Make Fish Great Again

So Onyango Oloo quit TNA(Jubilee) and joined ODM. A lot has been made of the move but juniorelders remains apolitical. However, I have issues with him saying he is going to spill jubilee secrets to their opponents. That’s just being a snitch. A man shouldn’t even have “spill secrets” in his vocabulary. If you feel slighted, suck it up and move on. Oloo seems like the kind of men who break up with a lady then goes ahead and reveals that the long weaves she spots is to hide her sharp kisogo. Or that she’s a dead fish in bed. Then claim that they’re exposing her.

Like a couple of days ago when a tweep decided to reveal to netizens that his estranged girlfriend was an ungrateful woman who used to pocket a ten thousand shillings monthly allowance and still cheated on him. Men, for fuck’s sake, don’t post it on social media if your girlfriend cheats on you. Go to the bar and glue the broken pieces of your heart with poison and sleep it off. In fact, give her your blessings if she leaves you for someone within your age group. At least she didn’t leave you for a sponsor, if that gives you any comfort. We are at an age where the adjective “well off” seems like a distant dream so if we find the odd female who is willing to lay us, we must share with fellow comrades. And even if she leaves you for a much older man struggling with lifestyle diseases, ask her if she can talk nicely to him to use his networks to get you a job, a business deal or his daughter.

It’s writing stuff like this that I suspect the heavens are angry with me. The gods must be disappointed by my deeds or misdeeds, actions or inaction, or the company I keep. It must be the company I keep. Maybe they’re mad at that one time in campus when I took this chic I had been chasing all semester to my room and when it started going down, my roommate, who was a C.U official, called me out to stop it. I didn’t. Or when a friend who was inebriated gave me his coins for safekeeping and I opted to reward myself with poison then lied to him that I had lost the money. Maybe it’s me telling girls that I’m a blogger when all I do is write bad things about people on the internet. Whatever it is, the powers that be are not a happy lot.

How then would you explain that I recently bought fresh fish without gills. Yes, I walked into a fish shop and ordered for fish because that’s what fish shops sell. I wanted fresh fish because the two times I have bought fish here I been left feeling violated. First time, I bought fried to make stew but whatever the fishmonger sold me must have been soaked in filter oil. I suffered a terrible sore throat thereafter that I swore never to touch any fish being fried in oil that I can’t tell apart from diesel through casual observation. Second time was the one with loads of make up you’d mistake it for my landlady if it had a sharp voice and walked like a duck.

While I expected these sort of fish which you have to bribe to at least taste like fish, I was taken aback when what presented to me didn’t even look like fish. It didn’t even make an effort to look like fish. It just lay there. Like, you know, a dead fish. Like those primates Putin refers to as women of low social responsibility who tell you “ukimaliza niambie” after your legal tender has changed ownership.It just lay there like a governement clerk. Or when the missus says, “Ukimaliza kitu unajaribu kufanya unifunike nisiumwe na mbu.”( Hint: She’s mad because you came back smelling of female cologne, or you came back smelling of booze when you promised you had quit making love with anything from Ruaraka, or you came in drunk with a female cologne in tow. Maybe she’s just sulking because you’re growing a beard, so keeping on walking with Johnnie Ginger. Actually, it’s the beard).

It looked like a snake. If snakes were short and rotund. And it didn’t have scales. What kind of fish doesn’t have scales? Yet class six science taught us that the primary characteristic of a fish is its scales. It resembled what the spawn of a snake and a fish would look like. Snake-fish. Snake-fish is affordable though and I like affordability. I purchased a kilo which gets me two full snake-fishes and a half. This is enough fish for a family of five, assured the vendor. We are three so that worked fine for us. Hell, we could even invite the landlady.

Because we possess as much experience with snake-fish as our governors have with good governance, he volunteered to show us how to remove the entrails. I paid no attention because we are not at that level of bromance. There are somethings that men are not allowed to teach each other. Like cooking ugali, for example. I have friends whose ugali is no different from licking maize flour but I’d rather traumatise my taste buds than tell them that they should wait for the water to boil first. Another one roasts eggs instead of frying them but stomach upsets are a more honorable fate. In the same line, I can’t allow a man to tell me that I have to locate the anus of a fish if I want to remove the entrails. Anyway, snake-fish seller did his thing and handed them over to me.

At this point I am feeling housewifely. Those ones with drunkards for husbands who feed the kids a balanced diet with the five hundred shillings note the moron left for the week.
I passed by the jua kali shades to get a frying pan. I already own a frying pan but I grew up knowing fish had to be in concave-shaped metallic pans that could also double up as washing basins for children. I got that one. It came with a spade with holes. A spoon so big I suppose it’s for digging the shallow graves for casualties of frying basin accidents.

I got home and launche my metallic basin much to the amusement of my guests. They question the wisdom in buying a metallic basin when I already own a frying pan. I tell them it’s time we made fish great again. It’s time people in this land started putting respeck on fish. Cool, huh? No? Okay.

So I put this ‘thing,’ as my friends called it, on the gas and it didn’t even heat up. Thing was so heavy it took eons to dry before I even put the cooking oil. With cooking oil, I feared I might have to refill gas but I remained steadfast in the faith. With the oil ready, I fetched the snake-fish from their wrapper.

The place where the gills are supposed to be was hollow. The gills were removed. I wanted to cry. The snake-fish had been dismembered. What’s fish without gills? The monger threw the gills together with the entrails. I stare at the gillless fish. Snake-fish stares back at me, perhaps wondering if I would stand up for its gills.

Look, you heathens, fish head is not called ‘engine’ without reason; it’s the gills that make the engine. Mgongo wazi we called it. It’s where all the omega 3 resides. This is what I grew up knowing that whoever had national exams in a particular year would get to eat the engine unopposed. In fact, if I ever get an opportunity give an acceptance speech for anything in my life, gills will get a special mention.
Because this is Njaanuary, I had to make do with gillless snake-fish. But the fight to make fish great again( #MFGA) continues.

PS: That picture is from the internet. Mine came out black and therefore could be confused with a burnt offering.


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