Well, I’ll be straight with you here. I’m going to talk about the sin of hypocrisy. If, for some reason, you don’t know the meaning of this word, then you owe your parents some change from your school fees. However, if you are not a retard . . . Feel free to keep reading (And no, that wasn’t harsh).
I ran into a fellow ‘Corper’ named Brown a few days after leaving camp and after all the moaning and groaning and cursing our plight with NYSC, we somehow ended up talking about a girl we both knew at camp(No . . No. . . Pastor. . . It’s not what you’re thinking). The conversation went like this;
Corper Brown: Guy, remember Ruth?
Me: Yes, nice girl, you know where she is?
Corper Brown: No, just wondering if you know, I seem to have lost her number.
Me: I don’t have her number sha.
Corper Brown: Ok, I kinda miss her sha. Twas fun hanging out with her.
Me (in my head): err. . . What?
Me (outside): Yea, it was fun.
Corper Brown: Yea, camp was so much fun.
Me (in my head): Wait . . . What?!!!
Me (outside): I’m telling you, man.
And we blabbed on and on till I got tired of talking to his boring ass and killed him (No . . . Seriously, I did)
Anyway, after disposing of his body and cleaning up the crime scene, I got home and started thinking . . . When exactly did this guy have all this ‘fun’ in camp? We were in the same room in camp and we led similarly boring lives. I’m not gonna be one of those guys that will lie to you and tell you I was Don Juan Casanova in camp; Going from one female hostel to the other, Collecting female hearts on my register . . . No, I was more like Steve Urkel in the TV show ‘family matters’ (No, I wasn’t). After those annoying soldiers buggered off around 6pm, I’d usually head back to my room, stick in my earphone and tweet/read blogs/whatsapp/browse/2go (in no particular order) till lights out. Corper Brown and almost all my other roommates spent most of their evenings in the room, though there were a few guys who didn’t (story for another day).
Now, herein lies the problem . . . We all swore while in camp that we’d been deceived, ‘there’s no fun here’, ‘we are in prison’, only a few guys looked like they were actually enjoying the place etc. After 3 weeks of imprisonment, we were released into the world and told to go and sin no more. We went to our respective places of primary assignment and that’s when it started . . .
Me: Bro, what’s up na?
Corper Dele: Ma guy, I’m good.
Me: Thank God we are out of that prison, yeah?
Corper Dele: What are you talking about? Camp was fun, man!!!
Later on . . .
Corper Emeka: Ma man, how that your babe for camp na?
Me (in my head): Babe?? What babe??
Me (outside): Which one na? U know say them plenty
Corper Emeka: Badt guy!!! That one for parade ground that day na.
Me (in my head): Wait… He thinks we were….?
Me (outside): Ah! That girl na fire! But all na camp life . . . She don go her way, I don go my own . . . Too many fishes in the ocean.
Corper Emeka: Chairman!!! I believe your government!
And much later . . .
Corper Iyke : Noni, my man!
Me: Hey Iyke, Wetin dey sup? I never see you since camp. How far na? That place was madt fun o.
Corper Iyke: Yea, so much fun. Especially the babes. . .
Me (in my head): See this liar!
Me (outside): Yea, well endowed babes.
The more observant among you might have noticed that at this point, I was lying like the rest of them. Of course I felt bad about it (yea, right) but I wasn’t going to be the only guy to admit I was ‘a juu man’ in camp. Everyone seemed to have invented a fantasy life in camp and for some reason, I was in it and they expected me to play along. Now, don’t get me wrong . . . There were guys who were having madt fun in camp but ‘Corpers’ Brown, Dele, Emeka, Iyke and sadly, ‘Corper’ Me were definitely not among them. Still, they wanted to act like they did and I’d rather do frog-jump(and I really hate frog-jump) than disappoint my guys. So, I put away my misgivings and manfully took the punishment for the greater good of the world (yes, the world would have ended if I didn’t play along kinda like travelling back in time and altering something).
So, to cut a long story short, I scrolled my music playlist to Beethoven’s ‘opera in c-minor’ , switched off the lights and sat in a dark room to meditate about the meaning of life. Well, actually, I sat in the dark room to concoct my own fantastic tale of life in camp and if you guys are nice, I’ll write it here one day. I have the sad feeling that in a few years time, this fantasy is all I’ll remember and the real memories of that glorified prison yard will be lost forever in the deep recesses of my mind * now singing sad dirge*
DISCLAIMER: I actually had fun in camp but it wasn’t the 3-week vacation that I was promised by ‘ex-Corpers’. Those soldiers can spoil mood sha . . . Especially when things are heating up (you know na) . . . And waking me up by 4am?!! What’s up with that?!! Wilberforce did not work so hard to abolish slavery just for me to be waking up by 4am everyday!!!
To those ‘ex-Corpers’ that raised our expectations falsely, #Godiswatchingyou
Finally, to my Batch B guys going in; Boys eh! Better carry enough money go camp or reduce your expectations . . . Thank me later
PS: I no kill anybody o!!! I no bury anybody anywhere!!! Before I go wake up tomorrow see rioting crowd outside my door with placards and pitchforks.
By Nonso ‘El Noni’ Udeh . . . Yea, NYSC was fun!
Follow him on Twitter @el_noni