I woke up to the tantrums of the crazy goddess. I was still swooning in the world of wonderland when a painful juxtaposition of bright stars, rudely introduced into my dream space by a quick hand across the face, brought me to a startled consciousness.
She smiled at me excessively, her smile was bordering on edgy. I kind of retreated into safer bed territory half expecting her to pull of one of the famous scenes from ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’.
She cooed softly at me, moved closer and then she told me excitedly that she’d been talking to some of the local deities types at Mushin and Isale Eko. I shook my head in disbelief, noticing her recently conjured attire; she was wearing a slightly over-bright attitude top that read “Yels! lepa to bad”, with skinny jeans and the signature white and blue bathroom slippers associated with the downtown fashionistas. Lord knows what she’d been doing with those ‘Ajepako’ gods of disarray.
She talked passionately about Shandi, the patron god of all garage touts. I was quite shocked to hear that he wore a three-piece toga but it was quite unfortunate that he couldn’t part with his bathroom slippers. She also mentioned Zanga of Surulere, Sure-Boy of Unilag and a host of other unimpressive deities.
Call me biased but I’m in love with the idea of an ‘Ajebutter’ goddess, this experiment wasn’t working for me.
I’m beating a merry Alanta tune on my gong with my head held high, just because Afrosays:
I doubled over in my unsuccessful attempt to contain laughter well come. Things were just beginning to get interesting! You could only get drama this great on the streets of Lagos; yes! Africa’s got talent!
“I did not do it! I say no be me!” the embarrassed fellow weakly protested, trying unsuccessfully to extricate himself from the supposed evidence of his social indiscretion. “Shey u catch me ni?”
He was still tucking in his cheap shirt in when a woman had showed up some distance behind him with a menacing scowl on her face. She obviously had been totally offended by something she saw and she looked like she was on a mission make it right. Meanwhile, our culprit had walked hurriedly back towards the bus, his face betraying whatever misdeeds he might have carried out in the little corner he was desperately trying to escape from.
“Sssssssssss! Sssssssssssssss! You dey mad! You no get shalanga for house?” “Tu-baba!”, she called to one of the garage touts, “come see wetin this craze man do for… “
He had seen the atrocity before she finished her request, “AaaaaaH!” “O shiere ni?” “You dey mad?” , Tu-baba promptly interjected, closing distance. More heads turned. A good drama always attracted a sizeable audience.
I was teetering at the edge of my seat because our conductor suddenly showed up and wouldn’t allow the humiliated fellow into the bus. He reeked of whatever sickness the gods had chosen to plague him with. He was looking like a trapped animal, lost in a myriad of instinctive responses and blessed with the gift of indecision. It was obvious he would not remember his name for the next two minutes.
And there was laughter, and temper, and more confusion, and then more curiosity. Our little episode was already cooking up a sweet pot of passions with all the spices of a typical Lagos melodrama.
Our culprit started making movements alternating between vibration and gyration. Tu baba was already two feet away with his hands raised. He seemed positive a reassuring hand would to help steady our unfortunate fellow from his oscillations. Humor almost seemed wicked.
“Chairman, na piss I go piss oh!” “I swear, me sef see am for there oh!” and then, “Abeg oh chairman!” the personality of his speech was as unsteady as his body language. He seemed unsure as to whether it was a good idea to be assertive.
“Abeg, show am say na we get this garage!” the accuser of brethren pitched on, “Which kind nonsense be this?” she goaded on, hoping to get retribution delivered as soon as possible. Call me wicked but at this point I was really hoping to see some action.
“Shey were yen leleyi?” a rhetoric fired from one corner, the fellow was just pondering our culprit’s insanity aloud. Another member of the crowd also jokingly asked aloud if he could volunteer a vehicle tire. He must have been a bus driver who was willing to sacrifice a spare tire for our good man to wear around his neck in case the crowd thought it was expedient to execute justice by petrol fire. The growing mob was really excited and there were all kinds of ridiculous suggestions that brought tears of joy to my eyes. Some of the action hungry volunteers didn’t even have a clue about the ensuing fracas, they just wanted a taste of Grammy-winning Lagos theatrics. Even passing motorists raised the fists in agreement, some even shouting out votes of solidarity. Maybe I chirped out one or two of my own in my mock garage accent, and then the fever pitch was hiked up two notches.
Tu-baba arrived like Father Christmas in December and he came with gifts for the crowd. His spectacular movements were worthy of 10 million YouTube views. He started with two ‘fakeys’ that turned our suspect into a vibrating carousel, he quickly steadied his spinning puppet with three and a half healthy slaps. I really am not sure how I arrived at that count but the last sound I heard was sublime. I knew I’d finally discovered the sound that was missing from the jazz drum set.
Culprit seemed lucid but for a moment, then he started to shed tears. He suddenly rushed towards Tu-Baba and embraced him. We were confused for a moment but our confusion was further compounded when culprit started screaming strings of mumbo jumbo in a south-south accent. Tu Baba looked like he had just discovered that Sango was a pony; we were all inanimate for a few seconds, each discovering something similar… and then Tu baba screamed.
“Oko mi oh!” “My Penisula!”
Would you have waited?