The Man Who Looks Like a Presenter

The man who looks like a presenter, in black well-fitting suit, with a cheeky haircut and carrying a briefcase walks into the spacious tastefully-furnished barber’s shop and sits down on an isolated sofa. He places his briefcase by his side, crosses his legs, then looks up, around and nods at the occupants of the shop.

“Good morning. Pardon my haste but sometimes it is good to first find resting place for your buttocks before you raise your head up and acknowledge the gentlemen barber and co-barbees. Greetings are better late than never.”  That is what his nod seems to say and, sometimes, a nod can say so much. Two or three of the eight or nine occupants of the shop nod in return, as if to say “We understand, the bottom is supreme.”

The man who looks like a presenter uncrosses his legs and reaches for an old newspaper on the footstool before him. The man who looks like a  presenter might actually be a pastor, instructing his flock from a sleek pulpit, perhaps with a made in Nigeria American accent, with his sermon duly punctuated with God blesh you’s because if he says God bless you rather than God blesh God might not be inclined to act and God blesh you is more spiritual than God bless you, anyway.

The man who looks like a presenter might actually be a blogger, who isn’t these days? That might be his laptop or tablet in his briefcase, something he fetches out of its holster, effortlessly, like a snake on its turf, nearly every quarter of an hour to post nonsense like “Seven ways to tell if she just had sex”, “How to lose twenty pounds weight in one week” “Top secrets to win bets” etc, and spamming the whole wide world and driving humanity crazy.

Or he could be a teacher, teaching while stalking, and, most likely, making a nuisance of himself in every job portal website on earth. He might have “entrepreneur” or “self-employed” on his Facebook profile to fool some people. But a lot of people are not fooled for they know “self employed” to be a euphemism for jobless, underemployed or ill-employed and overused which jobless and underemployed and ill-employed Nigerians use to make them feel good about themselves while dying, gradually, under the tractor of earning below the minimum wage. The suit he wears might be a cover to gain him street prestige and added ears during national discourse at the roadside newspaper vendor’s.

No one pays the man who looks like a presenter further attention. Like the calmness of water few seconds after swallowing a few pebbles, the group is back to doing what they are doing before the arrival of the man who looks like a presenter. The barber continues to cut the hair of a man who is fat and frowning, perhaps, because his landlord might have given him quit notice or his girlfriend has requested iPhone 7 as present for her biannual birthday celebration this Sunday. Others read newspaper or thumb on their phones, playing Pokemon Go or some other useless game or scrolling down their timeline on Facebook in search of statuses to copy and paste on their walls devoid of an iota of creativity.

The man who looks like a presenter becomes bored with the newspaper and drops it whence he picked it up from; he recrosses his legs. The man who looks like a presenter might not be a presenter on  TV or elsewhere, nor a pastor, blogger, teacher or anything. He might be a compassionate adulterer, sleeping only with women whose husbands have abandoned, women whose husbands have failed, women whose husbands maltreat and cheat and women who are approaching breaking point and who need something dissimilar to what is inside their husbands’ trousers, to excite them and de-depress them.

He might not like doing this but he might have an enormous sense of duty to womanity which sees him making vows upon vows to discontinue these acts but breaking them at the sight of a bitter, lonely (beautiful) woman. He might not be discouraged by the presents they give him, so that when he takes a short look at his bank account he gets discouraged from seeking actual employment.

The man who looks like a presenter reaches for his briefcase and casually brings out an automatic pistol cupped with an efficient silencer. “Hey,” he calls for total attention, which is useless as everyone can smell death, before shooting at the wall mirror facing the barber. “I am an excellent shot,” he says as terror stricken eyes watch a thousand pieces of shattered glass. “I can kill each of you in less than six seconds.” Smiles. “But I won’t shoot if you behave. Kindly place your hands on your head, move to that wall and place your forehead on it, move!”

The eight or nine men obey, mechanically, like receptionists in the presence of their CEO. “Now, starting from my right, come one at a time, kneel before me and empty your pockets. I need your phones, wallets, watches, chains, necklaces, anything of value. I determine the value. If you try to hide anything from me, I’ll kill you.” As an afterthought he added, you may keep your ATM cards” said as if he is doing them tremendous favour.

The first man comes forward, kneels down and gracefully gets robbed by the man who looks like a  presenter. In less than a quarter of an hour or in a quarter of an hour exactly, the exercise comes to an end, no one is hurt. The man who looks like a presenter locks his
victims in the shop and leaves, his briefcase heavy with loot.

The man who looks like a presenter but who could actually be a pastor, a blogger, a teacher or a compassionate adulterer is, in fact, none of these. He is a gracious armed robber whose Facebook profile reads “self-employed”.

Today’s the third birthday of this blog.

Tweets to @Oke4chukwu