I'm a master procrastinator. Big fat deadline? Right, lemme sort out that kitchen drawer that has practically grown its own ecosystem for the past two or three years. Chopsticks - keep them or chuck them?
Those sunglasses must be from my former housemate. And look, here's the little thingie I inherited from my grandmother: a tiny pair of, what, pincers to pick up sugar cubes in an elegant and ladylike manner.
It's silver and old and pretty. In German, it's called a Zuckerzange. Is there an English word for it? Also, I need to find the silver polish. Wait, where was I? Right, column.
This week, I am actually working on a biggish deadline, so I'm more than ready to succumb to all sorts of unproductive distractions. And I found a really amusing rabbit hole to scramble down: One of my Focus Group members (aka Facebook friends) posted a link to a news story and, wagging an admonishing finger, told us that while we were all moaning and bitching about elections, a French company had quietly donated EUR4.5 billion for cancer and renal centres to Kenya.
Most laudable, no? Well, if it were true. Surely a typo, I thought, and the sum in question was EUR4.5m (which would still be very generous)?
Maybe something went wrong with the conversion from euro to shillings? Lemme google. Google is your friend. I believe that if something isn't on Google, it doesn't exit.
Or, conversely, if you can conceive of it, it will be google-able. So I did: There were a handful of articles, all from Kenyan sources. To start with, there's a bit of confusion over the donating company: depending on which source you used, it was either British or French, and it was either called Aqua Cartis or Aqua Curtis.
EUR4.5bn is about a third of Kenya's annual budget. It appears that some journalists did agree that the amount was a little extravagant, by which I mean probably rubbish.
Here's where it gets more interesting: the good Prof Anyang' Nyong'o, Minister of Medical Services, was quoted saying that he had also been surprised by the large amount. But alas, Kenya was lucky! Really now?
Well. Let's go back to Google. I looked for Aqua Cartis and Aqua Curtis, and those companies only existed in the Kenya news stories. There is a French company called Cartis who deal in water purification products - would they suddenly feel very rich and generous, and also have no issues with their name being misquoted?
There is a US-listed Cartis Inc, but apart from the share price, no market capitalisation, P/E ratio, dividend information etc available - not suggesting they have a spare EUR4.5 billion.
Let's look again. If you're a journalist, or do any journalism-adjacent work, then you know that the bigger the company, the sleeker the PR firm.
And they will hunt you down relentlessly to get their message out, and ask you if you want to arrange interviews, and make sure that you know where and how to get hold of them.
So here's another fun thing: In the press conference in which the grand announcement was made, the good professor was accompanied by a Joseph Warui, described as a 'financial consultant' for Aqua Curtis/Cartis. Not by any of the company's PR staff, none of the company's senior management. When Intel/IBM/insert-big-corporate-discovering-Africa rock up to make announcements, they come with their people.
I stumbled over another little pointer: Mr Warui said that 'by the grace of god', Kenya would receive this massive grant. Back to Google: There's a House of Divine Solution International Ministry (HODSIM) in the UK that has a pastor Joseph Warui.
If you dig around a bit in HODSIM's website, you find a couple of pictures in which the pastor looks very much like the 'financial consultant'.
Which may come as a great surprise to exactly nobody. Mind you, the internet also reveals the charitable status of HODSIM and the fact that they don't seem to have made outrageous amounts of money yet.
So perhaps the pastor has to moonlight as a 'financial consultant' cum PR person? Who knows. Maybe Mr Deya's miracle babies are a more profitable line of religious business.
What I really want to know: what's up with Prof Anyang' Nyong'o? This sounds like a slightly more elaborate version of the classic 419 scam - I'll give you 75 per cent of USD12m, just the tiny matter of an administrative fees of USD500,000 to settle?
And I did wonder about the journalists who attended the press conference: Some people indicated on Facebook that the amount struck them as very high and they asked the professor, but then still reported the story as is.
KBC, in fact, also reported this as a grant by an international, but unnamed NGO. A EUR4.5 billion grant, and you walk out without the donor's name?
One of my Focus Group members said that the 'financial consultant' didn't leave any contacts - possibly also an indication that something was fishy?
Not April Fool's Day yet, but still fun - if a little worrying regarding the level of basic google search that sometimes goes into local business stories. Good for those guys who ignored it.