When you see a man opening the passenger door for a woman, either the woman or the car is new. But this is an awful generalisation, isnâ€™t it?
â€œIf this was true, Chimimbaâ€™s car would be new every day,â€ argued Chimutu, who sells tales for booze.
â€œWhat do you mean? Go deeper man of stories,â€ said I, Zikathankalima, while ordering some cold ones to rescue our throats from climate change.
â€œNone of the birds potbellied Chimimba catches are new?â€ explained the man of stories.
â€œDo you mean a bird in his hand is no better than those in the bush,â€ asked an intruder as I grabbed my cold one.
â€œThatâ€™s politically correct,â€ he answered in no tavern terms.
Lately, Chimimba, who drives a rusty beetle, has been spotted with beauties of all sizes, shapes and booze tastes, but none of them strikes Chimutu as new.
The day His Sexcellency Ngwazi Professor Chimimbaâ€”not related to any dead president so knighted because our overweight headmen-cum-herdsmen are not tired of dictatorsâ€”has been seen with cutie Jessica, the storyteller identified her as â€œone of those secondhand lovesâ€ in chipwilikiti pubs where chaos is order.
â€œCut the fuss,â€ Chimutu advised. â€œChimimba is just the latest user of this new sweetheart of his. She often frequents pubs where people donâ€™t care about their stable lovers.â€
He paused and looked around. Nobody seemed willing to invest in his silly stories. Bemused, he turned to me and whispered: â€œDo you remember Joanalisa, the big and round lady who nearly stabbed Mrs Chimimba recently?â€
Yes I did, but he speedily interrupted me.
â€œZikatha, have you forgotten that matofotofo who turned the pub into a battleground when our in-law came to see who was hanging out with her husband?â€ he explained.
No. Even the stingy buddies roared into a reflex â€œNoooooooâ€ you rarely get from self-confessed sober heads in politics, workplaces and beer halls. Surely, Joanalisa was too good to be forgottenâ€”a boozy Monalisa, nicknamed Mtimaukanena after the spectacular boxer who recently won a fashion belt for baptising her spurring partner with ugly punches in what was supposed to be a title bout.
According to Chimutu, Joanalisa and Jessica were sleeping around with Sibweni who died in a car accident while smuggling â€œan HIV positive hookerâ€ to some hideout.
â€œOh, now I understand,â€ said one drunk.
â€œWhat do you understand?â€ asked Chimutu.
â€œJessica and Joanalisa are clinging to Chimimba because Sibweni is no more. Crooks! They want him because their well is dry,â€ replied the drunk.
Afterwards, their talk went chapter and verse into the scandals of Chimimba who mixes softies with a litany of beautiful ones.
But being Zikathankalima, I wanted to know how Chimimba knew that Sibweniâ€™s hooker was living with the virus that causes Aids.
Was it because she was slim? Donâ€™t Chimutu and company say potbellied Chimimba looks like many biggies who take life-prolonging drugs? Is HIV-status like beauty to lie in the eyes of beholders or a medical case only diagnosed by regular testing? This stigma!
My questions continued until Chimimba reappeared into the pub, asking: â€œWhy are you quiet when everybody is talking about my latest lover as if it is their business anyway?â€
â€œJust mixing fun and meditations, for an unexamined bottle is not worth sipping,â€ I said as Chimutu and company became quiet.
Chimimba released a tycoonâ€™s chuckle, his eyes searching for cute takeaways in the house. The pub once congested with sex workersâ€”according to our home-based sweetheartsâ€”had become a male ward.
â€œBy the way, where is our latest in-law you had a minutes ago,â€ I asked Chimimba.
â€œI just released her. She was feeling lonely. Donâ€™t you know that ladies are shunning us because our better halves have planted spies around the pubs to detect who we are chilling out. Thatâ€™s the problem of drinking close to home,â€ whined the man who changes partners the way politicians switch parties when power shifts.
He was right. If our stable partners had popped in that night, they would have encouraged us to make the pub our home ground.
As he made way to his battered beetle, Chimimba called the bartender and ordered a crate -a pleasant parting shot, for the night was just about to start happening. But his donation did not take away the puzzle: Why do we still sleep with more than one partner in time of HIV and Aids?