It seems my Dearest Datiliva finally got tired of seeing “our car” parked in front of our rented residence and decreed that my salary for the month shall be devoted to making it run again.
The last time it moved it was driven to visit another of those very many mothers who give birth and Datiliva takes me there to witness what other men can do.
On the way, the matchbox-sized Suzuki somehow decided, like Biblical Balaam’s donkey, it was going no further and “breathed” its last for the past couple of months.
I pushed the old Suzuki Samurai so that my dearest could jump-start it and like the other Samurais of yonder it unyieldingly thwarted my efforts until we got someone to tow it to the front of our rented house.
I had been using the behind entrance/exit door so I could not see the Samurai as a protest against Datiliva’s unilateral decision to empty our joint account in order to buy a rusty tin-box of a car in the name of a family car.
My misery started on Saturday when my Dearest came home from practicing with the Church choir and informed me that come Sunday she and I would be going to church.
Whereas I go to church once in a while I do not share her enthusiasm for church pomp and showbiz and I was not going to join her in the church choir and all the gymnastics they perform while singing.
But she insisted that I join her as other spouses do and if I do not want to sing I can sit in the pews but I had to be there. My protestations fell on deaf ears before she said I had to find ways of making “our vehicle” move such that by Sunday morning we could drive in it to church adding that we had to appear important to church goers.
I certainly know the exterior and interior of vehicles but not under the bonnet but my dearest said that like other men I had to find what was wrong with the Suzuki.
So I opened the bonnet and all I could see was rusting metal so I rang a mechanic I know in Gacingiro to come to my rescue but the man said he had no motorcycle fare to Nyamirambo. So I sent one rider to pick him.
When he arrived, the man declared “our” vehicle “very dead” which sent my dearest into a bellicose state of mind.
The man anyway did what he did and finally the samurai was resuscitated. We pushed and pushed again and when I thought my back had lost all the flexibility it ever had , the engine of the old Suzuki cracked several times, then there was a prolonged crack-crack, smoke billowed from the old Samurai like an old steamroller, an awful smell of burning rusty metal and the thing was ready to move.
Trouble again arose when I recompensed the man with ten thousand Francs which Datiliva grabbed and said was a lot of money. She instead gave the man five. The man said he wanted fifteen and nothing short of that.
Whatever my dearest said would enter through one ear and go out the other to which Datiliva replied that she had noticed that there was nothing between the two ears, which I thought was offensive.
After a lot of arguments and even more arguments, the grumpy man went away as reticent as a defeated challenger.
We found the church filled to capacity and the choir getting ready with their instruments. I have heard people say that Satan was the bandmaster in heaven or something near to that and I think they have a point considering what music does to people’s state of mind.
As the drums throbbed and guitars skunked my dearest twisted and swung like there were no bones in her body.
She did a couple of dancing stunts, which might make a gymnastics medallist coil in awe, and of course her newly acquired in-your-face attitude.
The church goers of old would die of shock if they resurrected and saw what dance strokes Christians pull in the Holy places today.
Once upon a time playing the African drum in African Churches was declared heathen and satanic by Caucasian Missionaries but now people twist and turn, summersault, and even do the “running-man” or the “moon-walk” in places of worship.
How times change! By the time the Sermon of the day for the second session was delivered our adrenalin was sky-high and I guess many churchgoers did not listen to what was said; either they were catching their breath or gearing up for another round of shouting at the utmost of their vocals the standardized “Amen”.
No wonder many of them talk of being “touched” or hearing messages others do not.
On the way home my dearest Datiliva wanted to know what I thought of the day’s service to which I replied that it had been fantastic and herself awesome.
I promised to go along with her the next time if she wanted; what with her changed attitude though I could not tell whether it was church music or the now mobile old Samurai.