Facebook Hotel ‘rest or rant’  

Saturday June 12 2021
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By Philip Matogo

I was with a friend the other day, we were walking. 
This friend of mine is so obsessed with his own mortality. That’s why he attends every funeral in town just to make sure he’s not the one being eulogised! 
Beyond his obsession with death, however, he is very lively. 

On that day, my friend and I bypassed a gate to “Facebook Hotel”. Not long before that day, the owner of Facebook Hotel asked me when I would visit. I told him I’d keep him “posted”.

Anyway, on that day, we saw a picture of a snarling Alsatian on the gate. Alongside this picture were what appeared to be the dog’s words, which said: ‘I’m on guard.’ 

Both of us had never seen a talking dog before, so we peered through the gate to catch a glimpse of this 8th wonder of the world. 
“Can I help you?” a voice from behind us asked. 
We thus wheeled around to find ourselves faces-to-face with some Indian woman. She must have been about 20 years old. 

Her countenance was as steady as her stare.  She had the kind of dusky complexion that threw the sunny day into sharper relief.  
“Oops…sorry, this is your place? We were just curious about the dog in the picture,” I explained.
The Indian woman looked at the gate and back at us as her eyes narrowed. 

My friend sensed that she might fly into a violent passion, so he decided to kill her rage in its egg. 
“We are LDUs….Local Defence Unit operatives…and we are checking the security precautions taken by residents in the area,” he said.
 
After he said this, the three of us struck up a conversation, which quickly ripened into fruitful interaction. 
Soon, we were all seated inside Facebook Hotel’s bar: The Hi-Born Pub. 
After three hours of chatting, we parted with shared phone numbers. 

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The next day, the lady called me and we agreed to link up again without my friend. 
We thus pulled up chairs at a restaurant and chatted some more. 
“Did you know that if you greet boda boda guys, you’ll be abused by them?” she asked me as we sipped sundowners. 
“How so?” I replied. 

“Because they’ll think you’re stopping them for a ride and when they find out that you were just saying ‘hi’, they’ll diss you for having wasted their time,” she said.
I was amused.  The two of us were getting along very well. 
Our mutual body language was above expression since neither of us could say what we were both feeling.
After this initial date, we agreed to meet again and again.  

On date three, she said: 
“I was looking for you on Facebook the other day and I found your profile pic…you were smiling so broadly. Your page is public so, not being your FB friend, I decided to look at your interactions…and what’s up with you and the women?” she asked with an accusatory tone which had more than a tincture of jealousy to it. 

“If I was to date you, you would have to deactivate your account because I am a jealous person,” she added. 
Seriously, I don’t know how we got to that point in the conversation. So I just looked at her in a tone of voice that was toneless. 
As I looked at her, I noticed that her eyes were windowed inlets into a companionably earnest soul. 

“May I check your Facebook wall?” I asked her. 
She logged on and handed me her phone. 
Thereupon, I saw a different person on her profile picture. 

Her Facebook profile picture breathed an angry stare to life as her eyes expressed the weed-smoke fogs of a warring nature. 
Her status updates were the higgledy-piggledy ravings of an obviously unsettled mind. In one of her pictures, she lay abed with the inviting body of the Indian edition of a Desire Luzinda. 
    
In brief, the person before me was as different from her Facebook persona as a hug is to a shove. 
“If I was to date you, you’d have to definitely change your account,” I said with a knee-jerk reaction to her contrasting virtual self. 

“Okay. Let’s both deactivate our accounts and start dating,” she proposed with the romantic purpose of the poison which killed Romeo and Juliet. 
“Okay, let’s do it,” I agreed. 
“But let’s first change our relationship statuses,” she added.

I thought about her Facebook scowl in association with my Facebook smile and mentally recoiled. 
“Why? Let’s just deactivate…it won’t make sense to declare our relationship and then vanish,” I insisted. 
“It will make sense to me and all the other ladies that you might want to two-time me with,” she thundered. 
As she shouted, the manager of the restaurant materialised at our table. 

“Is there a problem?” he asked. 
“No,” my date replied. 
“So why are you shouting?” he replied. 
“This is a rest-or-rant, right?” she asked.
 The manager agreed, not realising that her pronunciation of the word “restaurant” redefined the word. 
 “So I choose to rant!” my date said. 
It took three Kanyamas to throw us out of that ‘rest-or-rant’. 

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

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