When the year turned four months ago, one of my New Year’s resolutions was to spend as little money on beer as possible this year, and I vowed to use different strategies to accomplish this resolution.
One of the strategies that I have put in place is to sweet talk my way to a full stomach, and this involves even trying to squeeze water from a stone, and when I say this, I mean sweet talking even the notorious ‘Mabahili sugu’ into buying me a couple of bottles or more! This strategy has so far been very impressive, because since the year started, I have managed to drink myself silly on several occasions courtesy of other folks who end up footing the bill.
My latest experience involved gate crashing into a wedding reception yesterday, where we ended up sitting on the ‘High Table’, next to the bride and groom, and getting first class treatment, including plenty of brown bottles and roasted meat! But for you to succeed in this game, first and foremost you must possess several qualities which by all means will make sure that your glass of the brown liquid does not run dry, but at the same time, you must also possess the qualities of a seasoned liar!
The first victim of my resolution happened to be a fellow in the office from the dusty roads of Kigoma, who has a reputation of being the most serious economist, because he usually walks to and from Kimara Mwisho to Tazara every day, all in the name of saving the transport money.
That day I knew that Babu Seya (that is what we call him) was loaded, because he had just received a very hefty ‘Mshiko’ from somewhere, and I knew that if I had to wait until the next day, I will continue nursing my dry throat for a very long time. So what I did was to call him aside after working hours and asked him if I could buy some beer for him, although I had only three thousand shillings between me and poverty, so by all means I had to play my cards well. He agreed, and we headed to ‘Banjuka’, one of our drinking holes in Sinza.
Of course I ordered a cold one for him and a bottle of ‘Uhai’ water for myself. “Kwani Baba Boyi, what is the problem, or are you on medication?” he inquired, and I told him that usually I like to take some water before starting on my drink, and he swallowed the story. It was obvious that the guy had great speed when swallowing free brown liquid, so I started giving him some straight but twisted lies.
“Son of a Chief, you know I still wonder why they have not given you the position of the boss in the office, because if you ask me, you are the best guy who is qualified for that job, seriously speaking, and all the boys agree with me!” I told him, and he beamed from ear to ear.
He started telling me how he has been longing for the day when the guys on the top will realise that they are wasting his talent and decide to utilise him to his full capacity, and of course I had to agree with him, because every thing depended on it, but the truth of the matter is that the guy is one of the laziest bums in the office! I told him that rumour had it that the guys on the top were thinking of getting rid of the current boss, a guy who suffers from all kinds of funny mental ailments, and they were still pondering on the right candidate to fill the position.
“Of course my source tells me that they will be calling us one by one in the office so that they can ask us for our recommendations, but as you know, most of us are routing for you, yaani unafaa!” I told him, and he grinned even wider. His bottle was almost empty, and I made a show of looking for my wallet so that I can order two beers, but he stopped me.
“Don’t worry Baba Boyi, let me get one for you, so that it can remove all the Tazara dust from your throat!” he said and summoned Rhoda, the pretty bar maid who believes that I should be declared the king of Sinza. He ordered two for me in a row, and I knew that by the time I was done with him, my throat will be celebrating from all the flow of the cool stuff.
“You know that pretty lady called Rose in the printing department, the one who has the boss running around begging for her attention?” I asked him, and he nodded his head as if his life depended on it.
The truth of the matter is that the woman in question was being chased by nearly all the male species in the office, including Babu Seya himself, and it was not official on who has succeeded so far.
“Last week I overheard one of her friends, Jane, saying that Rose has the hots for you, but she is just wondering how she is going to let you know. Did I tell you that she is my neighbour in Manzese?” I told him, and from that point onwards, we seriously drank beer! Anyway, yesterday we discovered that the best place to obtain free brown liquids is in wedding receptions, because it flows like water, especially if the guy getting married is from the hilly sides of Kilimanjaro.
So yesterday when we arrived uninvited at one of the wedding reception, (I was with another broke fellow from the office, and he is the one who suggested that we should gate crash weddings), we went straight to the groom and embraced him as if we were old buddies from school.
“Sio poa aise, unaoa hausemi! In fact, Jack is the one who told us that you are getting married, I say congratulations man, and you have a lovely bride!” we told him, and before he could clear his head and try to remember where he had seen us before, we were already seated! When it came the time to dance, I was the second (after the groom) to dance with the bride, and that is after I had swallowed myself silly! We disappeared into the night when I overheard the groom asking a hungry looking woman if she knew who we were!