“Lanre, come and eat now”, “Dont you want to celebrate with us?”, “See! Mum got you the biggest meat” — These are the various sentences flying my way at my muslim friend’s house. I’m not refusing the big, tempting and fleshy pieces of meat because I’m against the religion or shy, but because unfortunately for me, I’m a vegetarian. I wasnt born that way though, I just happened to be a victim of circumstances..
Long, Long ago…..
Toys, games, cartoons, action figures, ice cream, phones and books are among the top-rated things that entice me, but the number one spot was held by a particular brand of fleshy edibles called meat. All kinds were welcome — beef, pork, mutton, chicken, turkey and what have you. In as much as it comes from an animal’s body, it goes into my mouth. I became baptised, however, by myself to become a veggie on my birthday, or, a day before my birthday.
Preparation was in full gear. Canopies rented, chairs and tables obtained, DJ employed, MC’s contacted and food ingredients bought. It was to be a big day. The employed caterers were around a day before to make preparations for some of the food items to be eaten on the next day (D-Day) and unfortunately for me, beef was fried.
From the moment it had been in the oil, making sounds only I could decode and understand and calling out to me, I had been mouth-watering. I kept my calm as I watched batch after batch been fried. From the evening when they were fried, till my bed time, I endured, till I couldnt take it no more.
The times I spent watching spy American movies paid off and I crept stealthily towards the kitchen, where the fried delicacies were kept in half open coolers. I didnt dare turn on the lights, for fear of being discovered so I navigated around in the residual light spilled frm the luminous halogen lamp outside.
I got to the first cooler and peeped in. The smell filled my nose, stimulating my neurones to tell my brain that some meat is on the way. In the dim light, I saw a little piece, and thought of using that as an appetizer before settling to some meat-meal. I picked it and hurriedly stuffed it into my mouth, and dug my molars into it. I was soon to realise that thats the worst mistake I’d ever make that year.
A look crossed my face instantly, one that I’d have laughed at had I seen myself in a mirror. My taste buds matched the sour and bitter buds together and my brain went into frenzy mode. I spat it out with the same speed with which I swallowed it. I had just eaten a COCKROACH!
I rushed into the bathromm, and started downing loads of mouthwash and spitting vigorously. I made so much fuss that I woke my mum up, something I had been avoiding.
As if on cue, she went to the kitchen, turned on the lights and saw the half-chewed cockroached mixed in saliva. She understood instantly and couldnt hold herself from shaking with laughter. She tucked me into bed and I was prepped for the next day.
It made one hell of a birthday joke, and since then, I’ve been a veggie.
Please, dont judge me..
Barka De Sallah! Happy Holidays!!
I remain humble. I remain @howolarbi_