At the stroke of midnight yesterday, Kenyans did all manner of crazy stuff, all in the spirit of celebrating the New Year.
We have those who, in moments of reckless abandon, undressed in the full glare of cameras, yelling: “Kwani iko nini”, as they wiggled their bottoms and crazily bobbed their heads in the name of dancing.
We have an odd drunk boss somewhere who confessed his undying love for a ‘hot’ intern at his office on Facebook, all in the name of celebrating the New Year.
Others spanked random women in night clubs and grabbed them out of excitement.
Some men got their family jewels grabbed by drunk women as they said bye to 2017. It is a New Year!
Are you wondering why some people have lost their voices and now speak with some raspy or guttural voices?
They are among the millions who were wailing like mating hyenas, screeching like owls and howling like cornered wolves yester night as they ushered in 2018.
Soiling clothes out of excitement
Others woke up today with terrible hangovers after drinking like fish only to learn they soiled their clothes, threw up on sofa sets, Christmas trees, baby’s new shoes and, worst of all, on their mother-in-law.
But stranger than fiction is that many fathers and mothers peed in their beds— or worse — after the New Year’s drunken night. But what was all that happiness about? Why was everybody screaming and shouting? Some Kenyans screamed because their world was ending financially.
Everyone had spent all their money celebrating Christmas. Money meant for the landlord and school fees had vanished into travel expenses upcountry, Christmas trees decorated with expensive gifts so that neighbours can see how well they are doing, slaughtering goats and buying cases of beer to impress friends and relatives.
Even worse, girlfriends and boyfriends— many of them of questionable character — had conned hardworking men and women out of their salaries. There was no money to start the New Year with, hence the crazed screams.
House crowded with relatives
That is why when you woke up on January first, your family was looking like a pack of gangsters ready to rob you of all the money you struggled to make in 2017 and which, as already stated, was already spent.
To be honest, some just hate these relatives and secretly wish they never got married in the first place.
The house is crowded with relatives you don’t care about and in-laws waiting for school fees from your, non-existent, hard earned money.
You wish you had stayed in the pub and never come back home.
Unknown to your wife, you make wild plans in your head to disappear without trace, never to come back. Or run to Uganda, Tanzania or South Africa and resurface years after they buried a banana stem to represent your lost ghost.
Crazed screams for being a live
Still, one reason you were screaming at midnight on January 31 was because you were thrilled and shocked to discover that you did not die, that you escaped death narrowly last year.
Although everyone lives with the knowledge that death will come, no one wants to volunteer. If truth be told, if there is something everyone— especially Kenyans — fear, it is death.
Many of us missed death by a whisker last year while others had terrible accidents with broken limbs.
Indeed, that midnight hour was the time to loudly thank God that we had survived. Others lost their beloved ones and the pain and hurt was so deep that they just had to wait for the New Year to scream. Phew!
So you go: “Happy New Year! Happy New Year!” But what you really mean is: “Phew! Thank goodness famine, gangsters, bandits, cattle rustlers, police, matatus, lightning, bacteria, mosquitoes and witches did not get me!”
Dirty little secret still safe
You murdered somebody and police picked up and jailed the wrong man. You got a baby with your boss and your husband never discovered the dirty little secret.
You impregnated the house girl and she vanished before Christmas without a trace. Oh yes, things happen around here.
Your name appears on every paragraph of investigative reports on the Chickengate, NYS, Goldenberg and Anglo Leasing scams, but another year mercifully rolled by without detectives knocking on your door.
You are a Member of Parliament and another year has gone by without the dirty deal you struck with a judge who reinstated your election being known.
All this happened despite there being incriminating evidence to prove you bribed voters.
You were a suspected criminal with a court case but the president gave you a ministerial job. Happy New Year!
But whichever way you look at it, and your New Year happiness notwithstanding, the hard reality is that you are broke.
Besides all the excitement, you need to quickly get over the fact that you didn’t die and adopt some nutty survival tricks to help you handle January blues.
Ugali and black tea
First, cold ugali and black tea without sugar will serve as an excellent breakfast and snack in terms of cutting costs and generally improving your health.
No fries, crisps, sandwiches and other ‘unhealthy’ foods in the lunch boxes for school-going children.
Cold ugali sliced in nice square patterns is excellent. After all, their grandparents survived on the same and grew up to wrest uhuru from colonialists and sire 40 million people.
Further, the jiko and boiled beans are back in vogue and meko and the gas business has been banned in January.
You could also cut your energy bills considerably by sleeping on an empty stomach and investing in candles.
If you must eat, as presidential candidate Dida joked, one meal a day is the way to go. And keep it simple. Ugali eaten with salt or sun-heated water. No sugar, no bread and, of course, no meat.
Order your children to shut up about the three meals a day joke. They are the leaders of tomorrow and they had better start practicing how to lead a family on an empty wallet!
You could also call in sick at the office at least twice a week to save on transport costs. After all, fuel prices went up and it’s suicidal to walk to work because you will be killed by ‘overlapping’ vehicles. If your children are in a city school, avoid the school van and let them walk.
That should make them lose that baby fat without you having to buy PE kits.
Visiting neighbours at meal times
Meanwhile, become very friendly with the neighbour starting tomorrow so that you can be eating two meals at his house every week under the guise of: “I just came to say hi in the spirit of knowing thy neighbour...”
Ensure everyone, including the house girl, goes to Church every Sunday. Make a quick meal and clear the sink before they come back so that you are not discovered. Sawa?
In order to save soap and water costs, take a ‘passport’ bath once in two weeks and recycle your clothes. You can ‘dry clean’ them by hanging them in the wind overnight.
One pair of socks can be worn the whole week. Just keep turning it inside out every day, but please don’t remove your shoes at work or visit your girlfriend because that will be a big scandal.
Avoid guests at all costs
Avoid guests by closing all windows and curtains over the weekend and walk barefoot in the house lest they hear your footsteps and make impromptu visits, like the ones you plan to be making at their place, yet you have nothing to serve them!
Lock up the television in a box in the bedroom for the whole of January for the same reason.
You can also lie to your family that you were sacked just before Christmas, so that they stop entertaining foolish financial expectations from you.
Unfortunately, if you had an unprotected Happy New Year romp, then you just might be pregnant.
Congratulations! But you could cut costs by moving in with your boyfriend on a ‘come we stay’ basis. As they say, desperate times call for desperate measures.
Crazy Monday wishes you a happy New Year.