The lobbyst

The lobby

“I have studied the book of Famine and abject want “the gentleman with a mean look about him and blood shot eyes was telling his friend.” I know it, forward and backward, like the back of by hand”, he added.

“So, why not take what your employer is giving, as it were freely! err   Monsieur   Bonnie”

“Its simple –if you follow what am saying. I long ago conditioned by family to, lack and need – they‘re battle hardened. They   can survive whatever    circumstance and    cope along if   anything bad    incapacitates   me. So  taking the  month-end    ten  Kilograms  of  sugar  and  Cooking  oil  will    negate  this   austere   conditioning I  have  worked  had  to  inculcate in my  Household.  That what this is all   about, Monsieur  XInjam, my brother.” he explained.

I  was  at  the  reception lobby  of Ngamia  Oil Inc   .I  was here  to  follow  up  on a  tender  for  the  supply  of  office  flowers  and  was  to  talk  to  the  director  of  Tender  at the  company. I   was   the  first  contractor    at the  reception  and had  been asked  by the  team  at  Lobby  to recline  in seat and  wait  .I  w’ld be   shortly  see  the  director  .In the  meantime there  was  constant    traffic  of  workers  ,contractors  and  customers ,going and  coming. To kill  time I   listened  to what  the other waiting  to  be  attended to  were  talking about.

“  in fact I  have  never  taken these  freebies  that  the company gives  us  ,the  workers ,for  the  last eleven  years”  the man  who  had  been identified   by his  friend  as Monsieur   Bonnie  continued, leaving everybody  who  was  hearing this   stupefied beyond comment. Then he added the bombshell. “By the way, Opanja, I don’t take raw sugar.”

“What raw sugar?”

“I mean sugar that you people lace in Tea, Coffee and other such gooey stuff,   “

“Argh! You must be kidding. what do you take then ?”

Monsieur   Bonnie   barely smiled revealing even but stained teeth and said, “I take cooked sugar. You only get that in local Liquor!”

I  turned  and looked at  the men .It was  like  the Fish telling the frog that  it  arbors   dry air- it only  consumes  air  mixed in water! At  that point  I  was beginning   fight  the urge    to   cross-over  and  seize  the man eye  ball  to  eye  ,to  fully  understand  him. But this   never  happened-the men were called away  to  attend  to  the mission that brought them  at this  Corporate  head office  ,in the  first  place.

I seized  that  moment   and  grabbed  coffee  from the  coffee  dispenser .As I   lurched  back into the  chair  the  customer  experience guy  told me  that  the  director    mighty see me but at  that time She was  attending   to an  urgent  and  delicate  matter. He  then turned  to  the  gentleman  who  had  sauntered  in .He  was   driver  with a  transport  contractor   .He  appeared  tired  and  had  face  that betrayed  the  fact that he  been a  casualty of   untold  agonies  lately .He filed  in his   papers  and came  to sit  accros.At  which point a   man  who  was  sitting beside  me  recognized him , and   wondered   aloud what  had  happened  to  him. He  said he  was  accosted  by  hired  goons  intend  on flushing  the  living  daylights  out  of him. From the look of him,  he had  survived the burst up by a whisker. He had sustained deep and serious machete cuts on his cranium and limbs. The left hand was in heavy bandage and only two fingers-the small finger and the thumb. The others were chopped off as he tried   to wriggle out of the deadly fracas.

 I  wondered  to  myself  what  kind  of deal  had gone  sour. And I   was  shocked when  he  revealed   in a  pained  voice the person behind  the  attack   –a woman,infact  his  wife  of   3 years. The  woman who  happened  to  be his  second wife  had  ditched  him  for  a    Boda- boda Rascal!.The   taxi man  had  told his  wife that  he  could  make  her  conceive  through  faith healing. Upon  which thing ,She    moved  to  a Kadhi  court  to  annul  his  marriage  ,against the  wishes  of this  poor  fellow. She was granted a divorce on the ground of un-reconcilable    differences. But  the  man ,so  enamored  by  the  love  of  this  woman , flatly  rejected  signing  the  court  papers. In fact  he  had  appealed  the  ruling in the  high  court, which   happened   to be ,pending  for   hearing .It’s  this  appeal  that  irked  the woman so  much that  she  took extreme measures. Subject him to a one sided conversation, in language he could not fail or refuse understand.

As  the  man continued  with his  sad  story  , the reception  officer   signaled   to me and told  me   when a  was close  enough  for him not  to shout ,that  the  director  was tied up  in a  daylong  meeting  and  that I should come again the  following  week ,same time. I was  brusque  with him  and   asked  him  to  make  certain that I  had my  appointment  booked. Then I marched  with a  spring in my steps to my VW Polo and drove off.

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