Thursday, November 4, 2010

"Warning: Here be an ode...of sorts..."

When in need of some spoil-meself-silly retail therapy, I don't do shoes; I go on a kick ass book buying expedition (key word being expedition, beautiful people). And of late, I've been in dire need of some of that therapy, thanks to a nightmarish week in the office and a nasty bout of the flu that left me with a throat infection as a souvenir.

So I hit a few bookstores and found nothing interesting enough to make me want to splurge. Pissed, my best bud R and I revisited the pros of ordering book titles I want, not those that the local bookstores have. Only this time, it would involve me book browsing beyond my country code, drawing up a sensible book list
( those are R's words and good luck trying to explain to me how sensibility & books can co-exist in my world), practicing patience and having faith in the kindness of strangers. The ultimate upside? We'd do it darn cheap 'coz he knows a guy who knows a girl who knows a guy...all on the up & up...

Most people call R a hustler; an know, one those original sunbeam alumni types who can get you an original Manolo or Jimmy choo at an irresistible price. Some Kenyans pigeon hole them as guys who would sell their cucu if the price is right or as baddies who break hearts as they play (fyi, you'll always find dodgy characters peppered all over even in 'safe' places like church). And if that is all you're prepared to see, that is all you'll get.

Me? I prefer the moniker, the go-to guy. The guy who can get it for you or knows someone else who can. 'It' can be just about anything; a book, a pair of sneakers, designer perfume or a whole different way of thinking...a different approach to doing things. These go-to people are the kings & queens of versatility. They not only have down pat 100 ways of skinning a cat; they can throw in 10 more ways if required to do so.

They don't understand slacker mentality because it's a mentality that goes no where; a cop out. But they do get that life is unfair and that the odds are heavily stacked against them. They know how to get money and are skilled at it...they've had to be. Once upon a time, long before there was Equity Bank, banks hardly acknowledged their -and any other small scale entrepreneur's- existence. Now the very same banks are scrambling for them; wanting a piece of the lovely SME if only more people would acknowledge the potential these guys have when it comes to shaping and moving our world...

But don't be fooled by their seemingly easy going nature and the dapper look. Kick it back with these guys after a long day's work and they'll occasionally let slip shards of a harsh past life. And if you look into their eyes long enough, you'll see within those depths a tenacity and something else...something profound and heartbreaking. Even now, they are not home free.Yet. Not when you've got the greedy landlords, high costs of living, some more odds being stacked up and a recession that has financially claimed several of their own. Yet, they're still doing their thing with a roho juu swagger.

So, to the go-to guys I've come to call friends (yes, I'm referring to you R, BK, M & Che), I tip my hat and say a prayer; for I have come to lean on you guys when I'm in need of inspiration, strength, 3D thinking sessions aaaand of course priceless company.

And oh, honorable mentions go to Elvis, gal you're doing your thing and so rocking it, I'm in awe. And to you E, for tirelessly sating my appetite for all things far out and brilliant in the realm of tubey & movie magic...
Of miscellaneous life lessons: You know how as kids we'd swear, "If I'm lying, may lightning strike me dead?" And you ALWAYS remembered to cross your fingers when saying it?

Well, as we were about to start the Stan chart Marathon last Sunday, a colleague of mine was pointing out to me instances when life just sucks (details of which i now can't remember). And being in such a lovely mood, I cheerfully quipped back, "Oh well, sometimes we've got to accept that some days we're the pigeons and some days the statue..." (yes Dilbert, whoever you are. I'm soo blaming this on you)
It did not occur to me that we were standing below those tall trees at Nyayo Stadium; you know, the trees where the Marabou storks reside. It also didn't occur to me that one of the storks may have been listening in on our conversation. Worse, i didn't think to cross my fingers. So a few seconds later, the eavesdropping Marabou stork took a dump. It's aim was lousy, but bits of its humongous droppings did manage to fall on my arm. The guy standing next to me? Not so lucky.

Moral of the story?
-On some days, you really are the Statue.
-Always cross your fingers (with the reality of lesson # 1 in mind)...
-Don't be a wise ass. No one likes a wise ass. Not even Marabou storks...

Mob wendos,



  1. from just this post can tell you read quite a bit thanks for dropping by :)

  2. why lie, i loooove an engaging book...

  3. Now, you read big time; those rare gems of short words and phrasal verbs [i still remember this], tell it. just to say it I'm among them go-to guys...but don't believe me, I could be kidding. :)

  4. I should take a peak at your bookshelf. I too love a good read.

  5. The more i read, the more am sucked in more. nice pice, very well articulated.

  6. Thanks Stinger & Karibu

    @ Cold Turkey, you're a go to person, now I'm most curious :-)

    @ Shiko, you'll find a book for every mood...

  7. a) Loooooooooooooooooool!! Sorry but Loooool!! That bird understands a punch line!

    b) Book Villa - 8th Floor, Union Towers. The answer to your book worries. Fine there are times you want to read a particular book. But there are books you would never have known existed and therefore never read. Book Villa= the answear.

    Disclaimer: I swear I don't work for those guys.

  8. hey diger, thanks for the bookvilla tip off.i've always wondered where they moved for the marabou stork,it sure knows how to drive a point home...