May, 2016: The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma

(Book #73) Susan provides us with the full Nigerian experience from table setting to food. Susan told us all about her search for a Nigerian restaurant and to this day I have Chief Erasmus N. Ezeji’s business card on my desk. Our discussion of the book began with a statement of how difficult it was to read psychically.  The prophesy spoken by the madman had such power, the reader wants to be able to break the hold it has on the brothers. It’s beautifully written.  Below is the email. If you note the time I sent it, you might better understand the content.

Sent: Tuesday, May 17, 2016 2:38 AM
Subject: O ̣se

Dear Susan,

Thank you SO SO much for an incredible evening.  Those of you who missed this one really picked a bad time to be out of the country, to be getting ready to go out of the country, or to be doing whatever you were doing last night.

It all started when Sharon took a wrong turn on the map and instead of walking east on Hood, started to walk west toward Sabo Street. She was nearing the fishing spot on the Omi-Ala river when she was accosted by a smelly naked man (you can fill in the other details.)  From down the street he yelled:

Ẹ n lẹ Sharona Nibo ni ile igbọnsẹ wa? Alagba yii yoo sanwo fun gbogbo rẹ Da ara ya o

Hello Sharona, Where is the toilet? This gentleman will pay for everything. Get well soon

Sharon was immediately certain that the naked man was going to have her killed in a pay toilet.  The rest of us pointed out that the Get Well Soon wish seemed contrary to any negative intent or at least provided a gray area to interpretation.  Melissa told her that she thought she’d heard him say   Iyaafin yii yoo sanwo fun gbogbo rẹ  which would mean This lady will pay for everything suggesting he was going to have her killed but she had to pay for her own toilet.

It was then that one of Susan’s neighbors came to her to report seeing Susan’s book club at the fishing spot.  

Susan was concerned for the public embarrassment and tried to soothe the ruffled feathers by ordering food for the whole neighborhood from Vee Vee’s Nigerian restaurant. Chief Erasmus N. Ezeji emptied his kitchen to quell the disorder.

He sent over pans and pans of Moi Moi blended beans tomatoes, onions and spices mixed together and steamed to perfection, Jollof Rice steamed rice cooked in blended tomatoes, onions, red bell peppers, spices and seasonings, Plantains, Peppered Chicken and Goat.  Yes, goat.

The neighbors all snapped their fingers over their heads and returned home —the naked man went off to have relations with a rat or an opossum — Rosalie couldn’t tell which — leaving only 7 of us to consume the massive amounts of food.  We did our best but saved room for banana pudding dessert which was determined to represent double digit Weight Watcher points, despite the Cool Whip lite. 

At this point you are probably doing your best to separate the fact from the fiction.  FACT:  EVERYTHING WAS AMAZING!  Susan went crazy researching Nigerian food and even bought Nigerian fabric for the tablecloth. I repeat, AMAZING!

Somewhat disrespectfully submitted,