There wasn’t anything fancy or classy about Pacoliso’s looks. Its key attraction was location. It was strategically situated opposite the small gate at Choba, close to all the major attractions of the University. Initially no students lived in Pacoliso, then with the sudden boom in off-campus accommodation, Pacoliso’s shrewd landlord decided to kick out his tenants, redesign the apartments and rent it out to students. It was an idea as brilliant as Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook hijack. But before we dive in to the story, let me introduce you to the landlord, Loony Tunes.
“Without mincing words, permit me to say that the man was a borderline nut case. I had always assumed that schizophrenia was an oyibo disease but the concept of a well dressed mad man hadn’t crossed my mind. Loony Tunes had a split personality disorder, you could tell by the glint in his eyes. He was always well dressed and his English was excellent, but his madness was beyond imagination. One of the highlights of his actions was breaking a plank on a student’s head, the final round in a marathon battle they were involved in. His personality change was so sudden that you’d miss it if you so much as blinked. Loony’s sole occupation was being a landlord, and he sucked royally at it.”
The very first sets of students to move in were female. And by an act of coincidence, the next set was also female. The striking thing about all the female inhabitants of Pacoliso was that they were all beautiful. Now don’t get it twisted, I don’t believe any woman is ugly, maybe aesthetically disadvantaged, but the Pacoliso student-tenants were stunning. Word started to diffuse around campus slowly that Loony Tunes was hiring out self-contained apartments to students. The demand was intense; you had to be extremely lucky to get a spot. What made the odds tougher was that Loony Tunes had a strong dislike for the male species. The man simply didn’t like guys, don’t ask me why. So only the ladies got lucky, and he rented out to only beautiful and well-mannered chicks. I guess he didn’t want drama queens as tenants. So the day he accepted the two bespectacled young men as tenants, it came as a surprise.
“Shimon and Last Samurai were a striking pair. They both wore glasses and shared a few other similarities but they were as alike as Barrack Obama and Muhammad Ali. Shimon was the logical-thinking, BBC listening and intelligent statesman, a true diplomat. Last Samurai on the other hand was a hybrid of fire and ice, a fusion of different personalities, likeable but complex to decipher. They had no premonition of the circus that would unfold in the years to come and the journey they would share. They were friends and fellow-pypes and were excited at the prospect of living off-campus.”
The first incidence occurred the day they moved in and met their neighbor, Cubana. The young man sat outside the apartment clad in only shorts and a well-worn/almost frayed BYC vest. The notorious Port Harcourt heat and humid weather was in full force yet Cubana was puffing on a cigarette and taking small sips from a bag of NAFDAC unapproved pure aqua. He glanced at the new tenants warily from bloodshot eyes that looked glazed over and concentrated on his puffing. The distinct fragrance of Indian hemp hung around Cubana like a halo. He had probably smoked a few joints for lunch. Shimon, being true to his nature approached and introduced himself; Last Samurai grudgingly followed his lead. Shimon fired off a few questions to Cubana, eager to break the ice and get an overview of life at Pacoliso. As the conversation was going on, Samurai noticed Loony Tunes approaching. Once Cubana’s eyes were able to decipher Loony T from the distance amidst the marijuana fog that covered his eyes, he bolted into his room like Usain and left Shimon and Last Samurai standing outside the apartment in amazement.
Loony Tunes walked over to the 2 young men with a big smile on his face and as Shimon was beginning the rite of introduction, Last Samurai noticed an odd glint light up in Loony’s eyes. Then all hell broke loose. Loony sniffed the air and muttered “you are smoking cannabis in my house”. He lunged for Samurai’s throat while screaming profanity. Shimon was struck with shock as Loony pinned Samurai to the door while gripping his neck, you could notice the quizzical shocked expression on Samurai’s face, as Shimon struggled to explain that they hadn’t been smoking, Loony yelled a few more words and stomped away muttering to himself. The chaos had barely lasted a minute. Shimon and Samurai stared at each other in shock and surprise, with no words coming forth. Cubana crept out of his room a few seconds later, and burst out laughing.
Finally Samurai was able to mutter a few words. “What was that all about?” he said.
Cubana in between fits of laughter replied, “Ol boi, welcome to Pacoliso, you never see anything…”
To be continued...