When the Whatsapp group Sly’s Ball and Chain Gang appeared on my phone, I was confused. It was not until I checked the group info and saw the participants that I realised what it was for. The Knights had set up a parallel group outside Camelot to plan a Bachelor’s Eve for Sylvester who was getting married in three weeks.
There had been talks of this Bach Eve even when we were away in South Africa but, in typical Camelot fashion, it was a lot of talk and nothing concrete agreed on.
‘Let’s get strippers.’ Scar suggested.
‘Who has strippers hook-up?’ Phantom wanted to know.
‘Anybody there?’ Phantom asked.
End of day 1.
‘Are we still up for strippers?’ Phantom was going hard for the strippers’ sell. The comments flew in pretty quickly after that and I could barely keep track.
‘Strippers sound like a good idea. How many?’
‘Depends on how much it’ll cost to get them.’
‘Talking about money, how much should we contribute?’
‘How much depends on how many we are, and how much putting everything together will cost.’
‘Why don’t we have a bbq, drinks, girls and a night of soccer?’
‘Wo, me I don’t play video games. You guys can go ahead and plan the soccer thing, just don’t expect me to attend.’
‘Shebi the other day we talked about strippers and, when it came to connect, everybody missed?’
‘I’m not saying soccer is a bad idea – even though I’ve never heard of game night for someone’s Bach – I’m happy to pay, but I won’t come sha. As for strippers, I know a guy. I can give you his contact. Me I sha can’t call to arrange strippers; I’m a married man.’
‘Sharrap dia! Who is not a married man?’
‘Ayam tayad of people who will talk the talk but cannot walk the walk. No back up.’
‘Are you subbing me?’
‘You know yourself.’
‘Whatsapp is a leveller. Will you be able to talk to me like this face to face?’
‘Are you crazy?’
‘Guys calm down.’
‘Shit escalated pretty quickly.’
‘Good one. Looool. I have a meme for that.’
Someone left the group.
End of Day 2.
‘Come guys, how don’t we need. Girls at the B.E.?’ Phantom asked.
‘That’ll be a good idea,’ Wale said.
‘How about we each bring two girls? That way we are sure there’d be more girls than guys.’ Phantom suggested.
‘Sounds like a plan, problem is I don’t know any such girls anymore.’ I said.
‘Bobo abeg shut up dia! Did Keme take your balls with her when she left?’ Scar didn’t know how to do compassion.
‘No mind the fool.’ Neither did Wale. ‘At what stage did you burn your playbook?’
‘Oya make una no vex. I no need una to cuss me.’ I said, scrolling through my contacts to see if there were any girls I could invite to a gathering with these guys. None.
And so the conversations went until, with four days to go, we made concrete plans to pay two strippers for a night, invite our female friends and rent a suite for the night.
I was put in charge of drinking games for the night.
Wale was assigned drinks and mixes.
Scar was our liaison person with the strippers and the hotel.
‘Guys, please try to be there by 6pm at the latest o.’ Scar messaged us.
‘How do we get Sly there?’ I asked.
‘Leave that to me,’ Tega the bestman said, ‘I already have a plan.’
When I got to the hotel that night, Wale already had diced fruits steeped in cheap vodka in a bowl.
‘Yo,’ I hailed him, ‘ where are the rest of the drinks?’
Wale pointed to a cooler in the corner. ‘Shots are on the table. Whatever your poison: tequila, vodka or whisky.’
I walked past him to the kitchen and cut a sliver of pineapple from the half on the chopping board.
‘Guy behave yourself.’ Phantom scolded me. ‘Abi you think say na fruit cocktail we dey prepare?’
‘See this guy o,’ Wale said, ‘you think say na ordinary fruit dey there?’
‘Speaking of which,’ Phantom said, ‘Wale I’m buzzed. Not drunk, just a mellow buzz.’
I took a shot of tequila, then went to look for an electric outlet to plug my phone.
More guys arrived. Scar, some music producer that I vaguely recognised, a doctor friend of Sly’s and two other guys I didn’t recognise. I passed the shots round before going to join Wale in the kitchen where he was mixing his brew.
‘Here,’ he offered me a red cup, ‘what do you think?’
‘Hmm…’ I smacked my lips. The fruity aroma misled me into expecting a sweetened drink. The spirit was raw and packed a punch. One that left a warm ball in my stomach. I sipped some more till I finished the contents of the cup.
‘Guy,’ Wale looked at me with wide eyes. ‘You ate the fruits?’
I felt a tingling on my face and in my extremities. I smiled at Wale, bracing myself against the door frame. Just then Phantom walked in.
‘So guys, Tega and Sly are on their way, and the strippers are on their way up. When Sly gets here, we’ll get one of the girls to open the door. He believes he’s escorting Tega for a business meeting. At the door the stripper will tell him “good evening Mr. Sly, welcome to your bachelor’s party”, and then we’ll all come out from wherever we’ll be hiding then.’
The strippers came, two of them. One every inch the opposite of the other: the first was brown-skinned, slim, with pert breasts and legs that wouldn’t quit, and the other was darker-skinned and buxom, and her thighs were thick.
We all got introduced and Phantom told them the plan.
‘Guys quick, Tega just pulled up and Sly is in the car behind him.’ Scar rushed in from the balcony.
Some of us went back out to the balcony, and the others went into the kitchen and the bedroom. Someone killed the sitting room light, so only the light from the flat screen tv illuminated the room.
There was a knock on the door and Sly was the first to walk in. I saw him hesitate inside the door when he realised the room was in darkness, and maybe because the lady who got the door was scantily clad.
‘Hello Mr. Sly,’ she said. The confusion on Sly’s face was epic. ‘Welcome to your bachelor’s party.’ and we all trooped out from our hiding places.
Sly doubled over at the waist. From relief, surprise or extreme mix of emotions, we didn’t know and didn’t care.
‘You guys are all something else.’ was all he could say as he went round shaking hands, clasping palms and slapping backs.