By Victor Mwene
I am not a heavy drinker. Omosh, a very good friend of mine is one of them. Omosh can gulp a whole 750ml of Red Label in one sitting, then cap it up with a few bottles of any beer –but he prefers the Ugandan Nile Special, and he will still be stable enough to dance up to the wee hours of the morning. He is one of those friends who like competing to drink-a very dangerous drinking habit!
I like my Guinness at room temperature mixed with a cold coke. Yes I am a brown bottle guy and still mix it with a coke. Call me old-fashioned but I learnt this from my dad and since then I have never appreciated the taste of Guinness kubwa without a coke. My dad used to say that his drinking was a prescription from a doctor friend of his who thought he was anaemic. The friend had advised him to be taking at least three bottles of Guinness every weekend saying it had high iron content and that it was good for his bones. I still don’t know how much truth is in this statement. I would sneak to his table whenever he was drinking from the house and he would give me a few pints.
Last weekend Omosh called me for a drink in some Kenyan club in Busia Uganda. I live at the border of Kenya and Uganda and so most of my drinking escapades are in Uganda because Museveni is kind on us lovers of the bottle. A beer here costs Ugsh 3,500 which is approximately Ksh.100 and a litre of Red Label goes for Ugsh.70, 000 which is Kshs.2, 000. Omosh said I wasn’t going to embarrass him with my archaic habit of mixing Guinness with coke because he had some cool Banyarwanda ladies from Makerere University around. He is a ladies’ man. I told him I have never tasted any other alcohol apart from Guinness kubwa and Uganda waragi.
“I am teaching you to drink like a gentleman today not likes a poor old retiree,” he pressed on. I insisted that waragi did bad things to me the last time I took it and therefore I will stick to my dark Irish dry stout.
“Don’t even think of waragi. That is a cheap drink. Today you are taking Double Black, a gentleman’s drink. No hang overs in the morning at all,” he went on.
I am at the whisky counter where are you guys?
After a short debate on the phone I agreed dejectedly to take my usual Guinness but not to mix it with a cold coke. The thought of pouring first the Guinness in a glass then waiting for the typical surge of bubbles to settle for you to add a cold coke lingered on my mind. I knew I would really miss the characteristic taste of the mixture but I liked Omosh’s noisy company and so I knew I will enjoy my usual drink another day.
I walked in to the blurring blue disco lights and the blaring beats of Gutujja by B2C and Rema. The dance floor was congested and a mixture of sweat, cheap perfume and cigarette smoke. I proceeded to the counter while texting Omosh……am at the whisky counter where are you guys?
Kuja VIP Lounge he texted me back. I walked into the VIP Lounge to find him seated between three beautiful Banyarwanda ladies, their long shapely legs sprawled under the table. A litre of Double Black whisky was at the Centre of the table guarded by a couple of short whisky glasses around it. After introductions he asked the waitress to get me a glass. I told him I was taking no whisky. He then asked the waitress to get me five Guinness kubwas. Omosh is the kind of those lakeside guys who believe in kuchafua meza so he orders his beers in threes or fives. Weird.
“Have you eaten well,” he asked.
“Yes, I took some rice and stew,“ I replied.
“That food can’t sustain whisky, I have ordered full kuku choma I know you like chicken a lot,” he continued.
I visited the gents while on my fourth bottle and when I came back I noticed the level of beer in my glass had increased and it tasted different like it had been laced with whisky. A tipsy Omosh insisted nothing had happened to my drink and that maybe I was just getting high. The girls were shaking and gyrating their waists on the dance floor to Sauti Sol’s Extravaganza.
I tried to stand up and dance but faltered
The second bottle of Double Black was now halfway. It rested gingerly in the middle of the table-like a sexy girl left alone in the middle of a dance floor. It glittered and nudged me. No, dared me to touch it in the dimly lit room. Omosh convinced me in my drunken state to take a tot of the whisky, then two and before I knew it I was now taking the Double Black alone. Omosh was capping it up with his usual Nile Special while the girls had shifted to taking water.
I tried to stand up and dance but faltered towards the DJ. Omosh noticed I could not stand on my own so he held and walked me to the gents. He left me at the door to the urinary. I held myself on the wall as I peed. As I was standing there feebly, right hand on my member and the other hand giving me support from the wall, I felt a sudden urge to puke. It was like it had been all along boiling to come out. I let out everything. Literally everything then blacked out and sprawled myself in the smelly vomit.
I woke up next day at 11 on Omosh’s fluffy carpet in my boxers. He told me he left my soiled pants at the club and that he had to pay the bouncers so they could help him carry me to the taxi. The Banyarwandas disappeared in thin air.