Sunday, September 27, 2020

We were all equal when we ate Christmas!

It’s good to be back after eating Christmas. I must say many of us had a lovely festive season. I just don’t know what life would be like without the festive season. It is the highlight of the year because it gives us the opportunity to indulge, make merry and generally celebrate another year of being alive. Of course, not everybody has emerged unscathed. Some, in their merriment, went overboard and found themselves in jail for a variety of crimes. As people return to work, they will be shocked to find that a workmate is missing because he is facing a charge of rape. Others are about to go on trial for murder. Sadly, some colleagues and relatives are not coming back because they are no longer alive. They are victims of road accidents and violence. We eat Christmas in different ways. Those with the money went to tropical islands to let their hair down, mostly in the company of partners who belong to other people. The consequences are now being felt. Marriages and long term relationships have collapsed.

For the more ordinary folk the destination of choice was the village. We all went to see our poor relatives. And boy was they not happy to see us.

They were even happier when they saw what we unloaded from our cars. They too could eat Christmas like other families whose children work in the city. This time around, there were so many cars in the village. Unlike a couple of years ago when only a few uppity characters could waltz into the village in their cars, this time we almost needed the police to control the traffic. At the rate things are going, the authorities will have to install traffic lights in every village in the country. The cars came in all shapes and colours. Belching smoke, they added to the cacophony of the village celebrating Christmas. Even boys who had been written off as hopeless at school drove cars. I wonder what their former teachers were thinking. Because they drove, the boys also enjoyed the company of women they could never have dreamt of in their days as pedestrians. Watching this entire spectacle I had to take my hat off to the people of Japan and Singapore. Most of the cars competing for attention in the village come from the two countries.

There the people are so rich that one can only drive a car for so long. When its road life expires they have to throw it away. The dumping site is Africa and for many poor Africans these cars, cheap and almost dysfunctional are the only opportunity for them to own a vehicle. Environmentalists complain that emissions from these vehicles cause pollution and should not be allowed. They are crazy. They don’t know just how tough life is without a car. In the real world if you don’t have a car prospects of getting laid are remote. I mean without a car you can’t even purchase a Zimbabwean hooker. If you don’t have a car, how can you be able to pay for sex? That’s how rough life is without a car. In the village your parents are not respected. At a community meeting, they won’t give your father the opportunity to speak, in preference to other men whose sons drive. Your mother won’t be elected into any key position in the burial society. Your uncles will have to fend for themselves when it comes to liquor. But the moment you buy a car, the lives of all these people are transformed overnight. They become people of value and worth. More than any political ideology, it is the good people of Japan and Singapore who have made a major contribution towards creating an equal and egalitarian society on this continent. There must be something about these short people with slitty eyes who speak funny. Let’s not forget the Chinese and their contribution to an equal and egalitarian society. Not so long ago you could tell between the haves and have nots at Christmas.

The children of the haves would be wearing nice new clothes complete with shiny shoes. On the other hand the children of the have nots would be in rags. In cases where they could be bought a new shirt and a pair of trousers, chances were they would be barefooted. The same applied to adults. I have memories of adults who ate Christmas barefoot or wearing an apology for a pair of shoes.

But ever since the Chinese arrived things have taken a turn for the better. Not only do the Chinese sell cheap blue movies accessible to everyone, they also sell clothing that everyone can afford. I was scrutinising many revellers carefully this Christmas. Many of them looked so dandy in Chinese made attire.

The nice thing is that they looked just like everybody else. They wore shoes. They wore pants. They wore colourful shirts, and in the searing heat, they sported shades bearing designer names. The blokes were confident enough to make a pass at a lady who would never have looked at them twice were they wearing a shirt with half the back extinct. The ladies were being bought drinks by city guys who liked the curves inside those Chinese jeans. And at the end of the night everyone had sex. That is how society should be. People must not dread the arrival of Christmas because they won’t have anything to wear or drive. Everyone should look forward to eating Christmas in the knowledge that poor as they might be, for at least a week they too will be able to walk with a spring in their step. Never mind that after too much dancing the shoes might crumble. Never mind that the designer shades might fall apart. Hey, never mind that the car, after too much belching of smoke, might decide to stop forever. Never mind these minor things because thanks to the Japanese and Chinese, we were all equal when we ate Christmas!

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Sunday Standard September 27 – 3 October

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 27 - 3 October, 2020.