Uganda Style (Story by R.C. Peris)

“You crazy. Like the gazelle dancing in front of the lion. Crazy.” Bouncy Eyes sipped the vodka like a hummingbird at a feeder. His eyelids were closed. Normally his eyes darted all around. But all I saw was the smooth dark of his skin.

“I can do it,” I said. “Nigeria is making films. Why not Uganda?”

Bouncy Eyes clucked like a chicken on a chopping block. “Nigeria have more money, man. Uganda nothing but dust.”

“I don’t care what you say. I’m making a movie.”

“What’s it called?”

“The Birds. Hitchcock did it. Now I want to do it. Only the birds are souls of the dead. And they attack the living to eat their life. I’m doing it Uganda style.” I took a gulp of rum. The bartender was chewing something and watching football on a small TV. He paid little attention to me and Bouncy Eyes.

“What birds you use, man?”

“Lord, there are so many birds in this country. I’m thinking of the Great Blue Turaco.”

Bouncy Eyes stared into his glass. “I can see it, man. But don’t be ripping off white men. Make your own movie.”

“Don’t you know? You have to imitate the white man to be a white man. A man with money. Once you make the money, you make Uganda shit. Don’t you know Nigeria made their version of the Expendables.”

Bouncy Eyes looked up. “I’ll help with your film. But we need guns. An army. Lots of death. An army goes out and shoots all the birds.”

“That’s not how the Hitchcock movie goes.”

“No. We do it Uganda style. The white man come in and gave us violence so we take their stories and make them more violent. Uganda style. Hey, Pierre…more liquor.”

The bartender yawned and pulled a bottle from the shelf. He slammed the bottle on the counter.

“Uganda style,” he said. He poured a full glass of vodka and then looked at me. “That movie isn’t getting made. But you are going to come to this bar every day and talk up anyone who will listen. You might get some money. You don’t even have a camera, Bobby.”

“You don’t have a camera,” yelled Bouncy Eyes.

I shook my head.

The bartender laughed. “Great aspirations and no resources. That Uganda style. Colonialism gutted us. Now, all we have is Western dreams and no cash.”

Bouncy Eyes didn’t look happy and I swallowed the last of my rum.

“Until next time, my friend.” But Bouncy Eyes didn’t look up. Hope had been quashed by a bartender.

THE END

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