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Of Pageants And slip-UPS….Yikes 2!

And so it was, my fate was decided….signed, sealed and delivered! It was almost as though I was staring down the barrels of a double-barrel shotgun or pump-action, so-called in some quarters; just waiting for the trigger to go off and blow up in my face, with the Marksman and Sniper, wielding the ‘arsenal of mass destruction’; being my pesky, plenty insensitive Commandant of course! In that moment, I closed my eyes shut, a gazillion thoughts running through my mind by the milliseconds; and whilst still trying to process, make a complete sense of and more or less; wrap my fingers or head around and ’bout what was ’bout ready to go down, I figured well; it was as good a time as any for a quick dash, a trip down memory lane!

thinking

My momma’s sonorous voice echoed through my subconscious and I coulda sworn I heard her scream….’Yemi, laugh like a lady’, as she’s wont to doing; in her usual characteristic manner, as I shared one of a lotta laughs with my brothers, and their friends in our frontyard! At such times, I tend to do a double take and for a little less than two minutes, all’s but silent and peaceful! You’d be correct to say or term that split moment as ‘the calm before the storm’, cause almost immediately, my buddies and I pick up from whence we left off and launch straightway into a tailspin…. a whirlwind of mad hysterics; shattering the nascent tranquility that once was; even if only for a spell!

At this point, our collective laughter’s practically slicing through the calmness of the evening and reverberating in the distance! I mean really, laugh like a lady?! What’s that?! Never quite knew there was a certain way both of the sexes were expected and or meant to laugh! Plus, that’s quite a tacky thing, seeing as laughter for the most part is a spontaneous action; it just happens! Who plans for such and then goes on to rehearsing how it oughta be done right and perfectly in line with one’s gender?! Well, definitely not me! Really, where’s the fun and fulfillment in a planned, ‘ladylike’ laughter where I can’t just let go of my inhibitions and pretty much be myself?! Am always one for a good laugh, so; Nah! I’ll simply have to pass on that ladylike bit! Soo NOT for me!

Okay! Maybe, just maybe I oughta have listened to my momma’s admonition back then! Maybe, just maybe….again, there’s a teeny, pretty tiny bit of truth and a slight chance that mummies really DO know best! Maybe! Why does it always rain on me…Eish!

Standing there like a condemned felon ’bout to be led to the gallows, I wished I’d had more practice at being a ‘lady’ and acting like one! Were mum a witness to these whole set up, she’d definitely say ‘I did tell you so Sweetness, didn’t I?! And sure enough, I’d feel guilty for a bit and then say to her ‘It isn’t over till its over mum, watch me as I take back control and drag myself outta this ‘crisis’! Needless to say, I was not gonna just give in without putting up a fight! I mean, where does this bully get off, dictating to me what I should or should not do?! I’d be sooo damned if I allowed for him carry on in the way he did, without a care; like I had absolutely nothing to say or do ’bout his excesses!

As the time slowly ticked away, and he was getting his little glam squad ready to come work their ‘wonders’ and ‘magic’ on unwilling me, it literally quite occurred to me that I had no costumes! Bingo!!! That’s just what I need! Is this my lucky day or what?! I’ll bet the bully didn’t even stop to think ’bout those! What’s a pageant without costumes and the whole full regalia that goes into making it what it oughta?! I grinned mischievously as this thought fully registered in my mind and then I found my voice again!

‘Sir, I’d really love and consider it a great honor to represent this platoon’,I said, whilst effortlessly lying through my squeaky white teeth; but I didn’t exactly come prepared for anything, least of all a beauty pageant’! ‘You see Sir, I continued on; trying desperately hard not to give away and hide that absolute delight I was feeling at the time; at having stumbled on a winning excuse to hit the road and return back to my life as I knew it; before this whole pageant nightmare thingy reared its ugly head! ‘I don’t quite possess the full regalia I’d be needing for an event of this nature’! ‘I’m very sorry Sir’, I finished, perfectly convinced this was the big break I needed to get outta my predicament! I’d like to see him recover and come back from this shocker I sneered inwardly, I’ll bet he didn’t see that coming! Bullseye!!!

In thy face, suckerrr!!! YES!

Having acted out my script so well, I’d expected to hear something along the lines of, ‘Oh, that’s true; without a costume, you can’t enter for the contest’, no hassles; you can go now’! Like duh! Wishful thinking! If there was ever a time I desperately wished to have that infamous phrase ‘Be careful what you wish for, for you just might get it’, happen to me, this was as good  a time as any! But then, FAT chance! Psst!

Dude was unmoved and I wondered if he’d even heard a word of what I’d said! By the time he spoke up, I was in for a shocker of my own! He dropped the bomb on me that he’d sourced for all of the costumes I’d be needing and I needn’t bother my pretty lil sweet head ’bout a thing! All the bases were pretty much covered to the minutest detail! All I needed do was shut up, show up, go with the flow, smile and be real pretty, after going through a beauty regimen and fitting session to see which of ’em costumes was all ‘me’, as in; the ones that fitted perfectly! Huh?! Rats, what gumption!!! Oh, how very splendidly classy! Oomph!

‘There goes my gazillion pounds plan to elude and wriggle outta this bad episode, but if this Soldier man thinks he’s gotten me boxed into a corner and figured out, then he’s got something else coming’, I muttered to myself! I’ll die first before being paraded and put on exhibition like some piece of artwork or ‘artefact’ for hungry eyes to take in, ravage and make a spectacle of! It should be my call, not his or anyone else’s!  Why in the name of all things that he holds sacred, can he not just get it and ‘for-GIT’ it?! Why?!

It was on to plan ‘B’ for me! ‘Sir, I’m sorry but its taboo that I wear other people’s items of clothing, its completely against my beliefs and principles, that I share those with strangers’! I was getting very flustered and frustrated at this point and I’d pretty much hoped he’d just respect my stance and let me off the hook already! ‘Its really nice that you don’t wear other people’s clothes but am also sure that it wouldn’t be taboo to have you sent to a faraway local government area lacking of basic amenities and infrastructure; for your primary assignment’, he said! And just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse off than they already were, he chipped in this…’IN A CANOE RIDE!!!’ Finishing with an air of arrogance and super-authoritative finality! The Sonofagun!

Can he REALLY do that and am I also in the form and mood to find out?! I asked myself as I pondered over my next course of action! Does he wield that much of an influence and power to make good on his threat of having me bundled off to the middle of nowhere or shall I just call his bluff, walk and damn the consequences?! This guy’s dreadful, he sure knows how to play dirty and had pretty much planned everything down to the last detail! Plus, he’d quite anticipated I’d put up some kinda fight and resistance in doing his bidding! What an Eel! Slippery and oh so sly! So, am left in the dumps and at a crossroad…..to be or not to be?!

yes | by claudia hering (sundance)

I thought, a few hours in Hell or a coupla months in HELL?…. suddenly realizing all of my plans had finally hit a dead-end! It really was a no-brainer as I resignedly but begrudgingly accepted to represent my platoon on the big night, which in retrospect was just a very few number of hours, ticking real slowly but steadily away, having settled for the lesser of two evils! ‘Its all for the best’, I comforted myself; better the pageant than some remote far off place off of the world map, where I’d be left hanging out on the rails to dry! The horror!

`174 | Hanging by a moment. | by v1nz`

That was how my little diatribe and debacle with ‘Major Pain’ played out! The next coupla hours was gonna be a real trying one for me, as my whole world was sent plunging on a downward spiral, spinning right outta control! Plus, my perception ’bout pageants and those who are brave enough to muscle up the courage and guts to participate in ’em, was changed forever!  Oh yeah!

Images courtesy of flickr.com

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May I Please have This….Date?!

In forging great friendships and relationships, especially as it applies to that first ever meeting, getting off to a bad or wrong start and footing’s soo not an option! This can mar and pull the plugs right off of a relationship that may otherwise have been really great and exciting, before it kicks off or sees the light of day! Against this backdrop, I wanna talk ’bout the perks of reeling out the dopest pick-up lines, cause that is the first ever step, to get things moving right along!

While some pick-up lines are totally ‘Aww-worthy’, others are ‘Huh-worthy’ and some others still yet, are just plain ‘What were you thinking, pretty lame-worthy’! When someone who for instance prides him/herself as hot, and then opens up his/her mouth to spew out a really lame or dumb line, without being the wiser that his/her egg’s knocking pretty hard against a rock……then, something’s most definitely wrong somewhere!

Which brings me to a certain scenario, where a guy walks up to me and says ‘Hi, my name’s Jimmy; we met at a party on the Island over the weekend’! Now, I already know what Jim’s playing at, but I humor him anyways; I mean, a party over the weekend and on the Island like really?! How?!

I’d decided I’d be on my best ever behavior you see, and so I respond to him saying ‘I’m sorry Jimmy, but you’ve obviously gotten me mixed up with someone else and I really have to get a move on, the timing’s not so good, cheers’! ‘I coulda sworn that was you’, he chimed; ‘so sorry’! So, I quickly remove myself from that situation before the next rehearsed few pick-up lines rolled off of his tongue and leapt straight, right at me!

Some other time, this very same guy; who I immediately recognized as Jimmy, yup; walked up to me again and before he could open up his mouth to say those infamous lines I was so darned sure he would, I beat him right to it and quickly blurted ‘Hi, your name’s Jimmy and we supposedly met at a party on the Island over the course of the weekend, didn’t we?!’  I mean lets face it guys, defence is the best form of attack init?! Need I say Jimmy was tongue-tied at this point?! Well, if y’all really need for me to say it, I will just get to it then….Jimmy held his peace, backed away slowly;, and went on his jolly way! He said absolutely nothing and I continued on, laughing and walking right on! Case dismissed! Okay, that was so painfully awkward, cruel maybe, but hey; we win some and lose some init?!

Sitting underneath the large mango tree in front of my department in College, leafing through my lecture note to brush up and put finishing touches to studying for a class test which was just barely an hour away by the next period, I heard a voice, making an inquiry! ‘Hi, my name’s Francis, please; where can I go to get something to eat around here’?! Absent-mindedly, I waved in the direction of the line-up of food stalls, just within eye-shot from where I was seated, without sparing the one who did the asking, even a glance! ‘You don’t seem to understand me do you’?! He rapped on! Okay, so this dude aint taking the hint that I’d rather be left alone; especially as I had a test coming up in a bit and I really didn’t have the time for chitty-chatter and any such frivolities! This was serious business and I’d sworn I’d either ace that test or die trying, such was my determination!

Again, I figured if I didn’t lose him in the nick of time, then my plans to play catch up would simply go up in flames and blow up in my face! Something’s gotta give, I wagered; so I decided to play this real cool by the ears, smile, be nice and act civil! I looked up for the first time ever and NO, I know what y’all are thinking, he wasn’t your conventional TDH, so I wasn’t exactly tranced out and rooted to the spot or anything, was wayyyy too busy studying you see, no time! Gotcha! Aha!

Francis was unpretentious, donned a really thick-lens eyeglasses, with teeny- tiny eyes behind ’em! He stood about 5’7 high and had this characteristic posture he’d gotten accustomed to over time! He walked with his two hands behind him, clasped, back bent and seemed to mutter to himself, I think unconsciously; whenever he walked! He was one of a kind, hardly smiled; and pretty much grouchy, half of the time! I used to liken him to Muttley, the cartoon character with the famed…’Ya-ya-ya-ya-ya’, yaps!

I pointed him again in the direction of the food stalls and told him he could get something to eat over there! He responded by saying ‘I’m not looking to ‘feed’, I’m looking to ‘eat’! And I be like ‘huh? I don’t follow’! ‘I’ve been there you see, he responded, and I didn’t like what I saw’! ‘I’m a Corps Member posted to this part, having studied Microbiology at the University of Lagos’! ‘I’m pretty new to this place, and I REALLY need to ‘eat’!

At this point in time, he’d gotten my full and undivided attention! Putting off my bright idea of studying aside and firmly on to the back burner, I decided to tackle this guy, who at this time had quite succeeded in piquing my interest to no end, head-on! I mean, eating and getting fed was pretty much one and the same till he came along! Who knew?!

I quickly got to introducing myself to him, welcoming him aboard and added too that I had a test coming up shortly and urgently needed to get back to my books! Dude was having none of that! He insisted I must point him elsewhere, where he could get some ‘real’ food! ‘How ’bout getting it done yourself Francis ,ei?!’ ‘Surely, if you recognize that one meal tastes awfully bad, then am guessing its because you possess the culinary skills and know-how, to go rustle something more befitting of your royal taste buds, can’t you now’?! I chipped in matter-of-factly, whilst picking up my books and making for my class as the test was just ’bout ready to start! He grinned and said I’ll definitely like to see you again and with that, he left! Never quite knew he had it in him to…..smile?! Surprise, surprise!

I turned his tour guide for the period he was with us and I remember a social function was billed to hold at my department at some period in time! I’d invited him over to come hang out with me and my colleagues! It was an event that promised to be exciting with foods, drinks, friends and good times! He obliged me and I got us two bottles of the well spiced up local non-alcoholic beverage otherwise known as ‘Zobo’ drink, pretty popular in that part, for us to drink; in line with my getting him more familiar with the offerings and tastes of his new environment! While I downed my beverage, he dawdled on his! I eventually trashed the empty bottle and he gives me his saying he’d had enough! I was pretty taken aback cause he hardly drank up to a quarter of the contents of that beverage and so, I emptied the remaining on the lawn and trashed the bottle! The following dialogue ensued thereafter:

Him: Yemi, are you sure those grasses stand any more chances of ever growing again?!

Me: However do you mean Francis?!

Him: I mean, seeing as my saliva’s toxic and venomous; don’t you suppose you’ve done a major harm to the poor grasses where you just emptied my ‘undrunk’ Zobo beverage, ei?!

I was pretty conflicted at this point and didn’t quite latch on to whatever the heck he was harping on ’bout, so I asked ‘Can you quit speaking jungle and speak English already?!

Him: Why didn’t you just drink the bloody thing?! There, I said it! After all, you just downed yours so fast and I can quite tell and appreciate the fact that you actually did love it! So, why didn’t you just do same with mine rather than having to waste it like that?! Pray, tell!

I stormed off laughing myself raw, before returning again to thrash things out with him!

Me: Hold on Francis, you REALLY expected that I’d drink from your bottle like seriously?!

Him: Why, that’s such a bad idea I see!

Me: No, it isn’t, but you didn’t exactly share or partake of mine so why should I yours ehn?!

Francis: Just because! It was the right thing to do!

Me: Says who?! You really are serious then aren’t you?! No kidding?!

And at that, he blew me off, shrugged and returned to his usual grumpy self! Some things never change, I said aloud and may as well have been talking to a wall! He totally just ignored me!

Francis was the absolute perfect stranger! He was usually moody but beneath all of that was this great guy, really brilliant with a beautiful persona and insanely crazy sense of humor!  I never really got round to asking ’bout the ‘eating’ and ‘feeding’ thingy, to know if he was practically just fooling around in his bid to starting up and initiating a conversation with me, but that line was a win in all of its ridiculous totality! Worked for me like absolutely!

Images courtesy of flickr.com

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