• Inspector Tembo has the runs and a burning hot fever; could he corona positive?
Finally armed with the Inspector’s bedbug pesticide, I head to his house. I have other good news, too. The beer truck is coming this evening. Inspector Tembo loves a cold one.
As the boss, he has the luxury of a two-roomed house. I only have a single room. There’s no furniture in the front room. I find him in the inner room. In bed. He appears extremely sick.
“What’s the matter, boss?” I ask.
“Thank God you’re here, son,” he says weakly. “It got me. It finally got me.”
“The beast, son. It hurts so much. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. Not even that son of a… that Kamanda buffoon.”
“You mean Superintendent Kamanda, sir? Your boss?”
“I wish he gets Ebola, that one. So bad that his legs fall off.”
“Ebola doesn’t make someone’s legs fall off, sir. Probably sepsis.”
“Yes. That one, then. I wish he gets a septic.” He waves me over. “Here. Feel my forehead.”
I touch his forehead. He’s sweating a river and burning up with fever. Now I’m alarmed.
Suddenly, he grabs my arm.
“Don’t let me die in this crap of a village, my son,” he pleads. “But if I go before my wife, tell that Jezebel I will erect so many roadblocks she’ll never see heaven.”
“I'll go fetch Dr Kanzu, sir.”
“What can he do? I have the corona, not a common cold.”
I throw his hand off me.
“Corona? But Inspector, you were all over me!”
He grabs a towel. Quickly wipes himself.
“You know you should maintain social distance, Sgt Makini,” he scolds. “What’s wrong with you?”
“Me?” I gawk. “You grabbed me! I should be cleaning up. Not you.”
“You need a towel?” He proffers the towel.
I take a step back. “You just wiped yourself with… Inspector, I’m going for Dr Kanzu.”
He beats me to the door, running with his hands holding his bottom. Lets out a loud fart as he zooms past me.
“Dear Jesus,” he prays, “please lemme make it to the toilet.”
I grab a bottle of sanitiser and apply it liberally allover my hands as I watch my boss head duck into the latrine. Even this far away, I can hear he’s not having a good time.
He comes out. Walks halfway to the house.
“Does corona come with diarrhoea?” he shouts.
“It does, but it’s less common than—”
“Wait! There’s more!”
He turns and heads back to the toilet. More rips and roars ensue. Finally, he comes out.
“I think I just dropped my liver in there,” he says, resting with his hands on his knees.
“Are you alright boss?” I ask. By then, I’m contemplating taking a bath in pure sanitiser.
“Do I look okay to you, Sergeant?” Before I can speak, he comes to a halt, puts up a hand to stop me. He listens keenly. Shakes his head. “I swear if I go back to that damn toilet one more time, I'm gonna kill that fake Dr Selitol.”
“What has our chemist done this time?” I ask.
The Inspector says nothing. Comes rushing past me into the house. Grabs his phone and dials a number.
“You stupid fake witch doctor,” he screams. “I told you I needed something to mimic the effects of corona. Not give me freaking diarrhoea. As soon as I’m done going, I’m coming for… Oh, Lord! Not again!”
He drops the phone. Rushes back to the toilet.
“Good news boss,” I shout. “I'll buy you a beer when you’re done!”