A study came out last week that showed that the younger generation of urban drinkers are resorting more to ‘specialized’ drinks in their outings. The days of our fathers hammering ‘White Cap’ (unless you are one Aenea Ojiambo of golden olden days) or ordering ‘mbili mbili kama kawaida’ for the binti and bibi wannabes around your table are long gone.
Tusker may still be very popular, but the only folks who find it ‘fashionable’ are expats like the Derwent across the page who will yell ‘letea Tusker baradi’ to prove how Kenyan they are.
These wannabe wazungus, like Johnny English, also have the habit of finding ‘Kenya Cane’ an exotic drink (I suppose because it has ‘Kenya’ on the bottle) whereas it is Campus wannabes who love cane spirits – because they are cheap. By adding a ‘coconut’ flavor option, Campus chicks can now drink KC without feeling weird about it. (In college, I was the tsar of something called Sapphire that came in a clear sachets, a story for someday else).
Anyway, one evening over the Easter holiday last weekend, I was sitting with a group of people celebrating the ‘Risen Jesus’ (although others were cheering The Fallen Chelsea FC, to my chagrin).
In such a group, especially if two or three women are seated there in thy name, you will always find the wannabe alpha male who wants to outshine the rest by buying more drinks than any other man – ‘lete Jameson chupa ingine, kwani, sisi ni pesa otas!’ – with the underlying assumption that the hottest femme on the table will gravitate towards his wallet, and maybe, bed.
Such a wannabe immediately becomes the loudest, funniest and most confident chap at table, with all his jokes very funny and his opinion – that his village mate ‘Weta’ should be made top dog in NASA – viable. All his utterances are valid. But as long as he is bankrolling the bar bill, he’ll be tolerated.
But then there is always that ‘spirit specialist’ wannabe.
The woman who insists that the only drink that can pass down her throat (en route to the esophagus) is ‘Glen’s fiddick.’ Or that choice wannabe who will ignore the Jameson on offer on the group table. And buy himself that small bottle of ‘Red Label’ (not for the table) or ka-quarter vodka which he’ll keep nyonyaing as he mutters ‘me I’m not really a gin guy.’ (For purposes of transparency, I am huyo msee)!
No wannabe is ever as annoying, though, as the spirit sucker who, like a tick, is at table but will NEVER buy a drink. Yet, like some kind of liquor leech, they will kunywa everyone else under the table.
When someone orders that ‘Flying Grouse,’ this wannabe Grinch will be the first to pour himself a generous portion that clears a third of the bottle, yet you are four men and two women at table (by this point, the guy buying the ‘Famous’ wants both ladies, and will not notice the louse on the liquor, yet only he has the sauti to stop him because, well, he who pays the piper calls the tune, you know).
Some of these scrounging wannabes even bring their women along, and have no problem over ‘donating’ your drinks to these damsels. When the joint roast or chicken comes along, they will grab a side plate and hustle all the choice pieces to it as they say: ‘Bae, kula kabisa ushibe!’
And no one dares tell them ‘hajana nayo’ because you don’t want to look like that wannabe who doesn’t care for the welfare of women and children.