Mr Survivor: Makena stages a grandmother of all go-slows at the Palace
As you all know, Makena, our self-appointed and designated CPA (Comptroller of Palace Affairs) is a drama queen par excellence. In her 10-year tenure with us, she has perfected the art of the theatre of absurd to get her way, thereby successfully turning the Palace into a theatre of war.
We therefore expected her to protest her removal from her self -appointed position of sales manager of Queen’s Slopes Supermarket to the kitchen, her correct job description in the Palace. Now, the kitchen of every family is so central to not only its survival but its very life. And Makena knows this too well.
When Makena is on a go-slow, she starts by singing ‘cutting songs’ which are meant for Queen’s ears and heart. To cut deeper, she deliberately chooses secular songs which Queen, in her fanatical religious formation, calls satanic verses.
Now, in Queen’s unequivocal and non-negotiable ‘Palace Declaration’, secular songs in whatever medium—human voice, dance, mime, TV radio or telephone tunes—are and remain proscribed in the Palace and its immediate environs.
On the Wednesday morning that followed our Tuesday romantic breakaway with Queen, Makena brought the Palace to life with her rendition of ear splitting and heart bruising Samidoh’s hit, ‘Ndiri Mutwe’ (I do not have a head) with the refrain,
Do what you want to do with my heart
It is clear that I am abnormal
But when I recover
You will cry and make your people cry.
“That girl wants me to respond to her. She can sing until she goes hoarse but I will not waste my saliva with her,” Queen said.
“Just ignore her. Silence is a big weapon,” I encouraged.
Breakfast was damped late that morning. Makena’s hippopotamus-like breathing could be heard from the kitchen.
Later in the day, as I came to learn from Queen, she switched on a vernacular TV station. The volume could be heard from valleys away. The ‘satanic verses’ called Queen from her supermarket. When she went to the living room, she found Makena and the boys dancing to the songs. Queen switched off the TV and carried away the remote control.
From then on, she has been playing the most ‘satanic’ and ‘cutting’ songs from her phone in full volume for all who care to hear. Queen’s breathing has been competing with the sound of the songs. I have been struggling to pretend that I am not listening to the songs, but you all know this is the diet we are fed on at Happy Valley’s resting houses.
On Saturday evening, Makena went a notch higher. The family mongrel and cat have been having an early Christmas. As you can remember, the two were having it rough when Queen was incarcerated in the Palace. It is now their time to make up. After damping the late supper, so late that I was present before the family went to sleep, Makena scooped a heavy helping of ugali and matumbo.
“Simba, Simba,” Makena called.
Simba came to the door. Simba’s food is usually taken to its kernel in an old bowl.
“You are my good friend. You really suffered last week,” Makena said. And to irritate Queen more, the food was put in Queen’s ‘visitors’ bowl.
The message was very clear. The dog was better than some people in that house. But if there is a mistake that Makena did, it was to desecrate Queen’s special utensils meant for her special guests. Queen’s breathing could be heard from outside the house where she went to exchange the bowl with the right one for Simba. I feared a grandmother of all wars was going to break out at that very moment, but reason prevailed. Queen has learnt a lesson from me; patience and strategy.
Then came Sunday morning and Makena wanted to catch my attention. You see, I have always intervened for her when Queen has wanted to sack her, making Queen develop some suspicion. But this time around, I am not ready to break our recent Kichakani loyalty pledge. Instead of damping the late breakfast, she served it and proceeded to sit directly opposite me. I will spare you the description of her dress because I am very well aware of ‘my dress my choice’.
“Will you drop me at Ol’kalou town?” Makena asked.
Sundays are her off days when she goes to meet Omosh, her bae. At that very juncture, Queen emerged from the bedroom breathing like a hippopotamus. What transpired from then is a story for an incoming missive. Palace drama loading. Watch this space.
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