When I was 10 years I sat the common entrance exams. By the grace of God and my brilliance I passed with better grades than my big sister. I know Japhlet won’t be happy about this but that is the fact.
On the 16th of September 1987, I was admitted to Nkwetia Secondary School making me the youngest person ever to be admitted to the school.
Even though the boarding house was a whole new experience, I gradually found myself loving it. Because Nkwetia is on the Kwahu mountains, it gets very cold most part of the year, waking up at dawn to fetch water for the school kitchen is something I never got used to.
Some names of mates and seniors would live with me forever; Akuffo Anthony, Charles Toronto, ɔtopitii, Dannis Adu Gyane (my cousin) and Edward Ansong-the second youngest (11 years) who wet his bed every night, just to mention a few are the guys I remember like it was yesterday.
One Saturday day as I walked to grounds work (cleaning up the schools campus) from my dormitory, I found a balloon on the ground and picked it up. It was so beautiful as it took the shape of a banana.
In fact it was the strongest balloon I had ever seen. I stretched it to about a yard but showed no signs of reaching its elastic limit. The only problem I had with my amazing new balloon was that it had some starch in it. I wondered why such a nice balloon will have starch in it.
Even though I found it difficult to understand, my love for this stylish balloon was so much that I didn’t waste too much time thinking about its starchiness. I quickly but carefully turned my balloon inside out and wiped the starch of it.
Oh there it was. My amazing new balloon was clean and ready to blow. The more I blew air into it, the more beautiful it became as it turned into a big banana. I will never forget the tip. It looked like the “head” of something I had seen before. I tried but failed to remember what the head looked like.
Anyway enough of the shape. In a matter of seconds I had blown my amazing new balloon into a big banana shaped latex object. I found a thread and tired it to prevent the air from escaping. Holding the thread, I tossed it up and it flew like a kite after me as I run to show my new toy to everyone.
When I go to where the grounds work was taking place our senior house master, affectionately called Kwame Senior was first to see me. He laughed as he shouted “Asare Obeng where did you get that from?”
All the students and other teachers around turn and watch and joined the laughter as if I had told a joke at a comedy show. They laughed and laughed for minutes after seeing my amazing new balloon.
I just stood and watched them. I didn’t understand why people were laughing at something so beautiful. After some minutes, Kwame Senior asked if I blew the balloon myself and I responded in the affirmative. “What was inside it” he asked. “Starch” I replied.
That was what made them roll on the floor laughing. I am very sure that was the best entertainment in the history of the school. After the “entertainment show” he advised me never to pick that kind of balloon from the floor or I’ll fall sick. “Sick? Why? How?” I kept asking myself.
27 years later. I keep saying to my self. “What a balloon?” I’m happy that I now understand what Kwame Senior meant by “You’ll be sick.”
Yeeees!!! Siiiiiick!!! Very sick. Ebola!!!
Some learn to be funny but A-Plus spends majority of his day avoiding to be funny—perhaps it is a disease but we love this disease.