Sunday, September 06, 2015

Articles of interest to moi (2015)

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Doing the Aussie haka

Hola peeps.

So it’s a month in Juba and all is going swimmingly……well, as can be expected. Came up to room from breakfast this morning to pick up bag for office when I received a knock on door. Turns out to be the hotel’s security advisor – he didn’t show any identification now that I think of it – who said he received a report someone from my room was taking photos outside the window. Oh did I forget to tell you one ain’t allowed to take pics? Yup, one requires special permission and signs informing all of this are posted in most hotels. During first visit here in December I had iPad out at airport snapping at this and that until guide warned me of the dangers I’d face.

Informed the security dude was told he was mistaken and set about my day….well, as can be expected. You see for the past week loo has been leaking from the sides. Dunno what issue is, but wouldn’t rule out crap food I have been consuming in quest for perfect culinary experience. Seriously, DON’T RULE IT OUT. Anyway the maintenance dudes at hotel have been up to room so many times - like the dude fixing shower from last blog entry (oh by the way shower now produces hot water once one turns it on at least 30mins before shower time) – I feel awful when I have to recall them. Plus most times it coincides with after I just set bowels free and with no air freshener in room you can guess what their impression of me is.

Now I could cop a can of air freshener from the shops but tired of assisting this hotel folk, man. My clothes are never laundered properly, takes forever to get hot water, food sucks, for some reason housekeeping always place dental floss on side even though it is designed to be placed on its base, and worst of all got told off by an ugly chick. Now the last part sounds downright sad, but thang is…..okay here goes:

Was having dinner with some colleagues some days ago beside the hotel’s mirthful excuse for a pool and after they left wasn’t keen to go back to room so approached two ladies seated by themselves. I politely asked if I could join them as didn’t wanna finish eating meal alone. Got the quickest "no" ever in my life. U know one of them "no"s that make u think you have foul breath or something. Hey, do folk with foul breath even know they have foul breath, I mean how do u tell them without upsetting them? It ain’t like there’s a Tell Your Friend Their Breath Smells Day with an accompanying Hallmark card with a humorous title like So……erm, how’s the Halitosis?
After the “no” sunk in, shook my head, apologized and went back to my seat. Wanna know the most painful thang about being rejected? It was the ugly one that said it. If the better-looking one had done the same my ego wouldn't have been as bruised. Now thinking to self, "woah, spawn of Quasimodo probably thinks I fancy her. Darn."

This "no" took me back to teenage years when a friend and I were driving and saw 2 girls at the bus stop in Surulere. Now there was petrol scarcity at the time …hmmmm eerie, wonder where I have heard that before….. and mate had just got petrol after selling a pound of flesh, but he/we were willing to risk this for chicks. So as I am the designated 'scrub' (i.e. sitting in the passenger side of his mate's ride) I ask the cute one if they'd like a ride. She's keen and about to step in the car - I have a vague picture of her still - when the Coke-bottle-glasses-wearing friend screams at her until cute chick backs away. Yup, Bride of Frankenstein’s "no" was one of those that has one reminiscing, that's how bad it was.

Come to think about it I don’t remember the girl in glasses being that ugly, but then again it'd just be my fragile teenage ego trying to compensate for being rejected. Musta told y’all about time back in Bradford days when I hitched a ride to London with some dudes. They had come up for an end of term house party thrown by some mates. Apparently the driver got rejected by some chicks the night before and his excuse was...wait for it...."u saw the girl holding her stomach, right, like she was ill? I am sure she just had an abortion and that's why she didn't wanna holler at me". I didn't wanna say anything as this dude was my ride to London, but darn bro, really???? Yup, Zelda’s uglier sister’s “no” took me back to Bradford as well, darn it.

So where was I before my negative encounter? Yeah, crappy hotel. So I have decided to secure new digs and might settle for place with ace fruit juices even though I hear their rooms are just as crap. Well, at least they have a more diverse food menu. You know I got so tired of same ol’ breakfast offered here I bought a tin of oats and requested they make me oatmeal for breakfast. After waiting for 15mins I get a lukewarm cup of milky fluid sprinkled with oats. If I wanted to drink garri for breakfast I would have man, I requested oatmeal! I did my best can-u-imagine-ugly-girl-told-me-‘no’-snark while flawlessly executing a flipping-mythical-dreadlocks-as-if-obstructing-vision motion, picked up tin of oats and stomped out of the restaurant. First thang I did at office was to surf web for directions on how to make oatmeal with a microwave. Plan to give it to the restaurant folk tomorrow morning.

I haven’t been able to make the goat/chicken bbq spot I told y’all about last time, but NEED to do so this weekend as my lack of desirable food options is driving me bonkers. Someone suggested another Chinese place and when bill was provided (after another lackluster meal) I found myself doing the Aussie haka. Some bloke described that to me as what most New Zealanders do when they visit Australia. Things are so expensive there as compared to New Zealand, when a bill is provided they end up tapping both front and back pant pockets searching for money while screaming at top of their voices in a manner that is reminiscent of the ancestral war cry of the Maori New Zealanders.

Finally had some local food and favorite is fool (yeah, you read that right) which is some combination of beans and cheese. Now if there ever was a trivia question to Mr. T’s favorite meal you can thank yours truly for the answer. Not to worry some of you won’t get that joke for another week…..make that two weeks… I also tried kisra (which is like enjera but tastes better), kudura (which is green and tastes like ewedu), and some paste made with eggplant and groundnut. Speaking of groundnuts I found a spot where it’s sold so back to loving cooling down with nuts and ijebu garri after gym workouts. Sweet!

On a sad tip my pack of plantain chips is almost gone. Man, plantain chips has made me more friends here than I can count. In a weird way it was ‘cos of the chips I came across 3 good-looking sisters. They swore they were sisters but didn’t believe a word until I saw their identification. They all South Sudanese – or so they say – but look nada alike. The youngest kinda, sorta looks South Sudanese, the one before her Ugandan, and the oldest Kenyan. Don’t trust me on this as I haven’t been here long enough to positively identify folk. Took almost 4 years at Bradford before I’d tell the difference between Indians and Pakistanis. Surely someone musta created an app for that by now.
They need to do that asap for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean ‘cos I get confused, and don’t wanna end up creating a stir or upsetting someone. Dave Chappelle had some sketch where he mistakes a Chinese guy for a Korean and dude blurts out “do I look Korean to you?!”, only for Dave to respond in the affirmative. Kills me everytime I hear that. Get same reaction when I recall one of the apocryphal stories we heard as kids where the Chinese national team was banned from football for decades after a game against Nigeria. As the story goes Nigeria led 3-nil at half time, then in the second half the Chinese came back and won 10-3. It wasn’t until after the game an intrepid sports journalist discovered the Chinese had subbed all 11 players at half time but ‘cos they looked alike no one was the wiser.

I had a white mate once confess he initially had difficulty telling black folk apart, and dude never said anything ‘cos didn’t wanna appear racist. Come to think of it he did mention he had a relative who’s a professional football referee. Mate from Bradford once used another black dude’s railcard, and even though the white ticket inspector scanned the card he let him through. Hmmmm, the ‘R’ word, used to be the black man’s get-out-of-jail card back in the day. Good times, good times.

Heading to gym soon as missed out on a workout yesterday. Trying to restrict the intense 27-minute cardio I told y’all about last time to thrice a week and gym to same. Might need to increase the latter ‘cos before I came over here folk complained of my gaunt appearance. Initially thought they were joking until I travelled to the UK and it was the same thing. Weird ‘cos I still weighed the same and wasn’t until pants started falling off waist and tried on a pair of waist size 30 pants – and they fit! – I knew this was serious. Yup, the quest for those expensive sneakers sure took their toll.

‘Cos of folks’ comments on appearance I have turned into the very folk I detest: peeps that look at themselves in gym mirrors. I find myself unconsciously flexing arms and admiring biceps. Shame. There’s this girl at the gym though that provides me comic relief. She does the mirror gaze thang worse than anyone I know, only she glances at her teeth. I kid you not. Maybe she eats a bowl of spinach before each gym visit?

One thing I have noticed is I seem to be the only one sweating. It gets crazy hot and I’m sweating even in an air conditioned car, but I see folk walking about with no sweat stains on clothes or perspiration on face. Women in make-up looking pristine and no smear. What gives?
Even with the heat folk here drink more tea than the English…with loadsa sugar. You visit someone and first thang they do is give you a bottle of water, ‘cos of the heat I presume, and ask if you want some tea.

Uh oh, gym’s on hold as just got a call from a friend who panics a lot. Called to see if I had bottled water as she was stocking up ‘cos she had got wind stores were running out of the good stuff. Laughed at her, but I ain’t laughing no more. Asked around and one cannot find bottled water anywhere. Loadsa juice and soda but no water. Reason? Folks feel it is cause of the rising price of US dollars in the parallel market. Yeah, but water is bottled locally and only incremental cost item should be the purification chemicals or plastic bottles as cost of petrol/diesel has not changed; so what gives? Something must be done to curb widening currency exchange rate ‘cos the only folk making money, apart from bottle water hoarders, are printing presses where restaurants get their menus re-printed. I’ve been here a month and cost of breakfast at hotel has doubled in that time.

From what I gather this country has largest petroleum reserves in Sub-Saharan Africa after Nigeria and Angola yet due to the fighting up North development has slowed. It pained my heart the other day to see a bunch of street kids sniffing glue. Just sad.

Went to Nigerian embassy yesterday to register presence in the country and was introduced to the president of the Nigerian residents association in South Sudan. Informed me of monthly meetings held so plan to stop by next month. Maybe we can raise funds to finally put to bed the recrudescence of fuel scarcity. Man, felt ashamed and downright embarrassed when folk at work teased me about it and were genuinely curious as to how Nigeria finds herself in such a situation. What plausible explanation could I provide? I mean it’s just shameful.

With what is going on in Nigeria guess I’d not complain so much about hotel in Juba, huh? At least I ain’t struggling for petrol, right? Okay one last vent…..

Last week I return from work, draw open curtains and see some dude painting walls outside window. Dude’s 4 flights up with no harness and merrily painting away. Didn’t know what to do. Do I offer him a cookie? Would that distract him? Or do I wait for El Chupacabra to show up at hotel and wager him to spit on her food from 60ft? Hmmmmm.

Tot ziens and God bless.

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Sunday, May 03, 2015

New year, new shoes

Hola peeps. Welkommen to 2015. Well, a delayed welcome so to speak.

Came across a draft blog that shoulda gone out in January with the opening paragraphs: No new year resolutions for moi as I think that’s dated (geddit?) but decided to follow Skee-Lo’s 90s mantra about wishing I was a li’l bit taller, wish I was a baller…. In trying to be a “baller” I resigned my position with the firm in Port Harcourt and am moving to Uganda. Yah man, remember blog entry of gazillion years ago titled You Always Return To Uganda? Well, who woulda thunk I was prophesying to myself?

Why did I choose to do it? Let’s just say the inner Caucasian in me thought “hmm, what would it be like to abandon a secure job and go on an adventure?” After decision was made I rejected an offer from another firm to move to Lagos before I resigned from PH role. That way I was sure there’d be no rescinding my decision. Next step was to tell my folks. I hemmed and hawed and when I finally did it Chief was effusive in his support and wished me the best of luck. Mom? After I assured her I’d have some source of income and not be a destitute she nodded her head and said she’d pray choice works out for the best.

Impressive, huh? A tad dishonest too. You see ‘Uganda’ is euphemism for ‘South Sudan’. Had to do that initially to calm peeps down. When peeps would initially enquire as to new location I’d say East Africa, then it’d shift to Uganda for the more curious amongst them, then once I saw they weren’t too dismayed about the move I’d finally say something along the lines of ”…well in all honesty it’s actually South Sudan” and then…wait…for….the facial expressions. A more enterprising individual woulda captured these expressions and used them in some art exhibit or maybe a revival of the hackneyed tagline in MasterCard commercials of yesteryear.

Yup, Juba, South Sudan. Today marks Day 21 of my sojourn here. Why the tracking in days? Dunno, just wanna see how long it takes before I ignore that and move on to months. Reminds me of the weekly newsletter I used to receive from pre- and post my daughter’s birth. They would send weekly guides on what to expect as a new mother. Yup, mother….guess they figured no guys would be bothered to sign up. Cannot remember if they eventually gave up after week 24 post-birth or I unsubscribed from the newsletter, but a part of me wish I’da wagered to see how far they’d go. Well it’s week 2,080 now and if your child is still living at home you have failed as a parent….

So why Juba? Well, everything the shoulda-January blog paragraph stated and more. A business opportunity arose that involved relocation to the world’s newest country and I jumped at the chance. Coulda made way, way more money being situated in Lagos and woulda finally utilized Lagos crib, but this just felt right. So far…so Juba. The people are warm and uber-friendly and also crazy tall. I am officially the shortest man in Juba! Since my arrival I have been sampling the eateries in order to discover where best to eat and so far… Juba(?) Need to try out the spots that serve local dishes to really make mind up, but in the meantime here is your guide to eating out in Juba:

Quality Hotel has best French Fries, but the pizza sucks. Do not, I repeat, do not try the Quality Special pizza! Their menu is quite vast and most things are tasty however. Also don’t ask for butter as you’d get margarine instead.

NOTOS restaurant has the best food I have tasted so far – Indian dishes are nice – but bread rolls are always served cold for some reason. Ice cream tastes thawed and refrozen.

Tulip Inn has tastiest ice cream in Juba….but it’s only served on weekends…..and even though the ice cream machine is brand spanking new they haven’t had ingredients for the past 3 weekends! Their chicken wings suck. Mexican burger is nice and pizza is aiight. Limited menu though.

Terrain is some spot on the outskirts of Juba; Jebel (Mountain) to be precise. Quite an idyllic place and Caucasians love it. Maybe ‘cos of the Caucasians the chef didn’t believe me when I asked for my extra spicy pizza. For some reason I’d smell the pepper but not taste it. That said it’s best pizza I have had so far.

PANACHE restaurant? Crap pizza, crap milkshake.

Paradise Hotel? Crap ambience, nice Chinese food on a good day. Best go a la carte, don’t try their buffet.

CROWN Hotel has best fruit juices and desserts as well. Rest of food not so impressive.

Still in search of good food I tried some Chinese restaurant in a Casino & Restaurant last Thursday. Shoulda known something was off when only the ‘Casino’ part of the lettering was lit up. The restaurant was situated in a warehouse storing mattresses and clothes for sale. I kid you not. Ever heard of a Chinese restaurant with an ‘FC’ suffix a la KFC? Exactly! Requested prawns and they didn’t have any, but ‘cos I was hungry asked for a chicken wrap, which was cold. Come to think of it “restaurant” could actually be a canteen for casino staff.

So that’s my take so far. Never could understand Nigerian folk that pack loadsa foodstuff when travelling outta the country, but now I get them. Miss beans and plantain like crazy. My first attempt at local bbq here wasn’t so pleasing, but I hear there is some place at Jebel that does a goat/chicken bbq….well from what I heard it’s either a goat bbq that tastes like chicken, or a chicken bbq that tastes like goat….not sure really. All in all my taste buds shall be giving it a go next week. Wish me luck.

Hotel stay gets real boring so jumped at the chance to go out Friday night. Got to some bar about midnight and it was Habesha night. Had never experienced Ethiopian/Eritrean music before and though the beat was catchy I didn’t get why people ‘danced’ in one spot doing a combination of the go-go shake and some caricature of ‘ten-ten’, a Nigerian game I recall girls – and one particular effeminate boy who just happened to be best mate - from my childhood playing. People-watched for about 2 hours as this was all new to me, and kept thinking “how does one work up a sweat dancing like this?”
There was one dude though that was definitely perspiring. He was doing the usual moves previously described, but had both arms flailing by his side and twisted them vigorously left to right like a waiter struggling in vain to open a wine bottle while also anticipating lift-off. I had a hoot.

When not juxtaposing cultural differences between Nigeria and South Sudan the gym has been a useful distraction. The gym appears to be one of the few positive thangs about this hotel as the swimming pool is more like a bath tub and should only be used for baptisms not swimming; I keep sending clothes to be re-ironed as laundry person “hasn’t passed freedom”; and only get hot water in shower on Monday mornings. Complained numerous times and after maintenance guy is sent over – been to room so many times we are on first name basis and yesterday he asked if I’d be bestman at his impending nuptials - just like the experience at Terrain I smell hot water but don’t feel it on skin.

So why don’t I move hotels? Kinda like the ambience here and it’s quite close to office. Plus the gym instructor is quite helpful. At previous hotel gym instructor spent more time dancing to hip hop beats than working out. Being at this hotel has made me experience other stuff I previously wasn’t privy to: Arab music videos! Unlike music videos everywhere else that inform the viewer of the artist’s name and maybe the director, in Arab videos the credits roll at end of the video! I kid you not. One gets to see who the grip is, the producer, lightning dude, the whole nine yards. Amazing.

Forgot to tell y’all I resumed work out today, light workout, after the doctor said I tore a ligament on Tuesday night. Couldn’t sleep at all and arm had to be put in a sling on Wednesday. Either I am a Nigerian X-Man or the painkilling drugs prescribed worked a treat.

So what else? Yeah, weekends have been particularly tough as I have more time on my hands then and tend to miss Nigeria. What exactly am I missing? Can’t put my finger on it, guess it’s just the essence of the country. There ain’t no place like it. Essence of Nigeria! Now that’s a cologne I’d pay big money for.

Glad I was above to vote in Nigeria’s presidential elections. We did it Africans, we producing positive stories from the continent. Forget the Burundi dude, in due time he and other sit-tight leaders will see they cannot continue as is. Burkina Faso did it, Nigeria did it, change is sweeping across the continent.

Know what else was sweeping across Nigeria? Women with moustaches! Is it me or is it more prevalent that ever in the country? Everywhere I looked I’d see them. Is it something in the food? Do women not give a hoot anymore? It cannot be that as they are more gym-conscious than ever, so what is it? Need to commission a study when I have cash to spare. Haven’t noticed it much in Juba, but then again I haven’t looked closely. Don’t wanna get slapped for no just reason.

I do miss weekly sojourns to the cinema in Nigeria. Got so bad I was at lunch at some hotel last week when a Furious 7 poster with a ‘Coming Soon’ sign below it was sighted. Was so elated I rushed in hoping to find a pseudo-cinema instead I saw some dude selling bootleg DVDs! Yup, dude’s advertising arrival of his new stock like it’s a world premiere. Whatever next, a red carpet rolled out where he’ll give interviews to local media giving a synopsis of his upcoming movie stock? Ridiculous.

To get out of the rut yesterday I took up a colleague’s invitation to attend a celebration of her graduation from university. It was a grand affair and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Spent about 4hrs there and sadly had to leave for another appointment. Sadly? Yeah ‘cos woulda loved to try home-made indigenous dishes. Yup, been here for 3 weeks and closest I have gotten to a local dish is nyoma choma prepared by Kenyans. As I left I thought to myself, “..this move is gonna be good for me….more Nigerians should move here to learn patience….can you imagine being at an event in Nigeria for over 2hrs and all one is served is water? No alcohol? No small chops? There would be riots! Ha.”

Did I tell you I was resplendent in a white Yoruba traditional outfit with a hat to match? That’s right, son. Was seated in front and though the ceremony was conducted in Dinka language, the MC would intermittently break into English for my benefit. There were speeches, dancing, speeches, and more speeches. Must be an East African thang ‘cos experienced same thang at weddings in both Kenya and Uganda. Practice must make perfect ‘cos every single person that took up the mic was articulate, no hemming or hawing. Woah.

After the hostess gave her vote of thanks – with an honorable mention for yours truly – the MC said, “I would like to thank our African brother for attending. I am not sure where you are from but from the way you walked in and what you are wearing I presume from West Africa, maybe Ghana or Nigeria. The main thing we know about West Africa is your movies, we watch them a lot. Now you have experienced South Sudanese culture when you go back you can include some of these in your movies and I assure you we shall watch them…..“

Woah, I am a cultural ambassador! Didn’t wanna ruin the guy’s day by informing him I ain’t a fan of Nollywood, but woah. Not sure us Nigerians appreciate the sort of impact our music and movies have on others. Just woah. Now I wanna be a Nollywood producer! Now I wanna make my country proud! Now I…….hold on, hold on, did that dude just mistake me for a Ghanaian?! And what did he mean by “the way you walked in”? Is that euphemism for “you are wayyyy too short to be South Sudanese”? And….man, need to ease up on the Orique-ing.

In case you wondering what an Orique is it all began after a November trip to Abu Dhabi to catch the F1 season ending race. Stayed at a mate’s and it was sorta a guys weekend as other mates from UK and Nigeria converged there. While walking past a Porsche Design store I saw these red Adidas Bounce S3 and fell hopelessly in love. As they were crazy expensive I decided I’d cop them only if I was able to complete an intense 27-minute cardio exercise everyday for 27 consecutive days as penance. It wasn’t easy but succeeded. By the time I was done there was no size 10.5 in red so had to settle for the grey, less-shocking ones.
I plan to get the red shoes and still searching for another task(s) to undertake. One of the guys from the Abu Dhabi holiday plans to climb Kilimanjaro in December and that could be just the ticket. The other dudes appear to be keen so here’s hoping. 

Woah, I tend to go off on a tangent, don’t I? Orique is…..maybe a brief synopsis of the guys will elucidate thangs:

Bobby – Abu Dhabi host; gym partner back in PH; closet nudist. He truly is the most narcissistic guy I know. We used to push each other at the gym and since he’s moved from PH to Abu Dhabi he spends his time working out and exposing his nude self on Instagram. More fain than a boyband member to show off he suggested we have an abs-off, i.e. sorta like a dance-off where we’d compare abs on a busy stretch of highway and whoever gets more women to crash their cars would be declared the winner, but I politely declined.

Orique – Bobby’s childhood friend; fave hobby is growing his beard; professional hater. Not as much a gym rat as Bobby, but his daily exercise regime consists of: 100 pushups, hate on people around him, another 100 pushups, hate on music stars on TV, 50 pushups, call random folk on his phone and hate on them. Plans to publish a book on how hating keeps folk skinny.

Jawz – Nigeria’s next great author; has a Chimamanda Adichie shrine he lugs everywhere with him. You know the creative writing maxim, Write What You Know? Sadly all this dude knows about the world he learnt from books. He’s 45 years old yet hasn’t experienced puberty! Hangs with Orique a lot more now so could be co-penning Haters Guide To Weight Loss.

Cannot wait to experience Kilimanjaro with these guys and live to tell y’all about it……if they don’t sabotage my hiking gear after reading this blog that is.

Tot ziens and God bless.

Comments-[ comments.]

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Articles of interest to moi (2014)

Economics 101
A sucker is born every minute
Let there be light
Kudos to Jobberman
Ebola and the Africa Rising narrative
Kindness of Robin Williams. RIP dude.
My Kickstarter campaign guide to get my tees made
Africa by Africans
Israel's worst enemy
Arthur T is da man
Rick Reilly's last column
When I grow up I want to be Rick Reilly
GM right for us?
KD MVP speech
Articulate article on Sterling
Re-introducing Northern Nigeria
Ghana waste to wealth
Rebase this!
Crimea and world politics
Making a TV show
Domino effect
Forget Sparta, THIS IS AFRICA!!!
Tsar Putin
Laudable achievement
What's the MARA?
Buffalo Job
Swat away the fly
Wallet for life
Shameful justice
The Biblical Money Code
Shoulda thought of this instead of wearing a Darth Vader helmet at my daughter's birth
Light at the end of the tunnel?
The Prodigal Sons
GEJ meter?
Michael Sam Sr.
I'll stick to the original Haribos please
Michael Sam

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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Euthymol! Euthymol! Euthymol!

Hola peeps. 

So here we are again after what seems like forever. Well, it’s been…lemme check…almost a year to the date since I have typed a blog entry about whogivesahoot. In that time a lot has happened but doubt if anyone cares. All you need to know is it’s a Sunday and I am stuck in the office working. Yup, it’s been that kinda year. I’d look on the bright side of things since I don’t go to the R.I.G anymore and now office-based, but then again do not get the opportunity to run off to Lagos as I used to. I’ll be honest I still cannot get used to Port Harcourt. It’s not the work colleagues or extracurricular activities, it’s just that it ain’t Lagos you know, it ain’t what I am used to. 

Now a stranger would think from the above paragraph I get to all types of hijinks in Lagos, I don’t actually. Peep this: the highlight of my one-month stay in Lagos was taking poops in the 5 loos in crib I am renting. ‘Cos I really hadn’t spent time in the place since I rented it I decided to spend the entirety of my January vacation – apart from a weekend in Abuja – in Lagos as opposed to what I’d normally do: travel. That said I am seriously thinking of going to The Gambia for the Easter break. Let’s see how that pans out. 

So how have y’all been? Anything exciting happen since we last communicated? No? Well tough. Was moved to a different department of the business in October but actually started in February. Took a while to get a handle on things but just as I did was informed last week I am being moved again. Friggin’ musical departments this is. If I had an alternative I would call their bluff and hand in my resignation. Mate did and was promised heaven on earth: a promotion, a move to sister club in Europe, etc. They all but offered him a back massage. Earlier last year I was on the verge of a move to a rival company in Lagos and had even hinted a few of the powers-that-be, but when talks with said company broke down I had to slink back here with tail between legs. And I had such grand plans too: was gonna poop on some boss’s desk, sign out of here wearing a grill in mouth for last few weeks, and expose my midriff just for the heck of it. Such grand, grand plans! Oh well, gonna shelve them until later…but the poop thang is mos def gonna happen. 

Speaking of poop, did I ever tell y’all about my greatest poop story? So it’s my final year in FGC Warri and come across a plan by some dudes to show up some chick for Valentine’s Day. Why did they wanna “show” her? Who knows what goes through the heads of teenage boys, but I volunteered my services nonetheless. So I see Temitayo Ayodeji name not withheld to expose the guilty pouring a plate of beans into an empty tin of Danish Cookies® on the 11th of February. When I ask what’s going on as I see him cover the tin and place it under his bunk dude tells me of their plan to present it to Victoria Azanowa as a gift from a secret admirer on Valentine’s Day…not sure I have the last name spelt right, but if you happen to come across this Victoria I sincerely apologize. I have a daughter now and would kill anyone who would do what we did to you to her. That said you must admit it was funny at the time. 

After laughing my arse off Temitayo asks if he’d use my cologne – was probably a perfume really, I wasn’t too versed in such matters at the time – to disguise the stench and as I handed it to him I come up with a brilliant idea: how about making things more interesting by adding poop? Temitayo and our fellow cohorts that I cannot recall for the life of me loved the idea, so on the morning of the 14th yours truly delivered a steaming hot pile of poop into the tin of 3-day-old-stanking-beans-filled Danish Cookies®. We sealed the tin and wrapped it properly adding a few more squirts of perfume/cologne for good measure, then called a junior student and asked him to deliver our gift. From what the junior dude told us she was very excited about her present, and like most women who stress their beaus to send flowers to their offices on Valentine’s Day, she chose to open the gift in front of her friends so they would be green with envy. Let’s just say green was the last thing her friends felt after she struggled to open the tin – ”why was it wrapped so tight?” was what she was rumored to have said - only to see its contents. We then gathered she stormed off to tell a teacher what happened and dude burst out in laughter when she finished her tale. Those were the days. I feel like Sherlock finally revealing the answer to a mystery only a few people knew about. Y’all can thank me later. 

So where was I before that poop-inspired segue? Oh yes, work life….in PH. It ain’t all that bad though. For instance, a friend from work invited me along for a birthday party yesterday where I witnessed my first ever azonto electric slide. Beyond description people. Couldn’t take my eyes off an even curiouser display: some lady that held her left breast while dancing. There I am thinking… dance move I am not aware of…….why not right boob…..botched mastectomy? My thought process was cut short by this stunning lady that did some jerky-twerky thang that she may have considered dancing. She was the best-looking lady at the party but couldn’t dance to save anyone’s life. So I continued thinking…...too bad she can’t dance, but look at her skin! She’s so light-skinned she’s almost translucent….bet she glows in the dark….ha ha PH’s latest superhero Glow-In-The-Dark Girl, calling the bluff of all PHCN workers….. Suddenly the entire party, but a one or two befuddled folk like moi, shot out of their seats like their collective asses were on fire. Been in the Niger Delta for a bit and understand that some songs that move folk here never pervade to other areas of Nigeria, but never seen this reaction to a song before. I later discovered the song is a few years old, probably before I moved this way, but could not make out any of the lyrics, even the chorus. All I could decipher was Daddy o daddy, daddy o daddy. Dejavu all over again when Show me how to fish o, don’t give me the fish o was played. Yup, the sooner I get back to my 4-bedroom crib with a pool in Lagos the better. 

Now that I think of it I really shoulda gone somewhere in January instead of spending time in Lagos crib, woulda been cheaper. With that amount of time in Lagos I got to find out issues with crib and developed a new hatred for artisans. They bilk and fleece until one ends up developing misanthropic views. My goodness! If I showed you my phone you’d see a number of entries for security guards, electricians, mechanics, etc. Once one feels he’s been cheated long enough he chooses another artisan knowing they are going to cheat him but hoping they won’t be as cruel as their predecessor. I could go on about Kunle the generator “specialist” or Ike the electrician, aka 5k ‘cos the cheapest part he quotes for is N5,000. The latter messed up air conditioner installation in master bedroom so much I asked him to swap it with that in the dining room since I hardly spend time there. Dude sends me an SMS and I quote, “Sir, the one in the dining room is 1HP while that in your room is 1.5HP. I suggest you wait to buy another 1.5HP air con as 1HP would not cool your room. After buying the air con you can call me to install it”. I kid you not. This is a guy who earlier that month had asked me to help pay for his company registration, knowing I was fully aware of instances where he had blatantly fleeced me. 

Of all service providers I have got on pretty well with security guards especially maybe ‘cos I am hardly around; they usually leave when either a neighbor fires them or a neighbor owes them wages. But when I discovered one dude in Lagos crib Mohammed had been fired I did a little jig. Man, that dude musta been sent by a disgruntled ex to trouble me. In just 2 weeks he ruined neighbor’s diesel generator that cost N100k to repair and spoilt another neighbor’s water pump. This Nigerian Frank Spencer saved his best for me: messed up water pump, petrol generator and diesel generator. Y’all don’t wanna know what Frank’s antics cost me. I still break out in a cold sweat when I hear the name Mohammed. Sad thang is one could tell the dude’s educated; went to uni and everything. Dude resorted to guarding houses as a result of the economic situation in the country, and maybe his current state was responsible for his absentmindedness, or maybe it was the marijuana he smoked all the time that did it. Current security guard in PH, Oliver, offered to clean inside my car yesterday and when I decided to head out for the aforementioned birthday party I noticed the door handle calmly placed on the driver’s seat. When I asked Oliver what happened he said, “I dey clean car and I… (unintelligible)…break”. “And why you no talk anything”, I asked. “I (unintelligle)…..(unintelligible)….sorry”, was his response. You can’t make these things up. 

Might be a tad unfair to blame Oliver for the door handle incident, as he’s been pretty good since he arrived in February. You see PH jalopy has been showing increased signs of wear and tear lately. No steady accretion for PH jalopy, no sirree. First the front passenger door would open but not shut, then it jerks uncontrollably for no reason, makes squeaky noises that come from whoknowswhere, this morning the aircon went on and off on its own, and after I turned the car off I coulda sworn I heard the car breathing. Late last year the car accelerated on its own like a scene from the movie Speed; had to turn off ignition and frantically speed-dial the mechanic du jour to resolve whatever the issue was. I fear I may need to drain out the coolant from the radiator and replace same with holy water. 

Good thing I have arranged for a replacement jalopy. What is that I heard you say, bring car in Lagos to PH? Shut your mouth! No way am I doing that. Like I have told you before I live a Spartan existence in PH: no cable, no furniture, no curtains, only bed, fridge and recently acquired microwave. In my warped mind I was hoping if I don’t get comfortable in PH sooner or later I would get moved to Lagos – even gave away my generator - hence the large house and nice car there. 3 years later I am still here. Aaaarrrgh. Now that PH-Spartan-existence-for-better-Lagos-existence sorta thinking worked when I was on the R.I.G. where I hardly spent time in PH, but now that I am office-based the reality is slowly sinking in. No wonder jalopy is complaining! Used to drive that car about 10 times a year, now I drive it every day. 

Being in PH long term has paid dividends though. Go to gym at least 2ice a week and play footie regularly for the first time since ATL circa 10 years ago, well used to. It was during the finals of the company tournament last year I went up for a header and heard a snap as I landed. Couldn’t walk freely after that. Thank goodness it was just before half-time so was helped up the pitch and saw my team narrowly lose out on the title. Went to the clinic the next day and was told I had strained a muscle in groin area and would need to rest it for 6-8 weeks. 12 weeks later pain was still significant so booked an appointment with orthopaedic surgeon. Dude sent me for an MRI – they couldn’t identify anything as resolution wasn’t up to scratch – and suggested I undergo physiotherapy. 7 sessions – and frantic searches for most presentable underwear ahead of each session as physio’s a lady – later I got tired of waiting and decided to play footie through pain. Massive mistake. Could only play half a game and now pain’s so bad my attempt at jogging this morning was pitiful. Plus I get to wear a thigh brace – yeah those exist – that looks like an incontinent octogenarian’s diaper and chafes skin around the groin area. Not the coolest look in the world, trust me. 

Louis CK has some line about heterosexual males being the only species in the world that goes out of their way to prove their heterosexuality. Was reminded of that as I lay in the MRI machine. Of course one has to be nude under the hospital gown, but as I lay there the male attendant comes over and adjusts my privates under the gown…and this dude ain’t even wearing gloves. For the next 45mins as I lie in the machine in between thoughts of claustrophobia I keep wondering…why didn’t dude tell me to adjust my stuff myself……why didn’t he wear gloves…why was he so normal about this….wait, did I hear him speak with a lisp…. As if to hit the final nail in the homophobic coffin I get done with the MRI and touchy-feely guy directs me to the loo as “you need to pee”. “How did you know that”, I asked. “Oh I saw your bladder was full. With this MRI machine I can see everything, even your testicles!” Now would it have killed the dude to say intestines or something else other than testicles? Some part of me suspected that dude smoked a cigarette after “our” session. 

PH has also helped me appreciate little things like the cost of a haircut…stop sniggering, how are you sure I haven’t had a hair transplant? Average cost in PH is N300 while around my area in Lagos it’s N1k. The Lagos guys try to justify their take by ancillary stuff like using steamed towels to massage head after the haircut shave; one dude even trimmed my nose hair. In PH the best you get is crap aftershave lotion that’s more like diluted disinfectant. Last month tried some spot close to crib when regular barber was unavailable; dude’s “aftershave” is acid. After he applied it on skin I almost peed in pants and swear I saw my dead grandmother. Now every time I see PH’s answer to Sweeney Todd I cross to the other side of the street. 

Other people I avoid like the plague include the lady beside crib that sells boli and fish. She sucks big time. You know how they say it takes 10,000 hours of practice to make one an expert at anything? This woman works everyday of the week from morning until evening and still her food is crap. She musta put in at least a million hours but it ain’t helping her one bit. She probably never did “freedom” – a term given to Nigerian artisans that undergo training before they break out on their own – and is now ruining the palates of all and sundry in PH. Damn her! 

Power situation that used to be excellent around my area in PH is not so great anymore. Although a gazillion times better than that in Lagos, I can’t help but complain seeing as I no longer have a generator at the ready. Come to think of it would I be able to even fuel said generator due to endemic petrol scarcity in the country? It’s ridiculous that no one has a clue what’s caused this and like the pliant folk we are, we just get on with life like nada’s wrong. As a result of this I have had to come up with different ways to avoid getting bored. Since I have seen all the movies at the local cinema I am forced to occupy myself with work on a Sunday. But hey, looking on the bright side of things again: at least being bored outta my mind has afforded me the opportunity to remember to reach out to y’all. If this whole crap PHCN-fuel scarcity thang keeps up I just mightn’t take another year to communicate. Tot ziens and God bless. 

Loye just told me he’s proposed to his girlfriend and she responded positively. Guess another wedding’s on the cards…..picturing Chief doing the azonto electric slide.

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Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Articles of interest to moi (2013)

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Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Revenge of PHCN the sequel: Ar G.F.Y

Hola peeps.

Been a while, huh? Decided since my life’s been crazy busy filled with whoknowswhat I’ll make a conscious effort to update y’all – if there’s anyone left – on the goings-on in my not-too-exciting life in the Niger Delta at least once a quarter. So here I am on the final day of Q1 2013 spending my Easter with y’all….well I had to work so that’s why I am sending this from the office.

As I type this my neck’s throbbing from…well the boring answer’s lifting weights, but let’s pretend I hurt it trying out an Azonto-Gangnam Style combo choreography I have been working on. On second thoughts let’s stick to the honest boring response. ‘Cos I live a Spartan existence – more on that later – in PH I try to fill my time with all sorts of activities. Since the turn of the month I’ve dedicated myself to thrice weekly gym visits where I pump iron and once a week cardio sessions which consists of jogging for an hour. Today I felt extra pumped so I did an hour and a half and now my knees are paying for it. Don’t mind though ‘cos I get to work out my calves while jogging. Used to work on legs in the gym when I had a personal trainer but they hurt like crazy so after my trainer and I parted ways, okay I started avoiding him as he’s a masochist, I have avoided all leg exercises so much so my physique resembles those Roman soldiers in the Asterix and Obelix comic books, ripped upper body with puny legs. Oops, did I go old school on you? My bad.

So my neck started aching yesterday morning after I bench-pressed a higher weight than I had ever attained. Was so chuffed I hit the weight again and again. So much so that even driving became a chore. Felt like one of the extras from Michael Jackson’s Thriller video. Sorry, I meant to say The Walking Dead. When I went to bad last night I couldn’t find a sleeping position that didn’t hurt so prayed to God that neck ache wouldn’t prevent me from jogging this morning and it didn’t. Now I am using my direct line to God to ask for the powers-that-be at PHCN to provide power to my, ahem, neck of the woods as it’s been 4 consecutive days without power and the din of generators at night is making me pull out my nose hairs.

It wasn’t always this bad. In between PHCN’s recent brain fart and the one before (where folk in the neighbourhood had to pitch in to fix something or the other with the faulty transformer) I had uninterrupted power supply. Man, it was sheer bliss for those two weeks; it was like living in the UK…only without the freezing weather, 50% tax bracket and random, unexplained deaths of previously wealthy Russian dissidents. But any seasoned victim of PHCN knows to be worried; the gazelle (aka me) knows it’s only a matter of time before the lioness (aka PHCN) strikes from under the cover of the savannah grass. In those calm moments one learns not to talk about PHCN, if one must refer to them one must do so in hushed tones like they are Keyser Soze or the Candyman. Lo siento for going old school again. It’s like I knew what was gonna happen, I kept mentioning whispering to everyone I met, almost as if my life was in danger, “Man, PHCN’s provided power for 2 weeks straight, I am scared what they gonna do when they realize their mistake. It ain’t gonna be pretty I am sure. What do I do? Do I bring it to their knowledge or just shut up and enjoy it while it lasts?” I chose to keep mum and now look’s what happened: 5 days and counting of noise, noise, noise.

I am so used to the noise I am developing a sixth sense about these things. Given a few more nights of this I am sure I can decipher which noise emanates from which generator brand. Given even more time I’ll be able to tell which of my neighbours owns which generator. Maybe I can finally convert my sense of generator noise identification into a money making venture ‘cos goodness knows my Prophet Joe® Baby Gender Prediction Service was a bummer from the get go. Stupid cheap ultrasound machines!

Oh speaking of babies I am proud to tell y’all I became the proud uncle of my fourth nice and thirteenth nephew earlier this year. Happened within the space of a month: Kinzo had his first girl and Kemi had her third boy. That’s 18 grandkids and counting for Chief. Nice one.

Wonder if either of my siblings subscribed to BabyCentre as I’ve found it to be a useful website. Problem now is I wanna unsubscribe but feel it’d be kinda rude you know. I also wanna see how long it’ll take them to stop emailing me. At first it started with weekly countdowns while baby’s in the womb, Your baby can now hear sounds in the womb so sing to the baby so it recognises your voice , then same interlude after baby’s born. Now I get emails monthly telling me what to expect: Your baby’s 14 months old now and is most likely following you everywhere. A part of me wants to know if they’ll continue this for life. Your baby’s 360 months old and has no plans to move out of your house. Here are some tips from other mothers on what to do…

So about my Spartan existence in PH…..all I got in my crib’s a bed, air conditioner, abandoned satellite TV dish, unhooked up TV, fridge, a spoon and, for the thrill junkie in me, various coloured plastic bowls for drinking ijebu garri on hot, sunny days like today. Who am I kidding, I don’t need the excuse of sweltering conditions to drink garri! Hi, my name is Tunde and I am an ijebu garri addict….

I don’t even have curtains! You see when I left Warri for PH I had been promised a move to Lagos within two years so gave out all my stuff. For the same reason I used to wear Arsenal jerseys during their footie games in the hope I could change their luck and I don’t shave on the R.I.G, the weirdo part of me felt if I made life difficult for myself – was an easy decision to make at the time since I was almost always on the R.I.G – in PH I would force the universe to move me to Lagos. Now that I think about it I sound like a cuckoo acolyte of Oprah, don’t I? Anyways it’s been 2 years now and I am tired of my neighbours peeking at me every time I step out of the bathroom so I’ve decided I am gonna play a Jedi mind-trick on the universe by sprucing up my PH crib. Let’s see what happens then.

What’s not gonna change however is my eating habits, or should I make that my eating-out habits. If I didn’t cook in Warri ain’t no way I am gonna cook in PH. No matter how many ‘runs’ I get I’m gonna keep trying different places until my stomach gets used to the food. It ain’t no joke being a human guinea pig though. Two weekends ago I used the white throne at least six times after consuming whoknowswhat. Head began throbbing soon after so booked an appointment with the doctor and dude said all he could find wrong was I had too much blood in my system. U what?! Said it’s normal for folk who are B+ and it’s best I become a blood donor to reduce the amount of blood in my system. Is there some underground vampire club in PH I don’t know about?

My feeding options took a turn for the worse at the start of the year when I visited my local shawarma spot and discovered the lady that made the shawarma was no longer there. When I asked the dude there he said she had left and he now makes the shawarma.

Me: Erm, am I gonna like it? The girl knew how to make it just right and spicy.
Shawarma dude: Just give it a try.

Half an hour later, yup it took the dude half an hour to make a shawarma, he calls me over.

Shawarma dude: I assure you this is nice.

Dude then goes on to give an exposition on the intricacies of shawarma construction.

Shawarma dude: … see a number of people don’t know how to make shawarma…they think it’s just adding salad dressing…there’s vegetable shawarma for vegetarians, there’s even fish shawarma! Shawarma’s just anything with bread really.
Me: (*thinking to myself…whatever you say dude, next thing you know you’ll tell me there’s yam & stew sharwarma…*) Erm, okay. Thanks, I’ll be sure to tell you how good it tastes.

Got home and bit into the worst shawarma ever made. I would have had more value for money if I had shredded the thousand naira note and fed it to an ant colony than spend it on awful, awful food. I asked for chicken shawarma and all I got was a strip of chicken and a bunch of carrots – yes, carrots! – and mayonnaise. This dude adds a gherkin slice and a bunch of carrots and thinks I am gonna thank him for it? He’s lucky I didn’t taste the shawarma in his presence. Used to watch footie at the shawarma spot now I avoid that place like the plague. As fate would have it I bumped into the shawarma lady’s partner at a gas station two weeks ago and when dude asked me where I now got my shawarma from he could tell from my face he had touched a nerve. Then he told me he and the shawarma lady were setting up their own spot and would make home deliveries. Thank God.

In the meantime I have had to drive 30mins away from the crib to get my shawarma fix from some dude called Isaac. Isaac makes the best shawarma in PH, no contest. Problem is the queue outside Isaac’s stall is always crazy long. There’s usually a 45min wait for Isaac’s shawarma but it’s worth it. I sometimes feel for the dude selling suya beside Isaac. He always looks despondent, poor dude’s lost all his clients to Isaac.

On nights when I cannot be bothered to face the crazy PH traffic on route to Isaac’s I settle for the suya merchants around me. The dude ten minutes away is always on point. I’d always wondered why the smoke from his grill had to crazy massive and assumed he was just being stylish by wearing sunglasses while grilling his meat. It wasn’t until last week it finally hit me I was being served by the Houdini of suya men. His portions are always large when I buy them but after taking the ten minute stroll home I open up his packaging and voila, quantity has shrunk by at least 40%. That must be his game. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice….well, keep doing your smoke and sunglasses thang dude, your suya’s better than the guys around and goodness knows beggars can’t be choosers. Darn shawarma dude!

I won’t bore you with hoops I jump through daily to get lunch at work. All I’ll say is the lady acts like the ice cream man in that Eddie Murphy skit from Delirious. Oh the things I do for a hot meal, huh? The tipping point of my universe-to-Lagos u-turn occurred…wait for it… 5 nights ago on my way home from the gym. Woah, that’s same day I stopped getting power. Could it be what altered the arrangement the universe had with PHCN to keep me happy in PH? Whatevs man! Old universe-believing Tunde is gone forever…

Saw some dude selling fruit and stopped by as the lady that sells fruit in the office is in cahoots with the lunch lady, but that’s a story for another day. So after doing my best to haggle with the fruit vendor I settled on a pineapple.

Me: So oga, you go peel the pineapple?
Fruit vendor: Sure master, no problem.
Me: (*now embarrassed*) Erm, you fit help me pieces am?
Fruit vendor: (*thinking to himself…what the @*%I…I wonder what else he is gonna ask me to do…*) Sure master, no problem.
Me: (*now even more embarrassed*) Erm, when you finish put am in this bowl.
Fruit vendor: (*thinking to himself…you have to be kidding me, dude has a bowl at the ready in his car for moments like these? Who does that?!…*) Sure master, no problem.
Me: (*trying to appease the dude not to spit in my bowl of fruit*) Erm, you dey sell orange too abi?
Fruit vendor: (*now on auto-pilot*) Sure master, no problem.
Me : Gimme ten……erm, you go peel am abi?

How embarrassing is it that I don’t even have a knife at the crib with which to peel a frigging fruit? The sooner I move to Lagos the better.

I never did much like Warri, but at least the traffic wasn’t bad. In PH it’s horrendous and the weird thang about it is one cannot predict traffic patterns. In Lagos you are virtually assured of a smooth ride on weekdays if one leaves the Island for the Mainland before 4pm. In PH one can get stuck in traffic at 11pm for no reason. The trips have become manageable though since I discovered Talk Radio. One can get a pulse of the nation from listening to the folks that call in. Lately I’ve been getting my kicks from peeps that call in to bitch about the toll free number not working. At one point three consecutive callers complained about it. YOU PEOPLE ARE 419, WHY SAY YOU HAVE TOLLFREE LINE WHEN YOU DON’T PICK UP? O HO, NOW THAT I CALL THIS ONE WHERE THEY’LL CHARGE ME CREDIT NA IM UNA PICK UP ABI? ANYWAY I JUST WANT TO LET YOU KNOW THAT. MY NAME IS INCORRUPTIBLE DAN. Friggin’ hilarious.

Their sports show is only interesting ‘cos the female host sounds like a man and the male host sounds feminine, so one gets callers referring to the girl as “sir” and she has to keep correcting them. Priceless. I enjoy the show as it takes me back to a time in my childhood when we had a security guard with an undulating voice. The first time I heard the dude I swear I thought he was taking the piss. He’d go from baritone to soprano in the span of a sentence. YOUR MOTHER wants you to stop PLAYING and GO finish YOUR homework. Ha ha ha, good times, good times.

Oh man, you shoulda heard the vitriol on the radio after the president pardoned our good friend Alams. I reckon it’s time I dusted off the tee shirt design I had made after he first became infamous for skipping bail in the UK. The president’s major support base is the Niger Delta, but if what folks here say on the radio is a true measure of the animosity towards him the president stands no chance come the next election. The question one now has to ask is if the opposition is any better. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. You know the passage in the bible where we are instructed to pray for our leaders so that we may live peaceably among all men? I remember that passage sometimes and feel guilty for not empathizing with the president as goodness knows his job ain’t easy, but then the punk makes a bone-headed move like the pardon and one just can’t help but flip the switch and join the rest of the callers in cussing him out. It’s like I got coprolalia or something.

Speaking of illnesses, about four years ago I unconsciously started to repeat short sentences. So someone would ask how I was doing and I would respond, “fine, fine”. It wasn’t until a colleague remarked, “woah, for you to say it twice then you really must be fine”, that I started monitoring myself. ‘Til date I still do it. Is this normal or the premature onset of Alzheimer’s? Ha. Hey, you’ve heard of premature balding! Could that be why I have been making old school references throughout this blog entry subconsciously? Hmmmm.

Few months ago I found myself making an overtly conscious effort to remember where I keep stuff. I would go into the kitchen for a glass of water then return to the living room wondering why I left the couch in the first place and missed 30 valuable seconds of PTI. I would spell-check words I already knew the spellings to but temporarily forgot. Peeps, I still believe this could all be one elaborate ploy by the producers of the reality show I don’t yet know I am a part of – shades of The Truman Show - to push up the ratings. I was doing okay until two weeks ago – woah, that was when PHCN supply became constant…coincidence? - when I left for work and gave the security guard a pair of shoes to get polished. Few days later when I tried to wear the shoes I noticed a pair of socks in them that didn’t belong to me. Could my security guard have worn my shoes while I was at work and forgot his socks in them? Could the cobbler be running a promo where his 100th client gets rewarded with a used pair of socks? Or is it more likely that the producers of The Tunde Show are trying to mess with the protagonist once again?

That’d explain why my bosses at the club reneged on a promise to send me to Lagos. They had insisted I’d be moved to Lagos to be closer family if I worked on the final draft of the pIB that would be forwarded to Nigeria’s National Assembly. To the uninitiated among you the pIB stands for the Performance Industry Bill, and should not be confused with the Petroleum Industry Bill PIB which has stagnated in the National Assembly for eons while valuable investment that should have been utilized here is propelling the growth in surrounding countries. The punks!

The pIB is to guard against the influx of “foreign” (read midgets) performers that have crashed the prices the male stripping profession charges clients. Ever since Magic Mike hit the big screen we have seen a bunch of wannabe mini-Tatums set up shop, and though we are confident this novelty will soon go the way of the MC Hammer pants the pIB is meant to restrict any further encroachment. So why are we confident the pIB will get smooth passage when the PIB has not made any headway? Pssttt, we’ve got photos of prominent legislators in somewhat compromising situations.

Need I say more? Well, I could but if I did I’d get run outta this business. Yup, these guys are worse than the KGB. A colleague once did the unforgivable by farting on a client while performing and last time I saw him he was “playing” with an abacus. Well I thought he was playing until I asked him if he had bought the gadget for his kids. “Nah man, you know my kids are all grown. ‘Cos of my li’l, ahem, mix up I got let go today after 25 years of meritorious service and while other organizations give peeps gold watches I was handed an abacus to count my meager severance package.” Yup, these guys ain’t no joke.

I just need a few more years in and then I can quit for good. Who wants to strip until they are aided by zimmer frames anyways? I just need that one killer idea! It was initially gonna be Nigeria’s version of The Daily Show but ever since that Egyptian dude got picked up my cojones have shrunk to the size of chickpeas. Successful peeps always advise one to do what one’s passionate about, what one would do for fun if one didn’t get paid for it. Well, taking the piss outta the vagaries of the ruling class is my passion. It’s just that I’ve worked too hard on my abs to be confined in an all male correctional facility. Even my boarding school was co-ed.

Since the TV show is outta window a less dangerous sideline could be my newest hobby: collecting church fliers and forwarding pics of the ridiculous ones to Nigerians in diaspora to show them what they are missing. The most recent one I came across was titled DISCOVERY!!! Jesus Christ is an Ibo Man VISITS God’s Kingdom Christian Centre Int’l Inc. Wanna tell me a collage of such accoutrements won’t make me the black Damien Hirst? If Tracy Emin can make a killing from listing her conquests then a mural of outlandish church fliers or another of Nollywood movie posters would ensure I am In Like Flint.

Tot ziens and God bless.

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