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Fashion Or Madness

Updated on March 22, 2012

Fashion Or Madness

Arin had been with me since Thursday when he came, and I had been too involved at the office until Saturday. He stayed alone at home that I became afraid he could complain of boredom. On Friday, I got back home at almost eleven p.m. I stayed longer at the office just to finish all my works and be free on Saturday to entertain my rare visitor who had come all the way from Kushuk village.

After breakfast, at about 7:30 AM on Saturday, 2nd November, 2007, we bathed and got dressed. 9:30 AM, we set out in my car – Mercedes 190 – to go round the town and show my friend to all the beautiful places in Jos.

“This is Tina Junction, sure you know.”

“Yes I know,” he said smiling like a butchered cow sticking out its tongue on one side between its teeth, in his regular manner.

“Don’t announce to the world that you are from the bush please, you don’t tuck in your shirt and wear bathroom slippers. You don’t dress that way out in the street here.”

“But I don’t have a pair of shoes,” he said shyly.

“You can take one from my wardrobe.”

Few minutes later, we were on our way to Hwolshe where I intended to show him the Plateau State Polytechnique and the NTA, and maybe buy some snacks from Mr. Bigs then proceed to Wild Life Park.

Opposite Lion Bank at terminus, we saw a lady. Her face was pale and burnt as if she had narrowly escaped death by fire.

“Why is this lady’s face like this? What a pity, she must be lucky to have survived the inferno.”

“It is not fire, it is fashion,” I corrected him.

“Fashion?” He asked, twisting his face like a person being forced to hold some gull in his mouth, or a person locked up in a stinking toilet.

He was still battling with the imagination of how such a sight could be called fashion when another lady came crossing the road in front of our car.

“Look at that!” he said, in the most uncivilized tone I had ever heard, that I was so scared something terrible was happening around us.

“What is it?” I asked.

“That lady over there, I am sure she is not aware that her skirt is torn to the heaps almost revealing her pants,” he said, wearing a perplexed countenance and staring out of the window. “Won’t anyone call her attention to it?”

I sighed, feeling helplessly embarrassed.

“It is not torn, it is fashion,” I said looking forward at the car intermittently breaking in front.

He murmured. “I don’t understand this thing you call fashion.”

We drove past First Bank and then Plateau Hospital down towards Secretariat Junction. There we saw a man was wearing dreadlocks and his hair actually seemed not to have touched water for over halve a decade. The man’s jeans trousers also had patches dotted all over and the lower end of the trousers had loose treads flying. He was boarding a taxi.

“Can you see that, a mad man boarding a taxi? What a surprise. You have so many amazing scenes in the city.”

“Nonsense, please, that is not a mad man. That is fashion.”

I got frustrated by his continuous senseless talks. I decided to cut the outing short. I made a U-turn after NTA and began to drive back homeward, this time around through British America. A little before we got to Water Board just after Fototek, a man was walking along the road shouting some unintelligible sounds. He had a dirty sack clasped against his ribs and a necklace of rusted milk tins hanging over his neck. He had no shirt or shoes on, and his pair of trousers was turn from his ankle almost to his waist so that his black buttock was exposed in a nauseating manner.

“This fashion will make some people mad”. Arin said.

“Yes, fashion is madness”, I said wishing we were home already.

By Jacob


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