Encounter with an American Witch

by Sola Osofisan


Hi, this is Raheema calling from Hollywood Hereafter Resources. I just wanted to let you know that your phone number was randomly selected in a drawing and we have reserved a free burial space for you at the New Island Cemetery in Bridge-


If you would just give me your name and address. I want to send you a letter to confirm the free burial space we have reserved for you –

You reserved what for me…A grave?

A free burial space.

What’s the difference?

Well, the word “grave” can be scary sir. You can disregard the letter if you don’t want it. This is just a courtesy call to –

How interesting. So, as a Telemarketer, you pick up the phone and cold call people to pitch them with offers?

Well, yes sir. We always make sure it is something of potential interest to them –

Of course. Who wouldn’t be interested in dying? I am definitely interested in a grave. I am. That is a very important decision to make before you die, right?

I agree with you sir. You’re so open-minded about this. A lot of people don’t understand why it is so important to hand-pick your final resting place before you pass on. It ensures you get the kind of burial you want for yourself.

I see say na you dem send come.

I’m sorry? Send…come?

Oh, they don’t use the witchdoctor in the village anymore, right? They have gone nuclear and now are using Americans. Na you dem send come!

I’m sorry sir, but I don’t know what you’re talking about.

I get fillage too o! I be proper bush boy and my mama still dey kampe for waterside. Na one phone call e go take and she go run go fillage go get me Gold Circle condom protection, you hear. Una no dey here say e better for somebody? Why na so-so make una dey spoil person own una dey like?

I don’t understand what you’re saying –

You go understand by force. Na airmail I go take send winch to you, you hear. Una tink say una know winch just because una dey do halloween. You tink winch na dat abracadabra una dey do for America? You tink na to chant poetry and cook soup with lizard yansh and frog tongue be winch? I go show you where we dey use snake leg do ogbonge juju. Black winch, red winch, multi-color winch… For my fillage, na your eyes I go take flavor the juju. You go know betta winch when my own army land.

I do apologize to you if my phone call has offended you in any way –

You have not offended me. I am not offended. Do I sound offended? Why would I be offended because you – kind-hearted telemarketer that you are – reserved a grave for me? Do you know how old I am? 32. In my country, people don’t die at 32. When they die so young, it is a major tragedy! My mother and father are still alive. You want me to die before them?

I didn’t mean anything –

You people never mean anything when you make these stupid phone calls. How dare you wish me death –

No, that’s not what –

I DON’T CARE! Do you know how many years I worked on getting a visa to come to America? 10 years. 10! Do you know how many laws I broke in so many countries before I found my way here? I have been here only 2 years. All the people who gave me loans to buy ticket and visa have not been paid. My mother and father are still waiting for me to perform the magic of Dollars for them in Nigeria. This telephone was just connected 2 months ago because I am just now able to afford a telephone because I cannot make good money due to my illegal alien status. And now, you want me to die before I can even begin to enjoy a little…Ah, your own don spoil o. I swear, e no go betta for you.

E no…what?

Na hand ya mama and papa go take bury you. And na there eyes dem go take cry for you for dat yeye grave wey you don reserve for yaself.

Are you cussing me sir?

Cuss you? Why should I? Why would I want to cuss someone who is offering me a grave? I am only reacting in my local English. That is how we behave when we are overwhelmed with joy in my country.

I just had a distinct feeling that you were not saying nice things about me.

See dis wowo wey craw-craw don chop him yansh finish… Look, just as an aside, are all the members of your family reserved space in your graveyard?

Some of them do have –

No, don’t stop there. You should get everybody a plot. I go help you use juju finish all of dem make una dey go do whassup my dog for Hollywood, abi na where you dey call from.

I have to hang up now sir.

Before you hang up, would you by any chance know anything about a scam where telemarketers call people on the phone to assure them they have a free burial space, then try to get them to buy expensive mausoleums and crypts? What is it called? Bait and switch, right?

I don’t know what you’re talking about.

You get pickin?

Get picking? Picking what?

You get pickin? You don born bomboy? May you dash your pickin the grave now.

Dash picking…You’re dissing me?

Diss? Dis one pass diss, agaracha. Dis one na K.I.S.S., kiss – serious kiss of death.

I have to hang up now sir.

No, please wait. Let me reserve the whole cemetery for your unborn children. I will also reserve a full page in the Daily Times obituary section –

That’s mean! You can’t talk to me like that just because I’m a telemarketer. We are people too.

Yes, bad people…People who call me at all kinds of hours to trick me into buying what I don’t need.

I’m going to report you to the INS! You will be deported!

My juju go don finish you before you reach the place! Winch pass winch! You no go die betta, I tell you. I go make sure say dem give you craze first, make you waka enter K-Mart abi wetin una dey call market for dis side – before dem finish you! She reserve grave…Why you no take knife come kill me yaself? E no go betta for – Hello? You hang up? Why you no wait make I finish? Why you now wait? Oloshi! Na dead dog wey get rabies go chop the mouth you take talk to me.

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Dere July 24, 2011 - 4:46 pm

Hahahahahahaaa….oh my gawd!!! my belle ooooo

Maame Abena January 23, 2007 - 5:46 am

It's very interesting and typical of a husler's behaviour. Good to no good story tellers still exist. Cheers mate

JESSY EDIMO KINGUE RAISSA LAITIZIA November 13, 2006 - 9:52 am

I don't get a word of pidgin but I was able to understand a bit the feelings of Adamu and I certainly would have react the same. I was very stressed at work when a colleague e-mailed me this "tori". I can't stop laughing now: see what she has done to me!!!

Nicoline September 25, 2006 - 3:47 pm

that was very thoughtful and intellegent. 100% humourous keep up

pdings September 13, 2006 - 11:37 pm

"superlacious"Dont worry with the dictionary. It needs a new word to describe the humour

Lanre EJ September 11, 2006 - 9:29 pm

This is crazily funny

Anonymous August 25, 2006 - 4:32 pm

Sola, dis na real rib craker be dis o! I don laff taya! Chei! LMAO! Chei!!!!!1

hoodboi May 24, 2006 - 12:05 am

OMG!!!! this is talent at d highest level i laffed till i cried…


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