Tuesday, April 18, 2006

It's hard out here for a pimp

Hola peeps. ¿Cómo usted ha sido? Le he faltado los individuos tanto. Tanto para decir tan poca hora.

As some of you are aware I have been outta country for a while and only arrived a few weeks ago. The flight was same ol’ same ol’ (crap food, person seated beside u has halitosis and B.O., etc) and the experience finally convinced me to work real hard to skip coach/economy/world traveler/(insert latest condescending phrase here) next time I fly. Thing that pissed me off is the attitude of Nigerians to luggage. I won’t lie I’ve been guilty of taking too many things in the past, mostly at the behest of peeps, and I’ve decided to stop this practice on my next trip. U call an average Nigerian in diaspora to tell him/her u in his country of residence and next thing they want to know is when u returning to Nigeria ‘cos er, er, they have something er, er, little to send to Nigeria. Something ‘little’ turns out to be 5 phones, 3 laptops and some toiletries. Yes, friggin’ toiletries! U wanna tell me the latest brand of toothpaste isn’t sold in Nigeria?

As a kid I remember taking extra textbooks, toys, etc with me to school. For what? Dunno. Funny thang is I still over-pack when traveling. If I was on one of these US talk shows I’d most likely divert blame for this to my folks – I mean if they had only curbed this urge as a kid I’d not be afflicted by this over-packing disease now. Hmmm, if I’d just get on Oprah to discuss this I’d get a book deal for sure.

Back to Nigerians obsession with large amount of luggage: I have this aunt based in the UK who travels to Nigeria at least twice a year, yet tends to have stuff to send home whenever she comes across a Nigerian. She sometimes resides at my crib in Lagos and once while helping to lift her suitcase from the car I almost broke my back. I must disclose here that I was a heavy weed lover at this point – I am talking hemp hair products (yep, I used to have flowing locks at this point), hemp t-shirts, hemp mixed with garri - so maybe my memory is slightly fuzzy, but I am sure that suitcase was mondo heavy. It took the driver, the security guard (with weed-induced vision they looked like Robocop and the Predator, respectively) and I five minutes to heave that suitcase upstairs. She opens it up and I notice she has a huge ass microwave oven in it. Yup, u read that right. Asked how much she paid in excess luggage fees and she laughs out loud as if to suggest only dumbos pay for those. Couldn’t believe it and told mom about it. Mom, in a jaded tone, then tells me my aunt has a knack for getting away with such things ‘cos she can cry at the drop of a pin. Apparently, the line she uses all the time is that she’s returning to Nigeria for her dad’s funeral and the stuff in the suitcase is for the ceremony….sob……’cos being an only child….sob……she has to bear the costs….sob…….herself. Next year, she’s getting my votes for the Oscars.

Do u know the cab driver that picked me up guessed I was Nigerian just by the huge suitcases I hauled into his car? He then went on to regale me with tales of Nigerians he’s had in his cab. One particularly humorous one was of a lady who had about 3 massive bags and left for the airport with little time to spare. Obviously, when weighed, each of her suitcases was over the allowed limit. Instead of doling out bucks for the excess luggage she proceeded to wail like a baby, but the airline folk wouldn’t budge. (Maybe they’d had an encounter with my aunt. Ha huh ha huh) Anyways, some bad Samaritan convinces this lady that there’s somewhere at the airport where she’d courier her bags at a cheap rate so she gets back in the cab looking for this elusive place. She ends up missing her flight and has to return home. All that for some goods u can get at a slight premium in Nigeria. Sad.

I have been back in Nigeria for 3 weeks now and must say I hadn’t missed it much. The traffic’s worse than I remember and glad when I was seconded to Abuja by the office. Apparently, they are looking to branch out there and need representatives to search out this new frontier. Yep, we are like the 12 spies the Israelites sent to Canaan to see if the land flowed with milk and honey; only that Abuja flows with money and money. Man, so much money that everyone there’s trying to be unique in order to get primo bucks. Peep this, while in a cab with mates I saw a prostitute in indigenous attire, which was weird as in Lagos they wear revealing outfits. While commenting to my Abuja mates/tour-guides about this they bore the same jaded look my mom had those years ago (see above). “Is that what u shocked about, they asked. “In some places here there are prostitutes who wear hijabs. Maybe some men like that, u know like they like role play and stuff. Even worse I hear in Port Harcourt u find prostitutes with Bibles, so the uninitiated think they are on their way home from church fellowship.” Man, prostitutes with Bibles?!! Whatever next? So how does one know whom to solicit? Is there a code word or slang one’d use? “Hey babes, er, what’s written in Matthew chapter 2? U don’t know, so how much for ur company?” Ha huh ha huh ha huh

Wait a minute, it just occurred to me that some of u might think I may have had…..well, u know. Anyways, u can get ur minds outta gutter now cos it’s never crossed my mind. Never even had an encounter with a prostitute……okay, apart from that one time in the US when……no, there was also that time as a kid when……maybe I’d stop digging a hole for myself. Right now Angelina Jolie’s probably reading this and wondering why she’d leave Brad for me when I hang with ladies of the night. Angelina, I’m gonna expatiate on all my interactions with the hardest working women on the planet just so u know I have nada to hide. Please….sob……Angelina, wait….sob……I’m really crying here….not pretending to be like my aunt, honest. Hopefully, u’ll realize after reading the next few paragraphs, that apart from money, looks and some….sob……….sob……….sob……hair, Brad doesn’t hold a candle to me.

Interaction 1: (Maybe I’d change that to interaction one plus x, where x represents an unknown.) What happened is we (mates and I) would drive to Apapa for suya (that’s barbequed meat to y’all non-Nigerians) and on way back we’d take the scenic route so we’d holler at the prostitutes while laffing our asses off. Strangely, we got a kick from this and did this almost every night. I stopped goiing along for the ride after it dawned on me that most of these women are only in this line of business to raise money to survive. My recollection of this is again hazy due to u know what, but think this eureka moment coincided with the video release of Pretty Woman.
Angelina, so u see it was all in good fun and in our defense we were young folk with access to cars and nothing to do. Guess the adage should be changed to: an idle teenager with a car is the devil’s toolshed.

Interaction 2: On way home from campus about 2am and decided to stop by a gas station to get milk, which is a vital ingredient used in every non-cooking bachelor’s staple diet, cereal. Picked out my fav cheapest (hey, I was a broke grad student!) brand and was about to pay when I noticed this chick walk in. She wasn’t much to look at, but then again who is at 2am in a non-niteclub setting? I delay the milk purchase and got my oh-I-wanna-make-sure-I-don’t-forget-my-keys-here-like-last-time stroll on so we’d walk out at the same time. Yes, I’ll be teaching a class on my slick techniques sometime soon. All y’all single folk might wanna sign up. Ha. Anyways, the following exchange ensued.

Tunde: Hey.
Her: Hey.
Tunde: What u up to?
Her: Well, on way with my friends (those folk in that car) to hang out. U?
Tunde: Nada. Just going home ALONE.
Her: Well, the guys are from outta town and going back tomorrow. Maybe we’d hang out.
Tunde: Sure. Take down my number, it’s 555-STUD. Gimme a call tomorrow when u free.
Her: Cool. So see u later.
Tunde: Sure.

I then walk towards Samantha (my car) and about to start the ignition when the chick runs towards me.
Her: Hey, u got friends who like to party?
(At this point Tunde’s thinking to himself, “Yep, thot I lost my mojo but it’s back. Yeah baby, yeah! So she has some single friends, huh? Miguel is so desperate nowadays I might just make him do my laundry before I hook him up with this chick’s friend.”)
Tunde: Sure, got some friends who are cool. Why u ask?
Her: Got some friends who I’m gonna be with tomorrow. There’s this girl who does tricks with a banana.
Tunde (now shocked as heck): Er, cool.

Guess what, Angelina, she did call and left a message on my answering machine. Of course, I never called her back. Hey, I ain’t no Richard Gere, I have a reputation to uphold. Man, can u imagine if the police had been trailing her? I’da been arrested for soliciting. Boy, the news of that woulda raised my mom’s blood pressure higher than the time I had four consecutive Asian girlfriends.

Entertainment news: Proof of D12 died after being shot in the head. A suspect turned himself in and is pleading self-defense. It’s alleged that Proof fired the first shot cos of an argument that arose over a game of pool. First, Tupac dies from gunshot wounds after shooting (pun intended) I Ain’t Mad Atcha, a video in which he’s shot, dies, and goes to black entertainment paradise. Then, Proof dies after starring in Eminem’s Toy Soldiers, a video in which he dies after being shot. Man, what a sad way to go. At a time like this one cannot help but ask, “Was it the same dude that directed both videos?” This’d be investigated. If it’s the same guy then either he’s got some real bad luck or he’s got a clairvoyant camera lens. If it’s the latter then I’m extending a special invitation to him to superimpose a picture of me beside Angelina Jolie, Toni Braxton, Helen Mirren and Candice Bergen.

Bobby Brown’s temporarily (maybe) left Whitney ‘cos he fears he’ll keep using drugs if he’s around her. The dude’s finally got some sense. Now maybe he can get his li’l grey cells to fix his general appearance. Did u see Damian Marley’s Beautiful video? Bobby looked like a crack addict on paid vacation.

Basic Instinct 2 flopped even after Sharon Stone went around the world promoting it. Poor Sharon, she did whatever she could to get peeps to see movie. At some travel spot, when asked about war in Iraq she’s reported to have said, “I’d kiss everyone in the world to promote peace”. Yeah, right. She should have added, “…and in case u don’t know I’ll be baring flesh in my new movie as well; it was all tastefully done of course.”

Loved the Oscars. George Clooney’s acceptance speech was amazing. Now y’all understand why I love that dude? A true superstar who doesn’t take himself too seriously. Did y’all see Three 6 Mafia after they won? Exciting. I wonder where they gonna place the statuette? Maybe they’d melt it and make mouth bling outta it.

Local news: Scrap metal can no longer be found on the divider on Apapa bridge. We succeeded peeps, we succeeded! I need to thank y’all for complaining about it. Now let’s see if we can sort out this corruption thang out.

Political news: Politics is now a farce especially with these accusations and counter-accusations in Nigeria. Now Obasanjo’s saying, “God is not the God of unfinished projects….”, whatever that means. Gotta remind him that even Moses never saw the Promised Land; God can use anything to do His work. This 3rd term thang reminds me of a doc I saw about BEEF in the rap game. Thang is rappers are shot at helter skelter cos some ex-con/never-do-well relative of some rapper takes a shot or even kills a rival rapper to prove his allegiance. When u watch rap videos u think those guys hanging around are hired? Nope, peeps like that will do anything to be on TV…like the chicks on Flavor Flav’s reality show Flavor Of Love…but that’s for another day. How does this rap beef thang relate to politics? Well, these bloody sycophants will do anything to ‘prove’ themselves even selling their mothers to accomplish their goal. If Mandela could leave after one term and Thabo Mbeki decides to leave after serving his two terms why can’t Obasanjo do the same? What’s pissing me off is that even people (like leaders of industry) who’d know better are clamouring for a 3rd term. U mean we cannot go on w/o Obasanjo? So what if the guy drops dead a day after his inauguration, the country suddenly collapses? C’mon peeps, wake up and smell the smelling salt.

Back to the farcical political game. Do u know that Katherine Harris, Florida’s supposed unbiased former secretary of state, who aided in Bush’s first election victory, recently gave an interview on Fox News (no less) standing….in side profile……so her massive mammary glands could be there for all to see. What’s she expecting, that peeps will elect her – she’s contesting for public office - based on her assets? Probably, yes. I mean worse things have happened. One of Charles Taylor’s campaign slogans was: Yes, he killed my father, yes, he killed my mother, but I’ll still vote for him. Ha. Dude’s now in jail in Sierra Leone claiming Nigeria betrayed him. Tough dude, tough. Complain to the courts about this.

Okay peeps, gotta go catch a flight to the land flowing with loadsa money. Tot ziens and God bless.

Ooops, just remembered I haven’t told u guys nada about my trip outta the country. I’ll make sure to correct that in the next few days.

One of the funniest stories I have ever heard. Here goes: It was a cold, winter’s night and the rain came down in torrents and the little boy said, “Tell us a story grandfather” and this is what he said: It was a cold, winter night and the rain came down in torrents and the little boy said, “Tell us a story grandfather” and this is what he said: It was a cold, winter’s night and the rain came down in torrents and the little boy said, “Tell us a story grandfather” and this is what he said: It was a cold, winter night and the rain came down in torrents and the little boy said, “Tell us a story grandfather” and this is what he said: It was a cold, winter night and the rain came down in torrents and the little boy said, “Tell us a story grandfather” and this is what he said: and u repeat this ad infinitum til someone begs u to stop. Ha. Amazing.

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