Thursday, May 28, 2015

Neighbours with Benefits

It is a well-known teaching of our good old teacher Jesus Christ that we should love our neighbors as we love ourselves. In fact it is the other commandment of the two peculiar commandments as reduced from the original ten.

However, this teaching should be construed as the lawyer will say Mutatis Mutandis (with the necessary modifications). In other words if your neighbor is somebody’s spouse you should not purport to love them as you love yourself because well there is somebody who loves them as they love themselves and that's their spouse…just saying.

Now in the recent weeks I have had two interesting interactions with my neighbors that came with benefits (pardon the pun) and I thought I should share these experiences which have helped me appreciate the essence of keeping good relations with the people that are around us.

The first instance was a couple of weeks back when our neighbor’s wife wanted to kill a snake that had hijacked their bungalow. Now, our courteous neighbor always carries me in his car because he is my uncle’s acquaintance, and that he had a wife I did not know about was a little puzzling. However that night when this fate befell the home while he was away, he contacted my uncle who then contacted me to go help out.

Obviously I was excited about the entire experience of having to murder a snake that was bullying our neighbor’s wife. Every man gets excited when they have to play the role of providing security to a woman be it their wife or otherwise. It actually reminded me of that song where a wife wakes her spouse up in the middle of the night pleading with him to kill a certain rat that is disorganizing their sleep. Obviously some wicked Ugandans have insinuated that the demand to kill the rat in that song symbolized a woman’s quest for what the clever people call coitus but I beg that the debate on the actual import of the rat in that song be for another day.

Anyway back to the story, we went, successfully killed the snake and guess what I discovered? That the Bungalow next door had always housed a beautiful young lady, a niece to the neighbor. That's how we discover good things in these neighborhoods where people keep hiding relevant facts behind strong and impenetrable perimeter walls. How else would I have known if it had not been for that snake! We have since become friends with the girl who is still pursuing her studies at Makerere University, our friendship is growing stronger and I hope in future we shall kill more snakes together since they seem to be the biggest threat to the survival of the members of our neighbor’s family.

The other incident that should have really passed as inconsequential happened a month or so back. We were attending a week-long conference in Grand Imperial Hotel.  As fate would have it, the organizers of the conference decided to transpose my seat in the middle of two ladies' seats which meant for five days I would have two fine-looking ladies as my neighbors in a conference, one on my right and the other on my left. I quickly connected with lady on my right. Blame it on this thing they call chemistry. Conversely, the lady on my left simply liked me. 

So much that on the very first day of the conference, she entreated me with some sweets she had carried in her bag and being the good neighbor that I am I secretly shared the sweets with lady on the right. This impressed lady on my right and consequently she brought sweets for us to share on all the subsequent days of the conference which I consumed without sharing with lady on the left because she always had sweets in her bag anyway. At the end of day my good neighbor relations had guaranteed me a steady supply of sweets throughout the five days of the conference even when I could not afford to carry them in my bag all the time like my two neighbors. 

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