(For Elnathan John)
Let’s face it, the average human being assimilated by Facebook now has an average of one thousand smart philosophical opinionated friends.
The average member of the human family no longer has time to love another human being or thing. Facebook does not help matters with that bloody ‘like’ button. It now happens that somebody announces the death of his father and he receives a thousand alerts; ‘this person and nine hundred and ninety-nine others like this.’ What do they like? The news of the dead father? People don’t even know what they like and certainly don’t give a flying you know what about anybody.
But it does not have to be so. You can actually get people to love you and love the objects of affection in your life. It is very easy to be honest.
First, you take a name like Elnathan John. The choice of names is extremely important. The name must not sound Nigerian. Who the hell is going to trust you if your name is Onetoritsebawoete, Otagburuagu, Olufanikayode, Mustapha, or Aniekanabasi? Are you kidding me? There is a reason Nigerians themselves believed their luck when somebody named Goodluck Jonathan asked to become their president.
After that most important step of choosing an international name, the next thing you do is make friends with two very important people. One of them should be somebody like Ike Anya. He is a public health consultant in Great Britain. Great Britain! He is a well-loved person. He has a squeaky-clean image even if he is not clean-shaven. He has integrity. Make sure people know Ike Anya is your friend. Then go across to the United States and find a middle-aged mirth merchant consumer of books. This must be a man that people love to hate and hate to love at the same time. He should have a name like Ikhide Ikheloa; no respecter of person or office. He says things they are. Nobody gets enough of this marmite of a man. You either love him or hate him. Make sure people know Ikhide Ikheloa is your friend.
Having secured the name and fortified yourself with these friends, you must then begin to take different segments of the society and open their behinds in the pages of a national newspaper. Spare nobody; Nigerians seeking Asylum abroad, religious worshippers, opposition politicians, Nigerian writers, Nigerian mechanics etcetera etcetera. When you write about any of these groups, keep it honest, so that nobody will have a reason to attack you. Keep it funny. People are less likely to hate you if you make them laugh. Keep it short and sweet and before people get a chance to tackle you, move on to another group and open their big Nigerian behinds in the pages of a national newspaper.
If you follow these simple rules, people will love you and if for any reason you get into an unfortunate accident and your car gets written off, all your friends, even those who do not believe in God will pray to God to get you back to serving your much-loved tonic. They will even shed tears for your car.
- NNOROM AZUONYE