Childhood Shorts – Chapter 21: Homies R Bad.d
Childhood Shorts – Chapter 21: Homies R Bad.d
August 06, 2019

(Photo by Tamarcus Brown on Unsplash)

“Ask me what I’m doing!”

“What?”

“I said, ask me what I’m doing.”

“Ok, Jerry. What you doing?”

“Me? Just minding my business.”

“Great.”

“Now, ask me what my business is.”

“Come on, man. I’ve got better things to do.”

“No. Ask me what my business is.”

“Alright. Alright! What’s your business, Jerry?”

“Beesness,” pause. “Gwejing!”

“Very funny.”

“Beesness,” pause. “Gwejing! Just minding my beesness,” pause. “Gwejing!”

“Silly. Get outta my face, crazy fool!”

“That’s not what she said to me! Bwa ha, ki, ki, ki!” cackled Jerry as he tap-danced his way back into the house completely thrilled with himself.

As a teenager, Jeremiah Makawa had a flare for the comedic. Just as sadza (a stiffer form of grits) is good with relish, there was no story Jerry did not see fit to embellish. Especially when it came to nyaya dzemabhebhi (stories about his romances with girls). You could usually count on Jerry to give you at least 60 percent of the truth. The rest, well, that was up for grabs. Your choice to believe what you might. His tall tales, while often exaggerated were hilarious and generally left us wheezing and crying by the end.

Jerry was perhaps the most inventive member of our crew. There were seven of us. We went by the group name “Homies R. Bad.d.” And no, we were neither boy band nor lip sync troupe. Just a bunch of neighborhood teens with too much time on their hands and a clamoring for a collective identity. Kind of like the gang in the New Fat Albert Show (1979 to 1984). Except we did not hang out in a junk yard, and we regularly changed our clothes. We were certainly eclectic though, and we did have intriguing personalities among us.

Beginning with the twins, Tawanda and Takura Dhliwayo were virtually identical. Pretty much peas in a pod. Until I got to know them well, I chose never to address them directly for fear calling the wrong guy the wrong name. I found the greeting, “Hey man,” to be of perfect utility. A useful smokescreen to hide my inability to tell them apart. It was not all my fault, however. The twins never stayed still long enough for anyone to identify the features and characteristics that distinguished them. Tawanda and Takura were forces of nature and continually on the move. They were same-heighted, same-faced, fast-talking, quick-stepping junior George Jeffersons. They put the “real” in entrepreneurial and were known for having a great nose for anything that smelled like a good deal. If it had the aroma of profit, the two of them would definitely be after it.

“Let’s do business, guys,” they would regularly declare. “Let’s make bank. If we are not bringing home the bacon, then we’re doing something wrong. And if making mullah is wrong, then we don’t want to be right, handiti?”

Their dad was a banker and the two of them had complex calculators for brains cells. They referred to almost everything in financial terms.

“How was the weekend, guys?”

“Ah, you know. It was cool. We broke even.”

“It’s been a while since we’ve seen you two with the girls you’ve been dating. What happened to them?”

“Ah, you know. No net present value, man. It is what it is.”

I got to know the twins through Kura Chihota. He was the poster boy of our group. No, I mean literally the poster boy. As in his face was on posters all about town. Kura and I knew each other because our parents were longtime friends, from well before their mutual days in Zambia. Kura’s mom, Mrs. Chihota, was in advertising during the 1980s. Her work helped companies reach audiences through print, radio, and television media. That connected her to the film industry and to the full network of agencies which coordinated modelling, voicework, and acting gigs for local actors, actresses, and artists.

Kura was naturally charming and had a sort of youthful star quality. He was photogenic and comfortable in front of the cameras. His mom quite organically drew him into her world. Whenever she could, Mrs. Chihota would put Kura forward for photo shoots and acting gigs that were appropriate for his look, talent, and age. Her diligence resulted in Kura being frequently featured in television and magazine ads, and having his face plastered on the sides of buses and billboards. He loved it all, of course – the acting, the attention, and the fact that he was continually growing in popularity among Harare’s school girls. As his close friends, our jealousy was thinly-veiled, but we did our best to keep him humble by taking snide potshots at his “fame” when given the opportunity.

If we had a Fat Albert in our group, it was Kura. Not in relation to his weight as Kura, like the rest of us, was slimly built in those days. But in terms of him consistently being the one to share some moralistic witticism or the other with the group. In this regard, he took after his father who was frequently both delighted and exasperated to see us.

“Eh, you boys. Welcome, hmm. Back again to eat my food? Hinindawa mhani, machinda imi? (what’s the deal with you youngsters?). When are you going to get proper jobs, hmm?”

“Um, Baba (Mr.) Chihota, sir, we’re still in school.”

“You think that stopped us from working when we were your age, hmm? No ambition. No forethought. You are all far too spoilt. Just like bad milk. How can you win, eh, in life, eh, unless you put on your running shoes?”

Our other Tawanda, Tawanda Chihota, was Kura’s little brother. He was arguably the most sober-minded of all among us. Yet, like his brother, he had a flashing intellect and wry humor. He also had a laugh like Eddie Murphy’s, but from even before any of us knew that Eddie Murphy himself had a laugh like Eddie Murphy’s. Tawanda was the reason our group took on the name “Homies R. Bad.d.” For every time something crazy, strange, or wonderful happened in the world, Tawanda would invariably call out, “Eish, homies are bad, ek se! Homies are bad!”

Dudzai Saburi was the genius in our gang. He was knowledgeable about everything. He understood history, art, architecture, languages, and music. Not just the popcorn pop our parents often criticized us for listening to. But also classical music, and country, and folk rock, and reggae. He was an aficionado of old school RnB, from back when it was still called Rhythm and Blues. Dudzai also knew how to cut hair and was amenable to offer a snip in time if ever one of the guys needed sprucing up before going out into the world.

When new music came out, Dudzai made sure to get it into our hands. That is partially how Jerry became somewhat of a living, breathing jukebox. A special talent of Jerry’s was the ability to rattle off the lyrics of almost any song, sometimes singing it top to bottom, and more often than not in tune too. I cannot think how many times I either heard him play or sing his favorite song. It was My Business, from the album, Guy (1988), by Guy, that Teddy Riley, Aaron Hall, and Timmy Gatling trio. This was the song Jerry had in the back of his mind the day he told us that his business was gwejing.

Now, gwejing was a term we teens used as a synonym for “making out.” If you must know, Zimbabweans have a hard time saying the word “sandwich.” We tend to call the snack with a filling between two slices of bread a “sangwej.” The word gwej therefore, was initially just a contraction of sangwej. Youth culture then converted it into a verb, so that gwejing came to mean eating a sandwich. I am sure you see where this is going . . .  Since making out is sort of similar, you know, to taking delightful, scrumptious mouthfuls of food and . . . I mean, you get the point.

Anyway, Jerry really loved girls. Which is why we often called him “Ladies Love Cool Jerry.”

“Fellas, God made women for a reason. It’s a sin for a man to be alone. It says so in Genesis. That’s why Adam got Eve.”

“Not quite, Jerry. I think the Bible says, ‘it is not good for a man to be alone.’ I don’t think it says it’s sin.”

“Okay. Have it your way. Then all I’m doing is looking out for my own good, partner. You get me?”

“Yes. But Adam was presented with only one Eve, not a whole bunch of them.”

“And your point is? Mingle while you’re single, champ. That’s what I say. Try the slices before you buy the cake.”

Jerry’s bedroom was like the men’s section at a department store. He had trayfuls of bottles of cologne – Old Spice, Guy Laroche, Drakkar Noir, Paco Rabanne, Pierre Cardin, Ralph Lauren Polo, Yves Saint Lauren Kouros, Aramis and more. He had fancy wrist watches, gold and silver chains, leather jackets, silk shirts, as well as what amounted to hundreds of fashionable pairs of trousers.

“Jerry, you’ve got too many clothes for a teenager, bruh.”

“Nah, my guy. No such thing as too many clothes. Lawyers and bankers dress to the nines when they go to work. I do the same when I go to get my beesness done. You gotta be professional. Hanging with honies is grown folk work. It’s not for kids.”

Jerry was serious. This was work to him, and he was not about to let his clothes let him down. Jerry is the only guy I know who would watch a movie and take notes on the clothes actors were wearing. Sometimes as early as the next day, he would have a mockup of an outfit similar to what he had seen onscreen. Everyone noticed Jerry’s eye for fashion. Both school boys and older men. Some even offered to buy clothes right off his very back. Not one to shy away from an opportunity when demand grew, Jerry made the decision to start his own men’s clothing line. He had a community of tailors he relied upon to make exclusive shirts, pants, and suits to order. As business started to bubble, Jerry began thinking deeply about how to launch his brand formally and publicly.

Maguys, it’s time. We’re gonna to do a fashion show and share my lovely threads with the world. And you sorry fellas are gonna be my models. You know how we do, boys. It’s on, like a scone.”

Eish, homies are bad, ek se. homies are bad!”

The idea of being in a fashion show was both scintillating and scary to me.  We are talking about me here. The guy who had no knack for fashion or personal presentation, period. I dressed for comfort. If the outfits I wore ever happened to be stylish, it was only due to happenstance and never the result of judgment or creativity. I was a creature of habit. My schtick was to stay in a good groove once I found it. Stick to the same friends. Eat the same food. Wear the same clothes. At least until they became too tight, too torn, or too tired.

It was not that I lacked a sufficient number of pieces of clothing. I had plenty. Only, my closet resembled the “everything-must-go” discount rack at a thrift-shop. Perfectly fine individual pieces, but nothing that ever fully coordinated.

I was a kid with pocket money. Not an adult with a salary. So my mother bought my clothes. As the oldest boy, there were no hand-me-downs to accommodate my growth-spurts. Every additional inch meant a new trip to the mall for mommy. Which was okay. Except that, with five kids to cater to, pragmatism made mommy a mercenary-type shopper. Whenever she went to the store, she would focus on fastness, not fashion. In and out. Get the job done quickly. Retrieve something to cover her children’s bodies and protect them from the elements. If it fit, that was it. Mission accomplished. As far as she was concerned, style was for people with paychecks, not for unemployed children.

The only thing less trendy than my attire was my hairstyle. For much of my early life, haircuts were daddy’s domain, and I do declare, I truly loved our sessions. They made for excellent father-son bonding time as daddy clipped clumps of course hair from my skull.

“You know you’re allowed to moisturize, right?”

“I know, daddy.”

“I’m just letting you know.”

“I know.”

We did not have electric clippers then. So daddy’s tools were a pick-comb and a pair of scissors. He used them quite effectively, but it did mean that the range of different hairstyles he could produce were limited to, well, basically one. Short front, short back, and short sides. Full stop. For fourteen years, I looked like the young Wesley Snipes in Wildcats (1986). Only with slightly shorter hair. I had no fades, fros, box cuts, partings, lines, or perms in my hair as a schoolboy.

The blend of my nondescript hairstyle, non-trendy clothes, and non-rhythmic dance abilities did not bother me personally. But they did contribute to ensuring that girls would largely have no business with me. To be clear, I had girls who were my friends, but I did not have a real girlfriend through much of secondary school. My parents were perfectly happy with my status quo.

“You don’t need the distraction. Studies come first. There will be plenty of time for relationships in the future.”

I was cool. My parents were cool. But my friends were distraught.

“Dude. You’re gonna spend your entire life in the friend-zone.”

At the time, I could not tell whether my friends’ assessment was right or wrong. But it was true that I enjoyed to platonic company of girls. What can I say? I grew up with sisters. The trouble was since I was overly nice, I often left myself vulnerable to manipulation. Let us just say that I was “friend” to more than one Josiah, and “chauffeur” to more than one Regina during my secondary school years.

“Don’t worry, bru. I got you. No friend of Jerry’s will be labelled a klanbet oen forever.”

Jerry had arranged for his fashion show to take place at Girls High School. He also made sure there would be ladies to accompany the gents as we showcased his fashion.

“Look, I’ve hooked you guys up. You will be on stage with some fine sistas by your sides. In front of a crowd of fine sistas. Ladies who will be watching your every move and will tell all their fine girlfriends about you. If they don’t know you now, they’ll know you after we’re done.”

Eish, homies are bad, ek se. homies are bad!”

The day before the fashion show, Jerry had the boys who would be his male models congregate at his parent’s house. He laid out all the clothes and made assignments for who would wear what. I had my eye on a cream suit. It was the smoothest two-piece I had ever seen. The cut was futuristic yet simple and elegant. It was sure to be a heartstopper at the show. I was ready to claim it, but Jerry had other ideas.

“I think Joseph should wear that suit. He’s got the build for it.”

I kept silent and nobody else argued. Joseph Hundah was a boy in a man’s body. He did not have the arrogance of a fly guy. But he did have that je ne se quoi. He also made everything he wore fit as if designed haute couture by Calvin Klein.

Jerry chose a pair of tan dress pants, a lime shirt, and a brown tweed jacket for me. He completed my outfit with the colorful splash of a matching multifloral necktie and kerchief set.

The other models looked magnificent too.

The fashion show did not last long. It was one fifteen-second walk up and down the runway for me. But it radically changed my perspectives on fun, fashion, and the flow of conversation that is possible between a girl and a guy. A guy who was waking up to the idea that he may have more to offer than otherwise might meet the eye. Perhaps I lacked the moves, the threads, the strap, the rap, the polish, the ride, and the mullah. Maybe I had no idea at all how to roll and all and all. But cruising the catwalk with Jerry and the crew made me believe that somewhere deep within me, I might actually be capable of having some sort of game.

Related Posts

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 38: Greater Glory

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 38: Greater Glory

Aside from the title, any writing assignment we did at St. George’s College required inclusion of the date and the initialism A.M.D.G. (abbreviation for Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam). The latter was a reminder for us boys. A prompt to help us put into practice a foundational principle of our school community.

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 37: Man in the Window

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 37: Man in the Window

Mommy was nowhere to be seen. But a group of orderlies rushed out to the parking lot. They took hold of the man and ushered him into the building, back to the solitary confinement of his ward. Our chests were still heaving when mommy finally returned.

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 36: Latchcar Kids

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 36: Latchcar Kids

I spent a good portion of my early childhood in the car. Babysitting options were rather limited back then and we were too young to stay home alone. Mommy therefore took us everywhere. On visits to see friends, to appointments, and on her various tours of chores.

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 35: The Beast

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 35: The Beast

I continued to prioritize basketball even after I completed high school. Zimbabwe had a budding men’s league that boasted competitive teams. I first joined Hellenics Basketball Club where Sludge and a few other St. George’s College graduates were playing.

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 34: Gone to the Dogs

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 34: Gone to the Dogs

Ross once told me it was possible to die from breathing in a single strand of a dog’s fur. I believed him. Not because it was necessarily true, but because Ross was the one who had said it. When he wanted to, the kid could be awfully convincing.

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 33: Puppy Love

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 33: Puppy Love

How could I not fall for her? She was gorgeous. I loved her from the first moment I set eyes on her. She was shy and a little timid in her surroundings. But I think she noticed I was smiling and that helped her settle.

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 32: School Police

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 32: School Police

Jets was not alone in the execution of discipline. He had help from prefects. Prefects were deputized agents of the school’s system of control. They were a small body of boys from the sixth-form (twelfth-grade) called out to preside as watchmen over the broader student body.

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 31: Hartmann Hill Sheriff

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 31: Hartmann Hill Sheriff

Among the films daddy brought home during the 1980s, Cahill: U.S. Marshall (1973) was probably the first in the cowboy genre we ever watched on VCR. Just for that reason, we played it repeatedly. John Wayne’s character, J.D. Cahill, is a lawman of incorruptible integrity and saddlebags of style.

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 30: The Real Fall Guys

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 30: The Real Fall Guys

(Photo by Noom Peerapong on Unsplash) There is a chorus of crickets and frogs, and other creatures as well. Its sounds pierce the silence of night just as the light of the new day begins to perforate the darkness. The calls are joined by the noises of birds, and of...

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 29: The Good Old Days

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 29: The Good Old Days

Our starting point guard was Clive Rugara, a wizard with the ball in his hands. For a guy who shuffled his feet, Clive was super-fast on the dribble. He had a Magic Johnson type of game. It came with full-court vision that spanned 365 degrees. Clive could see...

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 28: Ting, Ting. Round One

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 28: Ting, Ting. Round One

Two separate walls of cheering students flanked the basketball court where the final game would be played. On one side, an army of red blazers. On the other, a battalion of purple blazers. Between them, air that was thick with tension, excitement, and anticipation....

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 27: Rise of the Wolf Pack

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 27: Rise of the Wolf Pack

The shift from “Saints Basketball” to “Saints Wolves” was subtle. But for us schoolboys, it was a micro-reflection of the sentiment that had captured the nation in 1980 when the country's name changed from “Rhodesia” to “Zimbabwe.” In 1991, we broke the seal on our...

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 26: A Bullish Makeover

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 26: A Bullish Makeover

If you were a basketball fan from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, you either loved or you hated Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. The NBA third draft pick behind Hakeem Olajuwon and Sam Bowie, Jordan joined the league from North Carolina in 1984. His entry into...

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 25: One Basket, All Eggs

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 25: One Basket, All Eggs

(Photo by Autumn Mott Rodeheaver on Unsplash) At St. John’s Prep., I was a relatively big fish in a small pond. When I arrived at St. George’s College, I realized that I was a rather minute tadpole in a significantly larger body of water. The pool of talent was...

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 24: Hustle and Grow

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 24: Hustle and Grow

(Photo by TJ Dragotta on Unsplash) “Again.” Salty streams of sticky sweat slipped and swept along my brow. Dripped and dropped their drenching dew, down my eyelids and through my lashes. They irritated with their splashes the saline surface of my corneas. “Again.”...

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 23: Unfinished Business

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 23: Unfinished Business

Although only sixteen years old in 1986, Sludge emerged as the top scorer on the first team. He amassed a total of 214 points by the last whistle of the final game. He brought a different level of skill, flair, confidence, and style to the play of Saints basketball....

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 22: Finding Nemesis

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 22: Finding Nemesis

(Photo by Stefan Cosma on Unsplash) Vernon Williams pulled up at the three point line, to the right of the top of the key. He pump-faked. But the defender was too experienced to take the bait. The guy stayed planted, doing exactly what his coach had instructed....

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 20: Fly Guys, Fly Girls

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 20: Fly Guys, Fly Girls

(Photo by Melody Jacob on Unsplash) Post-colonial colorism also made dating complicated. At the top of the girlfriend wishlist of every teenage schoolboy was a musikana mutsvuku (light-skinned girl). Even among us bantu-black sub-Saharan Africans, melanin, or too much...

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 19: Wannabees and MaNose

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 19: Wannabees and MaNose

(Photo by Calvin Lupiya on Unsplash) The 1980s were difficult if you had no rhythm, but brutal if you had no style. If you fell into the unfortunate category where both were true, then staying asleep would probably have been the safest way to get through the decade...

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 18: How Many Left Feet?

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 18: How Many Left Feet?

(Photo by Lucas Lenzi on Unsplash) Before the end of my first year at St. George’s College, I was grafted into a small, gritty, and eclectic posse of boys. Tavona Chihambakwe, Garikai Maphosa, Nelesh Gulab, and Vusimusi Nondo. We were bonded together by our compatible...

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 17: Chop and Hop

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 17: Chop and Hop

(Photo by Ben Wiens on Unsplash)If it was at all within your power, you would do well not to miss late night television on Fridays. Particularly those final two hours of programming before the midnight shutdown. The timeslot drew a large, faithful, and near-cultish...

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 16: Boogie with a Disco Queen

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 16: Boogie with a Disco Queen

Photo by Greyson Joralemon on Unsplash The Bees Knees became my go-to move. Much so for the next ten years. I pulled it out every opportunity I had to dance. I went from novice, to expert, to one-trick pony with this singular aspect of the Charleston. It worked for...

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 15: The Bees Knees

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 15: The Bees Knees

No matter where we lived, whether in Zambia before independence or in Zimbabwe afterwards, our lives were invariably filled with music. Daddy was always listening to something or other from his collection of long-play vinyl records. And mommy, our songbird, could...

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 14: Red Blazer Nation

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 14: Red Blazer Nation

I believe I cried on the first day of school at St. George’s. Possibly the second day too. I was overwhelmed and rather intimidated. The college is a sprawling empire of a campus, with fields that stretch out like interlocking plantations. It has courts, and pools,...

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 13: More than Blazer Thin

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 13: More than Blazer Thin

St. John’s Prep. was not just a school. It was and still is an admired institution across Harare and Zimbabwe. The school first opened in 1956 with 13 students. Its initial mission was to provide a “sound system of education in an atmosphere conducive to the growth...

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 12: A Race for Relevance

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 12: A Race for Relevance

Let go of Superman? Not a Cadbury bar’s chance at a chocoholic’s convention. Giving him up would essentially be abandoning comics. Losing Superman meant forsaking Clark Kent. Which I was not at all prepared to do. In my mind, it was Clark who made Superman super....

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 11: It’s Not About the Cape

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 11: It’s Not About the Cape

(Photo by Zbysiu Rodak on Unsplash)If we were not reading Asterix or The Adventures of Tintin, we were huddled by the television watching a variety of new shows and reruns courtesy of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation’s TV1 channel. The station brought joy to...

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 10: Ice Cream and Skin

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 10: Ice Cream and Skin

(Photo by Mark Cruz on Unsplash)Asterix was by far my favorite hero. A shrewd, crafty, defiant, and plucky little warrior, living in about 50BC. In the stories, Gaul, his homeland, is occupied by the Romans, except for one small village where he lives. Asterix’ best...

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 9: Blame the British

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 9: Blame the British

Our first twenty-four months in Zimbabwe were like one prolonged episode of the reality documentary This is Your Life (1952 to 1961). Except a better title for our experience would have been something like “This is Your Parent’s Country.” Almost every day was a...

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 8: The Grasshopper Instinct

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 8: The Grasshopper Instinct

(Photo by Bradley Feller on Unsplash)During those early years in Zambia, I generally paid attention only to those things that directly affected my little life. After all, there was plenty to keep me busy in our dynamic, unpredictable, and oftentimes perplexing...

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 7: The Life of Bugs

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 7: The Life of Bugs

(Photo by Manlake Gabriel on Unsplash) Nothing unnerves me quite like snakes but bugs I do not like. If I am being honest, I have never really appreciated them. I find them to be totally creepy, crawly, and vexatious. Having said that, I do not abhor them all equally....

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 6: Snakes and Robbers

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 6: Snakes and Robbers

(Photo by David Clode on Unsplash) “Mubuso. Wake up. Go to our room. Be quick and hurry up.” Our household, like many others in Olympia Park, had a burglary-preparedness protocol. If a home was ever invaded, children were to scurry into the safest room in the house...

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 5: Fried Chicken Fridays

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 5: Fried Chicken Fridays

(Photo by Léo Roza on Unsplash) Daytime in Zambia was carefree and charming. It was filled with games and gladness and all the wonderful things that make childhood delightful. Nighttime, however, was the exact opposite. In many respects, the dark was disturbing. On...

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 4: All Things Nice

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 4: All Things Nice

Despite them taking advantage of me in vexing ways, I could never stay angry at my two sisters. My blood should have boiled, watching them roll over each other on the floor laughing, tickled by the success of their mischief. But their cheeky chuckling was deeply...

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 3: Super Nudge

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 3: Super Nudge

Quarreling is certainly one way to demonstrate to the world the depth of your foolishness. Another quite effective method is to show yourself to be impressionable. Granted, I had the excuse of childish naivety in my early years, but I must admit that I was as gullible...

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 2: Hot Ross Summer

Childhood Shorts – Chapter 2: Hot Ross Summer

We were a sorry pair, but by golly, what good times. My brother and I were regularly rendered into two convulsing, spluttering, blubbering, blue-faced, and half-conscious heaps of wide-eyed crazy. We experienced many such episodes during our childhood. They were...