Saturday, July 19, 2008

Maddness of mad people

Every village market square here needs to have a village crazy person as well, apparently. They are always youngish middle-aged men, always tolerated by everyone, always well fed and always, well, really really crazy.

The one in Kinyabi was wearing the filthiest shirt and trousers I have ever (EVER) seen, they didn't bend as he moved, so it was sort of like he was wearing cardboard. He clearly didn't have a barber or anything, so his hair was this sort of spastic, electrocuted jagged 'fro and he had a strange fullish beard that only came in in patches on his face. Best, though, was the (oddly clean) jaunty floral scarf he wore tied around his neck, with a pink plastic cup tied off the end of it. God knows why.

The Jalimo guy was even odder. HE had packed all of his clothing full of trash, stomach, rear end, arms, legs, so that he looked like a department store Santa Clause who was down on his luck, trailing little bits of Glucose Biscuit wrapper and, I swear to god, broken automotive parts out of his shirt and the tear in the crotch of his trousers. He was mostly friendly, asking me to sign his name, though there was one point when he got quite vexed that I didn't write his name correctly in the made-up language he was forever scribbling in his notebook (kind of like Korean-meets-Kilngon).

The Kiri guy was boring, just crazy and drunk, getting up and bowing at regular intervals and once doing a very impressive curtsy. Otherwise he just sat there and drooled. I give him 4 out of 10 for creative insanity in what is, admittedly, a very crowded field.

The most frightening one, though, had to be the Limi guy. We were dancing and singing (well, the ladies were dancing and singing, I was cheering and clapping) and Limi crazy guy comes running up with a hoe. He starts slamming down in the dirt, sharp bit down, right next to my be-flip-flopped feet. All around my toes the earth was being chopped and I'm sitting there thinking "Man, HOW am I gonna get a toe reattached in bloody Kajo Keji?"

This, obviously, begs the question, why all the crazy middle aged dudes? Turns out, they're all soldiers who took too many drugs in the war and their minds cracked. So now they smoke opium and hash all day, get drunk, and shove broken pistons down their trousers.

If that isn't an anti-drugs message, I don't know what is,

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