30.1.12

Terms and Conditions Apply

“I gotta get to know ya…”

If only all our dates were like this song, life would be so much easier no?  More importantly, if only our dates looked like Maxwell, life would be that much more pleasant.  Then again, the man likes men.  Lakini the way he sings...  I could be swayed into ignoring the whole ’batting for the other side’ thing... 

It’s Monday morning so I figure there’s no point trying too hard to be my normally very brilliant and luminous self (if that didnt make you laugh then we're not on the same page here...).  Seeing as how my (and I use this term most loosely) dating career is not going too well right now, I thinking perhaps its best to share a few tips and pointers to the rest of you in the hope that my experiences can serve a greater purpose.  Other than making you laugh.  At me. 

FOR THE LADIES…
The following is a list of what to expect if a man asks you out on a date in this city.  Please note that this list in not in any particular order of importance and is not comprehensive. 
  1. He probably will not call to say he’s running late.
  2. He definitely will not call to say he can’t make it.
  3. He will show up in a t-shirt, baggy jeans and sandals.
  4. He will not buy you a drink, unless he knows he’s taking you home, to shag you.
  5. If he does buy you a drink, he will insist on buying you the most potent but affordable drink, Sambuca not Hennessy.
  6. He will not buy you dinner, unless he knows he’s taking you home, to shag you.
  7. He considers dragging you to the bar to watch football with his boys a date, especially if he buys you nyama, which counts as dinner, therefore he’s taking you home, to shag you.
  8. He only gets up to dance at mugithi night, and stag nights.
  9. He believes sex is an important, nay, the most important part of dating.
  10. He thinks sex should last no longer than 15 minutes, including foreplay.
  11. He thinks foreplay is a fancy way of saying get naked.
  12. He assumes that you know that he has another woman, and you’re okay with it.
  13. He assumes that you know that you are the woman on the side, and you’re okay with it.
  14. He assumes that you will not be there when he gets up in the morning.
  15. He assumes that if you are there in the morning, you will make him breakfast, and do laundry.

FOR THE GENTLEMEN…
A brief note first, if you ask a woman out you will get one of three things:
  1. her and her friend(s) (if she’s under 25), or
  2. her and her monumental appetite for all things expensive, but only if you’re paying (and if she’s under 35, you’re definitely paying!), or
  3. her and the monumental chip on her shoulder (if she's over 35).
Assuming you can look past this, this is what you have to look forward to:
  1. She will be late.
  2. She will be wearing either too much hair and not enough clothing, or too much clothing and not enough hair.
  3. She will order the most expensive meal on the menu, but she will not eat it because she's on a water diet.
  4. She will not order water.
  5. She will order the most expensive drink on the menu, but she will not know how to drink it, or pronounce it.
  6. She will get very drunk on said expensive drinks and either throw up, black out or pick a fight, or all three.
  7. She will spend all evening bitching, either about her ex who didn’t marry her or her ex friend whom he did marry.
  8. She will spend all evening bitching, either about her ex who’s her baby daddy or her ex friend whose baby daddy her ex also is.
  9. She will spend all evening bitching about the hot young girls you keep staring at.
  10. She will wear impossibly high shoes, that she will then take off in the club.
  11. She will carry an impossibly large bag, that she will then leave in your care, along with the shoes, in the club.
  12. She will not carry any cab fare for the trip home, but she will carry a toothbrush, and pair of sandals, just in case.
  13. She will steal your DVD player in the morning, should you take her home.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

28.1.12

Blogging 102

Dear geniuses at Blogger HQ,

Why do you torment me so? 

All I wanted was a blank page upon which I could scribble my mindless ramblings, with a little thingi on the side where I could stick a song or two, and another little thingi at the bottom where my people could tell me what they think.  That’s it.  I’m not asking for the solution to world peace or water for all by 2000, I just want to tell my story.  Why can’t you just bugger off and let me do what I do?

Now I realise that you are probably paid to tinker, you have performance targets to meet, your bosses expect you to kick wordpress’s ass every day.  Fair enough, but I don’t think frustrating me is the best way to do it, then again I’m somewhat biased aren’t I?  Listen, all you need to do is this, nothing.  Don’t change the comments set up, it’s fine, we’ll work around it.  Don’t mess with the widgets, they’re fine, we only need one or two anyway.  Don’t fuck with the templates, they’re ok just the way they are. If you really want something to do with your time, how about figuring out how to block those bloody Russian spammers?

Despite the tone of this letter, I assure you that I am not a pain in the ass customer.  I’m usually a very happy camper, and hopefully once you bugger off I will continue to be.  So please, bugger off.

Yours,

Alex

PS. Any chance you could fix the clock on the comments?  Thing is, it looks like I commented on posts I hadn’t written yet…

25.1.12

Three's the charm?

The only thing worse than a bad date, is a bad second date, because that means two things:
a. I was foolish enough to go out with you, again
b. You were not bright enough to redeem yourself 
Now me I’m a believer in second chances, I screw up so often I’ll require one, or more, especially when it comes to men and dating.  That’s why I try not to, date that is, not screw up.  That said, I’m done giving men second chances.  I know, last Friday I was all ‘what I love about men’, but that was last week, this week you’re all back to being stupid idiots, starting with this twit… 

Date number one was an after work drink at what turned out to be the bugger’s office local, with 10 or so of his closest (drunk) friends.  I can hear you groaning.  Yes, it was as bad as it sounds.  I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting the crowd, and once I clapped eyes on them I quickly realised he was probably just looking to funga my ass, he just didn’t have the balls to come right out and say it.  My own interest then dropped significantly, not because of the funga aspect, it was more the lack of creativity that turned me off.  Chief, do you really think trying to get a 30 something year old woman drunk is the best way to get her into your house/bed?  What about me says ‘I’ll lose my inhibitions after a shot or two of…what’s that you’re drinking, rum…’?  This was a case of poor planning, if the little shit had asked around, he would have been told that I am an extremely paranoid drunk and therefore unlikely to go home with a stranger in that state.  Research my friends, its all about research.  Anyhow, that date didn’t go very well, but in fairness to the man, it wasn’t a date, it was a drink, and a pathetic attempt at a set up. 

So how did I end up on date number two?  He wrote me an email.  The idiot then went and did some research and found out I go weak in the knees for nothing more than bloody email.  Some women like flowers, some chocolates, my weakness is words.  I’d love a book, but if that’s asking too much I’ll settle for an email.  A well written email, sans bad spelling, promising good conversation and humour, but no poetry please, I struggle with poetry, send me such an email and I’m your bitch, you can have your way with me… 

Fast forward to date number two (it was a really good email), and it was a real sit down dinner.  The tables even had those white sheets and everything.  And that was the highlight of the evening.  Apparently it is acceptable for a man to show up for your date half an hour late, no apologies offered, and proceed like it’s the most normal thing ever.  And this in the age of mobile phones?  Good God man!  Were you raised by wolves? 

The man then proceeded to embark on a soliloquy about his job, his car, his iphone, his ipad, and on and on, all in an attempt to impress me, at least that’s what I’m assuming he was trying to do, and all I had to do as the unfortunate object of his affections was ooh and aah appreciatively.  Once he was done cataloguing his possessions, he then thought it wise to educate me on the finer nuances of politics, seeing as how he aspires to run for office soon.  Now if there is one thing that pisses me off to no end, it’s politicians, I don’t like them, I stay away from them, and if somehow I end up trapped next to one, I pretend to be deaf and dumb, even blind if need be.  Once he started going on about how MP’s are misunderstood, I started fingering my fork with intentions of lodging it securely into the side of his neck.  While he was spewing crap about power and influence, I was busy hoovering down my food, this so I could leave soonest.  By the time he was wrapping up his manifesto, I was putting down cash for my half of the bill.  Suffice to say dessert was not had.

Thing is, I usually get a bit quiet around strangers so I don’t mind not doing the talking on a date, it keeps me from having foot-in-mouth situations (unfortunately that happens more than I care to recall).  That said, I don’t think I said more than 10 words all through dinner, and what’s worse is, I don’t think he noticed.  At one point he stopped talking and asked, ‘Am I talking too much?’ and then continued his monologue.  Stop laughing, this is my pathetic love life.  Just between you and me, I think I could have swapped places with a cardboard cut-out and he wouldn’t have noticed, at least not until he tried to cop a quick feel.  Yes, the bugger tried to get a handle on my handles as he was walking me to my car (that’s why it always pays to park close to the entrance, shorter awkward walk no?), but when he tried to get abreast of the situation, I politely pushed him off and went home.  And there ended date number two.

I’m so disturbed by this shit I can’t think up one of my silver-lining happy endings, I don’t even have a song for you today.  There is nothing to be gained from this experience, nothing.  Except maybe the need to carry a cardboard cut-out at all times. 

He called me a couple of hours ago, wants to do drinks, I told him I’m working late all week.  Please God don’t let him send me another email…

20.1.12

Man! Oh man...

It has come to my attention that the 7 or so people who are currently coming into my house for a cup of tea and a chat have been ignoring the basic house rules.  Shame man!  Now I realise you like to spend your employer’s valuable broadband on my useless ramblings, and therefore feel a bit shy about playing random tunes when you’re supposed to be hard at work building the nation, but I’ll be needing you to press play today, turn it up and read on.  Its only 4 minutes.  House rules…

He is
The soul injector, the heart protector
The soul defender of anything I fear
The baby conceiver, the make me believer
The joy bringer, the love giver

Today I’d like to write about men, good men.  I know, you’re probably thinking ‘what good men?’ right?  Listen, I realise we’re all a bit disillusioned and tired, worn out by the game that dating has become in this city, but can you honestly tell me that you don’t think there’s good men out here?  Stop nodding.  I believe, nay, I’m convinced that there are good men to be had, perhaps we just have to refine our definition, become a bit less rigid, but that’s a story for another day.  Today I present my ode to good men.  All three of them.  Kidding.  There’s at least five.  Promise.

From what I’ve seen online, the one thread running through almost every blog written by a man is this: “We’re not all bastards!  Yes, that punk used you and abused you, but that’s not me.  Yes, that idiot cheated on you with your best friend, but that’s not me.  Yes, that little shit whored and drank you into the poorhouse, but that’s not me.”  Gentlemen, this is one woman’s attempt at saying, ‘You’re right, that’s not you.  Its your cousin.’  This is my confession, and my pathetic attempt at an apology, to the good men out here, and the not so bad ones… 

He is
The dough increaser, the pleasure releaser
The hard knocks knower without the scars to show ya
The night school teacher, the good life preacher
The caretaker, the kiss craver
               
These are the 7 things I love about men.

You solve shit.
Tell a man your problem and he will give you 67 ways to solve it.  Granted, 61 of these will be unrealistic solutions, like, ‘If your car is making a funny noise, why don’t you dismantle the engine and check the carburettor?’ to which you respond ‘Eh?’  Not to worry though, the remaining 6 will be useful, practical solutions that will make your life easier, men are brilliant like that.  Which leads me to…

You get straight to the point.
Have a conversation with a bunch of girls and it takes you 2 hours to get the crux of the matter, and while those 2 hours are very enjoyable, sometimes you just want to cut to the chase, no?  And this is when men prove their worth.  Men lack the ability to schmooze, small talk and chat, they get straight to it, efficiently, sometimes brutally, and it’s brilliant!  Unfortunately, this doesn’t apply to when a man is chasing you, or leaving you for that matter, that’s the one time he will hem and haw, duck and weave, obfuscate and confound…  But the good news is, you don’t mean to be so thick when it comes to women, it’s just that…

You’re so shy!
Yes, men are shy, very shy.  The idea of stepping up to our fabulous ass(es) and declaring yourselves fills you with dread, doesn’t it?  You’ll do it, but only because you have to, natural selection demands it.  Given half a chance, I suspect you’d prefer to select women by lottery, simply insert the names of desired women into a draw and wait to see whose number comes up.  Sorry fellas, if only life was so simple no?  I’m guessing the ladies are distressed at this revelation of randomness, but don’t be, it’s not a reflection on us, it’s just that the average rate of rejection for men is 4 in 5, they’re simply playing the odds.  And that takes me to…

You have balls!
I don’t mean that literally, that would be a bit redundant no?  I’m talking about cojones, real or imagined.  Us women we’ll give up after being rejected twice, but not you lovelies, noooo…  A man will get rejected, over and over and over again, and he keeps dusting himself off and rushing back in to get his ass kicked, again.  Why?  Survival I guess, or good old-fashioned stupidity, either way, the fact that they keep trying to get our ass(es) means that we always have a shot of finding the elusive happy ending.  So ladies, the next time a man steps up to you with the ‘heaven must be missing an angel…’ line, don’t be so hard on him, appreciate what it took to step up to you with such a pathetic line.  If you have to, throw him back into the pond, but be gentle, your frog may just turn out to be my prince, I don’t need you scarring him for life, because…

His ego is the size of Everest.
Ladies, men have feelings too, at least two that I know of, but rumour has it there may be 3 more, dormant feelings just waiting to be ignited by Ms Right.  The one thing every man I’ve ever spoken to keeps telling me is, ‘Don’t fuck with my ego!’  Now to us females, ego conjures up images of macho men looking to keep their women barefoot and pregnant.  Trust me, that’s not it at all.  A man’s ego is what drives him to set himself apart from the crowd, that gigantic ego is the difference between ‘I am my own man!’ and ‘naomba serikali…’.  And this has nothing to do with arrogance, a man who knows his worth has no need to shout it from the mountaintop, think Thabo Mbeki, not Jacob Zuma.  Speaking of which…

You’re not afraid to make a complete ass of yourself.
You men do the most stupid shit, and then simply move on.  That lack of debilitating shame, unfortunately characteristic of women, is possibly the most endearing quality in a man.  You fuck up, all the time, and then you shrug it off and move on.  Remorse may be felt, amends made (sort of), but the course is always onward and upward.  And last, but definitely not least…

You’re hot.  Literally.
Men generate more body heat than women, that’s why we like to snuggle up next to you, you’re like giant hot water bottles, with extras.  There is nothing better than a hot man on a cold night.  I’m being literal here, get your filthy minds out of the gutter…

That’s it, my list of things I love about men.  Please note that there’s nothing here about your bank balance, or your Audi S5, or your big…mansion…  What’s on your list ladies?  Come on, let’s show them some love, just this once.

Make it alright to get you through the night
The soul defender of anything I fear
The pain remover, bad times undoer
The joy bringer, the love giver
He is

18.1.12

My Neighbour, The Exorcist!

Religion and I don’t get along.  We parted company many years back after we disagreed on a couple of basic points, pastors living in mansions while their flock lived in shacks, priests buggering small boys, the whole no condom thing… minor issues I admit, but we decided that it was best to separate, he got the house, I got the dog.  Faith on the other hand, she and I had been friends all my life, we grew up together, she kept me going through the dark days of awkward teenage-hood.  Then one day I realised I was all grown up and Faith and I had next to nothing in common anymore, so we’re on a break.  Once in a while we’ll talk on the phone, just to say hi.  That said, I have great respect for those who’ve managed to maintain their BFF relationship with Faith in this cynical world, more power to you.

That was a disclaimer.  I am about to start ranting and I don’t need the crazy zealots coming after me, not today. 

Why not today?  Because I haven’t had much sleep, my neighbour kept me up till 2 in the morning.  Pick a fight with me today at your own peril…  Why did he/she/they keep me up?  Because my neighbour’s an exorcist, that’s why.  You heard me, exorcist! 

Now I’m all for religious freedom and all that jazz, but when my upstairs neighbour takes to making random requests to the Most High, ‘in the name of Jaayyyssssusss…”, at NEMA-banned decibel levels, at 1:00 am in the morning, for two nights running now… 

What on earth could possibly be so important that you would feel the need to spend 2 hours late at night, scratch that, very early in the morning, shouting to the heavens?  Shouting.  I know the heavens are way waaaay up there, but I thought the whole point of the omnipresent omnipotent bit was that He can hear very well?  It’s not like you have to struggle to be heard over the din of the heathen masses, we’re all asleep, or out somewhere sinning, you have Him all to yourself.  And what’s with the American Southern Baptist accent?  What, you don’t think He understands your Kenyan (and I use this term loosely) English?  But I digress… 

About this neighbour of mine who has taking to chanting in the depth of night.  I figure there’s some deep seated issues going on there, so I’m not about to go bang on that door, live and let live no?  I’m the last person to tell you how to spend your time in the dark.  Seeing as the nocturnal chanting began only two days ago, I’m going to assume that these issues have only just surfaced and require your immediate attention, so by all means do whatever it is you see fit to deal with them.  All I ask is that you keep it down a little.  And drop the strange tweng.

In my experience, the one thing that always gets us calling up Faith is fear, which leads me to ask, what on earth can get you so afraid that you spend two hours in the middle of the night pleading, shouting, crying, stomping back and forth?  Two hours?  Must be the devil. 

This can only mean that my neighbour’s a fucking exorcist!

Kai nikii?

_______________________________

POSTSCRIPT (2 HOURS LATER...)

I find myself in (not so) the unique position of having to offer an apology and eat my words, turns out said neighbour has a convalescing relative staying with her, hence the prayers. 

And now I feel like a complete shit!  Good thing I didnt go banging on that door no?

15.1.12

7 Seconds...

Seduction is like a really good song.  A great intro that tells you everything you need to know about the entire song, a well written verse that sets the scene, a bridge that builds up to the expansion that is the chorus, the heart of the song, but it’s not the climax, not yet.  You go back to the second verse, rising up to another bridge, sweeping you into the chorus yet again, but this time it takes you higher.  But it’s still not the climax, not yet.  Another bridge, this time the build up is fierce, the climax is near, it’s taking you home.  Last chorus, climax at last, the final eruption that wipes everything out in its wake… 

Before I go any further, kindly press play on the Estelle track.  Stop dithering, just press play, trust me.   Now listen to the intro, just listen.  Are you listening?  Can you hear the organ?  Stop the track now.  That, my friend, is the most kick-ass intro, ever.  Listen to it again.  Drums, then keyboard, then drums again…13 seconds of pure musical genius.  From that point on she could have sang ‘baa baa black sheep’ and no one would have noticed, or cared.  I can see you frowning at the screen, ‘Now what is this stupid cow on about today?’ you ask, irritated.  You’re probably hoping this is about my dysfunctional love life, or lack thereof.  No such luck folks, this one’s about intros, as in introductions. 

I once read that we form impressions of someone within the first 7 seconds of meeting, everything after that only serves to reinforce whatever assumptions we’ve just made.  Scary thought isn’t it?  Now seven seconds is roughly the time it took you to read those two sentences, that’s how long it took for him to write you off as a crazy lunatic with hygiene issues.  It doesn’t matter how low-cut your top is or how brilliant a mind you possess, you’ve been written off, just like that.  In those first seven seconds, your brain will process a thousand little bits of information, everything from the colour of a shirt to the hint of an accent in a voice, and all this while you’re still shaking hands.  Are you scared yet?  Now I can go on and expound on this theory in an attempt to convince you, but I wont, that’s what google is for.  I’m more interested in the practical applications of this information i.e. how to get a man. 

Of course this is about my dysfunctional love life.  Oh ye of little faith…  This is a follow up to the John Wayne saga, so you might want to read that first, if you haven’t already.  Are you caught up yet?  Good, let’s continue. 

Ladies, how many times have you been introduced to a lovely man and all you did was giggle awkwardly and look away?  Or did you bat your (false) eyelashes and coo seductively?  The question you need to ask yourself is what you’re saying in those first 7 seconds you meet a potential Mr Right (now?), because apparently that’s all that really matters.  Are you the pretty schoolteacher or are you the resident whore?  Now before you go getting upset, let me just point out that I am against neither whore nor schoolteacher, I’d like to think that every woman is a bit of both.  The issue here is what you need to be in order to get what you want.  If you’re looking to be seduced, then you need to be the schoolteacher, and if you’re looking to get laid, well then you have to be the whore.  But you need to know which is which no?  And that’s where I come in.

I had a drink last week with a couple of lovely gentlemen who, despite their fondness for beer, football and scratching their balls, are rather perceptive chaps and are not afraid to tell me what they really think (although that’s probably because neither wants to shag me).  While the topic of discussion that evening was originally business stuff and such like serious nonsense, eventually we ended up discussing their favourite topic, women.  The women they’re shagging, want to shag, want to shag again, never want to shag again, will never shag, and on and on and on…  At one point, a heated discussion was being had over whether or not a certain girl they both lust after, and likely will never have, is ‘wifey with good lay’ or ‘good lay with wifey’.  ‘What’s the difference?’ I asked, knowing full well that the answer I’d get in reply would be both idiotic and completely unhelpful.  It was.  I believe the response was ‘Eh?  Si you know…’  Said gentlemen are not rocket scientists. 

Turns out men define women as one of two things, ‘wifey’ i.e. potential mother of my children, or ‘lay’ i.e. I must stick my dick into her as soon as possible.  Problem is, this distinction is made immediately.  The more of one you are, the less of the other you can be, it’s basically a sliding scale with his mother on one end (ultimate wifey) and his favourite stripper on the opposite end (sex and nothing but…).  Please note that there are no exceptions to this rule, men don’t understand the concept of exceptions, they understand percentages.  One look at a woman and he will decide that she is 80% wifey, so instead of trying to funga her ass, he’ll funga her pal who looks kendo 60% lay.   It’s in this same vein that he will approach the same 80% he ignored, the following morning in church.  Sounds insane no?  While you’re sitting there sipping on your cafĂ© latte and generally trying to look all ‘come hither’, that bugger has already sized you up and concluded that you’re just the refreshment he needs, or not. 

Ladies, this is the harsh reality, first impressions are made based primarily on the visual, how you look and how you carry yourself, those 7 seconds will determine if he sees you as a potential missus or miss-hap.  Frankly, its time for us women to stop worrying about the ‘happily ever after’ ending and start focusing on the ‘first glance across the crowded room’ moment, because it’s the latter that will determine whether or not the former will come to pass.  Simply put, if you want to be seduced, then make yourself seduceable, and unfortunately that means less sexy and more sensual, think flowery frock instead of leopard print hot pants.  I know, its sounds boring, but you’re the genius looking for tea and flowers, this is the price you must pay.  Of course, not all women are looking to be seduced, some are simply looking to get laid no?  Problem is, said woman will rock up in the club in the frock and then wonder why no man is interested.  Babes, ditch the frock and take your leopard out to hunt. 

For all their bullshit talk, men are disturbingly simple when it comes to women, even better, they’re easily distracted by shiny objects and such like, so they can be fooled into thinking whatever you want them to.  So keep this one thing in mind: If you act like a schoolteacher, he’ll take you for a horse ride, and if you act like a whore, then he’ll ride you like a horse.  All you have to do is figure out which one you want to be and then play the part.  For 7 seconds.  That’s all it takes.  Really.

Remember that Estelle track you played at the beginning?  I’m guessing most of you have heard the song before, hell at one point you couldn’t cross a street in this town without hearing it streaming out of every other passing car, every other club, it was everywhere.  But I’m willing to bet that you’d never heard that intro, right?  Thing is, odds are you have, many times, you just never paid it too much attention, until now that is.  Why not?  Well, when you heard the song you quickly got captivated by the brilliant climax at the end, forgot all about the innocent beginning with its pretty little drums and sexy organ… 

12.1.12

Pinch Me

Who amongst us hasn’t occasionally thought of shooting a watchie?  Come on, be honest…  Seldom has a week passed without my getting the urge to bust a cap in some blue-suited twit’s ass.  The thing about ‘security personnel’ in this city is that they seem to go out of their way to make your life just that much more difficult.  Now while I am disturbed by DCJ Nancy’s foolish behaviour, to a certain extent I can feel her pain.  That said, Nancy did you really have to pinch her nose?  Really?  That’s just rude.

I was in the city not too long ago and I thought to stop by a friend’s office, and it took me all of 20 minutes to get past security at the reception.  Why?  The building’s owner/management woke up that morning and decided to start issuing security passes in the lobby.  Seems simple enough, doesn’t it?  It wasn’t.  The lobby in question can’t be larger than 3x3m square, and the building has over 10 floors spread over 2 wings, and of course it only has that one entrance open at any given time.  Picture the scene, a tiny desk shoved in a corner, manned by 2 guards (very courteous, by the way), handling the ‘just after lunch’ rush into the building, a loose fifty plus people all late for their 2.00 pm meetings.  It wasn’t pretty, allow me to describe…

The process starts off with you clawing your way through the masses to get to the little desk, just the sort of exertion you need on a hot afternoon.  Once you manage to work your way to the front, that’s when the real fun starts. 

You hand over your ID to the first guard at the desk, he then fills in your details into his brand new ledger, pausing every other minute to inquire about information required but not stated on the ID, phone number, car registration number, ATM pin number, blood type… such like pertinent details.  If you are fortunate enough, you might be the first person on a new page and thus will also get to witness the column creating process, as he meticulously draws each line with his plastic ruler (reminds me of animal kingdom…), a real treat for an idler like you.

Guard Number One then passes your ID to Guard Number Two, who then looks for a security pass for your floor, a process made complicated by the staggering array of pigeon holes on the wall, all clearly labelled 1, 2, 3…, but not in any discernable order.  Pass found, she turns back to you, but doesn’t hand it over.  Noooo…  She proceeds to fill in the details from that pass onto a random slip of paper that looks like it was typed and printed by a one armed secretary, in a moving vehicle, on a dusty road.  Now because the two guards only have the one pen between them, this process may take a while.  Once the charming lady with excellent penmanship (she remembers to dot every i and cross every t) is done, this slip of paper, plus your pass are handed to you and you are instructed to move on to the third guard.

Guard Number Three is the muscle of the group, the bouncer.  He/She will need to scan your body and bag with his/her high-tech hand-held scanner, that which beeps when he/she so much as shakes it.  This to make sure you are not carrying any incendiary devices and such like, building such as this one must be high up on the list of possible targets, no?  Not convinced by the intermittent beeping, Number Three Guard might feel compelled to pat you down, and by that I mean feel the suspicious bulge in your pocket (is that a gun or are you just happy to see me?).  Scan complete and assuming you are not in possession of any grenedi like objects, you then move on to the fourth guard.

Yes, there is a fourth.  Guard Number Four, clearly the diplomat of the bunch, will wave his electronic pass and beep you through the turnstile.  ‘One at a time please,’ he tells the ignorant natives all trying to rush through the gap, now that the end is in sight.  Ngoja kwanza madam,’ he waves his pass dramatically in front of the sensor, but it doesn’t work, forcing him to demonstrate his smooth backhand style, again, ‘Ingia sasa… 

Bursting through with a sigh of relief, you confidently walk up to the elevators, eager to get into the cool box with shiny mirrors that will deliver you to your final destination.  But wait, there are no buttons to push, what the…?  Ha ha!  Gotcha!  You didn’t see Guard Number Five, did you?

You track back to the turnstile, to Guard Number Five, who’s standing right next to, nay, practically in the shadow of, Number Four.  He grins an evil grin, he’s the brains of this outfit.  He asks for your random slip, the one you’d already forgotten about and crumpled up in your sweating palms (the lobby has no AC, of course) and then punches your floor number into the lift console, the same console carefully hidden in a dark corner, away from the natives who may want to play with its fancy gadgetry, all day long.  The console spits out a letter, directing you to the appropriate lift. 

20 minutes, that’s how long it took me to get to 6th floor.  And why was I going to see my pal?  For a chat, I had half an hour to kill. 

Next time I’ll just pull a Nancy and pinch someone!

6.1.12

Where Is My John Wayne?

I don’t like westerns, I find them too slow.  All that standing around, staring, fingering a revolver, waiting (literally) for the cows to come home, I don’t get it.  It doesn’t help that most westerns have spectacularly crap soundtracks, if any.  I am, however, partial to a good cowboy, all their macho prancing about in tight leather pants and kick ass boots, brilliant!  What I particularly love about cowboys though is how little they say, and how well they say it.  Strong silent men who can seduce a woman with only one glance…

It’s the beginning of a new year and looking back the one thing I keep going back to is how easy it is to fall in and out of lust/love in this city.   You meet someone on Thursday night, by Saturday you’re madly in love and come next Thursday you’re moving in together, then two weeks later you’re either broken up or looking for a home pregnancy test.  Notice how I didn’t point out when the sex is had, that apparently happens on that first Thursday night, round about 3 hours after meeting.  And the glaring omission of the trip to the local VCT (before the unprotected sex is had)?  Only if said centre has a branch right outside your local.  What the hell is wrong with people in this town?  Whatever happened to dating?  What happened to getting to know someone before you move on to second, let alone third, base?  Hell, what happened to counting bases?

Last year it finally dawned on me that I am old, at least too old to try dating in this misguided city of ours.  Back in my day, you had to have coffee, ice cream and a movie at least five times before you even considered giving him a kiss goodbye, on the cheek.  These days strange men on the internet tell me they have to have sex with a woman before they can even begin to consider going out with them.  Eh?  I’m sorry, when exactly did sexual auditions become part of the dating process?  Although in retrospect perhaps that may not be such a bad idea, last thing you want is to fall for a guy only to find out his idea of a rocking good time is whips and chains no?  But that’s beside the point.  I was saying, dating has become a succession of one night stands, clandes, fungas, benefits with friends, you name it.  And what’s worse is, it’s not just the men who are doing it, the women out here are just as bad, if not worse.  Now I have no issues with the one night stand, my problem is with the idiots who want a one night stand, but pretend to date in order to get it.  Boss, if you want a random shag, just say so, don’t waste time pretending to care about the environment, ‘just like you’ he says, and all in an attempt to plant your tree in my garden. 

I think we need to be clear on these two issues.  Gentlemen, and ladies, going on a date does not equal getting laid, one may lead to the other, but its not guaranteed, its more like a performance bonus.  So if you want to get laid, go get laid, it’s not that hard (pun unintended).  If, on the other hand, you want to have an entertaining evening with some good company, then go on a date, and enjoy it for what it is, a date.  ‘But what about the exceptions?’ you ask.  Exceptions prove the rule, remember?  ‘What if I’m on a date with someone I’m shagging?’ you insist.  Well, in that case you have a contract don’t you, the bonus is now a salary, same rules don’t apply.  ‘So I shouldn’t look forward to a quickie after dessert?’ you wail.  You can, but then you’ve just wasted a good meal worrying about how fresh you smell down there instead of how good it tastes up here.  Listen, all I’m saying is, a date should be the end in itself, not the means.

You’re probably wondering what all this has to do with cowboys.  It’s about seduction, a lost art in this town.  In a western, when a cowboy rode into town the first thing he’d do was stop at the local bar and lodging, have a hot bath, then eat, then screw the town’s resident whore.  Then one hour later, he’d swagger back onto the street, set eyes on the pretty schoolteacher, and proceed to woo her with flowers, tea and a loose horse ride into the bundus for some sightseeing.  And then in the evening he’d go back to the bar and screw the whore again.  See it was very clear, he’d get laid when he wanted, no fuss, and then date when he wanted, some fuss involved there (because he was inevitably a socially inept idiot more accustomed to cows than birds).  All parties were clear on expectations, or lack thereof.  My point?  The cowboy will treat a lady like a lady and a whore like a whore, and he doesn’t get the two mixed up, he will seduce the lady and screw the whore.  Of course, when he finally gets round to screwing the lady, he'll screw her like a whore, but that might not be such a bad thing.  I'm just saying... 

I’m guessing you’re all a bit confused at this point, don’t worry I am too.  I think my major gripe with dating these days is that it simply doesn’t exist, a date is either an extended drink-up with hazy sex at the end of the night, or a quick bite and even quicker sex.  How is it that we no longer enjoy each other’s company, just?  We seem to have forgotten how to seduce each other. 

It used to be that men tried to get a woman, they actually exerted an effort, they chased your ass.  But not these days, these days a man expects a woman to fall at his feet, he doesn’t need to ask a woman out, she’ll throw herself at him, wont she?  Sad thing is, she actually will, us women we’re so tired of waiting for the knight in shining armour we’ve taken to chasing fools in tin foil.  Shame man! 

“Where have all the cowboys gone…”

Blogging 101

I’ve been reading up on blogging, more importantly on SEO, that’s search engine optimization to us normal people, there’s a load of posts out there offering you tips on how to get your blog to rank higher in searches, thereby getting you much needed traffic.  All this I assume in the hope that if you get enough people looking, perhaps you can make a bit of money from advertising.  Sounds like a simple enough plan, doesn’t it?  Well its not. 

One of the recommended tips is the use of keywords throughout the blog (in the title, post, etc.), logic being it’s these keywords that the search engines latch onto, the more keywords = the more relevant your page is to the search = a higher ranking.  That’s why when you google ‘milking an elephant’ for example, you’ll get results ranging from ‘man killed trying to milk elephant’ to ‘elephant in the fridge next to the milk’ jokes.  Now to reach your target audience, you need to figure out what keywords are important and then use the same liberally.  Its simple statistics really, figure out what the audience is looking for, and give it to them. 

My problem is this, my target audience is basically anyone with passable reading ability, who loves music and swearing, and hates foolishness and being fucked with.  Put that all together and the resultant keywords are read, music, foolish and fuck.  Now put these into a 2000 word post, keeping in mind that these keywords have to account for at least 10% of the post for any meaningful ranking, and they need to feature in the title as well.  Eh?  According to this brilliant advice, instead of calling the post ‘Why Paco, Why?’, I should have called it ‘READ my FOOLISH tale of mind FUCK MUSIC!’.  Doesn’t sound nearly as nice does it? 

So I say damn the SEO theory, I’m better off with my audience of five, at least you keep coming back don’t you?  You don’t?  Ah well…

1.1.12

Baggage...

“Love love love, you can’t imagine what you do to me…”

This is one of those songs that gets me smiling every time it plays, and swinging my non-existent hips, stepping, doing the shuffle, generally making a fool of myself.  I’m assuming you know the drill by now, but if not, press play on the Donny Hathaway track on the soundtrack to your right.  Quick detour, I’m trying out a new player, let me know if it works or not, this one I got from yet another Indian dude, a professor no less.  Is Mr Hathaway crooning away?  Good.  Back to the matter at hand…

It occurs to me that there are defining relationships in our lives that seem to determine the path we take.  That teacher you had in standard four who convinced you can sing, and you’ve spent the rest of your life trying to make it onto some reality show like Project Fame and such like.  Or the college lecturer who told you, in that deprecating tone only a lecturer can pull off, that you could never become a surgeon, and now you’re pushing papers as a CPA.  Or the best friend you had who convinced you that you had the ball handling skills of Ronaldo (Brazilian original not the pretty boy wanna-be), and now you’re an almost star playing for Sher Karuturi.  Or the ex boyfriend who told you have the sexiest legs ever, and now you’re still wearing mini skirts, long past your expiry date.  We all have them, ghosts of a past encounter that continue to define our lives to this day.  And nowhere is this more evident than in our love lives. 

Ah yes, love, love, love…

When it’s good, its really good isn’t it?  But what about when it’s bad?  Well, it’s even better.  I can see you frowning, but please bear with me as I make a flimsy argument.  The way I figure, nothing changes your life more dramatically than bad love.  Why?  Well, because we’re foolish, aren’t we?  The only way we ever learn anything is by failing miserably at it first no?  And oh how miserably we fail when it comes to love.  Don’t worry I’m not going to start getting philosophical on the power of love and other such like nonsense, there’s more than enough idiots online tackling that rubbish every day, I can send you the links.  Instead, I’d like to talk about bad love and how good it’s been for me, and all the rest of us defective bastards who can never seem to get it right. 

Most of us have a serious relationship in our past that didn’t work out, for whatever reason.  He left you for your best friend, you left him for his richer boss, he had a baby with another woman, she was shagging the watchman, you drifted apart after college, he moved to the Cayman Islands for work and never came back, she realised she preferred girls, he realised he preferred girls… the reasons for failed relationships is as varied as the relationships themselves.  Irrespective of why it ended, the fact is we hold on the grief and/or anger much longer than we should, often dragging the baggage from that relationship into the next one, and then the next, and on and on.  Now conventional wisdom has it that this is a bad thing, all this regurgitation.  I don’t agree.  I think it’s a good thing.  Hell, I think it’s bloody brilliant.  How else are we expected to learn from our mistakes if we don’t keep rehashing them, over and over again?

You’re not buying this are you?   Then let me tell you my story.

I loved a man once, truly madly deeply, he captivated me like no man had before.  And then he left.  And I have spent the last four years trying desperately to let go, and trying desperately to hang on.  Twisted I know, but I’ve never claimed to be normal, brilliant yes, but definitely not normal, but I digress.  Thing is, since Mr ‘the-feelings-are-gone’ all the men I’ve dated, or wanted to date, or simply wanted, have been in one way or another strange versions of this man.  There was a guy that talked like him, one who drank like him, one who even looked like him (that was truly creepy, but that’s a story for another day).  Turns out, I’ve been trying to recreate what I had with ex and neither I nor the poor bastards who’ve been my unsuspecting lab rats had any idea, all we knew was that for whatever reason it didn’t work out. 

I know what you’re thinking, ‘its because of the baggage, you twit!’ and you’re probably right.  For as long as I was sub-consciously (or maybe consciously) looking to replicate the past, I was never going to get over it, right?  Wrong.  Looking for a do-over helped, no, forced me to take a good long hard look at that relationship and see it for what it really was.  I told you he left me, what I didn’t tell you was that my constant bitching made it impossible for him to stay.  He said the feelings were gone, I suspect the feelings were never really there, at least not those feelings.  And there are more examples of what it seemed versus what it really was, some good, some bad, some not entirely useful.  The point is, the only reason I can sit here calmly dissecting this failed relationship, and all others since, is because of my not so peculiar attempts at recreating it no? 

When that relationship ended, I couldn’t see past my grief, all I wanted was to fill the hole he’d left behind.  Or not, it depended on the mood I was in, amount of wine in my system, blah blah blah…  I never learnt the lessons I should have from whatever mistakes I made with him, it’s only by repeating the same mistakes that it finally sank in, the pattern emerged so to speak.  Now, I suspect there are better ways of learning life’s lessons, but I haven’t figured them out yet ,so I’m stuck working through this shit the best way I know how.  It’s not perfect, but nothing ever is.  But if there’s one thing the last couple of years have taught me, its this: not only is it okay to fuck up, its important to fuck up every so often, otherwise how will you know when you’ve got it right? 

The song should have ended by now, play it one more time but this time just sit back and listen to Mr Hathaway sing. 

“Love, love, love…”

Happy New Year!

So we made it through to the other side despite the obstacles and challenges life throws our way.  I initially thought of writing some brilliant inspirational post this beautiful afternoon, but then I thought, why bother?  See, in my old age I’ve realised that there’s no need to reinvent the wheel.  And with this in mind, I’m not going to waste your time with my pseudo intellectual mutterings, I’ll let other people do it for me.  These are two of the best pieces I’ve read over the last couple of days.  Enjoy.

     Choices fate and random chance
    May these be the things you achieve in 2012

May this year be kinder to you than the last.