They say tough times call for tough measures; for ‘Winie says’ column on Words Are Work, tough times call for tough posts. So today is a bit different than we’re used to but just trust and stay with me …
Monday mornings are always one kain; I’m always like “Dede Monday, wait small joor. Ahn ahn!”. Maybe it’s my body getting over the disappointment of the annoyingly short Saturday and Sunday, two days I had anticipated to fill with long hours of glory on top of Grey’s Anatomy just gone fiam, like that! *hiss*
Anyway, my Mondays always start off one kain. This one is no different. As usual, I’m in Ankara-mode (yels … I get to rock Ankara and jeans to work, ha!); I survive all my morning rituals and the train ride to the office only to get there and meet a surly calendar. “Meeting by 8am” it said, and the time is 7:58am already! So much for arriving early; add the fact that I am hardly ready for the meeting – no thanks to Meredith Grey and co – Mogbe oh! Mo darun!
Still I fitn’t dull nah; so I say a prayer, gather my files – with papers slipping off my hands and this annoying pink shoe causing me body-grievance – and go into the meeting with black Margaret Thatcher (my boss), her board of strong-faced babalawo-like men, and last of all, Angela.
Angela is a very beautiful woman, with the best of smiles. Trust me she lightens everybody’s day including mine. Angie-bebe – as I like to call her – is black Thatcher’s personal boy-boy assistant (PA). For holding down that job alone, Angie-bebe is a hero. And as if the job isn’t deadly enough, this babe does the job of following black Thatcher around with an amazingly pleasant attitude. I don’t know any other ways to explain it but that if I were black Thatcher’s PA, it wouldn’t be long before I have to choose between joblessness and jail. Summary: the woman is a pain in the rear bumper!
Anyway, I digress. *deep breathes* calm down, Winie …*
So we’re in the board room and meeting commences. We start talking along the lines of how to close the deal with a client, what the business plan will be to start up a the next development project, and for the life of me, I cannot concentrate because I keep wondering where it is coming from. The stink! It was a bizarre mixture of rotten fish smell and dead rat smell. So nauseating.
It’s Monday morning, and I’m trying to stay alive till noon when my brain actually wakes up, so oh-someborri-with-the-stink, why make the struggle any harder for me?! I can’t figure it out; did someone forget spoilt food in their bag? As I scan the room occupants intensely to pin-point the terrorist, I just happen to notice that every time Angie-bebe moves her legs, the smell intensifies. She is sitting beside me and looks quite uncomfortable, constantly adjusting on her seat like something is pinching her buttocks on the chair.
Now I have perceived this same stench a number of times when I passed through Angie-bebe’s cubicle. But I always thought it was John, her cubicle-mate, who had a disgusting commitment to beans and several boiled eggs. Two other things you need to know about John: One, his fart kills any invertebrate living thing (like you could leave him alone in the office overnight and return to find cockroach and spider carcasses with hands clutching their noses); Two, John is the only other Nigerian in the office. So embarrassing! So you see, I never thought the smell was from Angie-bebe – shebi I was just telling you people how beautiful and wonderful she is just now now … oho!
Back in the board room now, I look around to be sure, and yes, John was not invited. Also there is no dustbin in sight, no food wrappers, no ominous-looking nylon bags, just files and papers … and Angie-bebe. The closer I watch my fine neighbor, the surer I am that it is her. My experienced nose tells me that this smell is not fart; the stench is neither mouth nor body odor, which leaves only one thing – vaginal smell.
Wiiiiiinie, tufiakwa gi. How can you be thinking like that? Haba!. But still, I cannot help the truth staring me in the face, which is that every time Angie-bebe moved her legs, the stench got stronger. As if somebody was squeezing a spray can of the thing every time she moved. My suspicion is confirmed when she stands to go to the restroom and the odor reduces significantly. Now my mood goes from ‘Monday-morning-grouchy’ to just being pissed off.
At this point, I am totally useless to the meeting, giving one-word answers and fake nods. The questions in my head were, how do I tell her? Do I just ignore it? How long has this been going on for? Who else has noticed? Did they tell her?
If someone has a bad case of mouth odor for example, you can stylishly offer him/her tom-tom or mint-flavored gum; and for body odor, you can gift the person with deodorant and perfume, and hope for a change. But vaginal odor is ‘hush-hush’, ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’, ‘side-gossip’ and with no known prescriptions on how to treat the matter. At least none that I know of.
So as the thing don commot sleep for my eye, my beautiful WAW people,
Winie asks, what would you do?
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