Not all good news is good news

Beauty product eventually delivers baby face, but there's a catch

In Summary

• Women's quest to smoothen things out leaves them with nothing to smile about


I find myself alone outside Shimo la Pewa, breaking off a fight following the contentious 1-1 draw between Man City and Liverpool in the English Premier League. Apparently, those who had bet on a win either way weren’t so pleased with a mere draw.

“It’s just a game,” I say as I come between two fans, both wearing Man City jerseys. “What are you fighting for, anyway? Aren’t you supposed to be on the same team?”

They break off to tackle my supposed ignorance. “First of all,” says one gentleman, “it’s not just a game. But you have to be a fan to understand that.”

“Second of all,” continues the other man, “this fool here convinced me niweke pesa yote kichwa.”

“I don’t get it,” I say.

“Liverpool to win, dweeb. What planet are you from, Mars?”

His friend elbows him in the ribs. “Nice one, bro. Maybe the Marsonians play in the Mars Premier League.”

His friend frowns. “It’s Martians, bro.”

The stupid one cocks his head. “What did they do?”

“They are called Martians, not Marsonians.”

“Mbona unachoma, bro? Unataka nikae fala mbele ya hii rende yote, Jocelyn?

He pushes his partner and they get back at it, throwing punches that mostly land in the air.

“Break it up!” a beautiful albeit commanding voice says. “Either you break it up or you both spend the night in a cell.”

It’s Sgt Sophia, my partner and common-law wife, and I am afraid to turn around and face her.

Why? Because a few days ago, while in search of perfect beauty, she applied a concoction on her face that totally mangled her looks, turning her skin coal black with pimples the size of small mountains. And every time I look her, she takes offence and paradise turns to hell.

To my utter surprise, when she does come around and I get to behold her, I gasp so much she notices it.

“What?” she says.

“Your face!”

She touches it. “What about it?”

“It’s smooth, honey.” I dare run a finger on her cheek. “It’s baby-bottom smooth. You look great.”

“I do?” The corners of her mouth twitch. “Actually, I’m pretty pleased with how I look. You know, after being toad face for two days. Don’t look at me like that. It was a joke. Don’t you see I’m smiling?”

Nope. She’s not. “Is that also a joke? Because, honey, you’re not smiling.”

Her lips twitch some more but there is no smile.

Once the crowd disperses, we return to the police post, where she tries to grin in front of a mirror. And begins crying.

“Oh my God! What’s happening to me, Makini?”

“I suggest we pay Dr Kanzu a visit for a check-up.”

“But my face. It looks perfect. Why can’t I smile for God’s sake?”

Initially, Sophia is reluctant to visit the doctor, since she is caught in an imagined Catch-22. She believes whatever treatment the doctor will offer will spoil her pretty face. Yet, if she gets no treatment at all, then her face stays frozen.

Her mother, who had also tried the same mud cream supplied by her daughter, rushes into the police post. “I can’t feel my face,” she screams, kneading her skin. “What did you do to me, you—”

I’ll leave the rest of her words to your imagination. But this I can tell you. Since neither will visit the doctor, I call Dr Kanzu to the post.

After a lot of prodding and saying “Mh” to himself, the doctor says, “Yep. Your skins look perfect on the outside but it’s dead on the inside. Imagine Botox all over your face.”

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