If there’s anything a man is worth in this world it’s his word. Sperm count and word. Both should be able to be taken to a bank. And that’s just about it; anything else is just an extra feature. Like a front facing flash or a dual camera. You can do without it but having it is not so bad either. But today I want to talk about guys whose word isn’t shit. Guys that do not value the age old tradition of keeping promises; guys that would wear a pink bra beneath their suits just for the kicks. Guys that put whisky in their Fanta and call their girlfriends msupa.
First let me start by saying I am bitter. It’s one of those feelings that let me spew hate on the keyboard, get imaginative with my insults, order a Guinness on a Tuesday and kill mosquitoes with red slippers. But on the bright side, when I’m having a difficult time penning a piece, it helps. Like there in some dark corner of my emotions bitterness is that lemon life throws me. Only I don’t make lemonade, instead I write a story about a lemon that was thrown at me.
Right now, more than ever, there’s so many ideas of what a man should and should not be. They should be providers, they should cuddle there mamis, they should cry but not too much; just enough to be a cute type of vulnerable. You know, the basics. They should love chapatis but be woke enough to realize that it is not something they should subject a woman into doing. If they want it bad enough they should learn to make it themselves. Also guys, men, they cannot be broke. Somewhere in between changing bulbs and drinking beer we have found the fountain of ultimate cash flow.
But, we do get broke. A lot. Like a lot a lot. In our little shrines of masculinity we do not talk about it, we smile, wave and blow more cash as if we shared bank accounts with Wanne Aiguru. We throw rounds for the random guy at the local who is borrowing cigarettes and even tip the barmaid. Extra. They usually get extra when we are broke. I guess because in this world, where we are providers the last thing to want a potential to think is that you have run out of money. So at some point we will need help; that’s when the boys come in handy, or a colleague or the work welfare fund. At this moment we reveal a clink in our armour, a point of vulnerability, we admit that we need help. Shroud it in jokes but still ask for it nonetheless.
It’s usually a few loose thousands sent to our M-Pesa. These thousands are followed by profuse thanks and dripping gratitude. Then that’s the end of it. We solve our issues, handle problems, buy more drinks and order soft chapatis. In the process of how things work term next logical step is paying back. Normal guys, men of their words, they pay back. Without being prompted or with slight prompting. Either way they pay up. Or show up and let us know why they can’t pay up. Point is they do not hide behind blue ticks like a campus girl who just learnt they’ll be going to mess instead of Java for a date.
But then there’s these guys who decide it’s the best time to take a vacation from their debts. These guys who will ignore all calls, not reply to messages and act like they are Lucifer’s third cousin when they choose to reply. These guys that become Jezebel’s left breast when they see your call and pharaoh’s right testicle when you meet them on the streets. These guys who will feed you on lies like the truth suffered inflation and was taxed during the last budget reading. The same guys that offered profuse thanks turn the other cheek and hurl insults: some directly to your face but most under their breath. Like how dare you remember they owe you money and ask for it. All of a sudden you become the enemy.
It gets even worse if the money was for a noble cause. Like drinks at the pub and their wallet ran dry. You help them save face in front of a mami they were eying or even their girlfriends. The last thing any man wants is for the girl to order for Kingfisher, Guarana or shots of double black then point at the guy when the waitress asks for the cash only for the guy to shrug and say “aki I’m broke. Shika this one time next time it’s on me.” This guy will go home that night with the title of provider. A title you bought and paid for but then come next week same chap is feigning amnesia. Silly little games with money they owe you with silly little conditions.
They play around because other than an M-pesa message and your word against theirs there’s no proof of transaction. You cannot take them to the CBK or call their girlfriends and tell on them. You have to bite the bullet and hope you get paid. You play Russian roulette with money that is rightfully yours. While they frolick in whatever part of town with your debt, acting like they own the god damn world.
Finally it hits you like hard chapati at a family meeting that you won’t be getting your money back. At least not without a fight. And fight is the last thing you want to do because you’re already fighting a lot. A bad economy. Mosquitoes. The urge to kill the person. But you also can’t let it go. So it lingers at the back of your mind like an itch you can’t reach. That this bagger owes you some chums. And there’s nothing as bad as having money you don’t have.
So guys; pay up your debts. Don’t be little bitches!