The liquid that can be a weapon of mass destruction
By Victor Lugala
They call me alcohol. I live in a bottle but I like swimming in people’s heads. I’m unbeatable. I fail and fall people. I’m a weapon of mass destruction.
I’m known throughout the world – from Soukh Custom in Juba to Vancouver, Harare, Mexico city, Sydney, Mumbai, to the Vatican. Kings, dignitaries, riff raffs and lovers enjoy my company.
My name is alcohol, but I’m also known by different names: eregi, anga, yawa, kong’o. I’m in high demand like money. A party cannot proceed without me. A wedding is not a wedding without me. I always have a date with patrons.
If you have tasted me, you must love me, adore me or fear me. If you haven’t tasted me, your taste buds must be itching to taste me for once. Taste me baby but don’t regret your decision.
I rule the world, hypocritical fanatics shun me in public, but they embrace me and cuddle me in darkness. Do I care? All I need is to be consumed in plenty. I make men loose their heads. If they meet me in Soukh Custom, I generously offer myself to them until they are soaked through and through like a sponge. Once I get into their system, I drag them left and right in zigzags, they trip and fall. If I’m in that bottle they are holding when falling not a drop of me will spill, unless the gods of the earth are really thirsty.
Yes, I am a thirst quencher. I irrigate throats until the capillaries burst. I allow myself to be used and abused. If you use me carefully, I give you pleasure. Shy young men, who cannot tune a damsel, will take a sip of me to oil their tongues so they can sing love songs.
Women who have been jilted by their wayward lovers find refuge in me. I wash them all over and make them experience fantastic dreams. I entice them and enslave them. The law may not be in my favour but the law makers are under my spell. I make them submit, they kneel before me, they knock their heads on the ground until they loose a tooth or teeth, a testimony of my prowess. Remember, my name is alcohol.
The law maybe against my very existence, but I’m here to stay for ever. Which policeman/woman can ever dare to arrest me? Have you gone nuts? How do you arrest liquid? You can only pour me on mother earth to quench the thirst of the gods. And may the gods bless those who remember them.
I am a weapon of mass destruction. When you have a rogue president, you don’t need to topple him in a military coup because you will spill innocent blood. All you do is to assign him to me, and I’ll finish him off with faltering steps, he won’t be able to monitor the guard of honour. I’ll finish him off with shacking fingers until he won’t be able to sign a decree.
If the president is incompetent, I’ll finish him off by frying his liver or punching holes in his lungs. He’ll slump on his big swivel chair like a withered flower. My name alcohol.
I make intellectuals the poorest of the poor. I make them weak, dependant on me. They are addicted, so much that they are fired from their jobs, evicted by landlords/landladies, and ejected by society into a life of the gutter like rats.
My name is alcohol. I’m a weapon of mass destruction. If you think I’m hiding in Iraq, you are cheating yourself. After the CPA, invaded Juba from all corners. Go to Soukh Custom, go to the one-star tent hotels, go to the ministries, go to the tukuls, I’m everywhere, including people’s heads. I’m a powerful colonizer who makes the British Empire, the Turks, the French and Germans ashamed of their previous adventures on African soil.
I’ve brought Juba city to a standstill. I rule the city day and night. I rule the roads. The city motorists know me because they value me more than the fuel that runs their vehicles. And when they take me, they zoom like rally cars. When they meet their maker prematurely I’m not to blame because I didn’t invite anybody to swallow me.
I have teenage recruits – adventurous girls and boys who want to experience with hallucinations. When they take me they behave like drugged fish. They use vulgar language like those Yankee rappers. And when they insult their parents I’m not to blame because I didn’t go out to look for someone’s unruly kid.
Civil servants know be better than their computer keyboards. They abandon work to come to Soukh Custom to kiss the bottle to access me. Because they attack me before eating a kilo of roasted goat meat, I paralyse their legs. They develop temporary polio. They are grounded at home, and they want me to cure them with another round. When they are fired from their jobs, I’m not to blame, because I don’t entertain imprudent people.
Husbands know very well, when they run away from their nagging wives they find solace in the bottle. I help them drown their misery. But when they acquire strange ideas like chasing away or divorcing their quarrelsome wives I’m not part of the scheming because I wasn’t there when they were courting.
Journalists who tell lies are my best friends. When there is a farewell party for a foreign envoy they ask me first before they can record the event. But they fabricate lies because their ears were blocked to the truth they are thrown into ghost houses where they are fed on dead rats. Can they blame me?
What else can I say about myself, other than to repeat that my name is alcohol, I live in a bottle, but nobody dares throw stones at me. I’m unbeatable. I’m a weapon of mass destruction. If you hate me for fear of getting addicted, keep your distance!