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The Day a Party Almost Turned Tragic

Posted by Popular Ombudsman on July 26, 2009

The man slipped quietly from the arena. Nobody noticed then, because speeches were being given and soft drinks served to the crowd seated in the field behind the office. Mr. Murimi, who was leading the team that was cooking food, was enjoying a soft drink as he kept an eye on his watch. He knew the beef he was cooking needed at least another hour before it would be ready. He bid his time. There was a carnival atmosphere because certificates of recognition were to be issued to the best workers for the year.

Although according to the program, beer was to be served at the very end of the main function, Mr. Kanywaji had innovatively slipped a few beer bottles into his garments and would from time to time take out one and take a swig. What he had done was to put some strong drink in a bottle of “Sprite” and this could pass for a soft drink anytime, that is until he showed signs of drunkenness. He was not frequently accused of sobriety anyway, so his ‘middle name’ had become Inebriate.

The slipper made as if to go to the ablutions. Trouble is, due to plumbing needs, ablutions are usually not very far from the kitchens in homes and even offices! The toilet door was a few steps round the corner from the kitchen door. He was passing by the kitchen door which was a crack-open when the aroma of stewing meat wafted to his nose. He could not resist peeping into the kitchen. What he saw captivated his imagination instantly and sent his salivary glands into overdrive. There was this giant cooking pan sitting squarely on the cooker and with just but a light lid on top. Inside was most definitely the meat that was to be eaten that day. He speedily tip-toed back to the office door and checked to be sure that nobody was coming in. At this moment, he had the office all to himself.

He quickly tip-toed into the kitchen and pushed the lid aside. He took his pick of the largest piece of steak that he saw, blew some breathe on it to cool it a bit, and put it in his mouth. His efforts to masticate the piece were not helped by the time limitations and ineffective cooling, he was thereby forced to swallow the entire piece. As he thought about leaving, he remembered that he needed to return the lid to its proper position. He took a second piece, bigger than the first and then replaced the lid. The cooling would be harder this time because the chunk was bigger and through the window, he spied someone approaching the office. This is when things went wrong. The earlier piece of meat was taking too long to arrive in the stomach. It was slowly rolling down the gullet, when the second piece was introduced and stalled just below the neck. The slipper tried hard to swallow, but to no avail. It was hard to breath at this juncture. His eyes widened and became red with beads of tears. He struggled and staggered towards the door finally collapsing on the stairs.

Mr. Murimi was now due to check the progress of his cooking beef. As he walked to the office he heard weak choking sounds and as he turned the corner, he was horrified to find his workmate, Mr. Slipper sprawled on the stairs and struggling for breathe. Mr. Murimi was luckily well versed with first aid because of occupational health and safety training that he had been given. He placed him in a suitable position, held his hands around the abdomen of Mr. Slipper and tugged hard. At the second sharp tug, an enormous piece of meat shot through the mouth onto the stairs. Another sharp tug at the tummy produced a smaller piece and then Mr. Slipper regained the ability to talk. His first statement was aaaaah! I’m okay! There is nothing wrong with me!

By now, a small crowd had gathered and were witnesses to the emergency. To this day, Mr. Slipper never admits to living through this day of ignominy. His bosses vowed never to let him out of sight whenever meat was being cooked for office parties.
-Guest Contributor


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