Kampala does not do nightclubs in the ordinary, expected way. Instead the youth, who make up the majority of the population, all decide to go to the same single restaurant on the same successive series of Saturday nights. It will be bursting at the seams with yuppies and university kids getting drunker and drunker, making the minister of their demographic run insane at the sight, so mad that he can no longer speak sense.
You end up with the décor and interior planning of a restaurant serving as a bar with the population of a discotheque. And everyone in Kampala between the ages of 20 and 35 is there. (No, no teenagers. Once the teenagers appear, the legal drinkers declare the place “dead” and move on to harass another restaurant.)
I have a friend called Thaddeus, however. He is a misanthrope and therefore only ever goes to these places because they serve drinks and he is as immoral. Most immoral people enjoy meeting at such places to instigate sexual adventures. Minister of Youth, you must have something dumb to say about this, too.
Thaddeus was at one such place at 3:00am on the other Saturday. This is unusual because by three, one has usually already secured one’s stand for the night and departed to her place. Either this or given up.
What had happened was that Thaddeus had given up much earlier and was actually just returning. He marched to the bar, where a herd of yuppies was clawing at the wood trying to get the attention of two bartenders who, as it is with all bartenders at such places, had nothing but contempt to offer them.
Thaddeus reached into his coat and pulled out the last surviving vuvuzela in Kampala and blew it at the bartender, forcing him to stop pretending he had other things to do and actually pay attention to a person at the counter.
Thaddeus: “No need to ask the question that is trying to form itself in your addled mind. Yes, you can help me. I am here with a complaint and, depending on the explanation I get, a demand for an apology.”
Herd of yuppies: “Mooo! Bleat! Me am thrsty n I wnt alcolhlz!! Lol!”
Thaddeus: “I was here at around midnight looking for an easy lay from amongst these women. I failed to find one tonight unfortunately, so I sought consolation in drink.”
Herd: “Let mi updet mai fb wth phtoz ov mi drank!!!LOL!”
Thaddeus: “I had three of those expensive things you call a Long Island Iced Tea, which are supposed to contain a lot of vodka, and then I went home, alone and dejected but confident that I was very drunk.”
Herd: “HIV? There iz no sch thng! Let’s copul8 without protectn an with each othr. YOLO!”
Thaddeus: “But I went home, fell quickly asleep, and thought, inasmuch as a sleeping man can think, that everything was fine. But then I woke up at 2:30am, sober, alert and fully aware of the emptiness of both my bed, my life and my spiritual centre.”
Herd: “Here we are now, intoxicate us!”
Thaddeus: “Your vodka malfunctioned. For the price I paid I should be knocked out all night. I demand an explanation, an apology or a refill.”
Bartender: “What? I can’t hear. Your vuvuzela has made me deaf.”