Friday, May 07, 2010

Nobody loves me but my mother / And she could be jivin’ too

Hola peeps. ¿Qué excusas son yo que va a ofrecer este vez?

Boss: I bet u wondering why I called u guys here.
Tunde: To convince us about the merits of working in this new department of the firm?
Boss: Yes, but……
Tunde: Sir, I don’t really know what was wrong with the old system. U really think creating a group of ‘elite’ strippers is gonna help with camaraderie in the pit? It’s just an excuse to fleece our regular clients into coughing out more dough. My clients are like family to me sir, sure they pinch my bum, rub my six-pack, and place dollar bills in my extra tight g-string, they still like family. I think of them like the sexy older neighbor that, ahem, touched me inappropriately when I was 3 years old.
Boss: Okayyyyyy then. U done? Wanna see a shrink? Like I was saying u guys should be proud u’ve been selected to be a part of the ‘elite’. …..

Dude then went on proffering crazier and crazier analogies to convince us to go along with him for the ride, “separating the wheat from the chaff…….the goat from the sheep……” , I had to stop the dude when he was about to delve into the Bible to justify why certain strippers should charge premium rates and others shouldn’t.

Boss: I am from Benin, in fact I am a member of the Bini royal family. When u hear of the Benin kingdom what comes to your mind?
Tunde: U mean Benin in Edo State?
Boss (*seemingly pleased with himself I was finally paying attention to him*): Yes son, Benin. What comes to your mind when u hear the word ‘Benin’?
Tunde (*being totally honest*): Er, bad roads and bad governance?

That’s what happened the first time I met with new supervisor. I didn’t make a good first impression as u can read, and even worse I think I am gonna be forever in his bad books ‘cos dude’s been insisting he NEEDS to be updated about my every action:

“Yes sir, I just gave ur wife’s friend a lapdance and got a tip of $10………”
“Sure, whatever u say sir. It’s a good idea to pretend I got Parkinson’s so when I knock a glass of champagne from a client’s hands she won’t get angry. Yes, that way she’d have to buy another drink and that’d be a great way to generate extra funds for the club in these dire times……. ”

Man, been so long since I wrote to y’all I had to review last blog entry to realize how long it’s been. Yup, over 2 months since last entry. Peeps, it ain’t that I haven’t wanted to communicate, just that working under this dude is driving me crazy. Have had discussions with mates about setting up own outfit but we lack funds. I know Nigerian banks have started lending again but don’t think they’ll look too favorably on a stripper who wants to branch out on his own. Besides……hold on…..just got word Yar’Adua has passed away. Feel bad for the dude. If his wife ever loved him it musta been a long time ago ‘cos her recent actions never showed she felt a modicum of affection towards him. All newspaper headlines today were about Yar’Adua’s demise. Most laughable one read Yar’Adua Dead At Last. At last?! What gives? Guess since no one’s seen him since November last year, and with the way he’s been hidden from the populace, speculation about his death has been rife for months now. What a sad way to go. Now Jonathan’s doing populist things like asking folk to stop visiting him and stop placing congratulatory ads in the papers. Like I’d fall for that again. Abacha did it, and so did Yar’Adua. Crap, crap, crap. That’s ‘cos us Nigerians get impressed by meaningless overtures. Dude’s also made himself defacto Minister of Power. The power situation’s as crap as ever so he gonna sack himself? The punk.

So where was I? Yes, this new department has left me soulless and my love for the fine art of exotic dancing almost extirpated. So much so that I stopped working out and kept eating whatever was put in front of me. It wasn’t til I finished a large pack of Skittles by myself I realized I needed help. Now I am working extra hard to get in shape and made the stupid mistake of jogging at noon yesterday when the sun was crazy hot. I nearly passed out after 4 laps. I’ll get back to normal soon though, I know I will. I am currently on a 3-week break from work and being in Lagos is sure to motivate me to get six-pack back. How else am I suppose to wear muscle tees, with a protruding belly?!

Speaking of tees I could almost taste it u know. Could almost smell my tee shirt designs, already pictured myself wearing them, then poof the feeling disappeared. Did I tell y’all about a great graphic designer I met while on holiday in the UK? Dude was keen; and even better he was young and seemed to get what I wanted. Like a true Nigerian I kept asking him for a ballpark figure on how much he’d charge per design. He kept changing the topic until after I had fallen for two of the designs he did. Final price? Two hundred and fifty pounds sterling per design. U what? Yup. I know my plan was not to make money with tees, I just wanted to start a conversation, but this price was wayyyyyyyyyyyyyy higher than anything I’da come up with. Even Giorgio Armani wouldn’t charge that. When I expressed my reservations at the price his email responses got terser and terser. Now I’ma have to find another graphic designer without a chip on his shoulder. Wish me luck.

Maybe it’s the new boss or my frustration at not having tees ready, but mind’s been tricks on me lately. Ever thot u had on underwear when u really didn’t? That happened to me the other day and I ended up flashing peeps ‘cos wore my pajama shorts, the one with holes around the crotch area, while lazying around the crib. And wouldn’t u know it, that was the day my mom’s hot friend chose to visit. There I was trying to have a grown up conversation with her, so she wouldn’t think I was still li’l Tunde whose diapers she changed, when I noticed she kept avoiding eye contact. Thot it was ‘cos she didn’t want me to see the, ahem, lust in her eyes. How wrong I was, how terribly wrong.

Fared much better when I went to see mate’s mom – I made sure I had underwear on this time - who I have a massive crush on. Heard she loves chocolate cake so I got neighbor to bake her one from scratch for her birthday. U’da seen the look on her face when I presented her the cake.

Hot mate’s mom: Oh Tunde, u shouldn’t have. I probably need to stay off this as my waistline’s bulging.
Tunde (*trying to sound confident*): No, Mrs. ___________. Maybe next year I’d get you a mirror ‘cos no way u not looking ace. Erm, not that I noticed or anything.
Hot mate’s mom (*blushing*): Hee hee. U joker u.

Well, mate had probably noticed the hound dog expression on my face and wasn’t too pleased. She blew her top and probably can’t blame her as think I am getting too obsessed. “How come u only come visiting when my mom’s at home?”, she shouted. I knew then that no excuse I could give would ameliorate the image she had of me. I really need to check myself as recent fondness for gray-haired ladies is affecting my social life. Peep this: I called a mate on her birthday and asked if she got any special gifts, u know being her 30th birthday and all. “Well my lovely husband got me this metal contraption on four wheels.”
“U mean he got u the latest model Zimmer frame? The Zimmer 240X? Why would he do that?”
“Huh? U so funny. I meant he got me an automobile.”

I tried to lay it off like I was being facetious, but truly my mind went to the latest model Zimmer frame I had come across online while searching for presents for aforementioned mate’s chocolate cake loving mom. See why my social life’s in disarray? Almost not sure how to interact with young ladies anymore. I have recently found myself doing the same ol’ two-step my dad does when he dances. Yup, same ol’ two-step I promised myself I’d never do. I have also found myself unable to control my butt muscles so I fart badly and then foolishly think by jabbering profusely I can get peeps’ mind off fart or stop their noses from working. As if.

Cos of lack of excitement on the R.I.G. – blame it on new boss - I chose to live on the edge with doodle pangs. Twice almost dropped one in my undies, and once did a spray fart. But most embarrassing day was on April 7th when I not only kept doodle in I got cocky with it too. So I am almost at bursting point when I rush to assigned room on the R.I.G., try to take off my tight ass corduroy pants, but only succeeded in getting one leg out and other leg trapped. Practised panting like pregnant women during labour – saw these in the movies - and that relieved the momentary pain – oh yeah remind me to tell y’all a new way to cure hiccups I just discovered – and then I get the other pant leg off and dash to the loo. Slight problem: no bog roll to lay on toilet seat.

So I go back to my primordial instincts from boarding school on how to take a dump without sitting on the toilet seat and start dropping doodle bombs like a WWII aerial battle. A slight impasse and then I remember there’s bog roll in my rucksack – if ur stomach’s as sensitive as mine u tend to be prepared more than boys scouts – so I strut (yup, u read that right) to my bag and then walk around the room and try to do some exercise by lifting dumb bells, that’s when doodle pangs came back. Rushed off to the loo and without warning an orphan doodle fell from anus and landed on toilet seat. Oh my.

I look at the doodle, the doodle looks back at me; I stare at the doodle, it stares back at me. Didn’t wait for the theme song from The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly to start playing in my head – these things happen – before I grabbed some bog roll, made an origami scoop out of it and wiped the toilet seat like crazy. Laid some new bog roll on seat and finished my business, all the time relaying the highlights of my latest doodle adventure. Flushed and as it turns out the bog bowl water’s quite warm and it splashes around my nether regions. “Aaaah the pleasures of doodling, maybe I’d get myself a mobile bidet”, I say out loud to no one in particular. That’s when I realized I needed to get back to work. So jumped in the shower, still recalling the doodle event and thanking God I didn’t poo in the boxer shorts I just dropped off to be laundered. 5 minutes in the shower and water stops running. So I use the towel to wipe my face, wrap the towel around my waist and I walk to the gate house where some dude apologises and turns water back on. What a day that was! And y’all still maintain there ain’t a Tunde version of The Truman Show out there. As if. Maybe I’d get doodle-straining to be a televised sport with its own tourney. I mean if Poker, the Spelling Bee, and then Rock, Paper, Scissors can be aired on ESPN what’s stopping this?

Since last blog entry I have been on two tours of the R.I.G. and man, this was the worst time ever. In his bid to “refine me thru fire” bossman ensured I was housed in a room behind the generator house so only way I’d sleep is with ear muffs. One week the shower only had boiling hot water while the wash hand basin had both hand and cold water faucets, so u can imagine how ingenious I had to be to remain clean and yet avoid being scalded. Another week shower had only freezing cold water while wash hand basin had even more freezing cold water. If the bossman was hoping this would make me cower and plead with him he had another thing coming. Dunno if they changed chefs but the food was even more atrocious on the R.I.G. with the chef’s crowning piece de resistance being cornflakes embedded in icing on cake served to the crew on Easter Sunday. Yup, friggin’ cornflakes! The bright side of all of this is I now have enough material to pen that self-help book I always thought was in me. Don’t have a title yet but possible chapters could be Chapter 1 - The Joys Of Hunger: A Million Runway Models Can’t Be Wrong; Chapter 2 – Famine or Farming: Coincidence that both words rhyme?, etc. Might also have the makings of valuable research material ‘cos I also noticed a large number of peeps stutter on the R.I.G. and I find myself stuttering when I am around them. This might finally explain why all Area Boys talk with the same gruff voice, irrespective of ethnicity, and most gay folk talk with a lisp. Ka-ching!

Oh yeah, remember many many blogs ago when I told y’all I met some dude on the R.I.G. who said he’d tell I’d marry an ugly chick? Well, wouldn’t u know it, I bumped into him during last R.I.G. tour. First thang dude wanted to know was if I was married. When I told him I wasn’t he berated me and decided he knew why I was still single. “Lemme tell u, u are afraid to get married because u don’t know if any woman that wants to be with you now really likes u for u, or for ur money.” U don’t say, o wise man from the East. Please tell me more sensei. Dude then went on to juxtapose my commitment phobia with the dire state of Nigeria - where do I meet these people? - and suggested Nigeria’s problem stems from the fact that we achieved independence from the colonialists too early. So if I relate that back to my unmarried status, does that mean I started dating too early? Come on wise man from the East, help a brother out! Ha.

Great thing about the dude though is his declaration way back when about my getting hitched to an ugly chick actually gave me an idea for a tee shirt design, so guess it wasn’t a total waste listening to him after all. While complaining about lack of progress in getting TV sketch show to air and affordable graphic designer to a mate in Lagos recently she shrugged and said, “since u seem closer to getting tee shirts made than TV show how about u transform ur ideas for sketches on the tees? That way if there’s a welcome response to the tees u have a formidable bargaining chip when talking to those looking for TV content.” Hmmmm….that sounds like a plan. So if any of y’all can suggest ways to get the following ideas on tees I promise to share all merchandising profits with y’all (if u can locate me in Brazil that is):

1. U have heard of wine tasters, how about a garri connoisseur talking about “body”, year of manufacture, Latin term or etymology of ‘garri’, source of the cassava, etc.?

2. Was born with a spoon so silver that when I was naughty dad spanked me with a wad of money, and then handed over the cash to me.

3. Was born with a spoon so wooden that I go window shopping for food.

4. Dude hoping to make his fortune by designing emoticons “for every action”. From the weird (“I am in the loo”) to the weirder (“Er, how do I say this, I wanna break up with u ‘cos I am secretly a transsexual”) to the weirdest (“I am a porno actor suffering from premature ejaculation”).

5. After the success of Fela! the musical same dude (from point 4 above) hopes to make his fortune by writing “distinctly African musicals that white folk would swallow hook, line and sinker”. His latest masterpiece is entitled, Polygamy: The Musical.

Er, think that’s about it. So y’all gonna get back to me on the ideas, right? Thanks, see why I love y’all?

Since last blog entry nada much’s happened with me apart from work. Oh I lie, ‘cos I finally succumbed to the badgering from all and sundry and copped a Blackberry. Has it changed my life for the better? No. Best thing about it is I get ready access to email inbox. The whole BB messaging craze? I can do without that.

Also moved into the “marriage room” during last visit to the Lagos crib. A little background: The “marriage” room is what I have christened the spare room that originally belonged to oldest bro Tayo. U see ever since he got married and moved outta the crib in 1996 every male that’s stayed in that room has been the next sibling to get hitched; first Akin, and then Ayo. Even after Ayo moved out last year the room was vacant and I still avoided that room like the plague. Why have I chosen to stay there now? Well, Jide’s back in the country and is getting hitched in September 2010 by the grace of God so the jinx is officially broken. Ha huh ha huh ha huh ha.

Been in Lagos for almost 2 weeks now and power situation’s even worse than I remember. Good thang I have had nephews and niece visit past weekends, and it’s so much fun when they around. Lately I have been bonding with Seyi’s 2 year old son Nitor and he’s really smart. Nitor now has a younger brother who loves breast milk and as such occupies most of Seyi’s time. That got me thinking if Nitor at all feels neglected, and which of her sons Seyi loves more? I know parents will say they love all their kids equally, but that’s bull. Actually a similar question on which child parents love most was raised by other nephew Zane in the UK.

U see like Nitor Zane has a younger brother, but unlike Nitor it took 6 years of Zane being the sole apple of his parents’ eyes before his younger brother Otu was born. His mom, Nike, said Zane once asked her whom she liked better between him and Otu, and she gave same clichéd answer about loving them equally. U see I know better from experience. When I was younger it was OBVIOUS mom loved me more than Nike or Kemi, everyone knew it. I think it was sometime after my fifth year in boarding school her overt love for me started to diminish. Ha.

Noticed something similar when I first moved to the UK. Then, Chief kept in touch with us through Nike. Even though there were five of us (Sola, Akin, Nike, Funke and moi) we’d always know Chief called from Nike. So much so that 5 months after I arrived at Bradford when my hall mates told me my dad had called I thot they were mistaken. It wasn’t ‘til I contacted Nike she indeed confirmed my dad had tried to reach me. And why did he call? Dude had gotten wind of my first semester results before I did – guess it helps when u pay the tuition fees – and was so impressed he decided to forego Nike and get in touch with me directly. U can tell I am so over this blatant attempt at sucking up, right? Ha. From then on I was Chief’s fave for a while and then it was Akin’s turn, and……..I stopped keeping score. (After I moved back to Nigeria I discovered, apart from the baby of the house Mama, Chief’s next favourite is whoever is closest to getting married.) The point is no way parents can love all their kids the same way all the time, and the sooner kids know the truth – same with the non-existence of Santa Claus and falsehood of professional wrestling – the better.

Okay, u know what, now that I think about it maybe not lifting the veil on favourites has its benefits. Case in point was last Xmas when Zane visited Nigeria. Dunno if it was the two cans of soda and two scoops of ice-cream I “fed” him, but dude just kept on chattering nonstop:

Zane: Uncle, wanna know who my fave male cousin on my mom’s side is?
Tunde: Go on, who is it?
Zane: It is Nitor. Uncle, wanna know who my fave female cousin on my mom’s side is?
Tunde: Go on, who is it?
Zane: It is Kehinde. Uncle, wanna know who my fave aunt on my mom’s side is?
Tunde: Go on, who is it?
Zane: It is aunt Mama. Uncle, wanna know who my fave uncle on my mom’s side is?
Tunde: Erm, maybe u’d keep that to urself.
Zane (*grinning like a Cheshire cat*): Is that because u are in the car?
Tunde: Yup, u a smart boy, aintcha?

I am an adult who understands that kids choose their fave parent or relative based on who provides the most candy, but chances are if Zane had given me an untoward answer I’da dropped his 6 year old butt off on the 3rd mainland bridge and asked him to find his way home!

See what I mean about keeping one’s favourite kids/relatives secret? Some peeps might never forgive u. Fast forward to February 2010 when I am now in Zane’s neck of the woods. After playing around for a bit dude, obviously not knowing I’d spoken to his mom, tried to pull a fast one on me.

Zane: Uncle, can I ask u a question?
Tunde (*in between trying to avoid punches to the face from Zane*): Ask away.
Zane: Who do u like better, me or Otu?
Tunde (*without missing a beat*): Otu. Wanna know why?
Zane (*looking dejected but trying to be a real trooper*): Okay?
Tunde: Well, he didn’t run my baseball hat under the tap like u did 5 mins ago.
Zane: But, I was just playing with you. Besides, Otu is just a baby and maybe if he was older he’d do worse things to your hat.
Tunde: Guess we’ll have to wait ‘til then, won’t we?

Hey, I know it ain’t the best way to teach a kid the vagaries of human emotion but he’s got to learn some time, right? Right? Aw, forget yous! Besides that’ll teach him every action has repercussions. Punk kid trying to tease me about possibly not being his fave uncle. Whatever. Now if only his fave/maybe now not-so-fave uncle would summon the same cojones to confront someone his own size. His boss perhaps? He just might…….

Tot ziens and God bless.

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