Tuesday, 26 May 2009

It lasts and lasts and lasts!

This post was prompted by NiceAnon's post, Curiosity Killed The Cat. But it is not about curiosity, no, NiceAnon has done justice to that. Rather, it is about something much simpler: Imperial Leather. Cusson's Imperial Leather..... the soap that lasts, and lasts, and lasts. Boy oh boy, did i hate that soap!

Between 1994 and 2001 when I finally escaped into the university - yes, I actually escaped! Home had literally become Hell - things weren't exactly smooth for my family. Area General's biz was going south, and no matter how hard he tried the darn thing just refused to change course. So a new decree was promulgated: the "Decree of Conservation". No more wastage. No unnecessary sweets and biscuits. No more watching the telly unless it was NTA Network News. No more using toilet paper unless you really REALLY needed to. Mehhn, no be small ting-o. Long before I encountered the Law of Conservation of Energy in physics and chemistry, I knew what it was all about.

Next came the "Decree of Scarce Resources and Opportunity Costs". This decree became the 10 Commandments that determined what was bought in our house. No article which had a cheaper and/or last-longing variety was ever purchased again. And so, my brothers and I - five of us then, no girl, thank God - were introduced to the wonderful world of Cusson's Imperial Leather, the soap that lasts and lasts and lasts!

Nna-eh, that soap refused to finish! We will use it and use it and use it, and yet it would still remain. Long after all the scent and goodies in it had evaporated or gone wherever they go to - usually in less than two days after the soap was bought - the soap itself would still remain. Mind you, it was all of us using it-o: dad(Area General), mum, myself, #2, #3, #4 (who was always demanding for biscuits), and little #5 (whom i swear was heavier than Yokozuna), plus the occasional aunt or uncle. All of us would attack this soap, yet it ALWAYS lasted for at least two weeks. One bar of toilet soap! Chineke e kwela ihe ojo! (God forbid bad ting!)

Around 1999/2000 shaa, Area General's affairs improved somewhat, and we slowly - sloooooowwwwwwllyy eased off to Premier soap (the family size brand), then Lux, and much later Dettol and Delta. I used to worry that mum was using the same soap with us until I found out she'd been buying her own special toilet soaps all along. Good for her. And good thing too I didn't have a sister; if it'd been hard for me, I wonder what it would have been for her, using the same soap with everyone else in the family - and Imperial Leather at that!

Area General still buys the darned soap up till now, but he uses it alone - for weeks on end, cos the frigging thing still lasts and lasts and lasts.... :D

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Cry for Justice

I did not plan this post; it just happened. Horrible things are happening all over this country and little or nothing is being done about it. Civilians are being murdered in the current military offensive in the Niger Delta in the name of fighting militants.

But I agree with Danny: Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows - Gal 6:7.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Opinion Poll - I bind and curse!

Shooo, my opinion poll has been up for like a week now, and only THREE people have voted. Haba!

See, I refuse to accept that only three people have visited my blog in the past one week, mmmh-mmh, I refuse. It is not my portion,
mba-nu. In fact, right here and now, I come against any spirit of non-readership, non-followership, and non-poll-clickingship. I curse and bind them and render them totally and absolutely powerless in Jesus' name!! AMMEEEEEEENN!!! OHHHH, Somebody give da Lord a big hand! Clap-clap-clap-clap!

Oya, abeg, make una begin cast una vote, and I promise what to happened to Ekiti State won't happen here. Check out the title:
WHO IN YOUR OPINION IS USUALLY THE UNFAITHFUL ONE IN RELATIONSHIPS? You see am, very juicy and tantalizing. Oya, run and buy your copy - eh, sorry, run click on your choice NOW!!
Na only one week remain-o!

UPDATE: Ok, the polls don increase to six. Good. Nice..... But e still neva do me-ooh!

LOL! Much love, peeps.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Best Laid Plans

Just a short story I wrote months ago while I was waiting for invitations to job interviews. I'd posted it at Nairaland before, but I felt folks in blogsville wouldn't mind a copy of their own. Basically a robbery gone awry seen from the robber's point of view. Enjoy!

The large pendulum clock inside the bank manager’s office struck 11:00am – eleven ominous strokes of doom. Standing in front of the huge reinforced-metal bank safe was the bank manager himself, his brows beaded with perspiration, and his fingers trembling as he tried to open the safe’s combination lock system. The manager’s fingers were trembling because the muzzle of a black evil-looking Beretta Desert Eagle was leveled right behind him at the base of his precious medulla oblongata. And standing behind the Beretta, with a finger resting gently on the trigger, was me.

Long story cut short: I was robbing a bank.

Long story cut shorter: I didn’t get away with it.

You see, robbing a bank is never an easy task. It almost always flops – the point man might fail to spot a potential danger; the escape route might be poorly constructed; the bank manager might delay too much and jeopardize the venture; one of your men might get trigger-happy and set-off an ugly chain-reaction; or some dude might decide to play hero – anything, just about anything could happen. And only one of such unforeseen incidents is enough to send the entire mission to hell in a hand-basket.

But I didn't reckon such a thing happening in this operation. I was in-charge this time, you see, and that meant that the mission would go exactly as planned – or so I had thought. Like clockwork, that’s how I described it to my men last night while I was detailing the plan to them. Zeke, at my side, had listened and nodded. There were five others: Osumo, who looked like a boxer, Atanda, Uchman, and the Alaye twins. And myself, of course, the C-in-C.

The plan was watertight. We had the complete building plans of the bank, with the three egresses marked out in red. The positions and number of security personnel in each part of the building was also indicated. We even had a man inside, one of the security guys named Okoro; his job was to disable the metal-detector entrance doors. Besides this, we also had a hand-drawn map of the network of roads and streets surrounding the bank, with the best escape route marked out. When I finished explaining the plan to them, Zeke nodded again and smiled. “Exquisite,” he said. The others were also impressed by the brilliance of it all.

And now, as I stood inside the bank manager’s office, gun-in-hand, watching him empty the bank’s safe into the large plastic bag I’d given him, I couldn’t help thinking, exquisite indeed. Outwardly, though, I was frowning enough for two. “Hurry up,” I urged, neither too harshly nor too gently, just with the right inflection to remind him of who was boss. Downstairs, I knew Osumo and Uchman would be doing the same thing with the cashiers, while Okoro and the Alaye twins would be minding the exits and monitoring the hostages, lest someone decides to play Jackie Chan. It was simply going like clockwork. It was too good to be true.

Well, hindsight never did anybody any good. After all, if Achilles had known about his heel, he’d have bought an iron shoe before going off to war. My Achilles’ heel turned out to be Osumo; who could have imagined that that gorilla of a human being had a soft spot for babies? Our undoing came in the form of a bawling seven-month-old baby.

The manager had almost cleared the safe of its contents when the loud report of a .38 Magnum pistol blasted away the tensed quietness of our mission. Only Zeke and Osumo had pistols, I thought rapidly, the rest had shotguns. Instinctively, I knew it was Osumo who’d released the shot, and as much as I hate to admit it, I actually prayed that he hadn’t hurt someone. Pushing the manager ahead of me along with the naira-filled bag, we hurried downstairs. The first sight that greeted my eyes on reaching the bank floor was a male cashier slumped backwards over his seat with a bullet-hole in between his eyes and the back of his head missing. The manager promptly keeled over and puked his half-digested breakfast into my bag of money.

A terrible racket was going on. My men were loudly ordering everyone to the ground and threatening to shoot anyone that as much as moved a micro-millimeter. The women were keening and screaming their lives’ worth. Some of the men were cowering with their heads down; those who had the courage to look up had murder in their eyes. Amidst this organized confusion, I managed to piece together from Zeke what had happened. Osumo was supposed to be watching the male cashier, but he got distracted when a little baby in the crowd of hostages started to cry. The tearful mother tried to hush the baby, but it only intensified its shrill protests. Completely engrossed in the baby’s pitiful bawling, Osumo forgot the cashier. Then Uchman suddenly shouted, jolting Osumo out of his trance. He looked back to see the cashier furtively slipping his cell-phone into his pocket. In a fit of shame and anger, Osumo pointed his gun at the cashier and pulled the trigger.

The ear-splitting din raged on.

I looked at Osumo; there was a manic glint in his eyes. I looked away, raised my gun and squeezed the trigger twice into the air. A tensed stillness fell immediately. I walked over to the dead cashier, bent over him and took the phone out of his pocket. Its screen read MTN NG. I hit the redial button with the butt of my handgun, and a normal, harmless-looking mobile phone number showed up. Could belong to anybody, I thought, probably a sweetheart or friend. I checked the time of call; it was more than three hours ago – long before we’d even arrived at the bank. I shook my head, looking up. Everyone had their eyes on me, Osumo most of all, expectantly awaiting my verdict on his action. Then I had another idea. I hit the “Menu” button on the phone, selected the “Messages” icon, and scrolled down to the “Sent Items” option. I soon found what I was looking for; the time of the last sent message was sixteen minutes ago. The destination number was a contact listed as “SARS”.

“Red line!” I screamed, dropping the phone. That was our prearranged signal for a fast get-away. The hostages started screaming and making noise again, but we ignored them this time, hauling our bulging bags of naira notes. We had to get away, fast.

Well, by now you’d have probably guessed that we didn’t make any fast get-away. We didn’t even make it out of the bank; the police were waiting for us at the gates. Those few minutes we’d wasted trying to calm the hostages had been a few minutes too many, and the SARS cops had, for once, responded rapidly to the dead cashier’s message. Talk about going to hell in hand-basket.

A shoot-out started out between us and the cops, and Uchman, Atanda and the Alaye twins went down. Zeke, Osumo and I made it back into the bank building where the hostages were still screaming their heads off. We thought of using them to bargain our way out, but at that moment dozens of tear-gas canisters burst in through the windows. Holding my breath – a painful business, I might add – I turned and dashed up the stairs to the manager’s office. Slamming the door shut and quickly bolting it, I ran to the end of the office and looked around, my breath coming in gasps. There was no other exit from the spacious room, no windows, nothing. Slowly, I realized the inevitable fact: this was the end.

Already, I could hear gunshots echoing downstairs. Exquisite, I thought, smiling and shaking my head grimly. The large pendulum clock overhead struck 12:00 noon. Exquisite indeed. A couple of gunshots echoed of the door of the office, cops yelling in the background. I let my handgun clattered to the floor, and turned to face the wall, legs apart, arms raised up in surrender. What the hell, a living dog is better than a dead lion.

The door suddenly tore away from its hinges, and the cops poured in.

The best laid plans of mice and men go aft a-gley…

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Job Seeking 101

Hi peeps!
I copied this (the post, not the pic) from a nairaland.com post by Ariblaze (a.k.a Blaze a.k.a Rantalot a.k.a Sir Rantster). I hope he doesn't mind.
Well, even if he does, whadda heck? He can take a flying dive in the Atlantic. Or better still, I can copy it back to nairaland for him! :D Enjoy.


Next time your application for a job is rejected, just type this up and send to them:

Dear [Interviewer' s Name]:
Thank you for your letter of [Date of Interview]. After
careful consideration I regret to inform you that I am unable to
accept your refusal to offer me employment with your firm.
This year I have had been particularly fortunate in receiving
an unusually large number of rejection letters. With such a varied
and promising field of candidates it is impossible for me to accept
all refusals.

Despite [Firm's Name]'s outstanding qualifications and previous
experience in rejecting applicants, I find that your rejection does
not meet with my needs at this time. Therefore, I will initiate
employment with your firm immediately following graduation. I look
forward to seeing you then.

Best of luck in rejecting future candidates.
[Your Name]

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

The Farafina Book Tour: 2nd Stop - IBADAN

9 WRITERS, 4 CITIES: The Book Tour hits Ibadan Cambridge House, Onireke, Ibadan, Saturday May 9, 2009
Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

The event which held at the now memorable Cambridge House in the Onireke area of Jericho, had in attendance the distinguished Professor Ayo Banjo (two-time Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan and a world-famous grammarian) as the guest of honour. The host, Joop Berkhout, is the former publisher of Spectrum Books, and a delightful host of the evening of readings, signings and literary interaction.

The programme began at 3.00pm with a journey down memory lane, as the host narrated the history of the Cambridge House and its first and most famous occupant, Christopher Okigbo. The poet and then representative of the Cambridge University Press had lived there before he left in 1967 at the beginning of the Civil War. Professor Banjo took over from Joop Berkhout with a reading from the text of the speech delivered at occasion of the dedication of Cambridge House to the memory of the seminal poet by his brother Pius Okigbo. In fact, most of the activities of the day centred on the Cambridge House and its most famous occupant. The poet polemicist, Odia Ofeimun, later read a poem from his first collection, dedicated to the memory of Christopher Okigbo, while veteran broadcaster Lindsay Barrett also did the same. A plaque at the entrance to Cambridge House is dedicated to Christopher Okigbo.

The first author to read from his work was Tade Ipadeola, poet and lawyer, author of A Time of Signs and The Rain Fardel, who read from his two works of poetry. One of his poems is a dedication to Odia Ofeimun. According to the poet, his motivation to write came mainly from his upbringing which had books littering every room in his house. A second motivation came at adulthood with his introduction to the works of Odia Ofeimun.

Then there was Jumoke Verissimo who read from her debut collection, I Am Memory. Jumoke – it goes without saying – was a captivating performer whose pregnant pauses and smooth reading cadences took the audience on an enchanting ride on the curves of love poetry. First she read “Ajani”, then “I am Memory”, and the audience broke into loud applause. For Jumoke, writing was all she had always wanted to do since childhood, and as a confessed shy personality, writing was to her a most comforting medium of expression.

Next was Eghosa Imasuen, author of To Saint Patrick, who had travelled all the way from Warri to be present at the reading. Speaking at a get-together after the event, Eghosa, who was born in Ibadan but who had never been to the city since birth, claimed to have gone into writing with a healthy dose of inferiority complex which he claimed helps the writer maintain a cool head that constantly seeks improvement. His book is an alternate history of Nigeria, written with a bold look at the “What Ifs” of our recent history. Responding to Anwuli Ojogwu’s attempt to tag him permanently into that category of writers-of-alternative-history, the medical doctor/writer immediately objected, saying that he didn’t write alternative history but wrote it. One would imagine that his next book would not have to be the alternative history of the United States Election 2008 like someone had cheekily suggested.

Toni Kan, Lagos-based poet and story writer, read a story from his book of short stories, Nights of the Creaking Bed, to rounds of applause. He had first read from his latest poetry collection, Songs of Absence and Despair, which in his words, was inspired by his observation of helpless women in a long line of Western Union collection point in the bank, and his own overwhelming feeling of loneliness while on a writing grant in Germany. His collection is published by Cassava Republic.

The next writer to read was Abimbola Adunni Adelakun, who read an excerpt from her book, Under the Brown Rusted Roofs, a novel that was longlisted for the NLNG’s Nigerian Prize for Literature 2008 and the ANA Prize. Her book tells a tale of many things in the city of brown rusted roofs, and the excerpt which the author read got the audience roaring with laughter. If there was something that Bimbo succeeded brilliantly at in this work, it was dialogue. The author, in portraying a notorious godfather of Ibadan politics, captured the crude politicking of the Molete palace that has come to define Ibadan and its way of life. Speaking before her reading, Bimbo stated that her motivation to write came primarily from a challenge by another writer Professor, Femi Osofisan, who had said at a public lecture at the University of Ibadan that writers from the city had a responsibility to tell its many stories to the world.

The famous poet of The Poet Lied fame, Odia Ofeimun, read next from his three new books, (the republished) The Poet Lied, Under African Skies and Dreams at Work. First was “All my vision vexed”, which he wrote while fleeing to Ghana from the newly created republic of Biafra in 1969. With an angry tone but lucid beautiful writing, the poem expressed the frustration of a citizen with a once functional system that had crumbled before his eyes. He next read a poem to the memory of Christopher Okigbo, before his final rendition of a poem written totally in Nigerian Pidgin English. Entitled “Pidgin Soup”, the poem took on a life of its own in the mouth of Odia like “palm oil on a dish of hot boiled yam”. “Pidgin Soup” was a wholly pidgin poem that sought to celebrate the language as an alternative to the “big grammar” of English language. Odia’s lively performance and the musical effect of his deep baritone voice left the crowd exhilarated at the end of his reading.

Igoni Barett took the floor next to read from his collection of short stories entitled From Caves of Rotten Teeth. His first reading was “A Loss” which tells the story of a young man who had lost his wallet and discovered the fact only after he was in a bus with a scary conductor. Then the poet and editor, Amatoritsero Ede, took the floor to read a second story from the collection, this one entitled “Letters”, which was a moving story of a mother, her child and a runaway father.

The final reading for the day was by Lindsay Barrett who, interestingly, is also the father of Igoni. He prefaced his reading with a long, moving story about his relationship with his writer son Igoni, whom he said he reconnected with only after about 17 years of contact. Lindsay Barrett was a veteran broadcaster in the sixties who had come to Nigeria from the Caribbean and decided to stay. He also told stories of his encounters with Wole Soyinka, Christopher Okigbo and the famous writers of the time. In a tribute to his son, Lindsay Barrett confessed to having been very impressed so far with the progress of his son’s literary career. Lindsay Barrett then read “Rivers”, a poem about the NigerDelta (where he is now based), before finally reading his tribute to the late academic, Femi Fatoba, who was his friend.

Overall, it was a well-attended programme, which had in the audience Professor Dan Izevbaye of the University of Ibadan, the musician Beautiful Nubia, poet and editor Amatoritsero Ede from Canada, and publisher Ayodele Arigbabu, among many others. There were informal autograph sessions for the signature seekers, and there were books to buy, as well as the latest issue of Farafina magazine. The train of the reading writers now heads back to Lagos for another reading on Sunday, May 17th at The Palms, before moving to Warri and Benin. There was an informal after-event on Saturday night which brought together the teacher and author Sola Olorunyomi, poet Benson Eluma, Amatoritsero Ede and poet Remi Raji. Also present were Toni Kan and Eghosa Imasuen. At the Staff Club of the University of Ibadan, over soft music and refreshments, the day ended amidst discussions of literature, music and politics.

Report by Kola Tubosun

Culled from http://blog.farafinamagazine.com/?m=200905

Monday, 11 May 2009

Extended Vacation

I made my last post to this most beloved blog of mine approximately 2 months ago. Between then and now, there’s been ZERO posts. And the reason: Yours sincerely had taken an extended vacation. Yep, an extended vacation – from blogsites, from forums, from Facebook – in fact, from the entire bligging internet. I was just so tired of it all.

Okay, by now you are probably thinking that there’s more to this “vacationing” issue than I’m letting on. Well, you’re right. With my right hand on my chest, I humbly and sorrowfully hereby confess to the following sins:
1. I confess that the reason I joined Facebook was to make contacts and pull a sizeable (Nigerian) audience;
2. I confess that the reason I joined Nairaland.com and many other forums was to publicize my novel and other write-ups;
3. And lastly, I confess that (oh, so sad) the reason I created Kay’s Corner was to make some dough off Google adsense.

See, it was all an entrepreneurial idea from the start. And after running Kay’s Corner for more than eight months without making even a lousy fifty cent (my apologies, Mr. 50cent!), I decided it wasn’t worth the stress, hence the vacation.

But now, I’m happy to announce that I’ve come to a realization. A realization that money is not everything; that dough is not all there is to life. I have an eight-to-five job, so I’m not exactly so bad off. Plus I do love blogging – so why not just do it for the love of doing it and blog my heart away?

Well, all that said, I have come up with a brand new “me” – fun and happiness first; lulu.com sales and millions of 50cents (heeheehee!) from adsense can come later. Yes, fun first, money later. Just do me a favor: don’t repeat it to anyone that’s read Rich Dad, Poor Dad, or loves Warren Buffet! in the mean time, though, my adsense advert is still running (lol!).