This incident actually occurred several months ago. I have not had chance to narrate the story ever since. Even now, I still do not have the luxury to compose a very befitting story about it. Nevertheless, since the the matter was aroused again while chatting with some friends last evening, I shall narrate it for fun. These days, I cannot explain why I’m prompted to write at every slight provocation. So, join me in prayer to have this overwhelming urge to write subdued o. Otherwise…ah!
We all stood at the entrance of his office, laughing and chatting. We were not talking about anything serious. It was the usual blattering of Nigerian undergraduates, especially now that we had a recess from the monotonous lectures; lectures that would make you wonder what relevance they had with our everyday lives.
By the way, I feel Nigerian universities have always loved to attend to mere rashes, having the more deadly leprosy neglected. We tend to obfuscate ourselves with many theories and laws we never get to put into practice. We learn and memorise several formulae that we never get to apply to improve our technology or enrich our lives. It makes me want to weep. However, that’s a story for another day entirely. Eni ki n se ojo oro. Back to the story.
We were expecting this young man to attend to us. All we needed were ceremonial gowns we would be putting on the next day for a special function. The gowns were kept in his custody, and we were to enter his office, collect them and append our signatures. Of course we had lined up at the entrance, so we could go in one after the other. A lady was immediately behind me.
As more people got in, those left on the queue began to defy the orderly protocol. If you were smart enough, you could get in before the person ahead of you. I was ready to take my time anyway. I wouldn’t join the bandwagon in the mad rush. So, I was patiently waiting for my turn, unruffled with the kerfuffles. Actually, it was a stupid thing that I didn’t join them. The lady behind me made me realise that soon enough. She just suddenly whisked past me and entered the office with such agility that left my mouth open in awe. How I was dense! She outwitted me, as old as I was. Just like that. Pfff! But I was glad notwithstanding, so glad. I had heeded to the words of Rudyard Kipling: I had kept my head while all others about me were losing theirs.
I thought that was all. When she came out, I wanted to throw a satire at her, to make it appear as though I wasn’t offended and, as well, make her know it was not a very good thing she did. Therefore, I cleared my throat offensively as she came out, drawing her attention.
” Sister, you are pretty fast,” I said calmly, hoping she would apologize and give some explanation for that brazen act.
To my dismay, the lady smiled seductively and responded, “Thanks a lot, bro.”
I was taken aback by her reply. The problem was: I said, “Sister, you are pretty fast.” But she actually heard, “Sister, you are pretty.” She didn’t hear the ‘fast’ that ended my statement and bore the bulk of my satire. Goodness gracious! It wasn’t funny, but people around there were already laughing raucously. The worst of it all was that the lady left immediately, giving me no chance to reiterate what I actually meant. The lady must have gone to the hostel that day a happy person, thinking she had got yet another admirer.
It grieved me, but not much. After all, she was somewhat pretty. Altogether, to forestall future occurrence of such misconception, I shall be more careful in my choice of words henceforth, especially while speaking to ladies and the need arises to use the word “pretty”.
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