That afternoon, as I prepared my meal, I felt really mischievous.
Maybe I should have stuck to my tradition and just prepare my Eba,
But the thought of what my friend, Femi, told me the day before still rang in my mind.
Femi told me that he ate a plate of beans that one of his other friends had cooked with Indian hemp and nothing happened to him. He said he never even felt sluggish or goofy like some people had said ‘Igbo’ use to make somebody feel.
As I transferred the hot water from the kettle into the bowl I wanted to use in preparing the Eba, the cleanliness and the purity of the water struck me so much that it reminded me of something – My father’s Seaman’s Aromatic schnapps.
Suddenly a thought struck my mind;
I felt that if Femi could eat a plate of beans that had ‘Igbo’ in it and nothing happened to him I could also do this and show to him that I was better than him.
I dropped the kettle and made for the refrigerator.
I returned with one of my father’s bottle of schnapps and since no one was in the house with me I had the liberty to do as I pleased.
I uncorked the bottle of schnapps and turned nearly half of the contents into the kettle,
I also poured the water in the bowl back into the kettle and returned the kettle to the stove.
Five minutes later the water boiled again.
As I poured the water inside the bowl the heat stung my eyes.
Stupid me; all I had on my mind was just to break Femi’s record; it never occurred to me that I was dancing at the edge of a very big wahala.
After preparing the Eba I warmed the draw soup, adding a little quantity of schnapps to it tastier as it warmed on the fire.
Two minutes later my food was ready, and as I carried the food to the dining table Femi my friend walked in.
He saw what I carried and without invitation he washed his hands and joined me as I balanced gingerly in front of the bowl of Eba that would have fed four able bodied men successfully.
To be honest with you the first okele tasted awful,
It had a sharp taste like an over-fermented garri in a bowl of cold water.
It nearly peeled off the skin of my tongue.
I shrugged what I felt off when I saw the way Femi my friend consumed the Eba in huge lumps.
Between mouthfuls he kept saying “Omo ounje yii dun gan-an o, ahan ta lo se na?!”
After a couple of ‘okele’ I started to feel funny,
I felt as if I was being lifted off the grounds by some unseen hands.
I looked around me, really scared, but I discovered that I was still sitting on the dining chair and Femi was still in front of me eating Eba like a crazy man running after a lover.
I kept on eating, trying to keep up pace with the rate at which Femi was consuming my Eba.
Suddenly I started to feel hot sweating from deep within,
My right hand, the one I was using to lift the Eba to my mouth, started to feel very heavy.
As I tried to lift the hand from the table I began to feel funny again.
I had to support the hand with my other hand before I could lift it to my mouth.
I looked around the house and it felt like I was in a circus because everything had begun to spin round and round.
I felt so hot that I decided to pull my cloths.
I did not bother to rinse my draw-soup stained hand; I just wiped it on my tee shirt and began to pull at my top.
I pulled off my tee shirt yet I did not feel better, instead I felt hotter.
I was even beginning to sweat. Hmm!
I pulled off my singlet, still the same issue.
I pulled off my trousers and had only my boxer shorts left, yet I felt the same way – very hot!!
I looked up only to see Femi my friend jogging round our dining table.
When I asked him what he was doing, he said he was preparing to go and compete against Michael Johnson at the Olympics and so he needed to prepare very well.
To me it felt like a good idea, if he was contesting against Michael Johnson, I could contest against Donovan Bailey.
I joined him and we began to jog round the dining table.
He; completely clothed, me; almost completely naked. Both of us jogged round the dining table like two complete idiots.
As we jogged round the dining table I felt much lighter, light enough to fly.
I really felt like flying.
I told him I had an idea –
And this was my idea.
Before we go ahead to contest against Michael Johnson and Donovan Bailey we should practice flying so that when they are about to dust us on the tracks we will jump up and begin to fly like birds towards the finishing line.
He agreed without question and we both stepped out of our living room to the balcony,
Sorry I forgot to tell you that we live on the mid-floor of a two storey building.
As we stepped onto the balcony we began to argue about who would fly first.
My argument was that ‘it was me who brought the idea, so I should be the first to fly’,
His argument was that he was older, and that older ones do things first and younger ones follow.
We were still arguing when we walked towards the railing guarding the balcony of our mid-floor flat.
Before I could say ‘JOHN BULL’ Femi rushed towards the railings, climbed over it and jumped.
He jumped with his hands spread out like someone shouting ‘Halleluyah’.
He even shouted ‘aaaaahhhh!!!!’ as he jumped.
Don’t ask me if this is true or not o, because it is.
As Femi landed on the ground floor he crumpled like a pack of cards and let out a huge yelp, changing his tune from “aaaaahhhh!!!!!” to “Yeeeee!! Mogbe o! Ori mi o! Ese mi o!!”
When I looked over the railings and saw him sprawled on the ground I change my mind.
I no longer felt like flying. Now I felt like urinating
I walked into the toilet to urinate.
One look at the WC with the clean water in it, I change my mind. That place was just too clean to be defiled.
I walked out still looking for where to wee-wee.
The only direction my legs walked was that of the kitchen.
As I got into the kitchen I sighted the oven and another thought crossed my mind.
How would my urine feel if it was boiled?
I opened the oven and pulled out my test tube relieving myself inside.
I closed the oven and forgot to warm my urine as I earlier planned,
My mind was already on another adventure.
By now I was no longer seeing well again – everything had become blurry and I was getting real tired. Also I was beginning to feel like emptying my bowels.
As I tried to step out of the sitting room to the balcony again my father walked in.
Let me not lie to you, at the point when he walked in I never knew it was my father who walked in, I only thought it was one of my younger ones who had walked in.
I got really angry that he stood in my way as I tried to step out.
He must have said something because I saw his lips move but then I could not remember if he actually spoke then or it may be my mind played tricks on me.
“Gerrout jare!” I said “Shey o ri wipe mo fe koja ni?” I pushed him out of the way intending to step out onto the balcony.
I do not know what spurred his next reaction, whether it was my half naked body or the way I pushed him roughly out of the way,
I only remembered that before I could take another step further one very hot slap landed on my face from behind,
Shey you know that kind of slap that your parents dash you from behind, the kind of slap that covers half of your face and one full ear from behind?
Before I could blink twice another one landed right on the same spot where the first one landed.
Honestly, before God and man, the second slap cleared my face and the ogogoro induced trance wiped off immediately.
Ol boy! That day was the worse in my life; the trashing I received was more than the number of ‘okeles’ Femi and I put together ate.
I was beaten so much that my buttocks peeled off like the shell of a boiled egg. Did I tell you one of us poopoo-ed in the pot of soup? Don’t ask me who did it, even I don’t know. I sha know that one of us did.
As for Femi, he broke a leg that took over six months to heal and even with the broken leg we still perpetrated another act.
Anyway that is a story for another day.
Me nko? The next time my father brought out his bottle of schnapps I took to my heels like a mad man.
Abi who wan enter yawa the second time?