No, my keyboard keys haven't gotten stuck. No, I'm not suffering from bloggers' block. No, am sorry to disappoint you, I'm not dead yet.

Of course, I know some people who drool at the mere thought of seeing my ugly black and white photo on the obituary pages of the local rags.

Now, if am honest with myself, they aren't alone in wishing death on someone. I also have my wish-list of species who I wish would make haste and depart for the afterlife. Among them are thieving politicians, dictators, cockroaches, mosquitoes, flies, especially the green variety., and rumour mongers.

Oh, I hate purveyors of rumour. I hate people who broadcast "facts" without bothering to check their veracity. Unfortunately, my country has an unhealthy number of people who have nothing better to do than spend time at the rumour bazaar. It's their job to hear stories, trim them here, flesh them out there, or otherwise embelish them and pass them on.

Of course the stories need not be true. In fact, they're normally so bizarre you don't recognise they're about you unless someone points it out.

Which is exactly what happened the other day.

I admit I love more than one woman. Yes!

I love my mother. I also still love my granny even though she's no longer in this world.  And if we stretch womanhood to include my pre-teen daughters, then the number of the women I love doubles.

That's all. You can count the women I love on the fingers of your hand and remain with a superfluous finger. Yet I keep hearing stories about about me having a whole queue of women spanning all classes. I'm bigged up into this man at the sight of whom women are ready to drop their skirts.

Me? What a laugh!

Surely, it can't be me they're talking about. To begin with my working hours are such that they don't allow much of a social life beyond a beer or two at my favourite watering hole.There's also the fact that I don't have the looks to send women's hearts into flutters. Add to that the fact that I've a terribly malnourished disposable income. That's the only commodity I know that can glue women to the most unlikely of men.

Above all, I'm terribly shy. Getting me to talk to one is no easy feat. So sweet talking a whole city of them is simply out of the question. Totally beyond my capabilities.

Of course, it's true the spark between me and my wife is irretrievably gone. We're still civil to each other so once in a while we ask about each other's health. We also talk about our children's progress in school  and so on. But we don't chat. In fact, for over three years now we've rarely, if at all, been together in the same room.

Which is why the story I'm about to relate can't be further from the truth. I'll relate the story in the third person but bear in mind that the "he" in the story is supposed to be me. So here the story goes.

The wife had had enough of her husband's philandering. She knew he was at Chez Ntemba, a popular night club. So she called him on his mobile phone and said, "My dear, whatever it is you're buying there, I'm going to sell here."

The husband immediately left and rushed home because he didn't want his merchandise sold.

Utter rubbish. I never go to night clubs. Accuse me of frequenting the Capital Hotel bars and I'll promptly plead guilty. But Capital Hotel bars are normally so womanless some people jokingly call them male wards or gay bars.

But if you think this story is bizarre, wait until you hear the next one.

The wife couldn't take it any more and she wanted out, so the story goes.

She called the husband wherever he was with his latest conquest. "Chimwemwe's dad, you're not going to find me. I've already packed."

"Where are you going this late?"

"To my mother's."

"Just wait for me. Don't leave till I get home. I should be there shortly."

"OK, but please hurry up."

The husband got home and found the wife in the living room with her cases waiting by the door.

"Just wait a second," the husband said as he proceeded to the bedroom.

Some minutes later he came back lugging his cases.

A very shocked wife asked him, "Where are you going?"

"To my mother's," came the reply.

"What about our children?"

"They too have a mother, right? Each one of us will go to their mother."

To cut a long story short, the wife gave up leaving.

What nonsense. No such conversation has ever taken place between us. For one thing, it's too long. Secondly, each one of us is free it leave if and when we want.

No questions asked.

 

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    Children, too, can have profound thoughts
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    The Three Little Hills (Phiris)