Last Story from my good friend; RIP Sylvester Bane Barzini
THE ACTIVIST’S RAT
Yesterday, I overheard my house rat complaining to my neighbours’ rat, of the unfortunate wretchedness and poverty that has befallen him by virtue of his co-habitation with an activist. In other words, me.
“Just look at me?’ It moaned. “My tail has lost all its flesh. I now look lean and pitiful”
“I mean, who removes the battery from the clock after he wakes up?” He asked in total despair and concern. “I used to laugh at Moses, that church rat, but I heard he now flies with his bishop in a private jet, gone are the days when church rats were used as reference points of poverty. It is rats as unfortunate as I am to be holed up in this wretched activist’s apartment”
I was certain I was not dreaming, I snapped my finger to be sure I had a grasp on reality. This useless rat just called me ‘wretched’. Of course I knew the rat, I had decided to leave it as company in case I got too lonely and bored.
“Just last week” It continued, “The idiot wrote a scathing article criticising Reuben Abati. He used pencil because he could not even afford a ball pen to write the article. Can you imagine? Is compromise and corruption not far better than this devilish poverty he has become comfortable with?”
“Why don’t you just move out of the house instead of complaining?” My neighbor’s rat asked my rat. A question I would have gladly asked the ingrate myself.
“Oh I am leaving. I already made arrangement to move to Chief Okpobrisi’s house two streets away. This pauper’s rent would expire in two weeks; I know he does not have the money to pay. I just want to watch the landlord throw him out. It would satisfy me”
“Bloody traitor” I muttered under my breath
“While all his colleagues and friends moved on to the other side of the field where the grasses are ever-green he has become a permanent ‘occupy poverty’ activist.”
“The other day I heard him complaining over the phone of the inability of the government to provide efficient health care facility in the country, hence the frequent departure to foreign country by our politician whenever they catch a cold. If it is not bad-belle healthily mixed with pauperism that is worrying him why should he be complaining? The shoe he is wearing is enough to make anyone sick for life?”
I conjured up the worst curse ever possible, and in my mind, laid it firmly on the soul of this treacherous rat.
“It is this same unfortunate man that was complaining that a telecommunications company was out of their wits with their airplane promotion”
Gesturing with his feeble forelimbs, it attempted to mimic my voice. “This is preposterous and a mockery of the sanity of the Nigerian advertising space”
Close I would say, but not quite me. “How will he not be blowing grammar when he cannot afford to load N200 card inside his phone?”
But I loaded N200 last month in my phone? This rat was lying against me. This was ludicrous slander!
“He even had the guts to complain of the ‘Cabal’ last week, ranting in hunger about how the cabal had quietly suppressed the subsidy probe report, and how certain he was that no good was ever to come out from the probe. He even mooted the idea of organizing yet another rally to protest the failure of government to act appropriately on the subsidy scam”
My rat laughed bitterly.
“He has not yet probed his life as to why poverty has adopted him as heir-apparent he is there complaining of things only rich corrupt men can understand.
The neighbor’s rat smiled. I was being made the subject of their mirthless jest.
“Was he not slaving himself everyday in January, trekking for five hours every day because of the ant-subsidy rally, where did that get anyone? His foolishness has not upper limit.”
This was going too far! How could this rat be so mean?
“Just last week when his friend came around, he was talking so confidently about how the new N5000 note the CBN plans to introduce in 2013 would exacerbate the inflation in the country. You should have heard how articulate and eloquent he sounded; one could have mistaken him for an intelligent fellow.”
The neighbor’s rat stopped smiling.
“But he sounds intelligent to me, and from what you say he seems to speak intelligently too” My neighbor’s rat said
“In this country only bank accounts are intelligent.”
My rat asserted with an air of reprimand, as though he wished to save my neighbor’s rat from making a grave life-threatening mistake.
“If you see a man who knows everything but yet has been hand-picked by poverty as a running-mate, run! It is false-intelligence. True intelligence comes with a healthy bank account and a cosy living room.” He said watching his listener nod his head as though he had been conferred with some supreme understanding.
“You cannot compare the intelligence of Patience Jonathan with that of the Late Gani Fawenhinmi. That woman is filled with intelligence” He said with awesome reverence written all over his face.
“And I heard the rat that stayed in Gani’s house ran out in madness after hearing ‘masses’ too many times for one rat. And this unfortunate one that I erroneously pitched my tent with has decided to be the Tai Solarin of his time….forgetting that Honesty, truth, and sincerity has been taken to the slab and slaughtered in this country”
“Was he not the one complaining of the credibility of the individuals conferred with National honors? Those NYSC members that died serving the country during the last general elections as well as the driver that returned N18million did not even get a side wink from the presidency and yet he wants to continue in his foolery. This man is surely poverty’s biggest fan”
I had heard enough insults from a creature I provided shelter for, this ungrateful rodent that fed off the $scraps that barely filled my stomach. I jumped off my mattress and reached for the scattered broom I kept at the under the table.
…All You Need To Be You!!!