For the last 24 hours I have neither eaten nor drank anything. I did not speak to a single soul. I set eyes on no one on account of being locked up intentionally in my room.
I read my SMS but responded to none. I had turned off my mobile data and done the same to the Internet service provider modems of which I had two. I had shutdown my laptop as well. I had unplugged the TV and DSTV.

I had set the status on my Whatsapp profile to “SMS only”. I have to remember to change it. So I have more or less been cut off from all social media.

On the table is a plate with 3 slices of bread which I kept just in case. There’s a bag full of 20 pieces of 50-CL water sachets just in case as well. I didn’t touch either the bread or water. There’s half a bucket of water which I finally dipped a small face towel into and used to wipe my face and torso sometime in the afternoon. Not that I was really uncomfortable or sweaty but it was something to do. 24 hours is a long time.

I had a fan running all day courtesy of the inverter. No AC since there’s no electricity supply from the mains since morning. I was loath to open the windows during the day even when the temperature went up. It came close to being unbearable at some point.

As at 9PM I had 49 missed calls. Probably from under 20 people. Most are probably work related. Most of the SMS are from automated systems at the various banks at which I held accounts. It’s surprising that even on our birthdays especially those of us who are naturally reticent the few number of calls we get. I suspect when I enable mobile data on my phone and put on my laptop, there will be plenty of impersonal one-liners from friends and acquaintances. We get what we sow. Someone who wants friends must show himself friendly or something like that so I cannot complain. On the other hand, the Yorubas say it’s impossible for the same 20 kids to remain close friends for 20 years.

I am grateful for the calls (apologies for not accepting them) and those one-liners. The fact that people even take the pains to write them means they spared you a thought even during their busy schedules. Thank you.

I have read a ton of Sherlock Holmes and come away with the believe that “The Yellow face” is one of the best of his engagements. I am sure it’s based on sentiments: especially the ending. I read most of the book “The Rhineland Mystics: an anthology”.

I remember for some reason that the word “interregnum” is one of my most favourite words.

I did a few other “things” while alone in my room of course. I tried to exorcise myself of some of my personal demons. I am not sure if how successful I have been but hopefully I am better now in all aspects than I was 24 hours ago.

At 9:44PM someone put on the generator and it was blissful to feel the first waves of cool air wafting from the AC.

A little “Sunshine” would have made a world of difference but she shines a long way away across the oceans.

I cannot say if I have achieved anything permanently positive by my actions of the past 24 hours though I hope so.

Final tally was 54 missed calls, several SMS and 119 new Whatsapp messages. I suspect most of them are from my secondary school class Whatsapp group.

Now that the “break” is over, I intend to take a proper bath and then go and indulge in something light. After all, it’s my birthday.

NB: apologies again to all those who tried to reach me. I will get around to returning the calls and SMS shortly.

Of phones, screens and cables

Of phones, screens and cables

I should dare to call myself a writer (if I don’t, who is going to :-). I can then follow it up by saying I haven’t really posted anything in a while due to “writer’s block.” There, I said it. That makes me a writer! After all, you have to be one to get a “writer’s block” init? 🙂
And since it appears the “block” persists, I will now “regale” you with my phone-scapade for lack of anything more original.

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Dropped my phone less than a month ago I think. Landed face down on a hard floor. The screen shattered in exactly the same pattern as the fake (I didn’t know at the time) screen protector on its face.
Used it like that for a couple of weeks.
Then searched on the Internet and came up with this long list of authorized retailers. Started calling them one by one. Most said they don’t fix broken phones, just retail new stuff. One of them suggested I needed to go to the iStore at Ikeja shopping mall to get it fixed. I finally got to one that claimed to be an certified Apple technician. I engaged him on WhatsApp. Engaged him on WhatsApp. “I will do it for N11,000 in about 35minutes.”
But his shop is at the Computer Village in Ikeja. Hmmn. I left it at that for the time being.

Maybe a week or so later, I wandered into the shop of an authorized Apple retailer at a big shopping mall at this end of the Island.
“We fix it but it will cost N30,000; If you drop it now, it should be ready in about 3 hours; It carries a 1-year warranty, but not if you break it o!”
(So what’s does the 1-year warranty cover? If it stops working or something like that I think he said. Smart Apple. Very smart. How many screens just stop working?)

Aside from the exorbitant price, I didn’t have that time on my hands. So I told him I would give it some additional thought and I might show up the next day. Besides, they didn’t have the USB charging cable anyway (I wanted to buy it either. I seem to remember he said it cost N6,500 apiece – daylight robbery!).

But then I thought, let’s do this thing properly. Don’t be penny wise pound foolish for once. But since I was going to probably get to the Ikeja shopping mall anyway, I would risk it and see if the fix might be cheaper from Apple themselves – also I would get to pick up the original cables.

Today, I got to the Apple store around 9:25AM. They were having a staff meeting. The security at the door told me they don’t open till 10AM. I should be able to enter at 10AM prompt. I wandered around then came back and stood in the hallway. I had my Bluetooth headset on. The staff at the “Ruff ‘n Tumble” children’s wears opposite the Apple store were setting things out for the day. One of their colleagues came in and started talking about how “Her friend in Lekki called her and told her there were lots of gun shots on the Saturday. That she just laid low.”
Soon, I heard one of them say something about the suspicious man standing out in the corridor.
I smiled, caught the eye of the one I thought had brought up the issue and indicated I was waiting for the Apple Store to open. I then took off my Bluetooth headset as well.
Apple opened probably around 10:05AM. Was the first customer through the door. Well, one of the security welcomed me by saying so. I asked if there was any special prices associated with that: “Either a special handshake or you get to add extra N10,000 to the cost of whatever you buy today.” Very funny 🙂
“Oh. We don’t do repairs. But if you had bought the phone here, we would have replaced it for you if it was under warranty.”
Well, all those conditions wouldn’t have helped me anyway. I have had the phone for about 14 months so it wouldn’t have been covered by the 1-year warranty even if I had bought it at that store.
Well, do you have the USB cable?
“No we don’t, check back next week.”

Time to go back and “localize” this fix. I had to call all three numbers I had for the certified Apple technician before getting through to him.

“Where is your shop again?” He told me and said he would send it by SMS as well.

I got the SMS, then somehow made up my mind that the Post Office (the closest landmark he suggested) was in a different place and promptly got lost trying to find the street. But I finally did.

He handles all things Apple (6S, iPads, etc) and sells original components and accessories too. I believe he changed the screen in under 30minutes. I ended up buying a couple of iPhone 5S cables and a third-party case (that’s what happens if you do a good job. You get more business and a free advert sometimes :-).
The first 3 photos are of the broken screen (had to take a photograph of a shiny screen) and the fourth picture is my spanking new screen.
iphone1 iphone2 iphone3 iphone4

An aside, you might notice that (at least for me) all the cables don’t seem to last (both original and fakes). One weekend I actually took a blade to a couple of fakes, joined the functional connector half of one to the functional USB/PC half of the second and got it to work! Not my fault entirely, couldn’t get an original from the “authorized” outlets and the fake stopped working on a Friday night.

I got the one below in Ibadan for N350 (sells for N500 in Lagos! Thieves! Lol) It stopped working after 1 day! But from experience I had noticed if you randomly bend it in some ways, you might “fix” it (so once I got it bent in a way that made it work, I just “taped” it permanently. Good as new! Of course I got an original cable today. I am going to give the original cable the same “treatment.” Wrap both ends in paper tape (I think if you establish some rigidity such that the cable can’t bend at the neck just before the connectors – the cables should last longer). The only downside I can think of is that the tape tends to pick  up dirt rather quickly – from the environment and handling – so expect it become dirty pretty soon – your mileage may vary.

(NOTE: don’t bend yours unless it’s broken already – partial contact 🙂

The attendant at the store I mentioned above actually told me: “You are not supposed to move the cables around. Just plug it in one socket and leave it there.

Huh? Say what?!



Before you scoff and move one, I would ask you to put aside your convictions and your prejudices for a minute or two. I am sure you would say dogs can’t read. What if I were to say dogs can’t read braille? Right? Right? Of course dogs don’t need to read braille. How many healthy blind dogs have you seen around? (No offence meant to humans please). But that doesn’t necessarily mean dogs can’t read braille, does it? But let’s leave that aside for the moment.

I once had a dog called Zulu. He was small and cute and cuddly, but not to lie through the rose-colored lens of remembrance (of the past), he was also a mongrel. Now there is nothing wrong with being a mongrel. I just thought I should state that fact: if on top of that, you still want to think of me as a member of the bourgeois, go right ahead.


Since Zulu was relatively small, it could get away with some of those things you see kittens or cats do in all those YouTube videos such as walking all over the keyboard of my desktop computer or generally just being all playful up on my desk where I wouldn’t even allow a tiny tort to go near.


I didn’t realize there was method to the madness of his playfully hugging my system. When he gets up to it, I just use the excuse to take a break.  The reality hit me when I got a pink slip it appeared I had specifically ordered. You see, I lost my first job when Zulu decided I wasn’t giving him enough attention and proceeded to send a resignation letter on my behalf to my boss. It wouldn’t have been so bad if he hadn’t included in the letter all those one hundred things (and names) I would have gladly said to him, or called him to his face if I had been brave enough. So any thoughts of trying to get that job back was a no-no.


Fortunately, he (Zulu) found me my next job as penance for the one he cost me. You see, after seeing me mope around the house and verbalizing certain suicidal thoughts, he went online and applied for several jobs I wasn’t even smart enough to use Google to find. I suddenly found myself with an offer letter and I was back on top!

Things were OK once again in Neverland. But suddenly Zulu disappeared just as suddenly as he had come into my life. That’s of course another story, but the short version was that I was trudging along in the rain one day, when a car pulled over beside me. Thinking the occupant was someone I knew or maybe the person was going to offer me a ride, I went closer and the window came down. The chap behind the wheel handed me a small carton and said “Hey bro, would you hold this while I get out of the car?” I think it was the combination of the appellation “bro” and the involuntary reaction when someone has already stretched out his hands that made me accept the box. I moved back to give him space to get out of the car, but instead, the window went back up and he was out of there like the Cerberus* was on his tail. I was still looking after the rapidly vanishing car in confusion when I head the whimpering coming from the little box in my hand. I opened it to see this very tiny thing with liquid eyes looking up at me, and that was how I became a dog whisperer.

But back to the recent present. Zulu’s disappearance! I was frantic for a couple of days and really considered logging a missing person report with the local police station, but I suspected I might be charged to court with wasting public resources or the time of an officer of the law. I must have chewed through a box of pencils (something I learnt from Zulu) when on the fourth day or so, while staring bleakly at my screen, a mail arrived from Zulu.

As to be expected from a very advanced member of his specie, there was no apology but a very bubbly note telling me that it had signed up to accompany the space shuttle Rosetta on its comet-meeting journey knowing fully well it a walk in the dark up a one-way alley (if there is any such thing). It was all of course hush-hush even till today so as not to infuriate any animal rights people, even though he made the decision completely sane of mind and under no duress etcetera etcetera.


I had resigned myself to missing him and I had got into the rhythm of once again living life without a dog (it was taking a sizable chunk of my pay to feed him and treat him anyway). But then one day, I was channel surfing when I happened upon a Snoop Dogg (now Snoop Lion) video on Channel-O. I caught the tail end of the video and I could have sworn I saw Zulu having a good old time in the background. It took me some days to lay hands on the video since I didn’t know the title of the song and wasn’t actually sure it was Zulu anyway.  But when I finally did, I was still almost a 100% sure it was him – but then didn’t he take off into space several years ago? I then naturally became an official fan of Snoop’s videos and went on to see the same dog several times. It was of course trying to behave like a regular canine but its “moves” from time to time gave it away as being much smarter. How many dogs have you seen sipping on pina coladas and whistling at the ladies?


That was when I had the brilliant idea of contacting Snoop Dogg’s (Snoop Lion) publicist or manager. After sending several missives intimating my desire to get together with Snoop Dogg (Snoop Lion) to discuss some urgent dogging business, I guess the chap or lady at the other end (Snoop cub or Snoop Lioness or Snoop Sec) got fed up and sent me a specially autographed picture of Snoop Dogg (Snoop Lion). But there was also a letter in the delivery box which to cut a long story short said “We appreciate all our fans, but the big dog would really like you to stop dogging him. If the dog in the video is truly yours, make your own music video asking it to come home. We promise to get you some airplay.”


Which would have been wonderful if I could sing. That was the dilemma facing me until recently. Oh. I did I mention there was a paw print at the back of  the picture?

Which finally brings us to the main subject of this post.

You see, a couple of months ago, my car took a dunking (I repeat again, I wasn’t drunk – it was very late at night and very dark). The net effect was that the engine had to be changed and the car is still not back to it’s “pre-M-Phelps” days. So I was surfing the web yesterday for a cheap stand-in when I came up an ’06 no-accident version of my car on OLX going for a third of the cost of my own 3-year-used-on-bad-Nigerian-roads ’05 model! As it was a Sunday, I sent an SMS asking about the car rather than disturb “Ms A.”

Bright and early this morning, I got an SMS from the contact. I decided Whatsapp might be a better medium of communication and was lucky to find she was also on there with her picture in all her Custom’s uniform glory probably just “clearing” a car for some lucky dude.
















After ruminating on how so-so lucky I was for a while and how certain recent events had almost made me think my life was a “dog”, Zulu suddenly crossed my mind. Which was when it struck me that if Zulu could be on a space shuttle in outer-space, and cavorting with Snoop Dogg (Snoop Lion) on video shoots at the same time, what stops him from being in a third place such as in the front of a remote computer or smart phone pretending to be Ms A and pranking me?

Not that I am saying Ms A is a dog, far from it. In fact isn’t everything on OLX legit and above board? Isn’t every person on their representing their true selves and completely beyond reproach? (Sarcasm – even OLX says to be cautious).  If Zulu can charm the weed off Snoop Dogg (Snoop Lion), getting Ms A to do his bidding should be literally a “walk in the park” for him, right? He could be sitting next to Ms A, smoking weed, and going “Yeah, yeah, say that to him. He’s going to fall for it. Just wait a minute. He’s going to come round and pony up that N10,000. Stingy bas***d! Can you believe how much he makes in a month and he won’t let go of 10K?! without wasting your Internet data?”

But then Ms A could definitely be Zulu just trying to take the mickey out of me. But rather than “scream foul”, I decided to play along and see how far the conspiracy goes. After all, she’s only asking for N10,000 of my hard-earned money and if it was indeed Zulu, he would of course return it to me after being satisfied he’s taught me a lesson.

Epilogue (what’s a great story without one)

Ms A was not one to give up on N10,000 so easily. I got a couple of calls a few days apart from her second number. I just ignored it. The one time I did talk to her briefly, she didn’t sound anything like she looked in her Whatsapp profile. She sounded younger and hesitant (unsure).

Well, if it’s you out there Zulu, enjoy your dog-life! And if not, then Ms A, you need to try harder. But be careful not to work yourself into a pair of handcuffs OK? Good!

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*Cerberus in Greek and Roman mythology, is a multi-headed dog, or “hellhound” with a serpent’s tail, a mane of snakes, and lion’s claws. He guards the entrance of the underworld to prevent the dead from escaping and the living from entering.

Just in Case

Just in Case

I like flying. It’s generally safe. Safer than the other means of transport. That safety comes at a premium of course. In addition, when things go wrong, they often do so spectacularly. One can generally stop a car given the right conditions (for example), but one can’t decide mid-air to alight from a malfunctioning plane.
So, once the pilot starts the run down the runway for take-off, I say a little prayer that goes something like “Dear God, forgive me all my sins. See us to our destination safely. But if this should be my last flight, let it end quickly and accept me into your heaven. Amen.” After that prayer, I am completely at peace and ready to enjoy the flight.

Over the next couple of weeks, I will be boarding an estimated 8 separate flights. That’s a lot of opportunity to find one’s self knocking on heaven’s door. So in preparation (I have done something less elaborate before), I am sending a mail to myself though addressed to my “sibs”. I will then send them via Whatsapp/SMS a cryptic but easily decrypted code for my password and instructions to read the mail in case “just in case” becomes “in fact.”

The text of the mail is below (heavily redacted 🙂

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Hi redacted/redacted/redacted/redacted (my siblings),

This mail is just in case something unplanned happens – such as any of the flights I will be taking in the next couple of weeks falls out of the sky – God forbid, but still – sh*t happens and time and chance happens to us all.

As much as possible, all “papers” should be in my room.

Unfinished Business

1. Approx. redacted Naira paid to redacted for redacted (contact my friend redacted for details). Balance of redacted remaining for a total of redacted Naira.
Requires another redacted Naira to perfect it (redacted for the redacted, redacted for the redacted, redacted for redacted – the redacted.

Credit: (10 items under here – guess I haven’t done too badly – thank God – last 2 items are “dodgy” investments)


Creditors 🙂

1. Owe redacted  over redacted Naira. I paid roughly redacted for redacted. Then check my redacted bank account (both current/savings) for several transfers to redacted redacted bank account to figure out the total I have paid. redacted originally borrowed me redacted Naira.

Debtors 🙂


There are probably a few I can’t remember!

People to say sorry to on my behalf

1. redacted – She is special. I didn’t do enough to make her “(redacted)” me. “Complicated much” – “Whoosh!” (those are some of her words I find intriguing). Send her a cake, a card and a single rose on her birthday: July (redacted). redacted can organize it. Cake must be from redacted.

2. redacted

3. redacted – should have done much more

4. redacted – should have done much more

People to say thank you to on my behalf (8 people listed)

1. Same lady in the previous section
2. ideally everybody or anybody who knows me
3. redacted
4. redacted
5. redacted
6. redacted
7. redacted
8. redacted
9. redacted

People to give the evil look to on my behalf

– thankfully none

Bank Accounts (with account types)

1. redacted
2. redacted
3. redacted
4. redacted  for redacted

Other matters

– get Mummie to finish reviewing the 2 books (short stories and poems) then print them. Don’t put my picture anywhere on them. But for the cover you can find some painting by myself or a couple of those Daddy’s watercolor paintings (should be in the room if I haven’t lost them)


Tunde Itayemi