Larry speaks a lot of English whenever he’s tipsy as it’s wont for every son of soil worth his salt. And Larry is indeed worth his salt because that’s the only edible substance readily available in his campus bedsitter. Also, he says he is related to the other Larry, the Larry Madowo. I believe him, in the lakeside everybody is related to everybody.
On this evening he’d just finished irrigating his throat in a loud gulp with the last contents of the Kenya Cane bottle I was to pay for when he said, “cast thine eyes upon this paper Village Rover. This is what I have been telling you all day, campus girls are no wives!”
Oh boy! We were back to this again. You see, Larry was nursing a heartbreak. That is why I had resented to buying us a bottle of our favorite poison in some dingy joint off a poorly lit street in Kisii town. And in the middle of the week with the end semester exams just a week away. I thought we’d made progress especially when he started talking about how dimwitted Kamba girls were (the female ‘spearer’ of his heart was Kamba). Turns out we hadn’t. For here we were back to campus girls and how they can’t make good wives.
The paper on his hand was The Standard on Saturday, which of course he hadn’t bought. Some patron in this dingy den of sin was probably missing his newspaper. Larry has never paid for anything in his life. The only reason he still has a place to rest his ribs every night is because his uncle is the landlord of his residential place. He hadn’t gone past this article’s headline and already he was shaking in fury condemning every campus girl to eternal turmoil and torture by Nyawawa spirits.
” But check this”, I pointed out, “the writer is a woman, you don’t think she would be castigating her own gender, do you?” Larry took a moment to consider this and then decided that the article’s headline must be the writer’s unsuccessful ploy to get us to read her men bashing streak and toxic feminist ideas. With that, he tossed the newspaper aside and directed his attention to a more appealing paper. The barmaid.
“You look like you can be the perfect COVID to my 19”, he was saying to this barmaid visibly twice his age. “I’m contesting for the SG’s seat in the student union next year. Even Raila has endorsed me. And my friend Village Rover here”, pointing at me, ” is a famous writer with Standard magazine.” And he slurred on and on and on. I laughed for two reasons; One, clearly Larry doesn’t know the difference between a newspaper and a magazine or if at all there’s a difference. Two, the Standard newspaper’s article was talking about campus girls not being wives and I was here wondering; is the Campus boy a husband?
I mean look at us. Or rather look at Larry. Here he is on a Wednesday evening inebriated to the core and flirting with the barmaid twice his age when he should be in his bedsitter preparing for the end of semester’s exams. And speaking of exams, he isn’t even sure he will sit for one this semester seeing the huge balance he still owes the school. Because Larry in all his wisdom saw it wise to slice part of his fees and give it to Sportpesa. Well, Sportpesa never gave it back and Larry doesn’t know what to do about it.
Now, who would want such a husband?
Who would want a husband who wakes up at noon? Who can’t cook to save his life because he’s never owned a single sufuria all his life. Who plays PS the whole day and cap it off with a bottle of -insert every illicit brew you know- then garnish it all with a quick romp with a naive first-year whose face he won’t remember the next day.
But who can want such a husband?
Not with the partying from Monday to Monday and keeping it lit and cool with sir Jah’s holy weed. Lectures are synonymous to speaking in tongues and lecture rooms should as well be on Mars because they’ll never step into one. The only time the campus boy comes into contact with paper is when he needs to roll a blunt.
Now you tell me, is the campus boy husbandable (forgive the word)?
And if the campus girl is not a wife and the campus boy is not a husband then we will have better chances of marrying trees, won’t we?
I don’t know. All I know is that I needed to intervene before that bouncer by the door punched Larry’s face inside out. And rightfully so.
By: Tonny Ogwa