Bulls & Balls

So I’ve been off constant blogging for about four months now (since I left NYSC camp). Why? Maybe I’ve been lazy. Oh well…I’m back now and I dare to imagine that you missed me. What have I been up to? Quite a bit actually and I intend to drop bits of that in time. 

Meanwhile, I made a new friend that’s all shades of crazy and understandably misunderstood. He wrote this dear little story which he has refused to put on his blog. But since whatever I post doesn’t have to be Nobel Prize worthy, I’ve posted it here and given it a title. A very apt title I might add. 

I must have laughed for at least five minutes non-stop the first time I read this story. And just so you know, the Korede in the story is not “really” me.


I got back from class with a piercing headache. It was as if my head was under Nazi occupation. It hurt really bad. I called Korede to get distracted. She picked on the fourth ring.

“Hey Lieutenant.” I said, once she picked.

“General!” She yelled. Korede always had this fascination with the military. She once told me she almost signed up for the army. Somehow, I wan’t surprised. I did see her twist Emeka Big Head’s arm. Emeka Big Head was the bully in the neighbourhood and he was twice her size.

The first day we met she introduced herself as General Azeez and insisted I only addressed her by that self-given hypothetical military rank. I liked teasing her though, so I called her everything other than General which only got me into trouble. “Why are you calling me? Over.”

“I have a headache. I feel like there’s a rock band in my head.” I said.

“Wow. That’s awesome. And why are you not saying over? Over!” She said.

“Can you come over?” I asked.

“Yea, sure. You’re still not saying over. Over!” she scolded.

“I did say over. I said can you come over?”

“Very funny. Over!”

“See you soon Colonel.” I said.

“General!” she yelled. And began this familiar rant I had become used to. It involved a vivid description of dire consequences for me the next time I called her anything other than General. She once threatened to decapitate me and have a donkey pee down my throat. She was my friend and I knew she wouldn’t hurt me, but I was still a little terrified of her so I was careful when and how I joked with her.


“Do you have a headache or are you depressed?” she said once she came into the house.

“I have a freaking head..” she didn’t let me finish.

“Dude, you can’t be depressed. You have to get out there and what’s that saying? Grab the bull by the …” She sounded genuinely unsure, but of course she wasn’t. “By the …. By the … Damn it. I forgot that saying.”

I contemplated ignoring her as this was what she did a lot of the time. But, against my better judgement, I answered her.

“By the horn?” I said, knowing I was going to regret it.

“By the balls!” She said, almost yelling. “Thank you. Grab the bull by the balls.”

I was not surprised. Korede was crazy. She set her own rules and made her own laws in her own little Korede-verse. She did not conform to any standardized fashion of doing things. “I ain’t got time for that.” She’d often say.

“You have to grab the bull by the balls.” She continued. “You cannot not grab the bull by the balls.” I zoned out at this point silently cursing her and willing her to stop.

“Dude,” she continued. “there are people right now in different places around the world incapacitated, incarcerated, “

I wasn’t listening to her. I had had enough of her randomness. I tried everything I had ever read and heard about mind control, but it was futile. So, I drifted away.

“excavated, adjudicated,” She continued, this time a little louder. I could sense some deliberateness in her voice. “segregated, congregated, communicated, pontificated, vituperated, prevar.. “

“What?” I opened my eyes.

“Thank you. I finally have your attention. Like i was saying, there are people right now in different parts of the world unable to grab the bull by the balls, and you have the opportunity to grab the bull by the balls and you refuse to grab the bull by the balls? You have to grab the bull by the balls. You cannot not grab the bull by the balls.”

“Please stop saying balls.” I pleaded. I felt defiled. I felt desecrated. Not that I’m laying claim to divinity or anything like that, but my ears, I like to believe, are a sanctuary.

I don’t think I had ever heard the word “balls” in this inappropriate context that many times in one day. Somehow, it felt very unnerving for me and also the poor, hypothetical bull. I felt that at least one of us was violated.

“What?” She asked. “Why? What are you talking about? There’s nothing wrong with balls. Balls are adorable.”

“Just…. Never mind.” I sighed. There was no fixing her. I wanted to tell her that it was both idiomatically incorrect and mentally disturbing as well as physically impossible, ethically inappropriate, and, to the best of my knowledge, historically unprecedented by any one belonging to the human race to grab a bull, even a hypothetical bull, by the balls, but I thought better of it. She processed information in reverse. Telling her will only spur her on.

Visit Akbar’s blog: southofnormality.wordpress.com

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