Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Blame it on the bow legs

Hola peeps. ¿Es la vida realmente como una caja de chocolates?

Just returned from Warri airstrip where I went to cop tickets to Lagos for Friday so I’d surprise latest candidate for Neo’s position on Saturday. Never been keen on Val’s day but it’s a big thang for her so might as well indulge. If this ends up being crap, then I give up on dating. I’ll submit an application to star in The Bachelor and pick a bride from the bevy of scarily desperate beauties. No joking.

While we on the subject of desperados my main man Miguel Mugu has done it again. Dude’s been in Nigeria six months and is STILL getting dogged by chicks everywhere he turns. The latest incident occurred last week when cheapskate was too stingy to call a chick he fancies on her birthday. He sent a text instead and is now wondering why chick’s mad. Tsk, tsk, tsk. If u a female reading this and u happen to come across some mugu with no game named Miguel, please, please, please be nice to him else dude might pack his bags and return to the ATL. Now that’d not be such a bad thang, but I promised his mom I’d get him married off within a year. Who woulda thunk with all the single girls in Lagos it would be such an arduous task?

Just last month a mate in Lagos described the increasing ratio of women to men in that city as akin to the dollar-naira ratio, where an eligible bachelor any man with a heartbeat is the dollar and the vast number of women at his beck and call are the naira. My bro Ayo – ladies, dude’s getting married in August so get ur manicured fingers ready if u wanna object at the wedding - acknowledged things are so bad “one can smack a girl in public and she’d be the one to apologise just ‘cos she wants to get married.” And YET Miguel Mugu is still professing love to anything with mammary glands and getting no play. Sad.

On a serious tip I really feel for chicks out there. While in Lagos a mate and I had drinks with some platonic female friends who, though quite successful in their professional endeavours, are in the dumps about their relationships, or rather, the lack thereof. Dunno whether it was their mojitos or just that they needed to get stuff off their chest, but they just went on and on about wanting to settle down and start a family. When I asked if they were too picky one confessed that she probably was earlier in life, and missed out on a few good men. Told them they probably needed to apply same focus in their social lives as they do in their professional lives. One of them agreed - suck on that Oprah and Dr. Phil! - and told a tale of her mate who fought to get on everyone’s bridal train and bought aso ebis for every wedding she heard about until she landed herself a groom’s man. “I was one of those ridiculing her at the start. Now she’s married with a kid. Maybe I’d adopt the same strategy.”

Oh boy, the night’s getting maudlin. This wasn’t what I expected. Must do something to cheer everyone up. Wonder if the ladies would love to see my newly improved six-pack. Wait, the girl in braids in finally opening her mouth…

The girl in braids gave a humorous anecdote about wanting to peel her skin with a blunt razor after a blind date with a dude that liked the sound of his voice. Another talked about her Muslim friend who asked her parents to set her up on dates with Muslim guys – discovered this practice is termed Halal dating - ‘cos she always wanted to marry a fellow Muslim and was tired of waiting for the right one to come along. After four unsuccessful dates Halal-dater met a guy she felt compatible with and got hitched within six months.

At the end of the night I went on my knees and thanked God for making me a man. Goodness knows if I was a woman with as high a libido as I have I probably woulda been loose as heck; people woulda probably called me Slutina or something like that behind my back, thus putting a serious crimp in my marriage-worthy prospects. Hey, I am just being honest.

Enough about relationships…for now. How y’all been? I know I promised after last blog entry I wouldn’t stay away for so long, but work’s been intense. The firm, ahem, ‘right-sized’ staff numbers so rest of us lucky ones are left carrying the load. U know things are bad when ur most loyal clients start asking if they can get a lap dance on credit. One even offered to write me a post-dated cheque. This is the human face of the global economic downturn peeps, this is it.

Today’s the first time in the 1⅓ years since I’ve been in Warri that I experienced a traffic jam. The scene reminded me of Lagos, right down to the hawkers. In quintessential Warri style a dude hawking CDs came by my window and wouldn’t budge even when I feigned indifference. In one last attempt to make a sale dude said, “Bros, na me sing for this CD. Buy am na. U no dey encourage me o.”

Though was away for only a month things in Warri have changed dramatically...and not altogether for the better:

1. Noticed a new tax charge in my payslip for street lights and wasn’t too bothered ‘til someone mentioned the street lights are powered by diesel generators instead of solar panels. If that wasn’t bad enough a week later I saw street lights on Airport Road still turned on at 1pm! Come on. If I had been driving Parminder I’da crashed her into one of the streetlights just for the heck of it.
2. Some Einstein convinced the government to install two humungous TVs connected to a satellite dish at the main entrance to Warri. U’d think the TV would screen safe driving tips or programmes on proper waste disposal, u know stuff that’s relevant. No siree. Instead while driving to airport to pick up mate last Sunday I saw the Tottenham vs Arsenal game showing. Eagerly awaiting news reports of a footie fan being run over by a car....
3. During the past fortnight I have only had to use my generator twice, and then for li’l over 3 hours! And y’all are probably wondering what’s so bad about that, right? Well, last week neighbour tells me the houses in the area have been asked to donate two grand per month in order to “encourage PHCN to keep doing their good work”. Now paying a few extra naira a month for constant power supply isn’t the problem, it’s just that it’s PHCN’s job for goodness sake! They’d strive to provide constant power without any payola from moi or other hardworking Nigerians. That said, I’m loving how cool my room gets when I turn on the air conditioner. Aaaahhhh.

Yes, since last blog entry I copped an air conditioner for my room and no longer bored in crib as flatmate’s moved in….and he brought along his chequebook. Hurray.

Drove down from Lagos to Warri on the 17th of last month and Miss Beckinsale drove like a dream. Surprisingly the roads weren’t as bad as last time I travelled with Married-14-months-with-a-3-month-old-kid mate. Well, most roads were better than I remember, apart from those in Benin City. My goodness! There was one road that reminded me of the parting of the Red Sea from The Ten Commandments. Wouldn’t like to pass there when it rains. The current governor sure has his work cut out.

The entire trip took about 7 hours and musta lost at least an hour and a half to police check-points, but it’s all good. Funniest requests were for “valid customs form” and “certificate of road worthiness”. Politely showed them a press release by the Inspector General of Police that reads drivers are only required to show their driver’s license and certificate of insurance. Talk about a Gotcha! for the ages. Even with that some cops seemed to make up stuff as they went along. That was cue to pull out cell phone and buzz contacts in the upper echelon of the police. Yup, when u big u big, when u large u in charge.

Was crazy knackered by the time I got in I didn’t bother unpacking. Drove to a bar to get stuff to eat and watch the Hull vs Arsenal game.

(Sorry to digress but I don’t know what else to do about this Arsenal team. No excuses about injuries, I gotta blame the manager for not realizing Bendtner is a substitute at best. That dude and Eboue should either be sold or paid to stay away from the team. The rest of the team? Arrrggghhhh. Man, if the dude don’t finish top four this season think it’s time to fire Arsene. I know the mere thought bothers on sacrilege, but what option we left with? I hate that sports does this to me....)

After the game stayed behind for a drink with friends and wouldn’t u know it Asari Dokubo walked in. Yup, same Asari Dokubo that was jailed for treason under the Obasanjo regime. Turns out that the bar was hosting an awards night for “those that support the Niger Delta struggle”. Didn’t dare move, this was too fascinating to leave. Man, u shoulda seen the way that dude was treated. A Martian visiting Nigeria for the first time would think Asari was president or a god of some kind. Felt kinda bad for the dude ‘cos the peeps were so in awe of him he was invited to hand out EVERY award. Amazing.

A day later I attended a weeklong residential course so just familiarizing myself with crib again. Had to call in a new plumber to fix issue with bathroom sink and it worked fine when he was here, but the next day noticed sink started leaking again. That ain’t even the main issue. Y’all know how much I love chilling on the toilet bowl, right? Well, dunno what plumber did but toilet don’t flush like it used to. Initially I thought I had to change diet after doodle would still hang around after numerous flushes. It wasn’t ‘til a friend came over and asked to use the loo that I realized the fault wasn’t to do with my recent boli and fish diet.

Oh by the way Miss Stankonia if u reading this I want u to know it took four flushes and two buckets of water to get rid of ur not-so-nice parting gift. Now u know why I no longer answer ur calls. U and ur nasty (and not in a good way) self.

Man, Nigerian artisans just keep pissing me off. Why don’t they admit when they can’t fix stuff? First, plumber doesn’t fix bathroom properly, then dude that “fixed” refrigerator said he’d “assist” me by not charging me for workmanship if I bought a new compressor. This after the previous refrigerator compressor he bought and installed lasted all of two weeks. There must be something about my face, or the way I request stuff, that makes peeps hike up their price. This is how peeps become serial killers, I tell u.

I have told y’all in previous blog entries about exorbitant prices charged by mechanic that fixed Parminder, right? I reckon the word has spread around Warri that there’s a bald guy with a goatee who doesn’t haggle. That has to be it ‘cos three days ago I see a little girl selling agbalumo and when I ask how much they go for she said 10 naira. Knew I was getting fleeced – oh, y’all wanna tell me one teeny weeny agbalumo costs the same as an orange? – when after I copped two agbalumos (or is it agbalumi?) she gave me one gratis.

(Background: Hot cleaning lady from former accommodation stopped by crib last week. On way to drop her off convinced her to take me to the nearest market. Told her what I wanted, she haggled on my behalf, and I handed over the cash. The next day I realized I wanted some fruit so drove to the same stall where hot cleaning lady (from hereon referred to as HCL) copped household items and convinced the attendant to buy oranges for moi as not adept at haggling. It was a case of ‘penny wise pound foolish’ ‘cos ended up buying stuff I didn’t need from her. That said, ain’t no way I’da bought 10 oranges for 100 naira.)

Even the lady I cop boli and fish from thrice a week raises her prices when she sees me. I am on to her, and as soon as I find another boli and fish trader nearby I am moving my business there. In the meantime think I am gonna have HCL on speed dial.

More Warri news: Recently attended meeting for new joiners – those with less than five years experience - at the firm. Been invited a few times but never attended before ‘cos, well, ‘cos....dunno. Just never felt like going; same way I don’t get up in church when they recognise visitors. Pssst, in all honesty only chose to attend this meeting ‘cos they said food was gonna be served – flat mate doesn’t cook. He lied, he lied! Boo hoo. The meeting ended and no food was offered - they lied, they lied! However, at the end of the day we were asked to adopt a friend. Looked across the room at this fly mamasita. As I walked up to her I’d tell she knew I was coming her way ‘cos she started acting all coy and turned away. As she turned around so we’d start a conversation I bypassed her and spoke to the dude with the wedding band. The way I figure his wife probably cooks, and chances are this chick mightn’t. (Her nails were crazy long, like Coco Riley of SWV fame.) Yup, he admitted his wife’s a heckuva cook and he invited me to lunch next week. Joy oh joy.

Got me some dude to do laundry and as I type this I’m praying he shows up soon ‘cos I am down to my last ‘emergency’ briefs. Now one can argue about the merits of giving one’s boxer shorts to someone else to launder, but I reckon since dude’s charging me twice as much as chick that recommended him – was I right or was I right about Warri folk being in cahoots to fleece moi? – I’ll get my money’s worth until I find a replacement. Problem is dude takes his time in returning laundry and might be forced to go ‘sailing’ if I don’t get boxer shorts soon.

To the uninitiated (i.e. those that didn’t attend FGC Warri) ‘sailing’ was a term we used to describe going sans underwear. Can’t remember who started the trend, but it caught on like a house on fire lie. (Geddit? Geddit? Liar, liar, pants/undies on fire? Aw forget yous). Experimented with ‘sailing’ on and off for a week, but it wasn’t ‘til I read somewhere that Michael Hutchence never wore underwear during a performance that I became a fulltime ‘sailor’. The way I figure if ‘sailing’ is good enough for him to land Kylie Minogue and Helena Christensen then I had to give it a shot.

After three weeks gave up on trying to be a Popeye when I discovered I wasn’t, ahem, mature enough to handle such a monumental responsibility. What made me change my mind? Two words: Angela Edison. (I know that name sounds like it’d belong to some hot chick, but Miss Edison was far from hot….so far from hot that she was given the sobriquet Cavewoman, or Cavey for short, by her own friends!)

So I am seated beside Miss Edison in Maths class when the teacher steps out of class for a few minutes. Miss Edison discovers her pen BIC is no longer working so she tries to grab mine that’s lying on a notebook on the table. In the process of fending her off she grazes her ample bosoms on my elbow…..repeatedly – so much so that I began to suspect her BIC wasn’t faulty in the first place. Not that I cared; I was so ensorcelled by Miss Edison’s weapons of mass distraction that I didn’t when teacher entered the classroom. “U over there disturbing the girl. Go kneel down in the corner!” I was forced to shuffle past Miss Edison while trying to disguise my obvious, ahem, excitement from the class. Needless to say I wasn’t successful at it and got teased about it for weeks on end by classmates. That incident with Miss Edison definitely put paid to my short-lived, albeit enjoyable, career in the navy.

Still so scarred by what happened I have refused to go ‘sailing’ ever since, and if laundry guy doesn’t drop off clothes today I’d have no choice but to don swimming trunks tomorrow ‘for support’. Yes, it’ll be crazy uncomfortable and I’d probably have a chafed crotch by the end of the day, but what choice does a blogger have?

Tot ziens and God bless.

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