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because you never forget that funny smell

Category: occupation (page 2 of 3)

So sorry it had to come to this…..(part 1)

The events and characters depicted below are purely fictitious and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely by coincidence

“Woolie, I don’t know why it is, but more murders are committed in this city on a leap year. It is as if February 29th is a day to fulfill all our evil desires and you know, the statistics actually back it up.”

Earlier this evening we were seated at the verandah of this unassuming house in South B enjoying a quiet drink in the cool city air. My companion was my old friend the retired Detective Inspector from Homicide Division, Kenya Police. As we took in the evening sounds of city folk making their way home for the evening the retired cop relit his pipe and cleared his throat.

“Well, Woolie, It seemed that February 29th 2008 was going to be an exception – at least in our sector of the city. As my shift came to an end there had been no reports of deaths, accidental or otherwise, and we were looking forward to breaking this “curse of February 29”. Then, just before midnight, I got a call from a colleague at the station.”

I took another small sip of the malt whiskey and stretched out on the cane chair. The retired detective went on to narrate the events of that fateful night in 2008. According to reports, a woman had been brought in semi-concious to the Emergency Department of City Hospital.

By all indications this was a case of attempted suicide. The poor lady had been found in her bed by her house help, writhing and moaning in agony. Lying on the floor, beside her bed was a half-empty bottle of scotch and an empty medicine bottle that would have contained 48 anti-malaria tablets.

The personnel in the emergency room rallied to save the woman but despite their efforts Mrs Steffi Nyalima was pronounced dead at 11:54 pm. A day later pathology results showed that she had died of poisoning. But there was a problem; She had not ingested a single malaria tablet. According to the pathologist, tests revealed that the victim had been given a lethal cocktail of sleeping pills, morphine and other dangerous drugs and these could only have been administered whilst she was heavily sedated. Police quickly established that her husband Mr Hallibut Nyalima, a government scientist, was away on a training course in Abuja, Nigeria. Arrangements were made to notify him of these dreadful events.

The home help – a youg lady called Alice was interviewed . She revealed that Mrs Nyalima had come home in the afternoon at four-thirty or thereabouts in the company of her work colleague, a Ms Jackie Mpensi. Ms Mpensi explained to Alice that her employer was suffering from fever and needed complete bed rest. She had helped Alice to get Mrs Nyalima into bed. Mpensi took her leave soon after but only after she had asked Alice to check on her employer every 2 hours or so. Alice had checked on Nyalima twice and had found her fast asleep on each occasion.

Alice recalled how she had been in her own room preparing to go to bed just after 10:30pm when she got an sms on her phone. It was from her boss, Mrs Nyalima. She showed the police the message which read “ Please Alice come quickly to my room. I have done something terrible…I need your help. PLEASE COME NOW..” This was when she had found Nyalima rolling about the bed in pain. She had raised the alarm and their next door neighbour had rushed them to the City Hospital.

Police officers now went back to the home and carried out a search of the dead woman’s room. They were puzzled by the fact that there was no sign of Nyalima’s mobile phone. Also, what to make of the empty bottle of anti malaria medicine? There was not a single tablet in the room. Then tucked between two pillows on the husband’s side of the bed they found a typed memo on plain A4 paper. It read:

“ Dear Hallibut you are now free. So Sorry it had to come to this.”

The retired detective looked at his watch and then at our empty glasses. “ I’ll just get us another drink”, he said.

…………To Be Continued……..?

The madness of mankind

There are few things that are more painful to the victims and the perpetrators than the incidents of domestic violence. This sad and shameful condition is present in every world society and in every walk of life. No community, no social class, no ethnicity and no country in the world is spared. The victims can be men or women. But it is the children who live in these conditions that suffer the most.

The causes of domestic violence are many and varied but they all have devastating and long lasting effects to all those concerned. I was quite stunned to read that the cause of this particular incident was one partner’s desire for higher education

Stay Well.

Of Chairs and Car Roofs

I have always found December to be a bit of a funny month. With Jamhuri day arriving half-way into the month and then Christmas and the new year there is very little time for much else and it seems that most people’s social calendars are crammed with functions. I must admit that this is a month that I enjoy – meeting long lost pals and making new friends. For many people it is also a time for family.

This December we have, ofcourse, the on-going doctors’ strike that has crippled medical services in the public hospitals. It goes without saying that the GOK will have to meet with the doctors’ leaders to thrash out their difficulties because the current situation is just not sustainable. According to a newspaper report Eighty-five percent of doctors joining the civil service as interns will have resinged from the service within three years of their appointments. The main reason cited for this state of affairs was poor pay which doctors felt did not take into account their qualifications and workloads.

As the strikes continued to bite we were given an idea of how our country decides it’s spending priorities. It was reported that Parliament had decided to acquire seats for MPs at a cost of Ksh200,000 each. These were to be made by the prisons department. It is difficult to work out which stories are true and which are mere speculation.

sailing From Daily Nation Dec09 2011

sailing

It was with real pleasure that I came across a story which I knew was neither made up nor the wild fruits of speculation. Mainstream media does many stories on bloggers these days and I was pleasantly surprised to read of some of my favourites in a DN feature.

sailing From Daily Nation Dec09 2011

On the friday just passed I went up with and Mrs Woolie to see her parents. It was an interesting visit and we had a wonderful time catching up and telling stories of times past. During the conversation a story came up of how I had once gone shopping and upon returning to the car I had placed my mobile phone on the roof in order to unlock the car-door. Once all the stuff had been stowed away I had jumped into said car and driven off. It was only half an hour after getting back home that I noticed my phone was missing. I used another phone to call my number. It rang for a few moments before someone answered it. A friendly passer-by had heard the phone ringing in the middle of the road. It was was in several parts but still it was ringing. He told me where he was and I went down to meet him. The phone was totally wrecked having been run over by several cars on this busy road.

Mrs Woolies Pa laughed and said that this story reminded him of how way back in 1970 he had received a call from one of his cousins who was then a student at Makerere University. She would be sitting her final exams on such and such a day and would he mind terribly coming up to Kampala in his car to give her a ride back home? To this he had readily agreed, ofcorse and on the appointed day he and his brother arrived at the college halls. On the way up there the car had punctured one of the wheels and they had stopped at a garage nearby where some real friendly operatives had seen to the repair. This meant that they arrived a little later than plannned. The girl assured her cousin that they were not late – infact the students were in party mood and she had arranged somewhere for her cousin to spend the night so that they could leave for the journey home nice and fresh the on next day.

Now Pa was a military man. He drove up to Makindye the main army barracks in the city and on introducing himself was ushered in. The officers in the mess welcomed them warmly and took care of their every need – it is something visiting officers were always accorded anywhere that they went. They went ahead to arrange overnight accomodation. As the music played and the drinks flowed it was certainly a party atmosphere. Suddenly and without warning the commander of the base stormed into the mess his face like thunder. He ordered everyone out on parade at 11:30 in the night! He recognised the Kenyan officer and called him to one side. He explained that the deputy commander one Idi Amin had gone AWOL with another officer’s wife. The officer had discovered the deception and was at this moment hunting the maverick Amin. It was safe to say that there was going to be trouble that night. He asked the visitor where he was staying Pa said he had booked a room in a downtown hotel.

The commandant ordered for 2 crates of beer to be placed in the boot in Pa’s car and they bade each other farewell. Pa drove back to the same garage where he found the same guys were still there selling petrol. He brought out a crate of beer and as the drank explained his situation. The manager said – spend the night in your car right here. You will be safe here. They moved the car into the show-room where new cars for sale were displayed and he slept soundly with no interruption.

Next morning Pa drove to the college where the young cousin was waiting with all her luggage. They loaded up the car and set off for home. On the way they stopped to have a small picnic. The girl took out her radio placing it on the roof of the car so that they listened to pop music as they tucked into their packed lunch. With the picnic over they cleared away the things and got back into the car for the long drive home. The small radio was never seen again.

We are living in times of heightened tensions and security concerns. We must never forget the enormous debt of gratitude that we all owe to the brave men and women of the Kenya Army who are putting their lives on the line to defend the freedoms that we all cherish in this country. Let us remember them and their families especially at this time and let us pray for a quick and successful conclusion to Operation Linda Nchi

I would finally take this moment to wish you all a Happy Jamhuri and best wishes for Christmas and the new year!!

Twende Cinema


It was only a few weeks ago when our young Woolies suggested that as a treat they would take us down to the cinema.

Almost immediately Mrs Woolie and myself thought – “why not?” – It is always nice to do things together -you know family – like but there never seems to be the right time. Also it is quite a while since we’ve been to the cinema what with one thing and another – and everyone working dodgy hours.

There was a new film by Steven Spielberg with the title the Adventures of Tintin. I grew up reading these comics so it was definitely going to be a treat

sailing Image from IMDb.com

There followed nearly 10 days of protracted and tough negotiation. Leaders were asked to step down amidst threats of resignations and promises of fresh elections and a new coalition family. At one point it seemed the whole thing was on the brink of collapse. Just when we thought it was all lost there came a breakthrough. We were all able to organise our diaries and there was one evening when all of us would be available to go to the cinema. The day is finally here and we are going to see the 5 o’clock show tonight.

So unless something totally unforeseen happens…… to say I am excited is an understatement. The last time I went to the movies there were ashtrays on the back of the seat infront of you.

sailing

I don’t remember the film that I watched that night but I still have the ticket. Have a great weekend………


Lucky Passengers

I just love November and I think it is a lucky month. I saw a report moments ago in the news about a passenger plane from New Jersey that had to make an emergency landing in Poland after its landing gear failed to deploy.

The reports said that none of the 220 passengers and 11 crew on the aircraft were injured


.

The recession took October, I think..


October is gone.

Most people that Woolie knows are feeling the effects of the recession in one way or another. Inflation is at an all time high and nobody seems to know what to do about it. The countless meetings between politicians and their staff have produced nothing but hot air and threats of worse to come. The situation is especially hard with the economy slowing down and unemployment rising.

Perhaps we can say that all this is down to the mismanagement of our affairs by the politicians and their advisers, perhaps an argument can be made that too many people chasing dwindling resources is bound to lead to price inflation and shortages and that we need to seriously think about this. Yesterday the birth of a beautiful baby girl in the Phillipines marked the arrival of the 7 billionth human on the planet.Our politicians must stop waging wars and think.

October came and went. Whilst Woolie always cautions against wishing our lives away– It is a good thing to see the back a month which saw a dramatic collapse of the Ksh, fears of disaster for the Euro and all of Europe, a horrible end to Muammar Gadaffi and the evil doings of al-shabaab leading to Kenya’s invasion of Somalia. We are living in interesting times and nobody really knows what tomorrow will bring.

I love November. My little sister was born on the 1st of the month which is also All Saints’ day. For the past month I have not been able to get into wetwool.com – and all I got when I typed the URL was a blank page. I will admit here that the first day I noticed this I was at work. I went outside and wept bitterly. I imagined that all posts, coments, photos etc were lost forever. I was lucky to find the solution to this problem today. Woolie was saved just outside the slaughter-house and so he lives to see another day. I wish you a happy November. Keep the faith and do not let the recession steal it from you.

sailing

Somebody asked me the other day if I recall when a beer cost less than ten bob

sailing

This one speaks for itself……


For The Ladies of August


I was just getting used to July when August came crashing into our lives with shock and awe.

Woman jumps from burning flat

London exploded into burning and looting following a peaceful protest in Tottenham organised by the family of a local man who had been shot dead by police. In the following days disturbances spread right across London and into many English towns and cities including Birmingham, Manchester and Nottingham. The ferocity and anger of the rioters shocked many, including the police.

Much has been said about the causes of the trouble with politicians from all sides falling over themselves, stating the obvious whilst trying to score party points but for me it was a comment on the Daily Nation online edition that captured the the mood best: The English riots were the UK’s own hurricane Katrina. They have exposed an underlying disease festering in the fabric of the country. It is often ignored and rarely discussed. If nothing is done about it we may well see much more serious trouble in the streets..”

Croydon burns

Libya became more violent as the opposition forces closed in on the Brother Colonel, forcing him out of Tripoli. As opposition forces gain the upper hand there have been terrible reports of retribution and human rights abuses coming in. The situation is far from settled and only time will tell if the revolution gives birth to a better country for all its citizens.

There is a light at the end of this tunnel because 3 wonderful ladies: Edna Kiplagat, Prisca Jeptoo and Sharon Jemutai completed a fantastic 1-2-3 for Kenya in the World Athletic Championships in Daegu, South Korea, last Saturday.

Kenya123

Arsenal losing 8-2 would have been enough to give anyone a severe bout of depression but then some clown at the Daily Nation decided that Beyonce falling pregnant was an item that merited first page-breaking news. I was happy that they did that – the comments page showed that Kenyans are number one in the art of sarcasm.

So just as I was about to swallow a whole packet of malariaquin a rumour started spreading and I was notified that she was back. I rushed online to confirm what was being said on the street – The lady herself had listened to the pleas of her readers and she had returned to be with her loyal fans.

Let’s hear it for the ladies of August 2011.


Story that broke the camel’s back


Last Sunday 10th July saw the final publication of the News Of The World as News International, owners of Britain’s largest selling Sunday paper closed it down.

sailing

Over the past several years the paper had faced mounting accusations of illegal practices such as phone-tapping and the hacking of voice mail messages of private mobile phones. A royal affairs editor was found guilty of hacking voice-messages belonging to members of the royal family.

Newer and more damaging revelations of phone-tapping by the newspaper were made by several individuals in recent months mostly by celebrities and politicians. In most cases the paper quietly admitted liability and made settlements. Still the scandal would not go away. The Guardian Newspaper continued the fight to expose the extent of the scandal which seemed to link dodgy journalists, shady private investigators, dubious police officers and Big Money.

In late June a convicted murderer Levi Bellfield was found guilty of murdering the 13-year-old school girl Milly Dowler who disappeared in March 2002. It then emerged that in the days following her abduction and during the police hunt for the teenager the newspaper had hacked into Milly Dowler’s voice mail. The journalists deleted some of the older messages to free up memory. This gave false hope to family and friends that she may still be alive. The police investigations were also seriously hampered by this interference.

The public outrage that followed these revelations was understandable. It seemed that nobody was spared the evil hackers’ attentions; Victims of the July 2005 London bombings, families of soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq, their voice-mail was fair game to the journalists as they searched for ‘the story’. The Prime Minister condemned the paper’s activities as ‘truly dreadful’ and many other leaders called for the sackings of senior people at the newspaper. Insiders say that there may be more serious and damaging revelations in the days and weeks ahead.

It is fair to say for now that the activities of a ‘a few’ rotten eggs have pushed many honest newspaper workers out of a job and ended a proud 168-year tradition of tough and often dangerous investigative journalism. The News of The World exposed many scandals and was not fearful of tackling the high and mighty. They took on drug king -pins, arms smugglers, corrupt authorities and exposed hypocritical clergy in sleazy sex scandals. To their advantage they had the cash and resources to pursue any story and in the end, perhaps, they were brought down by their zeal for getting to the story at any cost.


A chance encounter……..


Wow! July is upon us already and whilst I welcome a new month with the thrill and excitement that comes with knowing Chriso can’t be too far away, there is a sad weight upon my heart. You see I failed to put in my June posting. A post that I’m sure would have been a masterpiece – the mother of all posts. Due to bad weather, overwork, facebook and one excuse after another, I kept putting it off for tomorrow and now, alas, it will never see the light of day.

Every cloud has a silver lining and on the very first day of July I got an urgent call to pick up a passenger from a fashionable part of the city. Work is a bit thin on the ground at this time of the year so I dashed to the location in my 2004 Tuk which my enemies call Rusty. I had been informed that the passenger would be waiting at the front of the office.

Would you like a description? I bet you would. She was the most gracious and elegant person that I had ever met. Calm, sweet and soft spoken. She carried herself like nobility. Was she an angel? I could barely hide my sense of wonder as I asked the beautiful passenger for her destination.

“Take me to the Lemon Tree please, be as quick as you can and I will pay you handsomely.” She said, in her smooth agreeable voice.

cruising
image from travelpod.co.uk
As we sped along the highway in the busy day-time traffic I stole glances of her in my mirror. One moment she was sitting looking out of the window and the next she had taken out a notebook and was writing stuff into it. We arrived at her destination where she paid the fare, got out of the taxi, bid me good day and walked quickly into the building. She had tipped me quite well. I picked up a page of classy note-paper that she had left behind on the rear seat. It smelled of sweet perfume. I read the neat, posh writing:

Rules

 

Thank and link back to the person who posted you the award.

Share seven things about yourself

Spread the Love and honour

Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award.

It was at that very moment that it it dawned on me that my passenger was none other than the funniest blogger.

 

Seven Things:

I like the number seven.

    There are few things in life that I fear more than the mosquito. Mankind has brought about the extinction of so many species and still we have mosquitoes. We need to try harder.

I never lend stuff to people. It is not that I am mean – if I can spare it I will give it – but I stopped lending long ago.

I find that there is never enough time to complete the job at hand so I never undertake difficult tasks.

I am proud of the fact that I am consistently able to wake up before lunch-time.

I love wool; The look, the feel and the smell of it, especially when wet.

I am a habitual gambler.

 

Was that seven or eight? Never mind. Right now I am pointing at Mama Shujaa, Raunau, and OtienoHongo

and hoping.


Kicking the Habit (part I)

Back in the 20th century there was this big man called Nyams Kirondo who toured the local schools trying to urge the young kids to avoid taking up the evil habit of smoking. I think he was sponsored by some local NGO. The man was a legend. I remember the day he came to our classroom one morning in May.

He knocked on the door and our teacher went out to meet him. She came in and introduced him and asked us to take our seats. The teacher invited Kirondo to sit at her desk. As the teacher moved to one side, Kirondo made a loud farting sound and looked at the teacher in mock surprise. The class broke into hysterical laughter. He stood and asked us to settle down.

kicking it

When order was restored our teacher calmly said that Mr Kirondo did not have one eye; or rather he only had one eye that could see. He was here to tell us how smoking had cost him an eye.

By now our guest speaker had the full attention of the class. Big Bertha the oldest girl in the class stood up and shouted, ” You’re a liar, everybody knows that smoking causes cancer, not eye disease! Liar…the class cheered her on.

Our teacher grabbed the blackboard-duster and aimed it at Bertha, who ducked just in time.

Once calm had returned Mr Kirondo cleared his throat and spoke slowly in a low serious tone.

“Kids, when I was younger, I thought I owned the world and I enjoyed every moment of it. When my mates at school started smoking, I quickly took up the habit in order to fit in with the cool crew. The boys who were popular with pretty girls all smoked or played sports. I had to be the best in everything so I was the meanest and baddest smoker, I smoked the most expensive brands and even the cheapest, hardest ones. I learnt to do tricks with the ciggies. I could blow a big ring and then send a smaller one through that one and finally a line of smoke through both rings yawa.

“When I overheard my older sister once say to her girl that she loved to kiss smokers because the mouth tasted nice, I vowed never to stop smoking. I had a bit of a reputation with the girls, you see.”

At this point the young girls in our class were looking at him in disgust.

Mr Nyamz Kirondo continued, “I left school, joined college and dropped out in less than six months. It was a joke. We spent most of our time smoking or thinking of the next smoke at break time. We ate, slept and dreamt mozo.

We were not really interested in school anyway. In any case I was going to be a famous musician so books were not really for me.

” All the folks in the city knew me by now. I was an excellent pool player at Cameo and I could play all the machines at playland with one hand holding a silk cut.”

He was silent for a moment as he remembered days gone by. He pulled a small dirty hankie from his coat pocket and dabbed at his good eye.

The class was now silent and totally attentive. Mrs Mutua, our teacher was impressed.

The one eyed speaker continued ” It was late evening on the last Saturday of July in 1982. We sat at the Thorn Tree having some drinks. Seated next to us was a bunch of journalists from the old VOK and one or two from the local papers. Kenya was still a police state and siasa was spoken in hushed voices. There was talk of something big about to happen in the air but nobody could say what.

A fine female newsreader called Natasha ( who was rumoured to be broadminded) pulled out a packet of Virginia Slims from her jeans pocket and offered them around. Everyone said no thanks, but I acted the gentleman and accepted quietly hoping that she too would accept my offer of a night cap back chez moi.”

Before I could light her fag, Ng’otho the mechanic, always attentive, pulled out his big made-in-China imitation pistol lighter and pulled the trigger.

There was a loud popping sound and my blood splashed all over everyone around the table. The air smelt of burning flesh. My eye was hanging loose; everyone was shouting; “Take him to hospital; catch his eye”, which at this time was losing sight very quickly.

Quick thinking Ng’otho rushed back in to say he had organised a taxi to take me to Kenyatta. I noticed with my good eye that he had taken care to “lose the weapon”

” Late monday evening I was sitting at Dr Shah’s waiting room, Accra Road with several victims of “the disturbances” of August 1. The secretary, an old man from our village told me that mine was the 5th glass eye that they had fitted that day.”

Kirondo now stopped for a moment and looked at the class. Then he said simply “That is how smoking cost me my eye”

Big Bertha stood up and started clapping. The rest of the class joined in and the applause lasted a whole three minutes. Mr Kirondo stood up there, gave a Nelson Mandela type wave and took his leave.

4.30pm on a cold afternoon in May. The small group of illicit smokers are huddled together at the back of the sports changing rooms. Kiprono and Yussuf pass round the fags and Kuria pulls out his green lighter. Mrs Mutua says” No thanks, I’ve got some matches there in my bag, ebu pass it here, Bertha………”


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