Sunday, August 05, 2007

In the Wine Shop last night..

I drive to the Wine Shop next to Tantalisers in Wuse II to buy wine for our evening get together with friends. Buying wine in Nigeria fills me with a vague sense of dread: no matter how nice looking the bottle - a Chianti, a Soave, a Barolo, the liquid that comes out of it is always a disappointment. Days of being overheated inside a container on the high seas is probably the reason why the wine you buy in Nigeria has almost always lost its joie de vivre.

As I enter the shop, I am struck by that familiar feeling in Nigeria: things are not quite right here. To the left, a man is sitting on a crate eating corn and chicken. To the right slightly behind a column, two men and three women are grouped around a little table, with two bottles of wine. The wine shop has been turned into an impromptu wine and snacks bar, with the poor guy behind the till powerless to stop the transition.

I peruse the shelves, which are mainly stocked with South African cast-offs, the Nigerian equivalent of going to a discount book shop in North London to buy pulp fiction for a pound. I avoid the Nederland reject stuff, and find a stack of Chiantis. Meanwhile, another part of my brain has tuned into the slightly unusual conversation that is taking place behind me.

Of the two guys, one is the alpha male, the other his wimpy cohort. The alpha male has options on all three of the women. It is clearly at his discretion whether he leaves one available for his hireling or not. The Big Man is wearing shorts, and is bespectacled. He reaches over to the girl sitting right next to his friend and holds her hands in his. Her face is pockmarked, the consequences of adolescent acne.

You are a fine looking girl. You know that?
She lowers her head shyly and says 'Thank you sir.'

A woman like you, you know what you want. You enjoy sport?
She stays silent, waiting for him to continue.

A girl like you, is used to physical exercise. You like fucking, is it not so?

His voice is husky. He is already in foreplay mode, turning himself on, here in the shop.

You are not one of these girls to stay indoors. Or do any of that lesbian stuff, are you?
His wimpy friend laughs out loud at this question, as do all the women. The alpha male is spurred to continue,

Why do all that lesbian stuff when you can be fucking a guy like me, is it not so? You know, although I am a bit older now, I still have my steel. I am still strong, and still made of steel, you know what I mean?

He chuckles a smoky husky chuckle, then continues his grunt monologue.

I have selected two Chiantis and a vaguely ok-ish white. I go to the till to pay. In the corner of my eye, I see the guy in shorts pouring more wine for his retinue. The silverback gorilla is going to play tonight. And three women have their sense of the value of men reduced that bit further to a narrow slice of life that goes by the name of economic survival.


Pilgrimage to Self 3:28 pm  

For real??? And what did the girl have to say for herself?

wande 3:41 pm  

You ain't see nothing

UndaCovaSista 9:36 pm  

In the words of Frenchy to Sandy in the movie, Grease 'Men are rats. Men are fleas on rats. Men are amoeba on fleas on rats'! I shouldn't really generalise, but some men can be, that's for sure!!!

Akin 9:37 pm  

How that lewdness can pass for idle banter or a propositioning really escapes me.

Somehow, people do pull it off and that really amazes me - but as you so clearly observed, it was more the animal than the human on show and it is really disgusting.

I wonder whose Appellation d’origine contrôlée got stamped on the bottles of wine you chose after listening intently to all that.

irritated oguro,  11:20 pm  

oh Jeremy !!!
'The silverback gorilla is going to play tonight' ... now that drives home the point .. I really don't know what to say, I did enjoy the caricature of the primate you sketch . reminds me of a grey haired nigerian author who described another primate in his prison diaries, only difference was this one was a policeman not a crude sick pervert with nothing else to do but paw and slobber over young girls.

anonymaus,  3:38 am  

I'm surprised you still wanted to buy the wine after that!!

The guy sounds like a creep and a sleaze-ball. Hopefully one day, the short-wearing "alpha" male, will meet a woman that will put in his place ie kick him back to hole from which he emerged, with a verbal dressing down (accompanied by the rapid up and down movement of the eyes) and maybe a dirty slap for good measure.

AbujaBabe 12:16 pm  

Lol!! Naija Na wow oh!

Even me when i went to the wine shop i was so suprised to see that you can drnk your wine in that small they go even brig suya come if you

I thought it was a wine shop!


Anonymous,  3:44 pm  

this is reason why i want to live in naija, the girls don't front at all!!!

catwalq 6:07 pm  


Anonymous,  6:44 pm  


Na only your ear go hear dis kind thing! D rest of us wey dey go shop no go hear this one.

Mimi,  7:50 pm  

Na wa! How come i never get to listen in on conversations like this? Where are these men from? Hell?

Anonymous,  11:20 pm  

jeremy you're making a lot of assumptions based on this chiking. You have no idea of their relationship before or after than day and are reaching. Why does he have to be a gorilla because of a healthy sexual appetite. for all you know, the blushing geishas are as voracious as he is behind closed doors

olu 11:20 pm  

Gosh! I am amazed by some of the above comments? Yes, it is wrong, but the scenario plays itself out many times over, very freaking day in every corner in the world, whether it is by some illiterate nigerian in a rundown store or on the 77th floor of a fortune 500 company building - the style/approaches differ but the motive is the same - from Hong Kong to Wall street, some are just more coy that others. Ironically and sadly, it is this expression of surprise that this happens that further perpetuates it. Wake up people, the world is a f#$%ked up place!

Okunrin meta



Anyway, how were the wines!

Judy123 8:53 pm  

There is nothing they do not do in abuja business premises these days.I once walked into a eatery and I saw a shop within the shop. Guess what was on display?.....Cameras, batteries, hair clippers etc all neatly arranged in a glass stand with the seller seated behind.... all happening in this eatery... Right opposite Celtel in FCT!!!!

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