Reclining in my seat right about to have some shut eye, a call comes through interrupting my plans. It’s Baba Eugene. Baba Eugene is a cohort, an industrial goon and a jerk of all trades, yet a master of none! He also goes by other aliases, such as minister without portfolio and father of two, but that’s a story for another day. Oh, and he’s fat too.
He wants a client of his picked up from her residence in Lavington and dropped off at Karen. “Gari yangu imezalia Jogoo Road, so try usichelewe,” he screams in my ear then hangs the call. It’s a five-minute drive to the location. The guard is taking longer than usual just to open the gate. Just about driving in, he calls again to let me know that the client has cancelled. I pose and with a red face let his words sink. I could choke something right about now, perhaps the guard, I think, but I don’t.
Driving back to camp, another call hits my screen. It’s a new number that I can’t place. The man on the other end has an English accent and a lot of difficulty explaining his exact location. He mentions a road and I pick it, Kileleshwa, Gem Lane. There is panic in his voice as he tells me to try and get there as fast as possible. In a few, I reply.
Do you know any vets around here? He asks frantically with a goose firmly stuck in his left armpit (yes, one of those domesticated giant versions of a regular duck and that have a tendency to snap and go nuts on you simply by making eye contact). He is also half-dressed with only torn jeans shorts and a vest. The right answer is no, but the situation does not allow me to say that. What’s the emergency sir? I ask in a cool collected voice.
It’s the ring! My wife! The goose! Tomorrow! Sorry, I didn’t get you quite right! What’s that now? I pause again. Quick, get me to a vet please! He retorts. His agitation is beginning to get to me. I crank the engine with my mind going in circles when suddenly, Uncle Google pops up. Pulling over by the roadside, I check with him and he let’s me know there is one around the corner. We haven’t even come to a complete stop and the man flies right out disappearing behind the clinic doors barefoot with the bird still stuck to his ribs!
Relaxing at the parking lot, I try to piece it all together, but nothing adds up! Sleep beckons and soon overcomes me. It’s been four hours since I last saw the man and his duck. With hunger pangs and anxiety pulling at both ends, I roll up my windows just about to go inside when he emerges with the goose still by his side but looking a bit more relaxed. Driving back, he gives me a scoop of it all. Apparently, the goose had “accidentally picked and swallowed his wedding ring from his nightstand in his bedroom and his wife was flying in the following morning. This sent him into a panic mode hence the need for the urgent surgery! Yes, I know you might have questions, I do too, believe me!