Brand new episode of Baba Risi’s Court… Enjoy.
Baba Risi surveyed the courtroom. Politics money is good o, it is not struggle money like all these car park dues, returns from agberos on the road and gate takings in the court. He had renovated the room and changed the chairs from the old mix and mash ones to new sparkling white plastic chairs. His own chair and table were now executive chairs, the type all those bank ogas put in their offices. “Why I no think of this politics thing since o,” he mumbled out loud to himself.
He tapped the clerk and signaled him to call the next case. Rosco was not around today as he had gone to Ijebu to prepare for the party to “turn” his mother’s corpse over in her grave. Baba Risi was leaving after today’s cases for the party. No matter how much money was coming from the politics, he was not one to waste any source of income. If there was money to be made by opening the doors of the court today before heading to Ijebu, he was not losing it.
A familiar young man stormed forward as his case was called. He was very small and Baba Risi remembered him well. Just a week ago, they had been at his wedding, dancing kolybo music late into the night. The woman he had married that day was right behind him. It was funny that the smallest of men seemed to delight in getting the largest of women. She wasn’t fat, she was large. Baba Risi had oftened wondered how they did the do.
“Shanko,” he said, addressing the young man, “wetin happen? You no suppose still dey enjoy the market wey you just buy? No be fresh husband like you suppose dey here now.”
“Na this woman o. She no wan know say na me be man for house. If I like something, she suppose help me like am.” Shanko responded.
“Ngbo, madam, wetin happen?” Baba Risi asked the woman.
“Thank you o, Baba Risi. This man en, na so so complain. I cook as I don dey cook before I marry am, as my mama dey cook am and as she teach me, na complain he go dey complain. I don tire.” She responded.
“Gladys sharrap!” Shanko said, making sure he was out the reach of his wife. Baba Risi sensed he would not dare talk to her like that behind closed doors.
“En en, me sharrap abi?” she said menacingly and Shanko cowered. Baba Risi nearly burst out laughing but restrained himself.
“Shanko, wetin happen gangan?” Baba Risi asked.
“When my wife wan cook fish, she go cut the head and the tailfin commot. And when dem fry fish, na the part wey I like pass be that tailfin and the head. I don tell am once before, but today, when she serve the fish again, no tailfin, no head. I no gree o!”
The courtroom burst into laughter at how pained Shanko sounded over the matter. Small men can be oversensitive sha.
“Ngbo Gladys, why you no wan give your husband head and tail of fish now?” Baba Risi asked, the laughter at the edge of his voice.
“No be so I dey cook am. For my house, we dey commot the bony part of head and the tailfin. E no good for food, so we dey commot am.” Gladys said firmly.
“An an, but if na wetin your husband want nko?” Baba Risi asked.
“No be so I sabi cook my own. E no good for food, e go spoil the food.”
“Stubborn woman,” Shanko growled.
She eyed him but didn’t move. No be here she go handle him matter.
“Where you hear say fish head and tailfin dey spoil food? Me I dey chop am well well now.” Baba Risi asked Gladys, curious.
“Tell am o!” Shanko again interjected. Niggling little man, Baba Risi thought.
“Na my mama, make we even call am now, she go tell una.” With that, Gladys whipped her phone out and dialed her mother’s number. She put the phone on speaker and placed it on Baba Risi’s shiny new table.
“Mama, migwuo.” She said.
Her mum’s voice came through loud and clear as the courtroom hushed to hear “Gladim. How are you and that your husband?”
From the way she said “your husband”, it was clear what she thought of her daughter’s husband. “Mama, he dey hear you as you dey talk so o.”
“So na like this you dey talk about your daughter husband abi?” Baba Risi chided.
“Who be this, Gladys?” the mum asked.
“This na Baba Risi, and if to say you dey here for my court, I for don deal with you now now. Ngbo, your daughter said you said head of fish and tailfin no good for soup, say na why she no dey cook am for her husband when he ask for am. Abeg, how e no take good o?” he responded.
The obviously subdued Mama Gladys responded, “na so my own mama teach me to cook am from when I small, so na so me sef teach my daughter.”
Baba Risi addressed Gladys “You see yourself? Something wey both of una no know the reason, you dey deny your husband. Stubborn for nothing.”
“Tell am o!” Shanko said again.
Irritated, Baba Risi turned to him and said “and you sharrap! Na this kain small thing you carry come court. You sure say you don ready to be man of the house like this?”
“No rush Mr. Judge to dey harass my daughter. My mama dey here now, she go fit tell us why the head of fish and tailfin no good for soup.” Mama Gladys said.
“Hmm, oya bring am come phone make we hear,” Baba Risi commanded.
There was a brief pause and then a replica of Mama Gladys’ voice, only shakier with age, came on the phone.
“Oreva, how u dey o. How your oga?” Grandma said.
Shanko beamed where he was and shouted “Mama migwuo o. I dey hear well well.” He clearly liked being called oga.
“You en, dey do anyhow for public. Shebi we go go house,” Gladys said to her husband. Baba Risi would have querried her but Shanko was just an annoying little man. Maybe it was good that he feared his wife. Baba Risi ignored them and asked the grandma. “Mama, abeg wetin be the reason wey dem no dey cook head of fish and tailfin o. Gladys no know, her mama wey teach am no know, so we say make we ask you wey teach the mama. Abi you sef no know ni?”
The old woman gave a cackle, and then answered “oga, no be so o. the reason wey I no dey cook head of fish and tailfin simple well well.”
Everyone in the courtroom strained to hear the explanation.
“when I small, the fish wey we dey catch big well well, pass the ones wey una dey see for market today. And our frying pan small pass the ones wey una get. So when we wan fry the fish, make e fit enter the frying pan well well, we go cut the bony part of the head and the tailfin commot. E go fit enter the oil, fry well well. That is all o.”
Baba Risi couldn’t hold himself any longer and burst out laughing. The whole court followed suit. Gladys was thoroughly embarrassed, but she kept a straight face, while Shanko was gloating in his corner.
“Gladys, you don hear. Abeg, go house, go cook head of fish plus tailfin for your husband.”
Gladys turned to her husband and said with meaning “shebi we don finish for here. You don win, oya make we dey go house.”
Shanko shrank back in fear. He had won the case, but…
Baba Risi couldn’t stop laughing.