Monthly Archives: May 2012

Forgotten story: ‘The Jester’

I found this story cleaning out my files today and thought I should put it up. I wrote it about two years ago while I was on holiday. It is unfinished. I can’t remember why I didn’t bother to finish it but reading through  just now, I suspect it stemmed from a dislike of the central character. I wonder if I should not just finish it? 

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Dr Ani was a clown, treated his practice like a joke and his patients like a punch line.

Often they didn’t know they were punch lines so he had to retaliate – in jest of course, he wasn’t really mean, heaven forbid. Like the time when sixteen-year-old Margaret had come in with painful constipation. She had gruffly informed the man who had treated her since she was a baby that ‘he really wasn’t that funny’ as he tried to make light of her condition. Of course he wasn’t hurt, no, no, no, no. That was teenagers for you. But he tried to make her see the error of her ways, what the joke was really about, punctuating each turn of the joke with a forceful, gloved jab into her unyielding rectum as he inserted the suppository that would help her shit. She sounded like she was in pain when she finally said she understood, laughing ‘haw, haw, haw’ like a donkey. ‘Constipation is no laughing matter,’ he informed her gravely, before he burst out, watching her eyes for signs of merriment. She doubled over, hiding her face and clutching her belly. Laughter really was the best medicine.

Yes, he had the good life. Granted some people might have thought that he went down to his hometown in Ukwuda to settle – ‘settle’ being the operative word – but mostly they were people who had had a humour bypass. Dr Ani didn’t bother telling them that the bigwigs in the posh Lagos hospital had realised his potential so much that no sooner than the research on laughter appeared in the Journal of Medicine  than he was being given the biggest send forth party to go and practice the medicine he loved as a big man among the grassroots. (It was exactly the same thing he had been preaching for years! Fine, it was all put in fancy language like endorphins and such, but it was essentially the same. He could have written that paper with his eyes closed, if he weren’t so busy with the actual business of healing people, rather than sitting on his backside tickling patients with a palm frond and gauging their reactions. Honestly, the things people got paid to do)

People had cheered his move up the ladder and his fiancée, Nurse Eunice, popularly called ‘EU’ by her friends had wept openly with emotion. She was so overwhelmed by the honour. He had heard her best friend whisper to her during the party ‘It’s not too late, you know’ and knew that his wife was worried about the party running late. He knew her so well.  He gave his guest of honour speech, cracked a few jokes and dragged his Eunice away from the party. Her best friend had clung to her until he had separated them, joking to make it less painful “Eh! Gladys, this way you are clinging to my wife, do you want to marry her? So because nobody is asking about your wares you want to turn to woman lover?” His casual reference to her spinster status and taboo lesbianism caused a few gasps. Gladys looked livid, but sure enough the laughter started up almost immediately, led by the Chief of Medicine who seemed to be spurring people on with his hands. Ah, the good old chief was always one of the fastest minds and bravest souls. After all, it was he who recommended Dr Ani for their most remote location, where people were so poor they couldn’t pay and medicine was largely unexplored. People would be more receptive to his style of medicine, not like Lagos where they were so full of themselves and how much money they had that they couldn’t laugh at their ridiculous ailments. It’s not as if it was life and death, most rich people only had imaginary ailments. And so what if it was? Some deaths were funny, especially when people farted or shat themselves as they died. Continue reading Forgotten story: ‘The Jester’

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This is NOT a post about Flavour N’abania

Well. That’s a change right?

No, this post is about one of those P-Square twins. I asked on Twitter and it seems the one I dreamt about day before yesterday night was Peter. Peter Okoye.

This one:

 Why was I dreaming about him? I’m glad you asked because I have NO IDEA.

No, shut up, I am not that shallow. 

In fact before I had the dream, I didn’t know he looked like this. Or which one he was. Or that he looked like this.

I didn’t really care about their music, didn’t get the hype…well, I like that ‘She’s on Fire’ song but I don’t particularly care for the newest one. Basically normal everyday stuff.

But then I had the dream…oh boy!…talk about drama. We were together and there was beef from some girl and there was a whole lot of driving around trying to escape this girl and then it turned into trying to protect my family from this mad girl and then I was married so we had to hide….look the details are unimportant, even if the love I felt for the P-Square character ‘burned’ like a urinary tract infection (If you haven’t been pregnant yet, just you wait) before antibiotics. 

(Come to think of it, I did wake up with that too-full bladder feeling so maybe it was that as opposed to undying love).

The point is, if you know him, or know someone who knows him or his brother/sister/grandmother/maiguard, please tell him to contact me. I want to know if he had the same dream, if our paths are to collide somehow and how to Flash Forwardly prevent what happened in that dream from occurring.

If however this is one of those Igbo dreams  – like if you dream someone is dead it means they are going to live until they turn to dust on their feet – then please he should stay on his own side of the fence. Igbo chis are tricky.

Last thing I need is for one of my sisters to introduce him as her intended. There is no Igbo way of telling someone you’ve seen their fiance naked. Even if it was just in a dream.

Been around the world and ay ay ay…

…Can’t find time to do a proper post. I have a lot of half-finished stories but it seems 24 hours is hardly enough for all the things I need to do. Sometimes I wonder if I am trying to do too much, caring for Tot full-time and writing…

…Then I remember I haven’t won the Caine Prize, I have no published novels and I shit my mouth!

The point is, thank you for being so patient and I will be around a lot more.

Enfield

My Nigeria trip has been postponed so I did the next best thing – I went to Enfield in North London (actually Middlesex) for the weekend.

image
Enfield from the front door.

Ah! Enfield. I spent two years after my MA living and working here and came to the conclusion that: 1)This has got to be the biggest Igbo community in London and 2) My God, are they Igbo.

This is the place that gave me Liyonard after all.

The minute I got off the bus, I could feel my steps become decidedly ijele-ish, swaying in that heavy-bottomed way that tells the story of offspring, much in the same way the male of the species pisses over territory.  I didn’t mean to, it just happened. I thought I had escaped ‘the pullover’ as I got to my destination but within a few minutes of introductions, someone had called me ‘Nwa Baby’ and they weren’t Flavour N’abania.

Even Tot is in heaven, turning his head this way and that like an nkakwu discovering new nuts as accents fly at him from every direction.

In true Igbo fashion I’ve been co-opted to cook a meal for my cousin’s thing, so I have to go now. I hope I haven’t been too ‘rambly’ and I pray something blogworthy happens at that event today.

Don’t you?

Wishes, Horses.

“Excuse, lady?”

“Yes?” Blue parka. Headscarf. Ankle-grazing skirt. A flash of sunlight in an outstretched palm.

“You want to buy some gold? I give you cheap.”

“No thank you, I don’t really wear gold.”

“Excuse me lady, one pound…”

“No, thank you.” Green light.

“You give me one pound…”

Wheels rolling. A swell of abdomen. An obstacle.

“You. Give. One. Pound. For. Baby. My baby.”