Monday, 24 December 2007

Merry Xmas To You

My friends, seen and unseen

My enemies, real and imaginary

My acquaintances, known and unknown

My family, whom I could not choose

To everyone on whose life an impact I've made

And they, on mine

Whether positive or negative but never indifferent

Friday, 21 December 2007

Always Online

A few months ago, I was sitting in front of my big sister’s house having a chat. We fondly refer to her as Sure Sister and for the life of me, I cannot fathom the origin of that name.

Sure Sister told me about crank calls she receives at 3 am in the middle of the night, telling her they ‘have a message from her brother in London’. According to her, she always responds by saying she has no brother in London (in reality, she has two).
After laughing about it, it struck me that she was essentially answering her mobile phone when most sane people were asleep (except me on weekends, of course). I pointed this out to her and she said her phone is always on. I asked her whom she expected to call in the middle of the night and she said ‘you never know’.

Later that evening, I was speaking to Laspapi, expressing my wonder. He agreed with Sure Sister and says you never know when an important call may come in, one which you would not want to miss for the world. Cant it wait? This is Nigeria! Real business only happens in the night, he said, adding, most Nigerians leave their phones on. Excuse me!

Now, me, as soon as I get home, my mobile phones go off and do not come on until I get into the car the following day. I have a house phone for which I don’t know the number and only had it installed because the rigid Sky TV people said it was a condition for me to get the facility, so it never rings. A few years ago, I forgot my phone on and an unknown silly, giggly girl called at 2.30am and thought it was funny, so I find it difficult to understand why anyone would want to leave their phone on. My mum argues it as well and asks how to contact me in an emergency, and I reply, as politely as I can, that if it is an emergency, she should be dialling 999 instead of me. If it’s something that needs my attention, it can wait until the next day.

Now, is the problem me, or you who will not switch off?

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Lagos Jumps

A couple of weeks ago, I flew (instead of walking, I suppose) into Lagos. I had given Laspapi, my initial host and pick-up, 14 hours notice to arrive on Saturday morning (I can tell you: he’s sick to the eye-teeth of me), which is not bad considering I gave myself about 16 hours notice.

‘Papi had called back to say “environmental! You have to be out of the airport by 6.30am so we can get home by 7”. I said: no problem, plane gets in
at 5.30, should be enough time. Not only did the plane not get in until 6am (I wanted to scream at the pilot to put his foot down, esisin nje tyre, and all that), my bag only came out at 6.45 and by the time we got to the car, it was 7.05. Too late! We stood in the car park having a coke and catching up, joined by one of Papi’s friends who was also waiting.

Eventually, we left at 10, got home, I had a shower and needed an immediate nap. During my last visit in April, ‘Papi had promised he would install A/C’s in his place as I complained of the heat. I dismissed him as Lagos mouth who always makes unfulfilled promises. To my surprise, he had fulfilled that promise, bless him, and split units were competing for space everywhere you looked, everywhere, wait for this!, except in the spare room where he usually shoves me. Did I say bless him?

I fell asleep and woke up with someone holding my nostrils blocked. I jerked up in a panic, Laspapi is trying to kill me in my sleep, exacting revenge for all those torturous years he thought I gave him while we were growing up. No, not him. It’s my ex choking me! How did she get into Papi’s house? She was screaming: “die, mother f*cker, die”, like a banshee. Oh my God! She finally got me! I came fully awake, not ready to give up without a fight. Oh…… It was the giant fan ‘Papi put in the room to help me sleep blowing dust into my nose. I forgot about Lagos dust and my nose was now blocked. No point in going back to sleep, especially as the picture of my ex had been so vivid.

In the evening, I made a few calls to London and Lagos, went to my favourite watering hole near ‘Papi’s house for Star and goat meat, and went to bed.

On Sunday, washed my car. Yep! I have an old banging BMW I keep at ‘Papi’s, attended my watering hole again, met up with old friend and Lagos big boy Gbemiga (not of the 419 ilk, this one works o… he heads some department in the biggest old generation bank), and decided to take in ‘Papi’s show called ‘Wedlock of the Gods’ at Terra Kulture. Jolly good show.
Monday, drove around, got dusty and dirty in my white shirt. Dapper fashion Rule no. 1 – never wear white in Lagos. I spoke on the phone to one of my favourite strong-minded people – Isi, while navigating Ikeja and hoping one of the myriad of uniformed officers called FRCN or Plasma or Mulatto will not arrest me - made a mental promise to invite myself for a drink with her and later got to see her picture in some mag – was it Genenieve? Not sure. Somehow, I did not get to invite myself.

Tuesday, drove towards Ibadan to buy odó for my pounded yam, yes o, it now graces my kitchen and it is full size, although I have not used it yet. I like my pounded yam, comes in second after bread.

Wednesday to Saturday, hibernated in a hotel room for peace (alone, for you people with wild imaginations) and in between took in Coliseum night club, Page, Extreme something or the other and, courtesy of Gbemiga, the Lagos Country Club, before returning to the land of no area boys.

Monday, 10 December 2007

A Riddle That Will Kill Your Brain

Someone sent this to me since July and I would periodically look at it to no avail. I know some smart person's out there that will have the answer just like that.

There are three words in the English language that end in "gry". ONE is angry and the other is hungry. EveryONE knows what the third ONE means and what it stands for. EveryONE uses them everyday, and if you listened very carefully, I've given you the third word. What is it? _______gry

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

I got hit by a golf ball

OK! The title does not fit – I just felt quirky.

Everyone knows Nigerians have a propensity for titles, probably because we are a nation of flash gits: we have the old ones of Dr; Dr. (Mrs); Chief; Alhaji and Alhaja; at which time the problem was getting so bad that Ibru, publisher of The (Nigerian) Guardian, when it first came out a couple of decades ago, decided he would only call men and women of quality like Obafemi Awolowo (Chief) and Nnamdi Azikiwe (Dr) by their titles (- this has since changed).

In the last 20 years or so, people now moved to Barrister; Lawyer; Engr. (I used to know a twit here who drives mini cabs [kabu kabu] and refers to himself as Engr. because he had done a couple of Microsoft exams); Balogun; Asiwaju; Aré; even a couple of my acquaintances are on the Otunba bandwagon. What happened to plain old Mr & Mrs?

I admire my late father for not joining the title race and praise Babatunde Fashola, Lagos State governor, for resisting it so far. I will forgive him for the totally inadequate (alright, let’s be honest – atrocious) roads, I am even willing to give him time to sort out the armed robbery and consider getting a separate power grid for Lagos, I will ignore the area boys and lack of ‘town planning’, but his stature will diminish in my eyes when he titles up.

What really irks me is the propensity for Nigerians now to be referred to as ‘Sir’. As far as I know, ‘Sir’ is an honorary knighthood bestowed by Charles’ mum which can be used by UK citizens but not by non-UK ones on the rare occasions they’re honoured. I remember Sirs Adetokunbo Ademola, Adesoji Aderemi, Tafawa Balewa, etc. The Rivers State governor (Amaechi) is called ‘Sir’ and now Sir Mike Okiro???? The Police IG was referred to as ‘Sir’ in some newspaper adverts congratulating him for his substantive appointment as IG. For some reason, these new ‘Sirs’ mostly seem to emerge from the non-nothern parts of the country and I cannot figure out the trend.

I feel better now

Monday, 19 November 2007


I have been severely bullied by my feisty blog mate – isi - into writing a follow-up to my unscientific poll which drew to an end today and, after inadvertently ‘lifting’ laspapi’s post and reposting it as I could not recollect where I had seen the write-up, and being reminded by isi in her usual forthright manner that it was laspapi’s, I succumbed to her demand (remind me to write something about strong-minded women some time).

The poll, unscientific as it was (because we only had eight respondents), confirmed something I innately knew: men can never be winners when it comes to trying to suss out women. By that, I mean, really understanding them. We can excite them, make them happy (even to attain this seemingly simple task, then have to ‘allow’ us), we certainly can make them cry, not much effort is needed from us to make them scornful, but to understand them, really understand them, appears to be an impossible task.

It therefore appears that God manufactured women with a factory defect – it is nigh impossible to understand them.

The poll asked a simple question which I will paraphrase:

Your female partner is in the wrong on this occasion. Do you:
Apologise to her for the sake of peace?
Apologise but still try to stress your point of view?
Don’t apologise and tell her where she’s gone wrong?
Wait for her to apologise?

Four people chose option 1 while the other four chose option 2. Obviously no one chose three and four. I don’t know how many female readers (as opposed to male ones) voted, however, I do know that the question cannot be more unambiguous – your female partner is wrong on this occasion!

Why, in the name of all that’s sweet and tender, are men expected to apologise, especially in this day and age of equality? Why must we always be the peace makers? And yes, I know we shall inherit the kingdom of God; what about God’s kingdom on earth? Someone please educate me.

Women - The Points System (Uknown)

In the world of romance, one single rule applies: Make your woman happy. Do something she likes, and you get points. Do something she dislikes and points are subtracted. You don't get any points for doing something she expects. Sorry, that's the way the game is played.
Here is a guide to the points system:

Simple duties:
You make the bed (+1)
You make the bed, but forget to add the decorative pillow (0)
You throw the bedspread over rumpled sheets (-1)
You leave the toilet seat up (-5)
You replace the toilet roll when it is empty (0)
When the toilet roll is barren, you resort to Kleenex (-1)
When the Kleenex runs out you use the next bathroom (-2)
You go out to buy her extra-light panty liners with wings (+5)
In the snow/rain (+8)
But return with beer (-5)
You check out a suspicious noise at night (0)
You check out a suspicious noise at night and it is nothing (0)
You check out a suspicious noise at night and it is something (+5)
You pummel it with a six iron (+10)
It's her pet (-10)

Social Engagements:
You stay by her side the entire party (0)
You stay by her side for a while, Then leave to chat with a college drinking buddy (-2)
Named Tiffany (-4)
Tiffany is a dancer (-6)
Tiffany has implants (-80)

Her birthday:
You take her out to dinner (0)
You take her out to dinner and it's not a sports bar (+1)
Okay, it is a sports bar (-2)
And it's all-you-can-eat night (-3)
It's a sports bar, it's all-you-can-eat night, and your face is painted
the colours of your favourite team (-10)

A Night Out With the Boys:
Go with a pal (-5)
The pal is happily married (-4)
Or frighteningly single (-7)
And he drives a Mustang (-10)
With a personalised license plate GR8 N BED (-15)

A Night Out:
You take her to a movie (+2)
You take her to a movie she likes (+4)
You take her to a movie you hate (+6)
You take her to a movie you like (-2)
It's called Deathcop 3 (-3)
Which features cyborgs that eat humans (-9)
You lied and said it was a foreign film about orphans (-15)

Your Physique:
You develop a noticeable potbelly (-15)
You develop a noticeable potbelly and exercise to get rid of it (+10)
You develop a noticeable potbelly and resort
to loose jeans and Baggy Hawaiian shirt (-30)
You say, "it doesn't matter, you have one, too." (-8000)

The Big Question:
She asks, "Do I look fat?" (-1) (Yes, you lose points no matter what)
You hesitate in responding (-10)
You reply, "Where?" (-35)
Any other response (-20)

When she wants to talk about a problem You
listen, displaying what looks a concerned expression (0)
You listen, for over 30 minutes (+50)
You listen for more than 30 minutes without looking at the TV (+1000)
She realises this is because you have fallen asleep (-2000)


Thursday, 8 November 2007

Why Women Cry

A little boy asked his mother 'Why are you crying?' 'Because I'm a woman' she told him.
'I don't understand' he said.
His Mom just hugged him and said:
'And you never will.'

Later the little boy asked his father 'Why doesMother seem to cry for no reason?'
'All women cry for no reason' was all his dad couldsay.

The little boy grew up and became a man stillwondering why women cry.

Finally he put in a call to God. When God got on the Phone he asked 'God, why do women cry so easily?'

God said:
'When I made the woman she had to be special.
I made her shoulders strong enough to carry theweight of the world yet gentle enough to give comfort
I gave her an inner strength to endure childbirth andthe rejection that many times comes from her children.
I gave her a hardness that allows her to keep goingwhen everyone else gives up,
And take care of her family through sicknessand fatigue with out complaining.
I gave her the sensitivity to love her children underany and all circumstances,
even when her child has hurt her very badly.
I gave her strength to carry her husband through his faults and fashioned her from his rib to protect his heart.
I gave her wisdom to know that a good husband neverhurts his wife but sometimes tests her strengths
and her resolve to stand beside him unfalteringly.
And finally' I gave her a tear to shed. This is hers exclusively to use whenever it is needed.'

'You see my son' said God 'the beauty of a woman isnot in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries
or the way she combs her hair.
The beauty of a woman must be seen in her eyes because that is the doorway to her heart - the place where love resides.'


Monday, 5 November 2007

Hole In My Pocket

At 8.15a.m today, I took my car in for its scheduled service and must confess I’d put it off for as long as I could because of the potentially astronomical cost. Of course, the only reason I service it at the manufacturer’s is the ability to maintain the car’s residual value – I can get the same level of service out there for £250. The ‘B’ service costs about £600.00, plus any incidentals which they discover and you authorise to be done.

I borrowed one of their cars and waited for the inevitable phone call which came at 10.30: “Mr O, we’ve looked at your car and found a couple of minor things”. Yes? 2 bulbs blown, brake fluid and gear oil recommended for replacement! How much? £35 for the bulbs, £65 for the brake fluid and £167 for the gear seal replacement, plus VAT at 17.5%, total = £313.72. No thanks, I said, I’ll get those bits done privately.

On the plus side, they lend you a new car, offer you free coffee and newspapers to take away, wash your car and leave another newspaper (The Evening Standard) in there, and are infinitely polite, but with service parts costing £80.00 and the cost of labour accounting for the balance, I have arrived at the conclusion that I want a car dealership of my own but I’m short of the readies.

Offers please.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

419 Phenomenon 3

100A New Hope Avenue,

My name is Smith Rose, I am an artist with my wife Smith Rose,We own
SMITH ROSE ART WORLD LMT. in Sevilla,(SPAIN)I live in Sevilla Spain,
with my two
kids, four cats, one dog and the love of my life my wife Linda Rose. It is
definitely a full house wife, I have been doing artwork since I was a small
child That gives me about 26 years of experience I majored in art in
high school
and took a few college art courses Most of my work is done in either pencil or
art brush mixed with color pencils.I have recently added designing and
artwork on the computer, I have been selling my art for the last 3 years and
have had my work featured on trading cards, prints and in magazines, I have
sold in galleries and to private collectors from all around the world. I am
always facing serious difficulties when it comes to selling my art works to
united state of Americans andCanada they are always offering to pay with usps
postal money order or casher's cheque,which is difficult for me to
cash here in
Spain,Sevilla We are looking for a representative in the United States Of
America who will be working for us as a per-time worker and we will be willing
to pay 10% for every transaction, which wouldn't affect your present state of
work,someone who would help us receive payments from our customers in the
states, I want mean someone that is responsible and reliable, because the cost
of coming to the state and getting payments is very expensive, We are
working on
setting up a branch in the united state,so for now we need a representative in
the United States Of Amareica who will be handling the payment aspect for our
company.These payments are in the form of Usps Postal Money order or casher's
cheque and they would come to you in your name if you are willing to
assist as a
representative,so all you need to do is to cash the Usps Postal Money
order or
cashier cheque,deduct your percentage and send the balance to any
of our regional office via western union or monygram transfer you're to deduct
the Charges then wire the rest of the balance with you to our office
address we
provide. But the problem we have is trust, we have also made an
arrangement with
the FBI in Washington,united state that if anybody getsaway withour money they
will definately get hold with the person,and the person will go to JAIL for
LOOTING our funds,you are to receive the money order or casher'scheque payment
which will be sent to you by the Fedex or UPS,DHL Courier Service your bank
account to enable you cashit and send the money cashed for the order or
casher's cheque to me via Western Union money transfer or Money
Gram.NOTE: All
charges of the Western Union money transfer or Money Gram.willshould
be deducted
from the balance left with you,so you are restassured thatyou wouldn? spend a
dime out of your personal money.
PHONE #s (Home & Cell):
I will be needing your home address, so that I will forward it to my customers
to send you the casher's cheque or usps postal money order. via Fedex or
dhlcourierservice overnight shipment.Thanks for yourassistant and God bless,

Friday, 19 October 2007

Thursday, 18 October 2007

419 Industry 1

While the Germans are known for their cars, the Dutch for flowers, the Spanish for tourism, South Africa for gold, America for George Bush and the Chinese for, well...everything,

the 419 phenomenon appears to be Nigeria's best export (and import - known 419ers becoming 'honourables' and the like).

I get two or three 'requests for assistance' letters in my office e mail boxes everyday: from 'Maryam Abacha' to 'Charles Soludo'; from those with quite impeccable English to grammatical atrocities that knock me off my seat; from plausible requests to outrageous demands that make you wonder about the level of stupidity of the writer (you know, there's a study that says criminals have a lower mental capacity than the norm, but I digress); from those invoking the name of God to those pretending they know you; and I realise this 'service' has now reached industrial proportions. Indeed, so many e mails now come from other countries of Africa, it's jaw-dropping.

Depending on my mood, I find them amusing, annoying, frustrating or just a downright unauthorised invasion of my in boxes.

I have decided to share some of them, the first instalment follows:


Hello Dear,
How is everything going, I hope great?
Though i have not considered this medium to be the best manner to have
approached you on this issue being that the internet has been greatly
abused over the recent years and is very unsecured for informations of
vital importance.

I have decided to take the chance seeing that no other means could have
been faster and more efficient than the E-mail. I write to you
irrespective of the fact you do not know me,but please do consider this
letter as a request from a brother in dire need of assistance.

My name is George Green(Sgt)an American soldier, I am serving in the
military of the 1st Armored Division here in Iraq. As you know we are
being attacked by insurgents everyday and car bombs, it will come worst
now Saddam Hussein was executed. During one of our rescue Mission we
came across a safe that contains the total sum of $21,000,000 (Twenty one
Million Us Dollars) that belongs to the revolutionaries, which I believe
they use in buying weapons and ammunitions, and it was agreed by all party
present that the money will be shared amongst us. You can go to this web
link to read about events that took place here:

Out of the total fund my share was $8,000,000 (Eight Million US Dollars).

I am seeking your assistance to evacuate my share of the money, which is
$8,000,000 out of here to you, in as much as you can assure me that my own
share will be safe in your care until I complete my service here.

This is no stolen money,and there are no dangers involved, as I have made
arrangements with a UN representative based in Asia who promised to
deliver the fund to any of my choosing destination. I shall be
compensating you with US$2,500,000.00 (Two Million, Five Hundred Thousand
Dollars) on final conclusion of this project,while the rest shall be for
me for my investment purposes.

One passionate appeal I will make to you is not to discuss this matter
with a third party, should you have reasons to reject this offer, please
destroy this e-mail as any leakage of this information will be too bad for

I do not know for how long we will remain here, and I have survived two
suicide bomb attacks, which prompted me to reach out for help because I
will be migrating to you to invest and start a new life not as a soldier
Please if this proposal is acceptable by you, kindly send me an e-mail
signifying your interest including your most confidential telephone
numbers for quick communication also your home address where the fund
would be delivered.

As soon as I receive your email with the information, I will furnish you
with full details on when and how the fund shall be delivered to you by
the diplomat and he will make a contact with you before anything move.
Waiting for our urgent reply.
Best regards,
Sgt. George Green.


Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Blame Game

I blame my brother - laspapi - for the birth of this blog. Before a couple of years ago, I was so far into myself I thought 'blog' was just another colloquial word that would eventually go out of fashion (with hindsight, my ignorance was palpable being a former network engineer with an MCSE and all the associated progress markers of those days). I had no interest in how it worked, nor did I have any inclination to find out. I viewed his blog occasionally and wondered to him how he found the time, where he found the mental resources to respond to comments and how he could survive the recognition of the fact that people would tend to know him quite well, some of them anonymous.

Later, I found some comments interesting and would have a mental snigger or two.

Then I left a couple of comments out of a particular sort of compulsion I'm still trying to understand, subsequently deciding I did not want my name out there probably because no one else had their's, and created a blog name to use merely for comments and ... here I am.

I blame laspapi and wish he'd never mentioned it. I am full of resentment because I think I will enjoy blogging and it will wake up my addictive personality.

Oh God! How did I get to this point?