The M.A.D Awards 2016

meWelcome to the M.A.D Awards 2016!!!, where one lucky winner will receive the prestigious Most Annoying Dude/Dudette Award for being a thorn in Tonwa’s side. Yes you are reading this correctly – people could be rewarded for raising Tonwa’s blood pressure. Everything you read here is somehow linked to making Tonwa angry. I’m your host Tpri, reporting to you live from Eko Hotel where the car park is at full capacity and guests on the sidelines are eagerly waiting for the nominees to arrive.
Now for those of you who are watching this show for the first time the (fictional) MAD Awards premièred in 2008 receiving critical acclaim and producing its first ever winner – Tonwa’s Driver. It was unable to hold in 2009 after it was leaked that the Oil-pipeline- vandalizing Niger Delta militants were nominated for a MAD award; they got extremely hostile. In 2010 when the brouhaha was over the award ceremony was back with a vengeance and a new winner emerged – Tonwa’s Shouting Neighbour. In 2011 the federal government was rumoured to be worried about becoming a guaranteed nominee for the next four MAD award ceremonies so they pulled the plug on the show. A series of legal battles ensued but no victory came until Oscar Pistorius’ lawyer was hired in late 2015.
This year the MAD Awards is bigger and better, with mega sponsors including DSTV, Arik, NNPC and Patience Jonathan. The crowd has waited for 3 hours and even the paparazzi are getting tired of holding up their cameras. But wait! I think see the 2010 MAD award winner with her offensive full gold weave. Let’s go over and talk to her:
Tpri: Excuse me, are you Tonwa’s Shouting Neighbour?
SN: Yes o! How na, my brother?
Tpri: I’m fine thank you. I’m sure you’re glad to be one of the special invited guests.
SN: Hmm. Tonwa did not invite me. I just…ARISTO! ARISTO! COME HERE! WHERE’S PIPI???
Tpri: Er…Aristo? Pipi?
SN: That’s my son Aristotle and he is supposed to be looking after his sister Penelope. Anyway I have designer shoes if you want to buy.
Tpri: Shoes? But isn’t that your son running off towards the hotel exit gate?
SN: OOOOOH! ARISTO! I’m coming please, let me bring the shoes from my car…
All the guests have simmered down and are seated in the auditorium for the behind-the-scenes documentary of the MADA nominees on the big screen. Let’s hear what they have to say:
1. NNPC MD – I have given Tonwa a hard time for the last 4 weeks with my petrol scarcity scam…I mean scheme. I have burdened him with the additional responsibility of putting two jerrycans in his boot and joining mile-long queues with an average waiting time of 2 hours minimum. On one occasion he was queuing at one of our filling stations and by the time it got to his turn the filling station switched off all the pumps and all the sales attendants closed for the night. I don’t know if his tank was empty or whether he was able to get home safely that night. One thing I do know is that he’s very angry about the whole situation but he’s not the only one suffering. If he wants to give me the award I’ll take it but he shouldn’t expect a miracle – after all, am I a magician?
2. Inconsiderate Pilot – Hello. Tonwa loves to travel. In fact, he likes the moment when the plane is taxiing down the runaway before take off. But on his last local trip returning from Abuja I forgot to put on the Air Conditioning. So while I was chilling in the cockpit his ‘cockpit’ was roasting. As a matter of fact he was drenched by the time we landed in Lagos an hour later. All the passengers experienced the same thing so I don’t know why he couldn’t just fan himself with the safety manual. And to make matters worse, this is the second time in a row it is happening to Tonwa. Pardon me but for confidential reasons I have been instructed by my employer not to disclose the name of the airline. But they don’t mind if I win the award…and hand it over to them.
3. Tonwa’s gateman – Oga Tonwa dey commot for house early early morning like around…5.30. That time I never wake up so him dey come knock my door before I open gate. I know say that tin for don tire am efriday. But the one way annoy am pass na when he won commot early early morning and one car dey block him for outside the gate. Walai that one be another froblem. Oga Tonwa talk say make I tell the driver to commot . Me sef come vex so I go outside and I tell am, ‘Hey! Move your foking car!’ Na so fight won start and that day Oga Tonwa no commot till almost 6. He shout for me well-well but him no understand wetin happen. Sha if you give me this award how much I fit sell am?
4. PHCN official – The light in Mr. Tonwa’s area had serious problems 2 months ago so he ended up throwing away everything in his freezer. He hates wasting money so he was very angry during that period. He also doesn’t like to use generator overnight so he can’t enjoy his AC. There was a day when he was shaving in the morning before work and I cut off his power supply (laughs) that day he still had half of his beard remaining. I’m sure he carried that half-beard to work that day because his generator was out of fuel. I do not enjoy making Tonwa angry but this is Naija. Anyway, if I don’t win this award I know where your power meter is…
5. Neighbourhood prostitute – Tonwa? Is that his name? Ok. He drives past my corner every morning on his way to work but when I call him ‘Sweetie’ he doesn’t answer me. I don’t even know whether it is me that is making him angry – he’s always frowning when I see him turning into the T-junction where I chill for customers. That is how one time like that he had one babe in his car and he slowed down to turn into his street. He pretended as if he didn’t see me when I shouted ‘Hey sweetie!’. The guy drove off with speed. But *switches to Pidgin English* nawa o…Tonwa na bad market. Him never patronize me for the last 4 years wey I dey this corner. Anyhow sha, shebi him name be ‘Tonwa’ so I go greet am tomorrow morning. Eh? Award ke? Na award I go chop? Mssssscheeeeew!
(APPLAUSE)
Now the votes are being counted so please stay tuned as we take a commercial break. You can send in your votes by posting your favourite nominee in the comments section so start voting. When we come back we will announce the winner of the MAD Awards 2016 so don’t go away!
(PROGRAMMING RESUMES SHORTLY. STAY TUNED.)
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for voting. The results are in and it’s a landslide victory for a newcomer this year. And the winner is…
(Opens envelope)
…PHCN official!
(STANDING OVATION)
Acceptance speech: Thank you everyone. First of all, I want to thank Baba God for my life, my job and the brain to do it. Cutting people’s light is not easy. You can get electric shock if you’re not careful. My advise to everyone is to work hard, pay your electricity bill on time and don’t depend on your generator too much otherwise you will buy black market. Tonwa is one of my best customers now. To my mum – this award is for you muah!
So we’ve come to the end of another edition of the MAD Awards. Stay tuned next year when we will return with more people who’ve made Tonwa’s life a living hell. This is Tpri signing off.

Senior High – 1st year

As the principal of International School Ibadan announced that the JSCE (Junior Secondary School Examination) results would be posted up in front of her office I felt nauseous. I wasn’t sure if it was bad luck to have already gotten trouser measurements done at my local tailor before the exam results were released. What if I didn’t make it through? My trousers would be bloody useless and I’d have to endure another year in I.S.I wearing a pair of A.H.Is (AssHole Irritants).  Girls had no problem because their blue-white striped dress/uniform didn’t have to look any different from junior to senior year. Thankfully I breathed a sigh of relief as I attained 2A’s and 5C in my 8subjects (I’m not mentioning what I got in Yoruba language). I vaguely remember jumping up and down like a deranged rottweiler that had a piece of meat dangled over its head. I proceeded to run into the nearby open field with fellow classmates who also sailed through the exams. We ran like we were being chased by… Rottweilers. I almost failed to take notice of the few guys whom we left behind moping at their inadequate grades and therefore bore long faces (okay, not like Rottweilers…more like Dobermen!)

Of course this next chapter in my school life called for a celebration. I took it upon myself to have a small get-together for my ‘Class of 1993’. Unfortunately I didn’t have an much more than the Naira equivalent of £10 back then which could just barely cater for about 20-30 guests max (I must have been nuts!). I invited 25 schoolmates to my cousin’s crib where I resided, about 60 eventually showed up and filled up almost every part of the house! I soon quickly realised that 48 bottled drinks (2 crates) would not quite cut the ‘3:1 guzzling ratio’ of my invitees. The 2 small coolers of cooked rice and chicken didn’t go round because I didnt plan for the following: Boarder boys and girls sneakings out of their hostels; Geeks/Nerds/Bookworms/Efikos gate crashing; and schoolmates from the set below mine (JSS3) also taking advantage of the fact that I did not have a bouncer to ‘man the door’. So I had geeks playing video games in the TV room, boarder girl escapees changing clothes in my cousin’s bedroom, boarder boys slow-dancing with girls in the living room whilst my Aunt was within the house. There was no DJ but just one raga tape being put on the loop courtesy of all the horny boys hoping to literally tap some ass from a slowdance. The 5kg cake and 2 tubs of ice-cream I had planned for dessert was not going to be able to feed THIS multitude. This wasn’t a get-together…this was a get-together-everybody-who-heard-about-this-party. I mean some of the guests there didnt even know my name or the fact that I was hosting this fiasco. To make matters worse, the girl I had a crush on was busy slowdancing with some guy I didnt even invite, Meanwhile I was busy trying to feed the hungry, entertain the bored, and save my shaky reputation all at the same time. I was glad when it was all over, to say the least. The house  survived with 2 shattered drinking glasses and a broken window lever. I on the other hand remained intact!

In an amazing twist of fate, I was hailed by the majority of my set for making a noble effort at throwing a shindig (which  I’d rather remember as a ‘shit-dig’). The geeks were even more grateful because they knew that they may never gain such easy access into a party again. I somehow became everybody’s pal…the one who didn’t discriminate…the one who didn’t stop the music and shout “ALL BOYS OUT!” and proceeded to reveal a list of boys who were not given the fake invitation cards…no, I wasn’t seen as cruel…I was Mr.Nice guy Subsequent parties got better and better (no thanks to me). I do remember one guy who threw a party but would have sooner thrown himself over a bridge after only 1 girl turned up amidst a house filled with over 15guys…a case of bad advertising? Well, the grub didn’t go to waste.

Ah yes, those grey trousers really were worth the 3 year-wait. I was ‘toasting’ girls a one class year or two below me and feeling pretty cool with my skinny self. I was later appointed by my principal as the school’s Health Prefect, though for the love of God I never found out what a health prefect was nor did I know what my responsibilities were supposed to be. I just made sure the sick bay was hygenic and wasn’t congested or saturated with students who were feigning illness. I was given a badge which I wore proudly like a sheriff. If only I went guns blazing a little less when it came to asking a girl, ‘Will you go out with me?…’

Entry #37 – My affair with 4 women

lipsWomen – a mystery to some, a weakness to many (men and lesbians, that is). I too have fallen prey to the clutches of the female species. I vaguely remember one particular woman who locked me down for about 9months. I felt trapped. I wanted to break free but at the same time I wanted to stay. I was so confused that I had to have a third party separate us. I actually cried my eyes out but today we’re still in touch and on good terms.

The second woman whose birthday was on 27th June (so if you’re reading this, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!) was one whom I shared a Mr. & Mrs. Smith relationship with…literally. On one occasion she chased me round the house with an 8-inch kitchen knife – she couldn’t catch me though (phew!). We have an understanding now and we’ve learned to keep our distance – I’m in Nigeria, she’s in Great Britain…

The third woman who messed with my mind was like a brother to me…the brother I never had…actually, I wished she was a boy…okay I know how that can confuse you right now. You probably wondering, ‘…but I thought he liked women!’ I do…and I’m not bisexual either. Let me break it down: 1st woman – My mother; 2nd woman – my junior sister; 3rd woman – my baby sister.

Yes, my ‘affairs’ with all these women still continues and I’m not done yet. I mentioned ‘4 women’ in my post title. Well in 2010 the fourth woman I deeply love will be the one I’ll spend the rest of my life with…God willing 🙂

Entry #34 – Homewreckers

fingerLadies and Gentlemen, an invasion is upon us! In the 21st century a new evil has befallen planet earth. The shape-shifting creatures of the damned lurk into your very households whilst you watch the news, sip your tea, and  pick your nose. These venemous scum leach unto the married couples of our time and cause havoc and destruction in a systemmatic manner. They are more commonly known as… Homewreckers

So how do you know if you’ve been stung by a homewrecker? When she notices a hotel receipt in his jacket and she hasn’t been to one with him…ever. When he stumbles across his wife’s missing earring by the couch in his best friend’s apartment. When she looks through his mobile phone and she reads the text/SMS, ‘I can’t wait to see you again.Same time tomorrow?’ 

Maybe that’s all a bit too obvious. What about bad drinking habits, gambling, drug addiction, Job loss, Ponzi schemes and hard earned stocks & investments taking a nose dive? What about family ties? Blood is thicker than water, right? What if your mother-in-law (who’s a pain-in-the-neck) comes to live with you? ‘NO WAY!’ I hear you say? What if your partner doesn’t want you to put her in an old people’s home? What then?

But I guess the most deceptive and destructive of all the Homewreckers is the Internet…and the blogworld plays a massive part alongside Facebook, Ebay and Free Porn. Guys who spend more time clicking the mouse than kissing the spouse soon become victims of a home about to be bulldozed, metaphorically speaking.

CrazyNigerian’s Final Thought: Fellow bloggers, if you have a partner then spend less time blogging. And if you don’t have a partner…spend less time blogging 🙂

Entry #33 – Mystery Myths

pandaGrowing up (with a relatively unhealthy addiction to TV) I was under the strange impression that ALL chinese men could fight martial arts – I mean right from toddlers the moment they could walk, all the way to old timers right before they needed hip replacements. Even a fat China man who couldn’t bend over to touch his toes could still claim to have a black belt in Karate, Judo, Taekwundo and (after his  nightshifts as a club bouncer) is a part-time Ninja assassin…and you wouldn’t want to stick around to find out. Well actually who am I kidding – a fat China man doesn’t need martial arts knowledge…there’s always the Sumo option i.e. can’t fight ’em, sit on ’em.

I’ve wised up since then. I don’t believe the myth about the boogie man living underneath my bed. Who invented that crap name anyway? The Boogie man sounds like a mythological creature that comes out from under your bed alright when the lights are out and starts strutting like John Travolta to ‘Night Fever’ – whats there to be scared of? I’d like to see him dance me to death (er, I’d rather not actually).

What about the myth that all black guys are well-endowed? I’m an average black man but if I’m the only one getting those ‘enlargement’ emails in my junk box then there’ll be cause for concern. There’s the myth that blondes get the most attention – but is that with or without the silicon? How about aliens? Has anyone actually been to Area 51? I escaped from there years back and the U.S government has probably relocated the other aliens to avoid a case where I come back to infiltrate and expose the conditions ‘we’ were subjected to…you have no idea – what I went through would make captives in Guatanamo Bay look like they were on a fun-filled holiday retreat 😀

Entry #32 – Mouth to mouth

mouth2mouthWhat’s in a kiss? Saliva? Sure! That’s if it’s a wet kiss. But if your partner has gum problems or uses a very soft toothbrush then there’s probably some blood to go with that saliva (Urgh!). If you’ve just had dinner before that kiss then there’s probably a whole bunch of food particles swimming through a bloody saliva stream all the way down your oesophagus (okay, stay with me here). If your partner has protruding teeth then there are probably some braces to go with that slimy blood pool. Thinking about dry-kissing instead, eh? I don’t blame you.

I for one like to think that I’m a smooth kisser…you know, those sedative-type kisses that leave lips numbed to sleep. I believe a perfect kiss should be timed, literally. A kiss that lasts for 2 seconds is way too short and a kiss that lasts for 20secs can quickly become a drooling grueling task of endurance (c’mon, that’s a lot of bloody plaque saliva/exchange).

Anything between 10 and 15secs is ideal. With practice anyone can time a kiss…kinda like knowing your body-clock – you just instinctively know when to wake up sometimes. Tongue kissing should ALWAYS be avoided in the morning…yes, even if you’ve brushed the night before, downed a bottle of Listerine, chewed a pack of Wrigleys Extra and recently became the face of Macleans ads.

If your mouth is closed for over 5hrs after all that I’m willing to bet that your breath isn’t exactly a trip to the Alps (unless you sleep with your mouth open…but I’d be worried about what could crawl in). And the next time you save someone from drowning and you need to give him or her mouth-to-mouth please don’t stick your tongue in…that’s a tongue-in-cheek moment if I’ve ever heard of one 😉

Entry #31 – Rhianna vs Amy Winehouse

rvaThey’re both music artists and they are both critically-acclaimed in their own right. Though at first site they may seem very different, they’ve got quite a few similarities. Lets take a look at and then you can decide for yourself:

Both have sung about Rehab but only Amy has actually checked into one – When they tried to make her go Amy shouted ‘NO! NO! NO!’ and Rhianna shouted ‘ELLA ELLA, AY AY AY! But surprisingly it was Amy who got sent to rehab.

One isn’t black but can sing the blues while the other has been beaten black and blue.

One used to date Shia Lebouf and later released her hit single ‘Disturbia’ whilst the other would leave you in that state if you were dumb enough to date her.

Both wear make-up but one looks like she applied it whilst in a high-speed car chase.

Dabbling in Raga, Techno, R&B, ballads and Pop, Rhianna’s singing choice is all over the place. But Amy sticks to one music genre (It’s her hair that’s all over the place).

One has publishers ready to put her face on their magazines whilst the other has a boyfriend who is ready to put a magazine over her face.

Finally, both have been seen on-screen getting raunchy with fellow popstars – Rhianna with Justin Timberlake, and Amy Winehouse with (even I don’t believe it!) Eminem

Bravo ladies! Keep doing your thing 🙂

Entry #27 – The Anatomy of Vomit

When I woke up this morning I had no idea that I’d be writing about this – that is, until I heard a female colleague of mine at the office heaving away in the ladies restroom. It sounded like a cow being strangled with barbwire and at the same time being raped by a pig. The excruciating sounds gave me concern because this was far beyond food poisoning or choking on a McTasty (those burgers are HUGE!!! not available in Nigeria tho).

Now rumour has it that the ‘heaver’ was trying for a baby recently so could it be a simple case of morning sickness? You can never tell. Perhaps what’d be more interesting (for me) would be knowing what the vomit looked like – was it brown, yellow or a mixture of both? was it runny, chunky or clear like dog drool? was it pungent, ammonia-esque, or akin to a block of sour cheese which 3 days ago used to be the semi-skimmed milk for her cereal.

Well curiousity never really killed the cat, did it? In fact it’s the curiousity thats killing me. The images of vomit in my head (ok, that didn’t sound right) are probably worse than the actual thing. I’m off to the loo to find out 😛

Entry 25 – Wisecracks

I’ve just had one of those days where pretty much everything I heard, saw or felt could be linked to the word ‘shit’. On my way to work for instance, I was driving with a sore head and a runny nose so I obviously felt like shit. I was caught up in a stretch of road traffic partly caused by a diversion plus traffic caused by panick buying of petrol amidst scarcity scares. By the time I arrived, I looked at my watch and saw I was 30mins late and I simultaneously uttered, ‘Shit!’. The meeting I had with my boss and my marketing team was also pretty shit. We didn’t rake in a lot of funds today and couldn’t stop some customers from withdrawing huge sums for their personal use. It was like being at a Spanish Inquisition. As my boss went from questioning one marketer to another I couldn’t help but think that he also had the word, ‘shit’ on his mind – why wouldn’t I think so when he kept going to each person, ‘…so, what came out from your end today?’ ; )

…Shit ending wasn’t it? C’est la vie!

Entry #23 – Aaachoo!!!

All this who-ha about swine flu. Has anyone asked how this came about in the first place? Did a farmer accidentally ingest the mucus of a sick pig after it sneezed without a hanky? Did some twisted nymphomaniac with an animal fetish get too intimate with a pig and develop a brand new H1N1 virus? I’ve heard it all and the names just keep getting more and more ridiculous – Chicken Pox, Mad cow disease, Bird Flu/Avian flu and now Swine flu. What next? Iguana flu? Why don’t we take it upon ourselves to keep the vicinity of these animals clean and thus protect them and ourselves? Why don’t pig farmers take a cue from the American SWAT team – the moment you see a pig so much as sniffle you put a bullet through its head and incenerate it with a flame gun. And if you must eat the damned swine then make sure that bacon is fried till its dry and crispy – that medium-rare/bloody/pink-thing is not posh anymore (its a downright stupid ploy that tricks you into thinking eating raw meat is okay – and that also goes for sushi!) Look, I love bacon just as much as the next guy so whilst farmers are culling ‘sick’ pigs I would like to appeal that the carcasses are shipped to Nigeria  – thats way too much barbeque meat to waste 🙂

Entry #19 – Special treatment

I went to a wedding in another state in Nigeria – Oyo state. It was supposed to be a 3 hr drive from Lagos but ended up being 4hrs with all potholes we had to dodge. The wedding was quite grand and I was served the best dishes, wine and got exceptional service…or at least I thought so. I looked to the table beside me and they were getting everything I didnt – they got big succulent fish…I got small pieces of tough beef, they got alcohol wine from South Africa…I got grape juic in a wine bottle both made in Nigeria, they got chilled soft drinks, but though I was served mine first, they were warm – obviously their’s was stored close to ice.

I didn’t want this experience to spoil my road trip but I must admit it hurt a bit. As if to compensate me and those at my table, we all got gift items/souvenirs of the wedding to take home – a dish and a couple-name engraved tea mug all in a recyclable nylon bag(not bad eh?). On leaving the shindig, getting into my car, I noticed a gentleman no more well-dressed than myself but carrying a luxurious branded shopping bag of premium goodies. Life is not fair at all…

But on the upside, My blog will soon have more than 1000 views, yay!!!

Entry #14 – A stockmarket with a twist

Okay, the idea is pretty simple. Forget the convetional company stocks & shares. How about shares based on real people? Obama shares, Madonna stocks, Beckham securities, Federer bonds. It sounds ludicrous but wouldn’t it be more fun? You could naturally keep up with the news on your portfolio by listening to CNN, SkyNews, ESPN, MTV News, etc. and you would be able to know how well they’re performing. You wouldn’t have to wait for your broker to tell you when to sell or when to buy. After recent happenings, today I’d be selling all my Brown shares in the US and the UK (Chris and Gordon) and investing more in Beyonce, Jonas Brothers and SpongeBob Squarepants.

I guess the only problem would be how much value you would put on all these celebrities in the first place. Hmm…I’ll have to go back to the drawing board 😦

Junior High – 3rd year

I was doing pretty well in school and after I made my transition from JSS2 to JSS3 I said goodbye to those dreaded grey hot pants I sported for 2years – I went all out on baggy ‘Bermuda’ shorts (roomy for the crotch and 2 inches below the knee, yeah baby!). I wasn’t part of the Stingray generation and I ‘misplaced’ my US army bag, although with hindsight I wish I had auctioned it today on eBAY… shame. I was carrying leather (and sometimes plastic) folders which seemed cooler (Cool guys didn’t walk around, like hunchbacks, carrying tons of textbooks). The only problem was that I risked getting punished for not bringing some of those humongous textbooks to class (so on those fateful days I’d wear my baggy shorts with some newspaper padding inside my boxers to reduce the ‘koboko’/cane impact) – the sacrifice of trying to be cool, eh?

Prices of snacks and drinks went up steadily but fortunately, so did my pocket money. I recall those trips to ‘Uncle Tony’s’ kiosk where he sold these dodgy-looking (but surprisingly tasty) hamburgers (mmmm…) and next door to him was the meatpie lady whose pies seemed to be getting smaller but more expensive each year. On days when I wanted to flex/pose/show off/act up/broadcast, I would mosey on down to ‘Mama Nike’ and get some deliciously marinated peppered chicken. The truth was you ended up enjoying the bone more because there was hardly any flesh on it in the first place, yet the cost of 1 piece of her chicken was equivalent to buying about 4 meatpies. So when you asked a girl to join you for lunch you always secretly hoped that she would not opt for the rip-off chicken – otherwise, no lunch for you that week (or you risked being known as a ‘Percher’: Someone who walks around during breaktime trying to get a cut out of people’s meatpies going, ‘Abeg, make I cut?’)

Physically I had changed tremendously. It was not just the bounce in my step (It took months to perfect this without making my butt stick out) but my voice was deeper, I was taller (for an average 13yr old of course), and I was growing unwanted hair in the strangest places…Anyway, that was the least of my problems. I was more concerned about the sour relationship that I had trapped myself in – not with any girl in my school…with my pimples.

Anytime I had started making some progress whilst ‘toasting’/chatting up a fine girl, days later a bloody ripe pimple would spring up on my face and steal the spot-light (no pun intended). If that wasn’t bad enough my pimples, unlike other boys’ pimples, would appear on ridiculously annoying areas – I’ve had one on the centre of my chin, the centre of my forehead (no offence to Indians), by either side of my lips (I said ‘side’ not ‘on’!), etc. The worst-placed pimple was the stubborn one I had bang-in-the-middle of my already broad flat nose – It was like looking at a ripe cherry on a dark chocolate ice-cream sundae…without being the least bit appetizing.

One of my many battles in school was therefore to find an immediate cure for these grotesque skin protrusions. I tried everything: toothpaste, squeezing, pricking, but what worked best for me was Mentholatum/any medicated balm the night before. You’ll know it has worked when the girl you’re chatting with tells you (after staring at your nose throughout your conversation) that you need to wipe ‘something’ off your nose – see! My pimple was working against me as usual.

Other battles I encountered were the Popularity contests. It seemed a big deal to get your name into the school magazine or the yearbook with some cool accolade; ‘Cutest junior boy’ (I wish), Best dressed junior boy (not being sore but I was robbed), etc. I was just known amongst my JSS3 set as the one who talked to the most girls, including girls in the set above me (SS1), thanks to my cousin in that set. I had ‘Haters’ in my set who couldn’t understand how I would sometimes be invited to parties hosted by SS1. Those Haters must have hated me even more when my cousin and I partook in one of the school’s variety shows and danced our way to fame as The Hype Boys (my ‘school fathers’/choreographers/mentors were the Too Hype Boys for obvious reasons). I became a (little) celebrity overnight and it boosted my rep just a little bit 😀

Only one thing stood between me and Senior status – my JSCE exam. To me that meant either repeat wearing Shorts another year or proudly walk in Trousers. .The pressure was now on!

 

..xTx..

Entry #10 – Unfaithful

I have to come clean on this because it’s been eating me deep inside. I used to have an affair with Facebook. It was fun at first – the pics, the applications, the groups, and of course friends from my teenage years. But recently I’ve been seeing WordPress.com. She seems to understand me better. She gives me everything I need (widgets, stats, HTML shortcuts) to make me happy. I’ve introduced some of my friends to her and they like the effect she’s had on me. Sometimes when I’m busy at work she gathers up all the statistical data I need to analyze my blog performance. I hope Facebook can understand. It’s nothing personal but I can’t change how I feel. We can still be friends and I’ll visit once in a while…but I’m with WordPress.com now – no hard feelings FB J   

Junior High – 2nd year…

I.S.I (International School, Ibadan) was where I first learnt how someone could be under constant pressure…just about every single day of his/her secondary school life. And I’m not talking about pressure to excel above the pass mark (which, then, was about 40% in all subjects)…no, I’m talking about the pressure to be cool, ‘bam’, ‘hard’…if you were linked to any of these accolades back in the day then your ‘rep’ was off to a good start…supposedly.

 

Now the problem I had was that I didn’t fit the bill particularly. I had a small tennis-ball afro which wasn’t cool enough, overly smart shoes which weren’t ‘bam’ enough, and a group of friends I rolled with who were not ‘hard’ enough. As a ‘day’ student (i.e. a student who doesn’t reside in the school’s hostels during the term) I was already screwed because the ‘boarders’ (those students who do reside in the school’s hostels…) were automatically catapulted into ‘hard’ status. I don’t think I’ll ever know why.

 

Maybe it was because you’d see one guy wear a different pair of ‘pumps’, moccasins and Tims for 2 straight weeks – I was baffled! How could one kid have close to 14 pairs of shoes? But I soon learnt that boarders had a sharing culture – they exchanged just about everything. So of course you could seem to have so many clothes, shoes, schoolbags…oh my God…I just remember I had a hideous schoolbag.

 

It was called a ‘U.S army bag’ – Trust me, it didn’t look as cool as it sounded. It was the size and shape of a 14-inch box TV – perfect for those tons of textbooks which I carried but would hardly have to read. Mine was black with all the different colorful badge prints and miniature flag images. It even had an ID number, yet I didn’t feel anything close to being a boy scout. Instead, as I walked around the school grounds with the crushing weight of my backpack I felt like Quasimodo – the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

 

My cousin (the eldest of the three, who was in JSS3 at the time) used to make fun of me – at home and at school. We didn’t quite get on initially but during my stay at his mum’s place I started trying to emulate his style as much as I could. He was like the big brother I never had. He would help guide me through this transition from Pee Wee Herman to ‘Cool’, from Inspector Clousseau to ‘Bam’, and from N-Sync to ‘Hard’. First stop – the barbershop.

 

My cuz and I went to the local barbershop and said hello to the natives. I was corrected abruptly. Hello = Not cool. Hi = cool. What’s up = cool. How far! = Razz but way better than Hello. Anyway, I got into my chair and looked up at the charts to see what was on the menu. Skinned (Oh, HELL no!), Bobby Brown slant (not brave enough), The Punk (hmm, now there’s an idea!) It was a kind of square-cut with a puffed top (View pic: Kadeem Hardison a.k.a \’Dwayne Wayne\’ in teen comedy, \’A Different World\’ ). It was one of those I-love-my-mama-but-she-don’t-tell-ME-what-to-do haircuts. It commanded respect. I loved it. I got my first pair of Reebok pumps too. I even started wearing cologne (with a cologne-drenched handkerchief in my top pocket just for good measure).

 

I was ready to re-enter I.S.I with new a found sense of courage. At break time it was ‘cool’ to be seen having lunch with a (pretty) girl. After managing to save up a decent amount of pocket money I asked a girl to lunch, she agreed, and we took a pleasant stroll to the kiosks to get our soft-drinks and snacks. As I sat on a ledge with her I was excited because I could feel eyes on me…not hers, my peers. They were filled with awe and probably a little jealousy. I savoured this moment. But mid-way through my conversation I felt like either I had coughed up a fur ball or Barry White’s ghost was trying to use me as a medium to convey a message. Perfect! Just as I was trying to break my way into the ‘In-crowd’ my voice decided to break its way into Puberty.    

 

..xTx..

Entry #8 – Monday Moan

I hate road traffic on Monday mornings, I hate Sunday evenings because I’m thinking about Monday, I hate Monday Meetings, I think Monday used to be called Moanday or perhaps even Mournday, I hate Monday because I carry over things from last Monday, I hate that after Church on Sunday the first sin I commit is usually on, wait for it, MONDAY!!! I hate that I can never choose to fall sick on a Monday. I don’t want my birthday to ever fall on a Monday. I do not plan to marry on Monday, yes i think it’s safe to say that I HATE MONDAYS!!!!!

Now where did I put my Monday medication… 😮

DPS – Daily Problem…Solved

Here at DPS we believe that problems can be solved. Not all of them! Just the daily ones. 
 
Life is too short to be lumbered with problems that constantly eat at you day in day out. If you went for a check up with your doctor they would almost certainly check your BP (Blood Pressure). Well at DPS we believe it’s just as important to check your DP (Daily Problem).
 
For the past 2 years we have conducted extensive research on common daily problems (DP) and have come up with solutions which have been tried and tested. We also give you alternative solutions which may vary in usage, depending on how daring (or insane) you are. Our advice comes with a No Money-Back Guarantee. Don’t be alarmed though. DPS doesn’t charge anything. The solutions we tirelessly slave to develop are handed to you on a platter for free!
 
We have been flooded with requests for solutions to their DPs from the highly technical to the downright bizzare but we don’t discriminate. Everyone and I mean Everyone will get a workable solution which we at DPS aren’t afraid to test on your behalf. Here are just a few DPs that we’ve highlighted…

I’m always late to work. No matter how hard I try to wake up I never seem to leave on time. I’m so sluggish when my alarm rings and I can even sleep through it. Please help me!…R.K (Leeds)

^^Don’t worry, you are not alone. Tip: Put your alarm clock at one end of your bedroom so that you’re forced to get up to put it off. This method will only be effective if your alarm tone is loud and annoying. You’ll soon be up and about in no time!

Quick solutions:
> Sleep early = Leave early
> Get a friend, who wakes up early, to call you Mon – Fri
> Watch a good horror movie the night before but have an Energy drink ready by day
> Have a shower the night before and dryclean in the morning (not to be done regularly!)

Everytime I buy chewing gum my colleagues at work exhaust my week’s supply in one day. They don’t usually return the favour but just wait like vultures for the moment a stray chewing gum packet is playing dead on my desk. How can I combat this daily problem?)…N.N (London)

^^ Hmm…you go out & buy, they come & say Hi. You chew the gum, they ask for some…yes, a popular DP. Tip: Without having to lie, observe this scenario – ‘Ooh, can I have some gum?’ You say, ‘Mmm, I want some too. Let me see who might have some’. But if the pest already knows you have gum and he/she is a persistent offender, you say ‘I think its high time you get some this time, don’t you think?’. The act of sharing is not to be discouraged but there are people in the world who are ready to take advantage of you on a daily basis so take action!   

Quick solutions:
> As the ‘chewor’, ask the ‘chewee’ what gum flavor he/she hates, then buy that one
> Stop chewing everytime the chewee wanders by.
> If caught chewing and approached for gum, just say ‘I’ll buy some more later’
> Offer an alternative you know they’ll refuse e.g. chewable vitamin C, (yuk!)

I am getting sick and tired of having long power supply shortages. I can’t plan my inhouse activities the way I want e.g. setting recording times on my DSTV cable, Ironing my clothes, Freezing my leftovers, etc. Apart from noisy generators, what else can I do to get constant electricity?…O.U (Nigeria)

^^ I can imagine what you must be going through and I’m happy to inform you that there is an answer.Tip: Buy an inverter. It isn’t noisy and it is a good investment if you like constant electricity. When public power supply returns then it charges your inverter for you. You can buy as many as you need depending on your budget and how much you want to power up. Unlike gens, these can be kept neatly indoors. Go on, live a little!

Quick solutions:
> Move to Ghana…It isn’t quick but it’s your closest source for 99.9% power supply

Some of my friends keep flashing me. I’m always having to call them back and then they start to talk on my credit talktime. I don’t flash people because I think its irritating. If I don’t call back they flash again and again till my battery starts running down. How can I put a stop to this madness?…F.E (France)

^^For the benefit of first-timers, the term ‘Flashing’ describes when you get a phone call from someone who cuts the line/connection just as you answer it. A professional flasher can disconnect your call in under 2 seconds. The aim – to let YOU call them back and save them THEIR money. Telecom giants also face a dilemma whereby they don’t know how to make money from such break-neck speed calls. Tip: DPS recommends you sacrifice the cost of 1 text and send a simple message as follows: ‘CALL ME WHEN YOU HAVE CREDIT’. This is most effective because they’ll call back and  speak to you for at least 1 quick minute. Try it for yourself!

Quick solutions:
> Switch your phone off for 5mins, put it on and Eureka! 1 new message
> Flash them back to acknowledge their flash (not highly recommended as it may go on for a while)
 

**In the next edition we shall tackle more DPs and also accept solutions from the public to help others. We respond every (other) week with a fresh edition of DP solutions for your benefit so feel free to subscribe for subsequent updates. Check your DP today and lets solve it 4 u!**

For more information or if you want to send in your DP, leave a comment below
 
OR
 
call him on 0800-1-DPSOLVED
>
>
>
DPS…Daily problem? Solved.

 

 
Disclaimer: In the event of defamation, physical harm or financial loss, DPS will not be held liable for paying any damages or other form of compensation. All solutions to DPs are to be used (or not) at your own risk. If you are unhappy with any of the solutions provided after your first trial, then do not expect a refund – you did not pay for the advice in the first place!

All rights reserved 2009.

Entry #5 – Jokes at the office

A colleague of mine got me in stitches yesterday when she narrated an incident that took place at her church. Her aunty had been nodding during the sermon…I beg your pardon…nodding off to sleep during the sermon, when the preacher decided to switch the topic. He asked the congregation that if they knew they had been involved in witchcraft, charms or an occult then they should ‘STAND UP’ for prayer. Unfortunately my colleague’s innocent aunty suddenly snapped out of her slumber, hoping she would not be caught out for not rising to her feet – Problem was…she was the ONLY ONE on her feet and she didn’t even know why she was standing up, nor did she understand why she got the most shocking looks from members of the congregation, especially her niece and kids with her!

Apparently she still regrets the events of that Sunday service – she feels compelled to keep explaining to people at her church that she is not a witch 😀

Lost In Translation

The English language is not as complicated as some of us think it is – of course HUMANS make it complicated just like everything else; relationships, gender, sexuality, etc. But getting your point across (in English) to an English speaker couldn’t be that difficult, could it?

I remember once when I was travelling on London’s underground I encountered a loud-mouth sitting opposite me. She was screaming down her mobile phone whilst the train was still overground. She was trying to get an alpha-numeric code (excuse me, letters and numbers) across to the recipient but she may as well have been a Scottish stammerer stuttering through a mouthful of hot potatoes…

‘…t! t! I said T not D…T! T! T! Can you hear me? I said T o! I DIDN’T SAY D…No! we are not saying the same thing! T for Tayo…Eh heh…yes…Wait o, did you say Dayo?…NOT D! T-T-T- HELLO…HELLO?…’ – She lost reception just as I was beginning to lose my mind.

Anyway I’m sure most of us who’ve booked airline/railway tickets are not bemused by the coded lingo the sales reps smack unto our eardrums i.e. R for Romeo, G for Golf, T for Tango, S for Sugar, F for Freddie, etc. You could save yourself a whole lot of saliva if you tried. After all, isn’t the important thing to be heard and understood?

The Internet has captured the shorthand generation of SMS pundits who now marade chatrooms with their lol, lmao, rotf, rotflmao, brb, gtg, ttyl, wtf, tgif, l8r, gn8 and the ‘not so popular’ myob. These codes have transpired into everyday use and MUST be understood by all.

I only have one instance in my life where the English Language did not prove useful – my JSCE…in Yoruba. I still remember the way my paper remained blank whilst I stared at the Essay question which said something about writing on my first day at secondary school (I think). I looked to my left and I looked to my right but no one was ready to let me sneak a peak. I did the only thing I could think of at that point…do a written plea (in English) and hope that the examiner would be sympathetic enough to let me sail through. It was way back in 1993 when I was 13 but it went a lil something like this…

‘Dear Sir,

I am from Rivers State and I speak Ijaw. You can even look at my name. I do not understand Yoruba at all and the teachers always taught us in Yoruba and I did not understand what they were saying. Please I am begging you to please take pity on me and let me pass this exam. I would be so grateful and I am sure you have a kind heart. Thank you so much. God bless.’

I still laugh about the whole thing and even now in Lagos I’m speaking Yoruba at a very basic conversational level. Even when I struggle to speak some people choose not to hear – I’ve been referred to as Tanwa and Tomiwa and I deliberately chose not to respond. If you were born ‘Kehinde’ and you allow people in Jand to refer to you as ‘Kenny’ then dont complain!

In conclusion, the English Language is still evolving and a good grasp of it could make all the difference in nailing that job interview, courting your future partner, getting picked to be the Best Man, receiving a standing ovation for a speech, and not to mention, writing a damn good persuasive letter…which reminds me – I almost forgot to state my Yoruba JSCE result…

 

I got an F9.

 

…yes, you guessed it! I failed.

 

..xTx..

My addiction

I was only 17. Finished high school and got my mind set for the next phase – A Levels.Wanted my parents to spend less so I vowed to do a 9-month intensive study programme at home. A 2-year programme abroad would have been the wiser option. Would have been less stressful, better paced and more likely to yield outstanding results. But why spend N2m when you could spend N250,000?

Others before me had done it. Some with straight A’s and some with B’s. We’ve all got brains, I thought. If I equally studied just as hard then I could pull it off. I was going to dedicate myself 25 hrs a day, 8 days a week, I thought. I chose Economics, Business Studies and English Literature. Nothing and no one was going to distract me. My entry into a UK university was within my reach. It was that or risk spending 6years amidst strikes doing a 3year-course in Lag.

3months into the course I realize that I’m achieving only 6hrs of private study aside from lectures and lunch breaks. Some of my peers were doing 10-12 hrs and were topping the class. I got the result of my Mock exam and my heart sunk: nothing but D’s – not usually enough to make the cut. I knew what I had to do. I needed to know the secret behind keeping up late and becoming a human hardrive of study notes.

Thats when my Economics tutor introduced me to an uncontrolled substance, readily available in most supermarkets and very affordable. In my case it was already a household drug…right there under my nose the whole time. I took a small dose, and managed to stay up for longer, retain information better…i didnt have to wedge matchsticks between my eyelids anymore. I had the edge.

I was getting better with my exam writing techniques, I was analysing questions of Cambridge standard, I was getting commendations from my tutors for my rapid improvement. My family were 101% behind me and the big exam was bearly 2 months away. God and my drug would get me through this, I thought.

And then it happened. Just when I least suspected. It wasn’t a hault in the production of my drug, nor was it a depletion of the supply I kept at home. I was struck with Typhoid. I lost 5kg and along with it all my apetite, my concentration and willpower to complete my sworn task. I had no energy and for 1 month I had undergone intensive treatment. I kicked myself for ignoring my immune system. I let my guard down and my white blood cells were facing the music. It took 1 month to get back on my feet.

With only 1 month left to revise I resumed my drug intake.I stepped it up to a more concentrated level and also doubled my intake. I became a shaky leaf and I had extreme highs and suicidal lows. I was a walking zombie.  No longer eye candy but an eye sore for the girls in class. My secret was out. I was desperate and I got hooked. After the exam I would never touch this substance again. I wanted my life back.

God was probably teaching me a lesson. I passed with the exact minimum no. of points to gain entry into the Business School of my choice. I walked tall with my head held up high once I arrived at Heathrow airport. As I walked through the duty free section, past Starbucks, I got a hint of the aroma that haunted me for 9 months. My heartbeat accelerated at the prospect of just getting a quick fix. I reminisced about those long nights when I’d sneak to the kitchen cabinet, set up my chemistry lab and begin to experiment with the brown crumbly substance…How the sound of the of the kettle boiling got me excited…How the feel of a teaspoon made me weak in the knees…How that first sip was no different from the warmth of a woman you couldn’t get enough of.

I reminisced long and hard until I saw a little boy smile at me as he sipped on an ice-cold Frappucino. You’re starting pretty early, I thought. Just you wait till you’re 17 and you’ll be sorry, I thought. My hands started shaking. I dipped into my pockets and felt some loose pound coins. I struggled to make a stand, to abstain and conquer my addiction. I took a deep breath and took a bold step forward…or was it back…I can’t remember…

But what I do remember is that it was the first 3pounds I’d ever spent…and I enjoyed every f***ing penny of it.

Blood on the dancefloor II

continued…

As you get back on your feet, nose bleeding and totally humiliated, you loathe the DJ’s well-timed sense of irony as he switches the music to…wait for it… Michael Jackson’s ‘Blood on the dancefloor’. But you suddenly realize that this is the big break you’ve been waiting for! Thats the kind of music you can step to, not ‘Say My Name’. They’ll be ‘saying YOUR name’ by the time you’re done. You’re going to redeem your image, silence the hecklers, and give your dancing partner a wacko-jacko experience she will never forget.

First you grab your crotch and pop it up and down a few times in succession while your legs are ‘at ease’. The crowd is already beginning to cheer. You stop crotch-popping and start to gyrate on the spot, your eyes firmly fixed on your dancing adversary. The ‘Wooo!’s and whistles from the ladies around are overwhelming. You snap-wiggle your leg in the air then you strut your way over to her and push your waist up against hers. Her lips part. You take her right hand up and whisper to her, ‘It’s going down, babe’.

You spin her around and then you both put on an electrifying, neomodern salsa performance.The uproar from the crowd is unprecedented. You catch a glimpse of some beautiful ladies biting their bottom lips. Some are winking at you and pouting seductively. You know you look bad and dangerous with your sweaty silk shirt and bloody nose. The alluring scent of your dance partner’s perfume brings you back into focus though.

You  ‘crip-walk’ around her like a deranged Red-Indian around a bonfire, snapping your head aback along the way. After one complete revolution you do a lightning spin and execute the Billie-Jean Toe stand – applause aplenty! You grab her upclose one more time. This time you can feel her heart beating fast. It will all be over soon but not after you give the audience what you know they’ve been craving for. Tonight you will leave your mark as the undisputed dance maestro, the dancefloor will worship your feet, and your $39.99 loafers will be put to the ultimate test!

You take a step back, arms stretched out in front and pulling her gently towards you. You start to backslide slowly and she instinctively comes towards you. You pick up the pace and her salsa-strut is perfectly in synch. Never before have you performed the Moonwalk while still holding your leading lady. It’s absolute pandemonium now and you can see the club’s bouncers on red alert. Your friends are chanting your name and then the whole club joins in – even the DJ. In a Tango Neuvo approach, you lean her forward so that her back is arched and she has an inverted view of the audience. She’s breathless. You’re exhausted. The crowd loved it. You pull her back up and she asks you, ‘Where did THAT come from?’ You say nothing but smile. She then whispers in your ear, ‘I wanna rock your world…’

…1 long kiss and 3 Trojans later, you wake up. You’re in her apartment. It wasn’t all a dream. You can still see your silk shirt hanging across the bedroom. You’re both so cosy under the sheets and she’s got her head on your chest. You notice a picture frame by your side of the bed and its faced down. You’re thinking you probably bumped it during the hanky-panky. She also wakes up shortly after and she asks you for the time. You look at your watch – Its almost 2am. She suddenly panicks and tells you that you have to leave.

You put 2 and 2 together and you pick up the picture frame to notice she’s in the picture with a huge, built-up bloke. ‘Who’s he?’ She tells you its her husband and that he’ll be back any minute. You suddenly hear a knock on the door. You’ve had your fun with dirty Diana but you don’t want to see blood in the bedroom. You haven’t got time to throw your clothes on. There’s a window to your left and you’re only 1 storey off the ground. It’s time to beat it!

Blood on the dancefloor

You can see her looking at you from across the room. In fact, she’s been watching you all night. She’s all by herself in that sexy, ‘Daddy-would-kill-me-if- he-saw-me-in-this’ dress. Your friends taunt you to go over and talk to her. You rub off your sweaty palms against your Armani Jeans and summon up enough courage to make your move. As you get your swagger on you notice your bounce coincides with the intro to Neyo’s ‘Sexy love’ which the DJ’s playing – that’s a good sign. She’s even smiling as you get closer – that’s even better. You both start to talk, flirt, laugh…and you didn’t even have to buy her a drink! When she’s not looking, you turn to your friends across and signal with a ‘thumbs-up’ (yay!). Everything is going swell…until she asks you to dance.

You know you don’t want to but in the words of Chris Tucker ‘She FAAAINE, men!’ You can’t afford to let some other chump acquire those ass-ets. You’ve earned it! It’s her favorite song too so before you try to talk your way out of it she drags you to the dance floor anyway. Now, you tell yourself ‘I aint so bad, I was the hotstepper back in the day, I’ve still got a few tricks up my socks…but how the f*** am I supposed to dance to Say My Name, Say My Name?’ Is that even scientifically possible? You don’t remember seeing Destiny’s Child do much more than strike poses for 90% of the music video. But this is real life. She’s looking at your ‘leg/feet’ area like she’s saying ‘Show me what you got, you stud-muffin’. Your friends are watching…HER friends are watching…There’s no turning back…This is it! It’s time to bust a move!

You’re under pressure so you look to see what other people are doing but they’re just moving side to side. If you can’t beat ’em join ’em, right? But you’re in for a surprise! Your dance partner is doing the moves in the Destiny’s Child video and you’re starting to wonder if she was behind the choreography. Next up the DJ switches to ‘Dutty Wine’ and she gets into position to flip it on you – but you don’t quite expect it. It’s not your kinda song and you’d rather go sit down with her. You move closer to her to tell her this but from nowhere your face gets whooped by a pound of organic arm-length ‘shanikwa’ braids. You’re dazed but she’s too busy dutty wining to even notice the whole left-side of your face is swollen.

The DJ has put her on spotlight. She’s the main attraction and you’re just standing there getting upstaged. Everyone’s jeering and hyping her up and you’re still spitting out hair extensions from the previous head-butt (well, technically it was a ‘hair-butt’ but that’s just nasty). You try to back out to avoid any further embarrassment but your friends push you right back in. You know they wouldn’t let you get outclassed by a girl. You still haven’t proven to the crowd that you are the lord of the (dancing) ring. You’re seriously considering to do the Moonwalk then suddenly the DJ switches to Crunk – but you don’t know what the hell that is. Now you’re REALLY screwed.

As she starts to body-pop, your involuntary reflex is to shield yourself from attack. But all she’s doing is throwing arms in your direction like she’s going to beat you up. It’s so aggressive and so up close and personal that you fail to realize that tears are trickling down your cheeks. Everyone else notices though. They start to point and laugh at you. You can see your friends shaking their heads in disappointment. You’re too ashamed to ask for her phone number now. All you wanted was to have a quiet drink with the lads.You turn round to make a run for it but you trip over your own foot – What a clutz. You fall flat on the floor and fracture your nose. You’re bleeding all over the place. You’re definitely not having fun anymore. You want to go home. You want your mummy…

‘Hee-hee!’

F.E.A.R (contd.)

…Maybe it was the Bad cop’s AC that was malfunctioning or the prospect of having to (effectively) sign my life away. But whatever it was, that heat was hotter than N1000 Suya consumed at 12noon inside a jam-packed Moluwe…in stand-still traffic.

Where’s a lawyer when you need one? I had practised all damn night for this interview and even went online to study common interview questions. I was now in a 1-2-1 situation with a guy who invariably wanted to do a 1-8-7 on my 4-1-9, lying ass. There was no way I was going to commit to bringing N200m during my 6 month-probation! Even armed robbers were not making that kind of salary, were they?

In those last few seconds, as I stared at the contract and the BIC biro lying next to the dotted lines, I imagined what my life would be like on a daily basis – it sure beat any scary movie I’VE ever seen! You wake up in the morning…stressed. Drive to work…stressed. Sit at your desk…mega-stressed because you sure aint going to get N200m just by staring at your laptop. You shudder at the mere sight of your boss because you know what’s coming next: ‘T’! How much have you brought??? – Thats how your boss responds each time you say ‘Good morning’, ‘Good afternoon’, ‘Good evening’ or just when he sees you in the office and not outside begging marketing. I snapped out of my daydream. This is not how my life would end, I thought. What would the conman in Thomas Crown Affair do? I had to think and think sharpish. And then it hit me like a ton of bricks (EUREKA!)

Me: Wait, I still have another interview with your Regional Director so maybe after…
BC: It doesn’t matter. Just sign.
Me: But what if… he gives me a higher target? (giving my ‘I told you so’ facial expression)
BC (Ponders) Ok, when you finish come back and see me.
Me: Phew! (I think I’m going to be sick…)

I went across to the RD’s office and to my surprise the interview, just like the AC, was pretty cool. He didn’t mention anything about ridiculous financial targets or death warrants commitment agreements. We had a nice chat about the responsibilities in the new role and how I was expected to drive my end of the business – consumer products of the electronic variety. At the end of the interview I timidly asked if I had to see anyone else (knowing full well that Bad cop said I should see him when I’m done).

RD: No, our HR will get in touch with you soon.
Me: (In my mind, yaaay!) Thank you.

Now it was time for the hard part – my getaway. You see, there was only one staircase that led downstairs but it was right by the Bad cop’s office. The office had large windows so I knew he would see me if I tried to bypass him. I wish I could say that I summoned about 20 other guys who dressed like me and had agreed for us to all wear bowler hats to confuse Bad cop (Thomas Crown Affair) but sadly, I’m not that well connected. Instead, I waited in a corner and took a deep breath…then I walked past…head down, really fast.

BC: (Door opens) Wait! …Hey-ssssssss! …wait! ….Oga! Abeg, help me call that man…Wait! …ssssssss!!!

As I exited the building with supposedly deaf ears I looked across to my dad’s driver who was parked near the bank’s gate. As I began to jog to the car I prompted him to start the engine (just in case Bad cop was making his way behind me). The driver must have been thinking 1 of 2 things when I jumped in shouting, ‘GO-GO-GO-GO!’ – Either I had come to the wrong bank and was late for my interview elsewhere OR I had just stolen millions (ahead of my intended target). We fled the scene and like Sodom & Gomorrah I didn’t dare look back.

About 2 weeks later I received a letter from that bank. I opened it, prayerfully, hoping it wasn’t one of those ‘Unfortunately…’ letters. I breezed through the first paragraph which was purely introductory. By the time I skipped to the second paragraph and read just 4 words, ‘We are happy to…’ I went ballistic. I vaguely remember popping open a bottle of wine after going through my remuneration package and jubilating with my family. Everything conveyed in my offer letter was more than satisfactory. I still did about 3 detailed searches on the letter for any dotted lines linked to the dreaded ‘commitment agreements’ until I was absolutely certain that there was no hidden catch.

Consequently I accepted the offer. I was to resume in March 2007, allowing me enough time to get myself together with regards freighting my stuff, evading gym and internet subscription payments, applying for last minute UK loans, a last glance at the Red Light District, etc. I was looking forward to grabbing this unique job opportunity by the neck and asking it ‘Who’s your daddy, b**ch?’ I had faced my fear and God rewarded me with my F.E.A.R.
…In 2009, however, I have come to terms with a new fear…

 

F.E.A.R.S – Finding Eligible And Religious Spouse

The saga continues… 

..xTx…

F.E.A.R

Of all the fears in the world there’s only one I dreaded the most. It was not bankruptcy, failure, death, a terrorist attack or even the future invasion of flying cockroaches. The only thing I really feared when I left London and arrived in Lagos (Dec, 2006) was my F.E.A.R (First Employment After Return).

On boarding the Emirate flight from Heathrow I experienced worrisome levels of anxiety. I was fidgeting and twitching like a drug addict looking for his last Ecstasy pill – I was a nervous wreck. As I fastened my seatbelt I only watched the air steward’s safety demo so that I could pinpoint the location of the nearest emergency exit…and make a desperate run for it.

It was a long shot, I thought: Quitting my banking job, abandoning my friends, clubs, bars, restaurants, gym, constant electricity supply, and all for what? A chance to settle down in my motherland and make my own little impact, that’s what. I guess the initial panic I encountered stemmed from the subconscious comparisons I was making – McDonald’s…Mr. Biggs, Quaker’s Oat-So-Simple…Golden Morn, Oxford Street…Shoprite, London Energy…Bi-monthly electricity supply, British Gas…Half-empty Gas cylinder, Starbucks…Nescafe + Three Crowns milk, HMV…Street Hawkers, …etc. Some passengers around me were praying so I prayed too. Sadly my prayer wasn’t answered – the plane still took off.

‘There goes my emergency escape plan’, I thought. I sat back and meditated during the long flight, trying to reassure myself that everything would work out for the best. Once I landed it seemed peculiar that I initially boarded alone but on getting off there was 3 of us: The Optimist, Me and the Pessimist. It was a struggle, bumping into each other amidst the luggage. But soon after checking out of Murtala Muhammed Airport I felt really positive with my return. The Optimist and I got into a car-hire and drove to the family home (I had earlier handed over the Pessimist to Immigrations…no bribe required).

Back at home, my dad had arranged a couple of meetings through some of his clients in the banking world. He had handed the baton over to me and the rest of the race was mine to win. Damn those bank interviews! One of them was actually an Endurance test – at least that was all I stuck around for. After an exhausting bench-warming marathon, despite being told to come for interview at 10am, I got up and just walked out. I gained nothing. Instead I lost 3 strands of scalp hair, 5hrs of Nintendo gaming time, and both my ego and my ‘yansh’ were deflated. That bank called 1.10pm to tell me that ‘the panel’ was ready to see me. I remember hissing though it wasn’t meant out loud.

The other bank I went to for interview gave me a more interesting experience. It was the ol’ Good cop-Bad cop routine (with a Naija twist of course). I walked into the good cop’s office, suited and booted, only to be asked 2 questions: ‘What do you have to offer?’ (Pretty normal question) and ‘Why on earth would you want to come back and work in Nigeria?’ (Wetin consign you sef!). Notwithstanding, I answered. He scribbled. I gave him my best smile. He gave me a squinted look then he scribbled some more. Note to self – No more Eddie Murphy smiles.

The Bad cop held true to the title. He made me wait 30mins in his (Prison cell-sized) office. Well if your office was half the size of the Good cop’s then you’d be mean too. Anyway, being mean is still better. This guy was brutal:

BC: What is your CABAL size?
Me: I beg your pardon sir?
BC: Ah-ah! Your CABAL in your last banking job?
Me: Sorry sir but could you please explain what you mean by ‘CABAL’?
BC: Ah-ah!?…(looks at my cv) Oh ok, you worked in LONDON, I see. So, what was the volume on the accounts you managed? Give me the naira equivalent.
Me: I don’t have the exact figure…but it was a lot.
BC: How won’t you know? You should know! It is your responsibility!
Me: Okaaay…?!@#
BC: So how much are you committing to bring to this bank?
Me: ‘Committing’ sir?
BC: Eh-now…give me a figure.
Me: (2-minute silence) what figure is reasonable sir?
BC: (Laughs) you should be the one to tell me. What level are you applying for?
Me: SBO (Senior Banking Officer)
BC: So you should be able to do at least N200m…that’s even too small, but you just arrived, abi?
Me: (Gulp followed by adjusting my neck-tie for air supply) Y…….es.
BC: So how are you going to achieve this N200m target?
Me: Er…I…have…connections…
BC: eEEehn! Like who? (Gets out his pen and opens his diary/notepad)
Me: I have like 5 top clients, Nigerians, whom are planning to move their accounts to Nigeria (bullshit). They have thousands of pounds (more bullshit). They also know contacts that I can speak to in order to get more funds for the bank (…bullshit overload).
BC: Mm-hmm. (Scribbles) So you should be able to bring N100m within 3months, eh?
Me: I…should be able…to do that, sir.
BC: Whats the problem? Are you okay?
Me: Nothing…Is it hot in here?
BC: No. You’re just not used to Nigerian heat yet. Sign here…
Me: Er…Sign what?
BC: Your commitment agreement.
Me: (In my mind, ‘F**********K!!!’)

To be continued…

..xTx..