Are you dating a Postmaster-General?

You know men who keep posting you, always promising to buy those Louboutins “when salary comes in”. If you are then please don’t turn up your MAC-covered nose. My sister, please join the queue and read. Look, you are not the problem; Jand is the problem. In Jand, research shows that many of these big boys and girls you see are broke between 10-17 days after they are paid. Confirmed.

As your resident Expert on Jand Affairs I can authoritatively tell you that this estimate is as conservative as Sarah Palin. So, you need to know exactly when their money comes in. Officially, anytime from the last three working days is Payday in Jand but who’s to say these debtors will be honest? Oho! So forget your calendar, their onigbese promises and timelines. Just sit tight and take note: this is how to know when it is Payday in Jand.

The people

In Jand, the fastest way to know when Pay Day has landed is through the people. From the wee hours of the morning ATMs rival Nigerian churches in terms of the queues. You know how people line up so some obese pastor G.O can lay hands on them? Well, that’s how do night vigils in Jand the night before, checking and checking our account balances then running off to line up at the crack of dawn so Daddy ATM can minister to us. Until the anointing, sorry salary is finished.

In fact, while those who receive benefits, salaries or both are at the ATM, a tell-tale sign is that one set of people who receive no formal remuneration are also present to cash in—beggars. Yes, maybe it’s the delicious tap water but even beggars in Jand are blessed with an impressive IQ; they know when it is payday and sit near the ATMs chanting in impeccable English: “Have you got some spare change, love?” On other times of the month, beggars in Jand stick to only the shops and eateries. So be sharp. If beggars no carry last then why should you?

Still on the people, when it is payday you notice that the area drunkard who never seems to have money to buy soap but is always clutching a whisky bottle or beer can stinks more of eau de alcohol. If a drunk has more money to buy booze then surely the onigbese big boy/girl must have money to pay you!

Likewise on the tube, the workmen are an accurate barometer of when payday has come to Jand. You see, usually the dust-filled bricklayers and painters who you (rightfully) shirk from and refuse to sit next to so they don’t ruin your lungs with asbestos or your nice clothes with dried paint all look different after payday. They are to be seen clutching flowers for the missus or even an armload of shopping because maga don pay. When you notice that suddenly painters are able to purchase flowers then no need to check your calendar; it is definitely Payday.

If you are one of those who pretend to be health freaks that walk and cycle everywhere in the name of poverty, then check the streets. Folks can be found sitting outside the beer-parlours aka pubs, converting their income into pints of lager and liquor then drinking the lot, before proceeding to piss it all out in dinghy toilets.

The environment

Speaking of shopping, the shops will let you know it is payday. First of all, you will never be able to get a shopping basket or trolley because everyone has headed out to spend their welfare check or salary to stock up. When you do head inside a shop, there are always big signs saying SALE! REDUCED! 2 for £5, THIS WEEK’S OFFER, etc. You will also notice that the expensive brands of water, cereal, pasta, food etc are nowhere to be found on the shelves because suddenly, everyone has developed a taste that is allergic to the cheaper store brands, even if for just a week.

When you see ASDA water is still on the shelves while Evian water is finished, know that it is payday.  Even the layout of the shops changes, these evil people will put alcohol next to baby diapers so that daddy’s buying pampers will add some shayo to the basket.

On payday week, people in Jand make sure you can never find anything from a size 8 to 16 for womenswear, or children’s clothing from ages 3 to 9. When you walk around all the shops and do not see those sizes do not bother calling a shop assistant and practicing your Janded accent by asking her if they have these sizes in stock; the answer will be no because…PAYDAY has happened!

Still on shops brimming with spenders eager to empty their accounts, the salons are also full, whether it is those Chinese manicure and pedicure places where the workers are under forced labour, or the African hair salons where you use the mirror in front of you to make sure that illegal immigrant hairdresser doesn’t steal your valuable human hair, these places are filled with clients. After all, UV gel polish and Brazilian weav-on do not have the ability to speak so who’s to know you will be soaking garri for the rest of the month before coating your lips in MAC Ruby Woo lipstick? See?

As for the rest of you, you need to be sharp because all of the above flexing, flossing and balling—as described above—happens within a week, at the most. After that, the big boys and big girls buy dirt-cheap supermarket brands, bring their own lunches to work, and completely avoid social activities where they will have to spend money. Until when? Well until the next payday when they can repeat this admirable cycle every aspiring immigrant should strive to emulate.

Yes, research reveals that 1 in 10 people in Jand “admitted that things get tight within a week of receiving their monthly salary.” That’s seven days for you to get that Onigbese and Postmaster -General boyfriend to settle you.

You’re welcome.

Crowbar time.

See you next week.

@RGAMeyer/[email protected]

About The Author

Osigweh Lilian Oluchi is a graduate of the University of Lagos where she obtained a B.A (Hons) in English, Masters in Public and International affairs (MPIA). Currently works with 1stnews as a Database Manager / Writer. [email protected]

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