"Nyaaahhhwwwnnnuu!", he yawned, his lips spreading out to reveal shiny teeth and healthy gums while his tongue stuck out as if to catch some unfortunate flying insect for a meal. He was in his 'sleep attire' - a single cloth wrapped around the waist and tied in a knot over one shoulder.
"Nyaaahhhwwwwnnnuu! Mehn (man), am I tired," he scratched his tummy, "Nyeh (yeah) baby, I gotta sleep fine tonight o!"
"Stop telling me about it and go to sleep my friend!" That was his roommate, Ismaila. "If you wan sleep, sleep abeg! You just dey open dat your mouth like basket dey blow hot air for person body say you dey yawn since!"
If you want to sleep, please do! You've been blowing hot air all over me with that basket-like mouth of yours claiming to be yawning!
Uche began to dance. He bent his legs like this and like that. He gently did the electric bugaloo with his tummy shakin' to the left and shakin' to the right. His face bore that cool expression of the handsome young millionaire that melted every girl's heart. Hmmm, oh no, Uche's happenin' tonight...
"I go open my basket-mouth-ih well well o. Make I yawn-ih and sleep o..."
I'll open my basket-mouth well. I'll yawn and I'll sleep. That was all Uche got to say before Ismaila threw his pillow at him.
Meet Uche Nnwachuku and Ismaila Adejo - the former a doctor, the latter a web designer. These two friends had known each other right from secondary school and shared a small apartment in a two-storey building situated close to the Central Market, Kaduna City's centre of commercial activity. Life was a lot like just fun and games only for these two clowns. Uche and his silly dancing cheering his patients up at the General Hospital while Ismaila provided jokes and funny stories for the website he worked with kadunalethargyunited.com.ng. They'd come back from work, burn their supper then relax in the sitting-room exchanging stories of their various exploits at work during the day. After that it was time to get some sleep and prepare for the next day. A simple enough daily routine. Tonight would be different.
2 a.m. The front door was violently kicked open. It was raining heavily outside, thunder boomed and lightening flashed to reveal the menacing silhouette of an unwelcome intruder in the boys' apartment. They were still snoring though. The intruder closed the door behind him and was consumed by total darkness. He stumbled over something, fell spluttering horrible words then picked himself up. He felt the walls. There was the light switch. Click.
"Eeeyaaargh, mummy I'm not dressed yet!" Uche screamed.
"Sorry, o," the intruder apologised and switched off the lights. "Kai!" he hissed and turned them on again. Ismaila's armed stretched out from under his bed covers, picked up his shoe and hurled it at the light switch once again spreading darkness throughout the room. There was a loud bang and when the lights came back on three seconds later, the two friends were standing up in bed with their hands up staring at the intruder in their apartment pointing a pistol at them.
"Shout again and I go blast dat your basket-mouth!" the armed man barked.
"Told you so," Ismaila whispered to his friend.
"Gentlemans, I be honourable armed robber demanding for dollars and anyting else interesting you have," the man blurted out at them in poor English (you couldn't blame him, it obviously wasn't his mother tongue). An armed robber! Cool, Uche and Ismaila had never met one before. He was dressed all in black with a black mask hiding his face. He was a rather short fellow though.
"We don't have any dollars, but we do have some naira around here somewhere," Uche informed the man.
"Okay, give me now! Fast fast!" he barked back at them and they hurriedly searched the apartment for all the money they had in the Nigerian currency. Uche fished some out from under some banana peels in the kitchen while Ismaila found his under his pile of dirty underwear. They handed over the money to the armed robber.
"Kai! What kind of accountants are you, you don't respect money?" the man looked disgusted , but quickly snatched the money from them.
"I'm a doctor."
"I'm a web designer."
"No wonder," he looked a bit disappointed, "Oya, lie down and do not look up, you hear?!" The boys obeyed and the man began to search their apartment throwing things all over the place. He ran back out and tripped over one of them sprawled across the floor. He crashed into some chairs and lay dazed for a while. Realizing these guys might seize this opportunity to overpower him he sprang back on to his feet with a shrill ninja "Hee-yaah!". The boys were fast asleep.
"What?..." he kicked them to wake up, "I nearly lost teeth and you guys are sleeping?"
Ismaila threw a pillow at the man then slumped down to the floor with his friend to continue their sleep. The man stumbled backward at the sudden pillow-attack, tripped again and came crashing down into the chairs. A tooth fell out from his mouth.
"Wayyo!" he cried out. He jumped to his feet, grabbed Uche and dragged him up against a wall. "Idiots, see what you did to my teeth o!"
"Nyyaaahhhhnnnu!" came Uche's drowsy reply, "Look, Doris, I don't love you and can't marry you! Leave me be!"
"Eh!" the shocked armed robber had to exclaim. He slapped Uche hard across the face. Uche slammed a fist into his face.
"Wonderful," the criminal smiled, two teeth now missing. He let go of Uche and crashed back into the chairs, this time unconscious. The apartment was filled with pleasant snores.
When the armed robber opened his eyes again, he had a blanket pulled over him, his leg in a cast and... yes, he felt it with his hands... bandage wrapped around his head. He saw Uche in a lab coat fooling around with his backside, dancing while patients cheered. How did he get into hospital? He was absolutely baffled but, man, this dancing doctor-guy was funny!
Ismaila got 278,953 hits on his page in one day when he published this story on the kadunalethargyunited.com.ng website.
Life goes on, stay away from crime people. It doesn't pay, though it can be really funny. Find something worthwhile to do, don't go about bugging people trying to get some sleep at night, you hear?!
© COPYRIGHT ISMAILA IKANI SULE '23/2K+2.