Saturday, December 12, 2009

Of crochets and needles

I never told you how the Mr. Big saga ended. So, here goes...

Few people like sharp pointed objects, and fewer still appreciate having such objects introduced onto their anatomies. The three of us definitely belong to the larger percentage of the human population that views sharp, pointed objects uncharitably, but since our misadventure at the pub necessitated a small medical procedure called a tetanus shot, we had to set aside our personal prejudices and, with a glaring lack of enthusiasm, allow Mr. Big's doctor brother to jab our behinds with sharp, pointed objects.

Our tribulations however didn't end there. Not content with making us confront our rabid fear of needles, the doctor had one more nightmare for us. No alcohol for the next few days, or the shots would be useless, meaning needles all over again. We all took this pretty hard. I felt like someone had switched off the sunshine in my life and posted a note saying "Back in a few days," while Allan looked like someone whose personal demons had all gathered together and decided to pay him a sudden, unannounced visit. Moses I was almost certain we would have to hire someone to follow him around, unless we were comfortable with the possibility of dealing with his sudden suicide within the next very few hours.

The only person who didn't have a problem with all this, and found it all very hilarious actually, was Elvis. This was only normal, considering he had been at home asleep when battle royale and the subsequent visit to the clinic went down and thus hadn’t suffered our misfortunes. Such circumstances bring out the sadist in Elvis.

"Holla man. How are you doing? I heard you people had a blast last night, with particular emphasis on the word 'blast'." He called the next day to ask, at an hour when only chicken thieves and employees of Nakumatt's 24 hour outlets could conceivably be awake.

"I'm trying to get some sleep, you moron." I curtly told him. "If you are so concerned about my health, let me remind you the risks of sleep deprivation...And how did you find out so fast anyway?" I wondered.

"Moses just returned my car, and I could tell he'd had himself a swell time. So swell in fact, that his head is still swollen." Elvis replied.

I said something nasty.

Elvis ignored it. "So why don't you all come over to my place this evening and fill me in on what happened? Six O'clock. And don't worry' drinks are on me. I'll have the missus make a lot of Ketepa. Bye." He hung up without waiting for a response. In any case, I was too tired to argue, and after making a mental note to call in sick at the office immediately I woke up, I went back to sleep.

It was not until much later when I showed up at his place that I remembered accepting Elvis' invitation meant I would have to face needles again, albeit of a different kind.

Allan was already at Elvis' place when I arrived, and he was trying hard to force down a cup of tea as well as a conversation with Elvis' wife, who was busy knitting what I guessed was a sweater for one of their children."That's a nice sweater you are knitting." I said to her as I hugged her in greeting. "For the boy or the girl?"

"Thanks. It is for my sister's child, actually. You know how expensive ready-made ones are nowadays..." and as she launched into a critique of the impact of the global economic downturn on the price of textile products, I relaxed.

Allan winked at me as if to say "you lucky bastard." And I smirked back. He hadn't been so lucky.

Presently, Moses arrived, and despite the fact that he had carried a kilo of meat for her, she didn't hug him in greeting, and when he complimented her knitting, she curtly told him that she was crocheting, not knitting, and returned to our conversation which had inevitably moved on to the global economic downturn's impact on food prices. Like Allan, Moses was unlucky.

Elvis arrived soon afterwards, and he burst out laughing as soon as he walked through the door. "You people look like hell!" He said between fits. "Hi baby. How's the crocheting?"

"That's what they get from engaging in primitive drunken violence." His wife replied. "And I'm knitting, not crocheting."

Elvis ignored her. "Come on, guys. Fill me in on the details. I've already heard Moses' and Allan's tales, so Edgar, tell me how you fared with that Orang Utan."

Upon hearing this, Elvis' wife suddenly cast me a very pained look, and my heart sank.

You see, Elvis wife, although warm, homely and usually very affable, has a very interesting eccentricity. She is always knitting, and whether or not someone's presence is welcome can be discerned from her response to any comment that person makes about her knitting. If she agrees with your comment, all is well. But if she contradicts you, then too bad.

Thus she had all along been cross with Allan and Moses but not with me because having come out of the previous night's bar brawl with a relatively unscathed head, I was the only one of us three who didn't sport a bandage on my cranium.

And until Elvis' question gave me away, she had assumed that I hadn't been involved in the previous night's 'primitive drunken violence.'

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