The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

NB: This is a throwback to more than 2 years ago!

There we were, the best of friends, one an Engineer, mind you he isn’t certified yet, by the Engineers Board of Kenya but he feels adored when his name is preceded by that title. Another, am not quite sure what he majored in College, no one knows. And it’s not because he never tells anyone but he is quite the Jack of all trades and master of one type. His folks used to write Cheques to the School of Business and Economics but the guy can’t define basic Economics jargon like inflation, equity or even liquidity, however give him a computer ‘suffering’ from any kind of virus, worm or bug. Consider it ‘healed’. That is his cup of tea. Myth has that while he had an admission and strict orders from his folks to study Economics, he rarely attended only making ‘technical appearances’ in those classes. Apparently everyone thought he was a Comp Science Major, especially because of his computer wizardry plus he never missed any Computer Science class except the exams and CATs. And then of course yours truly, completing the ‘League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’, that’s what we named our crew.

Fate or rather joblessness had brought us together. Chemosi and I attended the same High School, played Rugby for the School team and appeared periodically for the School’s Drama Club, usually as ‘extras’ taking roles as thugs, bouncers, watchmen, policemen(the bad ones) or matatu crew. Sometimes I think maybe this is what we were destined to be in real life.

After High School he was admitted to a local University to pursue a Bachelors Degree in an Engineering field, we continued keeping in touch especially since he had a girlfriend in our campus and he usually needed a room to ‘eat his bird’ during one of his many rendezvous. I had proceeded to campus too but to for a ‘Bachelors of Anything’, as the ‘Engineers’ used to refer to B.A students, mind you these are guys who have a case pending in court over the quality of the degrees. I once reminded Chemosi over a drink that it was time he went back to college to pursue something genuine and all I got for my effort was a the contents of his glass, on my poor face.

I came to know Nugu through Chemosi who was his best friend back in campus. These two were a full representation of losers in college they had been nicknamed the two musketeers, always up to nothing good. No wonder two years after graduation they are still jobless despite pursuing ‘prestigious’ courses.

Twenty minutes in the lives of these guys and you will curse humanity. Ten minutes with them and you start hating on wealthy hardworking Kenyans. Basically my life is a series, a series called ‘keeping up with the Pessimists’. To them, anyone working is a snob. “Dude look at that thwart over there,” pointing towards a gentleman seated four tables away, “Does he think he owns us or what? “ He uttered in his usual vitrioled self. I couldn’t tell immediately what he was talking about, till I saw what the guy was drinking, Heineken. Chemosi had nurtured a hatred for people who imbibed expensive alcohol, especially in downtown joints like the tavern we were.

“These are the breed of guys who used to be visited by their parents even after joining campus,” Nugu added, accompanied by thunderous laughter, of course a bitter one. “In fact am sure his mother still buys him panties and calls him ‘daddy’, what a pathetic soul,” Chemosi was having a field day. Nothing makes these poor souls happier than seeing negativity in everyone and everything. All these while I was seated there listening to their jokes and smiling wryly. Three jobless guys, drinking cheap liquor and making fun of successful people, how ironic, but that is life; when it gives you lemons try to make lemonades.

Chemosi and Nugu were still on the poor fellow’s case when a promotional advert popped up on TV. It was one of those several top up and win promotions. Instantly, like typical idlers, my two friends switched their focus and directed the negative energy towards this new platform. Chemosi, as usual, opened the Pandora’s Box. “Man, I envy that mama, does she even know how many jugs she can buy with that kind of money?” in reference to the lucky lady who had won the day’s one million shillings. A classic case of low cadre drunks, always equating everything to an amount of booze. And we aren’t a special breed.

I remember this time when an old classmate decided to ‘spoil’ us with drinks after he got his first pay check. The meeting place was a high-end club in the CBD. After recovering from the initial shock, of going to drinking at the said club, we were further stunned by the kind of drinks we had to endure drinking. We couldn’t stop calculating how many litres of our ‘usual’ the amount of one glass of the drink could have bought.

“I wonder why we are even looking for jobs, I mean if we could pull resources together and say dedicate all the money on participating on this game we could be instant millionaires,” Nugu joined in. In every set of friends there’s always a dreamer, the guy who always fantasizes of one day waking up beside Paris Hilton or hoping that their folks have a 1000 acre Ranch somewhere in Naivasha only waiting for the right time to surprise them. And in our clique, it was Nugu. “You are joking, right?” I said laughing at how someone can even think of such a lame idea. However the look on their faces confirmed my worst fears, they were actually serious about it.

I glanced at my watch, we had been drinking for more than five hours and alcohol had clearly taken a toll on my buddies. It was time to head home. “We’ll talk about that tomorrow, let’s go home ninjas,”I ordered, I was buying the drinks and as a cardinal rule among drinkers, no one questions the buyer. With a piece of broken glass in our hands (you never know your date with muggers) we bid Njeri, the proprietor of our watering hole, goodbye as we staggered into the darkness.

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