In defence of the cheating bastard.

Back when I was young and naïve (read still innocent in the evil ways of this world), I was that uptight little girl who thought that cheating was the most horrible thing ever (said with a suitably pious look on my face) and that all cheaters needed to be drawn and quartered.  Then I got into an intimate (read not innocent) relationship with a noble young man, one who nobly left me for another girl, and all because she had a job, and longer hair (he really liked long hair, at least he did till the woman cut it all off, and then he really liked short hair, silly boy…).  When that idiot inflicted the first of what were to be many cuts, I started to revise my long held views on relationships, it started to dawn on me that perhaps I had no clue what’s really going on, but that’s a story for another day.  The boy/man I began to see shortly thereafter, and by see I mean shag, was a great guy, but an amateur whore, the man was on a mission to shag his way across main campus in a most chronological fashion (year of admission was the criteria used).  It was only a matter of time before I cheated on him, no?  Oh the drama!  

Or not, as it turned out.  What they don’t tell you, all those makers of heart warming TV dramas and romantic (read girly) movies, is that infidelity doesn’t always come with the angst and drama that demands several ice cream fuelled heart to hearts with your girls, complete with hand wringing decision making, sometimes screwing around is as simple as, well, screwing.  The sky does not fall and the world around you does not shatter.  All that nonsense I watched on TV growing up was a lie dammit, a lie!  I felt so cheated…  Up until that point I’d always assumed that cheating required some defective genes and a sadistic personality, I thought a cheater had to be as fucked up as Hannibal (Dr Lecter, not the conqueror), but one warm December night all it took was a small carton of wine (yes, a carton, I was a student, and a broke one at that) and a little Tupac.  The following morning I expected to feel remorse, or at least slightly conflicted, but I didn’t, not really, I was too busy wondering if the man on the side would make a better main man.  It helped that we were home for the holidays and said main man was in another province, I didn’t have to deal with the repercussions until January, and in campus a month was a long, long time.  Come reopening, my indiscretions had been pushed to the back of my mind, aided by the fact that man on the side was completely uninterested in anything other than the odd roll in the hay.  Life with my lovely whore continued, undisturbed, he chased anything in a skirt and I just kind of drifted along, working out my kadha ‘first love/heartbreak’ issues.  The few times I’d think about my (not quite a) fling, the only thing that would come to mind was, ‘Kumbe it’s that easy?  No wonder this idiot keeps doing it.’ 

Fast forward to my next serious relationship and my skewed view of cheating was further tested, this on one particular night/early morning when I found my then man canoodling with a strange woman in the bar, at 5 am in the morning.  ‘What the fuck?’ I asked, pun wholly unintended, convinced that if I hadn’t appeared at that precise moment the man would have staggered out the bar and into her bed.  See, its one thing when the cheating bastard is some random good-time fella, but it’s another when said genius is a candidate for father of my unborn children, no?  And before you ask, I don’t know if said man shagged that woman, or others before and after that night, I left him sitting at the counter and went home, reasoning that if he was going to cheat on me, dragging him out of the bar on that one morning wouldn’t change anything.  A man is going to do what a man is going to do, at least that’s what I told myself back then, but the truth is that relationship had just begun a steady descent into decay, and at that point the fact that he was in the bar long past the hour of sanity was of more concern to me than the presence of the seemingly smitten young girl (she looked like she was kendo 21), seeing as how I was convinced the man was becoming (if not already) an amateur alcoholic.  As traumatising as it was to see him attempting to get intimate with another woman, it scared me more to see him acting like a fool, courtesy of the booze.  Again the mantra that ‘cheating is the worst thing that can happen’ was proven to be false.  Folks, in a relationship there is much, much worse that can happen.

Let’s skip forward to a few years later, I’d just crossed 30 and I was single and searching for the first time in four years.  The last time I had dated was when I had just left campus, back when life was simple and men were plenty.  Can you say culture shock?  Dating after 30 should be renamed ‘the time when almost every man you meet is attached, to someone else’.  You know the ‘men are all cheating bastards’ chorus?  In your 30’s you don’t just get to sing the song, you lead the bloody choir, because 4 out of the 5 men who approach you will be either:
     a. officially married, or
     b. engaged to be officially married (length of engagement notwithstanding), or
     c. unofficially married i.e. living with a woman, or
     d. married by association i.e. has woman, occasionally shares house with said woman, but has not been informed of said marriage, yet. 
And for good measure, the remaining man will most likely be absolutely, completely batshit insane, because life’s a bitch like that.  Stop laughing.  Suffice to say, by the time I realised the lay of the land, so to speak, I’d been on several (and by several I mean very many) dates with men I shouldn’t have been on dates with, and I have the scars to show for it, trust me.

Don’t worry, I’m not about to sit here and wax lyrical about how women my age are entitled to other women’s men by virtue of the (alleged) shortage of available men, that’s the kind of nonsense only found in the Saturday papers.  No, my interest is in what’s going through the mind of a cheating bastard as he sets out to, well, cheat.  What is the man, or woman for that matter, looking for?  Is it that there’s something they’re not getting at home?  Are they simply looking for a bit of excitement, or variety, or fresh scenery?  Is it the thrill of the hunt that has them out there chasing skirts, or is the thrill of the risk of being caught?  Are they unaware of the possible consequences of their actions, or are they simply oblivious, or uncaring?  Are they being selfish or simply engaging in a bit of self preservation?   

Whenever a discussion about infidelity arises, inevitably it because a debate on the pros and cons of monogamy, with an inevitable clamour for the embrace of polygamy coming from the less retrained amongst us.  These multi-loving bastards love to tell us that monogamy is unnatural and that human beings were never meant to be with a single partner for their entire adult lives, that monogamy was more a tool for societal order than anything else and wrapping it up in the cloak of religion makes it easier to digest without question, such like arguments.  I’m not sure I completely agree with some of the many theories out there against monogamy, but it occurs to me that given the time and effort we devote to keeping each other from, well, each other, perhaps we need to rethink this brilliant plan?  Its not that I don’t see the value of being with one specific partner, I just don’t think it’s a ‘one size fits all’ solution to the problem.  And before you throw scripture and what not at me, keep in mind the problems with infidelity extend to the more religious members of society, no?  All I’m saying is that perhaps this conversation needs to be had.

I know there’s someone reading this and thinking, ‘this mama is probably shagging a married dude, that’s why she’s trying to convince us its ok to screw around…nkt!’.  Stop nodding.  Fear not, I am doing no such thing, not even close.  I do however spend a fair bit of time around men who are screwing around and their constant bitching has got me thinking.  Thing is, these men cheat for different reasons and a simple dismissal of their behaviour as reprehensible doesn’t even begin to capture the complexity of their situations.  Some of them cheat because they simply want to get as much sex as they can, (mistakenly?) believing that one can never have enough new p… let’s just call it sex; its simple hedonistic behaviour, gluttony if you will.  Some will claim that they screw around because they’re not getting it at home, not like they used to back when their woman was newer, younger, slimmer, fatter (it happens), prettier, less busy with the kids, less obsessed with her chama/church, less…boring (said with a sneer); apparently a man not getting laid in his marital bed on the regular is a license to seek another bed, apparently.  And then there are the geniuses out to prove a point to themselves that they still have some control over their lives, despite what their boss or wife tells them; I know it sounds ridiculous, but they’re simply being silly macho boys.  The token few will have affairs with women they truly care for, women they will never leave their wives for (although I must point out that one guy actually did leave his wife for his mistress, and lived to tell the tale, but only just…). 

Now because I’m not married, I can’t really speak to the motivation of these men, but because I happen to see them with their other women, I get a glimpse of the other side of the equation.  We’d like to think of these buggers exhibiting some remorse, however slight, as they’re out and about getting their cheat on, right?  I mean, its only fair that they not enjoy it too much, that’s why we make them sneak around and what not, shaming them into dark corners.  Well I hate to break it to you, but it doesn’t work like that.  Folks, these buggers make no apologies for their actions, and they’re living it up like they’re in Sodom (biblical, not near Kangemi) that last night before the fire rained down, knowing that the following morning they’ll probably be made salty as they look back in longing.  That’s right, they’re not skulking around in the shadows because they feel shame, they’re only doing it out of some misguided sense of self preservation.  Its not that they don’t see that their philandering ways could inflict pain or harm on those they love, it’s simply that their needs at that point come before all others, it’s about what they want.  I know, it sounds selfish, but what are we if not selfish creatures?  

Look at it this way, from your (possibly frustrated) partner’s point of view, your unrealistic demands of fidelity when you know that they would like to stray (wander?) is just as selfish, no?  No?  Ah well, this argument was always going to be a bit of a stretch.

A couple of years ago I used to be a faithful reader of The NewAfrican, a magazine that takes anti-imperialist ranting to a whole new level, which wouldn’t be so strange except that the magazine is written and published for the most part in London.  There was, and still is as I recently discovered, an editorial called ‘Baffour’s Beefs’ that’s pretty much the editor railing against the ‘West’ and all their perceived evils, just what to read when you’re having a crappy day and you need someone to blame, no?  Every month I’d read it and every month I’d swear not to read it again, but then every following month I’d be right back there, reading it again, because for all his issues, and there are many, the man always found a way to put a different spin on what I considered conventional wisdom.  Sometimes, it occurred to me, its worth putting up with a meandering diatribe if it means learning something new.  The point?  A meandering diatribe or two never hurt anyone, it may have pissed them off a little, but it didn’t hurt, and if they were persistent enough they may even learn a thing or two, who knows?  

In keeping with the diatribe theme, Why we f*ck is an intriguing look at monogamy.  Dont let the title scare you, its a suitably serious piece of writing.


This one is about water, fire, hot air and oxygen. And bamboo earrings, just because...

“Silky, milky, her smile is like sunshine,
That's why I had to dedicate at least one rhyme,
To all the cuties in the neighbourhood,
Cause if I didn't tell you then another brother would…”

This song has been stuck in my head all week, ever since I heard it on Hot96 Monday afternoon as I was pretending to clean my house, and by pretending I mean sitting next to a broom practising my telekinetic powers (or therein lack of).  Now there are certain songs from my past that instantly take me back to a time in my life when my biggest concern was whether my shoes were polished enough, or if the hot neighbour liked me, I mean really liked me.  Ah, the good old days  Hang on, those are still my daily concerns, no?  Bloody hell.  Ah well…  I was saying, songs like ‘Around The Way Girl’ take me back, way back, back into time… when this song first shika’d me, all I wanted in my life was a pair of bamboo earrings, ‘…at least two pair, a Fendi bag and a bad attitude’.  My big sister introduced me to LL in the late 80’s, ‘I Need Love’ was her jam back then (she was finishing high school, A-levels I think), but I wasn’t entirely convinced, I was kendo ten years old so the emotion of the song was lost on me, and LL was simply a boy in a strange hat.  Then a few years later this song came out, oh my!  I was in form one and bursting with newly discovered hormones, that and LL had bulked up considerably since I last saw him.  The combination of a big black man and smooth rhymes was the trigger to a love affair spanning two decades.  Folks, when this song comes on you should see me get down like the old school geezer I am, running man and everything, its brilliant!

Just so you know, none of that has anything to do with the rest of this post.  I just had to waste a bit of time before getting stuck in, you’ll figure out why in due course.

This week has been a bad week, a tragic week by all accounts, it seems every time I picked up the paper there was news of death, death that could have been avoided, should have been avoided.  In this day and age we have people willing to kill for pasture and water, this in a country that claims, claims mind you, to put law and order above all else, a country with a functioning government and a real police force, and army?  Something is very wrong, my friends, very wrong.  When buggers run around saying ‘Pwani si Kenya’ (is the delta in North Eastern or Coast Province?  Or should we just lump it into ‘the places Nairobi doesnt care about, unless it has oil?), perhaps they may be onto something, because my Kenya is not that one.  In my Kenya, cows are zero-grazed and water is piped, and neighbours don’t wander across the fence to kill women and children randomly.  That last part is not entirely accurate, but you get my point, no?  Here in the big city, such things are unheard of, here we kill each other over love affairs gone wrong, mobile phones, wallets and cars, such like nonsense, because that's what development is, damn it!  When you read headlines like this, “Clashes over grazing land, water kill 48 in Kenya”, on your Reuters feed, you know there’s something very wrong.  To be honest I thought they’d got it wrong, I assumed it was a sensational, and flawed, reaction to the attack in Mandera on Monday (Ethiopian Al Shaabab?  Really?).  “Clashes?’ I scoffed, ‘These wazungus are on crack,’ I muttered.  Apparently not, seems I was the one who was misinformed, ignorant.  Again I ask, in this day and age?  Of what use is our magnificent government and flash new constitution if we have citizens living and dying in the most medieval of circumstances?  Something is very wrong…

Two days later it was the story of the dormitory fire on the front page, standard seven students in school for holiday tuition, allegedly remedial classes.  Standard Seven?  Apparently Standards Six and Eight were still in class when the fire broke out at 8:30 pm.  Ignore the fact that a child in Standard Seven, 11 or 12 years old, was in school for remedial classes, in August.  Ignore, if you can, the fact that these girls were housed in a room with no means of emergency egress, a room not unlike most of our homes, offices, classrooms, bars, supermarkets…  Ignore the fact that the door to the dormitory was locked, from the outside, and girls died on the other side of that door, trying to get out.  Ignore this statement, “I thank God that my daughter is safe. I hope she will recover soon from the trauma so as to sit the KCPE examination,” this from the mother of a Standard Eight student who was thankfully unharmed. 

Can you see now why I was procrastinating?  I need a musical interlude, don’t question the randomness of the track, its the only thing keeping me from throwing my computer out the window right now. 

“I tell you come here, you say meet me half way,
’Cause brothers been popping that game all day…” 

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, this is what was going on in the big bad city. 

Parliament saw fit to pass the ‘diluted’ Leadership and Integrity Bill, a bill the cabinet had amended to remove the more stringent clauses requiring vetting of all political aspirants by various agencies ranging from KRA to HELB.  Seems the powers that be do not think that holding the future powers that be to basic standards of transparency is worth much of anything, probably because the powers that be today intend to be the same powers that will be tomorrow.  Was this news tragic?  Not really, the worst part of this story is that we saw it coming; we saw it coming when we read the then draft constitution and saw what they were proposing; we saw it coming when they told us that parliament would have to pass the bills that would convert that fancy piece of paper into an actual law; we saw it coming when the recall clause was the first thing to fall by the wayside, well before the referendum.  We saw this coming.  The only people who didn’t see it coming were the geniuses who came up with this brilliant plan to begin with.  Having MP’s pass a law that’s detrimental to their own survival?  These MP’s?  What did they think was going to happen, a sudden and collective growth of spine and/or moral, perhaps inspired by their new chairs?  

On Friday the most honourable Speaker of that same (not so) august house was quoted as saying MP's need a pay rise, It is therefore important to consider adequately remunerating members of Parliament towards a reasonable standard of living commensurate with their role and the weight of their responsibilities.”  Just so I’m clear, what exactly is the role and responsibility of an MP?  Because my MP spends all his time doing fuck all for me and mine, instead choosing to spend his time wandering around the country, following his friend around as he attempts to convince us that a 50 year old still qualifies as a youth.  Mr Speaker sir, perhaps before you try to convince us to fork out more, perhaps you need to convince us why we need you.  Just a thought.  Here’s an idea, why don’t we sell your fancy new digs, use the money to make the lives of a few Kenyans living out in the badlands a bit better, and then maybe if there’s anything left, maybe we can consider getting suitably philanthropic and making a donation to your retirement fund?  Pack your bags most honourable sirs and madams, if there’s a god in heaven, you shall not be returning next year.  Don’t worry, I havent crossed the Alai rubicon, yet, I’m still on the right side of the law.  Ive checked, to be sure, and my only crime thus far is mild hate speech towards the political class, and theyre not a protected minority grouping, at least not in the regular sense, so Im good.

And last but not least, our Medical Services Minister announced an innovative plan to have government hospitals manufacture their own oxygen, and in so doing save millions currently spent purchasing this vital item from BOC Gases.  He said, “We have realised we have been fools by buying oxygen yet we can affordably tap the free natural resource from the atmosphere.”  Well, that’s alright then, the last thing we want is to look like fools.

“You got me shook up, shook down, shook out on your loving…” 


Ain't nothing goin' on but the rent? Really?

Bill collectors at my door,
What can you do for me?

I’ve recently come to the conclusion that for all our talk, its possible that some of us (and by some I mean, well, me) have no idea what it is we’re really looking for.  We talk about wanting a good man, then walk right past the many good men out here, and there are many, many good men out here, searching for some elusive ideal that we cant quite put our finger on, and then we turn around and wonder why we’re alone?  Eh?  I must warn you, this convoluted argument is picking up from where Want a man? left off, a post that I suspect pissed some people off as much as the Saturday paper did me.  The reason I’m looking to continue that conversation, and it was a very good conversation, is simply because I have a sneaky suspicion that this is where the answers to our (single) questions lie.  Or not, let’s see shall we?

Today’s rant is inspired by this article (the elusive eligible bachelor) published in last weekend’s Saturday magazine, an article that sought to educate us on the criteria that make men worth marrying.  Now while I love that the author is often playing devil’s advocate, and her occasionally chauvinist views are intended (I hope) as a reply to Mantalk and the equally chauvinist opinions expressed therein, every so often she rubs me the wrong way, especially on the days she decides to bang the ‘men are all shit’ drum.  Its not that I don’t think that there are some shit men out there (clearly I do), I just don’t buy into the ‘men are all bastards’ spiel, and I expect any half serious observer of human nature (that’s what these writers are supposed to be, no?) to do the same.  All I’m saying is it’s a fine line between social commentary and the ramblings of a misguided (and possibly unserious?) columnist, and gems like these tend to blur the line even more: “In the olden days, an eligible bachelor was usually a man of means or one with the right social standing.  Not much has changed; today, an eligible bachelor simply must have means, and a verifiable claim of belonging to a reputable bloodline or gene pool. There must be no doubt about his ability to take care of his wife (should he find one).”  Really?  No seriously, I’m not being pissy, do people actually think like this?  Sweet Jesus!  On the up side though, she gave me something to bitch about, and inspired the soundtrack, so I guess I should be thankful, no?

Folks, it would appear that the single most important criterion in the selection of a husband is his (fat) bank account.  Don’t get all hot and bothered, I’m simply reporting what’s in the mass media, and all those geniuses keep talking about is a man’s ability to provide.  ‘Provide what?’ you ask.  Everything, apparently, everything with a price tag on it. 

‘Cause ain’t nothin’ goin’ on but the rent,
You got to have a J-O-B if you wanna be with me...

The way they tell it, a good man is one who can afford to keep his woman living in the lap of luxury, where luxury is relative to your current station in life, any less and he’s a deadbeat, doomed to spend the rest of his days alone.  These women say they want a man who has the means to take care of them and the 2.5 kids they plan on having?  Brilliant!  Thing is, gone are the days when a good man was defined by his ability to kill an antelope, plough a field and sire many children, these days women are out here ploughing their own quarter acres in Mavoko and shit, earning a living for their own damn selves, and this while the men are out there following their flighty dreams of being artists, or yoga instructors, or backpackers, options that up until the last decade were not open to a ‘serious man’.  The family structure we grew up with, with mama watoto taking care of the kids and baba watoto bringing home the Elliots, those days are gone my friend.  These days mama leaves the house before baba does, and sometimes gets home well after him; baba helps the kids with the homework, because mama’s on a conference call; mama teaches her son how to ride a bike, because baba is out of town all month.  The times they are a changing… 

Now I’m not saying a man is no longer expected to take care of his woman and family, that hierarchy is what we grew up with and therefore all we know (although a certain lovely gentleman I often argue with would argue that its hardwired into us, evolutionary instincts and all that jazz?).  Thing is, after being subjected to years of ‘women are equal’ nonsense, what exactly does ‘being a good provider’ mean?  Is the man expected to pay all the bills, or half, or only the bigger, more serious ones?  Does this mean that a man who has less than we do cannot be considered a potential partner?  Is the issue here his capacity to pay the bills, or his willingness to do so?  Because we all know of wealthy men who are stingy with their money, just as there are poor men who are generous with every little thing they have, yet the wealthy man will have a million admirers, and the poor man will have no more than two, on a good day.  If you earn a decent living and manage to take good care of yourself while single, why the insistence on a man of greater means than your own, is equal no longer enough?  Is this about comfort, need, ego, image, or good old fashioned stereotypes?

Boy, nothin’ in life is free,
That’s why I’m askin’ you what can you do for me?
I’ve got responsibilities,
So I’m lookin’ for a man whose got money in his hands…

Us mamas we can sometimes get a bit caught up in the fantasy in our heads, obsessed with vague images of some knight in shining armour on a gallant steed, who’ll come to rescue us from our lives and sweep us off to his magnificent palace, whereupon he will cater to our every whim and satisfy our every desire.  Madam, when was the last time you saw a man in a metal suit?  Real metal, not metallic, unfortunately there’s a few too many of those in the city these days (really, my brother, you don’t think a suit that can reflect sunlight is a bit too much?), you’ll have better luck finding a man on a gallant steed, even though men on horses are a bit hard to come by in these parts, outside of Karen that is.  I know, the fairytale was updated and now reads a knight in shining jewellery in a gleaming machine, but that doesn’t make the fairytale any more real. 

And before you accuse me of being too simplistic in my approach, let me just clarify that for some women, the standard fairytale holds absolutely no appeal, but that doesn’t mean they still don’t have a picture of the ideal man in their heads, the only difference is that the man in their picture is not the regulation Prince Charming wannabe, perhaps he’s more Marquis de Sade, who knows?  Point is, we have this picture in our heads of the man we’re going to end up with and the life we’re going to live thereafter, admittedly a picture that we keep updating as we grow older, but we keep searching and searching to no avail, because no man will ever live up to your fantasy, probably because its unrealistic, or maybe even just plain daft.  My fairytale, if you can call it that, has me playing Lara Croft, in a manor and everything, with a hot butler to boot and intimacy issues from here to TZ, waiting for my hot former SAS turned mercenary ex-lover to change his ways and come back to me (this makes a lot more sense if you’ve watched the movies, trust me).  Daft, no?  (On an unrelated note, Im starting to see from whence my issues stem…)  The thing about fantasies, as brilliant as it is to have a picture in your head to keep you going when all else fails, sometimes the obsession over that piece of fiction keeps you from seeing the reality all around you. 

‘Cause nothin’ from nothin’, leaves nothin’,
You got to have somethin’ if you wanna be with me,
‘Cause life is too serious, love’s too mysterious,
A fly girl like me needs security...

See, I’m not entirely convinced that this need for a man who will provide has anything to do with the soon to be family, I think it’s a question of expectations of happily ever after, the bloody fantasy.  Dont get me wrong, the hope that by finding a man and/or getting married a woman will improve her lot in life, and (hopefully) by extension that of her future offspring is to be expected, we all aspire to a better life.  Far be it for me to sit here and claim to not want to live happily ever after with a man who could give me everything my material self desires, I want the good life, just like everyone else.  Perhaps there’s something to looking for a man who can ‘provide’, maybe that’s the trigger to finally settling down.  Or perhaps, it’s simpler when you reduce the happily ever after to a simple financial decision, who knows?  What I do know, however, is if you want a better life, then I’m afraid you have to go out there and work for it, just like everyone else, a man/husband in the picture isn’t a short cut, or a means to an end.  Or is he?  

That would explain the problems my fellas keep finding themselves in, no

Folks, I’m not so idealistic as to believe that the decision on what man to pick for a life partner should be based solely on a man’s character, that’s just plain silly, life is hard, and complicated, and it costs (real) money to live it.  I’m simply asking if money is the most important criterion that should be used to make this decision.  From what little I know about contemplating marriage (long story, another day), the choice is based, in part, on the vision you have for your shared future, how you see your life playing out five, ten, twenty years down the line.  You imagine what your life will be like; the house you’ll buy, or build; the neighbourhood you’ll live in; what your kids will look like, what schools they’ll go to, what musical instrument they’ll play; the trips you’ll take to far flung exotic locations… the stuff that we build our life around, but ultimately not the stuff that makes us happy.  While we’re busy dreaming of the mansion in the suburbs, we forget to think about the people in said mansion.  Put differently, there’s more to life than possessions, and there’s a lot more to happiness than the satisfaction of our material urges.  While looking for a man who can provide in the monetary sense is a seemingly sensible decision, it ignores our other, possibly just as important, needs, like the need for respect, love, or, dare I say it, sex.  

By focusing on a man’s wallet, we overlook the essence of the man, and in so doing we overlook the many men who, though lighter of pocket, may be more substantial in other less tangible aspects (I put in ‘less tangible’ to keep your minds out of the gutter, you deviants…). 

Boy, you’re silky ways are sweet,
But you’re only wastin’ time if your pockets are empty.
I’ve got lots of love to give,
But I will have to avoid you if you’re unemployed...

There are good men out here, they may not be driving Audi S5’s and living in Karen, but they are still good men.  Then again if you can’t see that, then maybe you should keep chasing the fantasy a bit longer, no?  By all means, keep looking for your good ‘provider’, your blinging knight in a gleaming machine, but keep in mind that a knight will demand a lady, which then begs the next question, are you a lady?  But that’s a question for next week.


The sun is shining! Well, almost...

I don’t think there’s any of us between the ages of 30 and 50 who is not, or was not, a reggae fan.  We’re a generation that grew up listening to Bob Marley’s ‘Buffalo Soldier’ on Sunday Morning before we went to church, Gregory Isaac’s ‘Night Nurse’ before we went to sleep, the late, great Jeff Mwangemi was the voice of conscious music on radio and you identified with your local ‘massive’, whatever the hell a ‘massive’ was.  For those of us growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, back when radio was MW (middle wave), SW (short wave) or AM (amplitude modulated?), your only listening options were VoK’s General Service, in English, or National Service, in Swahili, your local vernacular service running a couple of hours a day, or, if your father was kind enough to share his priceless transistor radio, BBC World Service.  The only way to get music other than what was on radio was to go buy a cassette/LP, if you could afford it (you knew you were rich if your father had a real album collection, and a functioning record player), but the choices in the store(s) were, shall we say, limited.  Back then the shelves were stacked with country music (because who doesn’t love a bit of Kenny Rogers?), tons of Kenyan Music (i.e. the 67 Wanyika bands, Kamaru, etc), even more African music (the likes of Miriam Makeba and Fela Kuti), and, you guessed it, reggae from here to TZ. 

I grew up listening to the radio, one could say the radio was my babysitter/nanny.  The up side of this was that I grew up with a fondness for all things musical, plus a strange obsession for BBC radio plays (the suspense is nail biting…).  The down side was, my taste in music was shaped not just by those strange men and women in Broadcasting House, but also by the irrational government policies that restricted what the public could listen to, nothing too seditious or otherwise inflammatory, which translated to patriotic songs by the Maroon Commandos, punctuated by the soothing tunes of Don Williams.  Folks, the only reason we got to listen to a lot of the non-sanctioned music we heard back in the day was because the presenters of the day (real music junkies not like the FM presenters of today who wouldn’t know a good tune if it slapped them in the face) more often than not simply ignored their orders, instead playing what they considered good music.  The seemingly innocuous nature of radio, as opposed to TV, meant that those buggers got away with breaking the rules, exposing us to all manner of music and ideas.  On any given day, General Service would take you through every conceivable genre of music, from classical to polka, and all with a mellow voiced presenter to educate you on the finer nuances, and for that I am eternally grateful, because if it wasnt for them I would never have heard Lucky Dube, and what would life be without Mr Dube?    

You’re probably sitting there wondering why I’m reminiscing on days gone by, trying to guess where, if anywhere, I’m going with this.  Relax, its Sunday morning, the sun is coming out, there’s a holiday kesho, I say, let’s kick back and relax, and how better to relax than with a good reggae tune, no?  Problem is, looking at the soundtrack section I am dismayed to see only two reggae tracks, and none is Bob?  Shame man, I have betrayed my (occasionally) downtrodden roots!  The thing about reggae, and the reason this month this situation shall be rectified, is its almost always soulful, probably because of the religious influence, although maybe its just that the tempo is slower forcing them to actually say something of maana instead of the ‘inde inde’ unintelligible nonsense that’s typical of ragga.  Whatever the reason, roots and lovers rock all have this one thing in common, lyrics that make you stop and ponder, the meaning of life, the unconditional love of a mother, the injustice of the tyrant (‘sufferation’), the sight of your woman’s brown skin…

Today’s soundtrack is ‘Before I leave’ by Jah Cure, a track recommended to me by none other than Joey, yes that Joey, a couple of weeks back, in keeping with what has become a lovely practice of lovely people sending good music, and reads, my way.  I believe his description was ‘deep lyrics and soulful voice’, at which point I was convinced he was sending me down a gospel/redemption path.  What?  People are always trying to save my soul, I’m a bit paranoid these days.  Turns out he wasn’t.  At all.  This song is so bloody sexy I stood up.  No really, I stood up and stepped away from the desk, suspicious, good music doesn’t just randomly cross my path, it tends to come with a rider attached, usually in the form of unwanted knowledge, and this song was no exception, unfortunately.  I really must stop googling these geniuses…

As it turns out one Mr Cure, born (and I’m not joking) Siccature Alcock, was (up until a few years ago) in jail, he served 8 years of a 15 year sentence for ‘gun possession, robbery and rape’.  I’ve stuck in the few seemingly credible links I could find relating to his conviction (Wikipedia - Jah CureWikipedia - Jamaica's gun courtthe victim's account, as told by the Jamaican press), as well as his personal bio off his site, but frankly I don’t think I have enough information to make a decision on way or another, as is usually the case with rape cases, it always comes down to he said/she said and I don’t know either party so I’m currently disinclined to believe either.  I know, I’m female so I’m automatically expected to be on the side of the victim, but she identified the man from his voice and I don’t know what to make of that.  I am conflicted.  Either way, this knowledge of a rape conviction takes a bit of the shine off this song, and has me slightly hesitant to go looking for more of his music, which is a pity because he really is quite brilliant.  The fact that he was mentored by my man Beres is just icing on the cake (you can hear some similarity no?  You haven’t played it have you?  You shook your head didn’t you?  Figures…).  Which is it, the convicted rapist or the beautiful music?  Damn this internet! 

I know this isn’t a serious moral crisis, but this song is so bloody sexy I’m struggling to write the man off, this bugger may just bump off Beres. 

“Let me carry you to the kitchen,
Let me serve what you've been missing,
Ain’t no time for intermission,
Before I leave,
We create a new position,
You can lose your inhibitions,
Let me take away all your tension,
’Fore I leave,
We don't have to rush, no,
I'll make sure you get enough, girl,
So I can be the last thing on your mind,
I’m a make you call out my name
Before I leave…”

Have a good weekend my lovelies, normal service shall resume midweek.


The etiquette of the booty call, if any.

Disclaimer:  If you are deeply offended by the idea of sex with someone other than your boy/girlfriend, significant other, committed partner, wife or hubby, this one is not for you, walk on by.  If you have never heard the term ‘booty call’ before, leave and never come back.  These warnings are for your own good.  

The booty call, basic requirement for any single yet sexually active member of society who’s either too cheap to pay for it, where ‘it’ refers to sex, or otherwise restrained (averse to funga's and such like random nonsense).  This is one of those things that we all claim not to do, but do in fact do, relatively often I suspect, like farting in bed, or peeing in the shower (stop cringing in fake disgust, I know you do ittoo…), in these days of instant everything, it was only a matter of time before sex was reduced to a phone call, no?  Don’t worry, this isn’t another anti-revolution rant, oddly enough, on this one I’m firmly in the pro camp.  That’s right, I like the idea of being able to call a man up and calmly request his services, none of that being coy rubbish that women are forced to engage in all the time.  Or at least I did until this past weekend, but now I’m not so sure, this after receiving a call at 4 oclock in the a.m. from an inebriated…let’s just call him a buddy and leave it at that, shall we? 

Now ordinarily I’m happy to receive the occasional phone call from the man, but not when I’ve just won my nightly battle with insomnia and drifted off into sweet slumber.  I like to sleep, a lot, I value my sleep above all else, up to and including my first born child (there’s none, clearly, so I get to make such loose statements), and when someone calls me in the middle of the night, well, I get a bit upset, and by a bit I mean very.  This genius roused me from deep REM sleep, all of 2 hours after I’d gotten into bed, and then proceeded to have a bit of a chat as he waited for me to make up my mind, because it was possible I’d be interested?  Did I mention it was 4 am?  And now the man is acting all miffed because I had the audacity to suggest that his calling at that hour was not appropriate.  Eh?  At what point does ‘no strings’ translate to ‘no manners’?  This man called me up early Saturday morning, drunk as a skunk, looking to get laid, without giving any thought to my schedule later that morning (I had a meeting at 9.00 am), or even whether I’d mind having my sleep rudely interrupted.  And then he had the audacity to tell me, and I quote, “Kwani you don’t know the rules of a booty call?”  Say it with meEH?  What the  

As always, when confounded with the irrational behaviour of the other half of the species, I turned to google, because google always knows why. 

First up, the Urban Dictionary, fast becoming my number one resource for all things definition, if only because it proves that I am not the only person in this world who cannot spell.  They define the booty call as follows:

Main Entry: boo·ty call
Pronunciation: \bü-t
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural booty calls
Etimology – From the Latin, Booticus Callmypatheticassupus
Date: Late 21st century

1 : A clandestine or casual meeting to indulge sexual urges, devoid of any meaningful social engagement. Typically occurring between the hours of 12-4am, subsequent to one party becoming inebriated or failing to secure sexual relations with a more appealing partner(s).
2 : Disparaging title for the lesser of two unequal partners in a booty call relationship; typically this individual does not realize or accept that the relationship is limited to a booty call. Often called a fuck buddy.

Reading that most brilliant definition (I particularly liked the etymology), I got to thinking that perhaps I may have been a tad bit harsh on the idiot, he doesn’t seem to have done anything wrong, apparently the call is only made in the wee hours, no?  With the (now) harsh reality dawning slowly upon me, I googled the rules of the booty call next , seeking to understand the arrangement I’d unwittingly wandered into, because when I agreed to the set up in the first place, no one told me I’d be woken up at early dawn, did they?  Talk about false advertising, man!  And just so you know, judging by the number of results I got from my search, Ive concluded that Im not the only fool whos been duped with promises of a perhaps not so easy lay.  

Booty Calling is dedicated to all that appertains, including a brilliant post on how (not) to turn a booty call into a boyfriend, definitely worth a read if you’re as clueless as I am/was.  The gentlemen of AskMen are clear and concise, giving a grown man’s how-to perspective, while this genius, The Pimpologist, on the other hand, speaks to the common man (read idiot), in the common tongue (so to speak); contrast them with Nette's World, a grown woman’s succinct take on the rules.  And then there’s the humour, a strange man's hilarious take on women’s rules (the last one is spot on!) and Diary of a broke ass woman, a woman with a mouth possibly filthier than mine (and it’s bloody brilliant).  For those of you too lazy to read, I’ll try to summarise, but given that I’m trying to make a point you can be sure I’ve interpreted everything I’ve just read to fit my needs, basically you’ll still have to read up, eventually.  Turns out the rules are not too complicated (see POSTSCRIPT), except for the minor fact that men and women have different sets of rules.  Both emphasise the no strings aspect to this arrangement, to the extent that even a brief cuddle is forbidden (No cuddle? she wailed, But that’s the best part, no?  No?), but with the exception of one item, the lists are almost identical.  The bone of contention?  The actual phone call, of course.

Some, mostly men, advocate for a complete lack of pre-planning, because that would resemble a date too much, thereby crossing into murky waters, the same waters you’re trying to stay out of by getting into said arrangement.  They say you should only call when you feel the urge to get some, not a minute earlier.  That sounds good in theory, but we’re busy people, hell, even the pimpologist (really?) concedes this point and recommends calling ahead of time.  Folks, assuming your booty call is a grown ass individual with a life and what not, and not a youngling in school with a loose timetable, you may need to factor their schedule into your elaborate plan for satisfaction, so don’t go calling someone up in the middle of the night out of the blue, not unless you’re prepared to get (bitch) slapped.  Call earlier, especially if you plan on checking in at an obscene hour, that way the other party can prepare accordingly (change sheets, have shower if necessary, wear underwear with no holes, or no underwear at all...basic preparation, no?  No?).  That said, both codes do agree on the nature of the call itself, stressing that a booty call is not guaranteed, management reserves the right of admission.  That’s right, don’t call her, or him, up expecting them to roll over (literally?), and then throwing a fit when they turn you down.  You, my friend, have no rights, save for the right to safe sex.    

Which brings me back to my unfortunate 4 a.m. call.  I think what pissed me off most is the fact that said man is a brilliant mind fuck, he actually knows how to seduce my ass, at least he does when (more?) sober, so for him to pull such an idiotic stunt, well, that was just wrong, so wrong!  I bitched about the lack of good manners earlier, what I was talking about wasn’t saying please and thank you, I’m talking about good sexual etiquette.  Gents, there’s one thing you need to keep in mind if you’re looking to get into a woman’s bed, you kind of have to turn her on.  I know, the shock of it!  Chief, unless you shagged me like a superstar less than 24 hours ago, I assure you the mere sound of your voice will not get me dripping wet.  No really, it won’t.  You might have to do more than slur drunkenly, ‘Can I come over (hic!)?’  As ridiculous as it sounds, I was probably not thinking about sex before you called, I may have been knitting a bloody scarf for all you know, so don’t make assumptions.  How about a bit of amateur seduction along the lines of, “I’ve been thinking about eating your strawberry all night…”  I know, it’s a lie, we both know the only thing that’s been on your mind all night is the chick at the next table with her bosom pouring out of her handkerchief of a top, but at least try dammit, make shit up! 

Screw this, I’m coming up with my own rules to the booty call, conventional wisdom be damned!

Rule no 1:  Thou shalt not call me after midnight.
Do not wake me up.  I don’t care how horny you are, I must get my uninterrupted 7 hours of sleep.  Exceptions will only be made if arrangements had been sought at least 3 hours prior to, which brings me to…

Rule no 2:  Thou shalt endeavour to turn me on.
Given that you are not a regular occurrence, I will require some persuasion, purely to remind me how it is said arrangement came to be in the first place.  Some flirtation and mild seduction prior to your arrival is highly recommended, or better still, let’s spend a bit of time outside the bed and build up from there.  A little anticipation goes a long way.

Rule no 3:  Thou shalt not show up staggering drunk.
My friend, drunk sex only works when both parties are drunk, and considering that you found me in my house, possibly sleeping, I am not nearly as inebriated as you are.  What these drunk geniuses always forget is that the potent sexiness they’re feeling is only in their own heads, and that the booze fuelled randiness is not mutual, at all.  Either sober up enough to deliver an above average performance (fair compensation for the inconvenient hour), or show up with the necessary substances to get me drunk enough to join your delusional party (and thereby overlook yourshortcomings).  And just so we’re clear, this rule applies to (formal?) relationships as well, I may love (lust) you dearly, but not when you rock up in my bed reeking like stale booze and cross-eyed with lust, and possibly tequila.  Take a shower, lover, and maybe brush your teeth, the scent of rexona is much, much better than l’eau d’tusker.

Rule no 4:  Thou shalt not call me up as a last resort.
My problem with the booty call, especially the drunk booty call (there really isn’t any other kind, apparently), I get the distinct impression that said call is made only after the genius making this call has completely struck out and I’m the last option, ‘in case of emergency, break glass’.  How now?  Do you buggers know how shitty a woman feels to realise that she’s nothing more than a conveniently warm hole for you to insert your business into?  Listen, I don’t mind that you’re out there trying to shag any woman who will have you, we’re all grown ups here and that’s your business, but when you call me up I assume that it’s because you’re not just looking to get laid, you want to shag me, ME, not random chick no. 13 in the red top.  Newsflash, you little shit, we are not readily interchangeable like generic (read fake) Toyota spare parts.  Nkt!  What?  Am I being too harsh?  Perhaps, but if you don’t like it then you can go funga no. 17 in the shiny dress.  Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I’ll be getting my regulation seven hours of sleep, bila interruption.  

To be completely honest with you, I don’t think I was ever comfortable with this arrangement, I like the prelude to sex too much to give it up for the sake of convenience.  I like the anticipation of what’s to come, I like spending a couple of hours wondering if I’ll get lucky, I like the (semblance of) seduction and the sometimes absurd rituals of the mating dance.  And after my rude awakening, literal and metaphorical, I think I’m done with this booty call nonsense.  No strings I can live with, but no prelude?  No cuddling?  And 4 a.m. calls?  No fucking way (pun completely intended)!

Before you accuse me of not spreading the joy this evening, here’s a little light reading material, use at your own discretion.

copied from the urban dictionary


Let me entertain you...

“Hell is gone and heavens here
There’s nothing left for you to fear
Shake your ass come over here
Now scream
I’ma burn an effigy
Of everything I used to be
You’re my rock of empathy
My dear…”

Now THAT is how you start a song.  It starts with what sounds like a tambourine (do people still play that?  Its probably those metal plate like thingis on the drums, no?), then the piano, then electric guitar, then he starts to sing…by the time he gets to the chorus 40 seconds in I’m already bouncing off the walls.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Back when I was not too successfully ‘dating’ online, I quickly learnt that while (unfortunately not too many?) men were enamoured with the online me (the original Alex, very long story), once the real me entered the picture, well, lets just say there was less ‘en’ and more ‘armoured’.  Now all along I assumed that it was because they wanted a fantasy and not a ‘real woman’, the idea of rather than the actual thing, and in my characteristic foolishness, I wrote them off as time-wasting idiots uninterested in anything ‘meaningful’.  I know, not my most brilliant theory, but in my defence, they were just looking to get laid, no?  In time, however, I slowly realised that the reason the ‘real me’ was less appealing was simply that ‘Alex’ was much more interesting and laid back, and less OCD, and definitely freakier, which is a very good thing online, no?  I’m just saying…  I may have said this before, the beauty of online ‘dating’ is that it gives you a safe and inexpensive way of exploring yourself, and my exploration revealed a serious disconnect between who I think I am and who I actually am.  It took me months of talking to (perhaps too many) random strangers to finally begin to shake off years of peculiar hang ups and random issues, from insecurities brought on by break-ups to attitude problems brought on by an over-inflated sense of importance (I mock myself).    

The thing about hiding behind an alter ego is that it’s easier to be yourself, or the version of yourself you like, its reinvention made easy.  Once I finally figured that out, I decided I preferred the woman I was online, she was more fun, and funny, and confident, and sexy as hell (admittedly only in her deluded head).  And she knew how to get a man, make that men, granted said men were slightly fucked up, but they were still men, so there!  I found that there’s a strange comfort in talking to a faceless/voiceless stranger, and that sometimes the anonymity is the best part of the relationship.  Therefore, when I was setting up this blog it was a no-brainer, she had to make a comeback, who better to write nonsense than a chatty, almost middle-aged woman with commitment issues and a mild fetish for French porn?  Hmmm…  I hadn’t told you about the French porn thing, had I?  Ah well…  The beauty of anonymity is that I can pretty much say whatever I want without having to worry about it coming back to bite me in the ass (I hope), secure in the knowledge that the few people who know me and read this nonsense are so unhinged they would never think to malign my (otherwise?) good name.  The reason I blog as Alex is simply because it allows me to say shit the other/real me couldn’t, or shouldn’t, put online and still expect to have a job the following morning, but of course its not that simple, nothing ever is. 

Every so often someone will comment on how ‘honest’ I am, or tell me I have cojones for saying what (apparently) isn’t usually said, and most times I shrug off said comments as odd because I’m just talking, I figure, thats the whole point to my blogging, no?  To talk, really talk, about anything and everything, it’s like asexual online dating (I said asexual, you bloody pervert, not bisexual, I’m still not a lesbian, and don’t bother asking again, we still won’t be having a threesome).  I don’t bother to hold back because it defeats the purpose of being undercover, its like putting on a kinky French Maid’s outfit, complete with stockings and garter belt, and then playing a strict Police Woman, makes no sense, no?  Did that analogy make much sense to you?  Issues!  Point is, I write this way because it’s my catharsis, writing as my (only slightly) psycho alter ego gives the rest of me a chance to get lost in the madness, its not that I’m pretending to be someone else here, it’s just that in real life I am nowhere near as…open, I guess?  I’m reserved, and extremely private, and kind of very serious (in a scary way).  But not here, here I’m the entertainment.

Which brings me to the day’s track, Mr Robbie Williams.  This man is living proof that a dark past as a boy band singer, crooning syrupy ballads to screaming teenage girls, can in fact be overcome.  ‘Let me entertain you’ is such a delightfully grandiose tune, reminiscent of the glam rock of the 80’s, the over the top personalities and the peculiar fondness for face painting.  You cannot help but play air guitar when this song comes on.  What?  Not real rock enough for you?  I grew up watching ‘Top of the Pops’ and MTV Europe, I’m allowed to have strange taste in Euro Pop/Rock.  On a completely unrelated note, this song will forever remind me of Supersport, that was a bloody good ad, no?  Detour over.  The reason for this track, apart from the fact that it’s a hell of way to make an entrance (think fireworks…)?  As much as I’m here sorting out my kadha issues, I’m also here to entertain you in the process, where entertain is used to mean, a. amuse, and b. consider, because what’s the point of a good story if it doesn’t make you laugh, or think, or both?

And without any further ado, how about we get on with the madness, scratch that, delusion?  I know I said I’d be back on Wednesday, and I’ve just scheduled that post, but I needed to call someone (almost) bad names first and it couldn’t wait for next weekend.  I told you to enjoy the silence while you had the chance and you thought I was joking...