MY DAY AT THE HIGH TABLE


JIt is not often that one is invited to the high-table. Sharing a meal with my old man, Grandpa Richard, is therefore a privilege. The opportunity to drink from his bottomless well of wisdom is one to kill for. His mercurial nuggets of wisdom are always enough to transform even the most retarded amongst us into a King Solomon of sorts.

“When a child washes his hands, he is fit to dine with kings,” goes the old adage. I did exactly that last weekend and to my delight, I got the opportunity to casually chew fat with my old man while pontificating about the current state of affairs in the country.

He was particularly rankled by the flagrant KCSE leakage. “The results of this year’s KCSE will be completely unsalvageable,” he fumed. “Those candidates will be but fruits of a poisoned tree. The results will be deadly and completely inedible!”

The erudite greybeard and I were on the same page. Methinks the ongoing national exams should in fact be scrapped. They are merely a boondoggle and a total sham, reminiscent of our national elections.

The discussion then drifted to epithet-ridden politicians whose mouths needed to be washed by soap. Grandpa noted that some senior politicians ought to be accorded dentists by the central government, because it was clear they suffered from a mouth disease.  “Politicians in this country have a renowned ability to speak first and then engage their noggins later,” said the retiree.

“You’re right grandpa,” I chipped in. “It seems like they deliberately miss out on brushing their teeth in the morning so they could spew trash whenever they attend political rallies.”

“And have you noted that the economy is down the toilet?” I posed just as Grandma Sarah was setting  ingokho for supper. She (Grandma) shook her head in despondency and offered, “The problem with us is that we tend to forget that this is not our country, we’ve merely borrowed it from our children. We amass colossal national debts to built infrastructure that will become obsolete within a generation, forgetting it is our children who will pay for our sins.”

“Your grandmother is right,” Grandpa Richard said, adding that the short-cuts we take will always come back to hurt us like a boomerang.

But even as he feasted through the stewed chicken, I could tell that the old man was not at peace. I politely enquired what was troubling him, and he rumbled on about the El-Nino like a broken record. He complained bitterly that the heavy rains that had been predicted by the weatherman were yet to set upon his land. His crop is almost withered. If the weatherman was playing a joke, someone tell him that Grandpa Richard neither gets it nor thinks it’s funny.

The dinner did not end smoothly, however.  For the first time since Moody Awori was the VP, I disagreed with my old man. What was that veritable hot-potato that made both of us loose our cool? I’ll tell you everything next week, for space eludes me.

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jowaljones

Jowal Jones is a columnist and correspondent with Kenya's leading newspaper, Daily Nation. He also dabbles in fiction works at times, hoping to be the next Stephen King. Sometimes he takes time out from writing to perfect his deer-dancing and goat-screaming skills.