I recently saw this boy in the parking lot of a certain mall, lanky and bony, dressed like a hungover Chris Brown. He looked about 19 or a few months over. He had on those golden high-shoes that kids wear nowadays and ripped skinny jeans showing both of his knees. He was leaning on a white Range Rover Sport chatting up this equally young girl who looked delicate and fragile with brittle twig-like bones, wearing the shortest skirt invented by man. A skirt so short that if she laughed too hard would show her knickers, or whatever it is that girls that age call whatever they wear underneath their garments. She was on her phone, typing and scrolling as the boy chatted. Rich kids. The driver’s door was open and they were listening to strange music, rap/hiphop/ pop music, one of those songs that are sung by shirtless chaps with golden teeth and tattooed torsos. Smoke came out of that car. But it wasn’t firewood smoke, it was weed. I know the smell of weed. Weed doesn’t smell like popcorn. Weed smells like weed.
You can imagine my dismay. My utter indignation. What was this spectacle in front of me? If you are in my age bracket you probably had the same socialisation, so you can guess what I thought about that spectacle. I thought to myself: How the hell are they going to lower the dignity of a Range Rover like that?
No seriously. There are some cars that demand a certain level of respect. It reminded me of those guys who buy (or are given) those sleek Mercedes, the S or E-class, and they proceed to put those loud sporty Subaru-like wheels on them, and add all these gaudy bells and whistles on the car, and then to add insult to immense injury, they play loud booming music from those cars announcing themselves as if an S-Class has ever needed to be announced. It’s pornographic. It’s like putting a bullhorn on a Rolls Royce. Or writing “Njuguna Constructors, P.O. BOX 23 Kutus” in small print on the door of a Jaguar XF. I mean, come on.
And so to see smoke coming out of that Range like that….I don’t know, it made the Range look like a traditional hut. A very expensive hut, but a hut nonetheless.
I imagined how that car landed in the hands of those kids. Maybe it was mom’s “other car,” and the boy said he was thinking of going to the mall to “hang out” with his “pals” because he was bored (only rich kids get bored by the way) and so mom waved him away telling him to take “one of the cars,” (there are six in the driveway and two in the garage) and to make sure that he was home before 10pm. And off he went, picked his chick up from, I don’t know, Lavington, then picked weed from his other pal and then, there they were, probably drinking Martel from an off-licence, as they listened to Fetty Wap or O.T Genasis, bobbing on his $200 flashy shoes, stinking up the upholstery with cannabis residue and feeling squat.
I just thought that if they wanted to smoke weed they could have done it somewhere else, not in a Range Rover Sport. There are so many trees in Lavington they could have picked to go smoke their weed under. Even on the rooftop of a random building. Or at friend’s house. Not in a Range Rover, guys. You can smoke weed in a Nissan X-Trail, a Toyota Crown, a Honda Civic, and certainly in a Subaru. In fact go ahead and smoke weed in a Subaru; that car was built for debauchery. Not a Range Rover. Not a Mercedes. Not an Audi. It’s like pissing on a war hero’s grave.
I drove away and left that crime scene and didn’t think about those kids again until I was narrating the spectacle to some chap who is a Range Rover enthusiast. I thought about that girl in a short skirt and thought, shit, someone somewhere calls her ‘his little angel’. Someone who is, what, 52-years old, and probably has no clue that she hangs out with Fetty Wap there, who has introduced her to weed and is definitely trying to get into her pants. Or maybe, God forbid, she’s the one who has been trying to get into Fetty Wap’s pants but little Fetty isn’t too keen because he’s currently focusing on more important and urgent things in his life; you know, like weed.
He probably did everything right, this poor father. He worked hard, he took her to a great school, he kissed her goodnight, he bought her books, he talked with her, he did everything to build her self-confidence, gave her opportunities and worried over her, and then he left the rest for Jesus; and while Jesus was on a bathroom break, Fetty here showed up and handed her a blunt. Amidst a haze of smoke, he told her that she had nice boobs and all the self-confidence her father instilled in her made her smile goofily and say, “I know!” She giggled and her confidence blossomed because now Fetty there with his torn jeans had validated her. Of course things start going pear shaped from there.
I then realised that we are screwed. We are in the hands of weed-head Fetty. He has most of the cards and he can play any hand he chooses.
I was seated at a bar sharing a table recently with two mothers as well as their 18 and 20-year old kids. The 18-year old boy was drinking a mocktail and the 20-year old girl was sipping on something that looked like a cocktail. He’d just turned 18 and that was his first time in a bar. I thought, how modern is this, your first time in a bar and you are with your mom and aunt. When I turned 18 I couldn’t even look inside a bar as I passed by. My mom would have collapsed from disappointment.
The boy had that innocent look; still under the mommy’s shadow, Steve Urkel spectacles (and grin), skinny boy, seated at the curve of the booth, poking the ice-cubes of his mocktail with two colourful straws and smiling politely. I asked his mom if he drunk booze and she said he didn’t, and he added that it wasn’t for him. She prayed that he didn’t change his mind in university.
But kids go off and meet other kids who may or may not have had the same socialisation and they might or might not change. Then they want to try out stuff – booze, sex, cigarettes, weed, crossdressing, nudism – etc, and some get over it while others get committed to the cause. Then the parents say, “Gosh, is there something I would have done differently?” Maybe. Or maybe not. They just met Fetty.
And it’s scary out there. Kids are now trying out drugs and stuff much earlier, drinking booze before they turn 16. And the world out there is a minefield; drugs, alcohol, early pregnancy….I heard of a 19-year old who has aborted twice. Nineteen! I am 100% sure her parents have no clue. A 13-year old with cigarettes in his bag. Before long they will be packing guns and holding us up.
By the way I’m all for people trying out stuff and getting it out of their system. How will you know you don’t like boiled maize when all you eat are ndumas? I tried out pretty much most things, with the exception of cross-dressing, which I’m too shy to try. I mean, wearing a Mother’s Union isn’t my idea of a Sunday afternoon chill. I just can’t imagine walking around the house (which would be empty of course) on a Sunday afternoon, wearing nothing but a dreadful grey Mother’s Union with lace at the back, opening the door to the fridge while humming a song by Muungano choir. Aii. That’s a stretch.
I think having kids is like building a boat. You get the right wood. You build it without cutting corners. You use strong nails. You get the best sail and a strong mast and when it’s ready and you ask yourself, “Did I build this boat the best way I could??” If it’s yes, you push the boat out into the sea, where you can’t control much of what happens to it when it comes into contact with the elements of the nature. Storms will come. Maybe it will be toppled over by a menopausal shark. Maybe it will start leaking. You pray that it weathers all those elements because you built it well.
If it sinks, it doesn’t occur because you built a bad boat, it sinks because something bigger came its way. And so Fetty is an element. Or maybe that girl in a short skirt is the element and Fetty is your boat.