Petrol Stations: Come on! You can do better than that!

I begin by warning that what I am about to narrate is brutal and disgusting in nature and if you have a weak spirit it will ruin you forever. I offer you the opportunity to stop reading this immediately and think yourself lucky to have escaped with your innocence intact.

A couple of months ago, some two gentlemen of my acquaintance convinced me to accompany them on a ride to Masinga Dam. I loved the idea because it was an opportunity for me to see how three bikes I love compare on the road. I was on a Bajaj Pulsar 200NS while the other two were on a Yamaha FZS-FI and a KTM Duke 200. The bike riding and sightseeing was alright, but it was what these two men did to me during a stop we made that defined my day. The two gentlemen are simple unsophisticated Christian men, whose reputation I do not wish to tarnish and I shall therefore not expose their identities by saying that they are called Peter and Danson.

The stop in question was a lunchbreak in a small ramshackle of a town near Masinga Dam called Kanyonyoo Market. I should have taken a hint from the name because it was a pitiable little town and all it could offer was readymade roast meat in a series of horrible looking butcheries that lined the road.

We got into one of the horrible butcheries and the enthusiastic butcher and his assistant led us to a grill that had heaps of roasted meat which to my trained eye, could not possibly be the goat they advertised. The bones were suspiciously too small and I thought it strange that it was on the same grill as intestines and other internal organs which I imagined were meant to mask the actual taste of the meat.

My simple unworldly companions laughed off my feline and canine suggestions and assured me that in Ukambani, people’s tastes were not as diverse. They seemed unperturbed so I reluctantly joined them in the feast.

When we returned to Nairobi, we each went our separate ways home and it was then that it happened. I had been feeling some abdominal discomfort since the suspicious lunch and it seemed things were getting worse. I determined that I would push on until the house but that determination lasted about one hundred meters when my stomach churned very violently and threaten to expel some elements in it there and then.

I grimaced involuntarily and tried to do the same at the opposite end of my anatomy, but my stomach was not having any of it. It had to expel the culprits and it could not wait a minute longer. I slowed the bike and tried all manner of movements on the seat hoping to reverse the looming onslaught but it was getting desperate. As luck would have it, I was riding through a heavily populated area and an emergency fertilization of the land would not be taken with kindness. Tears were welling and I was horrified it would turn into a full-blown trouser accident but I managed to muster some will power to hold because such an accident would mean I would have to remove the trousers before walking into the house and walking into the house with no trousers, I judged, would traumatize my people irreversibly.

Just as I was saying the words “take me Jesus”, a petrol station loomed into sight. I made for the nearest security guard and asked him where the lavatory was. He pointed it out and I rode right up to the door and leapt at the door handle only to find it was locked. Damn it! At this point, the churning in my stomach had turned into a boiling cauldron, especially at the sight of the respite. I tried to steady myself by the door and then let out a crude animal yell, asking the security guard to fetch me the key.

The security guard, whose lineage I was certain includes a tortoise, a chameleon and a sloth finally arrived. I stared at him with eyes that were a combination of pitiable puppy eyes and the bewilderment of a man being lynched, begging him to open the door. To sustain my dignity as he opened the door, I had crossed my legs into a double helix coil and TIG welded all the remaining gaps.

The disciplines of seismology, geology and meteorology, cannot sufficiently describe the thundering and sheer force with which my stomach evacuated. It was a brutal affair but after a minute or so, I regained a feeling of wellness. I was glad to have escaped with my dignity and I thought about the two evil men I had spent the day with and wondered if they too were in a petrol station somewhere or had succumbed in more embarrassing fashion. Whatever the case, I cursed them comprehensively, wishing them and all their all their descendants for all eternity the very worst.

My indignation subsided and as I slowly took in my surroundings, I realized that my ordeal was far from over – there was no means of acceptable sanitation. Why do petrol stations do that? For heaven’s sake, you are required by law to maintain a lavatory and what’s the sense in having one when it doesn’t have the very tools required to make a trip to it a success?

It is a wicked shame for oil marketing companies, some multinational, not to bother maintaining a lavatory and yet profit from the country’s citizens. It’s not that expensive I imagine, unless your petrol station is at Kanyonyoo Market, in which case I can excuse you because I know the whole town will be turning up every afternoon after lunch.

You must be keen to find out how I eventually got out, but I shall spare you the details and save myself extra embarrassment. I loved that t-shirt though, it was branded with my favorite musician of all time, the late Kiptesot arap Sang of the Junior Kotestes band.

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