I was looking for this thing I wrote about Independence last year and found this thing I wrote about Independence in 2012. You guys, I was hilarious.
I had told these two impudent teenagers of mine them over and over again that no one watches Lil Wayne music videos in my house. If that meant I was a hater, then let me be a hater and, true to my calling, let me hate. We had a long argument about this and I remember Chandler’s final submission: “Tunechi swagg too deep for yall!” To which I responded, “My intellect operates in coherent English, not in whatever language the word ‘swagg’ occurs.” Then I turned the channel and walked off with the remote control.
Little did I know they would figure out the secret very few teens in Uganda know — which is that you can actually operate a TV without the remote control. It is an unfortunate result of their inheriting my intelligence and their mother’s cunning; but they managed to find the buttons on the TV itself and switched the station back on to Lil Wayne.
I had to step in to both assert my authority (by turning the station the hell off YMCMB) and punishing them (by turning it into a documentary about Ugandan agricultural development since independence. Yes, you hapless teenagers. Let your eyes watch agricultural development. Let them bleed from this.)
Then: I thought they would writhe on the floor in agony but instead, and you could have bashed my head in with a leaf of lettuce just then, they just actually sat there and PAID REAL ATTENTION. Flabbers have never been so violently gasted in the history of flabbergasting. Chandler and Fraiser were actually interested in this documentary.
They even had questions to ask me after it ended.
Fraiser went first: “Dad, what was Uganda like before independence?”
Still shocked, I replied, “How should I know?”
“Have you forgotten?” asked Chandler. “Maybe you could check the archives and see what you used to write in your column in those years.”
Imagine: How old did these kids think I was, banange?
“As old as the hills?” suggested Fraiser.
“As old as the ancient songs of sadness from the African heart?” opined Chandler.
“Yeah, e’en unto the dawn of time whence thine people spake thusly,” went Fraiser, who then ducked to dodge the shoe I flung at him.
“I was not born in the sixties, Uganda was independent when I got here!” I snorted.
“But what were the old days like? I heard from an economics expert who wrote on a prestigious news site that things were much cheaper then than they are now,” said Fraiser, passing my shoe back to me. “I bet you could get an iPhone for like sh200.”
“Yes, they were,” I replied, “but we didn’t call it an iPhone. We called it foolscap paper. And if you wanted to send a person an email, or an sms or a whatsapp, you would use a stamp instead of an internet bundle.”
Futhermore: I continued, now that I had their attention. “Uganda was excellent when I was your age. We used to focus on our studies and we never wasted time wearing skinny jeans and listening to Lil Wayne.”
“Who did you listen to?” they asked.
“Jay-Z and Busta Rhymes,” I replied.
“You are kidding me. Jay-Z and Busta were there in the sixties?”
Seriously, how old do these bu-kids think I am?