An Unexpected Phone Call

by Sabella Ogbobode Abidde

A phone call from the Vice President was the last thing I was expecting. It was the last thing I ever expected. Those who know me knows that I have made a career, made a name, lambasting and lampooning the Vice President — first as the Deputy Governor, and later as the state governor. But somehow, the call came. It came in the wee hours of this morning just as I was about to get into stage four of my sleep circle — the Non-rapid eye movement stage. NREM 4 is what ordinary folks call the deep sleep.

As a rule, I don’t allow anybody to mess with my stage 4 sleeps — not even my mistress or my wife, well, unless of course they have their entrances strategically and tactically situated between my thighs. I am not the kind of fella that allows unpleasant intrusions on my time and pleasure. But then, this interruption was from the Vice President. You see, it is the kind of call I wasn’t going to miss. And here is why.

Here is why I wasn’t about to miss such an important call from a very important political figure: (1) I have been trying to make amends so as to get into his good book; (2) I have been looking for ways to secure contracts to enable me pay off my school loan; and (3) with his permission, I or a relative could secure political or ambassadorial appointment.

There is something else: I’ve always wanted to boast to my friends, as in saying “Oh, I was just chatting with the VP,” or “Hold the line, the VP is on the other line.” And to be quite honest with you all, I am envious of those who get invited to meet with the VP, the President, or governors who make private and or official visits to the US. Just last week the governor of my state was here in the DC area, but I was not invited.

Yea, the VP: he sounded so nice and calm and brotherly. He said his hello and inquired about my vocation and vocation in the US and thought somebody like me should be contributing his quota to the growth and development of Nigeria. Nigeria, he told me, needed me more than the US, and that he could make it happen for me if and when I was ready to return to Nigeria.

For me, returning to Nigeria is not part of my agenda. I wanted to be in the position some Nigerians are in: contractors for ministers and governors and other government officials — buying and shipping cars and other luxury items for them. Or be in charge of securing homes and other investment portfolios. There is also money to be made from securing call girls for government officials on private or government trips.

But more than that, I wanted more. And why not? I am from an oil-producing state with petro-dolars flowing one end of the creek to another. Grabbing some of that money is my birthright. And indeed, the actions of my former governor proved that. I have already made peace with my former governor; and also just sent a bouquet of roses, chocolate and champagne to the current governor. Whatever it takes, whatever it takes, folks.

You know, I used to wonder whether ministers and governors and high-ranking officials are humans like me. I used to wonder whether they used the lavatory the same way mere mortals like me do. I used to wonder whether they breathe the same air and drank from the same water source as people like me. Common, you just have to wonder. You have to: considering all that sirens and fanfare and entitlements and power they have. I kind of like the fact that they carry themselves as though they created God. I like that, a lot!

As I was listening to the VP, I knew that fortune and GMG will come my way if I played my cards right. You know, I just have to be a good boy. Just listen to the VP. Intersperse my every statement with “Yes, Sir,” “You are right, Sir,” or “That’s brilliant Sir!” Who doesn’t know that very few things in life best the sound of submission or flattery? It is against my nature, but hey, who gives a razzass when it comes to money, power and influence.

After all, I have been known to flatter the ugliest girl into bending backward. I have been known to flatter the most beautiful dames into doing what they otherwise wouldn’t do. In regards to the matter and the conversation on hand, all I cared for was to be part of the posse, to join the group of the Nouveau riche. Come rain, come shine, come thunder, and come lightening… whatever it takes…It is my time and my turn to make it big.

Suddenly, my line went dead. Twenty-three minutes into the conversation, my line went dead. Suddenly, suddenly, it dawned on me: in spite of repeated reminders from the phone company I had not paid my phone bill. I couldn’t afford it. Haba, what kind of a shitty, miserable and pathetic life is this? A mere $69.99 in phone bill debt ruined my chance at a chance to strike gold? Sha, God dey…

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