The lockdown in Lagos is like one of those really beastly looking dogs that scurry for cover when you feint an attack.
Very scary looking. Yet very scared of everything.
Until they have their backs on the wall.
That is Lagos in this lockdown.
So, when my friend called to wish me a happy birthday, I wasn’t at all surprised his background was bubbly with music and laughter. I asked him if he was having a party at home.
He said he wasn’t at home. He knew this secret hangout somewhere in Surulere where he’d cavorted to with a few partners in crime.
“Yo! So, what if someone snitches on you guys – like a concerned neighbour or something? You know this is a possibility, right?” I asked him.
“No worry, we dey lock the gate.”
He knew the scary-scared analogy. I snorted. “And that has ever stopped the police?”
“See the babe wey dey run this package, ehn, her backside na geng. By the time wey she rub them map of Nigeria for belle, promise them settlement, the police people go confuse.”
“You sef no say na wishful thinking be that one.”
“Oh! If to say I fit just send you this babe picture make you see…”
I could not believe that he believed what he was saying. I told myself he was tipsy. That made more sense than anything he’d said.
But then, without prompting, he added, “And if na those wicked ones wey their eyes dey red, we go just jump the fence wey dey for back here. I don take eyes measure am well-well. Na small tin hin take long pass my leg, but as warri pikin no fit come gbèmè for Lagos, I no go carry last make my two boys no go see their palé wey hin humble like dodo inside teevee.”
I started laughing.
“No be joke matter oo.” He became serious and bounced off the pidgin. “Listen, I’m not as bothered as anything that happens here as I am about going home to explain to my sons how their father got arrested for being irresponsible. Or the fact they would forever have a mental photo of me, standing before another man or men, looking subdued. I’ll scale that fence and break a leg first.”
I was still laughing. I agreed with him of course that it would be a sticky situation. “But why take your chances when you don’t have to?”
“Oga leave me. Na you dey do birthday today. Today is about you. I hope say you dey go do action film after this call.”
He meant sex. “I no be like you nau. I’m isolating my self responsibly.”
“Hey God! Na which kain Lagos boy be this abeg?”
“Yo! Don’t even start with me now.”
“How did it become this bad for you, ehn?”
I was laughing again. “Because I’m not having sex in this World War Z?”
“And you still dey talk am. You be Brad Pitt?”
“It is not recommended right now.”
“Na lockdown them talk, no be shutdown.”
“All na the same naa.”
“Mainland and Island na land for Lagos but them no be the same. Comot for my phone.”
“Comot. Comot. You dey break my heart.”
“If them born you well, if I call you tomorrow, tell me say you no do action film. Yeye boy!”
“You’re out with a secret squad drinking and socializing at night, checking out fat geng asses, half-expecting the police to bust you anytime, but I’m the yeye boy.”
“Wait! Na this small talk naa-naa na hin you turn to Law and Order so?”
That was it. He would put a hole in any kite I flew. I gave up. “No worry. I dey go do action film.”
“Eh-hen! Make e no be like say na your side worse pass.”
What more could I say? It was more typically Lagos than him.