Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Wayne Rooney Saga: A Guide For Dummies

Wayne Rooney has just proved it. Football is a gentleman's game played by hooligans...and watched by Dummies.



For football to be referred to as a game, there has to be footballers. For footballers to make a living out of football, they must be good. And since thousands, even millions, of footballers worldwide make a living out of playing football, then logic demands we assume there are a lot of good footballers out there.

But even among these good footballers, there are some that are better than the rest. From these very good footballers we can further identify some that are better among the better ones, and from this cream of the crop, even more exceptional elements can still be isolated. These are the players who make football magical, the players who keep football purists believing that despite the horrifying influence of Russian gas, American loan and Arab oil money, there is still hope for football.

Wayne Mark Rooney definitely belongs to this last category. At only 25 years of age, the lad has won more trophies than Liverpool football club has won in the past 25 years, and he is just getting started. Commensurate with his unbelievable talent, he earns more money in a week than the entire annual sports budgets of all three East African countries put together, and despite the fact that he looks the way Shrek would look like when he has just thrown up, Coleen McLoughlin, a stunning beauty who looks like she could stop traffic just for the heck of it, actually agreed to marry him and have a child with him. The natural way.



Surely, Wayne has it made. His looks notwithstanding, he has money, talent and the affection of billions of fans worldwide, not to mention a wife that could stop traffic just for the heck of it. Why then, in a stunt that was sure to go through his reputation like an elephant through a glass cage holding his young, did he procure the services of a thousand-pound-a-night hooker when his I-can-stop-traffic-for the-heck-of-it wife, who agreed to have a child by him the natural way, was sitting at home pregnant with his kid?

Some questions don't have answers. Not answers that make any sense, anyway. This is definitely one of those questions, so we will let it slip and focus on a more important question: How does a world-famous footballer that was stupid enough to procure the services of a thousand-pound-a-night hooker and afterwards stupid enough to get caught, come out of the entire saga with his reputation intact and sellability unharmed?

Easy. Create a diversion.

You see, Wayne knows that millions of y'all like to watch him play, and some media mogul somewhere that knows companies would pay good money if millions of y'all got to see their products. The media mogul will then put two an two together and figure that if he put a picture of a product in the same TV screen that shows Wayne Rooney playing, millions of y'all will tune in to watch Wayne Rooney play, and therefore Millions of y'all will also see the company's product. Wayne knows that this media mogul will sell this idea to companies, and then approach him with offers of more money in a week than the entire annual sports budgets of all three East African countries put together if he could agree to appear in the same TV screen that shows that company's products. Easy as ABC.

But Wayne also knows that y'all don't like it when players cheat on their wives, especially when players that look the way Shrek would look like when he has just thrown up cheat on wives that look like they could stop traffic just for the heck of it. He knows that if y'all don't like what he did, y'all won't tune in to watch him play, so y'all won't get to see the company's products. If that happens, the company whose products appear in the same TV screen as Wayne won't be willing to give the media mogul enough money to pay Wayne more money in a week than the entire annual sports budgets of all three East African countries put together.

And this presents a problem, because you see, Wayne loves his money, every single last dime of it. It would rip his stocky Scouser heart to pieces if many of y'all stopped watching him and forced the companies to reduce his check to, say, the entire annual sports budgets of only two East African countries. But he cheated. On a pregnant wife that looks like she could stop traffic just for the heck of it. With a thousand-pounds-a-night hooker. And y'all don't like that.

So how does Wayne keep the money flowing into his pockets? Easy. Create a diversion.

Wayne might be stupid, but an idiot he most definitely is not. He knows that y'all care about reputation and all that bleeding heart morality, but y'all ain't the ones that cut his check. The companies do. And the companies don't give a rat's ass about reputation except when it interferes with their bottom line. All they care about is that their products get advertised because when their products get advertised, their products get sold. Wayne is smart enough to know all this, so he figures the way to keep the companies interested is to keep y'all watching him.

How does he do that? He creates a diversion. He enlists the help of his best friend and father figure, sir Alex Ferguson, and together, they concoct a feud. Accusations about lying are made, counter-accusations about insubordination are fired back. A rejoinder about a lack of commitment is swiftly issued and quickly countered by the one about latent disloyalty. Then comes the big one; I want to leave, and the even bigger one; The door is to your left, baby. Throughout all this, the media mogul's cameras are furiously keeping y'all updated, and y'all are thinking, Gosh! We haven't seen such action since Ali took on Foreman at the banks of the Congo River! So what's next?

And when he is sure he has you where he wants you, i.e eyes firmly trained on him and interested in only him, there is a sudden cooling of tempers and a truce is called. The companies are happy that y'all want to see him, so they resume giving him money in a week than the entire annual sports budgets of all three East African countries put together. In the meantime, y'all have forgotten that he cheated, with a thousand-pound-a-night hooker, on a traffic-stopper of a wife that chose to have a baby with him the natural way despite the fact that he looks like Shrek after he has just thrown up.



Like Redd Foxx would say, you big dummies!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Of Gonads, Communication and Cell Phones.

I wanted to start with the bit about my gonads, but that part doesn't become important until exactly four nanoseconds before I wake up. So I'll begin with the anecdote about the wife and the husband.
Once upon a time, two people, a man and a woman, got married. And as it normally happens with one hundred percent of all matrimonial interactions, there came a point during their relationship when these two people had a slight difference of opinion over something or the other.
Normally, such matters are resolved by the more assertive partner, usually the wife, imposing their opinion on the less assertive one, usually the wife. [It's complicated. I'll explain later.] However, this relationship was one of those very rare ones where both partners were evenly matched in willpower; so naturally, the difference of opinion continued and in due course, the two were not on speaking terms. Literally.
But since they lived under the same roof, ate the same food, used the same bathroom and slept on the same bed, some form of communication was necessary. They therefore worked their way around the issue and finally settled on writing as the most effective medium for their circumstances. Whenever the husband required anything of the wife, he would write it down on a slip of paper and vice versa.
This method worked OK until one day; the husband had a very important meeting to attend and had to catch a very early flight the next morning. Unfortunately, he was the kind of person who attached a great deal of value to a good night's sleep, and was rarely known to awaken before 10am in the morning. The meeting was however really important, so to work his schedule around this flaw, he requested his wife, in writing of course, to wake him up very early the next morning...
How this tale ends should be obvious to anyone with pretensions to anything that even remotely approaches a double-figure IQ, so we'll leave it there and move on towards my gonads. But before we get there, let's first talk about phones.
A friend of mine from the Northern hemisphere was once quite shocked when he read a report on the internet which said that at least 70% of all Ugandan adults each have a mobile phone. The poor fellow couldn't understand how a backward country like Uganda could have such an extensive mobile telephony reach, and he e-mailed me to ascertain the veracity of these claims.
"The report is inaccurate." I mailed him back. "The figure is closer to 90%, and at least 60% of them actually have TWO mobile phones."
I happen to belong to this percentage that possesses two mobile phones. One is a sexy Nokia 6300, which has a lot of really awesome features but goes through its battery with the speed of a Mike Tyson bout in the early nineties, while the other one is a plainer Nokia 1100 whose swankiest feature is that it is able support M-Pesa, but with one bar of battery power can sustain an entire call from Pet without disconnecting it midway. [And that is saying something.]
Quite obviously, this isn't exactly an ideal situation. I love the ravishing 6300, but for purposes of functionality, I find that I utilize the plain Jane 1100 more frequently than I do my beloved 6300. And that has me really terrified of the implications on my social standing the revelation of this little fact would occasion, so whenever I have to use the 1100, I try to be as discreet as possible. Silent mode, excusing myself and running to a secluded area whenever I receive a call in public, etc...
I risk digressing, however. Let us now connect the married couple anecdote to the mobile phones and then quickly move on to my gonads.
Like the husband in our anecdote, I am also the kind of person that attaches a great deal of value to a good night's sleep. Once I get into slumber land, I will always need help to get out of it. But unlike the unfortunate husband, I don't depend on my wife to wake me up when I've got issues that really have to be sorted out at a time when only chicken thieves are supposed to be awake. The reason behind this is quite simple; I'm not yet married,
So whenever I need to wake up early, which like a Liverpool win happens only in the rarest of occasions, I can always rely on the infinitely cheaper yet infinitely more reliable alarm system on my two mobile phones. With them, unless somebody calls me earlier, I can always get up at the precise moment I intend to wake up. And since my Nokia 6300 is permanently on silent mode for purposes of being discreet, the early caller isn't always a problem...
Unless I somehow go to bed with my phone still in my trouser pocket, and there is a hole in that trouser pocket.
In my defense, I was dog tired and didn't strip like I usually do when I went to bed last night. I also didn't take my phone off my pocket which, as is common with people as careless as I am, has a hole somewhere in its person. Therefore as I slept, the phone slipped through the hole and came to rest on my inner thigh, just below the nether regions.
And then very early today morning, my dear Pet, who works similar hours with the shadier elements of society, decided to send me a text message...
Do you have any idea how unbelievably powerful a vibrating 1100 can get, and how tremendously horrifying being woken up by a Nokia 1100 vibrating against your gonads can be?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

More than just a Bad Hair Day

Like girls, guys also have bad hair days. I know this for a fact because I used to have bad hair days back when I still had dreadlocks, and, well, I'm a guy.

The difference between a guy bad hair day and a girl bad hair day, however, is that unless you point out to a guy that he is having a bad hair day, most men will never tell when they are having a bad hair day. Just ask Donald Trump, or the people of Sotik constituency and the guy they kept electing to parliament before the NARC wave.


You can also ask me about what transpired one day when I went to Mengo Hospital for a dental procedure, back in the days when I still had dreadlocks.

A dear friend of mine once told me that at the dentist's, everything is twice as painful as it looks and thrice more painful than you think. That is no exeggeration, so for those of you that have never placed their behinds on a dentist's chair for a procedure, allow me this opportunity to issue a profound warning: Start taking much better care of your teeth than you are doing right now. Because trust me, you do NOT want to ever find yourself on that chair.

Anyway, I wasn't lucky enough to have someone give me the kind of warning I am giving you now, so at some point in time, I found myself in unfortunate need of an extremely urgent dental procedure. I'd once procured the services of Mengo Hospital following a late night altercation with a couple of panga-wielding characters intent on relieving me of my phone and other valuables, [but that is a story for another day,] and had liked their services. Thus when the aforementioned need for a dental procedure arose, it was to Mengo that I immediately headed.

Mengo Hospital is quite a large institution. Add to this the fact that I don't quite like hanging around hospitals and therefore do not often hang around hospitals, It was quite obvious that I was going to encounter a bit of trouble locating the dental department where my painfully pressing needs could be addressed. So in short, I soon found myself totally lost in the hospital hallways, clutching my jaw like a driver who has just hit Mike Tyson's car and was stupid enough to get out to apologize.

The most obvious thing one ought to do when faced with such difficulty would be of course to ask somebody familliar with the place for directions, and in a hospital the person most likely to know where places such as dental departments are located would be a nurse.  Thus I stopped a nurse doing her rounds, [I know how a nurse looks like because every heterosexual man has fantasies about nurses in uniform,] and asked her to tell me where I could find the dental department.


The nurse, a petite little thing in a starched uniform who looked like anything straight from one of my aforementioned fantasies, looked at me as if she didn't comprehend my question. Then she sized me up, spending about a minute looking at my hair before she pointed to a flight of stairs. "Just head up those stairs and turn left." She said. "Beyond it you will find a red brick building and someone there will attend to you."

It had been a puzzling experience, but my tooth was at that point threatening to dig a hole right through my jaw, so I gave it very little thought as I gratefully made my way towards where I had been directed.

When I got there, the first thing I noticed was two heavily armed guards. Why would a dental department require armed guard? I thought and then stopped thinking as my toothache stopped working on my jaw and sent a jolt of pain through my gum. Quickly, I went to one of the guards. "Where can I find a doctor? I'm in pain." I asked.

The guard looked at me, mumbled something to his colleague about an apparent shortage of barbers in Kampala and both of them laughed. "Go back to the ward." He told me. "The doctor will be there presently."

Ward?

"Excuse me, but since when has the dental department of any hospital ever required wards?" I asked.

That must have been the stupidest question I have ever asked in my entire life, because the guard now looked at me like you would look at someone who has just asked you the stupidest question you have ever heard in your entire life.

"This is not the dental department." He told me. "It is the mental department." 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Captain of virtue

Celebrity sportsmen have through time found it really hard to keep their pants up away from home and their names off the sleazier sections of the press.



Last year, Tiger Woods' dalliance with more than a dozen women did things to his reputation that even an elephant would hesitate to do to a glass cage holding its young. Dude is now divorced and a hundred mil poorer.



Soon after the Woods' saga hit the tabloids, it was quickly followed by the lurid tales of one Jacob Zuma, who even two decades after the death of Apartheid remains unwilling to put down his machine gun. [OK. Maybe Zuma isn't exactly a sports personality. But he has been quite a player in the romantic field, which sort of qualifies him for that sporty title, doesn't it?]



News of Zuma's 20th-born was still settling in when another sports celebrity waddled into the murky sludge of tabloid press. John Terry, Chelsea and former England captain, was soon afterward reported to have showed more than passing interest to the ex-girlfriend of his England and former Chelsea team-mate, Wayne Bridge, and the reports caused such outrage among the English public that England coach Fabio Capello, fearing the destabilizing effect the incident would have on the England team as they prepared for the World Cup, promptly stripped Terry of the England captaincy.

Now, let us for a minute transfer the JT debacle to Kenya and assume that in the place of Terry, it was the Harambee Stars captain who was implicated in an affair with the ex-girlfriend of a team-mate. Would the public have shown the kind of outrage shown by the English and demanded that he be stripped of his armband?

That, of course, would never happen. In fact, as rhetorical questions go, that question would put the rhetoric in rhetorical.

First of all, unless the lady in question is actually married to the team-mate,a Kenyan would see absolutely nothing wrong with the captain's action.  If there is no ring around the fourth finger of her left hand, then she is, for all intents and purposes, fair game. In the JT saga, the lady, a French lingerie model called Veronica Perroncel, wasn't the wife, or even the current girlfriend, but the EX girlfriend of Wayne Bridge. In Kenyan books, nothing wrong there.

But even if a queer section of the Kenyan public had found the saga even remotely repulsive and opined that Twahir Muhiddin, Ghost Mulee, that clueless German or whoever it is in charge of the Stars should relieve the captain of his leadership duties, then this high-minded percentage of humanity would first of all have to contend with members of the erstwhile captain's ethnic community, who will scream, shout and even uproot a few railway sleepers to protest against the victimization of their community.

But the main reason no furore whatsoever would be raised is quite simple: Over 80% of Kenyans don't watch Kenyan football, and of the 20% that follow it regularly, Two thirds have absolutely no idea who the hell the Harambee Stars captain is.

Monday, August 16, 2010

A Model Trial


I love models. Nothing quite appeals to my amorous fantasies than the combination of a figure that makes you think long nights in exotic locations and an IQ figure equal to the number on a goalkeeper's football jersey. And growing up as I did during a time when 90% of vehicles on Kenyan roads had only six digits, I was at some point totally besotted with one Naomi Campbell.


Of course the distance between fantasy and reality is mostly only covered by dreams, so the stunning Ms. Campbell has since then remained exactly that, i.e. the girl of my dreams. However, when I'm not busy with other more important stuff such as debating Referendum results and waiting for the start of the new English Premier League season, I make time to look her up and see what she has been up to, as well at ogle at those looooooooong legs thrusting from whatever leading fashion house number she happens to be donning.

Slightly under a fortnight ago, I got a chance to indulge this passion of mine. Naomi had reportedly been summoned by the war crimes trial against Charles Taylor at the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone, and she was to appear to give testimony that would help indict the former Liberian warlord. With my beautiful Naomi in the picture, I was very, very interested in these proceedings, and accordingly stacked on the popcorn.

We will come back to Naomi and models in a bit, but first, a little background for those of you who for whatever absurd reason may never have heard about Charles Taylor.

Born in 1946, this dude is something of a cross between Idi Amin Dada and Robert Mugabe, with a dash of pre-historic man. He ruled Liberia for six years from 1997 after helping overthrow the government of Samuel Doe, and all indications are those six years aren't exactly ones that Liberians remember with an incredible amount of fondness.

Taylor had a number of very disagreeable habits, and among these was an apparent overwhelming covetousness. He was reportedly so covetous of the riches possessed by neighboring Sierra Leone that he felt compelled to fund a rebel group there, the Revolutionary United Front [RUF], so that he could also get in on a share of its Diamonds resource. This was to prove his undoing, as the activities the RUF rebels involved themselves in have landed him in major legal problems at the Hague.

Naomi Campbell catwalks into this Charles Taylor saga sometime in 1999, when both she and Taylor attended a fund-raising dinner in cape Town hosted by then South African president Nelson Mandela. 

Like 99% of all heterosexual men who have ever set eyes on Naomi Campbell, Charles Taylor's senses went AWOL upon meeting her, and by the end of the night, he had displayed his amorous attentions towards her with a pocketful of uncut diamonds.

To cut a long story short, those diamonds are now central to the case against Taylor at the Hague, because during that time, he had apparently gone to South Africa with the intention of selling the diamonds and raise money to help fund the RUF's atrocious activities in sierra Leone.
To be perfectly honest, I have so far paid the Charles Taylor trial the kind of attention I normally reserve for traffic signs when I'm late for work, and I’m sure an overwhelming proportion of the earth’s population are exactly like me. But since the lovely Naomi graced the trial with her magnificent presence, interest in the trial has grown tenfold, and I’m sure the UN is very thankful for that.
Closer home, it is hoped that if Ocampo does his job properly, a number our local politicians will be acquainting themselves with the Hague quite soon. The Kenya trial is meant to act as precedent and deterrence against future acts of civil violence in Africa and the world over such trivial issues as elections results, and the UN is hoping that public interest in the case will be massive.
Kenya is taking the case very seriously, and a couple of months ago, a witness protection bill was passed in parliament to help secure potential witnesses who will give testimony at the Hague. Last week, it was reported that some of these potential witnesses are already being flown out of the country in readiness for the trial.
My question is, are there any Kenyan supermodels among those witnesses being flown out?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Of women and cars

She may be disagreeable sometimes…well, most of the time. But Allan's wife really is a good woman. Overwhelming evidence may indicate otherwise, but his Datsun actually is a good car.
  
Mrs. Allan and the Datsun, as narrated by Allan.

"Two years ago when I bought my Datsun, my wife nagged me into giving her a driving lesson. Looking back, that must have been the most dangerous afternoon of my life, for we stared death in the face three times in that one session alone. Naturally, I immediately banned her from all things motor vehicle, but undaunted, she scrimped on the kitchen budget, fed me vegetables for a month and raised enough cash to go to a real driving school. Fortunately, the driving instructors of that school were equally unimpressed by her potential and she was never licensed to drive. This put a damper on her enthusiasm and for two years, there was tranquility in her relationship with cars.

But all good things, as heaven ordained, must come to an end. Recently, a pre-natal misdiagnosis forced my now pregnant wife to re-evaluate her choice of maternity services provider, and by the next day, Pumwani had lost yet another customer and Aga Khan hospital had gained one. I was obviously dismayed by the expected increase in the relevant fees this was going to entail, but that was nothing compared to her passion for the wheel the hospital switch Inadvertently re-awakened in her.

“Every pregnant mother drives in for her appointment except me.” She complained after her second most recent trip to the hospital. “Why do I have to be the only one that walks in like a Kawangware resident who doesn’t own a car?”

“Maybe because you actually are a Kawangware resident who doesn’t own a car?” I suggested, desperately hoping she would deviate from her apparent train of thought.

No such luck. “I promise I’ll oil it, fuel it and get it washed when I come from the hospital.” When she really wants something, my wife has this remarkable ability, absent in possibly all women, of getting straight to the point.

My firm refusal earned me a night on the sofa.

But the next day when I was in a matatu on my way to work, I opened my wallet to pay my fare to and realized the car keys were missing. Their whereabouts were obviously a no-brainer, and I instantly sent a prayer heavenward for God to take extra good care of my wife and unborn child, and especially my car, that day.I was so worried that I left work early.

The car was not on the parking lot when I arrived home, But my wife was, and she had made a sumptuous lunch as if she had anticipated I would leave work early. She served me like a king, laughed at my jokes throughout the meal, asked about my day, curled up close to me when I lay back for a siesta and generally behaved very suspiciously. When she produced two Pilsners from the bedroom, I knew it was time I acted before I got too complacent. “Honey,” I asked. “Where is the car?”

“Relax.” She purred. “It is at the garage. Didn’t I promise to get it oiled, washed and fueled?”

I was extremely grateful, and I thought maybe I had been too rash in dismissing my wife’s driving competence. I resolved give her another shot at driving school and a license as soon as the baby is born, for she was showing herself to be very responsible.

This resolution was reinforced the next day, but for very different reason.

When I passed by the garage and I saw my car, I almost fainted. The paintwork on the left side of the car was gone. Not patchy or scratched, but literally gone. The front fender was twisted like the branch of an acacia tree, and it was impossible to ascertain the condition of the three headlights I had affixed to the fender only the previous week, since they weren’t even there in the first place. Gone too was the left headlamp, and the front windshield looked like a chart of the entire human vascular system, capillaries, veins and all.

And that is why it is absolutely necessary, imperative even, that my wife learns to drive. Her passion for the wheel, albeit intermittent, is absolute, and I don't want to even imagine what will happen the next time it hits. So I'd rather she actually knew how to drive when it does"

Monday, June 7, 2010

Mwiko

Like any resident in the general vicinity of the Gulf of Mexico, I have BP.

No, I don't mean BP, the company that for the past month seems to have adopted publications with titles like 'Environmental Degradation For Dummies' and '101 Ways How NOT To Plug An Oil Leak' as its operational handbooks.I meant BP, as in Big Problems.

But first, a preamble of sorts. Last week, I used up all the water in the communal tank in my plot to do my weekly washing, and this unfortunately co-incided with a similar intention by my next door neighbor to my left to do her weekly washing. The result was a row of such magnificent proportions that we had to declare a termination of all interaction with each other henceforth to put an end to it. On the other hand, my next door neighbor to my right works at a Casino in town and thus only works nights, so as I write this, he isn't home.

How the status of my next door neighbors fits into this narrative shall be made apparent presently, but in the meantime, back to me and my Big Problems. Problem One: I am hungry. Ravenously hungry. I am so hungry, I was halfway through the glass of milk I found in my kitchenette when I came home today before I realized it was actually lime water I'd earlier poured in the flask to keep it fresh.

Problem Two was when I came home with Problem One, my house was in NETHerlands.

My house being in NETHerlands is a term I use to denote the fact that there is 'Nothing to Eat in The House' [NETH]  FYI, NETH is not a straightforward description of reality. It could mean there really is nothing to eat in the house, or that there actually is something edible in the house, but I am not in the mood to cook it.

The latter was the prevalent description when I came in with Problem One, for hailing as I do from the Western Province of the Kenyan Republic, it would be easier for a camel to knit with a needle and all that than for copious amounts of maize flour to NOT be found in my house at any given moment.

But although I wasn't in the mood to cook, I was in even less mood to waste my money at a hotel. And since I was not going to exist on half a glass of lime water alone, I was left with no other alternative but to light my paraffin stove, put on a half-full pan of water, wait for it to boil then pour in the flour. But I'd hardly started to mingle the concoction when there was a sickening crack!

Big Problem.

You see, almost every step of the ugali-making process has a built-in escape mechanism for when things go wrong. For example, too much water? Reduce it or add flour. Too much flour? Reduce it or add water. Too little paraffin/gas or electricity blackout? To hell with the neighbors. Build a wood-fire outside.

But unless your neighbors are in a position to lend you theirs, [and we have already established that for various reasons, mine can't at the moment,] there is absolutely no hope for you when right in the middle of the ugali-making process, the ladle suddenly breaks.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Kids say the darnest things.

THE FOLLOWING QUOTES ARE FROM A NEWSPAPER CONTEST WHERE ENTRANTS AGE 4 TO 15 WERE ASKED TO IMITATE "DEEP THOUGHTS BY JACK HANDY":

I believe you should live each day as if it is your last,which is why I don't have any clean laundry because,come on, who wants to wash clothes on the last day of their life?
Brandon - Age 15
 
My young brother asked me what happens after we die.I told him we get buried under a bunch of dirt and worms eat our bodies. I guess I should have told him the truth--that most of us go to Hell and burn eternally--but I didn't want to upset him.
Allen - Age 10

As you make your way through this hectic world of ours, set aside a few minutes each day. At the end of the year,you'll have a couple of days saved up.
Ricky -Age 7
 
Democracy is a beautiful thing, except for that part about letting just any old yokel vote.
Anthony - Age 10

Home is where the house is.
Jenny - Age 6
 
Often, when I am reading a good book, I stop and thank my teacher.That is, I used to, until she got an unlisted number.
Susan - Age 15

Once, I wept for I had no shoes. Then I came upon a man who had no feet. So I took his shoes. I mean, it's not like he really needed them, right?
Dennis - Age 15

Friday, May 21, 2010

Mathematically speaking, a very weighty issue indeed.

According to somebody or the other, [I can't remember who exactly at the moment,] the main purpose of life is the pursuit of fulfillment and happiness. Fulfillment and happiness, according to somebody else I also can't remember at the moment, is best achieved by making the right choices.Therefore the main formula in the mathematics of life is all about making the right choices. Simple as ABC.

But far from straightforward.

 

Because mathematically, constants base the sequence of a formula, but the result of any problem will always depend on the variables. And in most cases, the variables have absolutely no inclination to behave rationally, thereby impacting on the result in ways that you may or may not anticipate. This impact can either be positive or negative, but bottom line is it WILL affect the result.

In a nutshell, what we have in the equation on life referred to in the first paragraph are constants, and they will always behave in a certain way. But when variables are introduced, the outcome may or may not go as expected.

If you have stuck with me thus long and are still reading this, I swear there is a point to all this. To prove it, I will get directly to the point I am referring to.

Marriage.



There are several reasons why people get married. For an overwhelming majority, though, the main goal is fulfillment in companionship. Those are constants. Achieving this of course depends on the right choice of spouse, That too is a constant.

One consideration in the process of choosing the right spouse is body weight. Body weight is a variable, and this is what I wish to discuss at length.

When men shop for a spouse, a key consideration is how appealingly the kilos are distributed across a potential acquisition's frame.



I am not saying that there is nothing wrong with this perspective. But men are by nature extremely visual, and since visions and perspectives are shaped by stereotypes, you really can't say that is our fault with the prevailing stereotype on beauty frowning so disagreeably upon bulk in a woman, can you?



From the mathematical point of view, body weight is a variable that can affect the eventual result a man is looking for in a lifetime companion. However in this regard, women have taken to shortchanging us of this preferred result in a manner that is decidedly callous.

A guy meets a girl and he sees that all her variables, including her mass, can produce an acceptable result, (i.e fulfillment and happiness,) when processed with the other constants in the main formula of life. For as long as they are dating, she maintains the weight variable at his preferred level until the guy loses enough intelligence to pop the question.

Once the formalities have been completed and she has his surname, however, the weight variable suddenly finds its own direction, and in most cases, that direction is up. You walk a Tyra to the altar, but one year later, you are going home to an Oprah; with kids and without the money.

This change in the weight variable will obviously have an impact on the whole equation, and a very negative one at that. When the guy was picturing a spouse that would fulfill and complete him, he probably had very definite ideas about how much she ought to weigh, and by interfering with this variable, the result will be instead of feeling completed and fulfilled, he will certainly feel disappointed and cheated.

And the funny thing is, women complain when the inevitable infidelity occurs after she has lost her allure with the weight gain, yet the 'Thin is in' stereotype that leads men to buying into a misguided cliche of beauty, is actually created and maintained by women.

Psychologically, men tend to find well-endowed women more attractive, and love handles actually form a very big part of our romantic fantasies.



The attraction to waif-like dolls is for show, because the world expects us to be attracted to its stereotype version of beauty. But the real beauty with substance image in our psychology has a more motherly quality about it, and trust me, weight is NOT an issue there.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Call Waiting

I know I've been mistaken,
But just give me a break and see the changes that I've made;
I've got some imperfections,
But how can you collect them all and throw them in my face..."



Groggily, I rub my eyes as I look at the irritatingly bright light flashing from my Nokia 6300 next to me on the bedside stool (Yes, I did upgrade again.) 03:22, reads the figure at the top right corner of the screen. Who could be calling at such an ungodly hour? I ask myself.

Actually, I lie. I don’t ask myself that question, because even without looking at the picture that I have as this particular caller's ID, (i.e. Steven Gerrard after one of Liverpool's numerous losses,) I already know who is calling. Even people I owe money know how seriously I value my sleep and wouldn't call me at such an hour, so it could only be one person.


Goodness, I think. Doesn't this girl ever sleep? And even if she can't sleep, why doesn't she channel her insomnia towards something more conventional, e.g. watching four seasons of Gossip Girl, instead of interfering with my own hard-earned sleep?

Again, I lie. I don't think that, because my sleep is hardly ever earned. Also, I know this girl actually does sleep, but only during the day. She uses the hours of night to call people trying to get some sleep and also, I suspect, engage in a little bit of night running.




(OK. She doesn't do that. I'm just being mean.)

"But you always find a way,
To keep me right here waiting;
You always find the words to say,
To keep me right here waiting..."

OK. Ungodly hour or not, fact is my phone is ringing and I have to decide whether I am going to pick it up or not. I think for a few seconds, and then decide I am not going to take the call.

"I hope you're not intending,
To be so condescending, it's as much as I can take;
And you're so independent,
You just refuse to bend, so I keep bending till I break.

But you always find a way, to keep me right here waiting..."

I mean, who the hell does she think she is anyway, calling me at an hour when only chicken thieves are supposed to be awake? Doesn't she know I have better things to do, such as indulge in my long-running dream about a lifetime of marital bliss with Amy Lee of Evanescence? Besides, she is a both a freakin’ Liverpool and a freakin’ Coldplay fan, and I think anyone who actually likes either Liverpool or Coldplay is respectively either disturbed or just plain insane, characters you obviously wouldn't want calling you at 3:22 in the morning.

[Chris Martin is an egg-head.]


“I've made a commitment,
I'm willing to bleed for you;
I need this fulfillment,
I've found what I need in you

Why can't you just forgive me,
I don't want to relive all the mistakes I've made
along the way.

But I always find a way, to keep you right here waiting...”

The next thing I do, of course, is reach over and pick up the phone.


SO, WHAT EXACTLY AM I TRYING TO SAY WITH ALL THIS?

Nothing, really. I just felt like dissing Val. Oh, and to let you all know that my ring-tone is 'Right Here' by Staind.

Monday, April 12, 2010

In defence of Polygamy

Contrary to popular feminist discourse, polygamy isn't a reactionary custom of conservative, uncivilized societies dominated by chauvinistic men hell-bent on keeping women in shackles. As a matter of fact, I hereby advance that polygamy is the most innovative and effective solution to a perfectly natural and obvious phenomenon: There are simply too many women in this world and not enough men to marry them all!

According to the latest statistics gathered by highly competent international organizations mandated to carry out such and related research, at last count women constituted 59% of the total earth population, while men made up a paltry 39%. [And we still rule the world? C'mon ladies!] The other 2% comprised hermaphrodites and other humans whose sex could not be comprehensively ascertained. Transform this to real life and throw in the biological reality of puberty which hits women earlier than men, and you begin to understand the gravity of the situation our ladies face.

This of course is no one's fault but God's or, for those among us that subscribe to atheism, nature. But as a firm believer in the philosophy that nothing happens by chance and everything happens for a reason; and buoyed by the basic conclusions of this research which have further indicated that polygamy now has grounds for renewed relevance, I further advance that whoever it is that is responsible for this demographic imbalance had a really good reason for it. .

The reason for this is simple: A woman's genetic make-up is inferior to that of Man, and this makes her only capable of successfully executing a limited amount of tasks at any given time compared to Man whose make-up accords him higher levels of versatility and added ability to multi-task. The calculations involved in the computations that arrived at this conclusion are extensive and boring, but the long and short of it is that you need more women per unit function than the number of men you would require to execute an equal and similar function. You get my physics?

This is the reason why for example that girl who can out-argue you on the finer points of Shakespeare looks just a little better than the great author himself, or why that cutie who has you happily visiting the ATM every day for five-figure withdrawals reminds you of Jim Carey in 'Dumb and Dumber' whenever she opens her mouth. It is simply impossible for a woman to play more than one admirable role in one lifetime!

Women are however too stubborn to submit to this plain reality and always vainly attempt to fit into multiple roles way beyond their scope. Admittedly, some [Like my mother, for example] do manage a limited measure of success, but most end up malfunctioning with excruciating results. There is this girl I once dated who was all that and more, but her attempt at 'Complete womanhood' as she called it was a disaster. You see, an ideal woman's bearing should be that of a queen in public and that of someone who works at establishments of dubious moral standing in the privacy of the bedchambers, but this girl somehow always managed to get the two mixed up. I won't delve into details, but like I said, it was a really excruciating period of my life.

Have you ever tried to count the number of women who can handle both absolute financial independence and marriage to a husband of less financial clout? Apart from Queen Elizabeth, you can count the rest on the fingers of a quadruple amputee's left hand. Yet men have been doing this since creation. How many times have you heard women complaining about the pressure of holding a job and raising a family at the same time? I stopped counting when I hit the million mark. Yet for men that is so natural, the sun rising from the East would elicit more surprise!

This highlights the very inherent wisdom behind polygamy.1. Women are uni-functional, men are multi-functional. 2. Like poles may repel, but humans always tend to seek out companions with similarities they can relate with. 3. For most men, similarities mean a combination of characteristics in them which unfortunately, as we have already established, can't fit in one woman only.

So the only solution, as you should have gathered by now unless you never spent the KIE-recommended number of hours in front of a blackboard, is to marry different women for different values. Like in my case, my ideal woman should be beautiful, clever an incredible cook, and a vixen in bed. But since I can't have Sade [The most beautiful woman I have ever seen] Rah Digga [I bet you all didn't know she actually has a degree in electrical engineering!] Keisha [A friend of mine, name changed whose stews give my taste-buds daydreams] and Sharon Stone [If you have ever watched Basic Instinct, you catch my drift] all rolled in one, then honestly, what is wrong with me having all four of them, especially considering there is more where the said four came from, and thus I will actually be doing a service?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Of women and cars: A competition in elegance.

Recently, I managed to acquire a rusty 1978 Mini Morris Minor.


 For those of you that have as much clue about vintage automobiles as I do about the effect of algorithmic disambiguation on octanomial algebraic equations truncated at the third significant figure, a 1978 Mini Morris Minor is the type of car you don't just acquire anyhow unless you've got some serious cash, electric power connections and a time machine.



Obviously, my purchase of the car wasn't inspired by a pertinent need to address my transportation problems. Introducing such a gem into the atrocious Nairobi traffic scene is irrefutable evidence of a glaring lack of common sense, and besides, I have a perfectly serviced Suzuki motorbike for that purpose. The reason I bought the Morris, actually, was in anticipation of the Concours d' Elegance.

The Concours d' Elegance, again for those as uninformed about it as I am on all things mathematics, is Kenya's premier jamboree for glamour, class and, as its name modestly suggests, Elegance. Basically a vintage car and motorbike pageant and auto fair for new and used vehicles, the show has over its chequered history grown from strength to strength since the Alfa Romeo Owners' Club started this event in 1969, and last year's event at the Ngong Racecourse saw a record 70 cars and over 35 motorbikes competing in the various categories on offer. I bought the Morris, which I have affectionately named Maureen, because I plan to refurbish her and display her in this year's Concours d' Elegance event.

Cue trouble.

But first, a prologue to the events leading to my insistence on participating in this year's Concours d' Elegance, and the very dark clouds that now hang over my decision and my chances of winning the Ksh. 1.5million on offer.

Before last year, my take on "that KenCell junkyard show" as I used to term the Concours d' Elegance, was that it was nothing more than a forum for white expats and loaded Asians to show off vehicles their parents used to drive around in during the colonial times. Naturally, I considered such an event about as exciting as the breeding habits of pre-historic crustaceans, and I would gladly have endured a 3-hour VoK documentary on soil erosion at my ex girlfriend's house rather than attend one.

But that was before my friend, Ogolla Jangsta, convinced me that there was more to the Concours than vehicles which belong in a Museum.

The girls who attend the Concours, Jangsta reliably informed me, would make Jesus, Elton John and Ricky Martin re-consider their sexual orientation. According to him, the most money attracts the best females, and since wheels equals owners who can afford wheels and anyone who can afford a vintage car must have deep pockets, even the thickest blonde can tell that such a high concentration of wheels in one place means an equally high concentration of moneyed males. In short, the girls would be there in droves, and they would be there to impress the moneyed guys, which meant that they would look good.

 I listened to Jangsta's logic, and it was was impeccable. So on 27th October last year, I attended the Concours, not to see the cars, but to see the ladies who had come to see the loaded expats and rich Asians who had come to see the cars.

And I wasn't disappointed, because those ladies were something and then some. Oozing style and grace, It was as if God chose the moments he was feeling most creative to work on each female that was there, and then the ladies themselves emphatically complemented the almighty work by accentuating their curvaceous anatomies. A dizzying array of elegantly stitched designs, arresting accessories and the most pleasant scents to match their bewitching smiles permeated the grounds, numbed the senses and induced a feeling of perfect bliss. I was in heaven.

And what they couldn't accentuate, these girls exposed. From cleavage-exposing blouses to ass-lifting pencil jeans to outrageously low-cut minis from which a thong would discreetly but suggestively peep from time to time, they were clearly out to get me. If I were ever to be a suicide bomber with dreams of the standard seventy virgins of my choice, I thought at some point, I wouldn't mind choosing my virgins from these [assuming, of course, that seventy bona-fide virgins could be obtained from this crowd. But I digress.]

As the day wore on, however, I got bored with chasing after the pencil jeans, and started to nonchalantly look at the cars. To my surprise, I found the exercise quite captivating and before long, I started to actually enjoy watching the cars. Their big, round, perfectly symmetrical headlights, their sleek, streamlined bodies, their dark wheels with shiny reams, their cosy interiors and upholstery, and the way rows upon rows of them were parked along the ground as the judges and revellers walked around viewing them. suddenly, I realised I was in the presence of glamour, class and...Elegance.


 Elegance. Class. Sophistication. The very things I would want from a woman, these cars had and then some.

I looked at a passing female donning a pair of dark stunners to ward of the bright sunlight, and what registered in my mind was a the perfectly symmetrical headlights of a Rolls Royce.

 I saw lovely young lady whose cleavage left absolutely nothing to the imagination, and all I remembered was an open bonnet displaying the perfectly maintained engine of a 1934 Napier-Railton.

Another lady walked by in high-heels that accentuated her very shapely calves, and my mind immediately raced to the raised wheels of a 1928 Ford Model A.


And as she walked away, her behind rhythmically undulating, I couldn't help but think of the streamlined rear bumper of a 1978 Morris Mini.





I looked at the glossy shine of all the vehicles on display and marvelled at the dedication of the owners, had obviously put in a lot of time and energy to make them shine like that. As the engines were being analysed, I further marvelled at the financial strain it must have taken to lovingly restore these vehicles to mint condition. Surely, they hadn't put all that in for the sake of it. what I was witnessing here was rows and rows of individual labors of love.

Labor of love. Love.

Suddenly, it struck me. This men loved their cars. Any given day, I realised, any of these cars could be the perfect and much better substitution for women. Even when well maintained, women nag. women whine. Women are stubborn. Women are never on time. Women sulk for no apparent reason. Women don't understand when you just need your space. But most importantly, women are impossible to understand. And none of these endearing qualities could be said of a well-serviced, well-maintained car.

Right there and then, I decided that I was going to get me a vintage car and work on her so that I would enter her in the next edition of Concours d' Elegance. I would give her all the love and affection I could give a woman [except the obvious ones that can only be done with a fellow human, of course] in the hope that I would win the next edition of the Concours d' Elegance.

And after a long search, now I have Maureen. Problem is, the woman currently in my life is jealous of all the attention I give to Maureen. She claims that I am neglecting her, and this has been the cause of many an argument between us. Yet Maureen never complains when I leave her out in the cold, fail to attend to her or call her bad names when I'm in a foul mood. See what I mean?

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The tale of the tail.

So goes an old fable, One day an old dog came across a younger dog running in circles. "Hello, young one." He asked. "What are you doing?"


"Yo! W'zzup old dog" The younger dog replied. "I just discovered some bangin lil' secret that you ol timers probably didn't know. You see, I've just discovered that the secret of my happiness lies inside my tail, and I'm tynna catch it so that I can be happy forever!" and he went on running after his tail for all the world like he was a turbo-charged windmill.


The old dog regarded the younger dog for some time, and then he tapped him. "Excuse me, kiddo, but I got news for you. " He said, sagely. "You see, that happiness lies inside my tail is, to use your words, a 'bangin lil' secret' I discovered way back before your momma was a pup. But with time, I realised that running after it wasn't going to get me anywhere near it because the harder I chased it, the more it kept running away from me. But I also saw that when I stopped running after it and instead walked away and went about my business, it followed me!

I'm sure an overwhelming proportion of our esteemed readers must be conversant with the concept of reciprocity, that basis of social relations whereby everything we do for others is with the expectation that the person will give back, or 'reciprocate' in kind. For example when you go to the supermarket and you give the teller your cash, you expect that teller to clear you the goods you just picked from the supermarket shelves, or when you throw a dog your leftovers, you expect it to wag its tail and bark at shady-looking personalities that may venture near your premises from dusk till dawn.

This reciprocity exists in each and every aspect of human relationship. When your parents take care of you, they expect you to take care of them in their twilight years when the more muscular parts of their anatomy don't respond to instructions from the brain as readily as they used to. When your friend borrows your blouse, you'd hardly expect her to throw a tantrum when you inexplicably try to squeeze your substantial behind into that mini of hers you've always had your eyes on.

With relationships, reciprocity is even more pronounced. How many times have you ever heard the statement "After all I've done for him..." spoken by some damsel in distress after a breakup? Or the guy who believes that his Porsche, six figure paycheck and above average looks should get him the best female-world has to offer? It's all about reciprocity, and it is all natural thanks to the historical process of socialization to its values that humanity has been subjected to since the day Esau made a deal with Jacob over a bowl of bean soup.

However, the essence of reciprocity that most women are only too eager to miss by a solar system that includes Pluto is that this reciprocity ought to be balanced. Balanced reciprocity means, to use an economic perspective, expectation an equitable return for input in a venture. [Note: I said Equitable. NOT Equal.] So when I show the lady in my life some serious TLC, it is because I appreciate something that she has actually done for me, and I do it because I actually want to.

In the good old days of chivalry when moving mountains and crossing seas for love was not the product of soppy RnB howls and gutter Mills& Boon paperbacks but real honest-to-God actual stuff, men were ready to kill for a lady's handkerchief because they believed it was a worthy cause. This was because the ladies reciprocated by acting their station and never trying to usurp the natural order of things. They never demanded, but expected men to be chivalrous because they in turn didn't wait to be reminded to acted like ladies as men expected them to. Balanced reciprocity and everyone's happy.

But now ladies claim that we are all equal, [equal. Not equitable,] demanding for a place on top of the heirearchy, and yet still expect us to behave like we did when they had their rightful place a few notches down! Honestly, what else have they been smoking apart from good old Marijuana?

If you want me to be chivalrous and romantic, make me want to be chivalrous and romantic. And the best way of accomplishing this is by acting all vulnerable and in-need-of-protection. You see, nothing tugs at a guy's heartstrings more than the feeling of being in charge. The women of old knew this, and that's why men were willing to pander to their every whim.

So women, stop being aggressive and running after what you want like the little dog. Stop demanding equality. Likw the big dog, walk away and act nonchalant. The result, I promise you, will be beyond your wildest dreams.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Of women and touts.

You know she likes them lights at night on the neon Broadway signs.
She don't really mind; it's only love she hoped to find...
That above line should be familiar to all Generation X dudes who grew up with me during the Reagan era and the first Bush error of global politics. It is from one of my favorite hits by Bon Jovi, 'Runaway', and the reason I have used it here is because it aptly captures a malady peculiar to females: The Bad Boy syndrome.

No, I am not talking about an incomprehensible addiction to noise produced, directed, sung or otherwise concocted from a record label owned by Puffy or Piddy or Duddley or whatever it is that idiot calls himself nowadays. Rather, I am referring to that affliction in females whose symptoms include, among other disorders, adeptness at dismissing issues that matter in favor of mediocrity, propensity to frivolity and, most of all, attraction to form rather than substance.

As proof of this, for example,  lot of women, it has been established, just can't get enough of reprobates that make a living from stuffing living human beings into contraptions whose sole purpose of existence seems to be cramming as much noise as possible into the smallest space imaginable and then going on to cram even more people into whatever little space the noise has left. Women really think that a guy who earns his daily bread [or in this case, his daily Mbachu, Bale, Ngale and other unhealthy substances] from telling people who know where they are going where they are going is actually cool, and they believe that the degenerate act of swinging precariously from the door of a Matatu is the most macho thing since Schwarzenegger's role in 'Commando.'

Some things you look at and wish you could grab the silly girl who believes this nonsense and thoroughly thrash some sense into her head, especially if this female happens to be your daughter, sister or equally close relation. But feminism seems to be the official ideology in the halls of justice nowadays and such a physical explanation might get you sued faster than one Arunga's psychological meltdown, so you are left to simply shake your head in frustration and watch the madness.

And this syndrome, believe it or not, has a biological explanation.

If my memory serves me right, I remember Mr. Samson Silenje once talking about something to do with Binomial Nomenclature in one of the very few Biology classes I managed to attend back in high school. This, according to him, is the system of naming that gives every living thing a botanical name, for example Feminista degenerata [for feminists] or Idiota cabineta [for Grand coalition governments] and it is based on seven categories.

You will have to forgive me, it's been quite some time since I last opened a Biology textbook, so my memory is a bit rusty and I can't remember all the seven categories. [Plus I really wasn't that good in Biology...actually, I was quite bad...OK. I sucked in biology. Happy?] I however remember the first category in this taxonomy [There! I did remember a biological term!] was Kingdom, and that human beings belong to Kingdom Animalia. For those of you with extra inches of skull, that means we are actually animals.

Now, animals depend mainly on instinct for survival, and man is no exception. Most of our very basic behavioural norms are purely instinctive, as are the most fundamental decisions we make, and we normally refer to it as 'gut feeling' or 'sixth sense.'  But What separates  man from the rest of the creatures in Kingdom Animalia, however, is support for this instinct by the ability to reason. Our reaction to stimuli is at first instinctive, but the actual action we take more often than not is guided by reason. So we see the pouty, kissable lips or the smooth, loooong legs and are filled with lust,[instinct] but we don't commit our hearts until we are sure about what we are getting ourselves into.[reason.]

My reference to man in the preceding two paragraphs was in the masculine sense of the world, since this quality unfortunately seems to be lacking in most women. For them, it is almost as if they are all instinct and zero reason, which results in an incredibly poor sense of judgement and the natural affinity to bad decisions that comes with it. They always go for the outer trappings rather than the inner substance which really matters. If it is posh and exciting, let's go for it and worry about whether or not it is sustainable in the long run later. Classic signs of the bad boy syndrome.

An attraction to touts is simply the tip of the ice-berg. Fizzle Dogg, Sugar Daddies, fake Rastafarians, shady preachers, wannabe gangsters and anyone with a fake American accent are among a myraid of other suitors who also stand a good chance of scoring with these impressionable, less mentally developed members of our society.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Promises

When this lady I'm acquainted with declared that men have a problem with keeping promises, my first reaction was "And what the hell is the problem with that?" If I give you a promise, it is yours, as in for you. What business then do I have keeping something I have made for you? But that didn't wash with her, so I set off for the KNLS library at Community to come up with something that would hopefully be more in line with her perspective but still convince her of the fallacy of her assertion.

I was unable to get hold of an Oxford dictionary that I would have preffered for my purposes, and so I had to make do with a very huge publication of a dictionary I found in there to look up the word 'Promise.' [By the way on a somewhat unrelated issue, I noticed that 80% of the readers in the library at that time were men. Still wondering how it was that the first girl in this year's KCSE rankings was at position 11?]

Anyway, the publication defined a promise as "A declaration or assurance, expressed of one's free will, that one will guarantee or refrain from guaranteeing the happening of a specified act." It also went on to add that "This gives the person to whom it is given an implied right to expect or claim the performance or forbearance of that act."

So there we have it. A most comprehensive definition, if there ever was one, to help us mount an effective defense against the charge this lady, and later Eve, have leveled against us about our presumed incapability to keep promises.

First of all, a promise is a declaration or an assurance. But in many cases, the promises ladies accuse us of failing to keep aren't even declarations or assurances in the first place! Women are experts at taking miles whenever you mention a centimeter, so a smile in her direction and she is all a-yakking with 'the girls' about how you promised to call her for a date, or a passing comment about how warm Mombasa is in August and she takes it that you have promised her a holiday at Whitesands. My dear ladies, the defining feature of a declaration is actual expression, not vague implication!

And speaking of expression, the definition asserts that it should be of one's free will. So if I finally agree to get you that atrociously expensive microwave we saw last year at KitchenPoint in order to put a stop to your constant nagging, that is not free will, and therefore it is not a promise. If you know about my almost religious adoration for Wayne Rooney but somehow manage to have me agreeing to spending 'Quality Time' with you on weekend afternoons even when Manchester United is playing, free will doesn't feature anywhere there and it is therefore definitely not a promise!

The definition also allows for the implied right by the recipient to expect or claim the performance or forbearance of that act, which is where the ladies have us by the neckties. But Great expectations, like the great Ethiopian philosopher and writer Hama Tuma once said, make frustrated men. [or, in this case, women.] My dear ladies, once again I stress, this right is implied. Constitutions the world over grasped something  you always seem to have a problem understanding: That the space between the making of a promise and it's actual execution is subject to factors that lie outside the control of the promise-maker, and this is the very reason why legal obligation is seldom placed on the execution of promises!

However, the main reason men are reluctant to keep promises is because women have this despicable, horrible habit of using their promises against them. The major example of this is where women use pregnancy to trap men they have their hooks trained on into unwanted marriages or child support for children who may not even be theirs!

And it is not as if the ladies themselves are altogether prudent about the promises they make. As a matter of fact, ladies on average fail to keep promises more than men, and the only reason we never notice is because of how vocal they are about the promises we break, which deflects our attention from their own inadequacies in the department of promise-keeping.

But all in all, promises do not have to precisely fit within the confines of our definition. What matters is the spirit of the promise, i.e what the maker of the promise intended when he made it. But that said, it is very few men that would deliberately break a promise. For a man, pride is everything, and the mark of a man's pride is how consistent he is in keeping his word.