The chairman slowly surveyed the room critically. He was extremely crossed-eyed which made it seem as though a pair of Cyclops were ardently scrutinizing you. Furiously scrutinizing you that is!
Despite his weird appearance, uncanny similarity to the Frankenstein monster in size and tendency to induce nightmares in the children of the group, especially after the christmas party which was celebrated every year at the lake side mansion reserved for Cabal business, he was deeply respected and in fact held in reverence by the members of the Cabal and thus when after his conspicuous head swiveling and intense eye contact with each and every member of the group he softly cleared his throat an instant silence replaced the hubbub that had broken out before he had finish the motion he had placed to the group roughly 5 minutes earlier.
“I know this is surprising and hardly the norm for us but think back over the years. If any of you can tell me one instance. Just an instance in which I’ve ever steered you wrong. One instance in which my foresight and acumen for evil hasn’t made us lots of money. Let the person speak now and I will immediately withdraw this motion.”
After softly drawling the above speech to the group the chairman lean back on his supple leather clad Lazy-boy and bowed his head as if in prayer. He knew the plan was on as indeed he had never once steered the cabal down the wrong path. He abruptly uncoiled his huge frame from the chair, gathered the papers on the vinyl topped desk in front of him and walked to the fireplace. As he dropped the documents and notes into the flames and watched them burn he could hear his members, his people behind shuffling up to shake his hand and also drop their notes in the fire.
It was time to alert The Enforcer and the others. Phase one should begin immediately…… Operation Thirst Quench was a go.
Josef has always had what you would call err…. a penchant for attracting trouble.
No, Josef has always had what his mother called a penchant for trouble, what Agatha Christie calls “a nose for it” and Sherlock Holmes, after a lot of scoffs, harrumphing and throat clearing would call pure undiluted talent.
Yes. Josef had always had an uncanny ability for hunting out clues, logically reaching conclusions, an unshakable belief on his hunches – which always turned out to be right – and the instinct of a bloodhound. In fact Josef is what you would call an investigative prodigy, if anything like that existed.
The only obstacle between Josef and the bright future so clearly waiting for him in the field of law enforcement and criminal castration was indeed the long time menace to the better offs, and the longer time foe of the downtrodden. Poverty. Josef came from a poverty stricken home and if the fact that his school fees was paid by the women’s guild, books bought by the men’s guild, what few clothes he possessed presented to him by the youth union and meager pocket money as provided by his church all resident in his village didn’t explain why he was determined to focus on his studies and get the best result possible from his course of study – Snailery – as selected by the tribal head of the said village then you’re a dummy.
Josef’s first inkling as to the existence of a problem had happened on a friday – of all days – he had a very strict dietary timetable which he had to rigidly adhere to. This timetable wasn’t prescribed by the doctors as it is for some of you sick and diseased fellows out there, nor was it suggested by a personal trainer as it is for those bloated and obese folks anxious to shed as much fat as possible. His meal schedule of bread and tea in the morning, pawpaw stolen from the school farm in the afternoon and garri and ground nut in the evening – all carefully measured out and weighed – was in fact necessary due to the fact that the total amount that he could afford to spend in an entire week was 200naira.
We have now succeeded in introducing the evil Cabal, input the Hero Josef who is talented, dirt poor and has so far managed to elude all traps and schemes as concocted by the farm manager of the fruit farm who found himself missing the biggest and juiciest of his pawpaw fruits when he came back each monday from the weekend.
It had been a very stressful day for Josef, well fridays were always stressful given the fact that he had back to back lectures from 8 in the morning to 6PM and as we all know, pawpaw can only take you so far. He had a plan though…. I had almost forgotten to mention that. Josef was in love with plans. He’s actually one of the few humans I know who make plans to plan and given my very elevated position let’s just say I know a lot of humans, about 6 billion I believe.
Lemme just talk true.
I actually started writing this story to lament the fact that I went to school today, was totally broke with just 10 bucks in my pocket and couldn’t get 5naira pure water to buy.
Yes… You’re right.
The complete title for the post is “The hunt for 5naira pure water”
And I don’t care how paranoid you think I am but there’s something amiss here. There’s a conspiracy to force us into buying bottled water by these vendors in my school. How I go trek round the full campus dying of thirst and be told that there’s no pure water? Here’s the kicker though. They all use the same exact phrase to introduce le bottled water. “Although there is bottled water available”
Even the old lady by the engineering faculty who understand not even a single word of english and you have to carry out your transaction by sign language suddenly could fluently tell me “Although there’s bottled water available” in perfect english.
I may or may not have gotten to yet another shop and be given the line “Although there’s bottled water available” and I may or may not have told the attendant to bring it in spite of the fact that I had just 10naira and I may or may not be phoneless now as my cell may or may not have been confiscated until I bring the 50naira I owe.
As I walked away in disgrace, I may or may not have vowed on all things holy – the Zobo at my junction, Okija shrine, the Ayelala chief priest’s staff, Sango’s headstone – well, all things holy to get to the bottom of this.
I probably won’t, but I just had to console myself.