Cash Flow

He: male and female.

One thing about the average person- he is an expert manipulator. He knows how to play on your defenses whether he is a stranger or a friend. He knows all your pushbuttons, totori-ing you like he wrote the manufacturer’s instructions as God fashioned you.

And you stupidly fall for it. Again. And again.

He can disappear for eons and waltz💃🏽 back into your life like young Evita. And like the darling he knows you to be, you’d envelop him in a bear hug. Your mistake, he just stabbed you in the back.

What blade do you prefer?

I’m talking about that lover of yours who knows how to coil you expertly around his pinky finger. That boss that can make you work through the weekend, the parent that bo-bos you into those things you’d never do. The friend that is an epitome of leeches.

I’m talking about that person that borrows money from you and ghosts.

How do they do that? I mean, how do you play on someone else’s emotions knowing fully well the other party is as innocent as daylight? And they sleep well at night? Like no nightmares, or guardian angels telling them to right their wrongs with intermittent whipping?

Yes, the world is full of good and bad folks but how does the good person wake up and say, I’m gonna be bad today? Oh well, let’s examine how they subtly do that.

Business proposals. There is always a new business idea that needs your financial backing. It is my friendship duty to give business showers, I know, but I didn’t ask you to birth a new idea every month! Have you thought of my own expenses? Of the business I still dream about dreaming about starting?

But after the cash has crawled from your account and flown into his, you never see the business grow.

You: yo, bruh, how’s the business going?

Friend: nna mehn, that idea no make o.

Ouch, seventy grand gone. There lies your forex investment. Uh, how do you ask for a refund?

Stranded. If they are not in the middle of Highway 72 (did you ask them how they got there?), then it’s the cotton field you never knew existed. And you, on the other hand, are on the flip side of the continent. If I had to get Search And Rescue for you, please make it once in forever, thank you.

Friend: Oga mi, how far na? You fit send me something, I dey trek Lagos-Benin road right now.

You: really🙄

Studenthood. They are the reason why the general conception is that students are always boxed up. Because they have the whole world sending them money. I have been a student all my life, and never lived that life😔.

Student: Daddy, my lecturer said we must buy his textbook if not we’ll not be able to attend his classes. And if I don’t attend, I won’t learn and that part of my fees will be wasted, and then I’ll not be able to write the exam because I won’t have made the required attendance. And if that happens daddy, I’ll fail his course and have to take it next semester and you know what that means, daddy. And daddy, I’m the only person that has not bought the textbook (insert sobs).

Dad: how much is the textbook?

Do you know how many times your child did this to you, will do it to you? Can you count how many times you did that to your parents and siblings?

Heartless. These guys did not come to earth with a heart. If you’ve not had an experience, ask Mr. West for his gist. Someone told me he lost his dad and things were tight, could I help? Oh sure! A while later, he calls saying his dad fell ill. And you think I wouldn’t remember? I do some amateur PI, gisting with the brother who says his papa is as fit as the rock.

I sent my prayers.

How do the living become dead to you so you could extort money? How?

And to top it all, the smooth-talkers. They are like fine wine, running over your tongue. And just like fine wine, you swallow the lies with relish. Especially that sweet part, “I’ll pay you back latest 12:00, Monday.” Stupid you, which Monday do you think he’s talking about? The last Monday in 3057 just so you know.

But you reading this, are you the perpetrator or the victim? Either way, don’t think too much, just enjoy the doughnuts.

Your sweet doughnuts,

Scribbles.

Happy Bite

One rare day, I found myself in the comfort of a somewhat plush restaurant. Not dressed up as you might expect, but more because I wanted to take myself out and have a pretty pricey meal. As a caterer, I have it tough enjoying the meals of others without comparing them to mine. But it’s no biggie as mine is always better😉.

I had a delightful friend join me while I enjoyed a hot plate of amazing food. The restaurant was cozy and it was dark when I felt I should leave. On exiting the restaurant, I walked into rain.

“It has been raining?”, I thought to myself, “how come I didn’t notice?”

On the drive home, I reflected and deduced that I didn’t notice because I was sheltered.

Many of us live sheltered lives. We have roofs over our heads and double paneled doors that keep out the rain. We have online platforms to order our groceries, we have drivers to take us around. And we live that way without thinking that there are many too that cannot boast of what we have.

I stepped into the downpour and the first drops erased all the coziness I’d enjoyed. It was a sting. I noticed people taking shelter where they could, yet there were others who had to keep going. Our comfort can change in a split second, without permission too😪.

As you live in some measure of comfort, there’s someone close by who struggles under harsher conditions to get through life. We are sheltered from pain, hunger, poverty. We only know of kwashiorkor from Basic Science textbooks, of struggle from Roots, of oppression from Auschwitz, of war from Aljazeera.

I am not downplaying the efforts we’ve put in to be where we are now- there are many success stories, I am just saying that in our privileged position, we should not be condescending to others. It’s easy to forget how you suffered once things change for better but how many of us are willing to change the stories of others? How many will give the other person his ticket to freedom or success?

If you won’t offer a ride, at least give an umbrella💁🏽‍♀️.

We see some heartbreaking pictures of hungry children in war-torn countries and we go: “oh my god, that’s so sad 😔” but when a non-profit organization asks for a donation to help alleviate poverty somewhere, to send relief items or send some children to school, we simply scroll past.

Don’t feel bad, I’m guilty too😔.

I enjoin us, beautiful people to, in our own little way, deliberately help others. Make someone smile, it’s your contribution to the betterment of humanity. The movie, A Private War is an eye-opener to how we can help, to save humanity, to cast aside our self-centeredness and, as the good book put it, prefer one another.

There’s so much to be done. Our motto now should be, “Bring it on, nothing can stop me.”

So to do that, K’nifies Munchies will not mind taking orders from you if you know of people you’d like to bless with baskets of food 🍕. In the end, what am I here for?

Your sweet pasta,

Scribbles

The Nuances of Preparedness

The water cycle was completed hence, the clouds were pregnant with rain 🌂 . As an ordained Pastor, he could not afford to be languorous on a Sunday so he donned an immaculately laundered pinstriped suit and set on his way. It was going to be a long and risky journey as the gutters were spilling over their banks rubbish gathered since the last downpour and murky water.

Thirty minutes later, he arrived at the church hoping to dash in and have a hot cup of tea but a bleak building welcomed him. The compound was getting flooded as the skies poured more than the earth could absorb. There was no sign of life. He called the janitor who replied somnolently that he was home. The pastor got the hint his apathetic janitor was not willing to brave the rain.

He fondled for the church keys checking his eclectic bunch and was appalled that the church keys were missing. Where could they be? he thought. He called another trusted worker with access to the church. He too was home, besides plying the route to his house would mean getting an overdraft for car repairs.

He held his head, downcast. Mr. Pastor had remembered that morning to add the church keys to his bunch as he knew his janitor was not reliable. But why didn’t he? How could he bank on his janitor to be present as the uncommitted person he was? How could he have been so trusting? Other members had started arriving, taking shelter in the few available spaces, all locked out. The pastor, disappointed, had to get creative with opening up the door.

Continue reading “The Nuances of Preparedness”

Don’t Make Her do That

This week kicked off not too badly: I turned out a delicious batch of yummy crusted edges vanilla cupcakes, courtesy K’nifies Munchies😋. Noon got me high up beneath the sun, walking to my rented but not paid for shop front. I’ll be calling my Landlady, KC henceforth.

KC was so sweet, she obliged to help me take out my one month old plaits. I had to refrain from keeping them an extra month before y’all start wondering why the hair has molds. About three hours into the unweaving of my hair, this tall slender fair skinned beauty walks in. She would be a head turner, really. Her clear even spaced eyes and pert nose were enthralling but they were no match for her lips, full and naturally lined with the most beautiful dentition I’ve ever seen, honest. Her voice was now the killer. It was musical, to say the least, like an out of tune instrument.

We ladies spoke extensively. She’d lost her father last month and was recounting how he died while welcoming his grandchildren from a trip and eating his garri and vegetable soup. He was found with his head buried in his food 😔.

The conversation was engrossing till she got a phone call from a guy. First few words and I could tell the guy was a thorn in her flesh. “Where are you, where are you?”, he repeatedly asked, “I’m at your sister’s place now. I want to see you”. The even teethed lady held her peace, giving the evasive answers of women who’d rather not hold that conversation. My question is this: don’t the men have antennae that receive those “I don’t want to talk to you” signals? Guys, please, they are highly affordable and once installed, will save a lot of time and airtime. It will be a good investment, like this cryptocurrency thing, to get one.

An advantage of this antenna is that it can measure the building frustration of the lady in question by looking out for monosyllabic answers “no”, “yes”, “okay”, etc, hesitation before a reply (she’s inhaling more patience from the patience snuff box, trust me), and the imaginative eye roll. When you think she did, she did. All these go to tell you that she’s not into you at all or she’d rather talk later.

Well, the above indicators are all within the socially acceptable range but when she starts to cook up fibs, your emergency lights should come on. And that is the time to make the emergency exit from her life.

To the persistent demand for her whereabouts, this grieving daughter said, “I’m in church. You know we’re still having evening prayers in church.”

Don’t make her do that!!

How could you?! How possibly unlikeable are you that one has to lie to get off your back? And the pesterer said, “Where is your church? Let me come and see you.”🤦🏽 Oga, what is your emergency? She got so pissed she hung up on him and told us how he calls at odd hours of the day, 1:00am! He actually imagines she’d pick up and say heartily, “Oh my Romeo, I’ve been up all night waiting for your call🙄.”

Maybe we forgot to add it but this too must stop in 2019! You can already tell if she doesn’t like you. Don’t deceive yourself that it is shakara, it’s not. I didn’t hold it against her for lying, heck, if it was me, I might have told him something else but not church. This man pushed her to the extreme. She must have felt that using the church will let him say something like, “oya, when you’re done, let me know”, and leave her be. Oh well🤷🏽.

Did I mention that the antenna does self evaluation as well? It can tell when you’re becoming annoyingly persistent. It also shows you when is the best time for best reception. The antenna increases your sensitivity so it is easier to draw inferences from things you’d otherwise ignore.

I hope this broda quickly installs his antenna so he’ll be better guided with his besotted. And I hope you, yes you reading this, install yours.

Disclaimer: this antenna is also available to the female folk.

Your Sweet Cupcakes,

Scribbles

The Greatest Con

Have you ever been conned by a business person? I mean the “What I ordered vs what I got” scenario? I’m glad you’re here. It’s high time we called them out on it.

I’d love you to share your experience with me. I’ve had quite a few myself. One time, a senior colleague of mine wanted to host a few friends. She’d contracted a caterer to take care of the meal. The rendezvous was smooth until it was break time and Madam Caterer was nowhere to be found😬. My colleague was already jittery and worried. There was no call or message from the caterer. Luckily, you can trust K’nifies Munchies to have backups😜.

A considerable time elapsed which was enough for the caterer to make any last-minute entrances. My colleague called.

SC: Hello ma, I’ve been waiting for you. Is everything okay?

Caterer: Oh!! I didn’t make anything o. I thought we canceled the agreement na.

SC: You thought what?

Uh oh. Apparently, the caterer had snubbed the order. Interestingly, my senior colleague had ordered, they had discussed price and confirmed the order. Now the caterer said my colleague didn’t call her back to remind her. You’ve got to be kidding me.

My colleague had been conned. It’s the same thing as your tailor saying she can reproduce that outfit you saw on Instagram. And yeah, does she reproduce it😐. Stop eet! It’s common courtesy:”Hey, I’m pretty tied up, I wouldn’t be able to do what you ask or if you can be patient with me before you get it, then great.”

Or

“I’m not as skilled as you think so don’t have high expectations. What you see is what you get.”

As business people, honesty and integrity go a long way. When you’ve slipped, apologize. A friend of mine bought hair online. What she received…let’s not talk about it. And of course, the vendor didn’t say a word despite all efforts to get her to apologize. How do these people sleep at night? That caterer has already lost whatever future business she may have done with my colleague or at least, she’ll always be doubted.

Be straight with your customers. If you know you can’t reproduce that bag, shoe, hairstyle, to be just what the customer wants, don’t take the order. You can go for training or wow them with your creativity😬. I don’t want to be the customer that goes “at least he tried” when I actually want to punch the wall. Be nice to me and I’ll be nice to you.

Also, if you’re running late on delivery, let your customer know in time. If after you’ve confirmed the order, you realize you won’t meet up, let your customer know. If you’ve taken the money and you won’t deliver, be nice and do a refund. If you’re actually a scammer, let your mark know.

The true satisfaction of a business person is in the satisfaction of his clients.

Your sweet pancakes,

Scribbles

Where are the Keys?

Please tell me I haven’t walked this path alone. Where is my phone? I’m sure I left it right here, so where did it go? I couldn’t have missed it, come on I still have my sight. So where oh where did my phone go? Ugh! 😞

“Hey, check your back pocket”, a voice whispers to me.

I oblige the instruction and voila! there it is.

Wait. My phone has been in my pocket the whole time? I first checked the damn pocket once I noticed it was missing. But did I?

So how does it happen that we search for something, we’re sure where we last put it, but we don’t find it? I know! You’re either getting old, buddy or it’s just normal.

Two things I found that help us remember are patience and persistence. Calm down, bruh, and think. Can you retrace your steps a bit? Oh, you’ve done that already but you haven’t found your keys yet.

Okay, have you asked around? It could be in your hand, you know and in some weird way, you wouldn’t notice it. Get someone else to help you search. You’re probably covering the wrong areas or you didn’t search carefully enough. You can also take a break and search later if it isn’t so urgent. Sometimes the brain just refuses to procure that information we need.

I searched all over for a bunch of keys that was recently entrusted to me. Imagine my frustration when I couldn’t find them. I was already thinking of trekking a lengthy road to find the inconspicuous shop I had entered the previous day to check if I’d left it there. Lo and behold, my adorable father gave me the keys. After costly minutes of fruitless search🙄.

Scribbles: where did you find the keys, dad?

Dad: chuckles

Great. He wouldn’t tell me. But then he says it was in the side pocket of my bag. Just kill me already, I checked that pocket multiple times! Argh! What did I do wrong? It seems my fingers are too short😪. That’s not my fault.

In essence, I didn’t persist well enough in the search for that bunch. I knew I saw it last in that pocket but it had mysteriously disappeared. My dad helped me search and somehow found what I had been missing because he had been calmer and more collected than I was. So don’t hit yourself too hard the next time you can’t recall where you put your lighter, eyelashes, purse, glasses, or whatever.

Instead, you just calm down and have some bread.

Your sweet bread rolls,

Scribbles

Firewood

“No no no no NO!”, Juanita groaned in her sleep. She was just about entering the limo her crush had rented for them to take a cruise in, but alas, mama!

” JUANITA!”, her mother yelled from the other end of the house. “Coming, mum!” Her High School Musical blanket came off and she slipped into Sharpay slippers to meet her mother.

Tall, lean and toned, she stood regal in a stiff business suit, her hair in a tight bun, muscled legs planted firmly in court shoes.

“Good to see you’re up, Juanita. I have a busy day today so I pasted your list of chores on the refrigerator.”

“Okay, mum”, she mumbled as her mum click-clacked away. Curious, Juanita went into the kitchen. Mum usually told her what to do. The refrigerator was enclosed in stickers of Troy, Gabriella, Ryan and Sharpay, and the list was affixed to one of them.

“Pick weeds in the compound.

Tend to the garden.

Wipe clean all the windows.

Do the laundry.

Rearrange Juan’s wardrobe and room.

Scrub all the bathrooms.

Scrub the kitchen floor.

Sweep and mop the whole house.

Take my clothes to the tailor for mending.

Walk the dog.

Cook stew and black soup. There’s money on the table. Haggle expertly, please!

Cook dinner, jollof rice with lots of onions!

Make chin chin for Juan and his friends. Don’t mess up the recipe this time!

The painter will be coming. Glue your eyes to him. I don’t want any of my gold missing!

Arrange the books in the library. You know the order.

Don’t have any friends over, you’ll get distracted.

“Arrrgh! Just kill me, mom!” She stole a glance at the wall clock. 7:09 am. The house was grand, a duplex her dad had built when he’d hit a jackpot. She set music playing and psyched herself to work.

8:00 am- weeds plucked, the garden tended. My back aches from bending over.

8:47 am- windows wiped and rooms dusted as thoroughly as I could. I think my hands will soon fall off.

9:56 am- house swept. Oh, my back!

10:42 am- house mopped. Mom, can you see your reflection?

11:30 am- clothes are frying in the sun. Happy now?

12:16 pm- bathroom dirt is eww😑

12:40 pm- dog wants to walk me instead🙄

1:20pm- my eyes are glued to the painter, mom. And it’s worth the investment💑👶

2:00pm- did a tornado hit Juan’s room?😵

2:15pm- I can’t be ostracized from the world, mom, I’m taking an IG break.

2:50pm- tailor’s done mending. On to the market.

3:50pm- things are expensive mama! I did what I could!🤷🏽

4:30 pm- why wouldn’t you let me have a friend over? Cooking alone is boring!😣

5:40 pm- my jollof rice tastes better than yours😋 and it’s an onion feast.

6:30pm- why does Juan get chin chin and I don’t? It’s yummy tho😋

7:00pm- the kitchen floor is fit to sleep on.

7:05pm- uh uh, I’m so not touching the library.

Continue reading “Firewood”