Celebrating East African Writing!
Kanini was desperate to get married. She worked as a secretary in a Nairobi law firm and had recently celebrated her 30th birthday.
It was January and one of her new year’s resolutions was to find a suitable man, nay, any healthy single man, and drag him to church for a wedding. Kanini was under pressure from her mother and sisters and aunties and her female friends who were already trapped in the dungeon called marriage.
“We want Kanini to suffer like us,” they whispered licentiously behind her back.
Kanini always felt awkward during family get-togethers and when she visited her sisters and friends and was the only one without stinky nappies to change and a lecherous loafer to complain about. Due to her prolonged anxiety in the quest to find a husband, Kanini developed an ulcer. This ulcer then caused her stomach to be flatulent. To ease the flatulence, Kanini resorted to farting incontinently. She just couldn’t control her breaking of wind. She always felt bloated.
Munene, a graphic designer in a Nairobi advertising firm, was in a hurry to get to his office. For the last two hours he’d sat in his car gnashing his teeth, stuck in a horrid, typical Nairobi traffic jam. For the third time that week, he would be late for work. His boss would not be happy. Dismissal loomed.
Munene had recently celebrated his 30th birthday and was contemplating on quitting the wintry bachelor’s club. His family and friends didn’t pressure him to get married, though. One of his new year’s resolutions was to find a pretty, childless, never-been-married, urban, working woman to be his wife.
It had recently rained in Nairobi and there were puddles of water on the flanks of the tarmac roads. When the traffic lights turned green, Munene sped down Uhuru Highway like a Safari Rally car on jet fuel. The wheels of his Subaru swooshed over a puddle, spraying water, murky brown water, on a young woman poised on the pavement waiting to cross the busy highway.
Munene screeched to a halt, mortified that in his haste he’d splashed dirty water on a pretty lady.
“What have I done?!”
Gracefully Kanini forgave Munene for splashing her with muddy water after he apologized profusely for his misdemeanor. A considerate Munene even offered to buy her a new outfit to replace the soiled one. He also benevolently offered to have the soiled skirt suit dry-cleaned at his expense.
“What a wonderful man!” Kanini thought in joy.
A month later, on February 14th (vals, they now call it), the handsome bridegroom, Munene, and his lovely bride, Kanini, stood at the altar before the packed catholic church, ready to recite their marriage vows. Munene was donned in a gaudy tuxedo and bow tie while his bride was donned in a garish white wedding dress with a three meter long train. Flower girls in matching purple outfits and gloves had helped the bride drag the long train along the aisle. Never had a bride as elegant as Kanini stood on that altar.
Amongst the guests seated in the pews were the couple’s parents, siblings, relatives, friends, and colleagues from the law firm and the advertising firm.
“I now pronounce you man and wife,” said the portly priest triumphantly after the couple finished reciting their poetical vows and slipping wedding rings on each other’s fingers.
“You may now kiss the bride!”
A cavernous silence descended on the church, all eyes trained on the dazzling couple at the altar. The air was pregnant with anticipation.
Munene grinned pleasurably at his bride and delicately lifted the veil from her pretty brown face. (He had the same facial expression as a kid peeling the wrapping from an Éclair sweet.) He proceeded to administer a wet, passionate kiss on Kanini’s eager lips. On seeing this, the audience broke the silence and ululated in glee.
Munene and his new wife were then guided by the grinning priest to a table on the side of the altar where they took turns on a biro pen and hunched over to sign their respective marriage certificates.
After they had finished signing the certificates, Kanini inadvertently let out a loud odorless fart. The sheer force of the fart detached the train from her dress. The train flew five meters away into the laps of the folks seated on the front pews.
The priest and Munene and the audience were shocked and mortified by the young bride’s act of transgression.
“How dare you do this to me?” Munene cried. “Embarrassing me in front of my friends and family!”
Munene’s colleagues from the advertising firm laughed at him derisively. Munene was so scandalized that he yelled at a dumbfounded Kanini saying, “I want a divorce!”
“Fine!!!” Kanini yelled back rebelliously.
“Huyu bibi yako ni mjeuri sana,” said the priest disappointedly to Munene. “You have a very rude wife.”
The lawyers from Kanini’s law firm perused the marriage certificates and briefly deliberated on the matter and agreed that since the marriage hadn’t been consummated, the couple could sign a separate written agreement nullifying the marriage.
The lawyers swiftly drafted the dissolution agreement and Munene and Kanini and the priest and another witness, and the lawyers themselves, signed the dissolution of marriage paper. They’d been married for only eleven minutes.
Munene and Kanini henceforth went their separate ways and never spoke to each other ever again.
© Denis Kabi 2009 http://www.deniskabi.wordpress.com
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