People getting rid of the second generation alcohol after a government crack down on the lethal drinks
Last week, a couple of friends and I were talking, just reminiscing really about how far we have come. They are former school mates, high school- I am inclined not to reveal what school though because none of you will believe it anyway. All you need to know is that girls fondly referred to us as the Caltex Boys. And it had everything to do with the fact that we did resemble Caltex attendants, thanks to the benevolence of our founders who decided that boys in blue shorts and red shirts looked amazing, that couple with a pair of over-sized sharp shooters and brilliant minds.
Anyway, it all started out after one of us pointed out that we were no longer the cool kids, which shouldn’t have stung, yet for some reason it did. So we responded by telling the culprit, Kaks, that he has always been a cool kid. So we reminded him he used to belong to the crew that used to ‘dandia’ number nine matatus that ply along Nairobi to Eastleigh. Once in, we would demand a selection of music that ranged from but not limited to Beenie Man’s King of the Dancehall and Kat Deluna. The music was loud and being teenagers with exceedingly raging hormones, would occupy at least half the bus and pay for a round trip top to Eastleigh, to town and finally back to the school gate. We had practically no regulations and teachers on duty after 4 pm, and throughout the weekend, so try imagining a couple of unregulated form twos.
The day was never deemed complete until we visited Race Course for fries, rather, chips. This time though, we walked all the way there and by the time we got there we were dusty and hungry. The fries, weren’t great, in fact, they were soggy and dripped more fat than a fat man running on a treadmill, and the tomato sauce basically had more water than the whole of Kamba land. But we ate and drowned them in soda, mine has and will always be Fanta Orange, or Krest Bitter Lemon. Sometimes we got tired of the bad, expensive fries, but we had options; I mean, these were the cool kids. On such days, we usually found ourselves at Mzee’s place, where we had bone soup, which was delicious, and over boiled goat legs and ugali that smelt more of roast than Twitter.
On other days, we would simply go for bhajias or pilau, or both, at some Swahili lady’s place just near the school gate. While the pilau wasn’t that good, the bhajias on the other hand were great, and each piece was a ‘bob’ and the sauce (home-made) was delicious. Frankly I have always thought that was the reason we loved those bhajias as much as we did. Eventually we discovered Nyagah. That man could cook I tell you. At Nyagah’s the most common delicacy was ‘mandondo’, a dish made of beans and every other vegetable you could think of from chilies to dhania to hoho and avocado, and chapati. When I said Nyagah could cook, I meant it! Never in our entire lives had we seen chapati that was so monstrous, it made the Goldenberg scandal look like a total joke. The damn things literally scared you before you even had a bite. I could never get past one and a half of those things. After a successful supper, we would head back to school and keep off the dining hall like the building was made of farts. (Also, one of the side effects of our Mandondo, which other people later came to associate with our being at Nyagah’s were the unending farts during preps).
Then came the mad craze of the Blazers. The blazers were the result of a mad financial genius called McSimon, who usually went for them at the nearby Gikomba market, fitted them, dry cleaned them, then sold them to us back in school. And the guy made a killing from it, eventually making more money than the JA could ever dream of. That coupled with the biscuits and magazines he was selling (I will refrain from mentioning which types of magazines), he was practically a business king pin. Practically everyone had them when we got to form three; and they had two main purposes; to look distinguished during the Friday night Barazas, which I have always insisted was an epic idea introduced by the founders, which gave us students a chance to air out any grievances and issues we had, either with the administration, teachers, prefects, dorms (we called them houses), dining hall, field-basically anyone, and it would never be held against you by anyone whatsoever, by direct orders of the Director.
But usually we just went to kill off time instead of attending Friday night preps. Mostly most issues raised were valid, but like any other community, there were jokers – many of them. One time a friend of mine, Okubasu was his name, went to protest at how he was being mistreated by prefects for refusing to stop when called out to. So the guy told them flat-out that he would continue ignoring them until the administration introduced reflective jackets for the prefects at night, which would allow him to spot them and avoid them better so they would never have to feel ignored and neglected when he didn’t stop for them.
The other reason we needed blazers was for the girls, who usually came over on most weekends for ‘funkies’. Funkies were typically boring, but the girls made it worthwhile. Pangani Girls were our favourites, considering the rumour that had been going around of how they had unjustly attended to the sexual needs of their watchman; we deemed them valuables, followed closely by our beloved Buruburu girls. Not to say we didn’t like State House girls or Riara and St Georges Girls, they were gorgeous, but usually they breezed right past us like we had buttocks on our faces. It was a very risky affair approaching one of these. But then we realized that the SCAN room was always full of them.
Now SCAN was the place to be. It was the school’s journalism club, and published magazines twice every term and a full-page newspaper on Founders day with the help of Standard Media Group. But SCAN had all these privileges; they had a computer that was mostly full of movies and games, and articles that the members themselves would contribute and the Editors would read through and give guidance. SCAN was actually a serious place, and respectable writers the likes of Tony ‘Smitta’ and Waga Odongo passed through, but I am almost sure we all joined for the same reason; the girls! Of course it was the place I honed my writing and eventually became an Editor and a Production Manager, but you get the point.
Anyway, one day after the girls had gone home and everyone was bragging of a girl’s number, complete with email addresses (we were such idiots) and school postal addresses, someone had the brilliant idea of getting soda. Coca-Cola. Usually, as I mentioned, I am not a huge fan of other sodas, but on these particular day I was very jovial after having secured not one but three girls’ numbers. I happily drank the soda, but it was too late before I realized what was actually in the soda; most of you call it Naps nowadays. Given that I had never actually taken any of that stuff before, you can imagine my state of mind after an hour. Then the worst happened; the school captain summoned us Editors to his office to discuss the upcoming Founders Day paper. We had no choice but to go. We called him Timopithecus, a reference to the generous amount of hair God had so generously bestowed upon him.
It did not take long for Timopithecus to realize most of us were a little under the weather. I will spare you the details, but the conversation that followed after demanding we stand on one foot, which we all passed, ended up with him asking me what I had taken and I said I honestly didn’t know, which was true, but not before bravely blurting out “I just drank half, gave out the other half and poured the other half!” Why he never pursed the issue further I will never know, perhaps he just so amused he thought we made it up, or the fact that the Founders Day paper was due in two weeks so he needed us horribly (no pun intended), but that, my friends, is how I started out on my Second Generation Alcohol.. I have since quit though, so don’t worry about my liver. Also, we all passed KCSE with flying colours, which was quite a shock to the administration.
In other news, why doesn’t the government want to pay teachers so other high school kids can waste their fours years like we did?