IF PEOPLE WERE MADE IN CHINA

You’ve got to love the evolution of words. One day a word may mean one thing, only to end up meaning something so unrelated to the original meaning as to be completely outlandish. Do you remember the days when ‘China’ was a noun, referring to a specific oriental country? Those days are long gone. Nowadays people use ‘China’ as an adjective to qualify something as a low quality imitation or fake version of another. With the great advances in genetic research, we might one day be able to produce a fully functional human being from scratch. You know, without the use of the traditional sperm and ovum. The one thing we can be sure of is that if such a human being is ever made, China won’t waste a second before they start manufacturing their own version. It is hard to accurately predict what such a person would be like but we can imagine they would be something to behold.
My third phone was a China phone which my sister gave to me. It cost much less than my second phone but had infinitely more features. I swear that if the damn phone did not have that all-purpose red button, there are times I wouldn’t have been able to navigate back to the home-screen. China people would be made with an even greater number of features so as to maintain the unlimited potential of humans. But with the way some people are good at living as if they have no potential at all, I bet some of the China people would look simple in construction but have their true abilities hidden within applications which are themselves hidden within applications which are hidden as extras in the settings menu of the messages folder. No one would ever suspect that they have it in them to be anything more than a second rate imitation of a human being.
China men would be the antithesis of the stereotyped Chinese man. He would be tall and muscular, and handsome, with a deep, resonating voice. The box would promise that his emotions ran on the latest version of the most sensitive heart and his logic was backed by an attentive memory capable of remembering the tiniest, important details. Before unpacking him from the box, he would be a real catch for any woman. But the moment he was taken home and removed from his box, she would notice that beyond a given amount of stress, his voice changed to a tiny, girlish squeal. She would then learn that there was no way to check on the humanoid device whether the heart and memory were as good as promised. Practical experience with the man would however confirm that those specifications might have been overly exaggerated. Adding to her disappointments would be the final realization that the handsome face was the furthest thing from scratch resistant. All sort of scars, markings and wrinkling would start showing on his face within a week of acquisition.
You can imagine that men would be so happy to finally walk into a shop and walk out three minutes later with their dream girl all gift wrapped and shit. Getting a woman should be that simple, right guys? If it were, most men would bite off more than they could chew. By the time it dawned on them what had happened, it would be too late. They would already be addicted to one thing or the other in a desperate attempt to forget the bundle of problems at home which was now their responsibility. Given a choice, what qualities do you think most men would go for in a manufactured, China woman? Here is a guess based on observation: big tits, big butt, less brains than he, beautiful face and smile, worships him and can cook a descent meal. Everything else a man says he wants is more a matter of verbiage than semantics – it is just a different way of saying the same thing. Anyway, the above characteristics are the right-out-of-the-box specifications. Give the China woman a day or two and the facade falls off. First, her make up melts or smears and you are left wondering why whoever painted her face did not bother to pin an expiration date note on any of her numerous earrings. Surely, even the women themselves would appreciate avoiding the let down of looking like a kid’s doodling board in public.
Secondly, many men would learn with lots of regret that the coveted big butt and boobs were actually made of plasticine. Consequently, when pressed, kneaded or subjected to any kind of pressure, they would not regain the full roundness for which they were bought in the first place. But it is easy for a man to overlook the physical shortcomings of a woman who worships him and makes him feel on top of the world. Sadly, the joy of having such a woman would be short lived. The bubble would burst when the man learned that the praises and compliments were confined to the bedroom. Outside the sanctity of their house, he would be the object of ridicule of his lady’s chama group. Nothing is off limits with those women, especially not the size and length of his erection. The final blow to his ego, however, would come from her feminine mind. True to the specifications, she might have less brains than he. Nevertheless, she can still twist the simplest facts until they are plain confusing to the man. Factor in her ability to drag the most inconsequential argument for hours and the man has no chance of ever being heard in his own house. Speaking of his house, the China woman would change everything in it and make it her own as soon as she moved in. As these things go more often than not, his dream woman would be his undoing.
The devil would insist on having the last laugh though. The man and woman wouldn’t unravel before they had a child to painfully remind them of their lapse in judgement. A China child would be no ordinary baby. They would come with customizable cry tones so that the parent could decide which MP3 tone should be the child’s cry. Like China phones, a very loud crying volume would make their voice to go permanently hoarse. Some would start leaking from weird places like the armpits and between the fingers. The flip side would be that no matter the damage to the babies from poor handling, some tape and elastic bands would always be enough to patch them up. Matter of fact, as long as the parents did not mind the worn look of repeated repair, the kids could live to be hundreds of years old. That is, until they begin to look like they belong to your mother and common sense forces you to give them to her.
In short, if people were made in China, they wouldn’t be much different than they are now. Men would still last fifteen seconds in the sack, women would still not know how to give good head, and children would remain to be an unpredictable nuisance that many men would still wish to avoid taking care of but not owning. Hopefully, there would be original counterparts to China people so that those who weren’t afraid to pay the price for quality wouldn’t be forced to marry ratchet hoes or b**ch-a** n*ggas. One couldn’t afford to pay such a price unless they were worth something themselves. So those who sought after quality would be necessitated to develop quality in themselves too. Is this a coincidence? No. Quality begets quality; but if we live and behave like China people, then we are doomed to end up with a fake a** n*gga or b**ch. That’s karma, and am out!

WHAT WOMEN WANT

The last two millennia since humans started walking the face of the earth have been characterized by one failure in human relations: The failure of men to understand women or have any clue as to what they want. However, recent research has shown promise of finally providing an answer to this age old question. According to this research, women want three things. One of those things is that their wants should not be revealed so that they can have the freedom to change them from time to time. Apart from this one constant need, the other feminine needs mutate in a manner similar to the AIDS virus. It is little wonder that both have not been conquered even by the brightest scientific minds.
At this point, an apology goes out to all those who sincerely thought that this article could offer any worthy insight into what women want. Go back and unclick whichever link it is that brought you here. Seriously, if anyone has that kind of information, they would never have the time to sit down and write. Think about it. This is equivalent to owning both the Philosopher’s Stone and the Elixir of Life and then organizing seminars to teach people how to stay young. People who teach what women want are people who either don’t know or just don’t understand what it takes to get and keep a woman. At the root of all feminine needs lies a deep desire to be loved totally, unconditionally and eternally. How can you teach someone how to love?
But love, much like the Biblical faith, is dead without actions. This is a simple fact which any woman can confirm. Women will tell you that they don’t want to just know they are loved, they need to feel loved. There is no way to make her feel loved without doing things which communicate your love. Note that the emphasis is on what you do as opposed to what you say. That does not mean that words are not important. On the contrary, many men have been dumped because they never say the three magic words. Unfortunately for the male species, saying them is no guarantee that sooner or later she won’t bounce for some other incomprehensible reason as ‘not feeling it’. I do not blame the ladies though. Men have this maddening habit of generalizing solutions, that’s why they keep looking for a one-size-fits-all approach for dealing with women. Any fool can testify that no such thing exists.
When it comes to women, the best advice anyone will ever give you is to take each woman as a unique individual. Pay attention to what comes out of that most important hole, you know, the mouth! I know there are men who had already started thinking of another hole on the opposite end of the body. These are the men who will never know the pleasures that may be gotten from either hole. At least not without considerable help from their mothers and/or intervention by their friends, pastors, etc. The only way to know what a certain woman likes is to listen and observe. Listen to her so she can tell you what she likes and what her dreams and desires are; observe when she engages in different activities so you can see what she truly enjoys. These are the things she really wants in life. But who will give them to her when no man ever takes time to find out? The basic goal of any person is to enjoy their existence, and simultaneously advancing their life towards meaningful goals and achievements. We all stick with people who give or enable us to achieve both. Have you learnt anything yet, brothers?
I remember a time when my younger brother had decided to quit eating sausages because he heard somewhere that they had carcinogens. Then he quit Royco saying the chemicals were bad for his health. I finally asked him if he preferred living to be a hundred and one eating steamed traditional herbs rather than live to be any age, say a few years shy of seventy, but get to eat anything he likes – hamburgers, pizza, fries-with-that, etc. I pointed out that it is so easy to get caught up trying to squeeze every little, extra second into the quantity of our life until we forget that quality is infinitely more important. We all want to take memories of indulgence to our grave, of having being totally and unguardedly happy without any inhibitions. These are the stories we tell wistfully on our deathbeds whenever the reaper allows time for reminiscing. Having been brought up with strict morals and a specific code of conduct, there are many women who have never been convinced by anything or anyone to let go and permit themselves to experience such moments. If you can be the guy to do it, boy have you got your nest egg made! This is what has build and sustained the bad boy hype all these years.
In conclusion, thank you for reading this far even after I told you that it was futile. You must either be extremely desperate or a total loser. So I won’t bother to apologize again for wasting your time, I doubt you had anything better to do anyway. Although there is one bit of insight offered here which could improve your chances with the ladies, the fact that you read this far down makes me worry that you might have missed it altogether. However, if you were smart enough to pinpoint it, congratulations. Go out and put it to work. There are no guarantees that it will work all the time. When it fails, please don’t wonder out loud why it did not work despite some expert saying it would. If you do, be prepared for that piercing, feminine retort, “Why don’t you go date the expert?” I hope that my name never comes up in any conversations between you and your lady. As much as I believe that deep down you are a great guy, I don’t want you being directed to come date me. I don’t bend that way! Why else would I be here trying to figure out what the hell women want before they give up the damn cookie?

LIFE LESSONS: NO LAUGHTER UNTIL RENT IS PAID.

There are many reasons why I am not a huge fan of formal education. To start with, the most important and useful lessons in life are not taught in any classroom. Ironically, some of the lessons neglected are the ones which no one should ever have to learn by themselves. Anyway, I now find myself in dire need  of a tutor. I am on holiday for four months, probably longer, so why do I need a tutor? Well, I don’t know how to hide from my landlord. All the eighteen years I have been in different schools at different levels of learning, no single teacher saw it fit to give me a crash course on how to deal with my landlord. Matter of fact, I am so naive on this subject that I committed the cardinal sin of inviting friends over and proceeding to engage in boisterously loud conversation in the late evening when the landlord is around. No sooner had my visitors left than my landlord came  knocking at my door, a fake smile on her face. And, in a deceptively friendly way that only old people can pull off, said to me, “I am glad you are so happy. You remember you haven’t cleared with me this month; maybe you might want to make me a little happy too?” Damn! I wish someone had told me before that laughing inside a house whose rent is unpaid drives landlords mad. Now I know never to laugh until I have paid my rent.

After I finished with her, having bought myself more time to deliver her well deserved and wrongfully delayed rent, I realized that I was faced by another dilemma. It was time to prepare supper. Unfortunately, there was nothing in my house to eat with ugali but eggs. Even though no one had taught me this lesson either, common sense told me that the smell of eggs from my place would ruin her appetite for her sukuma wikis. There’s no telling what the resulting foul mood could make her do; she might decide to come claim my eggs as down payment. Anyway, I did not have the time or energy to go buy something less obtrusive to the senses. In other words, I was broke. Why else did you think I had not paid my rent already? Anyway, I managed to cook myself a nice meal without any further disturbances.

I suspect that she is also trying to set up a “Broke Tenants Anonymous” club where all the tenants who cannot afford rent can meet and share their frustrations. Each time she comes to collect rent, she first lets one know that they are not the only one who have not paid. She will apologetically tell you the names of all the others who have not paid rent, “Today is the 15th, and you, Baba Junior and Mama Pesh have not paid rent. I decided to come for it just in case you forgot.” I have no doubts that everyone in the building will know who has not paid rent by the end of the week. The landlord is adroit at slipping in such details even in the most casual of conversations. Maybe she reasons that embarrassment might push us into paying. Which reminds me that I really should go to church this Sunday and thank God for shutting down that area of my brain which would otherwise cause me to feel embarrassment. I will also speak to one prayer group and ask them to join me in praying and fasting for a memory reduction. If there is one thing I will never forget, it is paying rent or, in this case, the fact that I have not paid. My landlord, however, doubts my memory and sees it fit to keep reminding me. I wish my memory was that fickle, then I could be able to go through my day without dreading that awkward moment when I try to open my metallic door without making the tiniest of sounds. If she comes back before I have the money, I won’t know what to tell her. All the excuses I could think of are exhausted already. If you know anyone with experience in dodging their rent payments, please give them my number. I promise to give them an egg for each successful idea on how to avoid another run in with my landlord until I can finally pay the rent.

La Vida es Corta: Life is Short.

Today is the last day of the semester. Yippee! It has been one crazy semester though. I cannot believe I survived through it. What happened this semester? It feels like someone changed my life settings from Novice Mode to Advanced Expert Mode. But I made it through with a few scratches, half a life, and a new high score. So I guess it is on to the next level now. Looking at it in retrospect, I feel like maybe I underestimated myself a little too much. That is the thing with life, isn’t it? We never know what we can withstand until we have been through it all. Such has been my experience this past semester. When it rains, it pours — when trouble trouble comes, it always brings its family.

First, I got some tough love from one of my very best friends, @fizziebaunz. I’d stayed almost a year without seeing the nigga, then we meet and he all in my business talking about how I done changed and ain’t the guy he used to know. That got me to reflect and I realized there was some truth in what he was saying. I’d changed, partly as a result of growing up. I was no longer a teen so I couldn’t keep acting like one. However, I conceded that I’d also lost a part of me while studying in a small town university. We have this deal where he has to keep it real with me, and that was him doing his part. So I made a few resolutions and headed back to campus when the holidays ended. At the same time I am thinking of making some changes in my life, the puppeteer, you know the guy up there, is busy setting the stage for my act. How do I know this? Because the moment I report back to school stuff begins happening pushing me in a direction I wanted to take but I wasn’t sure I could. My pastor calls such divine providence; @AbuyasLife says it is keeping shit real. I call it destiny.

It started with the mundane life on campus. It is books, rave, bash, books, rave, bash and the cycle continues until the semester ends. Of course, some of the bashes can be pretty wild making for great memories. Nevertheless, I do not want to remember my five years in college as a time of nothing but reading and partying. The Spanish say La vida es corta to mean life is short. So in between the studies and having fun, I like to try and throw in a few meaningful things. By meaningful things, I am referring to things which take us closer to our dreams or build our capacity to achieve them. One of those things for me is writing, both prose and poetry. I do not know how yet but I feel that one day words will be at the core of my better achievements.  Sadly, there’s a huge difference between resolving to do something and actually rolling up your sleeves to do it. Thus, I procrastinated until mid-semester before doing anything. Somehow, the puppeteer, the controller of our lives, had anticipated my laxity. Two months into the semester and I was dead broke. That’s about the time when I usually put on my thinking cap. The first thought to pop in my mind: How can I be so damn broke with all the skills I have acquired so far? My empty gas cylinder, food cabinet, and wallet all answered me in unison. It was clear that I was not living up to my potential. School is no excuse, I admit I need to put in more effort towards making some of these perennial problems disappear once and for all.

Before I could decide on a way to end my financial woes if only until the semester ended, something so sad happened and jolted me back to the moment. When I say moment, I mean this second that we are breathing now, and these circumstances that are surrounding us. It made me realize that I needed to start living each day like it was the last one. In that spirit, I became vocal about certain injustices, some real and some imagined but both equally unacceptable. Little did I know that being outspoken would be the mother of the second of my hurdles for the semester. It earned me a two year long suspension from campus. Well, maybe it is not really a problem but a solution to my first initial problem. As long as I am not in school, I’d have to work and earn a living. Two years is long enough to do more than merely earn a living, I can earnestly begin to build a life. At the current life expectancy in Kenya, two years is about 3.6% of my entire life. I’d be quite stupid to throw it all away waiting to go back to school in the hopes of getting a degree.

It occurred to me that too many people are fixated on having academic qualifications that they forget that their real strength is not in getting the papers but in their potential to learn. In the old days before schools were formalized, people used to be hired without skills as apprentices. The employer then taught the apprentice the basics of the trade before he began paying him real money. An apprentice could stay until he too mastered the trade, then he was required to go set up his own shop. The opposite is happening nowadays. You learn at a different place, then go to the master having acquired the skills to be employed. The way I see it, there is not enough time to build both my dreams while helping a stranger in the name of employer build theirs too. That is why I love the entrepreneurial spirit. Unfortunately, I have to admit I am not that good with business. But I can learn, thank God for a brain.

It is foolishness to deny yourself something you really want or need in life simply because of what you cannot do. Could you walk when you were born? But did that keep you from learning to walk? Could you talk? Read? Could you even feed yourself? Look at you now, able to not only walk but also run and leap; not only talk but also give a speech, not only read but also write. God wanted you to learn that lesson from your childhood: You can learn to do anything that can be done, and with faith you can learn to do things which have never been done. Not having a certain skill is not sufficient reason to give up on any of your dreams. Find ways to learn, educate yourself in anyway you can until you acquire sufficient know-how to start out. When you start rolling forward slowly, God comes and gives that start-up of yours a boost you could not have imagined. From there it is a top speed ride to your dreams. At that point you realize life is not too short for us to have and achieve important dreams.

I love learning outside the classroom, and outside my course of study. One of the important lessons I learnt this semester is that I am either extremely lucky or absolutely blessed. I think it is both. Despite being handed a two year suspension in the middle of the semester, the university did a reasonable thing and allowed me to complete the semester. But what a time to be required to read for and pass your examinations! Broke, suspended from school, and generally unsure about my future, those are the circumstances under which I was revising for my end of semester examinations. What was more stressing though is the nagging thought at the back of mind that I had to break the news to my family and friends soon. Friends can think what they want, I can always ditch the pretenders. Dealing with family is a different ball game altogether, I am stuck with them. The last thing I would ever want is to see them disappointed even for a second.

The good thing about always remembering that life is short life is that you learn to keep the important things in focus. I am even having more fun now. If a committee in a university can so easily turn one into a dropout, then it is much easier for the engineer who commissioned my design to call me home anytime. This is why I am not concerned about trivial things like what people will say or think about me now that I was suspended from college. The most important thing is how you feel about yourself. Based on your belief system and moral values, can you look at yourself in the mirror and be proud of what you see? Can you look at yourself in the eye and convince yourself that you have not betrayed your dreams, that you have not failed in your commitments to yourself? And if the answer is no, can you be able to make a sincere promise that you won’t quit, that you’ll keep trying to be the person you always wanted to be and to have everything you wanted to have? Most importantly, can you keep that simple promise? La vida es corta, be true to your own self because the map to everywhere you want and need to go is written in your heart.

WHEN A KENYAN COP FORGETS TO TAKE BRIBES.

Early today, on my way to school, I saw a traffic policeman too busy on his smartphone that he did not notice three PSVs pass by him! When the fuck did social media become that addictive? Or is Mark Zuckerberg peddling another version of Facebook behind our backs? You know like one that is reserved for really cranky people and is guaranteed to kick the antisocial out of them. You all have to agree, a Kenyan cop is one cranky motherf***er whenever he is in uniform or packing heat? These geniuses need to come up with an app that integrates Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, etc. into one news feed and then throw in a porn background to complete the picture. Maybe then some cops wil get addicted to social media like the rest of us and forget to do their “job”. Why is job in quotes? Dumbass! I am referring to extortion — they don’t seem to ever do anything else. Knowing the Kenyan cops like we all do, it must have been something more addictive than porn to make that cop let go of three 50 bobs just like that. I am even discounting the real and imaginary offenses he could easily have found in all three vehicles to make it an even thousand or two.

So shocked was I by that early morning scene that I almost skipped breakfast to first write about it. Luckily, by a twisted stroke of fate, my laptop was run over by a bus and so I am stuck with the computer labs. Guess what time those open. You are wrong! The correct answer is anytime between 7.50 and 8.30 AM. Well, that gave me a half an hour for breakfast. It also gave me half an hour to imagine what the cop might have been doing on his phone and wasting all those money making opportunities. Or is scorching, January sun not burning their money as fast as it’s burning mine. Sorry, make that past tense, burned mine, it’s long gone. I imagined maybe there was an accident at home. But no, an accident would have been a phone call and he would have appeared concerned. His face was sober, only a look of concentration on his face. This makes me think he was watching porn, but I seriously doubt. He was holding the phone below his chest — too far for porn viewing. A dude watching mobile porno will have his phone much closer to his face. It will be more closer still in public where he fears someone might be watching. The pious hypocrites are wondering how a self-respecting man ends up watching porn in public. I’ll break it down to you, Moses. Admittedly, there are guys who God would personally come down to throw in that hole that swallowed your flock. They love porno, not just any porno but the perverted kind that creates sickos, then they watch it everywhere whenever they think no one is watching. But some of us are not so ‘evil’. We will just be taking a leisurely pass through various websites when we click on a random link and voila! Boobies and huge a***es everywhere! You know how men can be, so if it is free and it is here, why not sample it? Some of us reason that if God didn’t want us to watch this stuff, he would have given us more self-control. Take it from me, it can be real hard to close that tab even if you did not open it on purpose. Unless you are in a crowded public matatu minding your phone and the next thing you hear is the moans escaping from your loudspeaker. Heaven forbid you be travelling with a relative or someone who knows you because nothing but the grace of God will keep you from throwing the dumb thing out the window. But God might have a small problem with helping you out under those circumstances in which case the devil will always throw you a line; after all, the two of you can’t be such bad friends if you are watching porno and shit. That’s is when you seriousy think of suing Apple et. al. for false advertising. How can it be a smartphone if it doesn’t know not to play loud porn in a public vehicle?

So no emergency and no porn, what else could that cop have been doing with his smart phone? Perhaps he was tweeting his latest conquest, or his future plans. I imagine one of the tweets might read: “I am never broke… ‘cos I make it rain rain rain! These drivers be raining on me like rain rain rain. ” Then he might have logged into Facebook and posted: “Fom 1 school fees for mbaby girl now found, ndaddy loves you so much. I love mbeing a poriceman.” The Kamba accent is in memory of this really old cop I once saw take a bribe. It was shocking but not because I expected more integrity from a man his age. It is just that he seemed like he could die any minute. And I am not sure anyone wants to walk up to the Pearly Gates only to realize they still have a bribe in their pockets. There are no dustbins there ‘cos there ain’t no waste, so he’d just have to take it to hell with you. A Kikuyu would be like, “Now Peter, Saint Peter surely, there’s no need to burn money even if you are saying it is sinfully gotten. I have a better idea, why don’t you hold it for me and I’ll come take it after eternity with interest? No? OK, then I’ll take it after eternity without interest.” You gotta love Kikuyus. I mean, they did not inherit the earth or nothing, but I’ll be damned if they don’t own it by the time Jesus gets back. Then they’d greet Jesus like, “What’s up, JC? Finally! We been waiting for you ‘cos your people said you are the one who was gonna pay their rent for living here on earth. What?! You’re kidding! How does your dad own it, we have the title deeds. Does your dad have a title deed?”

I am neither holy nor religious, but above age 70, I think one is better advised to live righteously. That Kamba cop was way above that. It seemed like a driver could just give him a 100 shillings in loose change and wait for him to die while counting and take it all back. That is it, counting! Maybe that is what the cop was doing using a calculator. Receiving two hundreds and a fifty from the same driver is not the same thing as getting five fifties from five different vehicles, the math gets complicated then. Or maybe he was counting the bosses share after removing taxes, breakfast, lunch and hardship allowances for standing all day in the sun to do the dirty work while his boss is in the office growing a second chin and a waist the size of equator.

Anyway, for his sake, I hope he was not answering one of those questions all men hate to answer and women love to ask: Why didn’t you come home last night? Married men know that this is one of those questions you need to answer immediately if you need any peace in your life. Failure to do so will result in endless weeks, sometimes months, of continuous or intermittent nagging. It is even worse if she signs off with, “…Are you OK? I am worried.” Oh, boy! Tick tock, tick tock. Your ten seconds are over and you did not reply or call her yet. I won’t tell you what the punishment will be, I’ll let you find out for yourself the same way i found out. In all likelihood, that cop was answering a text message. And what text message might make a cop forget about his doh? The type of message that makes him realize that money won’t spread her legs, her brain and heart will. So he dutifully sacrifices time to appease those two beasts and tame them into puppies, win them back on his side. I can only imagine what a sweet day it would be if all cops pissed off their wives and/or girlfriends on the same day. Someone still doesn’t believe that women run the world? The poor deluded fool, God have mercy on his blind self.

P.S.: Congratulations to Stano, my best friend since high school and now a honest cop, who will very soon be a father. You make me not forget that you all are our brothers and sisters, and much as some cops are totally rotten, they are still a few who sacrifice a lot to keep us safe. To the honest, hardworking and disciplined cops, salute! I got crazy respect for y’all.

THE HIDING HEART

Once bitten twice shy
That’s why my heart won’t try
Never got even an excuse,
why it chose to be a recluse
Hiding deep within my chest
ever interacting with the rest
Missing out on the joys of love
What reasons does it have?
Why opt for such a life,

even if it be safe,
from hurt?