Monday, June 23, 2008

Life's Diet.





I started out smart.
I don’t know why. Perhaps it was a reflection of my parents who sired me. My father at the time of my birth was pursuing his PhD .My mum was well into her first diploma. Two minds deeply engrossed in pursuit of knowledge took time out to produce another. Maybe with all the reading my resultant DNA helix had just a little extra protein. Somewhere at the first twist. Smaller than a micrometer but the effect was interesting.
This is all conjecture. I off course am assuming all this. The point though is whatever the reason might have been. I started out as a really smart kid.
My mum swears I started reading at the age of two. I don’t believe her. There are too many reasons against such blasé acceptance of her recount. Old age for one and the blind eyes of maternal love for another. I do however agree—report cards still lying in my shelf bear evidence—that I was slightly smarter than the average kid during my childhood.
I would spend all day watching TV and running my parents mad with imaginary games and somehow, when the time came, I would sit in class and answer questions that were stomping all the other kids around me.
Questions like what the square of 7 was.
What type of soil was best for farming?
And who was the first president of Nigeria.

As a result of my brief intellectual head start I was placed in classes suited for children above my age.
Thus it was that I found myself hanging around friends who were years older than I was. Much later in, years to come, I grew up picking much older friend. This was more out of habit and not because I still was the smart wunderkind of yesteryears. In fact I had become quite an Idiot as I grew older. I was yet to figure out the secret behind girls. My sisters had somehow reversed the tables and were now bullying me and just a month ago when my mum asked me who the first president of Nigeria was I replied, after thinking for 3 minutes, a hesitant Babangida?

Tumbling out of Secondary School found me with friends approaching the final laps of University.
They were my Sentinels to life my friends. They warned me of what to expect. Of things to avoid and goals to gun for. For instance I got my first lesson on Sex from my friends. They explained it carefully and quite plainly.
Sex, they said, was a lot like pounding yam. You spent 5 minutes or more hammering away at the yam breaking your back with exertion and yet strangely spurred on by the desire to have pounded yam. You kept pounding away working your body into a fevered state. A climax was very much like swallowing all the pounded yam in one quick go. Your entire 10 minutes (20 minutes if you were a pro) work vanished in less than 30 seconds.
As could be expected after swallowing a plate of pounded yam, most of the time you passed out immediately.
That was what sex was like, my friends explained.

Just like most groups of friends, we had tradition. One of which was every month end we would look forward to a night of Beer and Pepper soup. Protected by an alibi in beer we would sit and talk about matters of life. Laughing at those we had triumph over and those that were to come.
And so it was that at last month’s gathering I found myself with my friends talking about that most dreaded of topics.
Marriage.

None of my friends was married.
I had always found it relieving.
My reason was simple, if they were yet to get married with all their experience and time, then who was I to consider looking into such matters. As reasons go it had worked for a long while. The only problem was the longer it worked the more holes Time punched into it. Whist it was true that I was logically the last person expected to get married in the group, I had noticed that outside my circle of friends, everyone else seemed to be getting married.
What was wrong with my friends?
Why were they refusing to get married?

“You’re joking.” Chuck said when I asked the question.
Everyone else at the table laughed
“Why should I get married? Life is hard enough as it is.”
I took a sip of my beer.
“You think Marriage is hard?” I asked.
Was Marriage hard I wondered? Really? True there was no such thing as happily ever after. The laws of social human interaction demanded that eventually conflict would arise with proximity and familiarity. But was this enough to define Marriage as hard?
“Absolutely. Why take up an extra person’s burden? Having a woman to Nag at you all day. Where’s the fun in that?” Chuck asked with a grimace.
Chuck was kind of special amongst our group. He was the most vocal about his sexual exploits and if his pronouncements were true. He had rewritten the Kama sutra. He also had succeeded were none of us had dared. He had a child.
It seemed he had pounded so hard on the yam he landed in soup. Hot soup. Nine months later the soup was a girl. Maybe his hesitation to get married stemmed from this. A reluctance to add to his responsibility pile.
But what about the others.
“I can’t give up sex. It’s ridiculous.” David volunteered. David was one of two lawyers amongst our group.
“I agree.” Said Akinwale. Another friend of mine.
Our friendship was built on traditions and habits. One of them was the PSP. Every one of my friends owned one. We also had a pact to all eventually own Power Bikes. Akinwale had already made good his end. Parked outside was a flaming Yellow power Bike. Every time I saw him I assumed it would be the last. He left worrying status updates on face book like "I just broke Mach3". Or "I just made a BMW Z5" eat my dust. Akinwale was a speed demon in every area of his life. A man who blazed between Lagos and Ibadan at 230 miles an hour scaring the demons off the road. He was the last person I expected to commit. It didn’t surprise me.
“So it’s all about sex.” I said.
“Absolutely.” Everyone said with a laugh.
“Why eat the same kind of soup when you can have different kinds?” Chuck asked. “Having sex with the same woman for the rest of your life can be very boring.”
I nodded my head in agreement.
Perhaps.

Marriage as an institution was one of mankind’s strongest traditions. And yet in recent years less people seemed eager to commit to it and more were seeking a divorce exit. Was Marriage slowly evolving to a slow end? Would it soon be extinct with only the rare few practicing it teachings. The present day was fraught with social revolutions—The advocacy of gay rights. The right of a woman to choose. The acceptance of the 21st century woman. The liberation of sex amidst sexes—Had all these combined inadvertently to ridicule the notion of marriage?
Or had it just made it stronger?

“Marriage is a good idea if you’re ready for it. But most people don’t seem to realize that. People just want to get married without really knowing why. Just because tradition demands it. That’s one major problem. You have to be ready” David said. “And if you’re not ready to get married then I don’t think you should get into it. There’s no rush. Really.”

Maybe there was the answer.
The spurious sense of urgency imposed on everyone. What was the rush to get married anyway?
Breakthroughs in medicine guaranteed that child bearing could be had as long as the woman still could. The dangers associated with aging mothers, whilst still present ,were easily attended too. Whilst there was no reason why a person couldn’t marry in his late teen years there was no reason either why such decision could not be postponed for another decade.
One thing was right. Marriage was taking a lot of hits. If one was going to do it. It helped if you did it right.

“Eventually I suppose. I will get married. When I’m ready. When I find the right person.” Chuck announced. He raised his bottle of beer in his hand. Just in case we asked him to make good his declaration he was pointing out his excuse.
I didn’t say anything in reply to that. I had already made my decision on the topic.

It was true that sex was great and the freedom of singlehood was a heady rush. But then there were times when the need to share arose. The need to touch. To see. To reassure ourselves that we were not lone adventurers experiencing the busy pace of life. No man, they say, is an island. Marriage guaranteed that we found partners to steer through life with. The good and the bad. There was a reason why Marriage had worked so well and somehow I doubted that sex had that much to do with it. Sex was an important part of marriage. But it wasn’t Marriage.
Like a man once said, No one knows who discovered water but it wasn’t the fish.
Someday I would marry. But when I did it would be because of all the right reasons. Because I felt ready. Because I found the right person.

“So maybe one day we’ll get married.”Akinwale said raising his beer glass with a smile. “But till then. Here’s to more nights of Glorious sex with our girlfriend and girlfriends.”
We all cheered in agreement with him, Loud shrieks adding to the noise of the already noisy bar, but within me, another fraught with caution, whispered even louder.
Sex to be sure was a fantastic thing. But if there was one thing I still remembered from my wunderkid years it was this.
Pounded yam was good, but too much often resulted in Kwashiorkor.

33 comments:

mizchif said...

First, first, first!!!!!
YAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!
First time ever being first. lol
Now i shall proceed to read!

mizchif said...

Carl, Carl Carl, first of let me just say this I LOVE U!!!

But na wa for u sha, it's only u that can come up with pounded yam as an analogy for sex.
As per ur discussion, it is a little sad that most men think of getting married as loss of freedom to have sex with all skirts they see, but then maybe kwashiokor is their portion.

What i do believe is that marriage is beautiful, once u find the right person and marry for the right reasons. How exactly to go about it i do not know, But God help us all.

Love u! Mwah!

Jarrai said...

How refreshing to see a mans point of view on the M word and for all the right reasons...Carlang, you have hit the nail on the head. One should only marry for the right reasons...when the time is right....

Loved reading this...you have renewed my faith in the male species!!!

bumight said...

I cant find the words....so I'll come back when i have something tangible to say.

Shubby Doo said...

Lol @ ‘…why eat the same kind of soup when you can have different kinds?’

I’ve always wondered @ the similar statement of ‘why buy the cow when you can drink the milk for free’…don’t get me wrong… sex is good…good sex is even better but what is great is very very good sex with love!

Sometimes I think it is inherent in our nature to seek union with another person but then at the moment of unity be repelled away because fundamentally we want to be free to preserve our identity. I see examples in this in people that are enjoying the single life and in couples that are happily married.

I think it is best to choose that person that allows you to continue to be you...in turn you should continue to allow that person to be true to themselves too. Whenever you find such a person in life, hold on tight because it a blessing.

Jaycee said...

6th...I'm absorbing this...lol.

onydchic said...

@ mizchif

you've said it all jare.

Free-flowing Florida said...

'Pounded yam was good, but too much often resulted in Kwashiorkor.' my dear, u talk am well. besides, this idea of d 'right person' can get very elusive. just wait till u r ready, den u'd really understand wot i mean. & really, dez no need coating marriage n too much romantic lights. a friend told me dat marriage is more abt wondering wot next 2 cook dan stealing sweet kisses. maybe right, maybe wrong. i'd pretty much find out 4 myself soon

darkelcee said...

'Pounded yam was good, but too much often resulted in Kwashiorkor............OMG trying to recover from that cos we all know what u meant!lolll

not to worry one chic will soon hook u up and before u say Carlang u are married!lolll

Afrobabe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Smaragd said...

I am currently in that phase where i'm actually longing to share and to be shared with, touch etc... but still dont think am ready for marriage.

now I'M smiling at ur post, really sweet and refreshing to see that all men havent gone cynical on us.

i'm never going to look at pounded yam thesame way again! naughty, naughty Carl.

Ms Sula said...

All that's really needed in life is reflexion... Thinking is a prerequisite for every step in life...

I wonder though... what spurred that line of thought?

NigerianDramaQueen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NigerianDramaQueen said...

*I think you know your ready for marriage, when you would rather face problems with a person-than peace without him/her!When you can't imagine being with anyone else 'scoin scoin and all'- to borrow Fineboys phrase.
*I certainly know I am not at that stage yet! Heck, Nelson Mandela could be in prison for 27years and couldnt stay married!!LOL
*'Pounded yam was good, but too much often resulted in Kwashiorkor'- Only you my dear, can draw an analogy between pounded yam and sex, and draw it well!!!
*As usual, Great piece!

UndaCovaSista said...

Carl, one day you are going to make a very lucky woman very happy! That's all i can think of to say really.

Lol@ 'It seemed he had pounded so hard on the yam he landed in soup'...classic carlang right there.

@nigerian drama queen - "I think you know your ready for marriage, when you would rather face problems with a person-than peace without him/her"...
...I like that a lot!

Naapali said...

“Marriage is a good idea if you’re ready for it. But most people don’t seem to realize that. People just want to get married without really knowing why. Just because tradition demands it. That’s one major problem. You have to be ready” David said. “And if you’re not ready to get married then I don’t think you should get into it. There’s no rush. Really.”

- True, true talk.

- re pounded yam and kwashiorkor, also true true talk.

Naapali said...

-Shubby doo said:
I think it is best to choose that person that allows you to continue to be you...in turn you should continue to allow that person to be true to themselves too. Whenever you find such a person in life, hold on tight because it a blessing.

- I couldn't agree with you more. But as Hamlet said "there is the rub". What you ask is one of the most challenging aspects of lives shared.

AlooFar said...

I have a nasty blog habit... I ususally read comments first. I was shocked reading Afro's comment. I was like... it's a lie. Afro? Boyfriend? Don't ask me why I'm wonderingb ;)

ablackjamesbond said...

i have always wondered why Ekiti men love pounded yam so much...i see it reminds them of something they love even more...

...fantastic analogy Carlang.

Great piece as usual...on the marriage bit, most of the earlier comments r on point, i think.

Smaragd said...

BLACK007, yea, us Ekiti pple love pounded yam... err .. not the way u mean Carl, or maybe that way!lol

CARL, do u need help responding to our comments? i'd gladly help out, except it just wouldnt be thesame.

Carlang said...

@ Mischif:
Thanks dear. I totally agree with you agreeing with me.
And finally, you're first on a page.
We should celebrate this.
I might need pointers on how you did it..

@ Jarrai:
Hmm..
Now does that mean You lostfaith with the male specie. Or you never really lost faith but said constant faith has been renewed and given a much needed boost.
It better not be the former.

@ Bumight:
I still cant believe you;re third. i was so sure you'd be first. hung out a "Carl Welcomes Bumight" banner with anticipation.
Right next to the one i made for Undacovasista..

@Shubby doo: ‘why buy the cow when you can drink the milk for free’
i cant wait to use that line on my mum.
lol.
I find your comments very revealing and true.

@Jaycee:
Take your time. Lol.
Howz the day coming along?

@Freeflowingflorida:
Uh oh..
Dont scare me.
Marriage is all about wondering what next to cook?
You mean I have to know how to cook???

@darkelcee:
lol.
I intend on saying Carlang very very very slowly..

@sMARAGD:
Aha!
My plan to rid the world of Pounded yam lovers is coming to fruition.
Soon there will be no one willing to eat Pounded Yam.
And then I will have it all.
All the pounded yam in the world.
Ha Ha Ha Ha!!

P.s For what it;s worth. I'm really talking about Pounded yam....

@ Ms Sula:
Good question. What spurred that line of thinking.
Hold on while I ask carlang...

@Nigeriandramaqueen:
Then we are in agreement.
I am as well unready for marriage. Unless of course Angelina Jolie has seen reason to leave Brad.
Has She?
Loved your post..

@Undacovasista:
I'm not even sure what position you came in.
lol.
Me? make a woman lucky.
That's gibberish for drive her insane right?

@Naapali:
The pounded yam talk is true?
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

@Aloofar:
WHat Afro comment?
Oh my God! She deleted it.
Hey Afro...
Come back here!!

@Blackjamesbond:
Blog villles secret agent.
Thanks.. are you married?

Find her Bond and pump her till you get information.
You'll have to decide how much pumping is needed...
. M. . Tommorow never dies.

Carlang said...

@ Smaragd:
Now why would you think i'd need help?
lol.
There...
As a matter of fact...
I think i was typing out replies midst your offer.

Still...
What did you have in mind in the way of help?
You better not be at work!!

Baroque said...

sex, like pounded yam...& the bit about landing in hot soup is so original...so when you dey marry?

babeandahalf said...

Hey u C,

I have decided that what you should be is a scriptwriter. Or a screenwriter. Or whatever it is those guys who got all tied up in knots and went on a months' long strike in Hollywood are.

It's about the dialogues. Maybe not so evident in recent posts, but most certainly in your earlier posts which I am just reading.

I like ...

UndaCovaSista said...

@carlang - Lol! Yeah, and that too...

mizchif said...

@ carlang, want to know how i did it?........ very simple, i don't have a life no more, i officially reside in blogosphere, some force has sucked me in.

Atutupoyoyo said...

Very good analogy throughout maestro. Only you could equate the art of pounding yam with having sex.

We are all essentially loners. Marriage is merely for the purpose of having someone to bear testament to your life. What good are job promotions, house purchases, holidays, etc if you have no one to witness them? We almost need marriage to prove our own existence to ourselves and give our lives validation.

fantasy queen said...

you can get all the sex you want, but marriage when its real is much more than that....

Mommy said...

"Pounded yam was good, but too much often resulted in Kwashiorkor."

I think you are sweet.

You been tagged!

theicequeen said...

pounded yam?? your friends likened sex to pounded yam?? *scratches chinthoughtfully*..LOL! good theory tho...

and *crushing bearhug* we should hang oh, carlang..we have the same love of Bikes!!!! at least one kindered soul on bloggsville!!!...seriously..big up to that Akin for growning tha balls to get one..wahtchu waitin for??

shalewa said...

pounded yam and sex!ur friends did a good job of explaining sex in simple terms.one u can teach a kid.well marriage is good if u understand its purpose and are ready.where purpose is not known,abuse is inevitable.nice post.as usual

Onome said...

hmm..loving d part about geting married wen u're ready for it...had a sort of calming effect but den its best to have kids wen ur body's totally ready for it, not wen its geting tired and needs less stress right???

Che-e-ly said...

I just saw the movie "The Mist" right before i read this post. i think anyone who can should watch the movie and come back to read this post. it's true what Carl says but it cuts both ways...

thru this period, i have been battling the urge to cheat on my girlfriend because it's more forgivable than cheating on one's wife. Wanna know the truth...WOMEN are not helping matters!

I think we all need to re-check ourselves cos i can bet we are in serious dilemma.

I love your euphemistic analogy tho. U found a way to lighten a global social crisis.

Nice one,

C.