Home By Marquel Here We Go Again

Here We Go Again

Marquel, TPVs NYTimes That’s Where I Hail From Section correspondent, was sleeping and snoring, when a fly woke him up, and he read “In Kenya, Obama Hails Africa’s Growth and Potential.” Marquel couldn’t cover this story without flying to Kenya, so he used up all his miles he got from purchasing coffee at Starbucks to get there. The Obama delegation was firmly tied down and almost nobody was allowed to say a word.

  • Marquel circled the hotel, even sat at the bar and sidled up to various members of the Obama camp, but was unable to get a word about policy from anyone. At one point, Obama passed by, with more protection than the pope gets in heathen areas. Suddenly, a young man dressed completely in red tried to hand the president an envelope, but was rudely thrown to the ground by the entourage.
Marquel approached the man in red and tried to interview him, but the language barrier was too much. The man in red looked around suspiciously, dusted off his clothes, and disappeared.
  • Later in the day, the Kenyan government held a small reception for the president. They gave him a tribal headdress which Obama genially put on, and speeches were made. Then the Kenyan head of state announced that the nation was proud to give Obama a national award. At that point the man in red appeared once again, but before he could reach the lectern, he was tackled by security and carried off the stage.
The following day, Obama gave a speech praising the progress Kenya has made “since last I was here,” which was apparently ten or twelve years ago. He subtly attacked the previous administration when he said, “imagine how much more progress would have been made if Kenya had the full support of our country for a longer time than just my time in office.” There was prolonged applause. Apparently the Kenyans are all Democrats.
  • Before Obama left the stage, the man in red appeared and tried to reach him again, but very predictably he was beaten back by secret service agents, and he fled into the crowd.
That night, in the hotel bar, I met with several Obama deputies. They all professed ignorance of the man in red, and had no explanation for the events.
  • My curiosity was aroused. I went from bar to bar, asking for the man in red. Almost all the Kenyans knew who I was looking for, but he was hard to track down. The next morning, I followed the few leads I hadn’t exhausted and found myself in a government building, of no apparent significance, and I decided to give up. There was nobody in red in the building, the national hall of records, and no man in red in all of Kenya as far as I could learn.
At the airport next day, as I left, Obama appeared again, meeting some State Department officials. The man in red appeared suddenly, was grabbed by security, bundled into a van, and taken away. I went to get my flight but saw the envelope in the road, the same one, it seemed, that the man in red had tried to give Obama for the last two days.

  • My flight was leaving and I almost missed it. After takeoff, I examined the envelope. Perhaps it had been dusted with poisonous powder or Ebola germs. I carefully opened it, with my pocket scissor and another piece of paper around it so I wouldn’t touch anything. Inside was a single, thin and fragile-looking sheet, almost a photostat or fax printout.
It contained Obama‘s name, that of his family, and his birthday. It was a birth certificate showing Obama had been born in Kenya in the Nairobi central hospital on August 4, 1961. Wow. I was holding something historic. But if it got out, it would invalidate an entire presidency, I knew. So, poison or not, I crumpled the paper, chewed it 39 times, for safety, and swallowed. I could have been famous, but I took one in the stomach for Barak instead. And then I wrote about it.
by MARQUEL: Here We Go Again


Comments are closed.