the beauty of the written word


there are children…

There are children, making out on my door step
There are children, in skinny jeans and frilly dresses,
Their phablets bulging from their pockets, their peplum blouses askew
There are children, dammit, soiling the sanctity of my welcome mat with foreplay.

Their limbs tangle and then untangle with frantic urgency
Their lips dance on and around each other; wet, noisy
Their embrace is desperate; their clothes flap open, buttons clatter to the floor,
They kiss, and they kiss, and they kiss.

His hand cups the swell of her breast, hers rummages inside his jeans
With his left he tips her head back, plunders with a probing tongue;
With hers she wrestles the unyielding clasp of his belt.
‘Stop’, she says, and grips him tighter.
‘Okay’, he nods, his hands breaching the lace bra.
He reaches, finds a breast, squeezes; she gasps, she shudders, she freezes.

There are children- eager to grow up, itching
Itching to kiss it all, to rub, to squeeze, to cup,
To try it all, to do it all- swapping spit in front of me.
Perhaps, if they kiss long enough, the world will stop
Calling them ‘freshers’. Perhaps.

hustler’s diary #2

by David Kiriinya.

Hell hath no fury as a woman scorned! Msupa woke up yelling blue murder! Cause being that I had been mumbling the name of a member of the human female species while asleep. Imagine that! Surely these days a brother could not enjoy the pleasure of a peaceful, innocent dream, especially when the star actor was a PYT (Pretty Young Thing). Judging by the hysterical fits, wild gesticulations and her continuous prodding (read stabbing) of my hairy chest, it was evident that I was going to miss that, and the next few days’ conjugals.Include a week’s cold treatment and there you have the complete picture of a man of sorrows.

Not even my honed skills as a serial bargainer of fares to and from town could soothe Msupa. Folks, this is how the devil manifests himself in truest of colors (black I hear) in the wee hours of the morning. The worst thing is that I could not even tell who the PYT in the dream was, but I suspected it must have been either Liz, the petite lass from Majengo who now operates a nearby Mpesa shop, or Shiko wa Keg. Both have breathtaking and clearest of eyes, sexy hourglass figures and of course killer derrieres making it impossible to pick who the culprit was.

I could have gone for Liz, given the flurry of steamy sexts we frequently exchanged, or the usual kamkopo ka veve she gave me especially on Fridays, but the romance between me and Shiko wa keg could not equally be dismissed. This would especially be seen in the evenings when I would buy a full jug of senator keg and she would sit on my lap with her ample bottom caressing my eager loins as I whispered mushy, sweet nothings above the sound of loud mugithi tunes. Mark you, she has never minded my beer breath.

Given Msupa’s foul mood I had to jipa shugli. My presence was a constant eye-sore to her. She was mumbling something inaudible that sounded like going to see a mganga to put ‘brakes’ on my perceived philandering tendencies. I could hear my immediate next-door neighbor, through the solid corrugated iron sheets partitioning sympathizing with a brother in trouble. Talk of solid walls.

After passing the usual smell test, my socks and t-shirt were ready to be worn, two days in a row notwithstanding. A dash of cheap ‘wariah’ cologne (those potent, pungent liquids in miniature bottles sold along virtually every street next to a ‘pima kilo’) and I was good to go. Msupa was still wearing a sullen face, sulking on the corner of our creaky bed. By the way this is a treasure I so valued especially after it had set me back a cool, precious hard-earned 2150 shillings. Just then a text from Liz came through. She wanted to see me to talk since she was lonely. Would I please go? Of course! Perhaps she would even settle my okoa jahazi debt of 20 shillings.

As I went out, I threw a last glance at Msupa. She was inconsolable. She would be fine by evening perhaps, I thought as I sidestepped piles of garbage on way to Liz’s Mpesa shop. A new day had begun.

the bitches* in my class

The bitches in my class will object strongly to being called bitches.
Primarily, they will object because they are each nursing fanciful notions that they are ‘ladies’, to use the term loosely. But the basis of their objections, as well as the filthy looks they will be throwing me until the end of time, will be the simple fact that they believe the term bitch to be derogatory. A sizeable portion of the bitches in my class will have to look up the word derogatory. On their smartphones, of course.

But object they will. They will pout and exchange disbelieving looks. They will be up in arms because that quiet guy from the back of the class used a bad word to refer to them. How do they know it is bad? It does not sound anything like ‘diva’. Tragically, though, that quiet guy, who is in fact not quiet at all, has already accepted that he is going to be stepping on some manicured toes. So he will proceed anyway.

So, about the aforementioned bitches.

Like classifying the distinct members of Kingdom Animalia, any grouping of the bitches in my class I attempt to make will be varied and so incredibly detailed as to confuse the simple mind. Not only do they display a baffling range of characteristics, all of them rigidly rehearsed and fake; they also refuse to stick to any one category. If, for example, I decided to list them as either drinkers or non-drinkers, I would have to contend with the fact that the non-drinker category would have only two people in it. I would also be forced to consider such grey areas as ‘social drinkers’, ‘just broke up with the senior student I was fleecing drinkers’, ‘it only happened that one time drinkers’, and the more common ‘dance on tables, make out with strangers and then go sleep in a puddle of urine drinkers’.

No one has that kind of time.

I will, however, concede that the bitches in my class are ceaselessly fascinating. They provide a very unique source of entertainment when they are at their best, and a welcome distraction when they are not. Perhaps I shall begin with:

The Diva:

The diva, for obvious reasons, is the most noticeable bitch in class. This is largely due to the fact that she has the entire Marc Jacobs fall line in her closet, and she knows the complete chemical compounds in the dress Mrs. West wore to her wedding. She has an assortment of heels, ‘peeps’ and wedges in the entire range of rainbow colours. It is with these that she interrupts lectures and draws attention as she sashays into class fifteen minutes late. She speaks in a high, drawn out nasal slur that is meant to showcase her superior intellect but ends up making her sound retarded, daft or both. Her English is impeccable, except when she is caught off guard, and then she might be heard saying ‘aki woiye’. Her speech idiolects (LIN 210, people. Halla), are infused with references from Basketball Wives, Real Housewives of virtually all American counties and Mistresses.

Make no mistake, she is stunning. Her beauty, too rich for use, for earth too dear in the words of the Bard, has never been in doubt. And yet she flaunts it, she flatters it, she coddles it, she wields it like a weapon. She floats on a cloud of entitlement. She eats out. Way out. She goes into town to party and is brought back in a cab. She does not ‘do’ reggae music or God forbid, riddims. She does not even know the difference. She has three exes, who she discarded because they didn’t ‘get’ her.

The entire male population in class lusts after her. They throw her longing looks whenever she passes, and they dash to her side whenever she throws up her Galaxy Note to take a selfie, which will cause mayhem on Instagram. They shake their heads sadly when she wears that black dress that ends just below her buttock, and they close their notebooks because they know they won’t hear another word the lecturer says.

The Diva’s Friends:

The diva has a dedicated fan following. Of course, when she is asked, she will refer to them as her bestest bitches in the whole entire world, or her gurlfriends!! Really, though, they are the slightly less endowed people she surrounds herself with. Methinks the diva has deep-seated esteem issues.

The Diva’s friends are a dedicated lot. They go out of their way to keep up, but they are careful not to overshadow. They have just as many wedges and heels, but they also have sandals and ‘rubbers za matope’. Her make-up is ever so slightly off. Her lipstick is the teensiest bit smeared. Or chewed off. Unlike her BFFFF, she does not have the same control over her language. She tries, dammit, but despite her best efforts, she cannot pronounce ‘parallelogram’ without spraying her spectators with mint flavoured spittle.

She is also not as choosy. She knows what ugali sosa means. On a good day, when the light is just right and the stars perfectly aligned, you may see her purchasing roasted maize, to nibble on as she skips to her room.

The Virgin The Good Girl:

This is the rarest species of all. There are two of them in class, one permanently committed to the cause of winning more souls on behalf of the Good Lord, the other simply determined to remain moral. She does not partake of the spirits. She arrives in class ten minutes early to secure a seat that promises maximum concentration. She does not ‘do’ dating. She surrendered her virtue to that sweet talking handout salesman in her first year, instantly regretted it and had since been sworn off men.
She has the most depressing dresses, which she covers up with the most chaste coats. She has all the notes, knows all the names of the lecturers and knows where the Literature section of the library is. She is fast friends with The Nerd, who could sadly not be featured in this article but has been promised a starring role in the next one.

Occasionally, though, she is the unbelievably nice. It has been agreed by all the males in class that she is made out of that wife material everyone seems to be looking for.

The Invisible Ones:

The Serial Hugger:

This category was renamed on the advice of our legal counsel. Hint hint.

She does not shake hands, she hugs. She does not high-five, she hugs. She has such advanced social skills that she is on nickname basis with all the guys in class. She has an unusually high-pitched voice, which she uses to yell across the distance of the room. She dresses skimpily, naturally. Kizuri chajiuza and whatnot. Somehow, everyone knows her room number. Her preferred position is sandwiched between two guys, listening with rapt attention as they discuss football tactics. Her other favourite position is apparently 6.30, if you follow my meaning, or 6.45 if she is feeling tired.

There are several war stories about her in class, majority of which end the exact same way. It is rumoured her room has been nicknamed ‘the kill zone’, ‘kichinjio’ and has unfettered access to the condom dispenser. (I swear, I was told this by a friend). She lives by the philosophy that ‘just because Mount Everest has been climbed before doesn’t mean the journey will be any less thrilling for the next person’.

The Non Conformer:

Simply put, she couldn’t care less. She has had the same dreadlocks since her first year. The one time she changed them, she got complimented on how lovely her hair was, and this unnerved her just enough to send her back to her dreadlocks. She dresses in unruly clothes that sag in places. She makes no effort to appear marriageable.

She is a huge Chelsea fan. She wears the goalkeeper’s away jersey to most classes. Her twitter name is mouforpresident213, and her WhatsApp status says ‘Marry me Costa’. It has been confirmed that she is often more accurate than

She is sarcastic without trying to be. She is the first to protest when a class goes beyond regulation time. She knows the proper response to “Form ni gani, buda?!” If she could have a ten shilling coin for every time she says ‘shit’, she would be ‘rich as shit’.

And then out of the blue, she will wear fitting clothes. She will do just enough to assure people that she is in fact female. She has a ridiculous ass that no one noticed till just then. She will smile, and use her lower register. But then she will punch you in the throat when you stare at her cleavage, and the world will continue spinning.

The Married Woman:

She was saying her vows while the rest of the class was registering courses. She has acquired a scathing nickname because she is always in the male halls of residence. She is always in the company of her better half, who drops her just outside class and walks her to the loo to pee. She is well versed in household chores; she can balance them very well with completing household duties and other wifely responsibilities. You can tell from the way she balances books in hands that she has carried a few plates to and from the kitchen.

When she gives examples in class, she drops several references to the married situation. And we all shake our heads in mock terror.

I concede that I cannot name them all, and that i may not even know them all. I am also somewhat concerned for my life. But in the interest of free journalistic pursuit, let she without a category cast the first stone.

P.S: To the bitches in my class, I hope this won’t affect our relationship; you know, the one where we ignore each other completely every chance we get.

letter to the incoming Moi University female students:

By David Kiriinya and Brian Guserwa

Karibu. Umefika. A few sage words, first. Not to call undue attention to your body-unless you won’t think it undue- but this wisdom will begin with your rear anatomical parts. We, the universal fraternity of warm-blooded men, advise you to keep these parts taut. The easiest way to do this, naturally, is to refrain from bobbing to fast-paced Jamaican music when you visit F2.

Immediately you read this polite notice, kindly do away with- by which I mean burn- your entire collection of sheer, negligible and flimsy clothing. You know, the ones that make you appear briefly dressed. This has nothing to do with your unsightly thighs. Rather, we are concerned you will not survive the erratic Kesses weather. Eye candy does not apply in these conditions.

On the same breath, Mother’s Union dresses are a big no. The last time we checked, they were banned by the Senate after the massive strike by the menfolk.

In the event you wake up in any one of the make halls of residence, with nothing but your weave and a few tell-tale streaks of body fluid, do not fear the walk of shame. It’s a simple matter of keeping calm, swallowing hard and walking to your room. Do not forget to pass by the pharmacy for those pills- you know the ones.

To return briefly to the subject of your body; your tits are strictly food for your unborn (soon to be born?) child. If you can, keep men off what will be your child’s favourite dish. Be wise in your choice of potential mate, assuming you have a choice. Please note, however, that regardless of their year, social state or girth of wallet, all these potential suitors have one thing in mind and one thing only.

All senior male students must be greeted with one hand on your back, a blushing face and a bowed head. This vastly increases your chances of landing that potential mate that we were talking about earlier, faster than your friend with the topless blouse.

Remember your parents’ advice; to keep your mind open. Your mind, and not your legs or any other body parts you are capable of opening.

Finally, please note that your time here is short. Sadly, you have what they call a shelf life. So make hay while the sun shines. Because reliable sources inform us that the beautiful ones have in fact joined high school, and will be joining us very soon.

Hustler’s Diary #1

by David Kiriinya.

Today is exactly the third year, fourth month, well make that fifth and 12th day in this grand world. It has been and still is a treacherous path fraught with perilous episodes and that, coupled with Msupa’s never ending nagging, has made it unbearable and practically impossible to linger in the house later than 7:14 am when she wakes up courtesy of our next-door neighbor’s immensely loud and rough ‘morning glory’;and arrive earlier than 9:23 pm. This time of the evening, I discovered, is when msupa is at her coolest, a fact I capitalize on efficiently to quietly slip into the house, feign tremendous fatigue, serve the usual conjugals without much fanfare and within minutes hit slumber land with a massive snore.

My aforementioned abode, folks, a tin shack deep in the heartland of Okongo, arguably the largest slum in the country, is absolutely not mention-worthy. I could say my abode is so roomy that I have to sit on the annoyingly creaky bed to let msupa pass or that we have to make love with my hand on her mouth lest we rouse the whole neighborhood, but first things first. Yours truly here goes by the name of Badi, a toughened veteran of grand-hustle for the last very many years, three to be precise and still counting.

After successfully dropping out of college with the unrivalled, brilliant business idea of setting up my own exclusive escort company owing to the large supply and steady demand, a niche I still believe has not been exhaustively tapped, I found myself rather at odds explaining to the Registrar of Companies the type of company and nature of business I had in mind.

Simply put, I failed spectacularly in convincing both the Registrar and potential staff. I need to say here that I had splendid business expansion plans for Alicia,Soni, Lucia ,Atis and the mightily endowed Nafula. All these plied the world’s oldest trade along the dingy alleys of our seedy neighbourhood. All I had to do was upgrade their standards with a spaghetti top here, stilettos from Ngara there, perhaps a ‘mgongo-wazi’ for Alicia, the so-called ‘carrot’maybe for Soni and definitely some brief bottom-hugging outfits for Atis and Nafula, both of whom were deep in the region of endowment and bingo!

The genius of my entrepreneurial blueprint was sadly nipped in the bud by Sirikali.This was just the time when potential investors; my two boda boda friends, Yusuf wa mutura and Jonnie wa matatu had started showing serious investment interest in my venture. In fact the four deep-pocketed investors had pledged seed capital of a whooping Shs. 500 each with a possibility of increase subject to success of the business. Judging by the current financial times where church offering, tithes and bribes had significantly gone up due to the famed VAT, I could not be luckier. Now if you are a good statician like myself (I did not mention that I count many vehicles at jobless kona) you will quickly arrive at a figure of Shs. 2000.This, my friend is enough to bankroll a hustler like yours truly for the next couple of days with an unlimited supply of njugu, veve and Sprite comfortably. I hear this is how millionaires start. I was certainly destined for greatness folks.

Needless to say, I had to rack my creative college-dropout brains for such another award-winning business idea. Meanwhile, tomorrow I have a squad with Jonie’s matatu.It was back to grand hustle.

I will not ask you out

I will not ask you out, I won’t,
Appraise you with my eyes, I can’t,
Continue to be struck by you.
I dare not think of you, I don’t,
Know why I wanted you, I shan’t
Go farther down this path with you.

I will not ask you out, I cannot,
I shall not, I dare not, I will not.

a band by any other name; live in concert

A Band By Any Other Name, or ABBAON, or the hottest thing since skinny jeans, is going to be performing live in concert. Fresh from topping the charts in D houses, Moi University (not to mention the loyal following from the scantily dressed residents of Comfort Hostels), ABBAON is bringing its revolutionary sound to a live audience.

But first, a few updates.

The management has not changed. At the head of this thousand dollar band remains the brilliant and dare I say rather handsome founder and leader extraordinaire. Me, that is. I cannot say for sure, but my exceptional genius is probably to blame for the two chart toppers we have put out. There is also the lawsuit we meant to pursue against Elani and H_art the band, on the grounds of stealing our thunder.

The lineup has shifted somewhat, however. Our lead singer, if you recall, was supposed to be Shirley, my distant cousin a few times removed. It turned out, however, that her skill does not extend beyond squealing in the shower, and obliterating original versions of gospel songs. Tragically, we had to let her go, of course after repeated assurances that she will always be considered an honorary member (insert evil sarcastic laugh here).

The new lead singer, therefore, is my close friend and occasional sidekick, James ‘Baby-face’ Maina, who has displayed a stunning vocal range while singing mugithi classics. His rendition of Kirk Franklin’s ‘Stomp’ still brings tears to my eyes. It is our fervent hope that this level of skill can be transferred to the more typical pop records we will be churning out presently. Also, if we can work around his tendency to deviate from whichever song he happens to be singing and delve into the akorino version currently being sung in Murang’a; we will have a real star on our hands. You mark my words, sir.

My lead guitarist, the roommate (Dan, of the legendary pot belly and greying hair) has learnt a few more chords, I am thrilled to report. His handling of the instrument (the guitar, you filthy pervert) is quite impressive, actually. After a few choice insults, he took it upon himself to learn to hold the damn thing properly, and can now successfully serenade a group of ladies with classic ballads. It may have been his recent dumping and subsequent bitchlessness that sharpened his skill, but who’s keeping score?

And then there is my other friend Ian, the budding drum legend, who we managed to sign for an undisclosed fee. Ian has the added advantage of looking like a rock-star; with his trademark afro and his Gothic wristbands. We are currently in negotiations about getting him sleeve tattoos.

It is indeed tragic that the other gender is not as well represented as one would hope. This is an unlucky coincidence, but we have decided to counter this by allowing band members to show up to practices and performances with their significant others. This includes, but is not limited to, girlfriends, escapees from the friend zone, prospects, ‘just friends’, crushes, side chicks and second girlfriends, recently reinstated exes, beneficial friends, and (God forbid), wives. This way, the band cannot be accused of gender insensitivity, and will boast a healthy level of estrogen to liven up proceedings.

Is it any surprise, then, that our club anthem ‘Manzi wa School of Arts’ has been ruling the airwaves for this long? We hear it is a favorite among drunks staggering home from a busy night.

So hold on to your weaves, ladies. This weekend, ABBAON is coming to you.

The event, billed as the live event of the semester, will be held on the grassy plains of the University Graduation square. This is on account of our heartened attempts to gain permission to use the Students Centre having all been met with stoic rejection. I think the Students Centre will be hosting a certain sports event that no one ever watches. More power to them.

Sound check will be at 9 p.m. Oh, and if anyone knows that Zungu character, please let him know we need to borrow his speakers.

I started a band, people. And this Saturday, while we are basking in the warm glow of fan adoration and watching female undergarments raining down on us, I will stop and savour the moment. Because the next stop will be the award shows.

these gentle feelings:

I have these gentle feelings,
I know not what to make of.
These unfamiliar feelings
Are intrusive and unheard of

My thoughts of her are tinted, with hues of darkest red.
She fills my line of vision, she swirls around my head.
With every smile she flashes, she fills my gut with lead,
My heart with burning terror, my life with growing dread,
And yet I do not love her, or like her; instead,
I want only to please her; I only ever wanted,
To lavish her, to flatter, to sing to sleep and put to bed,
To serenade, to woo and win, and possibly to wed.

I have these gentle feelings, they threaten to undo me:
She may love me, she may not- the thought itself is agony.

P.S: To a certain long-limbed friend of mine; I know I promised to lay off the mushy stuff for a bit. But whatever shall we write about, if not love?

about that about page

I am not unaware that gussprints lacks an ‘about’ page. You know, about the author. This is not deliberate. Well, not entirely. Anonymity has always appealed greatly to the author, along with a determined rejection of the idea that any useful details concerning a person’s character can be gleaned from a few words.

But because a snarky attitude does not a good blogger make, here goes my one brave attempt at peeling back the curtains and letting the people in. Sort of. If they can sift through the verbose layers I tend to hide behind.

Gussprints is a young boy’s letter to the world. A curious, nostalgic boy, who has quietly accepted his position at the edge of every social situation, and has subsequently retreated into the comforting reassurance of his own thoughts. His letter to the world, because he refuses to accept it for what it is. He prefers the tragic romanticism of the worlds he dreams up, where lovers sigh and kisses linger, and that fleeting glance means more than any words could. In his world, unlike in the one swelling all around him, he is braver, funnier, happier. Taller.

So he writes about the people around him, the events that feed his bleak outlook on life. He resorts almost entirely to fiction, because reality is sleepy and insipid.

Maybe someday, his footprints, faint but visible, will be seen in that well-travelled literary path; the prints of a timid goose trying to assert himself in a cesspool of noise.

Or perhaps his thoughts, like countless others before his, will be forever lost, and the world will remember nothing of the grim introvert who lived entirely in his words.

perversion 101: how to be a pervert

Hello, fellow pervert, and welcome to Perversion 101.
You may have noticed I addressed you as a fellow pervert. Yes, you are. You see, by virtue of being human, and male, you are, to some degree, a natural pervert. Call it an evolutionary gift. But if you are taking this course, then you aspire to greatness in the well-travelled road that leads to debauchery. Walk with me.

STEP ONE: The lewd grin:

Any self-respecting pervert will tell you that the lewd grin is an invaluable tool. You see, without this grin it would be difficult to pull off the primary pervert state; grinning inappropriately after something completely innocent has been said. Also, you must practice and perfect ‘the suggestive wink’, ‘the suggestive cough’, and basically all manner of suggestive bodily motions.

Further, you must learn subtlety. This will work in your defense in case you have to rapidly deny any accusations that result from your chosen suggestive facial tic. Accusations in the vein of “You filthy bastard!” must be countered promptly with “I don’t know what you mean”.

We face much persecution, especially from religious fanatics.

Practice the lewd grin; allow a mad glint to creep into your eyes, then smile, slightly, letting only one corner of your mouth twitch upwards, until the nice lady next to you reaches unconsciously for her pepper spray.

STEP TWO: Sharpen thy wit:

This goes without saying. The aspiring pervert must sharpen his wit to the finest degree possible. He must be ready, at a moment’s notice, to pounce on an unsuspecting audience with that depravity that comes naturally to him. Thus goes our mantra: everything has a sexual connotation. To this end, you must consume a substantial amount of popular cultural references. Naturally, this means that your understanding of language must be unrivalled. If well mastered, this step allows the pervert such a command of language, tone and insinuation that he can literally read out a menu and make it sexual.

An essential facet of this entails knowing your heroes. The greats, that is. Legends whose names we must not take in vain. Steven Stiffler. Barney Stinson. Howard Wolowitz. Austin Powers. P Unit…

Learn their work, young student, and your path shall be enlightened.

STEP THREE: The Kamasutra:

This is all about your encyclopedic knowledge of all things sexual. The knowledge may be theoretical or practical. Quite simply, you have to walk the talk. You see, once you have communicated to a captive room that you are a pervert, the daring female will approach you and demand a sample of your knowledge. Your response must be a swift, “Right this way, gorgeous”. And then you must tie her up and plunder her silly as you had been implying you would.

STEP FOUR: The Quiz:

And now we must test your retention. Answer to the best of your ability:

Question 1: Explain how the following statements are sexual (6mks):

1. I need wood if I am to start this fire.
2. Let me get out of these clothes, I am dripping wet.
3. Do you have a smaller club? I can’t wrap my hand around this one.

Question 2: With illustrations, break down the positions mentioned in this speech from New Girl (14mks):

“I want to do it standing up and sitting down, and half up and half down, and the wiggly one and the Bear Attack, and the claws in the head, and the one the figure skaters do, and the What’s for lunch, and the Give Me That Hat.”

Question 3: Sautisol’s video Nishike has no actual sexual implications. Discuss (10mks).


the origins of a few more curious English expressions:

I’m guessing English and French had a bad break up. It must have been French that called it off. ‘It’s not you, swee, it’s me. You are lovely. Lovelier than I can say. You have the most exquisite proverbs. Your puns, your unrivaled turn of phrase, your conjunctions… I won’t even bring up how stunning your sarcasm is. But I need to do me for some time. I’m so sorry, love. Perhaps we can be friends?’

But English would have none of that nonsense. No, sir. Hell hath no fury like a language scorned. She told French to take his offer of friendship and shove it up his orifice(s). She splashed the remainder of her appletinni in his face and stormed off. She found a drunk slang dozing off in a corner and stuck her tongue down his throat. And then she hired the best attorney in the languages. She took his house. She scratched all his Coldplay CD’s. She bled him dry. Most importantly, though, she took his words. She did not borrow them, she took them.

She would encounter other languages in the future, and in time, she would learn to deal with them. But French was the first to break her heart. The first and the last, and she would never let him forget it. If anyone asked, she only dated him for his vowels.

Aaaanyhow…lets rewrite history a bit more.

Cloud Nine:

Once upon a time, there lived an explorer (whose name is withheld for copyright reasons), who discovered a cloud. On an exploratory tour of the mountain that loomed over his village, he encountered, for what he was sure was the first time in human history, the wispy bundles of air that hung untethered in the air. It was a big moment for him. The Scientific Society had previously laughed off his attempts to convince them that the world was round, so he knew this was the discovery of a lifetime. He proceeded to name it-get this- Cloud 1.

His excitement was such that he decided to continue his journey. No one had made this trek before, he was sure. So he went further and further up the mountain, his elation growing. And at each step, he found a new cloud and named it accordingly.

As he approached the ninth cloud, he felt the cold begin to seep into his body. He would not survive much higher up, he realized. But what a discovery! He took out his notebook and scribbled: Discovered cloud nine! On top of the world!

He was found there the next day, curled up in a frozen pile, the ghost of a grin still on his face.

Wouldn’t be caught dead in:

They called it the trial of the century. The seventeenth century, that is. When legendary designer Pierre Olivier was found dead in his loft in Paris, it caused a scandal of global proportions. Not so much because of the death itself. People died all the time back then. Nor was it because of the celebrity status of the designer, who was considered the greatest of his generation. No, what raised eyebrows was the fact that he died in a baggy pair of jeans and over-sized shoes.

This being the seventeenth century, baggy clothes for men were unheard of. Unsightly. So unnatural, in fact, that it convinced the entire town that their beloved Pierre had been murdered. Surely, the Pierre they knew, who came up with knee socks and breeches, would never wear such ill-fitting rags. And those shoes?! No, someone had killed him and dressed him thus to mock his good name.

Such was the conviction of his widow as she walked to the police to demand an investigation be held. Why? Well, simply, her late husband would never allow himself to be seen, dead or otherwise, in that flapping monstrosity.

The elephant in the room:

For many years, Moses Banes had referred to his wife in secret as ‘the elephant’. It was unflattering, he knew. He loved his wife immensely, in spite of the extra pounds of flesh behind which she hid these days. So, the first time the name came to him as he watched her clean underneath the couch, he immediately rebuked himself. But on several occasions, he caught himself using it, until eventually he let it slip to one, then two friends.
It was quite funny, actually. The nickname allowed him to conduct semi-secret discussions with his friends about his wife in her presence. Right under her nose, too. This went on until one day, when his wife caught on to the little joke and decided to get back at him. She acquired a young elephant from a nearby circus and set it loose in her house. Elsewhere, her husband, who was walking home, was suddenly confronted by a host of concerned neighbours.

“Sir, there is an elephant in your house”

His initial response, understandably, was “My wife? I know, miss”. He argued with the villagers for a long time, because the villagers didn’t seem to have any sense of humour.

This would become the brunt of many of the jokes his friends would make about him. And, eventually, his rebuttal became the standard ‘I don’t want to talk about the elephant in the house’.

And now you know.

The Opposite Sex:

The research took months. Bespectacled eyes pored over pages and pages of data. Tests were conducted. Questions were asked and answered. The world waited with bated breath.

Finally, the mad scientist published his findings:

“Women, or the female species, unlike men, or the male species, possess a natural tendency to slip in and out of insanity, independent of external influence. For this reason, based on our findings, we are declaring them the opposite sex.”

True story.

Ah, English.

P.S: I have recently ventured into those dark corridors of twitter, after resisting the urge this long. A nigga needs some followers, people (@sir_guss). For the occasional flashes of brilliance.

hymen sold:

Attention all bidders. Please note: the previously advertised hymen is no longer available. I repeat, the offer is no longer on the table.

Through some good fortune, we managed to find an interested party who meets and surpasses our expectations and requirements. Suffice is to say, the man knows where to put it.

The deflowering gala will be held two weeks from now at a hotel of the defloweree’s choosing. It will be a small, intimate gathering. White tie only. BYOD.

Many thanks to all the bidders. Except perhaps d_otieno95. You, sir, need to speak to someone

hymen for sale

Prospective buyer wanted.

Hymen is in mint condition. And eager. And possibly one of the three still out there.

Buyer must be of sound mind and possess rugged good looks. No beer guts, please. He must also be of average proportions, if you catch my drift, and prodigious skill. A gentle nature and sprightly disposition are an advantage (for to whisper comforting things during the deflowering).

Proof of authenticity provided. For more details contact the number at the bottom of the screen.

Opening bid is at five thousand shillings. Do I hear six?

the origins of a few particularly curious English expressions I

The English language is a delightful yet flighty mistress. Many have attempted to tame her, most notably my nigga Willie, or Shakespeare as he is more commonly known. More have tried to make an honest woman out of her with limited success. And yet she still stands, defiant, challenging, untamed, and breathtaking. Her history is long and boring. It boggles the mind just how much she has borrowed from other languages, and just how much she has evolved. Attempting an accurate history would not only require spending more time on the internet than is healthy, but it would also put us all to sleep. So, instead, I am going to construct an alternate history for some of the expressions I find interesting. And then I can lie to my friends and tell them that English is a bit of an ice queen, but I lifted her skirts and gazed at the wonders within.

Wouldn’t hurt a fly’:

This particular expression came into usage sometime in the early nineties. Its origin, while a bit hazy, can be traced back to a cottage in a small village in London. Phil Erickson sat at his desk, his nose buried in the manuscript he was working on. The manuscript he had lied to his publisher was ready. And then out of the blue, came an evil buzzing that cut sharply into his concentration. Looking around, Phil noticed a small fly perched on the handle of his tea cup. He might have imagined it, but the fly gave him a most insolent stare indeed. “Shoo,” Phil said, waving his hand to dislodge the fly. But it just sat there, looking up at him. Resolving to ignore it, Phil went back to his manuscript. But the bloody fly buzzed up and began the traditional fertility dance of its people. On Phil’s nose.

Being the gentleman he was, Phil had no intention of harming the poor creature. So he gave his own head a good shake, muttering apologetically all the while, and he managed to shake it off onto the table. Here, the fly then proceeded to bend over and shake its fruits at Phil. Or so it seemed. This was very rude, Phil thought. He tried blowing, pleading, reasoning and flapping his arms in circular motions. When everything failed he tried threats. But the fly merely laughed in his face and continued to buzz across the manuscript with increasing glee. Eventually, Phil broke down and cried, until his sobs woke his wife, who stumbled into the room with groggy eyes. Of course, by the time Phil explained his predicament-between sobs- the errant fly had already flown back to its people.

Thus the expression was born: with Phil’s wife bellowing “What kind of man cannot squash a bloody fly?!” and his meek response, “The best kind”.

‘Bored to death’:

This expression is more recent than most people realize. In a non-descript house in the non-descript capital of a non-descript country, a couple sat on opposite ends of a couch. At the beginning of the evening, the wife had called in a week’s worth of favors to get the husband to sit with her as she caught up on ‘some light TV’. Which, the husband realized too late, meant binge watching an entire season of something called ‘Devious househelps” or some nonsense. But by the time the warning bells went off, he was already well into the first hour of the last night of his life. You see, the husband suffered from an undiagnosed case of the sleeping sickness, which had not been encountered before in aforementioned non-descript country. So he slumped deeper and deeper into the couch. Occasionally, the wife would yell something to the tune of “OMG, she did not just do that; swirrie, can you believe that bitch?!” and he would shake his head sadly. “No, babe, I can’t.”

This went on for an eternity. The husband planned fifteen different escape strategies but dared not use any of them. So he slipped further and further into a semi-comatose state. His boredom was so dire he could not lift a finger to break that stupid television. He did not feel it happen; one minute he was there, the next he was wallowing in nothingness.

Hours later, the wife phoned an ambulance with panic in her voice. Her husband was not breathing, she reported. The intern who had received him scrawled ‘bored to death’ under cause of death, purely on a whim. The rest, alas, is further history.

‘Give my best to’:

The origin of this expression is has been disputed for quite some time. There have been strong claims by the Bukusu superclan of Shamakhokho that they were in fact the first to use this expression, and cultural allegiances aside, I am inclined to believe them.

After a visit by her nephews, Senje Martha was so overwhelmed with gratitude for the work they had helped her do that she decided to make a gesture of her own. As the boys waited by the door, she went back into her farm and opened the kitchen shed. It took some effort, and some sporadic spurts of speed and agility, but eventually she cornered the rooster. It was her prize rooster. She had been feeding it very deliberately since it hatched, in readiness for an upcoming funeral. It was 15 kilograms of pure muscle. But now she tucked it into the crook of her armpit and marched back to the boys.

“Give this to your mother,” she announced. “It’s my best rooster.” This would later become a part of the Luhya custom; giving a chicken-or, in short- one’s best to friends and relatives to show gratitude or by way of greeting. “Give my best to…” Patent pending, people.

English? You fascinate me ma’am.

I have cheated on you

Dearest, I have cheated on you.

In moments of quiet reflection, when I was in my own company and you were out laboring to brighten our lives, I rubbished my vows. In these moments, as I trailed a pensive finger over the desk behind which I spent half our marriage, the strings of my commitment came loose, and the pouch that contained much of my restraint split open. In that instant, I forgot that I love you, that I have always loved you, that I promised to love you for all my days.

Her name is Martha. She came unbidden into my mind, stirring first from the murky abyss of my subconscious and then blooming into a constant presence. With a few casual strokes of my wrist, with the easy scratching of pen on paper, I breathed life into her. I gave her mysterious eyes; shrouded and coy. And long hair, falling to her face in waves. Her skin was dark, silky; her limbs long and lithe. She was, in other words, effortlessly beautiful, with an acerbic wit and an easy brilliance. But, most damning, I gave her the exact character perk that clashes so obviously with yours; Martha is, above all else, decisive and unafraid.

I have cheated on you, my love. And I continue to do so. Every other night, after your gentle snoring has blended into the sounds of the night, I steal away into my study and there indulge in my indiscretions. You see, she is glorious, this woman. She lends to my eager fingers an easy pliancy that I have not as yet experienced. She bends and twists to my every need. She knows my every whim and rushes to meet it. I do not know how I got here, but I confess myself lost. She has me fast and her grip is unrelenting.

I have wronged you, I know. Even more than when I asked you to share me with my work. Another woman lies unseen in our bed, at my invitation. And even though others may well dismiss this as the ramblings of a mad writer, you know the truth. You know what I am guilty of.

I will not deliver this letter. I fear that despite the strength of my conviction and the weight of my guilt, I am ultimately incapable of hurting you with the truth. So while much of my noble efforts at a signed confession may not survive the delete button, know that I love you in spite of it all. Mine was a crime of passion. A writer’s passion, if you will.

my romantic tendencies

My romantic tendencies, I fear,
My sweet nothings, my poetry and all my lunacies,
My elaborate displays of affection; these tendencies,
They wither and die with every passing year,
If I forget to love, my love, if I,
Ignore the gentle tug of flair and flattery, if,
Our love grows stale and our embrace stiff,
Weep not, my love; this is not goodbye.

My romantic tendencies, they wane and flicker,
But my love, love, is as eternal as it is stronger.

the king:

He steps into the hall, the king, and is met with tumultuous applause. He raises his chin and closes his eyes, basking in the love of his people. They are chanting now. Screaming, stretching fingers to reach their king. Casually, he flicks his cape behind him so that it will stream and billow in the wind as he walks, like they always do in the movies. It also creates an impression of power, he has been told. But the movies say nothing about wind direction. As soon as he puts his foot forward to begin his kingly march, a wayward gust of wind from the open door seizes his coat and wraps it around his ankles, so that his first kingly step is suspended in the folds of the rich cloth, and suddenly, he is falling.

He lurches forward, the king, in a most un-kingly manner, and before he has the sense to throw out his arms, his face makes contact with the ground. There is the small mercy of the floor being covered by a thick purple carpet, but it is a painful crunch nonetheless. Somehow, because of his entangled feet, he ends up with his rear poking out from behind him, a very high-pitched screech having just escaped his lips. And then he hears it. First it is a snicker; a nervous giggle. Then two smothered laughs, and finally, because somehow it has been shown that it is okay to laugh at your king, the whole court is braying with laughter.

He shuffles to his feet red-faced, his rage a pulsing white light at the back of his eyeballs. Presently, there is silence. But not the kind that descends suddenly. Rather, the room grows quiet gradually. There a few scattered laughs here and there as the mirth dies down, with the brave ones extending that final laugh and ultimately signing off with that nostalgic “Aaaah. Good one.” Eventually, though, there is total silence. The king stands in the middle of the room, the treacherous cloak still wrapped around his left leg, glaring at his loyal subjects, and every single person in the room understands that there will be hell to pay.

He orders the guards to lock the doors into the hall, and then he strides purposefully to his throne. There, he rediscovers his kingly pose. He pushes his chest out and pours the full extent of his scorn onto his audience, who have thankfully realized the danger they are in and are now incorporating varieties of terror into their expressions. The king glances casually at his perfectly manicured fingernails, and then leisurely around the hall. When he finally plonks the royal ass onto the royal throne, he can tell his subjects are terrified witless. So he speaks, in the royal timbre he has been practicing all night.

“It would appear that the loose, do-as-you-will style of leadership my father favoured has allowed insubordination to seep into the minds of the people he purported to govern. I take full responsibility for that. I did not make it clear that this king will be a different king. You will do well to remember that I am not my father. I am a stronger, harsher, better looking version of my father, may he rest in peace. As such, I feel it is my responsibility to hit the ground running. As my first decree, I hereby declare it illegal to laugh in the presence of the king- to say nothing of laughing in the direction of the king- without the express permission of the king, except in the occasion-”

A gentle tap on the shoulder causes the king to trail off and whip around furiously.

“Good God, squire! Can you not see I am in the middle of something?! Have you no manners?! I will have your head, boy!”

The squire whispers urgently into the royal left ear.

“What do you mean the mother dies, you errant oaf! That makes absolutely no sense”

The squire whispers some more into the royal ear, each word stretching the frown on the king’s face until he looked positively furious. He jumps to his feet and faces his subjects once more, his initial monotone all but forgotten.

“You must excuse me, my people. I am just now receiving word that two malicious individuals have conspired to shit on nine years of television. These individuals, claiming to be producers, have reneged on a promise to make the finale ‘legendary’. I must go witness this atrocity for myself; the spoilers of my staff simply will not do. You are forgiven, then, for the treason you have committed here today. But only this once.”

And then he is off, the king, stalking from the hall in an agitated huff, the tails of his coat billowing behind him; his hand waving vaguely for his royal tablet, and then he is out the door, the hall ringing with his final words to his squire:

“And Barney? What happens to Barney?”

a strongly worded letter


You, sir, are an annoying twat.

No, I will not keep it civil. I will watch my language whenever the hell I please, and thanks to your tireless efforts, it appears I will be doing so in the dark. For the second day in a row, that is. I am not even upset about the fact that the lights went off while I was in the middle of war with Barcelona for the Champions League title. It does not bother me in the least that I was just about to score the goal that would win me the match when I was plunged into darkness and my computer monitor gave a mournful beep and went off. No, that is hardly the reason for my indignation.

Rather, it is the simple fact that I called your office, and the idiot I managed to raise (after waiting ten minutes, no less) was actually unaware that we had been without power for twelve hours. He was genuinely surprised to hear it, and after a series of mouse clicks on his end, he mumbled something about transformer complications and gave me a very helpful piece of advice: to wait. My quarrel is not with him, so I will refrain from dispensing insults where they are not intended. I make no promises, however. There is such a thing as a stray bullet.

So, quite simply, sir, this is not a complaint. This is not another customer airing his grievances. I have seen enough of those online. It is clear that you are incapable of running your company, so I will not bother explaining to you just how deep the well of your incompetence goes. I will, however, devote the remaining paragraphs to insulting you. Few things motivate quite as well as a timely gibe. This is not constructive criticism either. It is simple, pure, undisguised abuse. In the event that you see it fit to sue me, you are more than welcome to the millions I don’t have. (Full disclosure, I got that line from a movie).

To the insults, then. If ever you manage to drag yourself out of the fort of stupidity behind which you cower in your mindless stupor, take a moment to reflect on how fundamentally worthless you are. Surely, the criterion used to appoint you hinged on something else: mental ability could not possibly have been a factor. Perhaps they went with the person they felt was closest to being morbidly obese. I hear that is important for desk jobs such as yours. If the simple task of keeping the power on baffles you, then I cannot imagine how you get through the Herculean task that is getting dressed every morning. In this moment, you are the most unbelievably dense wart-

Oh, look, the power is back on!

Random incident #2

So, the other night, my mum made a very compelling audition for the International School for the Sarcasm- Impaired. If it were up to me, not only would such a school exist (in which case I would be the obvious choice for Chancellor), but my mum would secure automatic qualification on a full scholarship. Twenty odd years of parenthood have taught her much- including the art of nagging your child to within an inch of their life- but she remains woefully ignorant on the fine language that is sarcasm. For this reason, our arguments have recently gotten so amusing that I find myself looking forward to them.

Anyway, if I may set the scene, I was emerging from the bathroom, towel wrapped around my waist, when a great, big, mum-shaped shadow fell across my path. Whilst in the bathroom, I had gone through the better part of the USA Hot Top 40 singles chart. With commentary. What this simply means is that I had ushered myself into the bathroom with a booming introduction (Ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together for……me!!) and then segued into the first verse of Wake Me Up. I killed the chorus. Soaping myself required a more up tempo vibe, so I switched to Blurred Lines. At some point I went pop rock, then reggae, and eventually I signed off with a rousing performance of our very own Hivo ndio kunaendanga.

You understand, therefore, why my first thought was that my dear mother had been moved to tears by my heartbreaking renditions, and had thus decided to deliver her standing ovation in person. I was wrong. As so often happens, my father had been so busy snoring on the couch and my mum so occupied with rehearsing ways to be mean to your child, that they had missed ten minutes of sheer brilliance.

“What is this?!” mum barked, and my celebrity smile slipped from my face. For one terrified moment, I ran a mental check on the crimes I had committed of late. I looked up at what she was holding. Not surprisingly, it was her laptop. You see, my mum has a bit of a dramatic streak. Obviously, she was referring to something else; probably something on the laptop itself. But I have too much self-respect to pass up an opportunity to be sarcastic. I am nothing if not principled.

“I can’t say for sure, mum. A decepticon?”

There was an audible whoosh as that one flew over her head. Her eyes continued to flash.

“Well, it looks a lot like your laptop. Is that a new spacebar?”

At this point she thrust the laptop forward so I could better survey the scene of the crime. “Are you the one who left this virus on my computer?”

The virus, or as I like to call it, the completed torrent of the third season of Sherlock, sat innocently on her desktop awaiting the arrival of the jury. I had no idea where to begin. Normally, I would calmly begin with the explanation of what a torrent is, but as it was, I was dripping wet and mildly irritated.

“Really? The whole third season of Sherlock is a virus? No!”

I took the laptop from her, shouldered past her and went into my room. “If only the producers knew. And the networks! Let me put some clothes on, mum, it helps when fighting malware disguised as brilliant television dramas.”

She continued to hurl accusations at me, interspersed with some insults, while I busied myself copying that dreadful virus elsewhere. We wouldn’t want to expose her poor laptop to such filth. Eventually, I presented it back to her, promising that it was free of risk and denying vehemently that I had anything to do with it.

“I would never touch your laptop, mum. Just the thought frightens me.”

There was a moment when she glared at me intently, and I worried that her hands were about to reach for my neck. But she simply turned and walked away. Probably to go work on her admission letter. She need not have bothered. The International School for the Sarcasm Impaired wants her bad.

the one in which cupid dies

Intercepted document, obtained at great personal peril.


Cupid, the most famous icon in the world of love, has passed. The winged purveyor of affection was yesterday found dead in his mansion on Cloud 10. While it must seem strange that he died on the eve of Valentine’s Day, it seems somewhat befitting that his death occurred around his favourite time of the year.

The blogosphere is rife with speculations as to cause of death, given that the body was found naked, beside his famous golden bow and an empty bottle of Viagra. The Cupid Police Department has issued a statement dissuading the rumours, but they were circumspect about the details of the autopsy. They were also adamant that they were not, in fact, looking for an unidentified blonde with a well distended rear who had supposedly been seen leaving the premises. Still, knowing Cupid as we all did, and given his well-publicized remarks that there was no better way to go than with love in one’s heart and an ample bottom in their hands, there is little doubt what the man’s last act was.

Attention now turns, naturally, to the question of succession, with many voicing concerns that the human world may fall into disarray. An interim cupid has been appointed, but the public feeling is that love may never be the same again.

The City of Love Mayor Honest Sentiment has declared a full month of mourning, in which the citizens will parade nude and perform random intimate acts with strangers, in celebration of the life of a man who made it his mission to bring a little more love into the world.

Evident Beauty,
Intergalactic News.


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