Last Saturday I attended a party at a friend’s house. The guests ranged from her relatives to workmates to neighbours and former classmates, a good mix that ensured there was no moment for boredom.
As happens in such gatherings, as the day wore on and people began to warm up to one another, the story swapping began.
One story especially got me gawking with disbelief. The narrator was a burly man who loomed above everyone else, a hulk of a man made even bigger by the bulky muscles characteristic of those that lift weights religiously.
One day a couple of years ago, he began his story, he and his younger brother, a giant of a man too, (in his family, the men are all huge, he informed who had almost made them cause a fatal accident due to his reckless driving.
Due to their intimidating size, he explained, people were careful not to offend them, so no, they were not going to take this slight lying down.
According to him, the man in question had carelessly overtaken them in the process forcing them to veer off the road, almost knocking down a pedestrian.
Well, when the offender was forced to stop for a traffic light, the two brothers had quickly got off their vehicle in a huff, raced to their unsuspecting quarry’s car, switched off his car and proceeded to haul him bodily from the open driver’s window.
They had then slapped him around, slapping him even harder when he protested.
As the beating was going on, the story teller’s younger brother happened to glance into the car only to spot a gun on the floor of the passenger side. Alarmed, the two brothers, after brief consultation, decided to empty the gun’s magazine and take the bullets with them just in case the man decided to exact revenge when they let him go.
At this point, the journalist in me was itching to ask him where they learnt to eject bullets from a gun, but I was hesitant to break the flow of the story. I also sensed that the listeners would not take my interruption kindly seeing that everyone was on the edge of their seat in anticipation. I therefore let it go.
Anyway, the two brothers emptied the gun of bullets, then tossed it back into the car together with the man, who was now the proud owner of a torn and buttonless shirt.
The jam had since started moving, though at a snail’s pace since other motorists slowed down to take in the unlikely scene.
The brothers then walked back to their car and drove away, feeling like pros, shaking their fists at the man they had just given a beating as they drove past.
The next day, way before dawn, hulk was woken up by violent banging on his front door. At first, he thought his house was in the process of being broken into until he peeped out the window and saw a group of about 10 men, some wearing what looked like police uniform, all with guns in their hands.
One of them ordered him to open the door, failure to which they would break it down. Shaking like a leaf, his intimidating bulk notwithstanding, he dutifully opened the door, upon which he was immediately frog marched to a waiting vehicle barefoot.
To cut a long story short, it turned out that the two had beaten up a policeman.
This man says he ended up paying his victim Sh12 million, money that he borrowed from his Sacco and several other sources since he is not a governor, Cabinet secretary or MP. He is still repaying that loan with little help from his brother, who doesn’t have a steady job.
It was either that, or being charged with robbery with violence, which attracts a death sentence.
The policeman had assured him that he would make sure he either rotted in jail or came out of prison an old man with no life left to live for.
His wife had given birth to their second born just three months before that incident, therefore he was willing to do just about anything to stay away from jail.
Since then, he says, he has been a law-abiding citizen who wouldn’t even dream of hooting or even sneering at anyone.