Thursday, November 22, 2007

Valentine Pink or Woman's Inhumanity To Man

We are about one year in our new flat and are redecorating it again. I have this thing about changing my decor ever so often. i think it has to do with energy levels or something. My wife has stopped commenting. I have repainted the house three times in one year. We had a fire in a flat above us in April and the firemen really flooded the house, is that not enough reason to repaint?

Anyway, there we were at the Dulux Color Center on Aboyade Cole, VI to buy paint and the nice Sales lady brought out a catalog and she and my wife had a small 'Beijing Conference' while I watched. Mind you, I had the colors I wanted in mind but you know this thing about women and colors. Eventually, they emerged with a verdict. For my son's room, they chose 'Valentine Pink'. I mean, I've heard of Fushcia Pink, BabyPink, Powder Pink, Ne-ne-ne Pink but Valentine Pink? Gimme a break!

Question: Bia Nimmo, what do you have a problem with? The Valentine or the Pink?
Answer: The Valentine.

I know most people have fond memories of Valentine's Day but not me. I have had my share of good and bad Valentines but I sincerely have stopped looking forward to it. Not in a very long while. I have so many Valentine stories but let me just share this one and they all revolve around the theme 'Woman's Inhumanity to Man'. Ironically, it didnt happen to me.

This happened in UNIBEN. Valentine 88 or 89, cant remember but it was reported in Kampuswatch magazine (does it still exist?). The story went thus:

There was a guy called Prince. I dont know if Prince was his first name or if he was a prince. (The way every other Bini man claims to be a prince, makes you wonder how many ruling houses they have in Benin.) Anyway, Prince had a babe we will call O'Baby (Not her real name of course).

It was Val's Day and people were just chilling particularly around the Hall One Car park. Guys in their best and Roasters like us going to class to do what our parents sent us to do in school. It was that bad, I no even get babe.

Suddenly Prince emerges with a giant pink teddy bear. You know the type about 3 feet high with 'Hug Me' or 'I love You' written across the front. Come and see commotion. Guys and babes alike were just 'oohing' and 'aaahing'. I know many guys would have turned back with their miserly Val cards they were probably taking to a babe at that time.

Na so Prince walked triumphantly with his 'burden of love' up to O'Baby's room cheered on by the crowd. The world loves lovers, y'know. It was sensational! For the whole week, everybody talked about it on campus. Then came the bombshell.

After just one week of Valentine bliss. O'Baby dumped Prince! Just ONE week! That set up another buzz. Another sensation. And one would have though that they would find a way to patch it up or something but no way o.

I mean, the laws of res judicata and all the emotional estoppels demand that O'Baby should make restitution by at least returning the teddy to Prince abi? (OK. I'm not a lawyer but some Law students actually argued this). For where? O'Baby no gree o. In fact, she not only NOT return the teddy, she then went ahead to name it PRINCE!

O'Baby was C-R-U-E-L!

Moral of the story:
Never, ever buy a teddy bear for a babe. It may replace you.


This joke has probably been on the Internet like forever but its just what I'm talking about.

For the final test, the FBI agent took the first male applicant to a large, metal door and handed him a gun.

The Instructor said, “We must know that you will follow your instructions no matter what the circumstances. Inside the room you will find your wife sitting in a chair. Kill her!”

The man said, “You can’t be serious! I could never shoot my wife!”

The Instructor said, “Then you’re not the right man for this job. Take your wife and go home.”

The second male applicant was given the same instructions. He took the gun and went into the room. All was quiet for about five minutes. The man came out with tears in his eyes,

“I tried, but I can’t kill my wife.”

The Instructor said, “You don’t have what it takes. Take your wife and go home.”

Finally, it was the female applicant’s turn. She was given the same instructions-to kill her husband. She took the gun and went into the room. Shots were heard, one after another. They heard screaming, crashing, banging on the walls. After a few
minutes, all was quiet. The door opened slowly and there stood the woman, panting. She wiped the sweat from her brow.

“This stupid gun is loaded with blanks” she said. “I had to beat him to death with the chair.”

Monday, November 5, 2007

Remember? - 'Perry A' 1936 - 2000

Your name was Peter but your friends called you 'Perry A'. I dont know what your enemies called you (you never introduced anybody to me as such.)

You would have been 71 today. And as usual, you would have celebrated it quietly. Stylishly. I was just wondering, if at that age you would really remember much.

Remember back then, how you would point at any words we see on the road and you would ask me to spell 'eat'? Billboards, kiosks, posters, anything? Remember how we would lie on the bed on Sundays and read all the Sunday newspapers together? Times, Punch, Tribune, Sketch, Concord, you always bought. (Later, you would not read anything except The Guardian). You would read one page and give it me and we went on and on like that until I fell asleep or we had to eat. We never went to church then!

Remember the first time I read Playboy? You said I should look at the words and not the pictures. I was ten or eleven. It was an interview with Sir Roger Moore. You knew I loved Roger Moore. You never liked him much. You always thought Sean Connery was the better Bond (and better actor). And we would argue. Maybe you were right after all. (Connery is still standing long after Moore had disappeared.) I wonder what you would have thought of Pierce Brosnan. And the new guy, Daniel Craig.

Every time you traveled you would buy me books. (OK maybe shoes once or twice). But you would buy shoes or clothes for everybody else - even the neighbors - and books for me. I often wondered if you really liked me. And you always bought packs and packs of Benson & Hedges for yourself. You always bought 'Made in England'. I believe you were probably their biggest customer ever. They even sent us cards and stuff from England every Christmas. Remember?

Remember when you got to know that I had started smoking. I just got into the university. You asked me why. And you said 'This thing will kill you. Maybe sooner. Maybe later, but it will kill you if you smoke it'. But you never stopped me. You never stopped me from doing anything. You only asked me why. And then you tell me about choices and their consequences. Choices and Consequences.

Remember the bad years? You called them The Seven Years of the Locust. It came with the military coup. Remember WAI? Remember how you had to go queue up to buy 'essenco' (Essential Commodities)? You would come back with soap, detergent, milk but always no toothpaste. And we would use Lux to brush our teeth. Or Imperial Leather. And use pako (chewing sticks) only on Saturdays.

Remember when I told you I wanted to leave school in order to help out by going to a more 'free education' school? (I was in boarding school and Mayflower was not cheap.) You cried. That was the first time I would see you cry. And you promised me that we would never have to leave school. None of us. No matter how bad it became. Even if you had to go begging to send us to school, you would. And you made me promise never to think of leaving school again. And I never did. Never.

You always had this thing for fitness. Your body was your greatest vanity. You wanted to stay young for ever. You made sure we bought and wore the same type of jeans and clothes? Remember when you came to see me in school and everybody in the department was asking if you were my brother? Other old guys would have come in agbada or even in suit, but you came in jeans! Remember?

Football was your passion. You would go on and on about your all-conquering Stationery Stores FC of the late '60s. About how you narrowly missed being in the '68 Olympic team because you had to go back to school. The first Nigerian team that 'almost' beat Brazil? We finally got relief when Kanu & co actually beat Brazil and actually went ahead to win gold. Remember?

Remember when the illnesses started? First it was the mild stroke. You had that sorted in no time. You just went in and out of hospital. But the cancer was a bastard. The doctor said the lungs were gone. Even though you had stopped smoking when you found ECKANKAR. But the lungs were gone. And you simply refused to fight it. You said there was no need. Choices and Consequences.

You moved into the hospital. For better care you said. But I knew you just didn't want to be a burden on anyone. You took over a private room and paid. Like moving into a hotel. You said if you had to go, then you would go in style. In style. It eventually took seven long months. Seven months like it would be tomorrow. Tomorrow. Always tomorrow.

Remember how we would talk for hours far into the night? We both knew there was no time. We talked about so many things. You told me about things that had happened even before I was born. About my mother. About the family. About the legend of Sekengbede. About my position in the family. And how important it was for me to succeed. You told me you were proud of me.

You moved your office to the hospital. Your famous drawing board and table. Your clients consulted with you there. You never wanted to be idle. You said your brain would still be working long after your heart had stopped beating. Remember?

The day eventually came. April 30. The doctor called me at the office. Come. That was all he said. I knew. It was in the middle of a fuel crisis. I wonder if you would remember that. But I do.

I remember you every time I look at Little Nimmo. He's just two but one could see he's an old soul in a new body. He uses both hands too, y'know. Just like you. And he always wants to draw 'Circles'. Circles. I wonder if I can be as good to him as you were to me.

I do remember, Perry. I remember you. Always.

My friend. My brother. My father.

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