Me sitting at restaurant table, with laptop open, coffee dregs steaming at the bottom of the cup, my mobile phone to my left and, to my right, a hovering waiter.
The waiter has things to ask of me.
At the same time my phone buzzes. It is my editor. She also has things she wants from me.
Sqwawk: The waiter asks, “How was the chicken pie?”
This happens at the same time as the whatsapp blinks with a message from my editor, who asks: “Where’s my column, you dingbat? Instead of sending me work you are sitting in cafes trolling politicians on twitter, aren’t you?”
Cluck cluck: There is a tide in the affairs of men, he plagiarised, which, taken at the flood leads on to greater things.
(For the record, Josephine, when I say “He plagiarised” above, I am attempting a clever joke on the subject of plagiarism. I use a known literary quote but do not attribute it. I know, and everybody knows that it is from Julius Caesar. Don’t let us make this a big deal).
This was a time to rise to an uncommon opportunity and answer both at once. So, I will tell both the waiter, and you, dear reader, through you, dear editor, how my chicken was.
I write about such things. I am versatile, baby. Love me.
Cockadoodle: The chicken, I am afraid to say, sucked. It really did. It was a dismal affair, a sad and tragic end to a life, a waste, a waste of everything that had ever contributed to the being of this unit of poultry. It was a very bad chicken pie.
The meat within was old and dry and stringy. So stringy, in fact, and I am more likely to believe that it was actually a string pie that I was served and not a chicken. The texture and consistency of this thing was not chickeny enough. It was barely chickeny at all.
Kokoliyokoo: This bird, if it was one, did not hatch, get reared for food, get slaughtered, prepared and then served in a pie. This bird was not from a farm, it was road kill. This bird died when a long-haul trailer from Mombasa rode over it.
I am quite sure that what I was eating in that pie was the bits of meat that were scraped off the wheel when the truck reached Kampala.
Peck: I could taste despair and misery in this chicken pie. This pie was full of the broken dreams and deep regrets that the bird had carried through its life and into its death. They were somehow transmitted through the pastry and onto my tongue.
This pie was miserable. It was a wretch. It was the pie equivalent of what you tell an enemy who is so weak and broken that you don’t even have the heart to insult them, let alone fight them. All you can do is grunt dismissively at them. This pie is that grunt.
This pie sucked.
I don’t lie: Of course I told the waiter all of that. I did so just now. I said it while I typed it. And when he tried to interrupt I would shush him sharply (The shushes were not transcribed into my script because I feel they add nothing to the narrative) And so, in that way, I have killed two birds with one stone.
This chicken, by the way, did feel as if it was killed with a stone. I imagine it was flying around a university when the students below went on riot. Stones flew through the sky, aimed badly at policemen. One of the stones struck the bird, killing it. It fell into a broke student’s arms, and said student had an idea: “Be a job-creator,” he thought. “Let me sell this crow — The chicken was actually a crow, you see– to a restaurant and see if they can make bad pies with it.”
Ernest Bazanye’s Bad Idea (That’s by me) runs in The Sunday Vision every weekend.