CHANCE ENCOUNTERS OF THE LARGE KIND
A Day in 'Gidi
I was driving to the Starcomms phone company's Surulere offices yesterday when a large female sailed by as a passenger on a motor bike. I gave her a fleeting look and then looked again because she was waving furiously, at me. So I waved back, not sure where I knew her from. I forgot about her and drove on for another minute before I got to my destination and there she was again, the bike somehow having gotten behind me. She flagged her 'pilot' to stop as I sought parking space. As I parked, I noticed (with some alarm) that she was trying to open my locked front door (passenger-side). I told her as I got out of the car, 'I'm going to the Starcomms Office.'
This squat female with be-jewelled fingers (at least 8 rings on those fingers) greeted me fervently, asked how I'd been (all in Yoruba). I scanned my memory, but couldn't place her. She said she wanted to give me her phone number (Her pilot still sat patiently on his aeroplane across the road). I searched for a pen, now uneasy around this woman, unwilling to even show my phone but falling into that politeness-trap that doesn't allow us be outrightly rude even when it would save our lives. The fates were against me, I usually have 10 or so pens on or around my person at any given time, but none were at hand. I gave her my phone and she typed in her digits and then said her name, 'Alhaja Yinka'.
'Call me, brother' she said, as she turned to go and somewhere in the back of my mind, I thought, 'she's probably a distant relative who's met me a few times and since I am notorious for spurning family ties, it was a good thing I had behaved myself.'
She took a step, two steps and turned back. 'Egbon mi, e ma fun mi l'owo moto'. (Older brother, you'll give me transport fare). The Con. I smiled to myself. She was good. This was a blitzkrieg. Shock and Awe. She was really good. I know all the cons, but a female on a bike was a new one to me. I mentally acknowledged her brilliance and offered her N200 (applauding a brilliant performance) but she wasn't having it. 'No', she screeched in Yoruba. She wanted more and I felt I detected menace in her voice. Calmly, in my buba and sokoto, (traditional top and trousers) I told her I had to pay some money to Starcomms. Without warning her hand delved into the loose pockets of my buba by my side, saying, 'it's here, it's here'. It was done half-jokingly but with real intent. I felt the strength of her fingers as I forced her fingers out of the empty pocket and again her hand flashed towards the breast pocket, where indeed the money was. By this time, even though she was laughing, I knew war had been declared on me. I grabbed her fingers and held them as hard as they held the money. I saw her calculate. An old trick is for a female to proclaim loudly that she had not been paid for 'services rendered'. Public shame has made many an innocent man pay for these phantom services. But she saw something in my eyes that made her pause and then let go, settling for the N200. I can be very ungentlemanly when it comes to anyone attempting to take undue advantage of me as those who have ...ehr... 'disturbed' me, can testify. I mentally prepared myself.
She turned away as if nothing had happened and crossed the road saying over her shoulders, 'broda, please call me'.
A barber just a few metres away sat in shock.
This reminded me of a galleria incident last year so I delved into the files.
Posted July 4 2007
I had that kind of day today, so I thought I'd go unwind at the Silverbird galleria. I like to watch movies by myself, sometimes. When the movie finally started, I looked for a place where I could absorb the plot and lines of "Premonition" with Sandra Bullock. You know how it is with drama on the screen, one has to concentrate.
So the movie started with about 20 people scattered around the hall. After a short while, this guy came in with a girl and for some reason, chose to sit next to me, his girl, beside him. It didn't take long before his phone rang and he began a lengthy conversation on it. When he finished, he commenced another lengthy dialogue with the girl by his side.
When I couldn't take anymore, I clambered over a row of seats with my bottle of water, so as to get away from him and sat at the end of the row just in front. Then I felt popcorn thrown at me. I looked and there were two girls to my left side, looking at me. One had thrown the popcorn and she signalled me over. The seats between me and them were empty and even though I tried, I couldn't make out the face of the thrower. I felt it might be my friend, Deola, who's a maniac about movies. So I moved closer. Complete strangers. They stared back at me. The thrower asked me to stay where I was, right beside her, and I did. I felt she was some movie buff commiserating over the talkative I had fled from so I turned back to the screen.
Then I felt her hand on my arm. A caress. She did it again... and again. Asked me questions about the movie while pressed against my arm. When I sat forward in my chair, leaning away from her, she asked belligerently, "what's the matter with you?" I explained diffidently that "I had stuff I was thinking about". After that, there were no more caresses. I felt fleeing to another row of seats might cause other people in the hall to wonder about me. Then she looked at Sandra Bullock's eyes and said to the screen in a loud voice, "She(Bullock) knows this woman is "skrulling" her husband", cackled and repeated the line again for everone to hear. Then she asked me softly, "does she know that woman is skrulling her husband?" After trying to decipher for a few seconds, it struck me that she meant "screwing".
And then came the climax of the film and as people in the audience gasped repeatedly, she began to shriek in ibo (I could tell she was yoruba, so her expletives were ghastly in rendition). This time, I found the courage to flee towards Frank, the anchor of the Nigerian version of "Who wants to be a millionaire" who had come in sometime after the movie started. I spent the last few minutes with Frank and his friend, while my caressing friend sneaked glances at me, then I walked out with Frank. Frank, like his programme, had thrown me a "life-line". I didn't see her again.
You might meet the girl of your dreams in a dark hall at the theatre but I can bet she won't start carressing your arm 3 minutes after meeting her. I don't do tramps and I reckon I'm beyond sex for sex' sake now, or even worse, paying for it.
Maybe she's found someone else to skrull.