Just when I thought the worst would happen, i. e, I would have to hang my head and say “No Monday Humor Post Today”, Mother narrated an event to me that made me laugh and almost fall off my chair.
If you’re Igbo, living in a town that isn’t your hometown, you’re probably aware of the periodic town union meetings that we do have. Its not just an Igbo thing, I see even tribes from the South-South with similar dress doing their thing on Saturdays or Sundays. Its usually a simple affair in most cases, but there a variety of activities that some unions include in their agenda to spice things up a bit. Now, my townsmen and women hold their meetings in different locations and the men really have no dress code; they are all most likely to wear one traditional dress or the other. But the women! They compete so much with each other that they have to be given a dress code to adhere to strictly. Anyway, that’s not the reason for today’s post. Usually, at the last meeting of the year, they carry out what we call “bring and share”, whereby everyone brings a different food item ranging from simple western snacks, to the most complicated traditional foods.
It happened that at the close of meeting last year, they had agreed to meet as usual, bringing all the goodies. Now, know this: Mother is one of the greatest cooks when it comes to traditional food, and in my honest opinion, her meals are unrivalled. *Time was, when she was the CEO of a small but quite popular restaurant in the commercial area of Yaba, but that’s a story for another day*. At this annual event, Mother was sure to outshine everyone with her culinary prowess, and in her words, she would rather be late to the meeting and pay a fine, than present a substandard contribution. Nah, today’s laugh isn’t on Mother.
The Chair lady of the Women’s wing of our Town Union is what I would describe as a woman of great Charisma. She speaks, and everyone automatically keeps quiet to hear what she has to say. At this meeting, they had only gone quarter of the meeting when a foul smell permeated the hall. “Who did that?!” Chairlady bellowed. “Why can’t we just control ourselves? Please excuse us if you need to relieve yourself and stop polluting this environment. I won’t repeat this warning”. The meeting went on in relative peace before the wind brought in another wave of the putrid smell. It threatened to scatter the meeting because the intensity was three times stronger. She gave out the warning a second time, adding that a penalty would be imposed on the culprit, since she had refused to behave like an adult. The third time the smell hit, the meeting was already about to end and refreshments served. It was so intense that Chairlady had to ask if there was an exposed gutter around the area because the smell had gone beyond a human fart. She investigated but there was none. As she came back into the hall, everywhere was silent, with murmurs going on here and there. The refreshments were being served, but something was amiss. Eyes pointed at her accusingly, and the smell was there, fully present, and with no intention of leaving anytime soon.
Turns out it was actually the food contribution she brought that had threatened to smell them out of the place. She had prepared a meal of “Abacha na Ugba” an Igbo delicacy made from sliced cassava and fermented and sliced oil beans. Now, Ugba has a tendency to smell, and in fact, I do not know her method of preparation, but it seemed she had prepared it before going to church and stored it in a cooler. She had probably come back from church and simply packed the cooler to the meeting without checking its contents, but, I guess a second phase of fermentation had taken place because the cooler was really airtight and it had been in there for so long. Another member of the meeting had probably come in and on keeping her contribution on the food table, managed to mistakenly tilt the cover of Chairlady’s cooler, hence the “brain-damaging aroma”. To hear Mother tell it(she’s a natural clown so its possible she overdid it), this is probably how her facial expression was when she found out she was the cause of the confusion all along: AWKWARD!!! LOL
I felt sorry for Chairlady. What a way to end a meeting. Mother outdid herself, of course. Kidney beans porridge…yum. She was the star of the day, that’s not to say she won’t have her day here too. Lol. Have a fab week ahead.