Book Excerpt: For Laff's Sake by Atilola Moronfolu


Exactly How?

Jamiu was a very curious lad. It is a wonder that he is still alive as Curiosity has yet to kill him, like it did the cat. Because of this, he knows many things a child of his age has no business knowing. In fact, the shape of his ears has been quite altered, because adults keep pulling it anytime he’s caught pulling one of his eavesdropping stunts. But it seems the more his ears are pulled, the longer they get, and the longer they get, the more they prickle for more juicy information. His family and friends had tried hard, but could find no solution for his eavesdropping habit.

Jamiu lived with his parents in a one-room apartment. On a particular day, some of his family members had come from his village in Ekiti for a family meeting. Because of Jamiu’s special gift of eavesdropping, they sent him to play with his cousins in his uncle’s house, two streets away. Unfortunately for Jamiu, he had forgotten to take his rubber ball before leaving home. Jamiu could however not imagine having to play with his cousin, without the aid of a rubber ball to kick around, so he decided to go back home, just to ‘get his ball’. Whether Jamiu intentionally or unintentionally left his ball at home is a fact that nobody would really find out till the end of time.

When he got home, the meeting had already started, and the door had been locked. Jamiu saw the ball he came to pick, right in front of the door, but the sound of the muffled voices coming from inside the room was too appetising for him to resist. So in his usual manner, he settled comfortably at the door, and pried his long ears at the hole of the door knob to do what he knew how to do best, looking around to make sure he wasn’t caught by anyone.

What he heard was best imagined.
“So Mama Jamiu, as I was saying, Tayo, Jamiu’s real mother is back at home with me. She has long recovered from her mental illness, after Baba Elewe Omo, the native doctor she has been with for the past eight years, concluded her treatment.” Jamiu’s grandmother started.
“That is good news mama mi[1],” said Jamiu’s father.

“That is not all,” Jamiu’s grandfather interrupted. “She has requested for her child to be brought to her.”
“No o, baba mi[2]. That is not possible. How can I send Jamiu to go and live with an ex-mad woman? I would never do that.”

“And who turned her mad? Ehn… tell me, Baba Jamiu, who turned her mad? Is her condition not as a result of your shameless act? I don’t know what you were thinking when you decided to take your own biological daughter, and impregnate her. Now, you refer to her as an ex-mad woman.” His grandmother scolded.
Outside the door, Jamiu’s mouth was wide-opened. So his father was not just his father, but his grandfather. And he had a sister he never knew about? His conscience told him that this was the time for him to pick his rubber ball and leave, but he just couldn’t get himself to remove his ear from the knob-hole. There seemed to be an invisible glue on his ear.

“Mama mi, please, let the past be past. Let us stop passing blames around. It’s been ages.”
“How can the past be past? Ehn… tell me, how can it?” His grandfather interjected. “If only you had gotten rid of that abomination you call a child like I wanted? But no, you had to insist on having the child, because your wife never gave you a male child. Jamiu would always remain in your life, so it can never be past.”
“Well, Baba Jamiu, let us just return the child to the real mother. She is asking for the child, so let’s return him to her. That is why we have called this meeting, to determine whether we should send Jamiu back to his mother.”Jamiu’s grandmother explained.

“Though, I have a feeling she will try to kill him once she gets hold of him alone.” His grandfather said.
Jamiu shivered. What were they thinking, contemplating sending him to live with a woman whose level of mental stability was in doubt?
“Well, we will have to take a vote on that.” For the first time, the woman he had always assumed was his mother for the past 10 years finally spoke out.
What? His mother was asking for a vote? Wasn’t she supposed to be putting an end to all these nonsense? How can she watch them take him from her to a woman that might end his life in a matter of days? He really couldn’t believe what he was hearing.
“Well, that is it. We are all in favour of sending Jamiu back to Tayo. The decision has been made. First thing tomorrow, he will follow the two of you back to Ikere Ekiti.” His mother said.
“But let’s think about this again, Tayo might really kill that child.” His father expressed concern.
“Yes, we know, but we are not sure that will really happen. Besides, we cannot use what we are not sure about to keep the child away from his real mother.”
“Okay. We will have to risk it then.” His father finally agreed.
So they were even ready to gamble with his life. He looked around again to make sure he had not been sighted by anyone. The corridor where he was stooping was painfully quiet.
“So let’s even think about it,” his uncle started. “If that happens, I mean if she kills Jamiu, if Baba Elewe Omo’s treatment did not really work on her, how do you think she go about the killing?”
Jamiu’s ears pricked. What? They had sold him out, and even decided to go further by discussing the mode of his death. This is rubbish. These people are insane!
“I think she might tie him up, and cut his body parts bit by bit, making sure he is still alive till she gets to the vital parts.” His grandmother started.
And they are even going along with the conversation.
“She might just soak him in a bath tub filled with water, and pass electricity into it, till he’s shocked to death.” His uncle added.
By now, Jamiu was shaking uncontrollably, he never thought he came from the loins of a deranged person, and his family members were comfortably speaking about his death. His whole family seemed to be as deranged as they had described his biological mother to be.
The voice of his father interrupted his thoughts…
“She might just land a blow on his skull. But that doesn’t sound interesting enough to someone who is a psycho.” His father explained.
“She might use a screwdriver to gorge his eyes out first, and let him bleed for 3 weeks, then poke him on the side, and let him bleed to death, letting his blood drip into a bucket… drip, drip, drip.”

By now, Jamiu had started pissing in his pants. He thought of whom to run to, but no one came to his mind at that moment. All the people he trusted were right there in the room, talking about his death as if they were planning how to distribute aso ebi[3] for a party.

“Well, let’s think well. In my own opinion, she might just do it the Clifford Orji style – Kill him and eat him. That is the way mad people like to do it.” His mother said, like she had just discovered gold.
“That is it, Mama Jamiu, you are a real genius.” Everyone chorused.
What? They were praising his mum for discovering the best way to kill him? Tears ran down his eyes uncontrollably. This was indeed the worst day of his life.
“I wonder why the Clifford Orji style didn’t even occur to me before.” His grandfather said.
“Now, since we have agreed that she might eat him, how do you think she might eat him? Roast him, fry him, or boil him?” His father asked.
“I think she will roast him. Like most mentally imbalanced people, she would most likely be too impatient to boil or fry.” His grandmother explained.
“Since it is Jamiu meat, she will boil him first, and then fry him. I have eaten a guy called Jamiu before, he was sweeter when we fried him.”
What? Jamiu thought. His uncle was a cannibal and a psycho too? By now, he was crying silently. His whole world had just crumbled right before him.
“No, she is my daughter. I know her well. She used to love boiled meat when she was young. I think she will just boil him and eat him.” His mother argued.
“I disagree,” said his uncle. “Fried Jamiu meats are sweeter. She will fry him.”
“No, she will roast him. Mad people are impatient.”  His grandmother emphasised.
“I know her best, I am her mother. She will boil him, trust me.”
And so the argument continued
“Boil him… Roast him… Fry him… Roast him… Fry him… Fry him... Boil him…” It seemed the argument was never going to end.

By now, Jamiu had shit in his knickers. “The end has finally come for me,” he thought.
Suddenly he heard the voice of his grandfather continue.

“I really don’t think we should argue too much about this. We can just try it out now. Let’s divide him into three parts, and roast one part, boil one part, and fry one part. It would not take too long for us to get started and accomplish that, since he is at the door, where he has been standing, listening to us all these while.”

They suddenly opened the door, and Jamiu fell in, all smelly, wet, and teary-eyed.
All his family members looked at him, and erupted in uncontrollable laughter.
“Well, Jamiu, I am sure no one will ever have to explain to you the dangers of eavesdropping after today.” His grandfather said in amusement.

You can purchase the kindle version and  hard copy from amazon, or download the soft copy from Okada Books on your android device for just N200 if you are in Nigeria. The hard copy is also available on
About the Author
Atilola Moronfolu is a multi-faceted entrepreneur. She is a  Consultant  with  PricewaterhouseCoopers,Writer, Editor, Spoken word artist, and popular writing blogger on She also edits books for fellow writers and bloggers and gets them ready for publishing.  Transiting from consulting into the literary world, she has made giant strides in a very short period. She is the author of Antonyms of a Mirage, the now popularly trending collection of Drama, Prose, and Poetry in Nigeria. Read on: 
Watch on:
Follow on Twitter: @hattylolla 

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  1. Hilarious...Nice read.

    You might want to check the writer's website again, I think its and not