Saturday, May 19, 2007


This here is one of the posts where I get to 'feature myself' (By this I mean, write about a real experience I had).
It's an odd one, sha (but I'll leave you to be the judge of that)

It was a Wednesday afternoon and we had arrived at our destination, dusty and a bit hungry. I was in … a mood (I wasn’t depressed or weepy, I was just sad in this sluggish way… or maybe I was depressed…)
There was nothing that’d make me smile -not even food- but I got out of the car, and alongside my mother and Big sis, we headed for the modest eatery, where I was to laugh uncontrollably for many minutes… and even now, as I recall the incident.

We surveyed the place. Not too bad, I thought. Definitely better than the place we went to the last time we came here. Memories of smelly tables and what-nots glided through my sad-at-the-moment mind.
I noticed a shabby looking man by the entrance of the eatery as I was getting seated, but I didn’t observe him like Sherlock Holmes would have. The man glanced about and left, bored with what he had seen (so you see, there really wasn’t much to observe).

Images of Shabby Man were discarded as the meal was brought. Not too bad, I thought, idly remembering a neat-freak woman from a film who took out a wad of tissue paper from her designer purse in a classy restaurant to sterilize her cutlery.
I ate slowly (not necessarily because I was sad; I eat slowly, I’m told). My big sis was doing her regular ‘efficient’ eating – cutting good bits and eating rapidly. (I tried to emulate her style of eating once but I got tired after a while). Mama was eating at a casual pace, so naturally, Big sis finished first, followed by Mama, and then me. (Once again, not because I was slow; the meat was the tough issue. It’d have been easier to pick it up with a fork, and not with the spoon I’d been given, but I was too tired to ask for that, so I kept at it).
Suddenly, Shabby Man came back and stared at us hard. I was too dull to be worried. Then with three long strides he made it to our table and just grabbed the meat that Mama left untouched. One, two, he swallowed it and was gone. The funny thing was that Mama didn’t even bat an eye. I was stunned, and Big sis just kept staring at the now-meatless plate in shock, irritation, a bit of horror, humour, and… something else I couldn’t pick. The rest of the clientele saw the exchange from plate to palate but didn’t say one word. This struck me as odd. I began to laugh as my mind played over the scene.

“Kai!! Peter! Ka dena wannan hali mana!!” (“Peter, stop this habit now!”) the ladies in charge of the eatery yelled almost immediately. Hm... so obviously, Peter, the Mad Man, was an odd sort of regular.
I was still trying to whip up a composed face when Peter showed up again. This time I knew where he was headed… my plate. I had long since yafe’d my meat as lost cause; I really didn’t need the stress.
He came along and snatched the meat and gobbled it up before the ladies could say "Peter!" My Big sis (could-her-eyes-get-any-bigger) was stunned part two, and I suddenly couldn’t see the humour again. (Ooh! I was just getting happy!)
I looked around self-consciously, as though I was ashamed of the part I played in having a plate in front of me. What I observed made me laugh. The customers were silently chewing their food, glancing at the man, and glancing at us with this Ya labai, ka gani abin da na gani kuwa? (Bros, did you see what I just saw?) expression.

“Amma you had finished your meal, ko?” Mama asked, to which I said yes.
“Then let’s go” she said, still looking unfazed and all. Big sis? Well her eyes were still saucer-like, but she was recovering.

Me? I’m still cracking.