Sunday, 25 September 2022 06:43

Okon pads his budget and heads for Iyanfoworogi - Tatalo Alamu

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As the economic hardship bites harder in the land turning hitherto strong men into human fiascoes, snooper has devised a series of stringent austerity measures to stem the steamrolling tide of economic adversities. In addition to physically tape-ruling yam tubers and monitoring the outflow of foodstuff from the pantry like some ancient teacher, yours sincerely has stopped the unbudgeted inflow of country bumpkins and upcountry yokels to the house by cancelling existing visas. These days snooper tells his agrarian folks that he prefers to visit them, which is what the Americans call immigration control at source.

But trust Okon to find his way round the severe economic blockade. Unknown to snooper, in addition to his petty pilfering of foodstuff and moving the yam tape whenever his master chose to be away, the crazy boy has resorted to the twin strategy of padding and anticipatory approval of emergency expenditure. Playing on his master’s failing and fading memory, Okon conspires with market women to pad the budget and inflate price without any decorum or discretion. One morning, the pyramid scheme collapsed on the mad boy.

“Okon, we budgeted ten thousand for meat, why has it turned to fifteen thousand?” an irate snooper demanded.

“Oga na me pad dat one. Market and kitchen don catch fire”, the mad boy whined with a sheepish smile which further infuriated yours sincerely.

“And what is padding?” snooper growled.

“Ha oga, you no sabi padding? Where you come dey for obodo? Everybody dey do am, dem house, dem soldiers, dem judge. Even dem  Dogara boy come say padding no be crime. We come dey paddy paddy kontri, abi no be so?” the crazy boy snorted.

On that note, snooper elected to sue for peace with the implacable loony. But the kitchen erupted again.

“Okon, where is the omelet?” snooper thundered.

“Ha oga omelet o ma late ooo”, the crazy boy sniggered with venomous relish.

“Then you give me scrambled egg”, snooper raved.

“Oga even dat one dem done scramble. And dem don poach dem poached egg. Even dullard sabi say when dem dollar don climb over 400 to one naira, egg must to disappear”, Okon retorted. At this point, snooper opened the steaming dish gingerly placed on the table by the mad boy and was confronted by something that looked like boiled unripe pawpaw instead of yam.

“Okon what is this nonsense?” snooper stuttered in implacable rage.

“Ha oga na new yam be dat. I go market and dem women tell me say no yam, but dem say if I wan buy new yam, make I go dem Iyanfoworogi village. I come reach dem village near Ife and dem old man come tell me say for dem village yam dey grow for tree. Him come show me dem tree with dem obonge breadfruit. Na him I come buy one sack. Oga dem say him good. Boku vitamin C, D, A, K, L, P, G dey there. Efen Fiagra sef he dey there”, the mad boy whooshed and winked.

“Don’t tell me that nonsense! Okon before I come back you must leave this house”, snooper thundered and stormed out.

First published in 2016.


The Nation