By the way: How to be a good neighbour

Sunday January 15 2012

By Peter Kakoma

Many times in our adult life, we find ourselves plagued by self-doubt. As children, things like whether our favourite pink shirt matched our favourite purple trousers and mauve shoes didnot bother us; ok, I stand corrected. It turns out certain people were fashion-enthusiasts even as babies and cried more from mummy forcing them to wear diapers with polka-dots than they did when they were terribly hungry. That said, one “adult” thing we did not worry about, even all those children who grew up too fast and learnt the power of carefully-timed tears, was whether we were a good neighbour or not.

As adults, we spend many of our waking hours wondering whether we are good neighbours. We wonder whether we are nice to the people next door (or the animals, depending on where you live). I am here to save you the time so you can use it to worry about inflation and GDP. Take the good neighbour test below and see how many points you score. It is a simple test; good neighbours have at least some of the things below.

Extra generator
Neighbour points: Seven
In these dark times, you need to look out for others. Get it? Because it’s dark, so you need to look out for them lest you bump into them? Ok, lame joke. But seriously, when your neighbour comes to you asking to borrow a candle, give them a generator.

Oven
Neighbour points: Four
In Uganda, it is an age-old tradition to bake brownies for new neighbours. I have seen this many times on TV but I’m pretty sure it was copied from here originally; like in 1932. I have it on very good authority that our great grandparents used to do it. The good authority said that much as there were no ovens, the brownies were made by improvising with flat irons. When a new person moves in next door, use the oven and grandma’s secret brownie recipe to make enough brownies to feed an army of hungry ants. March there and present the brownies with a smile.

If you scored more than five neighbour points, you are a great neighbour.

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