Some people are like socks; they go missing when you need them most.
And when such time comes, no matter how much you look for them, I bet my nose, you cannot smell their trail.
It was Tuesday last week when my hunt for my usual mechanic took me to all corners and crevices of the gutter, but to no avail.
“Anali pompatu, wangochoka kumene [he was here a split second ago],” said his apprentice, busy trying to wash some ink off his right index finger.
My mechanic is a clever lot, both on and off his trade.
Toss before him a wretched car and give him time for his strong brew, he will drink his way to a solution and the car will soon rave back to the road!
“Wapita kuti? [where did he say he was going]?” I tossed my question to the half attentive apprentice.
“Wapita m’tauni kukagula masipeyala a fili-tana ili apoyo [he has headed to town to buy spares for the small lorry over there,” said the apprentice, his inked finger pointing towards a three-tonne ramshackle.
I looked at the vehicle with the attention of a surgeon.
I must admit I have seen the most of rickety vehicles, their ‘headquarters’ being the Kaondo-Phwetekere route in Lilongwe or the Limbe-Manje one in Blanytre, but the vehicle in front of me looked too dead for any mechanical cure.
The only thing that saved me from collapsing in astonishment is the practised courtesy my father always demanded of me.
“Iwe, masanza awa abwera bwanji pano? Wabweretsa pano imeneyo ndani? [young man, how did this rickety thing dock here? Who brought this thing here?” I wanted to know.
The boy hesitated.
“Ndi ya Ashado ali kumbuyo kwanuwo; akuti akukonzekera kunyamula anthu akawina zisankhozi [it’s owned by the Shadow MP standing behind you; he says he is getting ready for a celebratory ride with fans in that vehicle],” said the novice.
I hurriedly took a couple of steps forward and turned to see the Shadow MP from a ‘safe distance.’
I learned this was a shadow MP from outside Lilongwe and it is that same rickety lorry that served him during the campaign.
I gazed at the ‘honourable’ and reflected on my ‘unkind’ sentiments. Silence and tension reigned. I made haste to bid farewell.
On the morning of Wednesday as unofficial results from polling centres flew all over social media, I recollected the sorry man’s look—that tired shirt, threadbare collar, a tired pair of shoes and the wary face he wore.
I remembered how people ruthlessly eat from gullible contestants during the campaign period. Obviously this man had been milked beyond breath.
I made it a point to familiarise with results from the Shadow MP’s constituency, and bang!
He had won, flooring a well-seasoned politician!
As other results came in of heavyweights who had lost their Parliamentary seats, I was comforted in the occasion of this man’s wobbly drive to Parliament.
It was an election that saw the unimaginable happen! Need I say more?
Congratulations to the man for a ticket on the gravy train!
To those who missed it, always remember—some voters are like socks!