Just to let you know straight up, I hate the question, ‘How was your night’? It is simply none of your business and you really truly do not want to know, anyway.
More often than not, it is a throw-away question. By the time you gather your thoughts and try to conjure up an answer, the questioner is long gone.
The porter or gateman asking me such a question is simply asking for a blank stare and a look of incredulousness. As if I would want to start relating to a stranger about my insomnia, on-call activities, explosive sexual activity or, perhaps, even the lack of sex during the night.
Or do you want to know that the electricity was off sometime during the night and the oppressive heat woke me up? What exactly is the purpose of this particular question and of what benefit is it in the overall scheme of things? Do you truly want to know? Do you care?
For example, Saturday was the Summer Fun Fair of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA FCT branch) and we had a busy event at Jabi Lake in Abuja. We started early in the morning with setting up canopies all over the park. There was a big stage with DJ and music supplied by Doxa Ltd.
Tru Dance Art and Mr. Johnson (Wildbuck Crew) performed on the stage, dancing and gyrating erratically. The other fabulous activity on the stage was a ‘Wheel of Fortune,’ where people could either win some money or perform a chore. A girl was asked who the vice president of Nigeria is and she said, ‘Buhari.’ It was that much fun.
Better and more notable was the appearance of the ‘Area Father’ Charly Boy, our mystery guest ‘Willy Willy’ of Wazobia FM and Adanma Odefa.
We rounded up and cleared off the park at about 9 pm. I was in bed at exactly 9.30 pm. I slept in my clothes, shoes and smelly socks still on my feet and the lights on in the room. That was how I woke up at 3.30 am when the rains started and the wind blew off the mosquito netting on the window.
Okay, I had to get out of bed, brush my stale mouth, change out of my clothes and try to get back to sleep. I noticed that my joints were aching and muscles sore; so I took some Paracetamol. I did not get any more sleep and tossed and turned all night long till the morning.
Oh, I did get a call from one of my patients at 6.05 am trying to book an appointment for later that morning. He must have dreamt about me all night long that he could not wait for daybreak! That phone call put me in a foul mood and I had to get out of bed and proceed to work. My Sunday clinic was all set to start at 8 am. Guess what, the gateman asked me, ‘How was your night’?
Bet, he didn’t really want to know about my busy day and terrible night!
Did I sleep well? No; but what are you going to do about it? I may just be gripping for nothing but the question does wind me up a little. I mean it’s not that it bothers me so much; it does, but not enough to blow a gasket over. It would just be nice if people could stop asking me. It is none of your damn business!
Whatever happened to a simple ‘Good Morning’? Why is ‘morning’ not good enough anymore in Nigeria?
Speaking to a friend about this, he actually has a great and noncommittal reply to the question. So, the next time someone asks me, ‘How was your night,’ I might just reply, ‘It was short and dark;’ or, better still, ‘I have no idea, I slept through it.’