Swans and Love

Swans have penises. Swans and ganders. Did you even know that? Can you even start processing this completely mundane but astonishing trivia? That swans actually get an erection. Well, albeit an erection in feathers. It’s mind boggling for me, especially because after watching animal TV all these years nobody at NatGeo Wild ever thought we needed to know this. I discovered this last weekend by pure chance, in a bar, of all the places. I was holding court at the counter sipping a Lagavulin while reading Tim Dowling (he’s nuts) from my phone as I waited for this guy called Chinkororo who might or might not belong to the notorious Kisii gang.. It’s Dowling’s wife who brought my attention to this trivia.

Seated to my left, at the end of the bar, were these two girls in their early 30’s who were staring deeply into each other’s eyes. One had short kinky hair, a short black dress and a black bohemian ring that looked like a polished seashell wedged on her right middle finger. The other had braids and a dress and canvas shoes. Her braids looked freshly done; I could see how clean and well oiled the ridges were. Her skin radiated with youth and happiness. They were both drinking Tanqueray Gin from short glasses.

The chic in the black dress had her legs crossed with her body turned all the way into the chic in canvas shoes. She had these massive gorgeous eyes that she used like a floodlight to shine into the soul of the other girl. Long shadows leaped against me as a result. Meanwhile, Color Me Badd played over this loving milieu.

I wanted to interrupt that electric moment and ask them if they knew that swans had penises because they looked like the kind of girls who, not only would appreciate this kind of information, but also who knew a lot of stuff. I mean, anybody is better off knowing that swans and ganders have penises now that NatGeo has decided to keep it a big secret. Admittedly, it’s not information that will completely transform your life, but knowing it won’t kill you either besides you never know when you will need information like that.

I turned and asked the pair, “Are you ladies dating?”

Black dress – the one with more chutzpah – asked, “Can you tell?”

I said, “Yeah. It’s obvious.”

The lady with clean glowing skin chuckled, “Who do you think is the man?” Which was a dead giveaway because only a man would have asked a question like that.

I said, “You, obviously.”

She laughed, “Because I’m wearing canvas shoes and a dress?”

“Yeah.” I said, “I’m wearing canvas shoes too. We are bros.”

We knocked our fists like bros.

“Things are going so well for you,” I told her. “This evening is yours to mess up. One tip, though; stop making her pour your drink. You’re the man.”

Black Dress laughed flirtatiously like an ostrich ready to mate. “Oh stop hogging the ice,” she told me. (Side note: Ostriches also have a penis.) Then Chinkororo scampered in from the darkness smelling of nyama choma and said, “Can they change the channel to rugby instead of football? England is playing and I want them to lose.”

I never got to ask the ladies if they knew that swans have penises. Which was alright I guess because if they were indeed a couple, they were together because they had no use for penises. They wouldn’t have cared if penises grew on fields in Mongolia.

I know today is Valentine’s Day and I probably should be writing about love, which is both tiresome and cliche, but this is about love and about swans, which are lovely birds as I will illustrate shortly. I think we should be happy and show some love for swans and ganders for being one of the very few birds with penises because it is a responsibility. A penis is a good thing.  But it can also be a bad thing because we imagine that everything is anchored there. I mean, take away a man’s penis and he has nothing. You have de-manned him. You can live in a monstrous house and own seven top of the range vehicles, but without a penis all these mean squat. When two men are at it, do you hear the expression “oh they are just comparing their penises.”? Do you ever wonder why scorned women will insult a man’s penis size? Not his nose, or forehead, or his bank account or his mother, but his penis size. Because it’s a low blow.

(Warning: I intend to use the word penis about 298 times in this piece, so strap in).

There was a time we were acclimatized to talks of vaginas and monologues and women empowerment and ensuing important conversations around domestic violence. The word vagina became “disempowered.” You could say it at a dinner table and nobody would shift uncomfortably on their seat because it lost its reproductive and sexual connotations. It became just a noun. Like a smoothie.

But what about penis? Who is ever going to say speak for the penis and our male reproductive health? People imagine penises don’t have esteem issues, but they do, major ones. The penis is the most conflicted organ in the male human body. There is no needier organ in the male body (apart from the heart) than a penis. But we don’t talk about it, we treat penises as if they don’t exist. We imagine them to be fine, to show up when needed. Unfairly so.

The Japanese have been ahead of us, celebrating the penis since 1977 in the annual world penis day called ‘The Festival of The Steel Phallus’ (Kanamara Matsuri). We need to catch up, not necessarily by having a national holiday for penises (although we wouldn’t mind sleeping in) but, you know, being more expressive about it.(Not to other men, though).  If we talk about penises we can talk about penises that stopped working, or are not working properly. We don’t see our doctors if we have male reproductive issues, mostly because you will end up seeing a male doctor and admitting to your waning manhood. It’s not easier to see a female doctor either if you have penile issues. But when a penis stops working nothing else will stop working.

And at some point – as men – we have to talk about penises that don’t work. Not like in a room full of men, that would be horrible, but like generally, somewhere safe where nobody will feel judged. Women should be involved because it’s only the women who know the penises that don’t work. And apparently they are many, in this age of lifestyle diseases.

You can get a prosthetic leg if you lose a leg, or a prosthetic arm. You can even have a glass eye (or a pig’s eye) if someone pokes out your eye at a Gor Mahia match. You can also get another kidney, even a new heart (if you wait patiently for 200 years for a donor) but you can’t get a new penis. Do you know how dangerous that is? That should something happen to yours you are scre-, well, not really, but you know what I mean.

There was this time Kim was bouncing up and down on my belly. I was testing how hard my abs (one pack) were because as you near 40’s your midsection starts feeling like wet mud. He would jump in the air and land on my lower abs. That ‘s the sacrifice you have to make for your children; you have to agree to be a trampoline, on top of being a cash cow. Anyhow, I felt strong, manly and fatherly right up until he jumped and somehow landed on my penis. He weighed about 12kgs that time, and that’s just 12kgs while seated watching PJ Masks, not when he’s jumping up and down.

The pain shot right up my backbone and into the very middle of my oblongata. It was excruciating. I felt like my penis was running back into my intestines, recoiling in horror at the savagery of that tot. My first instinct was to shove him off me, but I didn’t have the strength. Tears welled into my eyes. I couldn’t breathe. He was laughing happily at me, thinking that my reaction was part of this big game because he kept saying repeatedly, “we do it again! we do it again!” I wanted to tell him calmly, “How about I jump on your penis for a change!”

For two days I was sore. My lower belly hurt. I started having this paranoia that my penis would never work again. That it would be dead weight. That it would be like an appendix, which nobody needs, something that just takes space in your body. I wondered what my life would come to if my penis was ruined forever. I was only 38, I couldn’t afford to be losing my penis at that tender age. I imagined how hard life would be. (Sic).

Talking of hard.

The other day I saw Kim pee while seated on a potty and I tried to get him to pee while standing and he couldn’t have none of it. Do you know how lazy it is for a male human being to pee while seated? I didn’t want my son growing up peeing while seated. So I held his penis and told him, “Papa, susu.”

He just stared at the potty.

“It’s okay, susu in here, look, here…”

Nothing.

“Hata kajoa,” the Help said helpfully.

“Papa, susu…susu here…”

He just couldn’t pee. I figured later that you couldn’t blame him because I wouldn’t pee either if someone held my penis for me. Wait, why would anyone be holding my penis for me to pee? Just how busy can both your hands be? Anyway, so he refused to pee and The help laughed and said he only pees while standing in school but never while standing at home. So my mission is to get him to pee while standing without me holding his penis. (I might have to use a stick, instead).

I don’t think swan parents have these kind of problems, they are lucky they just pee in their feathers…or in water, like most Nairobians when they go to the coast. I think if your father doesn’t orient you and you keep peeing while seated you will never be able to pee while standing. Surely that will affect his dating life in future and consequently how he spends his Valentine’s Day one day.

But back to swans and love. Swans are very faithful, they don’t break up or divorce. Yup; forever love. They are not like cocks. Cocks are whores.  In Poland the divorce rate of Mute swans is only 4%. They stick at it through swan problems. If one swan was used to going back home late, the other swan will not, ati say, they have had enough and they are moving out for peace of mind leaving. They stick it out in that pond, well, except this odd species of swan called the Bewick’s swans that usually migrate the furthest of all swan species, and so are more likely to divorce. But those are outlier swans. Such people are there in society; like people who keep changing the radios station on your car stereo when you give them a lift. ( Bett).  

Look, I’m not saying swans are angels, far from it, some cheat. The Australian black swans, for instance, are regularly unfaithful; around one in seven eggs reared by a black swan male will not be his. The only difference is that the male swan, who is called a cob (smh), will never find out. There are no swan DNA scientists like our resident foodie, Sophie Gitonga swabbing beaks for DNA samples. So he and his penis will live in swan ignorance; what a swan doesn’t know won’t hurt a swan.Swans have penises. Swans and ganders. Did you even know that? Can you even start processing this completely mundane but astonishing trivia?

Swans, unlike other birds, also don’t flirt. They are only focused on mating, which means swans don’t believe in foreplay. But the female swans are happy with it, they don’t have a group on Facebook moaning about it.  You wonder why swans are anti-foreplay, given that they have all the time anyway.

Black male swans spend more time on their nests than their females, which means all female swans – called pens – are feminists. Swans are dedicated but they don’t show romance. They don’t show public display of affection either – unless mating, which ironically they do in public. Their women just know they are loved because he will never leave no matter what and he stays in the nest longer as she is out doing hair hair and sipping wine and he fights off other males with his big strong wings and he has a penis that doesn’t have erectile dysfunction. So they are happy and lucky. I don’t know why they say as lucky as a lark when it should be as lucky as a swan. A lark is a ruffled looking bird with a bad hairstyle. That’s no luck. That’s a bad barber.

OK, enough of this. To the couple at the bar, Happy Valentine’s Day.

To you, Gang, happy Valentine’s Day and please spare a thought for swans

113 thoughts on “Swans and Love”

  1. Njoki says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day Biko!

  2. Rael says:

    Biko I want your brains….I wanted to interrupt that electric moment and ask them if they knew that swans had penises…
    http://www.shesatomboy.net

  3. Gabriel says:

    Nice piece. Lemme go back now

  4. farady says:

    sometimes

  5. Mohammad says:

    Am not the first but lemmi read the article

  6. Akeyo says:

    “I’m wearing canvas shoes too. We are bros” Lol. Lol.

    Happy Valentines Day. 🙂

  7. Daniel says:

    Nice piece

  8. Brenda says:

    Lovely piece

  9. Meg says:

    So so good. Thanks Biko. Happy Valentines to you too.

  10. The pain shot right up my backbone and into the very middle of my oblongata. It was excruciating. I felt like my penis was running back into my intestines, recoiling in horror at the savagery of that tot. My first instinct was to shove him off me, but I didn’t have the strength. Tears welled into my eyes. I couldn’t breathe.

  11. @clif_the_tall says:

    Why is this Penis Story so short though? * Pun intended*
    My Tuesday has been made. Very hilarious piece.

  12. Mr. Man says:

    I think a duck has a penis too Biko. A springy pink penis

  13. Muthoni says:

    Smh, you should have cut short the swans story and expound what came of your penis that would have been more interesting
    http://www.treatsonabudget.co.ke/10-most-annoying-people-you-will-meet-in-a-kenyan-office/

  14. Unknown Warrior says:

    Biko, I must admit I am in awe of your literary prowess. Who else would speak so eloquently of the male member and not make it sound gross?? I bow down to you!! ION, Happy Valentines Day, Gang!!

  15. Robert Maina says:

    It was disturbing reading about your penis on Valentines day Biko, but haithuru….Happy valentines day gang.

  16. Swans have a lot to them. I read too much about them coming up with a name to my blog, theafricanswan.wordpress.com

    Not about their penis though. I didn’t see that. Or maybe I didn’t think it. Now I know. Thank you Biko. 🙂 Now I have something else to think about on slow afternoons or when I get bored of listening to the person sitting across me talk.

  17. Ian M says:

    ” I intend to use the word penis about 298 times in this piece, so strap in” Ahem

  18. Moha says:

    Biko, did you actually research about their divorce rates? Haha. Wonderful and hilarious piece, altogether.

  19. tweety says:

    good read as always;)

  20. QS Vosty says:

    Happy valentines. I’ve been wanting to ask is charles chanchori your student? His famous article had you written all over it. He thinks like you

  21. Dyshaun says:

    I scrolled down first to see if Biko cheated on us again this week and more so on a Love day!! Happy Valentine’s to you and Lè Gang!

  22. S.K says:

    What could prompt NATGEO wild to keep this info a secret for so long?

  23. Njau Mburu says:

    There was actually a case of a Penis transplant in South Africa last year. Just another mundane fact.

  24. “I never got to ask the ladies if they knew that swans have penises. Which was alright I guess because if they were indeed a couple, they were together because they had no use for penises. They wouldn’t have cared if penises grew on fields in Mongolia.”…ha!

    Oh really? I wonder though why lesbians use strap-on fake ones if they have no use for penises.

  25. Gabriel Mwamburi says:

    Nice piece, Happy Valentine’s Day.

  26. theMoranLee says:

    Now that’s literary flair.Great piece!

  27. Kevine says:

    Take it away and a man is left with nothing; not a single reason to continue living. That is how crucial a penis is

  28. Emilky says:

    Happy swanning lol.

  29. jesse says:

    actually you can get another penis just like an arm or a leg…. its being tried out for those that lose it in combat (US) sio kismayu

  30. Miss J May says:

    I love you (sic) r brain

  31. mkw says:

    This , as is always the case, is a masterpiece.
    Didn’t know that male swans have penises and they spend all day on the sofa watching Natgeo.

  32. Victoria says:

    Nowadays I’m never notified.

    • Robert says:

      When you comment on Biko’s post or reply to someone else’s comment, make sure the “Notify me of new posts by email” is always checked. Had the same problem

  33. minitheshygal says:

    hahahaha… the thoughts at times you have are special….now m going to look at all birds strangely.
    Happy valentines too

  34. poet enis says:

    awesome

  35. GITHOGORI says:

    Swans? Smh
    Great piece

  36. em dave says:

    A powerful piece with a huge element of charm

  37. Chepkonga says:

    This is a beautiful piece, and you are right, it’s time that the penis rights should be taken into account as well. I can only imagine the number of people who cringed every time they read the word penis in this piece.

  38. Something tells me that Biko’s forehead, comes with an extra brain. Not so Biko? Nice piece there. Your last week’s sins have been forgiven by the gang. https://ekichir.blogspot.co.ke

  39. M-Ci says:

    Loool. I intend to use the word penis about 298 times in this piece, so strap in.

  40. Its Marcel says:

    Its indeed Valentines and love will again be tasted and tested. Gonads, Loins and gametes will not mind a phenomenal bonk. A guy will be ready to give his lady a hot beef injection and the lass will pop up divine questions like,

    “Promise you will not break my heart”

    And you will look at her straight in the eye and re-assure her that your penis is not long enough to reach her heart let alone break it.

  41. Kadonye says:

    Not feeling ‘torpid’ anymore are we..and what brought on the swan rant? A metaphor for something, you can tell us. This is a safe space

  42. The Rackster says:

    (Warning: I intend to use the word penis about 298 times in this piece, so strap in). Change the in to on and bam!

  43. Claire says:

    Not the best!- i was bored half of the time.

  44. Spota says:

    You have shown us what Natgeo failed to show, and here i thought natgeo is everything.
    Great research there, like you said ‘ you never know when you will need information like that’.
    good read.

  45. Winnie says:

    Happy valentines

  46. kibetty says:

    does your literature teacher read the things that you write?………just wondering. you killed it here Biko. She had these massive gorgeous eyes that she
    used like a floodlight to shine into the soul of the other
    girl……..na ulijuaje I like tuning car audios?

  47. Carolyn says:

    That should something happen to yours you are scre-, well, not really, but you know what I mean…thanks for the laugh chocolate man

  48. Lyavule says:

    Wet mud – mud must be wet for it to be mud, otherwise it would just be soil…

  49. Soloh says:

    Awesome read Biko

  50. makobu says:

    Did you know that the female spotted hyena also has a penis like genitalia? Just thought you should know

  51. lucy says:

    he he he. nice piece. My colleague is asking why I am laughing

  52. Njeri says:

    I have laughed like those hyenas for Lion King!! You should know to protect your valuables from Kim, but I can’t even say I have any idea what that pain feels like. Every man I have spoken to claims that it’s worse than labor pain and when I try to protest (having experienced firsthand that particular pain of bringing a life into this world), the response is always the same; there is no man who would willingly choose to have his nuts kicked again, yet women willingly choose to have another child and experience the same pain.
    Biko you surely have a way with words and after reading this profile of you by Magunga, I certainly hope I will meet you in person one day!! https://wanjiruwaithaka.wordpress.com/2017/02/14/bikozulu-the-man-behind-the-mask/

  53. Moses says:

    lol…ati it beomes a noun. like a smoothie

  54. karyah Margaret says:

    My valentines couldn’t be any better had a good laugh and now i know swans have penises,weird

  55. Maggie says:

    A strong,functional penis is all you need.

  56. Gla says:

    Hilarious!

  57. Mwakisha Makoko says:

    Thanks to this article I now know that Swans have penises interesting fact and Ganders too *to be honest I don’t even know what Ganders are I’ll have to google them immediately after this* all in all it was a very interesting read and I like how different your line of thought is usually most people would have looked at the couple and thought ‘wow this is really happening’ and then there is guys like you or more specifically you ‘I wonder if they know that Swans have penises’ Nice read man I loved it

  58. Winnie Muchiri says:

    A special valentine’s day dedicated to penises and swans … LOL

  59. kidikibudi says:

    Now that you’ve done your bit of acceding to the liberal push for mainstreaming the sapphic experience (and may you never tag us along to anotther of twi olvey-dovey penises), I wish to ask a question, if only the swans have Stiffy Woody amog the avians, what do you call that wrigly mess that ducks shamelessly show off on the ruts?

    On penises, where does one go when he becomes a Wanjohi wa Kigogoine surrogate i.e. a one-minute boss or a no-show/cause laggard? Asking for a friend of a friend.

    And finally, it is a good thing Penis Monologue can also be a thing. It is time to upend the riotously awakened powers of the vagina after Eve Elsner went all -commando on us all poor penis-holders with her definitive tetchy monologue.

  60. Mukami Kathambara says:

    Is there a reason this article did not come to my inbox? I had to check your page coz I thought you bailed on us again. Please add me back to the mailing list 🙂 Hope you had a happy Valentines day Chocolate Man 🙂

  61. A-star says:

    Fun facts, thank you.

  62. Bree says:

    Love is for the birds.

  63. Bikosnumber2CRITIC says:

    Boring.Yawn. Except for the part where you used the phrase “holding court”. Nitaiba io.

  64. Nyawira Njenga says:

    Worth the weight!!! Nice one

  65. becks says:

    just when i thought he was still torpid it turns out i didnt get an email notification

  66. Dianah Ngare says:

    wow…Made my afternoon.
    Thanks Biko!

  67. Caroline M says:

    Good write up but still searching for the moral of the story or the direction of it. ION, didn’t get an email to alert me? Kindly check that out for me.

  68. Jo says:

    Great piece.

    On that note… why don’t we (read You and I)…start a PENI-MONOLOGUES revolution. Some sister to the Vagina Monologues. Someone needs to stand up for those ‘ones’ that won’t stand I suppose. #grinningEarToEar

  69. Mrs Atambo says:

    Informative – on the black swans. And I got to learn somewhere for your tiny pre-schooler – to get him to pee while standing;go “potty” with him to the loo, as you hold your wee wee, he holds his too and you both pee. Once or twice together & he’ll be good to go on his own.

  70. Angela Darcy says:

    Very Funny. The Swans in Australia football are good too.. you made my day

  71. tina says:

    The pain shot right up my backbone and into the very middle of my oblongata. It was excruciating. I felt like my penis was running back into my intestines, recoiling in horror at the savagery of that tot. My first instinct was to shove him off me, but I didn’t have the strength.so sorry about your penis biko . This is where you go see the daktari kutoka tanga wa kutibu nguvu za kiume

  72. Isa says:

    The word vagina became “disempowered.” You could say it at a dinner table and nobody would shift uncomfortably on their seat because it lost its reproductive and sexual connotations. It became just a noun. Like a smoothie.
    haha 🙂 Good writing Biko…

  73. bett says:

    so it had to be a Bett misbehaving in someone’s car.Fine

  74. mukiri mkuu says:

    great

  75. Hildah says:

    Refreshing read as always

  76. Kay says:

    Nice read.. Now I have to look for a swan just to confirm kama ni ukweli. 🙂

  77. Julius says:

    You have literally dragged us through this penis thing… holding out penises!!!

  78. Kay says:

    All I keep wondering is if those two girls were men how the conversation with them would go
    Tip**if u want Kim to pee standing at home.let him see you peeing a couple of times. He will know its OK for boys to pee like that in the HSE.he is probably surrounded by women in the HSE who he has seen pee,so in his mind he thinks that’s how its done at home.Thank me later..unless he has seen u pee n still doesn’t get it.if that’s the case.. Sowwwy..LOL

  79. Rujeko Moyo says:

    Interesting, engaging, stimulating read

  80. Insect says:

    don’t all birds have penises…otherwise how do they do each other…unless they are like those two chics…no…one chic and her male chic

  81. James Pascal says:

    Where’s that option for sharing this story on fb?

  82. sandra says:

    I have laughed so hard at your reaction when Kim landed on your dudu 🙂

  83. Alvin says:

    So goooood(sic) I read it twice!

  84. Maxwell Munene says:

    Good read as always… Do Swines have flu?, you know Swine flu

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