Missing the Sound of Silence

As I sit in this uncomfortable office chair at 6.47pm typing my 162nd blog post and hoping to kill enough time to avoid a gridlock on Third Mainland Bridge for the next 3 hours, I think about last night when I experienced something so eerie and yet so magical that I wished it elapsed for more than just 2 minutes – I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it…

It rained cats and dogs Friday night (and these were really noisy cats and dogs, complete with ‘strobe’ lightning and thunder ‘bolts’). Power supply was out in my neighbourhood (as usual) so I was in complete darkness after switching off my Tiger generator at 12.08am (and I know this because I finished beating my Wii Boxing record at that time…yes, I have issues). I was lying down on my bed and praying that all that boxing was sufficient to induce immediate Narcolepsy (minus the hallucinations) but one of my neighbours was still disturbing the peace with HIS own generator. Let me share how annoying this sound can be.

Just imagine this for a moment: Take a he-goat which we all know makes that heavy bleating sound. Picture yourself tickling the goat under its armpit (oh, I guess that’ll be a ‘limbpit’) and it starts blaffing (bleating + laughing…don’t worry, I’m going somewhere with all this…I think). Now, record that ‘blaffing’ sound and play it on a loop…on high volume – THAT’S what a generator noise sounds like…not all generators, just his.

To my surprise, my neighbour decided to put the ‘he-goat’ to sleep right before I decided to go outside in my PJs and put my foot up his ass (or better yet, any gruesome scene from Silence of the Lambs). And then…I heard it…it was (in the words of Simon and Garfunkel) “the sound of silence”. No crickets, no owls, no raindrops, and no leaking taps. Only the same sound you get from an audience after the below-par performance of an amateur stand-up comedian. But in my neighbourhood, some people can’t afford to endure a night without electric fans and so about 2 minutes later you can guess what happened next – the he-goats were back in full swing!  BEH-EH-EH-EH-EH-EH-EH!!!

10 things to do…if you wake up tomorrow

Sometimes we take for granted the fact that we have been ‘unconscious’ throughout the night while we sleep and that some people don’t actually wake up. Nobody can say for sure what makes us wake up. If you say, ‘my alarm’ then that would be a silly answer. How about on a Saturday morning if you’re not going to work – Could you wake yourself up at exactly 9am (without the aid of some alarm)? Indeed the act of waking up is nothing short of a miracle… 

So what do you do when you wake up? Check your Blackberry for chat updates? Snooze your alarm? Jump into the bathroom and continue dozing on the toilet seat? If that’s as about creative as the start of your day is then you could consider another routine which is more refreshing and should take you less than an hour to complete: 

1. Pray ~ No matter your religious background or beliefs I believe that there is a higher being whom is responsible for this mystery called Life. As a Christian I know that one has to be thankful for so many things, including being alive, in good health, safe from the hazards of the outdoors and indoors, having food on the table, money in your pocket, a loving family, a job, etc.  But first and foremost I think one should give thanks to the Almighty for waking up to see a new day. I’m sure God would appreciate that.

2. Meditate ~ Having some quiet time or ‘me-time’ is a good way of reflecting on your life and the happenings of the previous day(s). I like to read my daily devotional which comes with short passages from the Bible. Technology makes reading the Bible so much easier as most smartphones are capable of downloading the Bible application. Meditating on God’s word is a good way to grow spiritually and to know more about one’s purpose on earth. 

3. Exercise ~ Stretching the body and moving those muscles completes the waking up process for me (I’m not a big fan of coffee since it scarred my sleeping pattern during my gruelling, 12hours-a-day A Level studies). You can do press-ups, sit-ups or crunches, aerobics, etc. The type and length of exercise you use is entirely up to you. You will feel stronger, alert and reenergized as blood circulation will be enhanced. 

4. Drink water ~ Some researchers believe that drinking water after waking up is a good way to purify the body in and out. In Japan, drinking water is believed to cure a number of ailments (Read more). Drinking water will help to move your bowels and give you that lighter feeling after sending you to the toilet. Water therapy is definitely worth a try.

5. Take a warm bath/shower ~ Throw in some foam bath and let your pores open up as your body is invigorated by the warm water. I think cold water isn’t as effective in washing off dirt from the body as warm water can (Imagine using cold water to wash an oily dinner plate – nearly impossible, right?). Sometimes a cold shower is preferable when the weather is very humid but if it’s freezing outside then you know what to do!

6. Have breakfast ~ The thought of eating food in the morning makes some people nauseous – not me! You can give me a full English breakfast at 5.30am and I’ll be asking for extra bacon. But if time is not your side then a bowl of cereal or oatmeal would be good. Fruits like apples would be ideal because they have antioxidant properties that can keep you healthy (Read more). For the most part eating something before you leave for work would give you some energy since your last meal the day before. Please don’t go out hungry – you might get grouchy and binge on junk food which may add-on some unwanted weight and the guilt and self-loathing that comes with it!

7. Listen to some news ~ What if you didn’t turn on your radio or switch on your TV to find that everybody in your neighbourhood was meant to stay indoors because of an ongoing riot? You might just get caught in the thick of it and have difficulty get back home. It’s always good to be informed about what’s happening locally and globally. There just might be one piece of news that could affect your life or that of someone you know.

8. Plan your day ~ Think about what you want to set out to achieve. Do you have to pay some bills? Do you have a meeting to attend or an appointment to keep? Do you have shopping to do? Having a ‘mind map’ of how you would like your day to go can go a long way in giving you some level of control on what you will and will not do. No plan means that you’re just going with the flow and even worse, you could just be a pun in someone else’s plan.

9. Have a Positive Mental Attitude ~ If you decide it is going to be a bad day then guess what, it most certainly will be. No smiling, no consideration for others, no good utterances from your mouth, etc, would all serve as a perfect recipe for a shit day. If you wake up and it’s raining, so what? Everywhere will be wet but that’s mother nature. Maybe yu just got dumped – get over it! There are other potentials out there who would appreciate you better than your ex. If you don’t like your job then what are you doing about it? Applying for a better one, discussing other job options with your HR manager or just grumbling and making your colleagues eventually avoid your company…the attitude you choose to put on before you leave your apartment will determine how you will relate with people and invariably how they will relate with you so choose wisely!   

10. Show some love ~ We all like being loved so why not do something like hold the elevator/lift or door for someone, or offer to buy lunch for a colleague, or call someone whom you haven’t spoken to in a long while…sky’s the limit when it comes to gestures of love. But if you’re married and you presumably share the same bed with your partner, then there is one other thing I can think of that is worth doing when you wake up in the morning 😉 


Entry #9 – ‘Knock his lights out!’

The electricity supply in the country has been abysmal. Some areas have had only 4 -12hrs of power supply per day while some have even less or none at all. Lagos has become a noisy commercial zone with all the domestic and industrial generators blaring away. There are reports of some companies even moving their operations to neighbouring countries in order to enjoy constant power supply and save on their diesel costs – It has come to that. I can’t afford to run a generator all night while I sleep so I toss and turn most nights and many times I’ve considered sleeping in my air-conditioned car. Boy, am I pissed with the spate of things…


It’s therefore no surprise that I put a sheepish grin across my face when I read today’s news headline in The Punch – ‘Yar’Adua (my president) sacks PHCN MD over poor power supply’. IT’S ABOUT F@?#ING TIME!!!!