FEATURE ARTICLE

Fr Pat Amobi Chukwuma
Wednesday, March 21, 2018
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TAKE-AWAY

ust few days ago, I was relaxing at the balcony of my house after the day's hectic activities. As I looked forward I saw a young man and a young lady coming from opposite directions. Coming closer to each other, the young hugged the lady familiarly and shouted, "Longest time! What a beautiful and charming baby! In fact, you are an attractive take-away!" Laughter killed me. When a woman marries, she is taken away by the husband. Every single woman is therefore a potential take-away. Isn't it?

On another occasion, I was undertaking my usual evening walk to keep mind and body intact. I came across a married couple exchanging oral ballistic missiles. Their children and neighbours stood in a semi circle watching the scenario. Out of curiosity I joined the spectators. The husband shouted to her nagging wife, "Foolish woman, good for nothing!" The wife fired back with her voice rising, "You are nothing but a common take-away!" The husband retorted, "You call me take-away? Ok, I must take you away today." He rushed with every force towards the wife and wanted to carry her up and throw her away. But in a twist, the wife endowed with single bone, carried her husband shoulder high and was moving towards the tarred road with the intention of throwing him before an oncoming vehicle to crush him. The embattled husband started screaming and panting for breath. In the process he polluted the air loudly. The spectators couldn't help laughing. I rushed before the angry wife pleading with her to spare her trapped husband. She uttered, "Please, allow me to take this idiot away. Enough is enough. Since I married him, I have not rested in this house. My children are my witnesses." As soon as she jumped over the gutter with her husband trapped up, all of us intercepted her from carrying out her murderous intention. The children stood there crying and begging their mum to spare their dad. Blood is thicker than water. Take away met take away!

It is a common trend these days to collect take-away at social and religious events. Even at funerals, people look for take-away. Once the dead is committed to mother earth, merriment commences and life continues. As sympathizers go to the bereaved family to pay their condolences, they come out with big or small take-away; depending on the quality and quantity of the condolence gift offered.

There was an incidence that took place somewhere. The bereaved family was suspecting their wicked neighbor of killing their beloved one by occult means. Eventually, the alleged wicked and occult man came for condolence with a ram. The bereaved family was prepared for him. They unwillingly accepted the ram from him. Later they sprinkled Holy Water on the ram and let it loose. If you come across the straying ram, you are free to catch it and take it away. In return, they gave the man a big parcel of take-away. The man accepted it without any suspicion. He sat down among the sympathizers. He ate a large quantity of ancient and modern dishes. He also drank to his satisfaction. When he reached home, he was smiling for task accomplished. He opened the neatly packaged and attractive take-away. Suddenly, a black dangerous snake known as 'echieteka' crept out of the take-away parcel. The man shouted, "I am finished. God save me!" The snake bit him in the face. Before any help could come, he gave up the ghost. Take-away took him away.

In another place, there was a popular gatecrasher. Anywhere he hears that celebrations are taking place, including the burial of influential persons, he goes there for take-away collection, in cash or in kind. He has opened a shop where he sells the take-away he collects from time to time. If it is in cash, he smiles to the bank. One day is for the thief. One day is for the owner of the house. A cheater shall be cheated. One day he went to an uninvited occasion. He ate and drank as usual. The family was prepared for him that day in order to shame him publicly. He stood to collect his own take-away. He was given a heavy fancy bag. He carried it carefully home. He sat on his bed and curiously brought out the content of the bag. Little did he know that it was fresh human excreta (shit). As he was opening it, the bundle splashed all over his body and on the bed. He was filled with anger and exclaimed, "What a nonsensical nonsense is this? These people are bad!" The rest of the story is better experienced than told.

Something spectacular happened recently during the burial ceremony of a young man of 45 years. He was married with three little children. The widow and the children cried hopelessly over the sudden demise of their breadwinner. One wretched man attended the burial just to ate and drink as usual. After the interment, entertainment began. The wretched man ate without mercy at the detriment of the bereaved family. Before leaving he walked to the condolence table and asked, "Is there any take-away?" He was asked to come behind the house to collect the take-away. One huge man stood behind the house when he arrived. The huge man grabbed the wretched man quickly and gave him 36 lashes of cane as his take-away. Indeed the wretched man cried without consolation. After that take-away of fire, they took him away in a wheel barrow and dumped him beside a public road. From that day onward, he learnt his lesson.

Let me ask this cogent question: If you are expecting a take-away, what did you take in? The Holy Scripture says that it is better to give than to receive. But selfish persons maintain that it is better to receive than to give. No wonder many people are named Anayo (Receiver) instead of Anaenye (Giver). Please if God blesses you with twin babies, I suggest that one of them should be called Anayo while the other should answer Anaenye. The few who give, expect something in return. Who is fooling who? Misers die miserly while givers live blissfully. A trial will convince you.

Today, science and technology make human life more comfortable. Inconveniency has been simplified in various aspects. The other day I entered a popular bookshop at Enugu. As I was going through the displayed books, I saw an attractive book titled "Life Made Easy." I wanted to make an impulse purchase, but my pocket was very dry. I postponed the buying. Unfortunately, the day I came back the book has been sold out.

Instead of going away empty handed, I entered a plastic shop and bought six dozens of take-away plates and spoons for my forthcoming Birthday celebration and Book Launch, come Easter Sunday, 1st April 2018. You are cordially invited. While coming, you should take in something to take away my Book titled "The Wisdom of April Fool, Volume 2." It is a compendium of my interesting articles over the past two years. If you read it from time to time, then you can never suffer from High Blood Pressure. You shall be smiling even in the midst of difficulties.

However, the take-away plates and spoons must actually be taken away after consumption of the solid content. It is always an eye-saw to see these plastic take-away plates and spoons abandoned here and there after light or heavy refreshment at various events. Do we not know that those take-away plates, cups and spoons are combustible? Why do we abandon them recklessly everywhere and allow flood to wash them into the highways and waterways (gutter)? They also litter everywhere and make the environment very nasty. Cleanliness, they say, is next to godliness. Likewise the plastic or iron cans can be recycled. The empty sachet water bags have done more harm than good to our environment. Why do we act like irrational animals? Let us avoid indiscriminate dumping of these used items. Proper disposal is highly recommended. Do you not know that those who litter our God-given environment with take-away plates, spoons, empty water sachets and cans will not inherit the Kingdom of God? If you do not take them away properly, then your life will be taken away at your own detriment. A word is enough for the wise.

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