Miracles – A short fiction by Bankole Banjo
I love my job. I really do. Who wouldn’t enjoy a job that requires one to consistently perform miracles?! Yeah, you read right. Miracles.
Before your imaginations run amok, let me quickly place a caveat: I am not a pastor. Neither am I a prayer contractor. In fact, I go to church only on Sundays my work schedule (and other things too dirty to list here) permits. I am a copywriter. You may call me a Miracle Worker.
Laymen think we just write adverts. But, hell no. We create miracles. Or how does one explain bringing awe-inspiring, wow-inducing campaigns to life from scratch all through a barely living document they call brief? What better summarizes a job that keeps you alert and on your toes every waking -and sleeping- moment of your life with abominable deadlines? What better term justifies a job that mandates you to satisfy a diverse team of clients who are as insatiable as a fresh nympho in bed?
It’s 9.57pm here and I am no where close to calling it a day. As things stand, I might have to spend the night at work. Like every Miracle Worker who would sometimes come face-to-face with some ebola-ish demons, I am deep in my neck with briefs. Three, actually. And the three are required to birth ideas that will move the brands into at least two-years in terms of execution and competitive relevance. However, one is very urgent. There’s another presentation set for noon tomorrow to discuss new ideas with the client. We’ve been on that particular brief for far too long and we’re no way near getting out something -anything- the client likes.
I am lost, confused even, and d-day approaches, like a long-chosen court date. Yet, I must deliver.
Ideas have been thrown back and forth like tennis balls on a court but each time, my Creative Director never seems to see the brilliance of each and everyone. I am tempted to think he is the original ebola. It definitely isn’t a coincidence he’s got a ‘bola’ in his name.
“Guy, there’s nothing here,” he says yet again as he finishes going through the fresh ideas I just dropped on his desk.
I sigh in resignation.
“You need to lose that box Nicholas; you’ve boxed yourself mentally,” I hear him say. “We are looking for an epic campaign, the kind that will win awards. We are not talking LAIF here o, something international, alright?”
I nod slowly, confused the more.
“Na LAIF my oga dey wash so? Hmmnnn… No be the same LAIF e take shine reach position wey e dey so? Wonders shall never end.”
“Let me try again sir,” I say and leave.
I get to my desk and suddenly feel a need to take a leak.
I need to see my doctor one of these days; why I dey always feel like taking a leak every time I get my ideas thrown back at me. There must be some kinda war going on between my brain and urinaries.
I make a bee-line to the rest room located on the next floor. I still wonder the sense in siting the rest room on another floor. Was the Architect drunk or something when he was conceptualizing the building? But that’s none of my business.
I whip out my equipment to do the business for which the room was specifically built (your imaginations are entirely up to you here), only to hear my tummy rumble. You know that ol’ boy-I-need-to-escape rumble? I heed the call and make for the cubicles that house the closets. Like I was taught as a young boy, I flush first and proceed to unkit. I stop midway when I see that the tissue holder is empty.
I sigh, zip up and go back to fetch a roll of tissue from my desk drawer upstairs.
Damn this mumu Architect.
I return soon and prepare to get to business behind closed doors. Then I stop. Something is floating nonchalantly in the closet. I peer closely to confirm what it is.
“Jesus!” I whisper to myself.
Staring at me is a used condom, the familiar cream well-deposited in it. I swear it was not there a few minutes ago.
“What?! Now now?! Hian!” I gasp in shock. This is a miracle.
How many minutes I spend wey this kain who-dey-house don happen? Closet wey I flush myself just now?!
I hurriedly exit the cubicle, my leak-sh*t assignment all but forgotten.
No be me go come use that kain closet.
I wander back upstairs, to my desk and try to think. I imagine the mystery ‘mates’ in the cubicle, babe bent against the closet, the guy ramming her from behind. It must be a record for a quickie.
Omo, sharp badt guys full this agency. Ehn ehn?
Then it strikes me. Like a blast of electricity from a naked wire. Something totally unrelated.
I quickly fish out three new plain sheets of paper and the brief i’d been battling with. A light bulb has gone on in my head. It is a miracle. A miracle inspired by a quickie that defies logic. Isn’t that a lot like thinking outside the box?
With a smile caressing my stressed face, I begin to put my thoughts on paper. Ebola-incarnate cannot throw this away.
Bankole Banjo is an anthologized short story writer and award-winning copywriter with Nigeria’s foremost Marketing Communications Agency. He tweets via @banky_writes.