When stomachs start running, you run with them

IN my whole life I can identify two or three occasions when I was really embarrassed and wished for the earth to open up and swallow me whole, but it did not comply.

In the first scenario, I was still a young, strapping lad who was trying to get his identity as far as those creatures who wear skirts are concerned.

I was a very tall and thin fellow, and I don’t remember anyone, male or female, mentioning that I was a handsome fellow, so I cannot tell lies and claim that I was a tall, handsome fellow.

But despite my face which was neither handsome nor ugly, there was a certain girl in church who believed that after God finished creating other people, (including her father, or so she told me) He took a deep breath before starting to create me.

In other words, that girl who was called Anastazia worshiped the ground I walked on, and to be honest, she was the only creature who told heaven and earth that I was a handsome chap.

It happened that we were in the same church as I mentioned before and the church had organised an open air crusade in our neighbourhood and being part of the church youth, I was fully involved in the setting up of the venue.

Our pastor sent us to get some chairs from another church which was located miles away and when we were coming back, I was sitting on top of a pile of chairs on top of the church truck when I saw my lovely Anastazia.

There was a look of adoration in her eyes as she looked at me the way the French girls were looking at the triumphant allied troops when they entered France during World War 2, which was enough to make me do anything stupid.

I knew I had to impress her by all means, that is why as she looked at me the way a lady looks at her prince in shining armour, I decided to jump from the top of the truck, with the idea of landing on two feet like a veteran soldier jumping from a rolling tanker.

Everything went okay, from the stance I put to the moment I jumped from the truck…everything was perfect, except the fact that I miscalculated the distance from the top of the truck to the ground (which could have been caused by the fact that I was very poor in mathematics).

It was in pure dismay and utter embarrassment when instead of landing on two feet like John Rambo in the movie Cobra, I landed on my bum, right next to my beloved Anastazia.

It was really embarrassing for me, I have to be honest, especially when people came running towards me, including Anastazia, and tried to lift me from the ground.

My ego was completely destroyed as I stood up from the ground, wiped my dusty bum and walked away. I went straight home and I did not see Anastazia again for almost three months.

For those of you who waste your time reading this column every week, then you will remember I told you how I had to endure a long bus ride to Katavi because someone assured me that he was going to cut the link between me and poverty.

Things did not go as planned, so after staying there for about three days, I boarded the bus to return home, where Mama Boyi was eagerly waiting for me after I promised to buy a new car for her when I returned.

For those of you who have no idea where Katavi is, I will tell you that to get there by bus you have to endure a more than 16-hour ride, which is not a stroll in the park.

I don’t know whether it was something I ate or what, because a few hours after the bus left Katavi, I heard a terrifying growl where I was seated, which I learned a few seconds later that it was my stomach.

My friend, the growling did not get better, instead it got louder every time it came and because the bus had no TV or radio, it took a few minutes for my neighbour to notice the unusual sound.

Things got worse, and I knew if I did not go to the toilet soon, things would be very nasty for other passengers in the bus, so I dashed to the front of the bus and whispered to the driver that I needed to use the toilet fast, so he should do something about it.

There are some people who behave as if they have potatoes for brains, and our driver was one of those people.

“Mzee unataka kuharisha!? Subiri kwanza, I have to get a good spot to park. The problem is that men with your kind of tummy like to eat all the time and people like us have to pay the price,” he said on top of his voice, and I could see all the passengers leaning trying to get a good look at me.

It was embarrassing, to say the least, but I had to swallow my pride and keep quiet as my tummy continued to threaten dangerously, rumbling like thunder in a quiet night.

I shot out of the bus as soon as it came to a stop on a secluded spot, and you can imagine what transpired when my trousers went bellow my knees.

When I returned to the bus a few minutes later, I could feel the eyes of all the passengers on me as I made my way to my seat behind the bus and from somewhere I heard someone saying “Pole mzee”.

Before the bus reached Dodoma, I had forced the driver to stop three more times and by the time we arrived in Dar es Salaam, I was in a very poor state.

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