Even though I couldn’t swim, I still decided to tag along with my friend Boma to the Naval recruitment centre in Borokiri, Port Harcourt, just for the fun of it.
Just for the fun of it o!
After a few press ups and frog jumps,
I had already started feeling like a Naval officer.
“This is easy”, I thought to myself, picturing me in my starched, pure white naval uniform, complete with white shoes, chatting to admiring girls.
Then suddenly, the Drill Sergeant Major barked “All recruits! Forward March!!”
“Lefu Righ!! Lefu Righ!!! Lefuuu Righ!!……..!!
“This is no more funny o” I cried silently to myself, catarrh running slowly down my nose.
After about 15 minutes of tàmurege, we finally marked time by a very big boat, moored to a wooden pier by the seaside.
“Lefu Righ! Lefu Righ! Forwaaaaaaaaard March!!
“Haaaaa! Mummy!” I whimpered, as the front group sharp-footed it up the ramp, on to the 1000 year-old looking rusty boat.
“All recruits! Hit the deck!!”
In less that 2 seconds, all of us were flat on our bellies, foreheads grating the corrugated deck of the stinking boat.
“When will this nightmare end?” I prayed, suddenly becoming a born again Christian as I felt the sharp movement of the boat starting to pull away from its moor, sailing out to sea.
“Mogbe! Where are they taking us?”
“Eskiss me sir…..”
I raised my head to ask a question, but the sharp kick to my ribs sent my forehead back on the iron deck with a dull thud. Ouch!
I started humming a Jim Reeves song under my breath:
After about 15 minutes of smooth sailing and a few more Kirk Franklin tunes,
“All recruits! Atand up!! At atteeeeeeeention!!
“Lefu Righ! Lefuuuu Righ!!
Haaaa! Inside boat too?
“All recruits! Jump overboard!! All recruits! Jump overboard!!
Splash! Splash!! Splish-Splash!
Ehn! People were jumping true true o.
It was soon coming up to my turn, so I peeked out of the boat. Not one single house or road, or even goat sef. Na so so water.
“Haaaaaa Alhaja! Where are you? Mummy, I am sorry! I won’t do that again
“Recruit!! Jump overboard!! Recruit!! Jump overboard!!
It was my turn.
TO BE CONTINUED…..
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