Will You Have Fries With That?

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I like hanging out with these elder type men. Once in a while. To glean off some wisdom mostly. There are some habits though I struggle with. Some explain why I stopped going to rhumba joints in Nairobi West and Town. I kept bumping into my ‘uncles’ (I put uncles in quotes because where I come from that’s a very broad term), and their mistresses. They’d then bribe me with copious amounts of liquor which is not good for my liver.

My birthday is coming up and I’ve been trying to take stock of the years I’ve clocked, and my achievements thus far. They’re dismal. Nothing out of the ordinary. But even when I look at the ordinary, I’m still below par. How is it these older chaps can have a wife, kids and mistresses all at the same time? I’m still stuck at the wife. I have a decent job, I can afford to have a wallet and I’m no Taye Diggs, or sijui Jesse William but I’m no australopithecus either. Yes, according to the progression of a typical Nairobi man I’m still behind schedule. So I decided to talk to a few guys who have ‘progressed’ in this regard.

I had a chat with a guy who was doing well in the corporate world, beautiful wife, two kids, living in an up market part of Nairobi, drinks fine whisky and of course has a couple of mistresses on the side.

I was curious. So I quizzed him.

How do you do it man?

Haha. A man needs variety in life bro. It keeps you going. Keeps you alive.

Alive? It’s already enough work handling one woman. Now three?

You have to know how to balance them my guy. As long as you take care of them financially, you are in control.

Eish. That’s a lot of financing eh?

A real man is not bothered by such things. You manage. He says this as he fiddles with his phone, smiling as he thumbs through whatsapp messages.

All i could do was sit there in awe.

So where do you get these, urrrm, side chicks.

Most times you don’t need to look for them. If you’re doing well, they’ll come. Welcome them baba.

And the guilt? Is there any?

What guilt? Guilty people are those who get caught. Don’t get caught. You’ll be fine. Besides, it’s your right as a man.

I see. But you guy my wife is like the CIA. She can smell a lie a mile away.

As long as you’re providing you guy. It doesn’t matter. Si it’s a man’s world?

I think he forgot the other part of that song.

I was flustered. This life was harder than I thought. It’s like a race with no end in sight. It’s like running in a dream, you seem to be moving but making no progress.

I started to think of what it would mean to get a side chick.

She’d have to be of certain proportions, because apparently there’s a blue print from what I’ve seen. Younger, obviously. Probably out of college, because the college one’s hunt in packs. If you take care of her, there’ll be six others behind her expecting handouts. I’ll have to get acquainted with hotel rooms and back entrances to these hotels. Maybe even have hotel staff on my payroll. I’ll have to check in using a pseudonym, like Dr Herbert. I’ll have to traverse the town to Ruaka to visit this my ‘side of chips’. No offence to anyone who lives in Ruaka, but for real it’s mistress central. Just look at the rent prices that side of town, and the high end cars that navigate those treacherous bumps outside Quickmart in the wee hours of the night.

I’d have to start splitting time between the wife and miss side chick. Coming up with stories like,

Fridays I’m with the boys. Please don’t harass me.

This will allow me to get home whenever I want. I may even have to create arguments, so that the wife doesn’t want to see me, allowing me to head to Ruaka. Hehe.

I’ll have to be hiding out in joints of ill repute with signs like ‘Accommodation available’. I’ll have to be familiar with bypasses, and probably get a constant cab guy probably because, you know, Uber keeps a record of movement.

By the time I was done thinking of my phantom side chick, I had broken up with her. She wanted to meet up on a Sunday, going against our  agreement that Sunday is family time.

Then I thought to myself, this life is like eating at a buffet.You pick what you like and you sit down and eat your food. More often than not, your neighbours food looks sweeter. And you wonder

Haiya, kumbe there was pork?

If you were raised like me, though, you have to finish your food. Especially if you’re the one who served it. Sure, sometimes you might eat something off and get sick and swore never to try calamari again. Or you may like the buffet and go for seconds and suffer bloating later. You’ll purchase Eno and swear never to eat so much again. You’ll probably be back next week.

Sometimes you’ll order a steak, because you just like meat. Then the waitress will smile and ask,

Do you want fries with that? It’ll cost extra though.

And there and then you’ll be faced with a choice.

Enjoy your meal of life.

(P.S. I hope this doesn’t earn me time in the dog house. Hehe)



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