These are those times when money becomes scarce and men begin excreting building materials.
Because there is little that frustrates men more than the inability to provide — for themselves and their families. If you are in luck, then you have been declared an essential worker, so at least there is a stream coming in at the end of the month.
It is not exactly what it used to be, granted, but it is still there. And that is more than can be said for some people. You thank the universe for the prayers of your mother — because we all know the last time you prayed, God was still a rookie.
But the truth is, with no end in sight, we have to run a very tight ship. Sacrifices have been made — you have moved from drinking whisky to whiskey. You no longer service the car because you need to take care of your other bebi.
And the general consensus is that the reasoning is mutual. Your quarantine partner also understands the situation. Until you accompany her to the supermarket to do a month’s shopping — you know, to stock up and everything falls off like a house of cards.
You enter a supermarket and you agree on a budget. Your job is to push the trolley and to pay at the till. So you walk around with her and mind your business.
ONLY THE FINEST
You do not want to impose because that will bring chaos. Because black pepper is not just black pepper. There is Oakley's and Tropical Heat variety.
In her kitchen, she only uses Tropical Heat. And spaghetti is Santa Lucia, not Santa Maria. And tissue is not tissue. Tissue is Hannan or Velvex, or that other one that has a cat or puppy drawn on the cover.
In your mind, she is actually calculating these items she is putting on the trolley. But the trolley is filling up, and at some point you raise your brow and wonder, kwani how much stuff does 5k buy?
But you know what? In your mind you are with a woman who is respectful enough to be responsible with your budget. Maybe she has gotten too excited and exceeded the budget by a thousand or two. Nothing harmful.
Until you get to the till and the cashier keeps beeping those items endlessly. He keeps asking you if he should include another bag, and another one, and yet another one.
And you start wondering what exactly did this woman buy? The people on the queue behind you are getting irritated — you look back at them with their angry face, eyes rolling so far back they must even hurt.
Because kwani who do you think you are buying the whole supermarket? But in your head you are like – ‘but I said the budget is 5k.’
These days, though, the machine in the supermarkets do not show the total as it counts. You only get a cumulative total at the end.
And when the cashier finally says he is done, you look at the amount reflected on the machine and your heart drops to your small intestines.
You look at your quarantine partner. Then she whispers a silent ‘sorry’. What the hells is sorry supposed to help you with at this point?
She has not just exceeded the budget; she has shopped for almost triple the amount! But she said sorry, didn’t she?
And that woman standing behind you has rolled her eyes so far, her eyesight is now working from home. It is at this point that you understand why the devil is a liar.