What you need to know:
- You will remember that I have an elephantine Christmas demand list from Queen, my one and only wife and mother of my boys
- You can now understand why I am a cornered man
When I took re-tread wheels on credit from the exploitative Wa Kanesa, I hoped to take advantage of the furious floods that have turned the entire countryside into one big swamp and make a financial breakthrough.
You will remember that I have an elephantine Christmas demand list from Queen, my one and only wife and mother of my boys.
After the unceremonious exit of all the second-hand plastic cars from the countryside cattle tracks, my hardy contraption was the only means of transport.
I was on call round the clock, forcing me to hire Omosh on permanent basis as my reliever.
For the first few days, money flooded in my pockets faster than the floods from heaven. I started imagining how I would give Queen a pleasant surprise by giving her more than she had asked for.
I was, however, rudely shaken to the unfortunate reality that money does not just grow on trees. What I had forgotten in the heat of the warmth of flooding money was the fact that I have more than my fair share of enemies of both my financial and marital bliss.
More money had been poured to ensure that I fail to meet Queen’s demand list, thereby convincing her that her eyes and brains were on leave when she settled on me for her husband.
I came face to face with the money eaters of the countryside. The first was Wa Kanesa. He knew that I was going to make money and probably overtake him in the list of who is who in the financial rankings in the Aberdare countryside. And because I was buying the re-tread wheels on credit, he demanded double the price payable on or before Christmas.
There is very little I can do about it because he is the only dealer these sides. And as they say here, a man eateth where he worketh.
The second came Omosh, the con-mechanic I have been using as my reliever. He is demanding twice our agreed payment for a trip. “You know how the roads are. I had to pay some men to pull out the car from a ditch,” he said when I protested.
The fellow is also charging me twice his normal figure for car repairs. His argument is that it is taking him twice the time he takes for repairs because of the mud stuck in the underbelly of the Bettle. Omosh is the only mechanic who understands the physiology of the Beetle.
And, as fate would have it, the Beetle is surviving the rough country terrain through a miracle. He is sustaining it in one piece by use of wires precariously holding one piece to another.
And for his skill, he knows that he is indispensable. Once again there is little I can do about him.
The third money eater is Mrembo, the proprietor of Happy Valley Resort. It happens that Happy Valley is the picking point for the countryside travellers.
This is the eating and drinking joint for the who-is-who in the Aberdare countryside, the only fellows who can afford the services of a taxi.
A recent notice in the premises clearly and boldly says, “NO IDLERS IN THE BAR.” Another one says that “THE MANAGEMENT RESERVES THE RIGHT OF ADMISSION.”
And with those loud warnings, Mrembo has been selling her drinkables at 50 percent more than the normal price. Still there is nothing I can do about it.
You can now understand why I am a cornered man. I have become a conduit for large sums of money ending in the greedy hands of money eaters of the countryside. The jealous fellows are hell bent to ensure that I miserably fail in my dream of giving Queen and our boys a well- deserved Christmas treat.
But there is one thing people do not know. I am a survivor. I have to survive the evil designs of my enemies, one way or other.
For Omosh, he has been living in a room next to the Beetle’s shed in the Palace for free. From now henceforth, Omosh will start paying rent at market rates. This will teach him that tit for tat makes for a fair game.
For Mrembo, she relies on my reliable Beetle for transport of her second generation concoctions to the interior posts in the countryside. The cost of transport shall be fifty percent more than the normal price. With those two radical austerity measures, I hope to bring each of the two to the negotiating table for the benefit of both sides.
As for Wa Kanesa, the little said about him the better. It is too late to renegotiate the terms.
I only hope my plan works, otherwise if they do not, my enemies will win in their longing to see the downfall of my family.
If you should know, Queen is not your ordinary wife about the village to listen to some narratives about hard economic times.