SUMMON a bit of patience, please, to enable me bore you almost to death (or, preferably, to life after death) by disclosing something I am sure you would be as disinterested in, as a dog would be, if you placed a bowl of boiled cabbage close to its nose.
The reaction would be the extreme opposite if you offered it, instead, pieces of raw, appetising meat. To reinforce the ‘dog is a man’s best friend’ philosophy, it would forget it was a dog, by smiling at you sheepishly, instead of ‘dogishly’.
The disclosure is as free of charge as the air you are breathing, which doesn’t attract payment in the form of levy or tax, by dodging which you would end up in a not particularly friendly building in part of Kisutu area in Dar.
As you are probably aware, anyone, no matter how unusually tall, miserably short or scandalously fat, can end up in a structure within the building, shaped somewhat like a pulpit, due to being below and not above the law.
In the friendly part of Kisutu, however, is a market that stocks Lushoto-sourced fruits, whose sweetness can make you smile as sheepishly as an ice cream licking nursery school child. Whenever I irrigate my tiny stomach with fruit juice during trips to Lushoto, where I discovered a girl who eventually became my better half (not bitter half as Kenyan humourist Anthony Muchoki puts it) I become fat slowly but surely.
I trim the days of the visits, fearing that, if I hang around longer, I could become as huge as the late Zimbabwean nationalist Joshua Nkomo, become a changed person, and end up being sacked for being a ghost worker.
Now, at long last, the disclosure, and congrats for not having died of boredom: I would be committing an unpardonable sin if I pretended to estimate how many kilogrammes the Christianity of my close friend, Maximilian Kumbatiadini weighs.
For sure, though, Max Dini (which is how he styles his name to spare those pronouncing the name running out of breath) pays lip service to his religion. He worships the cockroach-coloured unholy waters more.
At around noon last Monday, I received a call from Max, whose message injected unto my heart, the highest dose of happiness since the blessed Year 2017, which will formally die around midnight, tonight, was born. He had just returned home from a Christmas church mass.
Speaking in an uncharacteristic soft tone, he said he had declared to God, via a prayer, that he would become a new person in 2018, by divorcing beer, to which he had ‘recreationally’ been married. Max elaborated that at the climax of the prayer, he burst into uncontrolled weeping.
Good Samaritans carried him outside and administered first aid by splashing a bucket of cold water over him. Dini lamented, though, that, one of the Good Samaritans had demoted himself to a Bad Samaritan, by transferring ownership of his wallet to himself, probably under what could be branded ‘Christmas self-help spirit’.
He explained, furthermore, that come the new year, he would only drink tea, coffee, juice and milk. I earnestly hoped that he was pronouncing what lawyers call the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. ‘Hallelujah!” I exclaimed, immensely glad that my friend had been liberated from worldly weaknesses and was resetting himself on the express train to heaven.
Within my inner self, I wished him well, confident that his Christianity now weighed more kilogrammes that it did previously. I reinforced the wishes silently later, as I ‘killed’ the Christmas evening at a nameless bar, by ‘killing’ a few beers that share a name with a famous national park.
The following day, what journalists call impeccable sources told me a hilarious, yet alarming story about Dini. Slightly after midnight, after drinking beer beyond the constitutionally and legally permissible quota, he entered the wrong house in his residential neighbourhood. He was cheered by people attending a party in the garden upon his entry. He headed to the toilet, didn’t resurface, but no-one took notice.
After the party beyond midnight, the hosts (husband and wife) were amused rather than enraged, as they witnessed their ‘jirani’ lying on their bed, snoring, and, then loudly exclaiming: “Merry Christmas all God’s children!” They awakened and transferred him to the guest wing. His reaction, when I crosschecked the story with him on Tuesday, was: “Don’t listen to bloody rumour mongers, Wilson. A born-again Christian can’t behave how I supposedly did.”
Here’s a text message Dini flashed to me a short while ago: I swear that, during the countdown to 12:00 pm, I will drink the last bottle of beer to bid the cursed liquid a definitive farewell, and at least ten thereafter, to welcome the dawn of 2018 ! Maximilian Dini had apparently rescheduled the anti-beer drinking resolution to the year 2019 !