I do not know if it is that funny things find me or I find things funny but what I am about to write about is one of the funniest things that has happened since I got here....okay there have been many funny things but you be the judge.
You know in this country America, igbo (weed) is the starting point. Cigarette that when we see a woman smoking in Nigeria we will say "Mudiare come see!!! that woman dey smoke", Here there is cigarette break and old men, old women, young girls, everybody lights their cigarette. If you see oyibo "Nene" (old woman) puffing here, you will think of Nene back home and wonder the "taba" (tobacco) or the snuff they take with that black spittle/phlegm that comes out and the cigarette which is worse? em...thinking... taba makes their teeth dirty but cigarette ruins the whole atmosphere and many burn themselves down from dozing off while sleeping with Marlboro in their mouths...so which is better?
Yes you do not count cigarette. What you start to count from is "igbo" and Ehidiamen's Colorado and a few states have legalized it....in fact the government of Washington state (different from washington DC where the capital is) is actually calling on people who know how to wrap the igbo, how to grow it, how to remove the seed etc to come forward and teach others. Yes the state says since government cannot stop Americans from smoking weed, try as they may, since so many youths have become "excon" and no longer employable just because they smoked igbo, it is better to legalize it, have everyone who deals in it pay taxes etc. The government is talking about making serious money from the igbo business.
So when I got this new job and we were required to come for the drug test, I had an idea how it goes. During my alcohol and drugs class for my driver's license, I learnt igbo stays in the system for twenty one days...that is if you smoked igbo at second week of February, if you took a drug test by same fabruary, it will show you are an "igbobian". (drug user)
I remember the first time I was scheduled to go last year on my visit to faraway Texas, how my brother Riete Ofugara was looking at me asking if i was sure I would pass the test. I was like "shoo bros, my jaguda no reach igbo side na. shooo" and Riete says "Ena you sure????" and kept staring at me wondering if my closeness to Kwale people have not influenced me his eclectic younger brother. I didn't do that test then and so I guess he will never know for sure till this one.
Okay this test, we are about twenty and straight off the bat, I identify this "igbobian". Yes he wore a tie and shirt and looked nice but his eyes were a little too red and dreamy. So i am watching this dude saying in my mind "why this guy bother come here sef? How he want take pass?"
And then trust the two girls seated next to me. One was a Jamaican from her Buju Banton accent, the other American
"whats you name again" The ugly one who is the Jamaican girl asked me (why na the wowo girls dey start conversation sef? Why not the fine one?')
"I am Ena...it is actually a very long name but everyone calls me Ena"
Jamaican: Ya smoke?
ME: Yes fish. I smoke fish. You use it to drink garri.
Jamaican: Garri? You must be Nigerian. I like Nigerians I have dated quite a few
ME: By few how many?
Jamaican: haha. Buoy you funny. I said a few. haha. Why ya ask me how many?
American fine one: haha. Tanya has dated quite a lot. She wanted to talk to you cos she said you WAS Nigerian.
Jamaican: (To American). Gyal you talk shit. Okay, Nigerian, you smoke weed?
ME: What is weed? (In my mind. "dem send una come? Una be spy abi my village weeeensh???)
Jamaican: Ya know what weed is.Grass
ME: We clear or rather cut grass in my country with ojigbe...you know cutlas...machete
American: He funny. I bet he knows what weed is.
Jamaican: I am talking kaya, Indonesia, sensimila...I know you know.
ME: Oh Marijuana? I have seen it on TV. (una papa! Na me una want set up. I jump una pass in Jesus name AMEN!!!)
"Attention everybody" the lady in charge says. "You all must sign the consent form for us to be able to test your urine for drugs and alcohol"
(shoo, booze join? Them no know say cold dey? Them no know say na American ogogoro people dey take face the snow?)
And so we were given forms. Yes O! For everything in this country you must sign a consent form. It is the first time i am seeing consent form to take my piss. Well as long as it is not babalawo's cup I am peeing in (voodoo priest) I will give them as much urine as they want.
After the signing of the forms we were given some magic cup to pee in. And so we went on a line to use the bathroom. we were bodysearched and i did not fully understand why. But my eyes were on this American boy whose eyes were a bit too Don Jazzy-like. He was moving from one foot to the other and clearly uncomfortable.
well I went in peeing the cup, wrote my name on the label and submitted. Don Jazzy look alike made sure he was last and then submitted his cup.
There was no long wait. Right there and then oyibo (white people) simply peeled the label and on it were writings and they started computing it in our presence. and then it happened. The oyibo women started laughing and they called Don Jazzy "who is Mr jeffrey Anderson?"
Jeffrey got up. I knew this would happen. I knew he was an Igbobian
Woman in Charge "Is this your urine? Will you please take this cup and pee for us again? There seems to be a problem with your urine sample. We need to redo it"
Jeffrey: (the Don jazzy guy) I ain't got no pee left. I just peed"
Woman in Charge: em...we will give you some juice or water or soda (na soda dem dey call mineral) and you can take it now and in 30 minutes to an hour you should have enough for us. We are sorry"
Jeffrey: Just tell me what the problem is.
Woman in Charge: em..are you sure?
Jeffrey: yeah. What is it?
Woman in charge: According to this urine analysis, you are pregnant.
(silence then laughter.) It is why we need to retake it.
Jeffrey: shiiiiiiiit!!! dayum!!!! pregnant? She fucking said she was on the fucking pill men. shiiiiit!!!
Woman in Charge: She?
(another round of laughter)
Jeffrey: shiiiit my girl be tryna trick me men. I aint got money for child support. She said she was on the pill and now she pregnant. I ain't going down like that men.
Woman in Charge: We didn't test her we tested you. You....
Jeffrey: Damn bitch, I ain't no tranvestite. I am a man. How can i be pregnant? It was her pee men. I tried to not smoke but me and my boys went out and I was like I had a job interview but my boys were smoking and i was like i should smoke too. shiiiit. I got her pee men! She didn't fucking tell me she was pregnant. Bitch tryna play me men!!!!.
Woman in Charge:...well..you will have to excuse us. What you did was...
Jeffrey: (Quiet) Men I need this job men! I am on welfare and all.My mom kicked me out that I smoke too much weed. She smokes too. Nobody kicked her out (for her own house?who want kick her out? Oghene biko!)
And then another nonsense happened.
Jeffrey "Hey Nigeria" (I looked around and was wondering who he was talking to) Yes you with the blue tie. (chei na me he dey talk to) Gimme your lighter, I got one last joint i need to smoke men. Bitch be stressing me
Me: Guy, why you want involve me na shoooo! them send you come?
(raucous laughter with "what did he say? what did he say")
Jeffrey: What did you say?
(I put myself together and calmed down)
Me: jeffrey, why do want to do this to me huh? I don't smoke weed.
Jeffrey: I never said you did. I said gimme a light bruv
Woman in Charge: (dips her hand in her jacket and gives him a lighter.) Take it and you can't smoke on the premises and you have to leave us now.
Jeffrey: thanks. My girl crazy i tell ya. (he leaves. Raucous laughter)
Jamaican: Why he ask ya fi light? me tell ya say ya smoke ya say ya na smoke weed.
Me: Listen Patra, (I call her the name of that Jamaican singer) I do not smoke. You guys are like Satans to me right now and i say get thee behind me.
(another bout of laughter)
And so the results are handed to us. The lady in charge kept smiling at me when she gave me the papers. Everyone was staring at me when i got mine and the list of drugs i saw on that paper I have never heard before. just one cup and label peeled off and it revealed that of over forty drugs i was negative for all. Trust me as i raised my paper and said
"um... I am drug-free. I am alcohol free. I do not even take aspirin. I pray when sick and jesus heals me
(raucous laughter) "una dey laugh abi?" i continued in pidgin as i took my seat.
Needless to say i am the most popular guy where I work and they keep asking me
"Hey Nigeria, gimme your light."
So tomorrow the 23rd which is my birthday, I have decided to give all my colleagues lighters.
But where did that guy hide the pee of his girlfriend that a bodysearch did not reveal? Did he keep it in his mouth????? If yes, did she pee in a cup and he drank it or was it direct from source?
America no go kill me.