nothing. I didn’t want to alarm the driver with news that a man had just died in his taxi. That could have led to an accident.

Dr. Kyrte: Good thinking.

Bo: I waited until we reached my stop and then announced loudly that a man had died. The taxi must have been full of blind idiots because they all exclaimed mbu “where?!”.

Dr. Kyrte: Seems like a valid question to me.

Bo: Which is why I’m getting a real shrink the moment I can afford it. At this point, I was tired and late for work so I pushed the guy off my lap, jumped out of the taxi and bolted.

Dr. Kyrte: Had you paid your fare?

Bo: No. Oh. That’s probably why they chased me. And lynched me.

Dr. Kyrte: Yea. Probably.

Bo: Yea.

Dr. Kyrte: Yea.

Bo: OK bye.

Dr. Kyrte: Till next time.

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 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.