A couple of years back, I remember many old vehicles had stickers that read: “Do not laugh at my car; your daughter could be inside”.
That got me thinking. Why would an artist find it necessary to conjure such a phrase and turn it into a business opportunity?
It turned out that I was foolishly innocent! In later years as I interacted more with girls, I would get to fully appreciate it. As I would painfully come to learn later in life, girls have a sickening and almost lustful infatuation with cars (or is it men who drive?).
There is this pal who had fallen for a girl head over heels.
He dated this girl for a couple of years, but when she joined campus there was a marked change in her ‘passionometer’.
The girl’s passion, which would rev like a turbo Subaru engine on Isinya road, would hardly register his presence when he popped into her hostel room unannounced.
To see her, the brother was now required to schedule for an appointment to go see her in the halls of residence.
That was not the big problem.
Later when she graduated, getting her to agree to a juice date at the man’s house was as difficult as scheduling a meeting with the Pope.
As you would expect, like a flower devoid of frequent nourishment, the love withered.
We would spend many nights in dingy pubs gazing at the ceiling, wondering what could have happened as we helped a brother drown his sorrows. If they could do post-mortems on broken hearts, we could have taken my friend’s.
Then one day we got a breakthrough. One of her former classmates in college confided in us that the girl had gotten a new man who had a car.
Apparently, the girl was so impressed by the man’s means that at the sight of an old car’s dashboard, she was more than willing to display her own.
This was irrespective of the fact that when the two love birds were in college together, they weathered many storms.
A relationship of more than four years was buried in the smoking bellow of an old jalopy. This is not the only instance I would watch a brother lose out.
Several times, when drinking in one of those dimly-lit pubs in the alleys you wouldn’t want your mother ever to get wind of your patronage, I watched young university students lose their girls to other men.
All that a man needs to get a young damsel in a pub is dangle car keys. The girls would miraculously melt into the washroom, spend hours on end only to re-appear and join the guy with the car at the corner.
Knowing that a brother was in for heartache, we would count our losses and leave.
Shockingly, even today I see grown up women crane their necks from matatus and admire me in my blue Subaru during Nairobi’s rush hour.
Whether they look at me or my car I’m not sure; we are both eye candies, anyway!