By Joo Odocha

When my weekly column THE OPEN COURT was introduced by SundiataPost, little did I know that many of my long time friends and associates had already noticed and would quickly respond and encourage me to sustain this post-retirement venture and effort. Indeed to write is exciting but the satisfaction of your keen readership is even more challenging as you must endeavour to meet their expectations. Thus as I was going through comments and suggestions what struck me most was the concerted request for the inclusion of non-technical and managerial write-ups that would help cheer up people by making them laugh off whatever stressors that might be lurking here and there in their system. I immediately got the message, and I can assure you that this column and SundiataPost will not disappoint you in this regard. So here we go!

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Lemmy is a very good and long standing friend of the family. There is never a dull moment when you are in his company as he is a reservoir of humour. But the best comes out of him when you are enjoying a game of Scrabble with this Mathematician-turned professional photographer. Our Scrabble interest dates back to our pre-university days over 4 decades ago, so you can understand that this Scrabble game has remained our common bond. As we finished a game today and he scored higher than I did [359 vs 298] and I vowed to retaliate at the next game, just imagine what Lemmy followed up with:

“My wife told me on one occasion that she dreamt of where both she and I played a game of Scrabble and she beat me. After staring at her I immediately brought out my car keys and requested her to follow me there and then for us to go see our family doctor.”

I then asked Lemmy how his wife’s Scrabble dream narration and a quick visit to the doctor’s were related or had to be urgent, important and necessary. His response:

“My friend, I knew for sure that dream was nothing more than the onset of malaria fever, because there are some dreams that are just simply malaria-induced. My wife beating me in a game of Scrabble, yes in a dream, but this particular dream is nothing but malaria fever dream.”

I immediately got this message too

Then this other joke! Just before Lemmy left my house he said he was giving me this other joke for the road. Since sharing is caring I must share it with you also:

“There is this popular beggar who carries out his begging business on a busy spot in Makurdi town, and who most people like to assist or patronize because he always had a smile or a charming look for every passer-by. There was never a day I passed by without dropping some money into his very well polished silver bowl, after which he would wish my family well. He always had this bowl  to the right hand corner of his weather-beaten mat. But after a couple of weeks that I was out of town and passed by him I noticed a second bowl, bigger than the usual right hand corner bowl, now placed on the left hand corner of the mat. I was curious and I jokingly enquired from him who had the other bowl or what it was there for, since the original bowl was there.”

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From what Lemmy later told me, it appeared this popular beggar was rather surprised at his curiosity and concern.

Now listen to the translation of what this beggar eventually told Lemmy my humorous friend:

“Master, people like you have been very kind to me all these years. You can see that my business has been doing well. I have just opened a second branch, that is the reason for this other bowl.”

Enjoy the rest of your week and always remember that Laughter as Medicine is best served in small doses!

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