Me, you see me here, you see a man with a swagger, a man who walks with confidence, a man who walks as if he not only owns the room, but the building and the street. A man who moves as if Rajiv Ruparelia just borrowed this shit for a second.

Rajiv: Good morning sir. I am Rajiv Rupar…

Me: Here, hold kko these titles for me, will you? I need to type.

What you imagine happened

It may look like a sense of superiority, but really it is the opposite. It is because I lack self esteem– I have none at all. My self esteem is so low that I not only don’t expect people to care about me, but I don’t care if they don’t. 

The result is that I will (and have done and will do so again) go to the bank in socks and sandals and smile very nicely to the staff as I fill the slip to withdraw my million shillings, some of which is going to buy crocs and more socks.

So now that I have introduced myself. Let me proceed, or at least begin this story.

I was in my former office lobby, having just said goodbye to a visitor, who had just walked out of the main gate and into the street, when I noticed that she had given me the wrong business card. 

This was in the days when I still accepted business cards– pre-Covid. Nowadays, gimme a whatsapp number or a gmail address or do not expect us to ever communicate again; you are dead to me. 

The subscriber you have dialled dayen’t want

Of what use is a business card in Covid times? I haven’t even been to Aristoc in months, so I don’t need bookmarks and I can’t even pick my teeth with it cos it might have the corona virus on one corner. Kyanja, where I live, is full of casually disregarded “No Dumping” signs and the only reason your business card isn’t bio-degrading under one is that you are not going to waste either of our times giving it to me.

But back in the days people in office had such naive habits as accepting business cards.

But this card had the wrong name on it. 

To protect the identities of the parties involved I shall not use the real names. I shall use names of people who were not involved in the story at all, like, say, random pick, Stella Nantumbwe.

So, instead of giving me a card that said, “Stella Nantumbwe, ella.nantumbwe@gmails.com, 0777Donotstalk, Twitter @Ellanantumbwe FB.com/Ellanantumbwe,” it said something very opposite. Like “Fatboy Jr, Fatboyskid@gmails.com , 07724ImusingmydadsabandonedMTNline, twitter @Dontmutemeyet FB.com/Tiredofbeingreported.”

Fatboy The Kid

Wait. This might get confusing. Ssi ku the way I write. Let me clarify that the person in whose names the card was not was in any way related to Fatboy. I only mentioned Fatboy because I wanted to use the Cartman pic. I just imagine that if Cartman would make Fatboy admit that he has lost an argument. And if Cartman was Fatboy’s kid, it would happen all week long.

The guy whose name was on the card was some asshole names withheld.

I had to move quickly before she got into her uber/taxify and get the right card.

For the record, it wasn’t Ellah. I just used her name because that was the week I first met her and I was crushing on her to such an extent that “crushing” would still be an understatement if I was four elephants sitting on top of her Vitz.

You guys, if you think Ellah is hot, wait till you see her speak. I did not say hear her speak. I said see her speak. Combine the sight of her with that voice and, fam! I crushed like the security apparatus of African states on the hopes of their people who yearn for free speech and human rights.

By the way, if you are one of those people who snitch and show these blog posts to the people I mention, tell her it’s safe now. I am over her. I still think she looks like a gorgeous praying mantis with those large eyes of hers, but I have too much anti-anxiety medication in my heart ventricles to be in love.

So, the guest was outside, about to enter their cab. I was inside, holding the wrong card. Action needed to be taken rapidly. I ran out of the gate shouting for them to wait and give me the right card before departing.

Are we going to keep interrupting the flow of the narrative with these distractions? Now you want to know if she gave me the wrong card as the equivalent of giving a nagging trash suitor at a club a fake name and number. Once again, it was not the actual Ellah. 

Ella Nantumbwe would not give me the wrong number because I would not ask. I would give her my number and let her decide. I told you already. Confidence.

What would I do with Ellah’s number anyway? There’s levels to this shit, dude, and she’s like a foot taller than me.

Can I even handle?

Okay, let’s forget about hiding identities. It was Jane, okay? You don’t know her. Now will you let me get back to my story?

So I ran out of the gate to give Jane back the wrong card and get the right one. 

What follows is one of my long speeches. I tend to talk like this in these stories. Follow me now:

“Jane, you have given me the wrong business card. This is K.J.’s card. I am shocked, appalled actually. If I didn’t admire you as much as I do, I would have taken this as a blight on your character– not that you gave me his card but that you actually have this person’s card. This person? This person isn’t just gasiya. This person is what makes me strongly suspect that a secret deal was struck between Uganda and China to dump nuclear waste in our landfills and then the maggots, roaches and bacteria that fester therein spontaneously evolved into a single sentient zombie monster of filth which then located the corpse of a sex pervert who had just died after his attempt to grow a second penis via witchcraft rituals went fatally wrong. The radioactive garbage monster found a way of donning the skin of the dead witchcraft pervert and, in this disguise, infiltrated Kampala society and, in the course of its other toxic, obscene and unholy activities, found time to print business cards. This card is proof that such a creature exists. I can only assume that you got it by accident– someone gave you the wrong card, the way you gave me the wrong card.”

Jane looked at the card and her face went through three expressions. 

  • 1: Whose card is this? (Curiosity.)
  • 2: What? His card? How did I end up with his card? (Incredulity)
  • 3: What the fuck! Get that thing away from me! (Abject terror at being in the same acre as that guy’s name alone, not to mention number, email, and social media handles.)

There was only one thing to do, of course, and you know it as well as I do. So I asked the patient Uber driver if his car had a lighter that we could use to burn the card to ash and end the cycle there and then. By the way, my younger readers, that thing which you use to plug in the phone charger in the car? You can stop wondering why it has that weird symbol on it. It was originally designed as a cigarette lighter, and can actually cause fire. I hope none of you know this because I hope none of you smoke cigarettes. They are bad for you. Smoke fish. That is good for you.

The Uber driver turned round and looked at me. 

“Aren’t you Ernest Bazanye?” he asked.

At the time I was very famous so I said simply “Yeah. And?” (As opposed to now, when I am less famous, so I will probably answer, “Yeah, why?”)

I reached out my hand for the lighter.

The Uber driver said, “I hated your last article. It was shallow and silly and annoying. And what made it even more annoying is that I read it because they had wrapped my hard corns in the newspaper page, so I had constipation as a result. Meaning I couldn’t even take a dump and wipe my ass with it.”

Friends, at the time I was a newspaper columnist, one with a lot of experience. I had been writing a column for many years. One of the things you learn as a journalist is to focus on getting relevant answers to relevant questions. So I said, “Your opinion is not a lighter. I asked for a lighter.”

Since you’ve always wondered. It’s this thing.

“You are such an awful writer I bet if you DM’d Ellah, she would not just block you,” he grumbled, handing over the lighter. “She would block herself as well because now her profile has been contaminated.”

Jane held the lighter to the corner of the card and we set it on fire. It burned briefly but viciously, as if it knew how evil it was. 

“Man, your column sucks. No wonder the hard corns that were wrapped in it tasted like toenails. It was like eating the toenails of someone who wears crocs and walks through Kikoni on the way to work,” he said as we returned the lighter and I helped Jane out of the car, the back seat of which was now on fire because, well, you should not burn paper inside Vitzes with plastic upholstery.

Then we went and got another uber. Jane asked, “Aren’t you going to do something?”

“About what?” I asked. “It’s his Vitz and his lighter. Therefore it is his fire. Let him deal with it.”

“About what he said about your article,” she prompted.

This is when I realised the depths of my self esteem. That article was actually brilliant but be that as it may, we know not everyone appreciates the steez. I looked in my heart, in my soul and even in my pockets for the fuck Jane expected me to give and couldn’t find it. “Well, let him read Big Eye instead,” I decided. “Probably more his level.” And we proceeded to call a Taxify.

You know this story didn’t really have a point to it. They rarely do. I usually just come here, try to make you laugh and leave without making any trouble. Let’s do that today as well.


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Click on Bobi’s kanzu.

2 thoughts on “The Day I Met A Hater. And We Burned His Car

  1. NUMBER ONE:
    “I looked in my heart, in my soul and even in my pockets for the fuck Jane expected me to give and couldn’t find it.”
    If there were functional laws against plagiarism in this country, I’d show some remorse before stealing this. Alas.
    NUMBER TWO:
    “You know this story didn’t really have a point to it. They rarely do. I usually just come here, try to make you laugh and leave without making any trouble. Let’s do that today as well.”
    This was some eloquent stream of gobbledygook.

    Like

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