Before you scoff and move one, I would ask you to put aside your convictions and your prejudices for a minute or two. I am sure you would say dogs can’t read. What if I were to say dogs can’t read braille? Right? Right? Of course dogs don’t need to read braille. How many healthy blind dogs have you seen around? (No offence meant to humans please). But that doesn’t necessarily mean dogs can’t read braille, does it? But let’s leave that aside for the moment.
I once had a dog called Zulu. He was small and cute and cuddly, but not to lie through the rose-colored lens of remembrance (of the past), he was also a mongrel. Now there is nothing wrong with being a mongrel. I just thought I should state that fact: if on top of that, you still want to think of me as a member of the bourgeois, go right ahead.
Since Zulu was relatively small, it could get away with some of those things you see kittens or cats do in all those YouTube videos such as walking all over the keyboard of my desktop computer or generally just being all playful up on my desk where I wouldn’t even allow a tiny tort to go near.
I didn’t realize there was method to the madness of his playfully hugging my system. When he gets up to it, I just use the excuse to take a break. The reality hit me when I got a pink slip it appeared I had specifically ordered. You see, I lost my first job when Zulu decided I wasn’t giving him enough attention and proceeded to send a resignation letter on my behalf to my boss. It wouldn’t have been so bad if he hadn’t included in the letter all those one hundred things (and names) I would have gladly said to him, or called him to his face if I had been brave enough. So any thoughts of trying to get that job back was a no-no.
Fortunately, he (Zulu) found me my next job as penance for the one he cost me. You see, after seeing me mope around the house and verbalizing certain suicidal thoughts, he went online and applied for several jobs I wasn’t even smart enough to use Google to find. I suddenly found myself with an offer letter and I was back on top!
Things were OK once again in Neverland. But suddenly Zulu disappeared just as suddenly as he had come into my life. That’s of course another story, but the short version was that I was trudging along in the rain one day, when a car pulled over beside me. Thinking the occupant was someone I knew or maybe the person was going to offer me a ride, I went closer and the window came down. The chap behind the wheel handed me a small carton and said “Hey bro, would you hold this while I get out of the car?” I think it was the combination of the appellation “bro” and the involuntary reaction when someone has already stretched out his hands that made me accept the box. I moved back to give him space to get out of the car, but instead, the window went back up and he was out of there like the Cerberus* was on his tail. I was still looking after the rapidly vanishing car in confusion when I head the whimpering coming from the little box in my hand. I opened it to see this very tiny thing with liquid eyes looking up at me, and that was how I became a dog whisperer.
But back to the recent present. Zulu’s disappearance! I was frantic for a couple of days and really considered logging a missing person report with the local police station, but I suspected I might be charged to court with wasting public resources or the time of an officer of the law. I must have chewed through a box of pencils (something I learnt from Zulu) when on the fourth day or so, while staring bleakly at my screen, a mail arrived from Zulu.
As to be expected from a very advanced member of his specie, there was no apology but a very bubbly note telling me that it had signed up to accompany the space shuttle Rosetta on its comet-meeting journey knowing fully well it a walk in the dark up a one-way alley (if there is any such thing). It was all of course hush-hush even till today so as not to infuriate any animal rights people, even though he made the decision completely sane of mind and under no duress etcetera etcetera.
I had resigned myself to missing him and I had got into the rhythm of once again living life without a dog (it was taking a sizable chunk of my pay to feed him and treat him anyway). But then one day, I was channel surfing when I happened upon a Snoop Dogg (now Snoop Lion) video on Channel-O. I caught the tail end of the video and I could have sworn I saw Zulu having a good old time in the background. It took me some days to lay hands on the video since I didn’t know the title of the song and wasn’t actually sure it was Zulu anyway. But when I finally did, I was still almost a 100% sure it was him – but then didn’t he take off into space several years ago? I then naturally became an official fan of Snoop’s videos and went on to see the same dog several times. It was of course trying to behave like a regular canine but its “moves” from time to time gave it away as being much smarter. How many dogs have you seen sipping on pina coladas and whistling at the ladies?
That was when I had the brilliant idea of contacting Snoop Dogg’s (Snoop Lion) publicist or manager. After sending several missives intimating my desire to get together with Snoop Dogg (Snoop Lion) to discuss some urgent dogging business, I guess the chap or lady at the other end (Snoop cub or Snoop Lioness or Snoop Sec) got fed up and sent me a specially autographed picture of Snoop Dogg (Snoop Lion). But there was also a letter in the delivery box which to cut a long story short said “We appreciate all our fans, but the big dog would really like you to stop dogging him. If the dog in the video is truly yours, make your own music video asking it to come home. We promise to get you some airplay.”
Which would have been wonderful if I could sing. That was the dilemma facing me until recently. Oh. I did I mention there was a paw print at the back of the picture?
Which finally brings us to the main subject of this post.
You see, a couple of months ago, my car took a dunking (I repeat again, I wasn’t drunk – it was very late at night and very dark). The net effect was that the engine had to be changed and the car is still not back to it’s “pre-M-Phelps” days. So I was surfing the web yesterday for a cheap stand-in when I came up an ’06 no-accident version of my car on OLX going for a third of the cost of my own 3-year-used-on-bad-Nigerian-roads ’05 model! As it was a Sunday, I sent an SMS asking about the car rather than disturb “Ms A.”
Bright and early this morning, I got an SMS from the contact. I decided Whatsapp might be a better medium of communication and was lucky to find she was also on there with her picture in all her Custom’s uniform glory probably just “clearing” a car for some lucky dude.
After ruminating on how so-so lucky I was for a while and how certain recent events had almost made me think my life was a “dog”, Zulu suddenly crossed my mind. Which was when it struck me that if Zulu could be on a space shuttle in outer-space, and cavorting with Snoop Dogg (Snoop Lion) on video shoots at the same time, what stops him from being in a third place such as in the front of a remote computer or smart phone pretending to be Ms A and pranking me?
Not that I am saying Ms A is a dog, far from it. In fact isn’t everything on OLX legit and above board? Isn’t every person on their representing their true selves and completely beyond reproach? (Sarcasm – even OLX says to be cautious). If Zulu can charm the weed off Snoop Dogg (Snoop Lion), getting Ms A to do his bidding should be literally a “walk in the park” for him, right? He could be sitting next to Ms A, smoking weed, and going “Yeah, yeah, say that to him. He’s going to fall for it. Just wait a minute. He’s going to come round and pony up that N10,000. Stingy bas***d! Can you believe how much he makes in a month and he won’t let go of 10K?! without wasting your Internet data?”
But then Ms A could definitely be Zulu just trying to take the mickey out of me. But rather than “scream foul”, I decided to play along and see how far the conspiracy goes. After all, she’s only asking for N10,000 of my hard-earned money and if it was indeed Zulu, he would of course return it to me after being satisfied he’s taught me a lesson.
Epilogue (what’s a great story without one)
Ms A was not one to give up on N10,000 so easily. I got a couple of calls a few days apart from her second number. I just ignored it. The one time I did talk to her briefly, she didn’t sound anything like she looked in her Whatsapp profile. She sounded younger and hesitant (unsure).
Well, if it’s you out there Zulu, enjoy your dog-life! And if not, then Ms A, you need to try harder. But be careful not to work yourself into a pair of handcuffs OK? Good!
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*Cerberus in Greek and Roman mythology, is a multi-headed dog, or “hellhound” with a serpent’s tail, a mane of snakes, and lion’s claws. He guards the entrance of the underworld to prevent the dead from escaping and the living from entering.