STORY ONE: Paws off my leg, Mikey!
Imagine a really short dwarf who, for fingers, has needles and blades. But this dwarf is madly in love with you and every blessed time he sees you, he runs to give you a big hug. And in the process of hugging you, you are so very badly hurt. Every time. The dwarfs’ love and adoration are magnified though, if he hasn’t seen you for a day. I learned that the painful way on Sunday. I didn’t go anywhere but the memory of his claws had me restricting all movement to the interior of the house. Not the compound. And the next day, when finally saw me, he lay on my leg and refused to allow me move, fought with my shoes, ran in between my legs and gave me a triple dose of “love” (the painful kind). I had to push him away multiple times before he got the message. It’s lots better when you play with him until he gets tired. We’re talking 45 minutes to 1 hour, 30 minutes here.
In case you still haven’t realized it, the dwarf is Michelangelo. And his claws are INSANELY PAINFUL.
Background- When I’m in my house, i wear shorts. Not trousers, not skirts. Shorts, because peace, freedom, privacy and glorious AIR!
So, the problem I have with this short dwarf are manifold. I actually adjusted my dress sense, wearing trousers when I’m at home, instead. But the claws, they still rake across my skin. And, the dog’s paws are not Lysol clean or Dettol Fresh either.
His cuteness makes up for so much. Honestly.
STORY TWO: I am the fire hydrant
In some American movies I’ve watched, when they want to potty train the dogs, they’ll walk him down the street to a nearby fire hydrant, shield him with a pillow then allow him to let loose. Dogs love fire hydrants apparently.
So, I’ve been trying to get Mikey potty trained. Mostly me trying to contain his shit blasting area. Sorry for that visual. It would make everyone’s life loads easier if he simply went to the gutter. And I’ve succeeded. Somewhat. It’s not the gutter but at least it’s not his cage either.
Then one day, I had CDS and I was wearing my Jungle boots (the white tennis shoes did not fit me so I gave them out). Mikey ran up to me and did his little ritual while I scratched and pet him. Then I noticed that he had done a little more than normal.
He. Peed. On. My. Left. Jungle. Boot!
I didn’t even notice until he left, chasing my dad and then when I started laughing, he came back, did another little ritual and then peed on my right jungle boot.
Since then, I’ve noticed that he can pause his urination, chase me and when he catches me, he’ll release it as soon as I begin to rub him. His Kegel exercises are really paying off!
STORY THREE: The long, beautiful and happy journey
To a person who likes to walk (me), there’s no greater motivation or dare than increased prices or missing buses/kekes.
Yesterday, I woke up in such a great mood. It was raining so, instead of my usual walk to the bus park, I had to take a bike there. I boarded a bus, and then when I got to my drop off point; where I needed to take a tricycle or a bus, there were none. So, I began walking. Then I met one that was willing to take me, for double the price. I laughed and continued walking. I found one later though that took me for the usual fare. Even I was not going to walk from Allen all the way to Opebi in the morning. Nahh.
But by far, the more interesting journey was in the afternoon/early evening. I work at Opebi. There are 3 routes available to me everyday: Opebi to Ikeja, Ikeja- Berger (too irritating with all the touchers, higher price range, greater incidences of getting other people’s body fluids on me by accident. For use in desperate situations only), the other two are my go- to routes. But most times, I prefer one over the other. The Opebi to Oregun, Oregun to Berger. I get to exercise my legs and the fare is cheaper!
There were no tricycles going. I waited for a while, then I started walking. Branched to a couple of places first though, before I hit the trail. Then someone, I’d seen him waiting for a keke on two different days, who had apparently made the same decision I had, started calling me. He was standing on the walkway embankment, making a phone call. I was mounting the embankment when he extended his hand, blocking my path. I shook it for the amount of time required by politeness and then I turned to go and he was still holding it. Tightly, like I was a hostage. I tugged it loose and told him how much I detested that
(Public Notice: I hate uncomfortably long handshakes with people I don’t know. I. HATE. IT! And it was obvious to me that he was trying to delay me until he finished his phone call). He apologized. I accepted. Then he began to ask me Jamb questions. I know that quite a lot of you must be wondering what a story of an episode that seems so irritating is doing on Happy Tuesdays. But, I was happy. I was wearing a corporate shirt, a camisole and my mom’s vintage full circle skirt (it’s very high quality satin and she used to wear it when she was my age. I appropriated it about 6 years back, with her blessing).
Among the questions he asked that day were gems such as these:
“Where are you from?”
“You’re Igbo? I thought you were Yoruba or Delta”
“Why do you let people think that you’re Yoruba? Why do you make them think it?”
“You walk fast for a woman. Who did you learn walking fast from?”
“Are you a student? A lawyer? Do you know that some people think law students are wicked?”
“Do you know some people say that lawyers won’t go to heaven? What do you think about it?”
I should have been angry, I’m sure one of you is thinking that. But I was happy. And really, it wasn’t much trouble to calmly answer this man.
Then I saw IT in its glorious splendor. I’ve been passing by it for a while but I was always in a vehicle and always doing something. I wasn’t doing anything now so I went inside. The security guard was the only one around and he let me sit on them.
IT is a bicycle. An electric bicycle. I’ve wanted to get a bike for years but a bike that can be used as a bike and as a motorcycle that doesn’t need gas? I’m in love!
I sat on a lot of them, gushed over one particular pretty one with handlebars, a passenger seat and lots of leg room. I almost completely forgot about the question asker. I stayed in there for over 10 minutes and when I came out, he had left. This, might I add, was a very good development because he was gunning to ask for my number, I would most probably have given him a fake one, then felt bad for giving him a fake one, and it would have affected my very lovely mood on a very lovely day when I was wearing a very lovely outfit and on a happy high.
So, it was very lovely that he left. The rest of the journey was completed in happiness.
I’ve been researching electric bicycles since yesterday and gosh, I’d love one!
STORY FOUR: Mikey, The Shredder
I fancy myself a gardener. When I was small, primary school age, Chike showed me a plant that folded up into itself when touched. I’d never seen anything like it before. We planted hibiscus flowers (red ones), aloe vera, shrubs, natural cortex (this is not the name, it’s just what I called it) and some more and I’d lovingly take care of them. In secondary school. Then one day, I got home and someone had whacked off most of my plants in the name of weeding. The hibiscus hasn’t flowered again. I cried. Then I did some research. When I make spaghetti or potatoes or macaroni, foods with a high starch content needing parboiling, I save their water and water each of the plants. Starch is great for most plants.
I got into University and I forgot my gardening pretensions.
Then one day, in 2012 or 2013, I can’t remember; my mom brought home 4 lavender plants (that’s what they said they were called). We potted them in cups. A friend of hers had mentioned that they were very effective in getting rid of mosquitoes. It stayed inside for about 2 days then she took it outside or was it me? They weren’t getting enough sunlight. And their soil was dirtying the house.
From then on, I talked to them, watered them, weeded them. It was a miniature version of my hibiscus flowers all over again. The very first time they flowered, was on my birthday. I felt they were giving me a precious gift. Look at us. Admire us. Happy birthday!
Then last week, tragedy struck. Mikey is teething now. My flowers were in cups on the floor. When he got tired of chewing our slippers, our rags, he munched on my flowers. I managed to rescue two of the cups, though. I’ve put them back on the A. C stand.
STORY FIVE: It’s a beautiful day
Woke up this morning, said thank you to God for waking me up, brushed, had cereal (Golden Morn, which Mikey also takes) went outside to scratch and be scratched, had a bath, walked to the bus park, bought Ghana buns (he gave me an extra one!), boarded a bus with change, dropped, boarded another one to Opebi. He said my preferred stop was an extra #20 so, I asked to be dropped at the normal one instead but when I got down, he told me to get back in and he’d take me to my preferred stop, I did, he did, I told him thank you, crossed the road, got water, the water was cold, got to the office, there was light and the air conditioner was on.
It’s just a beautiful day. And I’m happy.
Hope you are too!