Behind the Scenes Intrigue

LAZZO had come to terms with the truth that many times, the psychology of watering hole romance revolved round the dance floor.

His strategy was to accost a woman as he danced and there was always one dancing as a soloist and this time round, he found himself a dancing partner in helter-skelter fashion!

On the sidelines at a table in the far right hand corner of the pub was a group of reveler that did not look too friendly were somewhat hostile to Lazzo’s exploits on the dance floor.

One of these walked up to Lazzo as he retreated to the counter to buy some alcohol as he handed the bartender a K20 note, a man tapped him on the shoulder and in a low tone said in a mixture of Swahili Chewa,

“Iwe uvina na Bibi yangu… Gula ten botolo ulipile mulandu!,”(You buy ten bottles of beer for the offence you have committed!) he said like a terrorist about to abduct a villain for ransom.

Lazzi felt his heart pound inside him because the man had the familiar look of a scallywag and was up to no good.

Meanwhile, the woman had also left the dance floor and headed to her corner. It soon dawned on Lazzo that the man was a die-hard extortionist!

Way back in adolescence, Lazzo was embroiled in a naughty habit of ‘choosing girlfriends in absentia’ and females in the neighbourhood were selected and called ‘girlfriends’. It turned out that every girl that passed on the street had someone exclaiming ‘that is my girlfriend!’.

It so happened that one day, Lazzo chose a cute blonde in the neighbourhood as she passed, he announced to the group of boys gathered at the corner of the street who were in effect playmates,

“There goes my beautiful girl!”.

Oblivious of the fact that previously someone else had announced on the same lass and suddenly there was a spontaneous outburst of fury as one of Lazzo’s acquaintances landed fists of fury on him as he retaliated.

The fist combat had barely lasted a minute when a man passing on a bicycle quickly threw his bike and rushed to separate Lazzo and his aersary.

He held the warring pair each by the hands and asked them which directions they lived and one by one they pointed towards where they hailed from. He then sent them away from the scene ensuring that they went the correct pathways.

This was an instant delve into history and all this detail flashed through his troubled mind as he stared at his tormentor for a while.

He had heard many stories about the Mafia-like patrons that thronged the premises.

The only way for peace to prevail was to give them what they want and then go about one’s business unruffled!

Lazzo then proceeded to buy the demanded ten bottles and ferried them in batches to the far right table where the ruffians congregated.

In the opposite direction, another group of rascals was watching as Lazzo was about to complete the transfer of lager bottles.

A hefty looking fellow approached Lazzo and told him: “You cannot be giving beer to people anyhow. This is your hard-earned money. Go and get all those bottles back!” he ordered Lazzo who did not know what to do and was evidently getting tense.

“If you can’t, I will do it for you,” the lanky tall man told Lazzo resolutely as he headed for the rival gang’s position.

While in that corner, the robust man was stopped from retrieving the rest of the bottles as his rivals told him that he had nothing to do with those bottles of alcohol!

Then a fight a ensued between the man who had ordered Lazzo to buy the beer and the one who had sought retrieval of the merchandise. It was almost becoming a free-for-all fight when pub security guards intervened.

One gang was vanquished and ordered off the premises as Lazzo was handed back his beer which had reduced to eight bottles as two had already been gulped down to a drop!

Lazzo’s hero then said that he would ensure that Lazzo had the best time of the evening and even escort him home in the night.

He further said that he was not doing this to be paid but to instill some sense into some patrons with ‘ragged minds’ to understand that they patronised the watering hole to socialize and not to harass innocent people.

True to his word, he escorted Lazzo into the night accompanied by a horde of tough-looking henchmen and Lazzo could not resist the temptation to reward them for their trouble on their way back.

Later, Lazzo analysed the fracas of the evening and concluded that the whole charade smacked of gang rivalry and he had provided an opportunity for the titanic clash!

Still, he had not succeeded in luring the dancing woman and his scheme had been frustrated by riff-raff out to spoil innocent people’s evening. Lazzo’s mentor had once complained about this breed who seemed frustrated to sadistic levels.

In his mind, Lazzo was so incensed by what he thought were the scam of the earth and confirmed layabouts waiting for a chance to pounce on hard-working citizens in the hood. The man has since changed the watering holes!

Lazzo recalled reminding his mate that these people were everywhere he would go because they must exist as part of society!

He noticed that he was in the midst of miscellaneous behaviour which really hurts and only posterity will correct matters.

As he retired to bed, Lazzo could not keep the escapades of the night as he promptly phoned his mentor to get the whole vexing persecution off his chest.

Source : The Times of Zambia

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