What is the difference between reading about an assassination of a prominent person, and seeing a video of their dying moments? There is something invariably powerful, and devastating, no matter the dying person’s litany of mistakes or crimes.
PLEASE BEWARE: The videos embedded or linked on this post are disturbing.
The hot and humid coastal air constricted into the Tangana Lodge’s dimly lit and badly ventilated rooms . The fragrance of purchased romance reigned over the humid evening air in the house of decadence. As the night came to a climax, the sounds of illicit sex, the loud banging on the walls, the rehearsed screams, and the drunken grunts reminded all and sundry that the sailors were in town. In one of those hot rooms, Lucy Kabura lay dying.
Each fire leaves a burn in the memories of those it maims, and guts through the hearts of those who have to watch their loved ones being sorted from among the smoldering cinders. For others it is a loss of limb, loved ones, and property.
Nobody I know has ever seen cats fuck. Once, as a child, I thought I saw our pet cat at it with a stray but it ‘all happened so fast’ I am unsure whether it wasn’t a product of my at times hyperactive imagination. It seems a phenomenon only known to nature and the participating felines.
Whenever we elect a man (or woman) to the House on the Hill, we give him the right to avoid all human contact except that which has passed through three metal detectors and dressed appropriately. We give him the best of our security forces, the best cars, the best house (arguable) and the best women (okay, this last one is unconfirmed).
To the creative writer, there is something morbidly inspiring about morgues and barstools. Morgues because dead men tell no tales, as the saying goes, and the man looking for inspiration wants to tell tales. Barstools because, well, just barstools.
So when is it ever the right moment to make a tactical retreat? To the emancipated mind this should be a question of chance and choice, it has everything to do with ones decision-making abilities as well as the willingness to follow through.
Dear Bana, I was pleasantly surprised, no doubt, to receive the letter. I received it ten years after your death, brought to me by an old frail man who told me he was your prison guard and had sworn to deliver the letter before he died.
High school was a morbid experience. I doubt the kids in high school now have gone through some of the things we went through (as each generation wants to think it more badass than the next, and less than the last). Given that I was in form 1 at around the time bullying was losing its gist and creativity was already on a downfall, this list is most likely incomplete. But that is not to say that legends do not exist…
#7 The Shoe-Ericsson
Definitely one of the classics, and could have been an activity by itself, or part of a master plan of villainy to make your form one life a living hell. It was always about smelly shoe…a shoe so smelly that the reception was kind of decent…
No, those thread-like things are not radio waves
First day of high school, you are excited but apprehensive. Your parents are leaving, and you are standing near the gate waving them goodbye….balancing tears….
Three mean-looking boys walk up to you. You can tell they are senior because their clothes are all torn and they have hardened faces. “
MONO, toa kiatu!” your mum said be obedient, so you remove your right shoe and hold it awkwardly in your hand.
“Pigia wazazi simu uwaambie wasisahau Vizo!”, that was your welcome to high school…..
Red Number calling you
Later in the Evening:
The Tethered Dog
Sometimes, the things you go through at the hands of frustrated or high-on-cheap joints Form Fours make you want to eat yourself. The details of the ‘Tethered Dog’ are pretty basic: a senior used a tie or any other rope-y thing to tie you to, say a bed in a crouching position, like a dog….mean, is it not?
Replace the pet with yourself….
Well, that’s not the whole story, once tied, you had to act like a dog, you had to growl and bark at anyone that passed (and piss on a hydrant, but lets not go there). Fun, is it not? Well, that is If you are barking at your peers, but the highest probability is that your peers are tethered too. What about barking at another senior? That is what this one was made for, it was not an end in itself, or a means to an end, and rather, it was the classic start to the trail of destruction
#6 The MIME
This is one of the legends,
It is actually pretty simple…..
First, a senior tells you to close your mouth, then he holds out his clasped hands and tells you to imagine that is your mouth and mimic his movements….see the genius here????
You get the idea
It is pretty easy when it is just opening and closing, but we all know it went further than that, yes. He would twist and turn, and to the onlooker, you looked like you were doing weird facial massages, or the alien in you was trying to get out.
#5 One Week Later…..
“I stroll into dorm 7, just to have kick out of its structure, it’s the first time that I am getting in, and the rumors in class have to be confirmed. And true to their words, it does appear to be a hall with beds flung all over; no partition whatsoever can be seen. Satisfied, I turn to leave. “Jokaaa, okia” I turn and see an upper form (they all looked ugly, bearded and old then (they still do, no?) student gesturing to me. I walk over to add to the number of shaking monos, huddled together.
He asks me what my name is:
“Jina moja kama blue?”
“Jina moja kama Blue Band?”
“John Kimiti Kiarie”
“Jina tatu kama Blue Band Choco?”
*slap* “joka unanijibu vibaya”
“ebu nioneshe venye uliruka”
“I attempt to jump up”
“Joka unaruka juu ama unaruka mwaka? ebu assume hii box ni mwaka na uruke mwaka”
*I jump over the box* thank God it was a Rabble’s box.
Then he asks us to sing Christmas carols and the loudest one can leave.
I really have no intention of overstaying my visit, and I flick on my singing voice and belt out a few choice notes. He is satisfied and lets me leave. But before I go, his pal, who was sleeping, asks, “nani huyo anawika huku kama mboch vajo?” He hands me a shirt to go wash. Since I don’t stay in that dorm, I just won me a shirt.”
“Its a sato, general cleaning is over, a forth former is lazy, does not play any game and cannot stand the heat in the Dh, so he is behind dorm 1, lying on the foamy mattress of a random form one. The sun is too hot, so he sends a form one to get a bed cover and three other guys, they come and miraculously become four posters, holding up the bed cover and shading the douche from the sun for a 30minute siesta before the bell announces the much awaited lunch of lumpy rice and beans. I should know, I was the back right post.”
#4 The Condoms
I cannot say who went through this; because I believe they are still traumatized and might need therapy after reading it (Plus a few girls they might have kissed might read this and want to die). It was a sunny Saturday afternoon as I made my way back to the dorm. I met my friend, let us call him Phillip (still, any relation to persons alive, deceased or incarcerated is purely intentional!). Phillip was running out of the dorm, with a weird look on his face like he had just tasted the devil’s juices….well, turns out he had…
Inside, a Form 3 bully, a diminutive guy called KaNyamNyam (you do not wanna know) had been busy fiddling with his unused condoms when he thought up the most evil of plans. For interior décor, why not make some balloons for the dorm….to improvise, why not use condoms? And since Form Ones are certified blowers, why not get a host of them to do the dirty….slimy….work?
That’s where my pal Phillip comes in…its exactly as gross as you think it is , blowing a condom until it gets as big as a blown balloon (as opposed to what I do not know yet). That should be pretty easy, yes. Actually no, blowing a condom is hard work, it turns out, plus the tip will always be out on the other end looking all weird….have I mention that the oiliness gets to your mouth? And that as per what my friend went through for the next few days, three to be enact when his stomach was the site of weird grumblings (turns out tapeworms do not fancy protective sex).
In something related, I know someone who once got a whole can of Vaseline (the big one) applied to their naked body from head to toe! This was high school, they were no hot showers to melt it out….it was a cold shower as the drops of water slipped over his very-vaselined body! I don’t know who came up with this sadistic idea but am sure if he is reading this, he can tell how gay it looks now, does it, bully?
3. The Food
This was an isolated event, but it still stands out as one of the greatest acts of villainy ever thought of by a team of idle boys. We all know the idle mind is where Lucifer does his thing, but what if the idle mind has food for twelve people?
Let us start with some background…My high school was run by the law of the jungle in the latter part of my freshman year because the deputy principal had just been transferred. Not that he had been of any help, given that he thrived in chaos, and would yell “You Cccchoooooooullllld be a Man, You Chooooould resist!!!!” if you walked into his office claiming to have been bullied. But still, he brought order and his promotion left a vacuum his acting successor, nicknamed Ali Baba (who was my father’s student, back in the day, story for another day) could not fill.
So Form Fours would take all their food to the dorm and eat like they were in some cozy 0.5 star hotel. Behind Dorm 7 was our makeshift gym, which is just euphemism for a few connected stones of different sizes, and a makeshift bench-press. Two Form ones, let us call them X and Y are feeling very macho and venture into this restricted territory. They have a good session building their six-pack and all, until some Form Fours watching them from inside the dorm ‘pity’ them and offer them food…wait, did I write offer? I meant forced them to eat….get this, they had already had their supper, and before them was food that was meant for……wait for it……wait for it…..12 people!!!
Food for Thought.
To their credit, they cleared the ugali and bad veggies because they were form Ones and were therefore almost always hungry…but it gets better….
Someone offered them a glass of water each….which was good and brotherly….before they offered them another…..and another after that…..and even more! You know that feeling you get when you have fed past satiety? Imagine four glasses of water on top of that…….and a glass of very concentrated juice!
This was the height of torment. Luckily this was a legend when I got to high school but it seems intriguing and the genius of bullying and cheap torment. Now, most schools have what’s called a ‘Lights Out’ (any relation to the series is purely coincidental, no boxing ring). This is mostly during prep times and other times when the school administration will switch off the lights in selected places to discourage truancy. Its sort of like if aliens invaded earth and started farting all over the place except at sea, where we would have to go die rather than die from extra-terrestrial farts (is the image disturbing enough yet?).
Okay, so these timers did not recognize weekends, which meant that even when there were no preps and there should have been lights, they were off. Everyone herded at the entertainment hall until 9.30 p.m, or went to the dorm at the risk of being bullied, raped (story for another day) or kidnapped (still, a story for another day). Now, a small movement of evil geniuses, bored and mad at least, figured out that when most people got to the dorm at 9.30, the first stop was the washrooms before they went for cheap chitty chat , sleep or smoking joints. So, what did our antagonist’s do? In this particular dorm, the meter box had been placed right above the urinal (madness I tell you, madness). So, someone with a wicked sense of humor (who probably likes to be strangled and whipped too) poured salt on the cistern, dipped naked wires into the little pee that’s always left even when the other flows….can you see the genius now??
They/he then changed the timer to 5 minutes and then…..waited….
On the other end of our story is a little Form Boy, make that three little form One Boys. They have been hiding behind the crowd hurdled over the TV at entertainment, watching a soap opera (I should probably claim the time-barred defense of the Bro Code). They run away at exactly 9.20 and head to the dorm, timing it so that they will get there just in time for the lights and just in time to avoid getting bullied. So at 9.25, they get to the dorm door and enter…..wait for it….wait for it….they head to the washrooms because a man must empty his bowels, right?
Now, visualize three boys reaching three boys reaching for their zips. Visualize these three boys, reaching for their privates….can you see them now?
A naked wire was just minding its own business when some bugger tugged on it and placed it in smelly pee pee.
The pee pee left the bladder alright and headed up the channel, through the pipeline, momentarily heading upwards in a trajectory. It then yielded to gravity and headed down as the boy directed it there….it shot in a jet….right to the top of the naked wires just as the timer hit 9.30 and the lights came back on!
Can you hear the morbid laughter in the background?
Simple physics will tell you that this was essentially the crudest of all booby traps (perhaps exceeded only by marriage and mousetraps)
Suffice to say that if our three form one’s are reading this, they are shivering up and down their spines….I hope that, when you get Erectile Dysfunction at 30, you will direct your wives and fungas to this blog so they can know why…
My personal favorite
#1 The Fraud of Spoons
This is where Bernie Madoff and that DECI guy learnt their thing, maybe even Kamlesh too. On supper of day One, every Form 1, even the one who will later become a ‘kamjuaji’ is lost in the confusion and mayhem that dictates life in a dining hall. After supper you wait for directions, herded together like sheep….So, what is the Fraud of Spoons?
Spoons; The new gold
Think of it like this, before you went to high school, a spoon was just that…..a spoon…then you went to high school and it became a currency, a valued item that could be exchanged for favors (such as the name and address of a girl you had your eye on)
The Fraudster of Spoons thrived on these two things; ignorance and the worth of spoons. He was just a normal guy with an ingenious business idea….as you sat there looking all confused after supper; a serious looking fella would approach the first table holding an empty Kasuku (can). He would tell you that due to the worth of spoons, they are kept in the safety of the dining hall and he….in this case could be the Zeus or even Jesus…was the Guardian of the Spoons.
You were not naïve; you were following directions, right? And after the first table of suckers, the others would fall like a pack of dominos. A guy would leave with, say, 100 spoons for every 101 of you, the exception being the guy who did not go for supper that day….
Can you smell the fraud here?
So at lunch the next day, as the weevil-infested githeri swam in the soup on your green (or red) plastic plate, you waited…..patiently…..for the spoons or the Guardian of the Spoons…..but we all know what happens. Someone would notice no one was eating and enquire, and in your innocence, you said you were waiting for your spoons, and he would seek clarification m his eyes smiling already….then he would ROTFL like a mad hyena!
A few days later, when the demand for spoons was extremely high and supply non-existent, rumor would start that there was a guy selling spoons….at 20 bob each, and just like that, you would buy the same piece of cutlery twice.
Ignore this Image
Then there was that tree behind dorm one where jokas in that dorm used to be made to hang, about 10 of them and then fall off like ripe peaches.
Then you had to collect darkness using buckets.
Singing the national anthem in your mother tongue, singing it to the tune of “Wasn’t Me!”by Shaggy and Usher…