Her Yoruba accent was so heavy, it wasn’t just dripping from her bright-red-lip-sticked mouth, it was like a rain of bricks. They were petering me about the ears like hailstones. Believe me, hailstones hurt, so does her accent. Ouch!

There is a certain wisdom in letting sleeping dogs lie, but I have not been discerning this time. I have opened my mouff too soon and too wide to chat up the delectable-looking belle. But who would have known that miss Redlip Belle would turn out this way. She wasn’t spotting any of those tribal makings favoured by Nigerian people and cultures. A tribal mark would have given her away. Placing her tribe would have afforded me an insight into what to expect and what not to.

I call to mind those deep, long vertical tribal scars favoured by The Native
People of Oyo. It would really have matched that heavy accent Miss Redlips Belle carry about. But she didn’t have any on her nicely sculptured face. What I saw there told a different story, even if her phonetic artillery was telling another entirely. This young lady should be a bill board model; not modeling Victoria’s Secrets, she should be modeling Fake Eyelashes, Gum-Gum Rubber Weave-ons, and Contacts lenses made in Aba.
Why did I try to toast her? I wasn’t really in the mood- frustrated with the grilling mid-day Lagos heat, sweaty in that cramped space in the smelly-belly of the beast 44-sitting 99 standing molue. I wasn’t in my best form it is not hunting season yet. Well, What Would jesus Do? I had to take my chances. Who knows when the best opportunities come knocking.

If you care to ask me, the most frustrating aspect of this tripe was her heavy-duty accented talkativeness. I could never have assumed, fertile as my imaginative perception is, that any one human being could have so much air in him or her. It had started from Obalende, when I first smiled and say “hi, I’m Chris; it will be nice to ride with you blah blah blah”.

I feel guilty now, telling you all this. Tribal idiosyncrasy is a all-pervasive social phenomenon, and I can’t discriminate against people on that. We all have it- idiosyncrasy. I do too: The Frogs speak English with a accent; the Ibo man (or woman) speak Chinese with a accent; in my case I can never seem to pronounce “egg” or “air” without a “H”. It sucks really. But what sucks the most is that I can never seem to operate my well-rehearsed Pick Up Line without a “h”itch. Eish!

In this regard I forgive Miss LaBelle De La Lipstick Rogue, and let her off my hook. But not before I’d asked for her phone number: she had reeled off the number in the same breath she’s been yakking on and on in: sero-hate-sero tatty-fife-sefenti-wan****. I fumbled with the Alpha-numeric keys of my Blackberry as I tried to type and save sero-hate-sero etc. I could have asked her to repeat for me, but I spared us the ordeal. I just wrote mine on a card and hand the card to her. Without a second look at it she slid the card into her bra, shortly before the bus rolled into Iyana-Iworo bus stop where she alighted.

A sweat-oozing, lace-clad, hairy, mountain of a man unceremoniously squeezed his smoldering bulk into the just-vacated space beside me. Ain’t talking to this gorilla. He has no curtsy. There, still hanging onto the hand-rails, is a lady that could used that seat beside me. Eish!



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