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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