The man with bulging biceps
Posted Sunday, January 20 2013 at 14:01
Taxi tales. When one travels in a taxi daily, one meets all kinds of people. And by simply observing them, one can tell a story out of their interaction with the conductor, driver or other passengers,
From the time he got onto the taxi, I had my eye on him. There was just something about him that made him stand out. Maybe it was the fact that his hair was ‘permed’ into oil ringlets that glistened in the afternoon sun.
Maybe it was the fact that he had on the tightest t-shirt I had ever seen on a male chest. It was so tight that not only did it make his gym biceps bulge more than they should have, the t-shirt outlined his nipples too.
I did not mean to admire the man, but his flat stomach made me wonder how many piglets were snorting around in my pork belly. I could not have worn the pair of jeans he had on: they clung to him like they had been sewn on him.
He was in such a state of delicacy that I was surprised when he chose to sit in the corner of the conductor’s row. The toughest seats to occupy in a Ugandan taxi. I did not think he would survive the shoving and the rude “extend there’s” and it was not long before the conductor started complaining.
At first, to no one in particular. “I know you are all paying customers, but must you squeeze me up against the door as if I’m an orphan? I don’t have magnets in my body that I love pressing against metal,” he had complained.
Ignored, he became bitterer, more cutting, “Wabula forcing yourself to become a side B can disorganise a man. He can’t even sit properly in his seat. He has to spread his legs because that is how he is used to keeping them.”
I thought he would shoot out his bulging biceps and grab the lanky conductor by the scruff of his neck. Nothing happened. When this passenger asked to be dropped at a next stage, the conductor ratcheted it up, “For you, you are paying Shs1,000 not Shs500. You have the money from your friends.”
He hesitated briefly, paid, and was let out. Then he surprised us, speaking up, addressing the conductor, “You fool, I can make you sniff the ground like a dog.” The conductor chortled, daring him.
For a scary moment, I thought the man was going to pull out a pistol, but it was his wallet. Jeering, he told the conductor, “You think an extra Shs500 is a big profit? Let me see if you don’t get out of that taxi and pick these two Shs500 coins,” and with that he dropped them in the mud.