By Joe Nwabrije
I felt like eating ‘’mama-put’’ that day. So I drove to a legendary mama- put joint in Owerri called Nda Letti.
After dishing my rice, beans and dodo, the lady stirred the steaming pot of stew and I caught a glimpse of this juicy coiled kpomo (cow hide) as it surfaced and swam back into the festival of parts featuring shaki, tozo, cowleg etc.
I had to have that particular kpomo…
When it ended up on my plate, quivering beside one weak dodo, my day was ready to start. I saved the kpomo for last…in anticipation of a crunchy finale.
The first sign of trouble was when I ‘’chooked’’ this kpomo with my fork…and it didn’t enter.
I should have given up at that point…. but you know nah.
So, I looked around…and since there were no sophisticated persons to worry about, I picked this kpomo with my hands, bit into it like a man and pulled. The kpomo cut like rubber and spattered stew over my white shirt.
This was a Monday morning.
I started to chew.
I chewed ….and chewed …. and… chowed. That was when I realized that this was the stuff, they made my shoe from.
Now, there comes a time in the battle between man and kpomo…when man has to choose between swallowing-this-thing-like-that versus spitting it out.
It was at this point that one attractive lady came to sit in front of me. I was already managing a soiled shirt. I couldn’t now be spitting out well sucked kpomo in front of this lady that looked like she just came off an aeroplane.
So I decided to swallow this kpomo. It passed through my throat, went down my gullet, rolled over and stopped there.
I found myself thinking…’’Kpomo don hang!!’’.
My eyes were dilated, my mouth was wide open…and as I choked and wee’ed helplessly in my pants, the lady in front of me shouted, “Bring water!!!”.
People had gathered. Someone (God bless him) held me from behind and gave a sharp squeeze to my chest. I felt the kpomo dislodge as the first gulp of water seeped slowly past it.
I started to breath again. I did not die. Her kindness was magical.
Know when to let go of that kpomo in your life.