Eketi Edima Ette
Yesterday, because of Emem and Emmanuel, I risked bodily harm and agreed to pack the money that was sprayed on the couple at the wedding. Fortunately, Emem’s had a correct crowd. So, I did not chop slap.
As it is with every wedding where I am one of the designated money pickers, my Laser Radar for Detection of Illegally and Smoothly Lifted Items, otherwise known as the LARDISLI Detectctor, was on level 100.
Because thieves frequent wedding receptions.
Honestly, why do people steal at weddings?
One traditional marriage I attended, the bride’s aunt who came to help us cook, was caught at the gate with a 20-litre pail, filled to the brim with part of the beef that was meant for the soups and stock for the Jollof stew.
When she was asked why she did that, she said ( I paraphrase): “Everything is free for the taking at wedding ceremonies. I am not stealing; I’m merely taking my share of the freebies.”
At another wedding, the little bride said that, “one auntie like that is the one that took my mummy’s necklace and earrings that I was wearing.”
“Why did you give them to her?” someone asked.
“She said that it was fine, that she wanted to see if it’s the same as her own.”
The jewellery in question was gold, worth quite a lot.
Yet another wedding.
The bride and groom were both employees in an oil company, so the naira-dollar-euro-and pound rain was enough to blind someone.
After packing all the money, everything was given to the SISTER OF THE GROOM. Back at the hotel, she brought out about 80,000 naira, a few euros and pounds and about 1,000 dollars and gave it to the bride.
“Is this all? I could have sworn that we were sprayed more money than this,” the bride said, perplexed.
Everyone on the bridal train who were in the room, agreed with her.
“Sister, they were spraying small small denominations. By the time I finished making change for everyone, I had only the big denominations remaining, That’s why it seems small.”
Everyone was murmuring and shaking their heads, when one of the groomsmen walked up to the girl, snatched the handbag off her shoulder, and upturned it.
Out came rolls and rolls of money, tied with rubber bands.
By the time the shock had passed, that groomsman had counted over 300,000 in naira, 3,000 in dollars and nearly 5,000 in pounds and euros.
That day, it was the bride who stopped the girl’s brothers from giving her the beating of her life.
Anyway. Back to Emem’s wedding.
My LARDISLI Detector was fully functional and running. The cash rain was going smoothly, and I was doing my job without trouble.
That’s when I spotted him.
Boy. Fourteen or fifteen years. Well-dressed. Dancing as if his life depended on it.
It wasn’t his looks that alerted me.
No. It was the way he danced the Shoki.
Everyone who knows me, knows how unsuccessful I’ve been in trying to master this dance style. So, anytime I come across someone dancing the Shoki very well, I become insanely jealous. I was jealous of the boy!
The way this young fellow twisted his hand and did bend-down-low, so low, he was almost touching the cash carpet.
That’s when it clicked.
I was like, “Ah ah! In my very before? This boy….ees like yaaf not heard my story. Kontinu, inugo?
I decided there and then, to catch him red-handed.
I quickly picked up all the money, except for two 1,000 naira notes. I let the bait lie there on the floor, seemingly unnoticed.
Then immediately, I started twerking with joyous abandon. Me too, I did bend-down-low. I sekemed. I did atilogwu sef.
But out of the corner of my eyes, I watched my little experiment.
Looking left and right, he moon walked to where the money was. Then he placed his left foot on one note and the right on the other. With ingenious skill, he began to Shoki to the edge of the dance floor without lifting either foot.
Me ma, I increased my forward twerk until we were dancing side by side. When his eyes met mine, I smiled and gave him this steely look. Then I clamped his shoulder and squeezed hard.
“What’s that nonsense you’re doing?” I asked.
The boy just turned and danced away, leaving the N2,000 behind. But the little imp didn’t stop there o!
He went over to another section where the mummies were dancing and tried the stunt again. I alerted the other bridesmaids.
As he raised his head from his dirty Shoki, he saw three pairs of eyes staring right at him.
He danced off the floor and out of the hall.