Eavesdroppers Never Hear Good of Themselves

The story I’m about to relay happened in Grier House in the mid sixties.

Our dear old Housemaster, Mr. Arodudu of blessed memory, who was also our English teacher, was very fond of prowling round his domain (Grier House) after lights-out, like a sleek tiger looking for unruly students to punish.

He had carried on with this tactic for a long time, and a lot of Grier House boys had fallen into his trap on several occasions. The inevitable
punishment was some strokes from the rod of Mr. Arodudu (‘Chico’). We never got to find out how he got that nickname but everyone addressed him as such - behind his back.

On this fateful night - during one of the midterm holidays, when most boys refused to go home because of the freedom we enjoyed by going to the movies or parties without restriction, we had retired to room 4 which was next to the bathrooms.

It had a large bamboo tree behind it which was an assembly location for dispensing serious punishments for boys who had broken one or more
of the various laws of the house and school.

Lanre Onadeko, Femi Adejugba and my poor self were having a late night cup of Bournvita and snacks (the famous ‘Kingsway’ meatpie which was described by Folarin Smith - one of our Set, as ‘the best in the world’) and generally feeling good with ourselves when we thought we heard some noise emanating from around the bamboo tree. We waited for some time with no idea of what was going on.

Lanre jokingly suggested that it might be Chico the Housemaster on his usual night-prowling activity, to which Femi Adejugba retorted that if it was Chico he would pour hot cocoa on him and break his head.

We all laughed at the joke and continued the banter. Someone suggested that if that happened it might be severe enough to kill the Housemaster. We all agreed that if that did happen his corpse would not be discovered for a long time thereby qualifying it to be described as ‘Oku LCC’ (an abandoned corpse).

All these were quite funny and we had a long hard laughter that was suddenly cut short by the piping falsetto of the Housemaster.

‘Onadeko - you want to kill me?’ We were all frozen still and could not utter a word as he proceeded to describe us as juveniles with criminal tendencies. Of course he must have known that we did not mean all we said.

Nevertheless Lanre Onadeko’s Housemaster’s Report at the end of term vividly described his ‘criminal tendencies’. How he managed to convince his parents to the contrary is story for another day.

Femi Adejugba did not escape the wrath of ‘Chico’ either, as he too was described as a ‘potential criminal’ in the Report sent to his parents.

How I escaped without an adverse Report is still a mystery to me till today.

Story told by Demola Denloye (1966) in "Looking Back and Looking Forward" - A 1966 Set Publication, published during their Golden Jubilee..

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