While it is wise to guard our secrets so that our enemies don’t use them to betray or blackmail us, it’s folly to closely guard some secrets or lie about our life. Lying about our age, marital status or social status for instance embarrasses us when the ugly cat leaps out of the bag. This further invites the said enemies for muck-raking.

The recent strikes by lecturers and medical doctors are an eye-opener on how inane one looks for lying and keeping it secret. How comes my former schoolmate whom I always see driving a posh car with blue number plate wasn’t there when the dons sang their trade union anthem “Solidarity forever” in the streets?

Psst! The man was a chauffer of a senior lecturer not a don as he made me believe.

It’s also during the operation Linda afya that I discovered that medical doctors in our health institutions are quite few and that not every Tom, Dick or Harry working in the hospital is a doctor. The title Doctor was just coined for convenience as most patients find some specific terms like obstetrician or pediatrician tongue-twisters or are unable to pronounce them.

Some work as professional guards, nurses, cashiers or Ambulance drivers. The fact that some of them pelt out words like cardiovascular or internal hemorrhage doesn’t mean they qualify to be heart surgeons.

A new friend of mine working in a district hospital always wore the white coat wherever he was; in matatus at home and at his place of work.

I went to see him in hospital over his cow that had escaped the paddock and was terrorizing the neighbourhood. He was happy for my help and dropped all what he was doing at the billing office where he worked as a cashier. You are sure he never called himself a doctor after my encounter with him at the billing office.

I’m yet to pry on an employee at another government hospital who treats people at his house for all forms of ailments from toothache to burns to mental illness. I suspect that the man is a guard from his attire; the thick belt, cap, boots and the crude weapon he carries to his work station under the cover of darkness.

I also believe that due to advantage of his work position, probably guarding the drugs store, he pilfers equipment and drugs to help him earn that extra coin. He is an old employee and the confidence he exudes makes people have faith in his illegal services.

I don’t want to guard one of my small secrets any longer and I disclose today that I have been a patient at his home clinic and spent a night on his make-believe hospital bed – his sofa. The following morning, I urgently sought medical attention at a recognized hospital. His three jabs didn’t work. I don’t know what he injected me with. Surprisingly I’ve overheard the bloke brag for his prowess in clinical medicine in regard to my good health.

Sadly, some people are dissatisfied with the natural aging process to a point of thinking on how to reverse it. A man in his 50’s and whose head was like Batian peak on Mount Kenya as his grey hair looked like the snow on this feature dyed his hair black to mask the whiteness.

Though his protruding cheekbones betrayed him for advanced age to the young girls he tried to entice, they more often than not fell for his trap. I think they wondered at ‘God’s’ handiwork for his dark hair that put their brownish tufts to shame.

We discovered the secret when the paedophile was convicted and jailed. During the second week, the man was his true self – his hair white as wool. However, he blamed the rehabilitation institution for negligence and failure to rehabilitate his hair too.

Still on human anatomy, false teeth can leak havoc in relationships. A young woman living in total denial after losing a number of her teeth courtesy of her days as a tomboy felt that she needed a denture. Only if this would be a better option for the Snow White to secure herself a suitor as she saw the lack of teeth as the only handicap that scared off her potential suitor.

Her efforts materialized though and she was happily married but without disclosing the nature of her dental make-up to her fiancé.

One day she soaked the false teeth in a tub for the night. In the morning the husband picked the tub and threw it into the incinerator as left over spaghetti to avoid the quarrel that would have ensued from what he thought was his carelessness.

When the wife awoke, the husband thought he was seeing the Dracula common in horror movies. When the truth was discovered, the lady had a red face for months.

Folk stories have always told of a deaf lady whose story made her listeners guffaw when she retold the story that had just been told.

She thought hers was the funniest that evening. The listeners made an important discovery – the lady had a hearing impairment that she kept secret.

So, you think your school days antics are long forgotten just because you don’t meet your old buddies anymore after your relocation to town, eh?

Wait until you meet the loud-mouthed Susan or Simon when in company of your spouse, workmate or your teenage daughter.

The person will start by addressing you in your great grandparent’s nickname before spilling all the beans at the bus-stop or market place.

“So, you secured your academic certificate after all? Nobody thought that our English teacher would sign your clearance form after you pinched her flowery old handkerchief from her handbag in the staffroom,” she or he will shout.

Woe unto you if the person has an evil axe to grind.

“How you munched the githeri you always carried in your pockets! You were a walking posh mill…”

Now tell me if such snippets won’t over-shadow   Julian Assange’s Wikileaks?

It’s wise to tell some of our secrets by making fun of the past episodes so that if any of them leaks we won’t have our reputation damaged so much.

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Written by MUIGAI K HARRISON (0)

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