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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Shoprite Bread


I woke up that morning around 7:15 as usual. I stopped the alarm and went back to sleep. The sleep string had been cut though. My head came out from my wrapper. 7: 16 a.m. I mentally go through my day. I had to be at Lere soon. I grabbed the phone and checked for messages. Dropped it and checked other phone, glance through e-mails, IMs. Delete. Delete. Deleting the NEWS subscription e-mails. I wish they sent the gist instead of links. Boy was too lazy for clicking. I put phone down and start my usual 7-10 seconds of Morning Prayer. One day, I will pray like my Mom. Amen.
My phone rings at that moment. I look at the caller ID and ignore it. I finish my prayer and get up slowly, pull on a pair of shorts and called the number back.
Me: Morning, where you dey?
Caller: I just dey comot for house. You?
Me: I won dey comot now now.
Caller: Ok, movement.
Me: Movement.
I open my twitter and post ‘movement...#legalizeIT’. Just then my stomach growled. This is the first warning.  Hunger sucks. After what I ate last night? I open the windows, doors and gate. Fan the curtain out and quickly sneaked out before mumsi came out from the (intended) noise I had caused.
I hooked up with Seed at our usual spot.
Seed: Menh. There’s this new stuff. It’s very very good. And stupidly expensive.
Me: Seen, where you get am?
Seed: Na my guy tell me about am. I get small from am. Make we light up.
I had heard of many ‘stuffs’ that are the best. Never hurt to find the true Neo. I squashed some and rolled it. It smelt good. To the point (whatever this could mean). I like that.
*stomach growl*
Seed: Hunger dey wack me this momo self.
Me: You know, some kind shoprite bread on my mind.
 ‘LegalizeIT’.
‘LegalizeIT’ he replied.
I pressed the lighter and the flame popped out. I moved it to my rolled up blunt and took a drag.....
I took a good long look at Seed and asked him
‘But guy, why you call yourself Seed, and you tall. You be baby iroko?’
Seed looked at me and laughed long. ‘See? I tell you say stuff dey alright’.
Me: Well, I would say it’s just there.
Seed: All join. Admit jare. Of which, that babe come yesterday.  She dey come over today
Me: Oshey!!! Easy on her o. I know say baba ti kun (body is full)
‘Na the way now’
His phone rings and he had to leave, so we both leave. I got home and got my bath ready, spent time on twitter in a lovely buzzed state. I took a look at the time. I was late already. I had not eaten. I got to my bus stop and to my disappointment, there was no bus. This would mean taking the bike route to Lere. I groaned at the cost implication and rebuked myself for not leaving since.
“If only I could get a bus”, I wished in my green state
Just like that, three buses rushed from the bend screaming at the top of their hoarse voices;
‘anthony town planning oshodi oke/new garage, gbagada Anthony oshodi oke/oshodi isale Anthony’
Nice!!!!
I smile(well I am smiling) as I looked for the one that looked like it would leave soon. These bus drivers if given the choice would go to bus stop, pick passengers and gladly go and pick the last seat (person) at the persons house. I sat down and first thing I noticed is an Imam sitting in front of me. I enter an absent sober mood and ignored all around. The bus moved and I heard ‘Jesu’, the bus had almost entered the path of a tanker coming from behind. I thanked God for the protection inwardly and turned to look back at my phone when I noticed people staring in my direction. I look up. They were all staring with mocking looks at the Imam in front of me. Just as I wondered what happened, the girl beside me retorted in a mocking tone
‘Shebi Imam le pe rayin, hmmm, Olorun ni kan lo mo eni to n si o’
(But you called yourself an Imam, hmmm, only God knows who really worships Him).

It dawned on me that the imam was the one who shouted ‘Jesu’... oops... I couldn’t laugh out loud like I’m sure the girl beside me and some others would have loved to.  We soon move and then conductor goes
‘Owo da ni wa ju. E jo mi o ni change o’.
(Money from the front. Please I don’t have change)

I give him five hundred naira and indicated I was going to town planning oke. He grumbled and I ignored him. I begin running mentally, stages of my day.
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I alighted at my bus stop and proceed to join the BRT along Ikorodu road. I get there and first of all, whoever was selling ticket decided to not come. Now I had to cross to the other side to buy tickets. I remember when I was arrested for crossing Ikorodu road during A- levels. Once beaten, second time will use pedestrian bridge. I got to the top and looked down. First thing that went through my mind is...
Me: Superman na bad guy o. Imagine say you jump now from this bridge and you call am. He go reach here catch you.
Me again: But but you know say for naija, anything wey fly na witch. They go stone am, catch am, burn am.
Me: Ehn but but he is a bad guy(strong) now. Except the mob get kryptonite, they no go fit touch am.
Me again: They tell you say we no get krptonite for naija ni, dey dere dey dull.
Me: Oh, really? We get?
Me again: HOW? I no know now. How I won take know.
This convo plays in my head till I climb down the other edge of the bridge (there is nothing wrong with talking back to the voices in your head so far you know they are voices). There’s no zebra crossing. You will be shocked the things you notice when you are on the high way. I select the best time to cross. And suddenly from nowhere, a power bike comes into view. I skilfully do a side step with a back jerk. Unfortunately, a BMW was coming. ‘No, I will not be your wife’ I say as I do a fast moonwalk back to the curb. I’ve got a little audience at this point so as an agama lizard would - I bowed to the homeless guy, the rams walking about and nobody else while thanking them earnestly for coming out to see me- I buy my BRT ticket and cross back. The first BRT bus comes and I think in my present status, I won’t mind a nice seat instead of standing after paying N120. So I wait for the next one. And the next. And the next. And the next. I finally tire of waiting and enter the next one. At least, there were few ‘standings
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    ‘Oga no dey?’ I ask disappointed.        
‘E no dey o, you no dey with key’
I hadn’t taken the key the previous day. Bro said he would be home so I saw no need to. Now, I couldn’t enter. I couldn’t leave for his office on the island so I decided to head back home. But I was hungry, and had been looking forward to hot shoprite bread. So I made my way there, and got on queue. No sooner than I had taken my spot when two guys walk up to me,
‘Bros how many you won buy’
I reply without looking away from the three girls buying food: ‘Four’
This brought a pause, I sigh and ask ‘Wetin happen’,
The short one squints(o_O) his eye and asks ‘how you won do am?’
‘You go help me carry one’
Knowing that was exactly what he wanted me to do (when there is a long queue, shoprite rations its bread to two per person), they both walk away.
Hustle is real.
Buy shoprite bread two hundred and something and sell in traffic for 400-500 box. This people were genius. I look to see the three girls in front but they had already gone. Watching bread you want to eat get baked isn’t the best thing when having munchies. Wickedly wicked!!! I start to contemplate that I would launch the bread as I got it. Eventually, after waiting for the bread to be planted, watered, grown, and harvested. I finally got my two and gave the guys one with a smile. They holad ‘nice one bros, God bless you’, I reply ‘God bless our hustle’ and walk to pay. Shoprite needs an express lane please. Of which Gbagada needs its shoprite. Even if it’s just the bakery. We(I) won’t mind. I rush out fuelled by the hunger and attempt to dig into the bread. The look on the security man and the parked bike gave me second thoughts. Should I go back inside and eat at the food court. I can chill at that shawarma place. I bone the idea and start my way back home.
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Bike man: You be student or you dey work?
I reason I should tell him I’m a student so he won’t have ‘gist’ to yarn with me when he goes
‘Good, make I ask you one riddle.
In the morning, I crawl, in the afternoon, I don’t know what I’m doing, in the evening, I am just useless, and at night, I’m fast’.
It took me less than 3 seconds to say sarcastically ‘MTN abi’?
He goes ‘Ahhh, you no book o, make I ask another one,
We are three and we are orange, two of me is in the great goat. If you remove the last and add a guitar. I become someone.
‘You are GTB, then with the guitar, you become GT the Guitar man’.
His grunts shows approval of my answer. He dropped me at Yaba and doesn’t allow me pay. I thank him and karma and make my way to take a bus to Bariga. We get to that four way junction on Herbert Macaulay and that’s when I was sure people were looking at me. I looked around and see/saw that my bread was the source. Hmmm. You know how lovely shoprite bread smells, now imagine, rushing to work probably without breakfast and you in a tight position with such. I didn’t like the look of the people on the bread and jejeli said ‘conductor abeg I won drop’
‘For where, we never reach anywhere now’
The looks I (the bread) started to get at this point was beginning to make me feel like this niggas are about to pounce this bread. Or was it just me being paranoid. I decided to sit back and instead look for trouble. So I dipped my hand inside the nylon and tore the bread.
Open olfactory sesame!!!
I could ‘hear’ peoples taste buds open and begin to salivate. Just as I was going to connect bread with mouth, the person beside me (maybe intentionally) chose that moment to move his hand and hits the bread out of my hand.
I turn to look at him like ‘dude!!!!!!!!!!’ but he is oblivious to the act and readjusts his headphones. It’s like no one saw this happened. I bone, send my hand in again. I tear a bigger chunk this time. Felt good. Just as I was to connect bread to mouth again, the driver suddenly stops. I lunge forward, desperately holding unto the bread. Good!! I made it. Just as I was going to steady myself. The driver jerks forward and then sideways.
Noooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I lost this chunk too. Wtf is going on??!
I shout at him to be easy ‘abeg chairman easy o... na people you carry o. No be goat’. He looks sideways at me and gives me the eye. I stare back at him and look away. I chuck the rest of the bread away nicely. Something was wrong with the universe at the moment. Would wait for her to cool down.
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I get home, meet mom in the kitchen and she goes  
You have plenty money o, Omo Dangote. Why would you leave Oworo to which shoprite did you go to buy bread, don’t (collects bread) we (grabs knife) have (brings bread out) ahn ahn you have started eating it? Don’t we (cuts bread) have bread in Oworo’.
The bread is now ¾ gone, I’m still hungry. I look at momsi, (take her to the place I shout at her in my head) and just keep quiet. I cover the bread and go to change in my room. I take one look at my laptop and sit to do something. I really don’t know what. I finish and move to the kitchen to eat. There is someone in the kitchen. Shit! Lil Bro is still around? I enter the kitchen to see him munching the bread and he’s just about to put the last bite of bread into his mouth.
Me: Stop! Stop! Stop! (Looks at nylon), na the last bread be this?
Lil bro: Yeah, what’s up?
                                                                              Me: I never chow now                                   
Lil Bro: Ehen, momsi said you started eating it on the way
Me: That was the hungry plan but stuff kept happening jare.
Me:  Is (stretches hand to collect last morsel of bread) there any (I retrieve hand to mouth) other (slowly looking around for the next thing that would happen) chow at home (touch down).
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I pause, look at my hand and what I held there. Seed turns to look at me asking ‘wetin happen’.
I exhale the first drag and just smile. ‘GOOD STUFF’
I think about MM next before taking the second drag.
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