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Queuing For The Government: Farts, Killer Looks and Everything In Between

Some days you write. Some days you let other gifted weird writers amuse you.

Gang, enjoy this piece by Writer Dog.

Don’t you think it’s funny how friendship is born at that moment when someone says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” That’s how The Writer Dog ventured his way into Laura’s ExtraLaudinary wild. It feels creepy in here. Like being given plenty of rope to hang my boredom. I should have been here ages ago, left my footprints and let the witches of history be the judge. But, I’m always late. Even for appointments. That’s why I always find queues.

atlanta-job-fair
Source: Fellowship of the Minds

I’m at a queue. Long one. Waiting for the government to serve me. Huduma Centre. I need to register a political party. Lol. No, I’m lying. I am a haunting excuse of a patient person. And I am a short person too. That means I’ve actually disappeared in between people like I’m the rock, and the queue, is the ocean I’ve been thrown into. I’ve been sandwiched between a pair of flesh-pots supported by high heels in front of me, and a sneezing geezer behind me. This is slow death. Is slow death by being squeezed in a queue a thing? It feels like it’s a thing.

There’s a parallel queue beside me. It’s headed to the same counter it seems. Unlike mine, it is moving. Not so slowly. At lightning speed almost. Typical. The queue I am not on always moves. And just when I move to that queue, it stops moving. Makes me feel like a jinx. A short, almost squeezed-to-death jinx. Anyway, my frozen queue reminds me of that queue of twelve goats we’d gone to take to Nyambu’s fiancee’s home as dowry. Nyambu is a best friend. I enjoyed that goat-feast. Probably more than Uhunye enjoyed Jomo’s. (Which begs me to ask; what is in the smickiddy smit, is the whole fuss about Jomo and the lady being from different tribes? Come on guys! There’s more to task our brains with right now, like Kabura the Comedian and like 40 other Jubilee heists.) That was ages ago though. I am terribly tempted to jump onto the parallel queue. Looks like I’d enjoy it. However, I never stop things half way. Ask my bag of chips, yogurt boxes and sufurias in my man cave; they know it. Yet, this one is those temptations that dance naked in front of you.

Brain: I wouldn’t do that if I were you, jinx and all.

Me: I have to get to the other line

Brain: I wouldn’t do that if I were you!

Me: You are me, stop saying that!

So I shift to the parallel queue. In this one, I’m the last. I can’t decide which is worse: that stationary frozen train I left or being last in a queue. There’s something worse though. The burly man in front of me farts. Intermittently. Loudly. Three times. He is wearing earphones. He can’t even hear his boorish vehement. I wonder how people are created this way. In 2 minutes, I’m not last in queue. Two ladies have joined behind me. And trust ladies’ olfactory organs because all the dirty looks land on me. I want to murder.

212h
How the girls are looking at ME, the innocent one, while the real fart perpetrator enjoys earphoned music.

In a bid to distract myself from the eye conviction I am facing, I notice something. Apart from the guy in front of me, my queue is made up of ladies. Only ladies. Considering the fact that being a man is hard and we’re continuously being demonized, I can’t jump this queue. Society expects us (men) to keep up our stoic demeanor in queues. To behave. The lady behind me drops her pen. I pick it up for her. “Sorry ma’am.” We have to be those unshakable rocks that always know what they are doing. Wait. Did I just say ‘ma’am’? Who does that in 2016? Queues remind me that I should be a bit more social and a lot less media. I lie. Frankly, I don’t know how to do this. Just standing here like a useful street lamp, only that I’m a disillusioned gentleman.

As expected, my queue stops moving. The sister queue is. Again, I get a nudging idea. It’s coupled up with a gut-wrenching feeling. I want to jump the queue. And … And ask a lady who’s 20 humans ahead of me out. She’s so familiar. She looks like a friend of my sister’s. She has this cute brown teddy bear. I saw a brown teddy bear in my cave the other day. I don’t know who left it there. Maybe the teddy bears are cousins? That stiffens my resolve. I should ask her. “I would like an afternoon with you and a discussion over teddy bears as we eat out buttered scones.”

Yeah right. Thanks Brain.

I walk towards her. To be a man you must be as swift as a coursing river, with all the force of a great typhoon, with all the strength of a raging fire and as mysterious as the dark side of the moon. After all, Nyambu’s fiancee had confided to me that their romance with Nyambu had blossomed in a government office, aided by the aphrodisiac experience that queuing together can be. Damn. She’s not the sister’s friend I’d thought of. I manage a ‘Hi’ but she starts sobbing. She’s pointing at the uniformed officer at the end of the line. The officer notices and plods towards us. Veins are already bulging on my face. I’m confused. Veins on my face are my trademark for confusion.

209h

Women. Lucky pretty creatures, who may go from a stable emotional state to crying spells and teary-eyed outbursts and back, in a span of minutes. Right there and then it hits me. This woman has tricked her way to the counter this way. She has sobbed her way into the uniformed officer’s heart and won her place. Sobs have the ability to cloud men’s minds. All men. No, most men. Those in uniform especially. We male writers, will just have to make do with waking the muse by listening to the rippling stream in our heads while in the queue.

Many words later, I’m still here. 20 humans forward. In a stationary queue. In the longest 30 minutes of the hour. Nevertheless, it’s a breather. I did jump places. The one behind me deserves a selfie. The one in front of me is dancing. Or writing poetry with her feet. Or that thing people do when their bladders become attention seekers. This one leaves the queue. That’s okay. I’m then one human ahead. Fine.

See people, this is how to do life, I guess? Baby-steps in the right direction? That’s the rate at which this queue is moving now. And then, finally, it’s like the whole gate of heaven opens up and a choir of angels lifts me to paradise. End-of-queue Counter paradise. However, at the counter, my regrets come to life and swallow me up. I don’t have the photocopy of my ugly-faced ID card. I should have known. I’m not that intelligent anyway. The lady at the counter who’s eyebrows look like they were square-rooted on her face tells me to go queue at the photocopier.

310h
This one gets me all the time

No! Hell no I won’t! After all, queues are for cows. Not all cows… Ever heard of Kobe beef? Those cows live some amazing lives before being butchered. It’s the most expensive beef produced in the world by the Japanese. The Kobe beef cattle are fed on a diet of soybeans and beer and given a daily massage. They queue for it. Who wouldn’t? Speaking of which, I’d rather be out of there in a Buruburu matatu queue, than in another unnecessary queue in a probably futile endeavor to get help from the government.

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