I had a week from hell a fortnight ago. For some reason I just kept on upsetting and annoying people around me. Yep, Esco could be a jerk sometimes. I must have been going through the motions, and rubbed off people the wrong way. And the truth is that I think I know when I am being an asshole – in those instances I just can’t help it. Even my clone would have said “Esco, go fuck yourself” (not literally though).
I had mini tiffs with my girl, her aunt, my sister, my mother. Notice that they were all females. I even killed an ant with a sledge-hammer. No, I really did – I was walling a picture near the food pantry (sounds better than cupboard) when I saw an ant. Yeah, you can call the animal conservationists, but there was ant juice all over the wall. Even atom ant would have gotten it. Maybe I was just ‘bugging’ out. Okay bad joke.
To be honest, it wasn’t all my fault. It was just one of those weeks where I seemed to say and do the wrong things at the wrong time. A friend of mine Ogbonna has a term for that kind of situation where nothing works out for you for a period. He coined that term when he had off days socially when every girl he tried to hook up refused to give him the time of day or refused to give him their phone number.
Ogbonna had had a particularly bad week at work, with his new boss pressuring him with project after project. We decided to hit the club that night for a couple of drinks and just to hang out. His luck didn’t change. It made for sorry viewing as he approached girl after girl, but none chewed on his bait. He even tried to sandwich one drunken blonde lass ( sneak behind her while she is dancing with her friend), but she turned around angrily and shook her fists at him as she staggered away. Frustrated, he bellowed out ‘E be like say my mouth dey smell. Nothing dey gel for me today.” And a new phrase was coined.
You post up a comment on Facebook or a tweet, and it rubs people the wrong way, and scores of people proceed to rain insults on your point of view – your mouth dey smell.
You drive out, and it seems that every okada rider wants to redesign your car paint with their handle-bars as they drive recklessly, and danfo and molue drivers keep driving neck to neck with you, almost touching your bumper. Then the hawker selling MTN recharge cards presses his stack of cards against your glass, smudging it and refusing to budge. Then you nearly become a victim of road rage, as some impatient idiot behind you, blaring his horn, over takes you suddenly on the bend, nearly sending you crashing. As the fool drives off, he gives you the waka sign, and you feel like you are playing bumpy cars at the Getz Arena. Since you are rushing to meet an urgent appointment, you mistakenly drive into a ‘one-way’ stree in your confusion, and get pulled over by LASTMA officials who despite your frank pleas, and puny bribe of N500 insist on towing you and your vehicle to Alausa – ‘your mouth dey smell.’
Anyway, that was my lot some weeks ago. My mouth seemed to be smelling, as I kept on getting into conflicts with all around me. Being that I have chosen to remain anonymous, a lot of you my dear readers, do not know that much about my characteristics. One of the things about being a blogger, an anonymous one at that is that you get to choose the better parts of your life story to share with blogosphere, which makes you come across as uber-cool. There may be a myth that Esco is cool, calm and collected. Or crazy, sexy, cool. Far from it. As part of a sick reverse therapy, to atone for my wrong doing, and ‘mouth smelling’ ways, I have decided to share some of the things I hate most about myself.
M.I the rapper, tried to do the same thing with his song ‘Imperfect Me’ off his latest offering MI2. He invited his friends and associates at the end of the song to say a couple of things that they didn’t like about him. Trust Naija people, we always have a mouthful to spew. Some didn’t get the memo or the fun gist of the concept, and proceeded to lay into him with some bad belle observations – “Jude (M.I’s government name) is dirty and his room is always filthy”.
If it were me, I would have edited it sharp sharp – the friend who made the remark and their comments. By the way, dirty is unattractive and gross. The friend should have said ‘durrty’ instead.
So in order to have damage control, I would be criticizing myself by myself, thank you very much. The caveat is that you must also tell me 3 things you hate or wish you could change about yourself. Yep, your less endearing qualities. You guys may have a diminished view about me after this, but here goes:
- I am a bit careless. I really don’t care about things I don’t care about. I remember an observation made by my teacher in Primary 4 under the character traits section of my report card. She wrote ‘Esco is very intelligent and engaging but he is too careless.”
Yep, I did misplace a lot of HB pencils and work assignments. I only kept all my biros well because I was a biro game champion. The teacher knew I didn’t send her and most other things that were not related to food and water, but I think she exaggerated a bit out of bellus for me. She once caught me eating a pack of Malted Milk biscuit during a class session. She seized it, and later on, I saw her chewing some, and handing it out to her son who had come to see her from the nursery section!
I am care-free too – a bit too much. Fast and free is the word.
I am type of person not to bother nagging or mouthing off to about anything. My expensive possessions can actually embarrass me especially if people start to inquire about the price or origin. I am more Purple Label Ralph Lauren than Big Polo Horse ‘eshin’ logo on the chest of the top for all to see. So in that way, I am not a typical flashy Nigerian – I prefer an Indie lifestyle. If I had my way, I would rather live in the suburbs, own my own newspaper blog like the Huffington Post, smoke a nice Havana cigar once in a while, have 2 kids who would call me “pop dukes” and make me akara in the morning.
I do not care for chieftaincy titles, I don’t want the longest popular un-tarred street named after me. I am not interested in becoming the most famous person in the Lagos social scene; and I don’t want to ‘oppress’ (I hate that word) my fellow Nigerian with my show of wealth or affluence.
I am not interested in being that big shot who zooms past in a convoy of SUVs, horns and sirens blaring, running pedestrians off the road, with the hazard lights blinking like an apollo patient. I remember a Nollywood film where a rich dude did this, his convoy splashing flood water on Clem Ohameze’s character who was walking on the road. Clem, visibly oppressed and intimidated by the show of wealth and flashy cars, shook his head enviously as he said “Look at what my fellow man is doing to me. Money is good o.”
Don’t get me wrong – I want paper, especially to help people around me. It is just that money is not all there is to life. I would really fancy a couple of original Andy Warhol paintings, a Mercedes or another unique piece of German engineering and the love of my peers. Plus some nice cooked food and good and fitted clean clothes. And forget a Stepford wife– I always knew I would end up with an All-Nigerian Girl. Yep, I vote respect over money and power; one of my greatest fears is being wealthy but being grossly disillusioned or dissatisfied with life. C.R.E.A.M – Cash Rules Everything/Everyone Around Me (except me).
- I am a bit scared of commitment – I was class monitor for a minute in my first year in secondary school. I got the title revoked for getting the class jumping. Being answerable to anyone socially or emotionally is a nightmare, though it has gotten better for me with age. Emotional commitment in particular was like a horror flick.
Readers please berate me – I have the unenviable record of dating a girl for 2 hours officially. In fact I have done it twice – I have dated 2 girls for a couple of hours. No, not at the same time, but on 2 different occasions. Get your mind out of the gutter.
Let me get my apologies in order, here and now – Toyin and Chioma I am really sorry. I never meant to cause you any pain. By the way, Chioma if you are reading this, big ups to your brother for hooking us up. However I heard he was looking for me with a cutlass, when he heard we had broken up 120 minutes after deciding to go steady. Tell him, I had to skip town momentarily. Something ‘urgent’ came up – nothing to do with him.
I would talk more about this at a later time.
- I am a super flirt. This has gotten me into trouble plenty of times. People have said I actually flirt without knowing – with the way I smile, and show lasses attention even if I am not interested in them that way. I am told I have an uncanny ability to make a girl feel special by just being friendly and chatty. I think that is all absolute bollocks, because it never seems to work when I do really fancy a girl. It is not my fault if some girls misread what they deem as green light. What one girl deems flirty may be nothing to another girl, right?
The problem is that nowadays people read meanings into every single thing a member of the opposite sex does. I told a girl that she looked like the girl in Neyo’s ‘One in a million’ video, and she thought I was trying to get fresh with her.
I even had a girl who tried to ‘ban’ me from smiling with other females. Yeah, blame it on my dimples. I soon started walking around with a face like Tony Umez (haha – Noble Igwe is a fool). Or Bill Duke (click on link to see facial expression).
I will be frank though, I have flirted a bit harmlessly with females to gain a small advantage or get better service. Like female cashiers at banks or airport ticketing ones, just to squeeze out better or faster service. Works a treat with Zenith Bank female workers. First Bank workers – not so much.
I think I may have even flirted a bit with my boss. She would ask me “Esco, aren’t you going home yet? It is almost 8pm. You can pack up your desk if you are done’.
I would reply with a spark in my eye ‘I can’t leave you alone here, Ma.’ With the ‘Ma’ pronounced like a Spaniard or Latino would say it.
And it wasn’t me trying to suck up. I was being charming and friendly with her, because she was wonderful to work with.
But when she and one of the directors started asking me inappropriate questions about my dating life during lunch breaks in the cafeteria, I knew I had to chill.
Ladies, I apologize if I have ever flirted with you against your own will. I don’t want you to get the wrong idea – it wasn’t intentional. It is all love though.
So those are a few of my less flattering traits – please share your with me. By the way, when you can, have a listen to M.I’s ‘Imperfect Me’ off his most recent album. Here are lyrics from its final verse:
There’s so much dirt I have covered/
It’s dark inside my cupboard/
It’s got me bothered I agree, yes/
I see, I am only human/
And it’s bad consuming/
Every good is blooming/
My actions each are ruining/
I am disaster walking/
Can’t hear the master talking/
But still I hear the Savior/
In all of my behavior/
Cos love remained over every single shame/
Let me be/
M.I. (Imperfect Me, 2010)