A goat in the truck is worth two in the bush.

This is part of a short story I wrote in late 2004 while in Kenya.

I thought it would be funny to buy two goats and keep them as pets after a conversation at a local pub. So when I was out in Pokot in the Rift Valley I purchased two male goats naming them Captain Bah Beard the scourge of the Cherangani Hills and his first mate Bad Ass Billy the kid pillager of the plains. It ended up costing me only 27 dollars to procure the two goats from a young woman and her son at the local market.

I secured their legs and piled them in the back of my Land Cruiser and began the journey back to Nairobi. Along the way I stopped for food, petrol, and sodas at a station just outside of the Nakuru town proper. I filled the vehicle and myself with the best Kenya has to offer. Driving along I had forgot that the goats were in the back of the vehicle. All of the sudden a blood curdling bah was heard which sounded as if the dam thing was ridding shotgun. I swerved to avoid the phantom goat on the road only to remember that it was I that was transporting the menacing creature.

The road from Nakuru to Nairobi is good in some areas and bad to worse in others. It usually takes a bit over two hours to drive the distance. As I trucked along the highway I began to drift of into my own world. I had a list of things I had to do when I got back. I had to stop at the market and pick up groceries. I had to check my email and correspond to some nagging matters. As I heard the goats again I added pick up goat food. What ever that looked like.

I fell back into my robotic non-responsive daydream mode. I thought about home and the shite I left behind. I imagined what this person and that person were doing. I got nostalgic about my favorite Mexican food joint back at home. What I would not do to get a burrito here in Kenya.

The chard grilled asada. The warm flour tortilla. The shredded white cheese. The atomic hot sauce. The lard filled refried beans. The tangy yet subtle rice. All of this washed down with a few chicken tacos and a horchada. Man I would kill for some Mexican right now. Soon I drifted of to other things I missed from home, which largely revolved around food and drink.

The BBQ my father makes with it ever so quaint burned on goodness. The magic that happens when I order and consume a pepperoni pizza from Mulberry Pizza. The cob salads from Red Devil with the extra side of Blue Cheese dressing. The ice cream, the milk shakes, and grilled cheese from Frosty Queen. The Sunday morning donut from the house of Gods baker…Winchell’s. My moms home cooking.

The thought of food drove me deep into hunger and a desire to be back home in Los Angeles. So I attempted to advert this amazing threat by thinking about other things. I looked around at the scenic beauty of the surrounding area just outside of Naivasha. I spotted a bunch of zebras grazing at the side of the road. I contemplated the beauty of this moment.

A large baboon and his harem caught my eye and eating the crisps I had bought back in Nakuru I thought that they need to have some of these. Against my better judgment and against all of the advice I have received from anyone that has traveled here I pulled over and began to toss food out of my window. Laughing to myself, no I was giggling like a Japanese schoolgirl at Disneyland. Only I did not flash the peace sign at these mongoloid primates.

Within minutes ten or fifteen baboons surrounded me. Some on the ground, some sitting on the roof of my Land Cruiser, and still more approaching from all sides. I still thought it was funny until I saw a baboon approaching my open passenger window. I reached over like Indian Jones slipping under a steadily moving rock wall towards the open window I moved. Only to be restrained by my seat belt and thrown back against my window.

Shaking the white from my head I made another attempt to reach the window in the same motion of unbuckling my seat belt this time in rather impeccable timing the baboon had its hand in the window as I rolled it up on him. The baboon was reaching around at my hand and the air searching for food. Staring back at me with his hand in the window and sitting to top of the roof now. He asserted dominance upon the others around him. It was the discovery channel live right outside my Land Cruiser!

I handed this frantic waving hand a crisp and out it went for me to continue the securing of my fortress. The dumb ass I am I had dumped half a bag of crisps outside of my window prior to the escape from the baboon, Goliath. There sat the baboons fighting and eating the fried bits of potatoes. I continued to giggle and smile. I drank my coke and opened the chocolate bar I had picked up.

When another piercing belt from the goats reminded me I had to hurry back to Nairobi. With my fun and torturing of the baboons complete I attempted to drive away. Only to my dismay the dam things were in front of me, behind me, and on the top of me. I started the engine to drive off. The sound of the engine drove off a few. The hooting of the horn disposed of a few more. When I engaged the vehicle and began to drive off I became free of the baboon sea that I had created.

Driving off in the direction of Nairobi I again was in motion. Satisfied that I had caused a primate traffic jam at the intersection of the highway and the plains. The funny thing was that the zebras did not move nor did they even glance over at me and my baboon army. I arrived back in Nairobi in a little over an hour. I went home to drop off the goats and then went out to the pub.

I arrived at Gypsies still smelling of goat. I ordered a Tusker and light an Embassy Light. I glance over at the table next to me. It was full of old white Europeans being straddled by young beautiful African women. all of the ladies were feigning interest in what the old clappers were saying.

I light the smoke and drew it that nutty full flavor tobacco goodness. I exhale as I dial Tropical Rob. He answers and I tell him where I am at and he declares he will be down there soon. I hang up and order another beer.

I drink down the Tusker in my hand and cozy up to the table by myself. Knowing that Tropical Rob has been in Kenya far to long to be here any time soon. It will be at least an hour if not longer for him to arrive. I search the tables looking for someone to talk to. Will it be the old clappers with the beauties, the tourists bragging about their early morning safari, or the regal young aid workers?

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