If you’ve never done something out of the ordinary for food, you can’t call yourself a foodie. These men, however, can absolutely call themselves foodies. Because, ah!
1. “Stolen meat is sweet”
— Habib, 27
Let’s just say I’m never going to steal meat again. When I was younger, I followed my mum to her shop every day. There, she cooked whatever we were going to eat at home that night. If there was still food, we took the rest to the shop the next morning.
One morning, my mum packed turkey stew in a cooler and told me to bring it to the shop when I was coming. It’s not my fault that the turkey looked sexy as hell and was staring at me. First, I used my teeth to trim all the flaps of the turkey wings and kept it back in the cooler. After some time, I said fuck it, and ate the entire turkey, then placed the bone back in the soup. Without cleaning my mouth, I went to the shop.
My mum: Ah, Habib, why’s your mouth shining?
Me: My mouth? Shining? Must be the garri I drank.
My mum: Garri? Okay o.
Two minutes later, she was warming the stew when she saw bare turkey bones in it. Like I said, I’m never going to steal meat again.
2. “I shouted at my four-year-old because of plantain”
— Yemi, 59
I shouted at my four-year-old because of plantain. When he was growing up, everyone always called him “Dodo” because he really liked plantain. For me, it was extra nice to see because plantain — the soft, squishy kind — is my favourite food too. Seeing my son take after me was something to be proud of. As he grew older, we started eating from the same plate just so he could eat better. We used to do a “competition” to see who could consume the most food, when, in reality, we were just trying to get him to eat more.
One day, we were eating rice and stew with plantain. The plantain was served on a different plate. Do you know that when we started eating, this boy went for the plantain plate and just started eating only plantain? At first, I thought he’d get tired. But he didn’t. When I saw he didn’t look like he was going to stop anytime soon, I got angry and yelled at him. I may have also snatched the plate from the tray. This happened 19 years ago and it’s something we joke about with the family these days, but at that moment, I was actually terrified the boy was going to finish my soft plantain.
3. “I woke up at 12 a.m. to book eggs. Eggs o.”
— David, 23
In boarding house, I found out that my best friend couldn’t stand eggs. Me, I love eggs. At first, it was a normal thing for him to give me his eggs whenever we got served. Then he made other friends and they liked eggs too. That’s how I had to start calling dibs first. I absolutely hated it.
You know what I did? I memorised the food timetable, so whenever we were eating eggs I’d wake up at 5 a.m. to go and ask him for his eggs. That means I got them that day. Then the other people started asking by 4 a.m. That’s how we descended into madness until the point where we’d set our wristwatch alarms for 11:58 p.m., so that once it was 12 a.m., all of us would run out of our respective rooms, pushing each other on the corridor to get to his room first and shout, “I book for your eggs!”
After some time, he noticed the madness was too much, so he insisted we trade. One day he said, if you want eggs, give me your meat. Now that I think about it, that just sounds weird. We were so innocent!
4. “Yam and eggs almost made me crash my mum’s car”
— Ahmed, 23
Growing up, my favourite food was yam and eggs. One day when I was seven, my mum strapped me in the back seat of her car and went out. But there was a cooler of yam and eggs in the back front seat. Long story short, I unstrapped myself, went to the front, opened the cooler and started eating. But what I didn’t know was that in that process, I also hit the gear and put the car on neutral, which made it start rolling backwards. Thankfully, when the car started moving, my mum’s friend saw it, ran and came to put it back in parking mode. I just crawled back to the back like nothing happened.
5. “I disguised as an usher to get free small chops”
— Sam, 23
In university, my flatmate’s faculty had some symposium thing where they were going to share food at the end. To attend, you had to be a member of the faculty. I wasn’t. So, while I needed a pass to be admitted, my flatmate told me not to worry. He told me what to say to get in, but he didn’t want us to go together, so he went ahead of me. By the time I got there, the plan casted and the bouncers at the door refused to let me in. I called my flatmate and he said he wasn’t around and he wasn’t going to be there anytime soon.
Next thing, I looked around at the ushers who were also students and noticed we wore the same thing — black shirt, black pants, black shoes. And then I saw where they were getting food packs from to share. The only smart thing to do was go there and ask for my own pack. Obviously, they didn’t know me, so they asked me a few questions: mention three people in your set; what’s our HOD’s name? what’s this course’s code? Me, I had answers to all the questions because my flatmate and I gisted a lot. All I needed was confidence.
After my interrogation, they were convinced I was one of the ushers, apologised and gave me my pack. But when I snuck out of there and opened the food pack, I wanted to fight. It wasn’t food. It was just puff puff. Stale, cold puff puff.