There are those things you remember doing some years back or events that occurred way back that makes you want to laugh your guts out. These are those things you remember now and you wonder; did I really do this?, did this happen?, How were things then? Etc
For example I remember the television we had when I was way younger. To be fair, the tv was big. I mean big. How did people get to carry those kinds of tv then sef?. Of all its size, it was black and white and wait for this, it had a wooden shelter. The shelter was like a wardrobe or should I say a cabinet with two hinged doors. At 4.oopm when the NTA began transmission (usually with a rendition of the national anthem) the tv door is unlocked. Much later (I can’t say when ‘cos I promptly went to bed after the Network news then) it was locked again. Among the special effects of the tv was its channel searching apparatus. It was a knob just by the screen. To get a channel, you turn the knob like you will while switching on a fan. Gee, it seems so laughable now with buttons and remote controls.
Remember all those childhood plays we used to play. We had this play in which me mimicked a family. The guys acted the role of father. The girls naturally act mothers. There is usually the cooking part, usually with sand and leaves. When it’s done. Its served and consumed via the neck. You just touch some of the food to your neck and then throw the rest away.
There was the war play. Any guy that did not do the “war start” needs to revisit his childhood. There are two teams. Just like in the war movies. You hide, seek out the opponent and make sure you shoot first. Check out the kinds of gun now…Sticks, clubs, broken pipes, paw-paw leaf stalk, name it. Perhaps the more interesting part of the play was the argument on who shot who first and who has refused to die.
Do you remember your favourite tv programes then? Tales by moonlight, Speakout, Sesame street, Super Ted, vultrone. Tom & Jerry are new skool. Jeez, I would do anything for a spider man comic book then.
Remember when we use to go to so much trouble to get the lyrics of a song. You get the cassette and armed with a radio, you play, write down, rewind, play again and write down. When you meet up in school, you needed to hold your own in the company of your guys. I think the last lyric I took pains to ‘download’ was Sisquo’s Unleash the dragon. Did I really get the lyrics right? Lol.
Think of what pains you went through to get a girls attention. Think of how you went to great pains just to get her wave or smile at you. Think of the first time you “chyked” a girl, how long it took you to muster the courage, how well you tried to memorize your lines, how you called her out to that tree shed to deliver your well rehearsed manifesto. Remember her drawing maps with her leg as you rattled away. Then what was the response?, “I will think about it”. Hahaha.
Remember what it was like before the coming of GSM. Then, maybe only one person had a NITEL land line in your street. Rare and far in between calls from distant relatives are received from that line. I remember neighbours coming over and sitting for hours waiting for a call in our small parlour. Yes, I was one of those who grew up with the privilege of having a land line at home.
The other alternative was the public phone booths. Those places were the center of frustration and comedy. Especially on campus. You arrive a phone booth on a hot afternoon and meet a queue. ten or eleven people are before you. Five are there is flesh and blood, while three are in spirit. They have either strolled off are the space had been secured for them by someone else pending their arrival. You wait patiently. The network is usually a mess. Connecting one line could be no mean task. It gets to the turn of one of those activity-chewing gum chewing-chicks and instead of making her call and giving way, she stands there, the phone handset held to her ear by her shoulder, flipping through a phone diary. Each call is to a darling or a sweetheart or to “baby”. She spends ages before she is done. All she had been doing was begging for money from one mugu to another. While her drama lasted, the kind of hisses and grunts you will be hearing from others waiting to take their turn is better imagined.
One that got me really laughing recently was my first birthday picture. Hey I advice after reading this piece that you go back and take another look at your first birthday picture. See all the effort put in to make you stake the picture. You might even be crying. See the table; minerals to either side and the cake in the middle. i wasn’t crying in mine though, but I was not interested in neither the cake no whoever the photographer in front was. I was looking away. I later showed my mum the pix and after a long laugh which got tears to her eyes she recalled with joy how the photographer had taken several shots before he could come up with that shot which was arguably the best.
Life is good jooh, especially when we look back and fond memories remind of where we have been. It presents you a reason to laugh. Whether your laugh comes as a result of the stupidity of the event or the humour content, either way you laugh and each time we laugh, somethinh happens to our physiology. I leave that part to psychologists to explain.
Sylva Nze ifedigbo.