Every day I am at work by 7.15am sharp. The deadline is 7.30. For the eleven months plus a few days I’ve been working in the small school where I teach primary school students whose age range is between six and eight, I have never gotten to work late. In some respects the job is satisfactory __ You kinda feel like a potter moulding the lives and destinies of bright young minds.
But there are days I cannot help but remember my more carefree days. When I was in a College of Education in a very small town called Ondo State which I am sure many have never heard of. Life was easier then __ no drag of nine to five __ no bills to pay __ just getting through the academic hurdle so I could be handed my degree.
Truth be told I did more playing than reading. Let me fill you in on a little back story. I never wanted to be in a College of Education. In my country being in a college of education meant you had to teach and back then boy did I not want to be a teacher. The ironic part is I ended up doing just that.
But I digress __ I hated every minute of being there for the first six months until I made some friends. They were actually friends of my younger brother who became my friends when I found myself in the same class as him.
We had so many wild escapades together. One time my brother and I; hellions that we were, stumbled on a knee high bottle of our dad’s hundred percent whisky. Ecstatic with our find we called the guys together and decided to throw a little shindig. Joshua or Josh as we like to call him got a couple of girls together, including a vacant apartment which would serve as the venue. The speed with which he got things together took my breath away. What none of us stopped to consider was if our bodies could stand the strain of a hundred percent alcohol whisky.
The party arrived, girls turned up in droves and we got the music going. Some of my luckier dudes (my brother inclusive) retired to some of the spare rooms to make out with girls.
I remember Josh racing to me with a cup of this whisky, was hesitant about tasting it. Something in my gut warned me it wouldn’t end well. Josh seeing I wasn’t going to go down without a fight persuaded me the only way he could. He challenged my manhood. Saying I was a chicken, that even the girls took a good swig of it.
Stung by his words I took a generous gulp. It only took a few seconds and I started having reactions. First came the warmth, the intense happiness and the pricking sensation behind my eyeballs. It was as if a sharp needle was trying to poke its way out of the back of my corneas.
A little worried now; I called Josh and asked him if he was having a pricking sensation behind his eyeballs. He reacted the way only Josh could; laughter __ a long bout of annoying laughter.
Before I completely lost sense of what was happening boys and girls who’d dared the hundred percent alcohol whisky started acting very strangely. One girl sat down with her head between her legs and started laughing uncontrollably.
Another of my friends leapt on a car and started doing a Michael Jackson impression. He was barely halfway through when he suddenly collapsed on the hood of the car and conked out until morning.
My brother and one of his girlfriends (and yeah he had many) stumbled out as if hit on the head with a hammer. There was a shallow gutter a few metres away from the house’s entrance. He made it to the edge before kneeling down and throwing up uncontrollably. The most disturbing part was __ whenever he came up for air he’d release a guffaw of what could best be described as maniacal laughter.
He vomited for close to thirty minutes and laughed for another forty. By which time his girlfriend was convinced he’d gone insane. I got off the hood of the car I’d been sitting on and managed to make it into the apartment. My destination was one of the rooms but I could only make it as far as the couch where I passed out for the night. My sleep was dreamless. Like someone hit me over the head with a hammer.
When I woke up my friends regaled me stories of what happened after I slept. We reached an unspoken decision never to raid our father’s liquor closet again.
Some of the girls aren’t speaking to us till today, and I can’t say I blame them.