Column Squad

Taxi Memoirs: Oxford Should Stop The Struggle I Have Discovered The Woolly Mammoth

Woolly Mammoth Replica at Museum Exhibit

The woolly mammoth was a native of the northern hemisphere that varnished around the beginning of the ice age. It is believed that it became extinct because of its body’s caloric demands that couldn’t be supported by the ice age.  Apparently scientists at Oxford University are in the final stages of recreating it using elephant tissue but now I think their struggle should come to an end with my discovery.

Luckily for me this morning I am privileged to meet one in a taxi headed for Banda.  The mammoth that we shall henceforth call Mamo, clambers up the taxi heading for the back seat squashing me in the process. Luckily I sustain no injuries since she is all wooly and fluffy. I try to move without success completely trapped by the human cotton wool. The only option is to open my window so I pull part of my body out of the taxi.

Naturally I am incensed by this violation of my personal space and what usually serves as my refuge from the rest of the world and its troubles. I don’t deride my neighbor for her size because I am no Cara Delevegne myself. I am pleasantly surprised when she mumbles a greeting. In taxi decorum it is always a good sign when a fellow passenger greets you. It is also a pat on the back that not only hooligans, low lives and the wretched of the earth who ride taxis.  Mamo is so well endowed on both fronts; two boulders sit on her chest heaving constantly. Her hips don’t lie and nor does her king size butt. On the front, matters are not helped by a tummy that was once round and is now concave.

Mamo it has to be said is a fighter for she has not taken her misfortunes lying down and has taken the fashion world by its neck.  No matter what sartorial challenges her body presents, she takes it head on. Today, her ensemble is set off with a hot pink stretch dress which sadly reveals all that it should be concealing. She has a large black elastic belt worn with the vain hope of creating a waistline; unfortunately it hides timidly beneath the aforementioned two boulders making a mockery of her attempts.  She is also wearing metals around her neck, ears and arms enough to start an armored tank factory. I begin to think that perhaps she has something to do with the disappearing sign posts on the roads. On second thoughts I feel this could her form of exercise considering the weight she lugs around. We soon get into a conversation in which she tells me that she hasn’t had a bite since morning. I find this peculiar because it is just ten o’clock in the morning. She whips out a container of nsenene and offers me some which I decline politely although the aroma of garlic and onions is so tempting. A few minutes later she gulps down a bottle of coke and munches down some crisps. After her meal, she pops P.K chewing gum into her mouth and begins working those jaws.  Soon she is snoring so peacefully with her mouth open and some drool running in the crevices of her chin.

I begin to think that I could finally have found the hero I have searched for my entire life. A woman who dresses the way she wants, eats what she wants without fear of the consequences is indeed a heroine in this world of vanity. Towards Nakawa, Moma stirs up and inquires where we are, I tell her we are in Nakawa and we resume our conversation. Then the dreaded “am I fat” question  pops out of her mouth so unexpectedly that I am shocked speechless. My first instinct is to laugh in her face and tell her “like hell, woman, you are fatter than fat! But the woman in me shies away and I tell her that she is tall enough to carry her weight majestically. As I leave the taxi, I realize that I am probably doomed never to find a hero since the one I thought I had found obviously has feet of clay.

Hey, I am a Ugandan woman who spends a minimum of four hours daily travelling in taxis. Like you, I used to dread the taxi rides until I realized that it is a source of a variety of free entertainment and an interesting study of human nature.