The Most Embarrassing Moment in My Life
The most embarrassing moment in my life was when I answered my granddaughter’s question about a permanent scar on my hand. I always put a cloth over my left arm to hide the fact that my left hand got chopped off unnecessarily. Let me tell you what happened.
I was in the middle of a meeting with the village elders. This was in the late 1800s when the rumors of ghosts in a distant land started spreading. The ghosts I came to understand were the white men because their skin was as white as that of snow.
The ghosts later took our land and colonized us, but that’s a story for another day. In the early days, the ghosts would bribe a few gullible and greedy natives to kidnap tribe leaders for them. The leaders would be tortured when they refused to surrender their land, automatically sending the native residents into inhumane detention camps.
The soil on my father’s grave was still fresh, and before I could enjoy my first night as the new tribe leader, they kidnapped me. It happened so fast. On my second step towards the bathroom for a warm bath, someone put a sisal bag over my head, and I was carried off like a bag of potatoes being rushed to the market.
I must have dozed off because upon waking up, I was kneeling, handcuffed to the chief of a rival tribe staring at a white man caressing a shotgun. The room was well decorated and featured modern lighting, unlike my palm oil-lit palatial mud huts back in my village.
Suddenly the ghost shouted gibberish. A brother standing next to me translated, and the white man had asked a yes or no question. Am I going to surrender and let him take my fertile land without shedding the blood of my people? I took a while to reply.
You could hear a pin drop in the room except for the crickets going about their night outside. My response was simple, I spit in his face. His pale face turned pink, and I was sure he was going to explode when he cocked the gun and pressed the muzzle on my forehead. Before he could press the trigger, an arrow flew right through his eye, and he fell down dead.
The chief’s warriors had arrived to rescue him. After slitting the throats of every white man and sympathizer, they surely were going to have my head on a spike. I was their undefeated arch-enemy, except they didn’t kill me but cut off each of our hands to uncuff me from their leader. So, many years later, my granddaughter questioned the logic of the situation.
She asked why we didn’t just get the cuff keys from the white man instead of chopping off our hands. My council elders barely held in their giggles. I was embarrassed and regretted bringing my granddaughter to a council meeting. This was the most embarrassing moment in my life, and I hope this autobiography I am writing prevents an old man from being outsmarted by their grandchild in the future. Young children should never be allowed to attend adult meetings, I hope that makes it to the constitution one day long after the gods take me to the other side.