There comes a time during the first term of every session that every reservoir begins to become dry. It peaks in December, just before the end of the term. There are no exams but a second continuous assessment to be averaged with the first before the mid-term break. Some call it Owu period.
It is the time when every tier of sophistication is reduced by at least a level. The “Large-Livers” become “Average”. The “Average” becomes “Suffos” and the “Suffos” just escapes extinction. Garri becomes gold. Its scarcity can only be compared with the availability of water in the Sahara desert. This was a period where the swell-ability of Garri is tried, tested and proved. It never disappoints especially if it is the brand called “Ijebu Garri”. I hated that Yellow Garri. It had little or no value to a FEGOite.
Once, I was striked in the dining hall and I had just the legendary Garri. It was a Monday afternoon and the siesta was usually very short. I took a little portion of my little Garri, poured into my cooler which I have converted to my zaping bowl. The cooler was so deep that you will need the kind of spoons used in eating with the devil to bail anything from the bottom. So, I added water in such quantity that the particles of the Garri were drowning, crying out for help to be bailed out. It had to swell and I had to wait.
The afternoon prep bell rang and I had to leave the cooler under my bunk as we ran out of the hostel towards the classrooms chased by some whip loving officials. I can’t remember if I read that afternoon. But my mind was sure on the specimen under my bunk. Will it survive being fapped within the 1 hour prep? Will it rise as assumed?
The Ijebu Garri lived up to expectation, soaking up every free molecule of water to Garium (II) Tetraoxosulphate (IV) solution. The Ijebu–bond was awesome, making the Garri easy to pass through the gate of my oesophagus to the hell where some angry worms were waiting with so much agitation. That night, I was first on the dining hall table. I couldn’t take further chances in this dry season.
The Harmattan weather this period was a blessing and a curse depending on how much you could utilize its characteristics. To the Nomads, it was perfect. They could wash and wear their clothes in 15 minutes and disappear into thin air capitalizing on the poor visibilities of the mornings.
The lazy ones replaced bathing with rub-and-shine. The brave bathed in the cold morning, shivering after the bath. The room-heads, captains and seniors could afford the contraband luxury of bathing with boiled water if there was light in the morning. Others who had friends or relative in the Kitchen could fetch a bucket of hot water for their troubles.
To the ladies, I doubt it was welcomed unless you had storage of blue seal Vaseline to fight against whitening of the feet, leg and arm. Those watery creams couldn’t help. The amount of cardigan worn by the ladies takes a sharp increase; maybe for the cold or for the hiding of white flesh.
It was the wrong time to be injured, flogged or punished. But that didn’t stop the boys from jarh-ing. Everything as a result of force was painful. Lips cracked and pilled with a few injured and stained with blood. The ladies had lip gloss and the guys could make do with Vaseline or just consistent licking of the lips. The latter was not too efficient because the saliva dries up at an alarming rate.
There were also the regular raids of Awin-land. Velvet Tamarind, as it is called in English, is rich in vitamins. It was sweet and was black on the exterior and orange inside. Some boys took it one step further in making Awin-juice. A few were caught and prosecuted for going to Awin-land but it didn’t stop the visits by Nomads and anyone interested in having the fruit without buying it from the Tuck shop. African Cherry a.k.a Agbalumo usually surfaces by this time. It was a delicacy and could even produce a type of natural chewing gum.
December brings the wind of holiday. There were the Christmas Carols and church events to celebrate Christmas. But everyone looked up to the final day of the term to go home. It was going to be a short holiday because by first week of January you are back to continue the FEGO adventure where inter-house sports takes centre stage.
Compliment of the season.