It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Bus terminuses are blessedly empty. Shopping malls are draped with starry twinkling lights. Huge Christmas trees adorn the lobbies of malls and hotels. Delightfully teasing us with wrapped empty boxes as though daring us to get lost in the abyss of their shops to buy even more presents.
The car parks of my residence and my work place are hauntingly empty. With countless Facebook posts about trips to gichagi it’s not difficult to surmise where everybody has gone for the holidays. Matatus continue to mock my lack of a holiday status by belting out Bonnie M’s finest at the loudest possible volume before ears start to bleed and wiring starts to roast. Hurrah hurrah, it’s a holi- holiday my foot.
This is the time to take stock of the year and see what needs to be rewarded, scolded and re-examined. If you’re healthy and narcissistic enough, you’ll purchase a customised diary where you will carefully outline 2017’s New Year’s Resolutions. As 2016 winds up you will live in excess, justifying the cutbacks and moderation-is-the-new-black tendencies you will take up.
But I won’t do that. Taking stock of 2016 is a joke to me. I have been a victim of 2016 a la Lewis Hamilton and Hilary Clinton. While my existence isn’t anywhere near as important as their cuticles, I have had my attempts at greatness thwarted by this- the year of the underdog. I have been demoted, I have fainted (twice), I have been overlooked, I have been denied, I have been ignored, I have been mocked…
I didn’t even know that I didn’t know my cat’s gender until his balls dropped. I’d been walking around thinking it was a she. Who will I pay if my cat gets an identity crisis?
This year has been iffy. The highlight was when my blog was reviewed twice in one week and I had a meeting with a friend of a friend of an editor at a major publishing house. The lowest point was when I was asked to go faint elsewhere in Tom Mboya Street. I am one of the hordes of people who are very happy to run away from 2016 especially after my bank decided to play a prank- albeit unknowingly- on me.
After payday, I went through the motions of draining my newly filled account with household shopping and replenishing my junk food supply. For a few days, I was conscientious of my intake of ice creams and burgers but after a day of “moderation” I went on a binge worthy of an intervention. Shortly after, my supervisor informed me that I had been demoted at work and so my wallet and I armed ourselves to go reacquaint ourselves with vodka, our oldest friend.
As I was nursing my umpteenth cocktail, I was made aware of the fact that one of my favourite films was showing and so made arrangements to go watch it as soon as the vodka allowed me to remember the difference between 3D and double vision. A few days later, I was fairly well enough. I had my hair styled and even donned on makeup and one of my fanciest Sunday best dresses to impress JK Rowling’s latest magical creation.
After so much spending, I was sure I would be running on fumes for the rest of the month but a moment of uncharacteristic diligence had me checking my bank balance and I was 7000/- up. I was of course suspicious of this influx and so interrogated everyone who has ever even glimpsed the branch I operate with. When it was clear that no one had been kind (or foolish) enough to hand me 7000 bob, I began to wonder how it could have happened.
Was a money launderer using my account as a receptacle? Had somebody accidentally deposited money into my account? No. My bank statements showed no deposition action. But since I don’t know how to read accounting ledgers I wasn’t particularly aware of what I was looking for. Eventually, I embraced the Kenyan spirit of taking things as they come. I decided to enjoy the miraculous 7000/- that had been bestowed upon me. And if it was a mistake by the bank, they would rectify it soon enough.
I hesitated to even glance at my ATM card due to paranoia and another moment of uncharacteristic diligence. I decided to give the bank a few days to sort out the mess and when they didn’t, I concluded that I had probably won something that I wasn’t aware of. And so, in true pedestrian fashion, I went on a spending spree.
We all know how this story goes. I spent a significant amount of money and just when I entertained the thought of draining that extraordinary bonus, the bank caught on to their error and took away the 7000/-. Now I have been a victim of 2016, I have been a victim of misfortune, I have been a victim of ill health but when I finally became a victim of a clerical error… I’m done. I’m just done.
To 2016, Imma do you one like Obama and tell you: PEDESTRIAN OUT!