In Secondary school, Friday nights were the best nights of the week, right before they turned into the worst. Some guys had special perfumes reserved for Friday nights. Specially ironed trousers (trousers were always specially ironed to be honest, gators needed to be like the sword from Samurai X). We’d clean Palm Slippers reserved exclusively for Friday nights and carry, nap-sacks or whatever bag was in vogue at that point, comb our hairs so straight that they looked totally different from every other day of the week. Then we’d head to Dinning hall to destroy some Friday night Garri and Beans. Some extreme people would even bring their own Garri, but hey, who am I to judge. Garri always had a weird effect on my eyes.
Then the girls would come out. Who needed makeup in secondary school. Hair on fleek, eyebrows, well few girls had the tools and the know how to do eyebrow magic but the perfume, the perfume would choke up the atmosphere. But who cared. We were looking at finer girls.
Night prep on Friday night was rarely about reading. It was about ‘chikeing’, ‘runzing’ or whatever word we used at that point to describe trying to date a girl. You found yourself the finest girl that would talk to you and relocate to her class. Yes this was our own club, our Quilox, where the Garri was some expensive wine you drank before talking to the girl and not why you spoke. It was all about socialising. Till the bell rings.
Because when that bell rang you knew hell was 30 minutes away. Its like your organs just dropped to the floor. It was our own Cinderella story, you go from royalty to poverty at 12 except ours was by 9:30. You knew that When you get to the hostels, you must prepare for inspection.
Inspection brought out all sorts of demons in senior students. Belts would fly and crash against skin and bones, hard enough to make you want to cry but not hard enough to leave permanent scars. Brooms would romance the concrete floors in ceaseless profession of dirty soapy water love. Wipers would make the toilet floors look brand new, so new that no one was allowed to use the toilets till 12pm on Saturday. Should someone stupidly use the toilets, the whole dormitory would feel pain. Most people slept late at night because of the workload and everyone had to wake up by 5am to continue hell.
I remember in my JS 2 or 3 when I was a gutter ranger. We would get in the gutter with only a pair of slippers for protection,, sweep, flush, wipe, repeat for hours till the gutter looked as clean as the overslept pavement. Skin irritation would not even come to your kind because we had the black man blood. People would pick up rakes and rake up the sand, creating beautiful horizontal and vertical lines that I took pleasure stepping on after the inspection. Then we would sprinkle freshly cut flowers all over everything. Make no mistake, inspections were pomp and pageantry. Fast runners would go around spraying air freshness few seconds before the inspectors arrived.
Without bathing, everyone jumped into house wear uniforms, combed hair, cut (or chewed off) nails, and looked like they were going to visit the principal. It always bothered me how everything was clean during inspection except the human bodies that had been in gutters and what not but you dare not use the bathroom!
Everyone wanted to win inspection because if you didn’t, it meant more torment the next Friday/Saturday. People would just come up with ridiculous things that should be meticulously cleaned, like the light switch, or wires connecting the fan.
I cannot omit Friday night sickness that kept plaguing the same people every Friday night. I don’t know how they did it, but people would genuinely have insanely high temperatures every Friday night and be perfectly normal Saturday afternoon. It was annoying because someone else had to cover their workload and a lot of times I had to do that.
The rest of the weekend was generally for relaxing and getting over the trauma of inspection, as well as church.