Flikr-trotting I found… (apologies to Iwaya)

(-Day94-, originally uploaded by §ally. )

I like browsing flickr.com because the photos on that site bring peace and tranquility unto my troubled soul. Usually what I look for is lolcats, but today I found this.

Nice, eh?

I also don’t know why it is that, for the first time since I moved to wordpress, I have spent a full week without posting. I don’t know why, or if I do, am not telling. Maybe it is because of the aforementioned trouble in the aforementioned soul.

But in the words of all the corny comic supervillains, you haven’t heard the last of me. I will. Return. Muahahaha.

One lovely evening in Kampala city

 The Queen of England is an enigmatic figure, said my wise friend, Bothon. “No one is sure what she does. Or why. Or even if.”

 Now, presenting:

During the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. Overheard
(Or When I grow up I want to be Cabinet Tales.)
Barbados: The thing with Zimbabwe is that every time you accuse Mugabe of anything, he brings out the race card. That I hear whites, colonialist, blah blah. That is why if we as the Commonwealth, seeing as we are largely constituted of black and brown countries, you get, — if we speak with a one voice of condemnation…

Queen: That would be excellent!

Cameroon: You, who said you could talk? Shush. Heads of government are the ones talking now. Your job is over. Sit quietly in the corner and knit something or whatever. I agree with Cameroon. If black and brown countries of the Commonwealth need to lend our united voice…

Antigua: But even you first wait. How are you guys going to condemn Zimbabwe when so many of your own countries have dubious democratic credentials? Now like Museveni here. Don’t you teargassing the leader of your main opposition party like once a month?

Museveni: What? I only did it a couple of times. And he had it coming! Besides, you can’t compare me to Mugabe.

Antigua: But why not? You guys have been president for basically the same amount of time, and you also stole property from non-indigenous citizens…

Museveni: That wasn’t me. That was Amin. Tell your attaché to brief you properly.

Queen: Those little children who did the welcoming dance. Weren’t they adorable? Yoweri, you must send me a video tape. They were …

Mackinon: Queen. When they said shush, what part didn’t  you understand? Are third world accents so inscrutable that even the word shush needs translation?

Queen: Sorry. I’ll just sit hear and go through this copy of African Woman that Sylvia Oworry gave me.

Mackinnon: Anyway, we have to hurry this on because we have to discuss Pakistan before the rain starts. According to this briefing from my attaché (glares at Museveni) traffic and everything in this town grinds to a halt when it starts to rain. Cam, you were saying…

Antigua: Yeah. I was saying that a condemnation from you despots would achieve nothing. It is morally compromised from the start. Let us the clean countries condemn him.

Brunei: But then it won’t be the whole commonwealth as one voice.

Mackinon: This is going nowhere. Next issue.

Museveni: But you guys have no idea. Mackinnon. You have no idea how difficult these opposition chaps can be. Besigye is such an unending pain in the…

Mackinon: I said Next issue. Pakistan. You guys, can we send squads in to snipe Musharaf? Does the Commonwealth have an armed wing?

Museveni: What do you mean, Next issue? I am the host around here. I say when we move to the next issue.

Queen: Um.. Can I say something?

Everybody: NO! SHUSH!

Grenada: Go outside where they think you are a big deal. Go visit a slum women’s income-generating project and get out of our hair.

Queen: What? Even you ka-small Grenada which, according to wikipedia has a population of only 102,000 broke muhfuckas you want to kick me out? Does no one here matira me?

 Everybody: No!

Grenada: Only Philip, and he is asleep in the back with Sam Kutesa. Sumagiraring.

Antigua: Don’t they look sweet?

One sentence only

When you are in a webcafe trying to see what to put on your blog one evening, and ideas, which normally thunder in herds through your insane head, raising dust, chaos, and a lot of noise (you know how herds of ideas usually be) and you are crouched, like any buffalo/idea sniper worth his salt, and you are worth your salt, having graduated top of your class from Sandhurst (the one in Katwe not the one in Ntinda), on top of a well-placed anthill, with your brand new bow and arrow poised, it’s weapon level set to “deadly force”,  your eye keen and focused, looking and looking closely, waiting to pick one juicy, fat, healthy one to shoot down, so that you can blog its bloody carcass, this gruesome imagery doesn’t bother you one bit, then this dude next to you starts to as if make kaboozi, like he looked at you and noted a striking resemblance to a radio talk show, one that invites idle yapyap from all corners and does not discriminate, as if you are not going to cast a cold, evil, mean, steely, contact lens at him and without a word shut him the freakin’ell up and put him back in his place, causing him to thank God (Silently) that you did not carry your baseball bat with you that evening, you try to get back to the post and you find that you are out of webtime.

Deep as a bottle top

Unlike my excellent Dolce & Gabbana joke, the “There Is No Spoon” wasn’t anything funny. The only reason I thought that whole story was worth telling was this… movie fans are a weird species. Not only do we often converse among ourselves using quotes and lines from the films we have all watched, but, even worse, even more self-absorbed and even more myopic of us, we never consider the chance that there are normal people out there who do not share our obsession.

Seriously, we honestly believe that everyone has watched The Matrix.

And consequently, when the opportunity to utter one of the lines from the movie The Matrix, (that line, in this case being “There is no spoon”) we utter away, then be shocked to discover that some people had better things to do with their lives than be there mbu

watching Keanu Reeves be a kung fu philosopher.

So, beloved, that’s it. Not a terribly sophisticated joke. Just a line from a movie. Now Cheri, you can kusooza and say, “Kale why was he wasting my time?”

Why indeed.

Have you noticed, by the way, that there is something more airy and languid and lackadaisical about the blog today? To whit, that I am not even making any effort at this and am totally phoning it in, shamelessly typing on even though I clearly have nothing to

say? It is because, folks, I am on leave. I am on vacation. I am not at work.

For the next two weeks I will be slouch on the couch growing fat on rolex and safi, keeping my interaction with the rest of Kampala to an absolute minimum.

When a bald, love-handled, halitotic, scabied creature returns to the city on the twenty-seventh, you will not need to ask, you know that it will be me. Sayonara friends. All my haters, tough noogies.

Hello! Is this thing on?

(Or Tales from the Gulag III)

Now, you know not everyone in Kampala is as steeped in post-millennial pop culture as you and I, which sucks, because pop culture references are the currency of cool people communication.
We don’t have a lot of movie fans in my office.
But they are fans of coffee; that they don’t mind. They drink coffee.

This evening after colleague had put the ingredients in a cup, he discovered that he could not find anything to stir them with. So he asked, loudly, where the stirring implement was.

I intoned, quietly:

There is no spoon.”

This should have been met with rioutous laughter, sub-editors falling off their seats, clutching at their bellies and coughing up globules of mirthful blood, but I got no reaction at all. No one even realised that a brilliant joke had been cracked.

Till nex’ week, laysngennermen, I leave you with this Move — or as Carlos taught me to say, this Next move cut. Alicia Keys got Kanye to tack on a verse. Sooweeet. Cheri, pump up your speakers.

Office Meetings

Office Meetings: Noisy, chaotic and unproductive? Dull, boring and a waste of time? Whichever school of thought you subscribe to (and it has to be one of those two. There is no other alternative. No, I have refused. There is no such thing as an organised, efficient, productive office meeting. Never.) you need help in making these things tolerable. And I have just the thing.

What you need is Mischief. 

Go like this: When it is your turn to make a contribution, say something like:

“We have to find a way of promulgating a synergistic policy structure to plot a schematic to map the way forward, you get, eh?”

They nod. You continue.

“We have to keep an end-result-oriented, market-driven approach to this programme. Pro-active is the word of the day, we have to move pro-actively towards a paradigm shit.”

Now wait. Look around innocently.

There should be a sudden silence in the room. Some of the younger staff members may be giggling. Look at them and ask, “What? What did I say?”

One of them will break down and tell you that you said paradigm “shit”. Deny it stubbornly. “No. I said Shift. Paradigm Shift.”

The meeting could be diverted now into a discussion over whether you said Shit or Shift. Don’t stop them. Fuel the fire by standing your ground and refusing to concede an inch. But after a few moments, you could draw them back home:

“We are not here to discuss simanyi if people said Paradigm Shift or simanyi what. Let us get back to the issue. I was saying that, we as a team have to get together and move forward in the same direction on this.”

Some dude who feels like being the levelheaded one will agree. You can use his nodding head and his mutterings of assertion as a springboard to add:

“We can’t just sit here twiddling our bums. We must take a good look outside the box to explore opportunities in untapped regions.”

Repeat  as above. Insist that you said “twiddling our thumbs!” Do not countenance any suggestion that you said anything but thumbs.

After a while the meeting may return to normal. Let them think they are safe for a while then when it is almost time to end, hit them with:

“I hope we all take what we have discussed here to heart, and assiduously apply what we have resolved. Remember, we must move forward together as a team. We are a strong team, we are a motivated team. Remember, guys, divided we fall, but urinal we what? We stand!”