A HUMAN being, a species to which I am proud to belong by at least 60 per cent ( I probably wouldn’t have minded being an antelope), and for which no-one requested, or forced me to pay a special fee to qualify for being a member, is a truly (no lies here, please) interesting creature.
The other day, which is technically a meaningless piece of information because it isn’t specified what day of the week it was, to which week it belonged, which year owned the month, and all of which were accommodated in which year.
To spare you of being stressed over small things, instead of being tortured by gigantic ones like designing an ultra-modern fast-sailing, accident-free ship that can cruise in Lake Victoria by being 100 per cent computer-guided, let me make life easier for you.
The other day, when exactly that was is as immaterial as it isn’t necessary that today is Sunday, since you may be reading this newspaper on Thursday as a secondhand publication almost mtumba-style, I was subjecting my tiny brain to guide me on what I should focus my attention.
I was doing so, because, after drinking about half a gallon of porridge on doctor’s advice as a trick for growing fatter, the brain felt somewhat lazy. It was refusing to focus on anything productive.
Not being a soccer fan, I couldn’t ask it to brief me on the latest soccer politics (which is what I sometimes feel is the case instead of sports).
I hit on the idea of closing my eyes and imagining that I was a passenger in the envisaged Dar es Salaam-Mwanza bullet train.
In order to get a rough idea of how to get started, I remembered a hilarious ‘mchapo’ donated by a friend self-nicknamed CU (Cheka Uishi) as opposed to a phone text message abbreviation for “See You”.
As we were enjoying our beer, CU told us ( a group of God’s creature who don’t believe that you can sleep soundly without assassinating a few you-know-what but can’t be taken to task by police officers or magistrates), CU told us something truly fantastic.
But after what you will read next, you would be free to pass judgement (but not of the Kisutu court variety) on what type of character he is.
He said according to very reliable sources (using a phraseology that journalists are fond of in order to convince readers that the information they are donating is 100 per cent truthful and thus zero-lies) a cigarette smoker riding in a bullet train would be shocked.
He would light a cigarette in Morogoro and then softly say a brief prayer to request the Almighty God (by extension the spiritual force that pumped extraordinary wisdom into engineers for fashioning the bullet train) to deliver the train and himself to Mwanza.
He would cancel the prayer after remembering that he had forgotten to include other passengers in the prayer, and this would be a manifestation of selfishness.
So, he would repeat the prayer to include them. He would cancel it yet again, and re-fashion the prayer to cover relatives he would be leaving behind in Dar, for God to take care of them.
By the time he was done with the spiritual ritual, the train was already in Tabora. Then, he would concentrate on the cigarette, but suddenly remembered that there were a few important instructions he had forgotten to communicate to his wife before departure.
He suspended the smoking ritual briefly to make a mobile phone call to his better half (the wife, that is) to tell her not to reveal to people to whom he owed money where he was, but that he had gone on an emergency trip to Khartoum, Sudan, and would be back in two weeks’ time.
CU said that after the passenger had slotted the phone handset into his pocket and was embarking on smoking once more, the train was arriving at the Mwanza station.
The passenger, he said, was furious, and started screaming a cocktail of part-sentences and part-words in what was most probably his mother tongue (as though fathers don’t have tongues) .
He then shed a few tears, telling curious onlookers that, whereas the trip was fast, it was scandalously fast, because his beloved eyes hardly enjoyed any of the landscapes along the route, having been busy smoking and chatting on the phone!
While resting on a bench on a Dar beach front on New Year’s day, I closed my eyes and imagined that I was a passenger in a bullet train.
After five or so minutes, I sensed that the train was going off the track. Gripped by fright, I fell from the bench and landed my nose on the soft sand. By the time I rose, my wallet was gone!