Poetry: The beginning of a bad joke

by Eyiamoni Apeji


This is the beginning of a terrible joke

so, brace yourselves.

Relax, it’s not a knock knock joke.

In that I am kind.

This is the beginning of one of those terrible jokes

where the funny isn’t lost in the telling.

The telling is poetic if anything,

it’s one of those jokes that dies when the story ends,

it’s a joke so honest, so funny that it is impossible to laugh at.

Here goes.


Eyiamoni’s joke.


a girl, a boy, an awful pickup line, the painful truth, and the reader’s sense of humour


A girl, her knee-high socks and insecurity walk onto the streets.

They are approached by a preying boy.

And so, the boy says to the girl

I really like the way your knee-high socks bring out the sexy in your personality.

Do you… maybe wanna get together and discuss….

spoken word poetry?

I’ll…. Show you all my metaphors?

It’s fine if you don’t get down like that.

In fact, you look like the kind of mind

That’s turned on by facts.

She says no, please leave me alone I don’t know you

The boy leaves.

All is well

That’s the end

I told you it was terrible

What makes it bad is.

The story is incomplete.

That’s an alternative end

Because we all know the painful truth.


How these conversations usually go

How crude these jokes actually are.

I’ll retell it to you

This time uncensored

Because maybe you find humour in the vulgar

And maybe this time

I can get you to laugh


A girl, her knee-high socks and insecurity walk onto the streets

They are approached by a preying boy

He is flanked by two of his most awful friends

They are armed to the teeth with compliments

The boy says to the knee-high socks

I really love the way you look in those, sexy

The socks are mute

After all, they are socks

But insecurity is loud when she stutters a response

Leave me alone

He doesn’t hear her and so he screams when he says


Would it kill you to acknowledge a compliment?

The girl is furious

But insecurity is embarrassed

Maybe I’m wrong she thinks

Through a muttered thank you

Maybe it was an honest to God compliment

One of those mythical moments

Where compliments are compliments

Where they do not demand payment


Insecurity is wrong these words intend to rape

The girl answers

I already told you, thank you

What more do you want from me


The boy and his colleagues

Grab her by her distress

Drag her through uncomfortable scenarios

She sees the compliments morph into jeers


It’s not like you’re all that pretty anyways

She tries to laugh

To be superior

Unaffected by their haunting words

But the girl is gone hidden inside her insecurity

And so there is no defence when

She screams at the knee-high socks

This is all your fault

You, who have wrapped yourself so provocatively around my legs

You, I should have left you at home

I should have taken up less space

I should have known

That when a girl and insecurity take their knee-high socks

Onto the streets of Lagos

They return without the girl.


There you go

The painful truth

Concealed in a terrible joke

Its ok if you don’t laugh

Its ok if this is not for you


But it’s not ok not to know

What’s not ok is when the joke’s on you

When you have to try

To exist less

Because oppression is not only physical


Little girls in knee-high socks should

Have the right to laugh at what they think is funny

Not at terrible jokes

Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija

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