"Guy, how far? ...You want Pink Lips?"
Whoever said that it is the way you dress you would be addressed is a certified genius! And i got to find this out the hilarious way. It was about 12.45pm just yesterday when i happened to be walking down Awolowo way in Ikeja. I had on a striped Polo shirt, dark blue denim, sporty slips, really dark shades and my earphones on. In other words, I could easily pass for your everyday yuppy teenager with hip-hop in his ears and saw-dust in his head. Maybe that was why I didn't pass out in shock when this heavily built guy of about 6.1 with pierced ears, tight fitted tee and shorts walked up to me and asked me these very words:
"Guy, how far, you want pink lips?"
I immediately started to laugh hard. Like... real hard. I laughed so hard it seemed the world around me was whirling round and round in an insane bout of vertigo. Like seriously?! do guys really go all out to get pink lips and do people really pay for it?!
I was still bent over double in mirth when about 4 other guys in the vicinity rushed up to me, like i was some sort of finish line and asked me the same question. Suddenly the glee vanished. I realized there was nothing funny about this. These guys meant business! They wanted me to buy pink lips (or is fix the more appropriate word? Well, who knows these things). The first guy who accosted me suddenly added in two quick quips. "I dey also do tatoo and piercings"
I couldn't stop myself. I just had to know! "How much for pink lips?" To that, my good friend (who i later got to know goes by the name 'Wizzy') answered: "3K"
You know how you've heard of something, maybe even seen it with your own eyes, yet your mind doesn't register it to be true. Truth is that I've wondered with suspicion, when i watch some of these musical videos, what cataclysmic, chromosomal miscalculations of meiosis resulted in full grown black men having pink lips. But of course, I'd be the first to admit there is a whole lot i neither know nor understand. While in Camp Gidi (Lagos State NYSC camp), i was also somewhat piqued when i noticed how much energy guys these days were putting into looking good. I mean, i saw it all: permed hair, dyed side burns, tats, body piercings et cetera. Funy thing is i confess that Im one Christian with very liberal views on some issues. So im even all for a guy who does these things as part of his hustle. e.g a rapper, or someone in showbiz. For Pete's sake, Denrele definitely caught our attention with his high heeled shoes and eccentric dress sense, and now he's reeling in bucks. Yeah! more like it. If all these conscientious grooming was toward a measurable goal, I think it'd make a lot of sense. As a matter of fact, whenever people pose conundrums at me hinged on morality, I have a habit of telling them what Aristotle told people centuries ago:
"What ever makes you happy is good for you"
My hope however is usually that the introspective ones realise what the real questions are:
1. What really makes you happy.
2. Is this the sort of 'happy' that gives you moments of bliss and eons of misery?
Maybe we shouldn't delve too deeply into these philosophical musings. Let's keep off all that mental trouble to a more serious post. I after all intended this piece to be as happy-go-lucky as possible.
Personally ive also spoken jokingly to a couple of such guys hoping to get some insight into why they go all the way for that extra glitz. Believe me, if any of them had told me anything with the slightest shred of acumen, then maybe my fingers wouldn't be hurriedly moving over the keyboard of my 4 year old laptop this late in the night. I guess i'm hoping to get some form of education here on these issues.
I quickly collected 'Wizzy's no and promised to holler whenever i was in the neighbourhood. I get the feeling I would be seeing him soon for a more exclusive exposé. Maybe I'd even talk to some of the pink-lipped gentlemen in his studio and ask them what problem they had with God's own brand of make-up. As i turned to leave, Wizzy grabbed my hand and looked at me with desperation in his eyes. He told me to ask my friends something very important. I promised him i would. Almost swore to it even.
"Guy, how far? You want pink lips?"
Footnote: When Obama hear the thing sef, he wan laugh kill himself
Postscript: I had the intention to write this piece immediately i got back home as these words kept crawling around in my head like drunken scorpions from The Scorpion King, but was shattered with the news that the grim reaper had visited the household of a dear friend
And so I dedicate this post to the memory of Tomiwa Bojuwoye, and Anna- the daughter we never got to know. May their blessed souls rest in piece and may the good Lord grant my friend, Femi, the fortitude to bear this great loss. Amen.