Monday, June 22, 2009

Digesting this year’s beer budget

I sat at my favorite watering hole, with a pile of newspapers to read and digest the minister of finance’s offerings. There is lots of wishful thinking in our mindset. We still are looking for lovers abroad to keep us.

A waiter came and asked me what I wanted. “Beer.” I said while wincing within my body. I did not know the new price on booze, you see.

“Shilling elfu mbili mia tano, Mzee.” The waiter huffed with an unmistakable sadistic glee on his face.
“What? It was only two thou, yesterday!” I protested.
“New prices Mzee. Ask Mustafa Mkulo.” The waiter offered with the same look of satisfaction of seeing me wince under the new price imposed in our usually predictable beer budgets.

I didn’t say anything more, lest the waiter got a violent orgasm with happiness. It was not his fault, really. It is now left to beer consumers to, you know, adjust their habits.

I know some guys who have been instantly turned into alcoholic chemists. They mix their drinks to increase the ‘wham’ in their booze, for as cheap as possible.

A colleague orders a beer, a potent beer. Then he orders some Konyagi and starts mixing the stuff with a skill of the government chief chemist. By the time he finishes the mixture, he is floating away in cloud 14!

I know another mzee who is a pensioner. Before he comes to the watering hole he goes to this set-up where he buys a small bottle of local gin (gongo). Then he orders a bottle of Ze Kick beer and also mixes the stuff. I have always been touched by that look of quiet satisfaction when he takes the first sip.

The mzee then starts eating garlic in between sips. At first I was alarmed and asked for the reason.” It helps suppress the smell, you know, of that gongo from my mouth. You mother, at home hates it” he said.

I was getting drunk, just imagining the pongs of a spouse who has drunk a mixture of Ze Kick beer, gongo and raw garlic. I wonder if the next budget session will have some form of tax against smelly mouths. Because government is very instrumental in forcing people to go to ridiculous lengths to get a drink.

The thing is the government will never do away with guys who enjoy their beer. The idea is not to ‘fix’ them. The guys will always go for a drink, whatever happens.

The only casualty will remain the boozer’s family. It’s unpleasant, but the truth is that most boozers are driven to start to massage their family finances, in favour of accommodating their boozing.

Some boozers even brag about it. “Koma amisi abana bende kitali. Amenye ju nna!” A Mnyakyusa from the southern Mbeya region will yell. It simply just means that - get bombed and let the children go naked. Their mum will sort it out!

Praise thee women of the world. Where would the family be without you

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