ACT 1 SCENE 1
(Mr. Ogiri has just lost his job, the contract being executed by his Company where he is a site Manager is completed and the Government has paid them off. No further contract in the company’s kitty and as such has to close down business until further notice.
Ogiri a.k.a Lanky because of his stature enters his house and undresses lazily, he toss his Shirt and Singlet carelessly on the Chairs in the sitting room, he goes to the wine shelf and pours himself a shot of Brandy, he gulps down a shot and squeezes his face in reaction to the effect of the brandy in his mouth, he then pours in another shot and retires to sit of the three seater couch in the Parlour, he picks up the TV remote control and flips through channels until he settles for one.)
Ogiri: (hissing as he soliloquizes) Na wa o! (Sips some brandy and squeezes his face) Where man wan start from now? (Hisses) Only God knows when they will call us back! With the elections around the corner, surely no hope for us until after the elections and too bad for us if the incumbent does not win (Hisses) kai! Na wao! This is the first time I will be out of Job in fourteen years! I did not see this coming at all! (Hisses a long one and sips his drink) Water go pass Garri if my Oga Party no win this election o! (He gulps down the content of the glass, squeezes his face and belches out loud, he pulls off his Shoes and lays comfortably on the couch and sleeps off)
ACT 1 SCENE 2
(Enters Mrs. Tombra Ogiri and their Kids. Joshua is twelve and Daniella is seven. The Kids are still dressed in their School Uniforms, they rush to greet their daddy but sees him sleeping thy run into their room to change their clothes, Tombra comes around and looks her sleeping husband over, she picks up the empty glass cup and smells it, she picks up the Clothes Ogiri had dropped carelessly on the Chairs then she sees the folded envelope on the centre table, she picks it up and reads the retrenchment letter of her husband: Ogiri turns over on the couch, utters some incoherent words, he hisses a long one and continues to snore )
Tombra: (Murmurs) Jesus! Jesus Christ! (She drops the letter and runs into the room tilting over a side stool, Ogiri jumps awake abruptly)
Ogiri: Who goes there! (Wide eyed) I say who goes there! (He stands up and looks around the sitting room; he notices the movement of the adjoining Curtain to the bedroom, he moves care fully towards the bedroom and shouts) I say who goes there! (The Kids now in different clothes rush out to greet him, hugging him, he was taken aback) oh dear me! It’s you Guys! Who brought you home?
Joshua: its Mummy sir!
Ogiri: Your Mum came home this early? What for?
Daniella: Today is Thursday nah! Mummy will go to Church for fellowship
Ogiri: Oh! Oh! I forgot!
Joshua: But Daddy, why are you home so early? Are you going to Church too?
Ogiri: em, em, no! Not really, something happened at work and we closed early
Daniella: What happened at work Daddy?
Ogiri: em, em, we are on recess for now! We have finished the project we were handling at Elekahia and we do not have any other one at hand so I won’t be going to work for sometime until we get another Contract. Where is your Mum? Is she inside?
Daniella: yes daddy! She is inside! (The Kids leave their Dad and proceeds to the dinning table with their books to start working on their home works) Daddy! Come and help me out with my home work.
Ogiri: I am coming my dear! Give it to Josh to help you out; if he cannot do it, then I will do it!
Joshua: Daddy what about if you cannot do it! (Sneering)
Ogiri: Then we will consult the internet! (He enters the room only to re emerge trailing his wife) sweet heart I was coming to meet you in the room, the Kids say you are preparing for Church!
Tombra: yes I was!
Ogiri: You were? You changed your mind?
Ogiri: Wetin happen? Why the change of mind? Did you just change your mind on your way home? (Picks up the letter his wife dropped on the floor) or you changed you mind when you got home and read this letter?
Tombra: Daddy Joshua what is it nah? Haba!
Ogiri: Ahn han! Why are you so agitated? Did something happen to you too?
Tombra: (Snaps her fingers over her head) Tufiakwa! God forbid! Nothing will happen to me in Jesus name!
Ogiri: (Nods his head knowingly, he hands over the letter to her) Sweet heart, please read this!
Tombra: Read what? Will my reading it change its content? Please don’t give me any ad news letter to read o!
Ogiri: Which means you have read it already while i was sleeping, that is why you are acting this way and that is why you are no longer going to the Church, but you did not even show any sign of concern towards me! You did not even ask me what happened! You are supposed to me my pacifier instead you are being hostile and aggressive! What kind of attitude are you giving me so?
Tombra: You lost your job and instead of going about to look for another job you came home to drink, sleep and snore!
Ogiri: How? Is it not today that I lost the Job? Did I see it coming? No! Won’t I come home first and think of the next step to take? I have been working consistently for fourteen years non stop! I don’t even know where my credentials are any longer except I begin to search, I don’t have an updated CV! All these I have to come home and arrange before going out to look for another job!
Tombra: You did not come home to think! You came home to drink! (Points to the empty glass cup on the centre table. The Children leaves the sitting room with their books slowly)
Ogiri: see how you are disgracing me before my Children? Tombra what is wrong with you? You are getting me scared! You have never talked to me like this in our twelve years of marriage!
Tombra: you have never been jobless in our twelve years of marriage!
Ogiri: But you swore to stand by me for better for worse! Just my first day out of job and you are acting up this way! Darling, I hope you will not make me regret this marriage because as it stands now I need your support more than ever! I see no reason for this attitude you are putting up after all we are not yet desperate! Your Shop can sustain us until I get something to do or until they call us back to work!
Tombra: (Furious) Did You hear your self now? You hear yourself?
Ogiri: What did I say wrong?
Tombra: So you are going to wait until they call you back? And when will that be?
Ogiri: Hopefully, after the elections!
Tombra: (Claps her hands laughing sarcastically) ha ha ha! You make me laugh! That is four months from now! And what will you be doing until then? Drinking and sleeping?
Ogiri: I cannot be hungry till then, I have some savings that can carry us for the next six month.
Tombra: Including payment of the Children’s School fees when it falls due?
Ogiri: Can’t you take care of the fees for me? Your shop can take care of that nah! After all I have never asked you to give account of your shop income to me! I gave you free hand right from its inception. But now, I need your assistance.
Tombra: Bros I can’t o! I can’t at all, at all! I have other concerns I need money for!
Ogiri: (Angry) other concerns? For where? In this house of else where? Are you okay? Look here woman! It is for better for worse o! When it was rosy you were there to enjoy good life! Just today, today! That I lost my job you are already showing me attitude! You could not even persevere for a month of two before you start to complain. Just one day! One day! Tombra, you fall my hand!
Tombra: was it not you that said you want to wait until eternity before you start looking for another job? How did you expect me to react? You are scaring me with your nonchalant attitude!
Ogiri: Oh! Me! Nonchalant attitude? A whole me? I have maintained a steady job for fourteen years with a nonchalant attitude! I built this house from my savings with a nonchalant attitude! I bought you two Cars and set you up in business with my nonchalant attitude abi? Kai! Kai! Kai! My Gawd! Now I understand why it is not good to marry a girl you met when you have arrived! They will never know how to manage you when you go down because they are used to having everything at their disposal. Tombra! You are a gold digger! I made a mistake in marrying you! I think I will have to convene a family meeting so that we can revisit this charade you and I called marriage!
Tombra: (Clapping and booing) nonchalant man! Lazy man! Go and get a job! You want to turn me into a man over night! What is mine is mine! You will not see a kobo from my shop! You gave me money for business, and so what? Am I not your wife? Is it not your responsibility to make me comfortable? So why are you bragging as if you have done what Napoleon could not do? Go to Town and see what Men like you are doing for their wives! Common three million naira that you invested in my Shop we no go hear word again! (The Children emerges from the room standing side by side they stare at their Parents ranting till fade)
ACT 2 SCENE 1
Dandy’s Bar: Mid day, cool jazz music is playing at the back ground on a low tone, some Bar Staff are sitting and sleeping on the Tables, Akpan is busy moving to and fro with a mop stick in his hand. Dandy is relaxing with a bottle of Chilled Heineken lager as he reads from a chapter of Mario Puzo’s ‘The Godfather’.
Enters Ogiri, a.k.a Lanky, he strolls in looking for some one, eventually he finds Dandy. He stands by the door smiling down at Dandy until Dandy looks up from his book.
Dandy: (Jumps up happily) old boy! Longest time! (They hug) whither now? Lanky! Lanky! (Looks him up and down) look at you! In fact, I don’t what to say!
Lanky: Guy! Don’t just say anything yet! Just take me as you see me (They both sit down) Guy! Your Man dey roast baad!
Dandy: ehen! I for say nah! I wanted to ask if all is well with you but I did not want to pre-empt your condition, which was why I said I didn’t know what to say when you came in (calls out Akpan)
So what’s up with you? Na wetin dey happen? He don tey o! You just disappear like smoke only to reappear with complaints of roasting! (Akpan appears) Akpan get a bottle of Star lager for my Friend! (Akpan dashes off)
Lanky: Old boy! Old boy! Come back! Forget the beer thing first I beg! (Akpan runs off)
Dandy: why? Don’t you drink any longer?
Lanky: to drink beer into an empty stomach is a dangerous game! It could be counter productive!
Dandy: oh! You never chop?
Lanky: I never chop!
Dandy: shuo! Okay, no wahala nah! Dem go arrange food for you! You no be stranger for here. So how is your family nah? Madam and the Kids?
Lanky: That is my problem now Dandy! Madam is my major head ache now!
Dandy: How do you mean?
Lanky: Dan! I have been out of Job since January, immediately we completed the Elekahia road project, our Company had no other job on ground so we were all paid off pending when another contract will be awarded. But so far no project is forth coming due to the campaigns and election postponements going on in the Country. Until a new Government is installed, no Contract is being awarded to ant Company.
Dandy: yes! Yes! Na so e dey be nah!
Lanky: good! I have been hoping something would turn up to no avail; I have spent up all my savings! My Wife has practically become the bread winner from the proceeds of her Shop at Rumuola.
Dandy: The Shop you opened for her sometimes last year?
Lanky: God bless you! That is the Shop! I was paid my housing allowance up front to the tune of 2.5 million naira! I invested all of it in her Shop! I eventually spent over three million naira for the rental, renovation and stocking of the Shop! I further collected a soft loan from the cooperative society and bought her a Toyota Hi-ace Panel Van to assist with the Business; I then bought her a Corolla for her personal use. Guy! I no try reach?
Dandy: You try pass! You try pass! I remember telling you it was the wisest thing to do! Once you equip your Wife, it takes a whole lot of load off your neck!
Lanky: Fa fa fa Fao!
Dandy: Why do you say so?
Lanky: my case is different! It was the most foolish thing I did in my life! Only if I had known that Tombra would turn around and betray my trust in her, my condition would not have been this bad! Can you imagine that I have fallen so low that my Wife came back from her Shop last night and challenged me foe taking a piece of meat from the soup?
Dandy: what? (Drinks straight from the bottle) wetin you talk again? I no hear you well!
Lanky: I prepared white rice to eat in the evening, I scooped and warmed a little stew from the one she keeps in the freezer and naturally I took a piece of meat instead of my normal two pieces when the going was good. My Wife returned home just as I was doing the dishes and she went straight to the freezer, she asked if I had eaten, I said yes! I said I prepared Rice and Stew! She asked if I took meat and I answered that I took just a piece since we are managing! My Guy, she told me the story of my life! She insulted and embarrassed me in the presence of my Children! Dandy! I went and locked my self in the toilet and cried like the fool I am! I slept off in the toilet that night for fear of coming out to face her wrath again.
Dandy: (Surprise) over a piece of meat? Your Wife? A whole you? Haba! Hey! Where is this Stupid boy? Akpan! (Akpan appears with the bottle of Star Lager and a glass cup)
Akpan: Oga no vex! I bin dey wash the Tumbler!
Dandy: shut up your mouth liar! Which Tumbler you dey wash for afternoon? All the ones you people washed in the morning, who has used them? Stupid forgetful boy!
Akpan: Oga no vex sir! (Drops the beer and proceeds to open it)
Dandy: If you open that beer, I will open your ear with a slap! Mumu! Is that how you open beer for Customers? Are you not supposed to get his consent to open it?
Akpan: oh! Oga sorry sir! Make I open am?
Dandy: mumu! No open am yet! Go and tell them at the kitchen to hurriedly prepare a plate of Fufu with native soup and Cow leg, tell them say na for V.I.P o!
Akpan: Okay sir! Make dem prepare Akpu with ogbono soup and V.I.P goat head for you?
Lanky: (Bursts out laughing)
Dandy: (Excuses himself) Lanky I dey come I beg, make I place the order my self! (He pushes Akpan out of the way) gerrout from here! (He returns few minutes later, Lanky was flipping through his novel)
Lanky: Oh you are back! I have seen the movie of this book! Never knew it has a book!
Dandy: yeah! The book was actually adapted into the movie, you need to read the book, it is much more detailed than the movie. So! Back to you! What are your plans now?
Lanky: my Guy, I do not have any plans other than to continue scouting for a Job. The Wife I normally would have planned with has become a complete Stranger simply because she makes more money than me now! Come! If i tell you say for five months now I never touch woman, you go believe?
Dandy: haba nah! Wetin be dis nah? Which kain talk be dis nah? A whole you? Your Wife nko?
Lanky: My brother! My liver dey fail me to ask her o! Every night when she returns from her Shop, it is complaint of one body ache or the other! And I know those are just excuses to give me the red signal so I normally keep my space. The last time I made an attempt and touched her in the middle of the night do you know what she did?
Dandy: you tell me!
Lanky: (Shakes head sadly) That was five months ago that I made an advance at her, my Wife wakes up abruptly and switched on the lights, she looked at me in the eyes coldly and said ‘wetin dey worry you’? I asked her ‘how’? She asked ‘na wetin you wan do? Na why you dey touch my body? I asked her ‘how’? She then said’ Mr. Man! If you do any how, you go see any how this night o’! (Dandy interrupts rolling on the floor in laughter) Old boy! I no fit talk! I just open mouth dey look her until she turned back to sleep! I simply carried a pillow and went to the sitting room to sleep.
Dandy: wait! Wait! Lanky! I beg no talk again (reeling with laughter) no vex o!
Lanky: Old Boy! Why you dey laugh nah? This thing no be laughing matter o!
Dandy: wait lanky! (Suppressing laughter) but why you no fit tell her the thing wey you want do? Which one e ‘how’? ‘How’? wey you dey ask her? No be your wife?
Lanky: Guy i was shocked! The look on her face was like that of an angry Lion! She has never acted that way before. Normally once I touch my wife for action, na carry go nah!
(A neatly dressed waitress brings a Tray of food, Fufu, native soup with Cow leg. As she sets the food before Lanky, Lanky wash his hands and immediately descended on the food even as the waitress was still setting the dishes)
Dandy: Old boy take am easy! No body they share the food with you! (Waitress leaves laughing)
Lanky: True? (Relaxes) old boy he don tey wey I eat correct meal like this o! I don drink Garri so tey I dey smell like Cassava! (He opens the bottle of star with his teeth and gulps from the bottle) agh! Chai! Star na correct beer o! See as he sweet like, like em (Dandy Interrupts)
Dandy: Lanky! Wetin dey worry you?
Lanky: Old boy (Mouth full) no vex! I don dey mis- yarn abi?
Dandy: yes nah! Which time Star begin to dey sweet?
Lanky: you know say he don tey wey I drink beer nah! I don almost forget the taste! But this chilled beer wey dey my front so, he sweet!(He gulps some more)
Dandy: see as you dey disgrace your self in front of my Waitress!
Dandy: oh! How? You still dey ask how abi? Na so your wife asks you simple question you dey reply her with ‘how’? ‘How’?
(Both Men laughs till FADE)