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Spyglass: The Case Of The Angry Thief 

By Azore Opio

This is the story of a thief who got angry because he was caught in the act, beaten, stripped and strapped to a pole for further flogging. But first, let me tell you the story of a neurotic liar and who is not aware of his disorder, which is why I went out of his way because I got tired of all the bullsh*t that comes with his lying.

This man lies about sh*t that normal people would never lie about in a million years: he even cannot come clean when he runs out of lies which can be confusing because then there is the question of what the truth is and what isn’t.

He is a liar. He lies to get out of trouble: "No, I’m late because I locked myself out of my house and it took six hours to find my keys; in fact I had to break down the door…" He lies when he is drunk talking to strangers in a bar: "Yeah, I got my first degree at Soa…" He lies when he needs to be nice: "That jacket makes you look really, really cool, really…"  "I apologise for my Spanish accent…I spent the weekend in Malabo and I just sort of picked it up…" this may be a slight exaggeration on my part…but you get where I’m going with it?

I will never understand where, let’s call him Mr. Varmint, comes up with this hogwash, but that is exactly what it is. And I know we all know that he is a neurotic liar; but what I don’t know is why no one calls him out on it! He lies for the sake of lying and he doesn’t care too much to keep track. When faced with someone like that, I love to ask for details. The end result is usually very amusing.

Anyway, first, let me bring up to date the tale of the angry liar. It was down in Molyko where I had wound up after everything else and settled down to a cold, frothing beer at this joint that doesn’t close until 5 in the a.m. And so I, with beer slaking my thirst and carved, contoured voluptuous figures feeding my weary eyes with erotic pleasures, became oblivious to the outside world until he made that colossal mistake about Obama’s grandmother. He became angry and upset over what he swore was correct, that he knows her and has been to Ogelo and all that kind of sh*t. He became angry when a pure Kikuyu fired him some hard Kisumu "quartier’ questions. He said a bunch of other bullsh*t and ambled away.

The other day, I went to Robben Island on account of my throat was dry like the Sahara and I might have been dying of thirst. I could have just got me a Tangui, but by then I had the idea of a little libation on my mind, a beer. And here comes the varmint. All evening he ranted and sometime after 2 a.m, he began to cry. It wasn’t a howling or nothing; just a regular sobbing and streaming of tears from his alcohol soaked eyes down his cheeks. I think he was thinking about his mealy mouth and the obscenities that had flowed from it and about his life, which, come to think of it, amounts to nothing much.

Let me tell you this, this man has done a lot of lying, but hasn’t done many of them very well. Often, you can see through the lie before it is told. Also, he is always getting into trouble just about the time things seem to start going good, which, I suppose, as I often think, is the penalty one pays for being a idiot. What else? Anyhow, he went away depressed, but in a matter of days he had renewed his eccentric pursuit of lying, consoling himself in his characteristic manner with the genial bottle and lying…

There is one other notoriously pig-headed liar, colossally cynical and eternally greedy. He wears an impish smirk; he is an appalling flirt, socially reprehensible and totally devoid of tact and discretion. He has gilded and solidified his reputation as a wicked, scandalous dandy with brazen boyish dishonesty of speech; he can even drink a child’s milk, which makes him a baby-faced thief. A cunning mischief-maker which offends many and leads him into unedifying controversies, his decisions are often unreasonable and give pain. He, however, is a brilliant chap with an obsessive thirst for knowledge of any kind and won’t hesitate to acquire it at any risk.

Ah well, let’s not worry about all that bullsh*t lying now. Let’s talk about angry thieves. There was this thief who was detained by a night watchman while trying to break into a store. The watchman’s alarm attracted an excited mob. When police officers arrived, they were surprised and did not know whether to laugh or cry when they discovered that it was the thief who had phoned their hotline to seek help. "I sought police help because I was afraid of being beaten up by the guard and local residents," the thief told police.

Then there was this bunch of robbers who broke into a home whose owners had just sat down to dinner. Replacing the family at the table, they gorged themselves and asked for dessert in the form of money. The father of the house started pleading that the only money he had was what he used to buy the dinner. A toddler, seeing the fierceness of the thieves, entreated the gang leader; "please, Uncle Tif Man, please!"

"Who be tif man?" the man bellowed, sending the kid running back to the mother’s laps.
Now, then, a couple of weeks ago, a man waiting for his fish to grill at Down Beach, Limbe, saw, or thought he saw, a man some distance away suddenly whisk a mobile phone off a display rack and vanish round the street corner. It was one of those fleeting impressions which might have been illusion, but the man was sharply impressed that he alerted some bystanders and they followed the suspect, and sure enough, the "thief" was hurrying along the street, glancing furtively about.

A scream of stop thief! from the pursuers brought more curious bystanders to the chase. A thorough flogging completed all the elements of the tragedy. Two days passed tranquilly, then on the third day a formidable gang of "lunaticos" swamped the town; bludgeoning, hacking anyone and anything that happened in their way. It was an extraordinary tale of madness, a gang of angry thieves retaliating because one of theirs had been caught stealing.

The notoriously pig-headed liar, Ali Baba, we shall call him, is also one of the many thieves that get angry when caught. He has a way, when he is astonished, of getting is face contorted. He has a brother, cousin if you like. Anyway, the cousin secures a job, which is evaluated, done and delivered. Days turn into weeks, into months, Ali Baba claims the payment isn’t forthcoming. One day, it leaks that the money has actually been paid, long ago. Question: "Where is my share?"  "Who says it is lost?" Ali Baba retorts angrily, "are you calling me a thief?"  "Well, I consider my money stolen since I haven’t seen my share!" counters the cousin. "It is in a safe place," Ali Baba retorts and storms away.

Blood is thicker than water, but it seems that money is enough to break a relationship forever. Till date, the young man still has heard nothing from his brother. He e-mails and texts at least once a day, nicely, to ask what his plan is to pay him back, but he still has not responded. Ali Baba also owes another man.

"Stop pestering me, you forsook your money when you walked out on me," he always tells the man as if they had been lovers. Often, when the creditor even greets him, he scoffs, looks away. So much for angry thieves!

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