FRANQUE’S FRIDAYS: A Whole New World

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When Ms. Good Cheer @OyeSmith tweeted “There r various afflictions like allergies, body aches, bad vision and so on…brethren that affliction of trapped gas? None like it…none!” I immediately marked it as a favourite. Even as I waited for the action to be completed, there was this thing at the back of my mind gnawing away at this declaration, but I had more pressing issues worrying me so I let it feed without dwelling on it. I was struggling with writer’s block and after three days I didn’t seem to be winning.

On Tuesday I went to bed writing about writer’s block, on Wednesday I woke up and again it hit me: “There r various afflictions like allergies, body aches, bad vision and so on…brethren that affliction of trapped gas? None like it…none!”

Something was definitely wrong about this declaration.

***

It was the year 2000 and I worked on a houseboat offshore. My work cycle was three weeks on and one week off, and it was my week off. As usual, I travelled to Warri to pick up my pay-check before going home to Lagos to see my family.

The bus was full and the driver had settled the park touts, still we were not moving. “What is the reason for this delay?” A voice bellowed two seats to the left of me. He had voiced what most of us were thinking.

“Bros no vex, e get one sistah wey go use latrine, na she we dey wait for. No vex.” The driver explained. After what felt like eternity, but was really maybe thirty seconds, the same voice spoke up. “This is my problem with public transport and transporters, no respect for people’s time! There’s a reason I came out this early to the park and it was not to have to wait for anybody doing whatever wherever. Driver can you get somebody else to complete this bus and move? We have things to do!”

Ok, so I saw his point, but the driver had explained plus it was not really the driver delaying us.

“Na im dey come so,” the driver said, his relief evident as he pointed to a solitary figure hurrying toward the bus.

“Good morring,” she greeted trying to sound cheery and sorry at the same time. “Sorry to wais’ your time.” Her words were met with feeble “good mornings” and a few grunts, but our friend went to town on her.

“See young woman, I have a job interview in Lagos which is why I woke up early this morning. If you knew you wanted to remain in Warri and shit, you should have taken car hire!”

To her credit, she did not utter a single word either in her defence or in further apology.

In Sapele, I bought some kpokpo garri and roasted edible maggots while others bought boiled guinea fowl eggs, kpekere and whatnot. Our friend bought bananas and a bottle of fanta. I remember this because I remembered thinking it was rather early for minerals.

Somewhere between Benin and Ore, the stretch of road was not particularly smooth. It was pitted and potholed, and it was around here that we first perceived it. Sitting by the window of the 14-seater Toyota Hiace bus and not wanting to get involved, I stuck my nose between the small crack in the window I had kept open as the wind was too much if the window was opened wider. I waited for the smell to pass as I was sure someone had cracked something nasty in the bus, and from experience you were better off not reacting too profusely lest suspicion fell on you.

This smell would not go away. “Open de wondow,” someone yelled from the back of the bus, “We don die for hia!”

“In fact, driver abeg park! Wetin be dis nau?”

The driver pulled over on the shoulder of the road and everyone scrambled to get out as if the bus was on fire. I was the second person to hit the dusty asphalt and straight away I emptied a mouthful of saliva in an impressive stream into the bushes away from me. Almost everyone scrambled out of the bus. Sitting there and looking straight ahead through the windscreen was our friend. After some cajoling, lighthearted and even malicious yabbing, he eventually got off the bus and made for the bushes nearby. As he walked his pants bottom stuck to his behind while the legs flapped in the wind. He cut a dejected figure with streaks running down his behind to his pants legs.

After ten minutes and no sign of him we got worried and formed ourselves into search parties. It was a woman who saw him crouching behind a clump of grass. He did not have a change of pants and was too embarassed to show his face, so she gave him the top piece of the two piece wrapper she was tying. He only asked that his briefcase be brought to him as it contained his credentials and some money, then he bade us bye-bye.  He was going to return to Warri, there was nothing for him in Lagos anymore.

 ***

I had been spending the day with my then girlfriend’s family. We were at her brother’s and after Sunday rice and video games, it was time to go home. Usually I went home with her and stayed till about 7pm before heading home.

On this day, just a few miles from her house, I had this queasiness in my bowel. Without explaining much to her mom, I got out of the car and jumped an okada.

True, her house was five minutes away compared to my place twenty-five minutes away, but what needed to be done was best done in a place where I could scatter body.

I was almost certain the cyclists could smell my desperation because I got ripped off that day, but I did not mind. On the final lap though, I had to do a lot of butt clenching. The cyclists would hit a pothole and I would lift myself off the seat, supporting my entire weight on the muscles of both arms before gently lowering myself back on the seat. I was on an okada with the wind rushing past me yet I was sweating. Beads of sweat had formed on my upper lip and in the furrows of my brow. My vision was tunnelled and my sight was monochromatic – everything was black and white. There was a rushing of blood in my ears.

When I got off the bike, I spent the first few seconds clutching the wall, doubled over, trying hard not to lose concentration. I pushed the gate open and strode purposefully across the compound into the house. As I walked, I shed my clothing. The first to go was my belt, then my shirt, then my inner shirt. By the time I saw Mama, my sandals were gone too. She smiled a knowing smile and let me pass without even a word of greeting.

I saw the toilet door and a spasm passed through me. I bent over double sweating, praying, biting my lower lip and clutching my stomach. I stood like that for a few seconds before I could take another step. I shed my pants then and very slowly inched toward the door. I could not be bothered to shut the door after me let alone lock it. I collapsed onto the porcelain throne and let rip!

As I trumpeted and honked, a wave of relief washed over me. The air got cooler, cool breeze blew gently against my skin, slowly, colour returned to my world and I saw the toilet door hanging open and through it, my trail of clothes. I took a big breath and heaved a deep sigh and closed my eyes. At that moment, everything was alright with the world. Heck, it was a brand new world and I could take on anything.

 ***

“There r various afflictions like allergies, body aches, bad vision and so on…brethren that affliction of trapped gas? None like it…none!”

There is one affliction worse than this and I know it because I have suffered it, not once, not twice, in fact more times than I care to remember, it is the affliction of the purga!

PS: Please be sure to let me know what you think. Which is the worse affliction? Señor Trapped Gas or El Purga?

Franque

Franque

“Franque is in aviation, which by the way is not his job, just a lifestyle. If he ever kept a diary it would read like his articles will. Unfortunately he doesn’t. Scratch that. He didn’t.AIRtiquette is a walk in his shoes. Since regular isn’t in his vocabulary, brace yourself for a bit of airwalking!” Follow @franque_521 on twitter.

34 comments

  1. LOOOOOL!!!!! “Roasted edible maggots”… WTH is that? *rolling on the bed* El purga is worse biko! *rushes to the porcelain throne*

  2. Seriously laughing while reading this post – this is because I can totally relate with the ‘Purga’ affliction.
    I remembered when I had to practically ‘fly’ from work to home when once afflicted… E noh easy mehn!
    Nice Post

  3. Hmmm,El Purga is worse off oh….it happened to me early this year…and it was absolutely terrible….all because i wanted to try something new:Prawn sauce….never try a new food before traveling….eventually i had to do it by the roadside…… P.S it leaves you confused and Dumb…*lips sealed on that* Nice one F

  4. Definitely El purga. Even people wey their belle be leather(*winks* like moi) still have cases of ds. Fortunately av not been caught while travelling. Thank God for little mercies

  5. Definitely El purga. Even people wey their belle be leather(*winks* like moi) still have cases of ds. Fortunately av not been caught while travelling. Thank God for little mercies . Happy weekend F

  6. Lmao!! Had me laughing all the way to the toilet. El Purga is def the king to hail. Gas has nothing on him. Lool. Has your life ever flashed before your eyes cos of purge? No? Me neither. Lool.

  7. *cant stop laughing* “El Purga”is definitely d worst affliction ever. It has happened to everyone i knw, me inclusive. Its no respecter of person. Lovely story Franque. Double thumbs up.

  8. Hehehehehehehehe! I can’t stop laughing. El Purga indeed!! You don’t want to hear my own stories! One time I had to dump my boxers in the female restroom @ a certain Mr. Biggs!!! All to El Pu! Hahahahaha!

  9. Eyah, should not have been the guy who had insulted someone earlier. I feel sorry for him but no affliction beats that of El purga, you gotta do wat u gotta do wen it beckons mhen!

  10. El purga o! And yes, I’m talking from experience!
    I rem when the bf and I just became a couple. I would leave his to mine any time I felt the urge to go… One early morning, I woke up with the urge to go. He dint understand why I wanted to leave so early. Alas, I was already too late. the knowing ☺ on his face! I would never forget…

  11. Even me dat has a cast iron tummy sef…hurricane el Purga does not play mehn! No respecter of persons. I know some1 though dat bent down n did d do in a bus, from lagos to maiduguri (somewhere @ bauchi). Fine babe oh! No shame I tell u *rolls into shalanga*

    Ps: thanks 4 cumn thru…its d fear of my goons that did it abi?

  12. At that moment, everything was alright with the world. Heck, it was a brand new world and I could take on anything<<<<——— *rollin* if my boss was around, he wud av opened the door to check why i was laffing out soooo loud…..defnitli El purga !!!!!!!!! vry intresting read……

  13. Hey family, it’s another Friday and iSee a lotta us identify with this post. Got work later n after that a wedding of an ex 2moro, but today has to end 1st, abi?
    @ ibetapassmynebo: 1st? iSee u; as for the sweat, u may hav heard of prayer beads, maybe even fashion beads, but iBet u there ain’t no beads lyk pressure beads (of sweat)!
    @ rj: daris ehn! Without warnin sometyms sef;
    @ Chychy: in my house we have a name for them from a childhood cartoon. As for rollin, safe journey o;
    @ ife: the amusin thing is, we always aim to return to base, tho not all make it sha #CasualtiesAbound;
    @ Mimipire: iHav a friend who only eats gala and water no matter how long the trip o;
    @ nena: Hi ryt back :D;
    @ Uk: pray never to be caught on a road trip o! U hav a lovely weekend too;
    @ MzSwitz: life flashing past, lights fadin, noise turned down, blood rushin… No iHaven’t;
    @ Efeya Goodness: Thanks for returnin, and for goin thru my older posts;
    @ Sean: There’s a certain Mr. Biggs outlet iCannot pass without rememberin a certain day 9yrs ago;
    @ MaBijo: iHave heard that Karma is a she-dog, iBelieve karma is a she #EndStory;
    @ nengie: hmmm… iAm gettin u now…
    @ ciiphii: care to share? *evil grin*;
    @ Kay: it was the thots of the love of the rest of my family that helped me o. Goons ko, gooners ni *long drawn-out hiss*
    @ Lorlah: let’s just say that u hav learnt to take me a bit more seriously, ryt? Pele
    @ phaytea: Let us first thank the maker that your boss no dey office. Glad u enjoyed it;
    @ madskills: “as usual”? Super! Thanx o, glad you like(d) it;
    @ Everyone_else: So there’s this 30day writin project on 19th street blog wwwmhighlandblue.wordpress.com and iAm sendin in a contribution. Y’all can read from day on (02/12/2011) to encounter some of the #awesomest writers iHav come across

  14. El Purga definitely. I’ve had to stop by at a filling station, only to find that someone beat me to the porcelain goddess. I burst into tears and was ready to do it there and then in full view of the public until the manager volunteered his keys. Shit is no respecter of persons.

  15. Omg! Lauged so hard, fam think I’m more nuts than usual, especially since I fell off the chair I’m laying on.. And to think you almost denied us this fantastic story! Definitely El P. Had the experience this past tuesday, all decked, about to go out, got the urge at the gate and gently walked back in… Broke into a cold sweat n had goosebumps before I cld even get upstairs.. Thank God I was still at home tho~ great read as always, thanks Franque 😀

  16. El Purga ALL THE WAY!!!…You captured it so well. The feeling afterwards…it indeed feels like a whole new world. I remember the last time It got me- we were stuck in traffic and I told my friends to stop talking cos JUST ANYTHING could just trigger my ‘Sphincter ani externus muscle’ to give way!

  17. el purga my friend…wins hands down, lol.
    my broda and i once upon a time in primary school, on a rainy friday had to confront this issue…i love my broda to death, he didn’t say a word…somewhere near unilag i did the deed out in the bushes in the rain after doing the deed at yabatech staff school and also heaven knows how many times when we finally made it home….some days you never forget…the days el purga decides to show you who’s boss…lol

  18. @ Gbemisola: u for fear fear if say d manager key no show!
    @ sara_taffy: why, thank you kindly;
    @ T.L. Bridges: in case they decide to commit u to Yaba left, be sure to take a room as far away as possible from my mind;
    @ t: there’s almost no feelin like the feelin of THAT release: relief!
    @ aliBaba: yes o, the ‘multiple hit combos’ r even worse. Then imagine u @ home and there r 2 of u sufferin it n one toilet <——— iKnow this!

  19. “@ aliBaba: yes o, the ‘multiple hit combos’ r even worse. Then imagine u @ home and there r 2 of u sufferin it n one toilet <——— iKnow this!" <<< frank that is when you bring the po (potty)…LOL

  20. Fraque wants to kill me o
    Was in a place where I could not LOL when I read this, everyone had a “what’s up with this person” look on their faces.
    EL PURGA, hands down
    As for all the comments, hilarious

  21. Choi! Franque,this is hilarious and well narrated. That senior citizen,El Purga is no respecter of persons. I can imagine how tensed up the victims always are. There’s no better way to describe the relief when it frees you finally. You got me rolling.

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