BY OMOLIGHO UDENTA
I had to chew slowly because I had already encountered two rather large stones. For the life of me, I couldn’t understand why there’d be any stones at all because the stew was very tasty and I’d assume therefore that the cook, whoever she/he was, was really good. Could it be that because she/he was cooking for so many people she/he hadn’t been able to control the stones, get them out of the rice? Perhaps I should have taken the palm oil jollof rice or the pounded yam with vegetable soup instead of the Ofada rice I’d chosen.
But let me explain that I hadn’t chosen the palm oil jollof rice this time because there was one time when I’d chosen it at a party thinking that it would make a nice change but was sorely disappointed and baffled with each spoonful I tried to swallow. I mean, there was so much that could have been done to bring life to the rice. Maybe the cook didn’t know about the things that a little crayfish or dried fish could have done to enhance the flavour besides it seemed she hadn’t even bothered to taste what she was cooking. I gave up eating the tasteless rice when I chewed a piece of ‘undissolved’ Maggi cube!
Oh well, at times like this when one usually attends so many events, you might find yourself losing a couple of times in the game of ‘food roulette’. You get to a party you see a wide array of food, you pick something (and there is no formula for doing this), you sit down to enjoy your meal and find you can’t because of one thing or another. But occasionally though your luck changes and you pick a dish that just tastes wonderful, so much so that you might even think you are in some sort of olfactory heaven. Sadly this doesn’t happen nearly often enough.
Most times before making my choice I take a look around at the plates of food around before deciding what to ask for. Since I won’t be allowed to taste anything before deciding I usually tend to choose a dish that looks and smells good. Over time I have learned not to choose a dish that others are choosing to leave uneaten in their plates.
One also learns to try to avoid ‘high risk’ foods. ‘High Risk’ foods are foods which have a high risk of giving a case of food poisoning. Around here, foods like salads, moimoi and any other food that hasn’t been well preserved might make you regret every mouthful you took!
BY OMOLIGHO UDENTA
As I push my plate away, I look around at all the other half eaten plates of food. What a waste I think to myself. I sit wondering what will happen to all this food, just then a little scruffy boy comes up from behind me and asks ever so quietly if I am through with my food. I start to nod but before my head finishes its first downward movement the leftover on my plate is swept into a black polythene bag. The same thing happens to all the other plates of uneaten food.
Well, who is going to tell him that the food isn’t really very good? But looking at him I know that is the least of his worries. He’ll probably wolf down the lot without really tasting it, just glad to have some food in his mouth and belly. He might even think the food we think is tasteless is just great because he knows no better. Once again the extremes of life show its face again. At least, in a way he’ll have his own share of the Christmas Party, good or bad, regardless of delicious or tasteless rice. Merry Christmas everyone.
Sorry, the Xmas was postponed
(Strictly for the young)
BY TOSYN BUCKNOR
I WOULD like to apologise. I apologise on behalf of the people who forgot to bring to our notice that Christmas had been officially postponed.
I mean, there we were, looking forward to Christmas and still thinking it was on 25. We must have then been shocked that no one went to the village for Christmas, that there was no petrol, that no one sent hampers nor made calendars, that no one cooked, that no one remembered.
I mean, I had earlier recommended that we all had Christmas picnics at the fuel stations since we were queuing through out that week anyway!
So, we woke up on 25 and realised that there was one simple explanation — they must have postponed Christmas! Unfortunately, somebody forgot to tell us!
You take certain things for granted, especially when you are really young and have no responsibilities as it were!
Your parents buy you the Christmas outfits, the most you probably do is help with the setting up and clearing up, but your parents do the inviting, and your parents buy the gifts and the decorations.
In school, the teachers and principal organise the Christmas carols and parties.
In all these, your job is to show up!
SO when they years continue to roll by and you now have bigger roles to play, things become clearer. None of these things show up by themselves! The Christmas tree and decorations, and gifts, and clothes and cards, and candles, all cost money! Father
Christmas is not a free service; they actually paid so you could get that exercise book and tell ‘Santa’ what you want for Christmas!
Realisation began to dawn, and as the economy obeyed the law of gravity and continued to fall, Christmas continued to become a shell of its former self.
The cards were the first to go! Everyone realised spending money on cards was literally, spending money on paper. The chickens apparently went on a diet for they were all lean, and the Christmas tree was a real tree....
Merry Christmas indeed!
Still, we somehow found a way to still be merry! We went clubbing, we went to one another’s homes and had lunch (even if the serving was smaller), we went out. Nigerians are resilient and no matter how hard we were punched, we still got right back up!
Till this year.
Something happened, and we didn’t even know it. But somewhere between the worldwide recession, between what happened with the banks, between the stories of kidnapping, between the President’s health, and between the constant hammering of our spirits, we lost the zeal, and possibly the will to fight for this Christmas.
And I was going to end this article on that note, until I realised and remembered something else about Christmas!
We smiled and laughed and played and partied at Christmas. And it had to have been because of the company, not the products. Please tell me that we looked forward to Christmas because of the love, and not because of the material things it brought. Please tell me we cannot enjoy Christmas simply because we cannot afford an extra pair of new shoes or more drinks.
Please tell me we can still give out our old clothes, spare change, and time to those who don’t have even half of the half we have.
Maybe Christmas was never postponed. Maybe our priorities were