I was awoken by a phone call from my popsi this morning men. Omo! The man called at like 7.30, and I was still half-way in dreamland when the man started . See, my pops doesn’t just call to talk . The guy go use grammar explode your head! Na so the guy wan use English dabaru my brain today o.
Popsi: Well, son, what are your instincts about the Atiku fiasco? Nigeria is markedly facing an irrevocably devastating cataclysm no matter how much these bloody despots try to dress the situation up……..
What??? Men, me I’m having a hard time deciding between scones and eggs or yam and corned beef for breakfast, and this baba is talking politics this early momo. Since I started my master’s at this school sef, my popsi has just started seeing me as some young genius that he can be discussing current affairs with. I wouldn’t even mind if the guy didn’t use all these words to finish me! Ah ah!
Me: Yeah Dad, it’s a pretty sad situation.
Popsi: Of course it is son, but what are your thoughts? You as a third world youth, surveying the world through the eyes of one who is not only an envoy in the diaspora, but also a citizen and denizen of both civilizations. Your perspective is particularly unique in terms of your intrinsic loyalties, isn’t it? Your birthplace in the west and your so called motherland in the third world must make the reconciliation process a battle…….
Chei! This man men! Omo, this guy should leave me alone! All this grammar! I just mumbled something about the whole world being in trouble, and said I had to hurry up and get ready for an early morning class. After I dropped the phone, I swear I almost had to pour cold water on my head because it was sizzling!
Popsi men, the guy na one kin’ guy. When I wrote my personal essay for my master’s, I sent it out to him and my older siblings to edit. Meeeeen! If you see the way the baba scatter grammar for the thing eh? As in, I got his comments back and I was confused. The guy wanted to wound me with oyinbo o. I didn’t even bother trying to decipher what the hell he was trying to say in the e-mail men. That’s how I would have asked the baba and he would have given more machine gun fire. I just allow am men.
I think my popsi’s employees have suffered it the worst.
We used to have one driver like this, Mr. Sunday. Just remembering the dude is cracking me up. He was short and stocky, with a thick neck and a basketball head. Remember Giringori from new Masquerade??? The guy looked exactly like him. In fact, maybe na the guy sef.
As in, Mr. Sunday was a character. One day, he came to work, and he had apparently gotten into trouble for something. All I remember was my popsi shouting,
“Sunday, your impropriety and incivility have begun to reach insanely astronomical proportions! Your portfolio of misdeeds is ridiculously embarrassing and if you don’t make an effort to change, you’d end up like just another statistic in the number of employees physically assaulted by their employers. You should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself, and this is the last admonishment you will ever get from me, you imbecile!”
My popsi went inside the house.
Omo! Mr. Sunday was dazed. The guy just sat on the pavement, staring into space for a minute. He now started scratching his head with both hands, then started rubbing it, and then finally burst into tears...…as in serious weeping o!
You had to see it to believe it. Our steward, Mr. Morris noticed Mr. Sunday bawling his eyes out and went to find out what was wrong with him. As in, the guy’s shoulders were heaving up and down, and he was mumbling something in Calabar, almost wailing o.
Mr.Morris: Sunday, wetin happen now?
Mr. Sunday looked up at his colleague.
“Ha! Morris! Oga don kill me o.”
Mr.Morris: How oga take kill you?
Mr. Sunday: You dey ask me question....aaaaah.... I say Oga don finish my life patapata. Chineke! My pikin dem go suffer o.....
Mr.Morris: Sunday, no dey cry now. You no know say you be big man? No cry. Wetin happen?
Mr.Sunday: Morris respect yasef o! Respect yasef! I dey tell you say I don die finish, you dey ask me tory. Eeeeeeeeeh! (loud weeping)
Mr.Morris: Sunday, I wan help you now! If you no talk, how person go take help you?
Mr.Sunday: Chinekemeee! Oga don sack me o! Oga don send me comot.
Mr.Morris looked at him in shock. “Sack ke? Wetin you do?”
Mr.Sunday: I no know o……haaaaa (Calabar mumbling)
Mr.Morris: So why oga go sack you? Wetin oga talk gan gan?
Mr.Sunday: Haaaa! Oga swear for my mama and papa o! E just dey fire the English one by one on top my head. Karatimbim, paratombom! Oga swear for me well well! I no hear one thing wey oga talk o! But the grammar wey im use, I no say this one na the battle to end all battles. Help me beg oga, abeg.
That’s how my popsi came back out, ready to leave for work. He saw Mr.Sunday crying on the ground.
“Sunday, are you alright?”
Mr. Sunday lay prostrate on the gravel. The crying now entered full gear.
“Aaaaaaaaaah! Oga abeeeeg sah! Eeeeeeh! Take me back Oga sah. I no go do bad again oga. My papa, God bless you sah. Eeeeeeeeh! I get four pikin….”
“My friend, get up and get in the car! What in the world do you mean ‘take you back’? Who fired you? What a twit!”
Mr.Sunday sprang up, a huge grin across his face. “Na God go bless you oga!”
The funny thing was that Mr. Sunday was actually a very brave guy. He wasn’t afraid to curse people out in front of my popsi o, and the dude had the filthiest mouth ever. He was a short little trouble maker.
I know I’m diverting away from the original topic, but let me yarn you about Mr. Sunday small. Kai, una sef like tory! Anyway, the guy used to harass people on the road all the time, and the guy’s catalogue of curse words was something else. The dude was hilarious.
If he saw a girl walking by in a miniskirt, he would say “See this yeye monkey! Na ashawo o! Na another woman husband she dey follow o!”
The guy would cuss anybody on the road. His usual weapon was the can of insecticide in the glove compartment. If he was cursing somebody out he would shout,
“Wait, wait. I go flit your face now. God punish you!” and would start fumbling around in the glove compartment.
I’ll never forget one incident one morning, on the way to school. Mr. Sunday was driving, I was sat at the back, my brother CM was in the passenger seat, and my cousin Teni was in the back as well. Apparently, some guy nearly hit Mr.Sunday's car. That’s how he started.
“Damboroba! Your mama go die! You dey crase, I know say no be ya fahicle sef! Your papa sef no buy bicycle. Sharrap!”
The other guy looked pissed! He signalled Mr. Sunday to park, so that they could fight, while as usual, Mr. Sunday started fiddling around for his insecticide.
“I go flit your face! Na me go marry ya wife today….come make I flit your face! Yeye man!”
The other guy was unfazed. He shouted at Mr. Sunday to follow him, so that they could park in a nice spot and fight. The guy’s eyes were red o!
The guy made a left, and Mr. Sunday followed him. We were egging him on as well, and he goes,
“Leave am, I go beat am ehn, im mama sef no go know am. Bastard man!”
When the guy wanted to make the next right, he pointed right and trafficated, well in advance. When Mr.Sunday made the right as well, the guy pumped his fist in the air outside his window, as if to say, “Yes! Come on!” The guy was up for it o.
Na so Mr. Sunday begin sweat. The guy in the other car slowed down and trafficated and pointed left. Mr. Sunday attempted to turn right, saying to us “No mind am. If no be say you go late for school eh, I for beat am well well.”
What?? There was no way we were going to let the guy off like that o. All of us just started shouting,
“Noooo!!!! Mr. Sunday follow him, follow him! So you can beat him up and teach him a lesson!”
The pressure was too much, and his pride was at stake. Mr. Sunday reluctantly followed the guy and parked behind him. He was sweating profusely now.
We were just cracking up at this point. The other guy was fuming!!! Kai, this guy was sure to brush Mr.Sunday's life!
The bobo jumped out of his car and bounded to Mr. Sunday.
“My mama? Heh, my mama?”
With one short quick move, the guy had jacked the short and stout Mr. Sunday, lifting him clean off the ground! Chei! Mr. Sunday was shaking like a leaf. I think the dude was even disappointed that Mr. Sunday was such a punk. He goes,“I go break your head today! My own mama?”
"Hehn? My mama?"
We heard Mr.Sunday saying at the bottom of his voice, almost whispering,
“Gree me go, bros. Gree me go abeg.”
“Gree me go, my senior bros. No disgrace me in front my pikins dem.... I just dey make mouth. My mouth too much....”
Oh My God, I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard in my life. The guy just dropped Mr. Sunday and spat at him as he walked to the car. When he got into the car, Mr.Sunday didn’t say anything for like 15 minutes. Then when the way don clear well well, he said,
“Na because of una I no beat that man o. Yeye man, im mama for no know am.”
That was Mr.Sunday for you o. Joker.
Anyway, sorry, back to Chief Fineboy. That’s how the man is always using grammar to scatter his employee’s heads o. Even we, his kids, used to be on the receiving end of his oyinbo assaults. We hated getting into trouble, ‘cos he would make you feel like an ass without even touching you.
I remember one time, I went to this party with my older brother and my friend Prettyboy. We didn’t tell anyone we were going out, and when we got home at about 1 am, Chief Fineboy was sitting in the ante-room by the front door, asleep on a sofa. Damn! He had clearly been waiting up for us. As soon as we walked in, he just looked at us, and said “You urchins finally arrive. Welcome home,” and went upstairs.
We were dumbfounded. Thank God! No yawa! My popsi was travelling to the South of France the next morning, and we were supposed to be joining him in two days. We used to go to Provence every Summer for a week before heading to London. Our family always stayed at this villa that belonged to Monsieur Perpignani, Chief Fineboy’s French friend and business partner.
The next morning, I went to say hello to my popsi. That’s how the guy just looked at me.
“Morning. You boys continually choose to act like buffoons. If you want to be buffoons, I will treat you as such. By the way, your France trip is cancelled.”
Yeeeeepa! Men I wan die o! Remember as a kid, all you lived for was your trips abroad during the holidays? Kai, I was gonna go back to school with the same bafs and shoes. That was the worst punishment ever. That was typical Chief Fineboy o. His weapon was always his mouth, and if I start giving you examples of some of his verbal assaults, we go dey here all day.
But I think his worst punishment ever was the 404 episode. Omo men, I’m getting teary-eyed just thinking about it. See, my late grandfather had a Peugeot 404. Before he died, he left it in his will for my popsi. You know those ooooooold 404’s with the diamond shaped headlights? Like 1950 something!!!!!Well, Chief Fineboy loved his popsi to death and was so proud of the fact that his father had left him the car. It was parked in a garage at the house for ages, until one yeye driver that we had, Baba Ala, had a bright idea.
“Eskis sa! That 404 is still very good o! Ejo sah, please give me the car. It’s in very good condition.”
I think my popsi just thought about it, and said….hmm…if the car still ran well, it would be an honour to his father if he actually made use of it instead of just leaving it parked there.
Kai! One day, I was leaving school with Prettyboy (he was coming to my house), when I spotted the car. Hehn!!! It couldn’t be that 404 o! Everybody was walking out of school, and that bastard driver, Baba Ala, had gone and parked the 404 between a C-class benz and a lexus. This couldn’t be happening! Jesus Christ! I was so bloody embarrassed, I just walked past the car. That’s how the guy started shouting o…
“FIIIIIIIIINEBOY!!!!!! Wa o! Je ka ma lo le!!” (Come here, let’s go home!)
Bloody hell! EVERYBODY turned to stare at me and that morrafucka Prettyboy just disappeared into the crowd like he didn’t know me o. Men! I got into the pangolo car, and I think I died. The seats were even high again, so everybody would see you as you rode around in it. All the babes were cracking up, and my rep suffered a devastating blow that day.....chei!
Needless to say I never lived that one down, and I never forgave my popsi. He even tried to give me one yeye explanation.
“When one’s parents bequeath something of such enormous emotional significance, it’s only right to appreciate it and utilise the gift. I hope you shall do the same when I leave the 404 to you, son.”
Anyhow, let me run….more sweet tonic coming soon for y’all! By the way, Finebabe I’m missing u o….I know you’re “reading”. Get it?