King of the Jungle

by Victor Ehikhamenor

This weekend was a drag. Think of a millipede with elephantiasis. I was not particularly interested in doing anything else after reading the sale section of my bulky Washington Post (I put the main news sections to some other unprintable use in the bathroom, aka toilet.). I did not feel like calling any of my friends around, ’cause none of them want to discuss anything else other than what I am running from in the news media. The Discovery channel, my favorite, was having a repeat of the BIG CATS. I have seen it before.

Out of insane boredom I decided to call an old friend in Nigeria, using a calling card I had reserved for some special purpose. Below is the telephone conversation between me and my friend Abu.

“Hello, is that Mr. A?” I inquired after a sleepy voice picked up the phone. (You have to be sure because a couple of people share one GSM in Nigeria).

“Yes, this is he…who is this?”

“Oboy na me o, Sozaboy”

“Sozaboy juju…Sozaboy small pox… Oboy how is life now? How you dey enjoy America”

“We dey manage am as we see am” I replied with less enthusiasm.

“How is the war coming along?” He inquired.

“How is the election preparation, hope no more killings of politicians?” I wanted to know.

“Oboy leave matter, I don’t even want to discuss that. I am sick of it all. So please tell me, how many Iraqis have you all killed”?

How dare he? He does not want to discuss the situation in Nigeria, but he wants me to discuss the situation in the US? That is so selfish and errant to me. That is like saying to my face (or ear), I will not abide by the UN resolutions, and I am going ahead to screw you and I dare you not to abide by the Geneva Convention. Why can’t people treat me the way they want to be treated? I am shocked and awed! But I was not going to let this taint my call this afternoon. I really need to talk to someone far from the madding crowd.

“Are you still there? I say how is the war going? Do you think Saddam is really dead?”

“Oh, I am here… excuse me. I was just flipping through the channels and I stumbled on the Discovery channel. Can you believe this? I just realized that the lion is not actually the king of the jungle as we are made to believe by Hollywood. Boy! This world is full of deceit. The lion must be one animal that has a good public relations outfit! They even made a movie out of it. I can not believe that this world actually thinks that only vicious and carnivorous creatures are kings…the big bad animal thinks it must dominate and rule the world. That is a shame…the elephant who is the most powerful and enigmatic animal in the whole hierarchy is a herbivore…can you believe that? But the bloody lion is always searching for innocent and peaceful animals to kill just to try and prove he is the king of the jungle…and I think it gives it orgasm too. Abu, let me ask you this, how come the lion doesn’t fight and feed on the tiger? Aha! Oh, no…it is only interested in powerless gazelles and zebras. I really think the lion is big big coward”

“Hey you mean you are not watching CNN or BBC? Can you please tell me how many Iraqis or Americans have been killed in this war?” Abu’s voice cut into my animal story. But I refused to be drawn into a senseless war that is neither mine nor his, nor for any peace loving citizens of this world.

“Abu, hold on, let me check on my goat meat pepper soup…oh man, it is almost burnt. Shit! I went to a nearby little town called Fredricks to buy this authentic goat meat, now it is almost burnt. This is very fresh goat meat. Not frozen…call it fresh kill if you like. It is slaughtered fresh in my presence. You should see this clustered butcher market? No it is not like the one you find in Oshodi, far from it man! Here the killing is precise and fast. The goats don’t even feel their death because of the weapon used. I could have sworn the butchers’ weapons are laser guided. The butchers are so excited and always want to test new knives and new killing machines in this abattoir. You could tell the shock and awe in the dead goats’ eyes and their extended tongues as if they are asking “what the fuck did you do that for…what did I do?”

An interesting incident happened today when I went to buy this goat meat, one of the butchers thought he had the goat on a good leash and let loose his guard…boy was he wrong! This goat (I think it was possessed by some crazy demon) the goat broke from the weak leash and instead of running away to freedom, turned around and rammed its strong horns into the testicles of this butcher…commotion spilt like fresh blood! The butcher bent double and fell on the patch of grass, he was shocked and awed. He started bleeding profusely, while the goat stood aside and had this smile of disdain on its face…as if saying, “how do you like that sucker, I know you are going to kill me, but it is not going to be cheap asshole”….

“Sozaboy, that was interesting. I did not know you have goat meat in the US. Do you know if the US troops have found any biological or chemical weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?”

This guy won’t relent. I called him to run away from all the war news and goading of the generals, but here I am being carpet-bombed with questions I have no answers to.

“Abu, my calling card is about to finish. I just wanted to call and see how you are doing. Please take care o…Oh, I almost forgot. I discovered an Iraqi poet this afternoon. His name is Saadi Youssef. He is intriguing, and since you want to know so much about Iraq and America let me read to you some lines from his America, America before this calling card gives up on me:

Why did you come all the way to distant Basra, where fish used to swim by our doorsteps?
Pigs do not forage here.
I only have these water buffaloes lazily chewing on water lilies.
Leave me alone, soldier.
Leave me my floating cane hut and my fishing spear.
Leave me my migrating birds and the green plumes.
Take your roaring iron birds and your Tomahawk missiles. I am not your foe.
I am the one who wades up to the knees in rice paddies.
Leave me to my curse.
I do not need your day of doom…

Goddamned calling cards! They are never enough to finish a good conversation! Oh my goat pepper soup is ready… but I have lost my appetite.

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1 comment

mowah george December 11, 2009 - 11:49 am

he was my uncle.who knows if he is still alive, he might have won a nobel price for litreature.


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