(a play for young adults)
NOTE: Intellectual discretion is needed for the direction and setting of this play.
Dennis’s mother [DeM]
Dennis’s father [DeF]
DeF: [enters] Your son! Your only son!! Your only child!!!
DeM: Don’t get so worked up, Papa Dennis. You know I had complications during his birth.
DeF: I wish they were simplications. I couldn’t stand your screams and yellings. I had to leave that hospital.
DeM: You couldn’t stay to watch the birth of your son.
DeF: Your son, you mean.
DeM: When a child does right, he is the father’s son. But when he does wrong, he is the mother’s son. Why has Dennis now become my son? Is he not our son?
DeF: He is my flesh and blood, but honestly speaking, I do not know where he actually came from. Just look at the only child you gave to me!!
DeF: Alright, us. I just bailed him out of Kirikiri. They were processing the documents of release when I came back here. I used ten times my stubbornly immovable civil service salary to get that miscreant of a son out of prison.
DeM: This is terrible!
DeF: Why are you surprised? You delivered him.
DeM: You have started again, Papa Dennis! You men blame us women for any bad thing a child does in his society. But we never blame you.
DeF: That is because when a man trains a child, that child feeds his family. But when a woman trains the child, that child feeds a whole nation, if not the whole world. Anyway, like a chauffeur does his master, let us go and pick up our son. [Exeunt all.]
DeM: This is the most shameful and disgraceful thing I have ever heard in my life!!!! My son making love to a girl in front of a thousand people!!!!
DENNIS: You read my statement, mama.
DeF: Don’t talk back to your mother!
DENNIS: Dad, that mad bitch was a mad nymph.
DeM: Oh! All my sufferings have gone to waste!
DeF: You know, you are the devil himself, young man! How dare you send your own grandfather packing out of my own house, Dennis!!
DENNIS: Oh, that. The old man and I are not of the same level, you see. But I can understand. He’s old. I’m young.
DeF: How do you mean, Dennis?
DENNIS: We played draft together. I drafted him out three good times and took the possessions he wagered on the game. That must have gotten to him. He couldn’t stand it. Old age was telling on him. So, I think he should be more comfortable in his father’s house. I’m comfortable in mine.
DeF: Dennis!!!! You will be standing on live coals by the time I am done with you. [exits]
DENNIS: Let me make a phone call to my secretary.
DeM: Don’t even try it, Dennis. Your father and I are struggling to foot the skyrocketing phone bills you and your friends accumulated.
DENNIS: Damn you, vile woman! You have impeded my work ever since the day I escaped from your wretched womb. I guess I’ll make the call inside my bedroom. [exits]
ANDY: Dennis the fool called me.
HUNTER: Oh! What did he want? That means he’s out.
ANDY: He is making his arrival at this place in five minutes.
HUNTER: Then, I had better make myself scarce. I want to know what is up his sleeve.
BIBI: My good old cousin is coming to see us.
ANDY: Good old indeed! His good old secretary, which I honourably am, is faithfully waiting on him, hand and foot. The bastard!
BIBI: He is not a bastard, Andy.
HUNTER: Here we all are, harboured in the same higher institution, waiting for the academic session to resume, waiting for the S. U. G. parties … and other things.
BIBI: You know, I am getting bored sleeping around with you guys. You, Killer, Danger, Waster, I mean it really wears my beautiful skin off! I can’t replace your lost girlfriends.
HUNTER: But you’ve tried, Bibi, you’ve tried.
ANDY: Look at honourable Master Dennis! He sleeps around, but his beautiful skin doesn’t wear off!
BIBI: My cousin is a man. I am a wo-man. See the difference?
HUNTER: Andy, shut up about Dennis for once! Is he God? Is he special?
ANDY: Special to me he is. I wait on him. I worked for him and made him who he is today. I connected him to all the big shots. I …
HUNTER & BIBI: Stale news!
VOICE OUTSIDE: Open this door! Dennis is I.
HUNTER: Goodbye, everyone. [exits]
ANDY: Ah! The O. B. B. in town! How now?
DENNIS: [enters] How do I look?
DENNIS: Good. So, get that into your head, Andy.
ANDY: You have not changed.
DENNIS: I do not believe in that word.
ANDY: Anyway, the financial possession you siphoned off from Oshiba’s wife has been depleted, Dennis. It’s time you went after the man himself.
ANDY: I have made all the necessary arrangements. A black suit is ready for you. A ready pair of black polished shoes goes with it. Then, a suave and gentlemanly look, smile, smell and aura to illuminate the engineer’s residence. With this, I am sure you will be irresistible.
BIBI: It sounds irresistible already.
ANDY: I am ready whenever you are.
DENNIS: Aw, sad story. You know what? You’re a dog, Andrew. You are greedy for more neglected crumbs. I beat you, I kick you, I flog you, and as always, you are submissive towards me whenever I call you. You are a dog who licks her under at intervals hours after adventurous lovemaking.
ANDY: Well …eh, you will be the man who legally advises him on his recent contract: the borehole of his sister’s duplex. The building of it. He wants it to be larger than the duplex itself. Take it or leave it?
DENNIS: I’ll take it. Let me name the lord and his serfs for you. Dennis – colon – Hun-ter, Dan-ger, Kil-ler, Was-ter. We are giants of angelic paternity. We live on milked Lipton and garlic. Hunter in front of me, Danger at my right and Killer at my left, Waster at my behind. That was how we were wherever we went. They knew I was important. They knew my importance. I was king, I am king and I will be king. And I am proud to say that I have fingered all their girlfriends. I had to be a two-women-at-the-same-time man, then, but only once was I that. Aw, sad story!
BIBI: Wow, Cousin Dennis! You sure are powerful.
DENNIS: There I am, sitting on the hot seat of power. It’s burning me profusely. I sweat and sweat and sweat, but I don’t get up. I sit there, burning. I burn up to a skeleton, but I don’t get up. I can’t get up and I won’t get up because if I do, I will get bloody ice-cold.
ANDY: I know the feeling.
DENNIS: Just look at! Retired Lieutenant-General Sholu Agbogbe lost over five hundred thousand naira to me, alongside with his exuberantly youthful daughter. He feels polygamous, but he is not. I hear he is on the hunt for me but unfortunately for him, I hid under fiction. Chief Prince Oliseh desperately gave up seventy thousand naira unto my hands and he received the same treatment. But he had no daughters or young sisters for me to use. Then I took Alhaji Haruna Mustapha’s one million naira. But he was a tough one. Before he could get me, I had exhausted half of his large harem and made my escape route. I am, was and will be blessedly powerful.
ANDY: Like I said, you haven’t changed.
DENNIS: You cannot stop the rooster from roosting. You cannot stop the snooker from snooking. You cannot stop the poker from poking. It is as simple as that.
ANDY: Listen carefully, Dennis. When you are sweeping the compound, be careful not to destroy the houses of the ants.
DENNIS: Ha! Indeed!! The Chief receives a monthly delivery of MacDonald’s Big Burger. The Alhaji has CNN under his feet. The retired lieutenant-general dines with Bill Gates and is seeking for the hand of Bill Clinton’s daughter. And me, I try to eat to live. My village now thrives and bubbles, thanks to my stolen money.
BIBI: Well, your short speeches were heavily laid down, Cousin Dennis. You speak like a speaker. You talk like a talker.
ANDY: What have you just said, Bibi? Abeg no mind dis girl jare! Engineer Oshiba will be waiting for my phone call at his residence right about now. I want you to go there and meet him. The phone call is all about the new you.
DENNIS: You have really tried for me, Andy. I think you are done after this business with the engineer. I need new ideas, fresh hands, innovative advice. You appear tired.
ANDY: I’m not tired.
DENNIS: Sorry, Andy. I want a new dog.
ANDY: Oh! OK, well, may I present to you your disguise. Go for it, Dennis!
DENNIS: My name is Dennis
My game is tennis
I have a long penis
To women, I’m sweet menace
I’ll see you after this smooth operation, Bibi. [exits]
… … … …
Engineer Oshiba [EngOsh]
Oshiba’s wife [OshW]
DENNIS: [enters] Good afternoon, Mr. Oshiba. I am Mr. Shittu Wilson. I believe you got a telephone call from my colleague, Andrew.
EngOsh: Oh yes. That is true. Mr. Andrew, eh, Eji. Andrew Eji. Now I know. And please, I am not Mister Oshiba. I am Engineer Oshiba of Oshiba Holdings Plc Ltd. Do not forget that.
DENNIS: My apologies, sir. I am your legal adviser concerning the borehole in your sister’s duplex.
EngOsh: That is right. I am expecting a phone call from Mr. Eji.
DENNIS: Well, he won’t phone. You see, he has told me to come here in person.
EngOsh: Yes, you are right. Andrew talked about you. So, what do you think should be done about that borehole?
DENNIS: Well, I may suggest that the money given to this contract be handed over to me. I know of very competent hands who can handle the job.
EngOsh: Are you sure it will not be much of a problem?
DENNIS: Most certainly not, Engineer Oshiba. I have handled cases like this before, and I was successful in every one of them.
EngOsh: Yes. Andrew told me, and I don’t doubt him for one minute. OK. Let me get the cheque. You’ll wait, won’t you?
DENNIS: I have all day, sir.
EngOsh: Good. I’ll be right back. [exits]
OshW: How are you, Shittu?
DENNIS: Come into my arms, woman!
OshW: I missed you.
DENNIS: Me, too.
OshW: I’m at the mercy of my overbearing husband. All I own is gone.
DENNIS: Don’t worry. Everything will be alright.
OshW: Will it?
DENNIS: It will. Trust me.
OshW: I’ve always trusted you, Shittu. I see no reason to stop now.
DENNIS: I love you very much, Seri. I wish I had enough time to be with you a little longer.
OshW: Where will you be?
DENNIS: Your husband’s contract is terribly clashing with another one I have abroad.
OshW: Oh my God! Does this mean that I’ll never see you again?
DENNIS: To be honest with you, I will be away for quite a long time. But I will always cherish the stolen times we had together. I will never forget the many beds we’ve warmed with our bodies, and the many hotels we’ve been to. You took care of everything, my sweetheart.
OshW: I will never stop loving you, Shittu.
DENNIS: Keep away from me. Your husband’s coming.
EngOsh: [enters] Alright, Mr. Wilson. Here is the cheque for nine hundred thousand naira and here is my card to contact me in case more money is needed.
DENNIS: Thank you very much, sir. You won’t regret this.
EngOsh: I sure hope not.
DENNIS: Certainly! My legal advice will make this contract a big success. Your sister will be sure to have uninterrupted water supply from that borehole.
EngOsh: Thank you, Mr. Wilson. I am grateful to you. Excuse me, let me go and change for an outing. [exits]
OshW: When will we see each other again?
DENNIS: Seri, I’ll be extremely busy, as I said before. But I will try and call you.
OshW: I’ll be expecting that call, darling. So, goodbye, my love.
DENNIS: Goodbye, Seri. [exits]
OshW: Please, please, he should call me. I miss him so much. Such a beautiful man.
EngOsh: [enters] My dear, aren’t you ready for the luncheon?
OshW: I’m coming, dear. Give me a minute. [exits]
DENNIS: [enters] Victory is sweet!
ANDY: How did everything go?
DENNIS: You know, I could not believe that I could be believed so … so cheaply, so easily like that. It was too fast.
ANDY: I had a hand in that.
DENNIS: Thanks, Andy. More of this and I’ll be Croesus.
BIBI: If you are him, that is.
DENNIS: When you dress sweet, when you look sweet, when you stare sweet, when you smell sweet, when you talk sweet, you are sweet.
ANDY: Exactly. I told you you’ll be irresistible. Now, where’s the money?
DENNIS: I got this money very fast. But you won’t take it from me that fast.
ANDY: What do you mean?
DENNIS: For one thing, the money is on a rectangular sheet of paper.
ANDY: Then, tear that paper into two.
BIBI: Don’t tell me you are that dumb, Andy.
ANDY: I was just joking, Bibi. Cash the money out of that paper soonest, Dennis.
DENNIS: Wow! Is that an order?
ANDY: No. A suggestion.
DENNIS: There is Bible time.
ANDY: Which is …?
DENNIS: None of your business. I purchased today’s edition of HINTS magazine. There is a new face in one of the personal columns.
BIBI: Who’s that?
DENNIS: Tami Zebedee, a very eye-catching name. She is an Ameri-Nigerian, her mother white, her father black. She even published her photo. She’s not just a pretty face. She’s a beautiful face.
DENNIS: Yes. She wrote on relationships, blah, blah, blah. Men, she’s got impeccable skin!! I’m going after her.
BIBI: Ha! You can’t get her.
DENNIS: Oh yes, I can. You see, she is the daughter of the honourable Vice Chancellor to the higher institution we all attend, and she is a family friend of your pathetic and Godforsaken mother, Bibi. Information also has it that she will be spending half of her holidays with her.
BIBI: What makes you think she’s with my mother now? It is strange that I don’t know her. Well, I can’t know everyone these days.
DENNIS: It won’t be sinful if I try her, would it? What better way than to make love to the Vice Chancellor’s daughter before school resumes!! She will be my greatest victory.
BIBI: What if you are unsuccessful?
DENNIS: You want to place a bet on it?
BIBI: I will take up this wager. If I win, I shall tell your mother and your father that you are a proud owner of a dark blue, brand new BMW, and also, I will now be its new owner.
DENNIS: And if you lose?
BIBI: Then, you and I will be Adam and Eve when they ate the forbidden fruit. Admit it, Dennis. You desired me as a woman the very first time you laid your eyes upon me.
ANDY: Oooh! This is story!
DENNIS: And that forbidden fruit is my favourite fruit. Alright then. It is a deal.
ANDY: It is traditionally unlawful for you guys to …
DENNIS: Shut up, Andy! Don’t soil the fun with your foul dog-tongue. I am cashing out that money tomorrow.
ANDY: Great! That’s perfect!
DENNIS: And, Andy, three-quarters of that money belongs to me.
ANDY: No problem.
DENNIS: Well, I must be heading home. Goodbye, people. [exits]
ANDY: Dennis is the biggest fool I have ever encountered! He won’t win that bet.
BIBI: And if he does?
ANDY: If he does, he won’t live to enjoy the reward. I’ll make sure of that. I sure hope Hunter know what he’s to do.
BIBI: What does Hunter have to do with anything?
ANDY: It’s business, Bibi.
BIBI: OK. Well, I’ll leave you to your verbal castigation. [exits]
Dennis’s aunt [DeA]
DENNIS: [enters] Ah! My sweetest and deepest and nearest relative in the whole world!! How are you? You sure ‘sistered’ my mother so well.
DeA: Ha! I never thought I existed to you, Dennis. What brings you to my house?
DENNIS: Sad story! What makes you think so? Who told you that? Are you sure it is me?
DeA: Dennis the terrible menace, that’s who.
DENNIS: Ah! You see? It was Dennis the menace, not me Dennis.
DeA: Dennis, my nephew unfortunately, what brings you to my house?
DENNIS: Can’t your noble nephew pay a visit to his sweetest and deepest and nearest relative in the world? Have I committed a sin by coming here to see you?
DeA: You have never done this before. Why now? I believe you have something up your sleeve.
DENNIS: That’s an unbelief, my dear aunt. Come and check my two sleeves for yourself. There is nothing there.
DeA: Ha! You never cease to amaze me.
DENNIS: I told my parents that I will be coming to spend some time with you. Abi, is it a sin now? So many children would die to stay with their aunties. My parents even thought it was a wonderful idea.
DeA: That one is a very fat lie coming from you, Dennis. You never tell the truth. I’ll have to phone your parents to really find out.
DENNIS: OK then. Be my guest.
DeA: Are you serious about staying with me, Dennis?
DENNIS: Most certainly.
DeA: Do you really want to spend the remaining holidays in my house?
DeA: Alright then. Let me phone your parents. [exits]
DENNIS: What an old haggot she is! She hasn’t even changed a bit. Appears still as Godforsaken as ever! Wow!!
TAMI: [enters] Hello. Is Mama Bibi around?
DENNIS: Hi, Hi! I am Dennis. You must be the newly-famous Tami Zebedee, the female Ameri-Nigerian. Your picture is everywhere. That was some article you wrote for HINTS. Welcome to my mother’s sister’s abode.
TAMI: Thank you.
DENNIS: Come sit beside me.
TAMI: I sit wherever I choose.
DENNIS: Ooh! Cold feet, eh?
TAMI: I guess you can say that.
DENNIS: Please, don’t have cold feet whenever I’m concerned. Feel at home.
TAMI: I already feel at home, with or without you telling me to do so.
DENNIS: Oh! OK, well, so, how were your years with your white mother?
DENNIS: No wonder. I see her in every word in that article you wrote and published. You must have been influenced by her.
TAMI: Well, I don’t expect a man like you to understand my principles.
DENNIS: Here in Nigeria, we don’t look for principles. You are just another pretty face. I am a typical Nigerian man looking for pretty faces everywhere and anywhere.
TAMI: It’s not surprising, considering the circumstances.
DENNIS: Why do you say that? What do you mean?
TAMI: I have heard so much about you.
DENNIS: Like what and what?
TAMI: That you promise girls the whole world in order to go to bed with them, and that you are ruthless in your actions.
DENNIS: Who gave you that information?
TAMI: It will be very unethical of me to reveal my source of information. I was not brought up that way.
DENNIS: Sad story! Are you sure the information you got about me is genuine?
TAMI: The source is certainly a hundred percent reliable.
DENNIS: I see. Well, I am sorry to say that nobody knows me except me, you understand?
TAMI: That’s your problem, Dennis, not mine.
DeA: [enters] Ah, welcome, Tami. Dennis, I phoned your parents to confirm. Unfortunately, what you said about staying here with me is true.
DENNIS: See? I told you.
DeA: So, for that reason, you will help me take care of Mr. Aroghubosure while Tami and I go shopping.
DENNIS: Eh, ah, who is this Mr. Aro – Aroghu –?
DeA: Mr. Aroghubosure is an old man, a bit over eighty years of age. He lives a stone’s throw from here. Here is his address. His house is not hard to find. I promised to keep him company today, but with you being there, he will understand and maybe feel a little freer.
DENNIS: But, my dear aunt, I’m not so good at charity work, I must admit.
DeA: Don’t worry, Dennis. Just go there. You will learn. If you won’t do this for me, you won’t stay here with me. OK?
DENNIS: OK. I will do it, I guess.
DeA: Thank you. I knew I could rely on you. Well, take care of him and take care of yourself. [Exeunt DeA & Tami]
DENNIS: Damn! What the hell! This is nonsense! As they say: a beggar has no choice. [exits]
Mr. Aroghubosure [Mr. Aro]
MR. ARO: What a tiring day today is for me!
DENNIS: [enters] How are you, Mr. Aroghubosure? I had just finished escorting your granddaughter out, Mr. Aroghubosure.
MR. ARO: What a tiring day today is, Mr. Dennis!
DENNIS: It sure is! I agree with you, Mr. Aroghubosure. We played WHOT, Mr. Aroghubosure.
MR. ARO: We did?
DENNIS: Yes, Mr. Aroghubosure, and you won me three times, Mr. Aroghubosure.
MR. ARO: I did?
DENNIS: Yes, Mr. Aroghubosure, and I made love to your granddaughter.
MR. ARO: Pardon? What did you say?
DENNIS: I said, would you like to have a glass of water?
MR. ARO: No, thank you.
DENNIS: OK, Mr. Aroghubosure.
MR. ARO: You know, I once ran a business …
DENNIS: … which later folded up.
MR. ARO: And then, my late son came and saved me financially.
DENNIS: You have told me before, Mr. Aroghubosure.
MR. ARO: I did? Oh, I must have forgotten! Oh, what a tiring day!
DENNIS: It is, Mr. Aroghubosure. Your granddaughter sure was juicy.
MR. ARO: Pardon? What?
DENNIS: I said, would you like to take something juicy?
MR. ARO: I am not thirsty, Mr. Dennis. Thank you.
DeA: [enters] Mr. Aroghubosure, good afternoon.
MR. ARO: Good afternoon, my dear. How are you?
DeA: I’m fine, sir. And you?
MR. ARO: I am feeling good and well, thanks to Mr. Dennis here.
DeA: Well, that’s my nephew for you, sir. Always such a sweet boy.
MR. ARO: Well, who have you brought with you?
DeA: This is Miss Tami Zebedee. Her father is the Vice Chancellor to the university she got admission to. The academic session will soon resume.
MR. ARO: That is wonderful news, my dear.
DeA: Hope there was no problem?
MR. ARO: There was no problem at all. You see, me and Mr. Dennis played WHOT together.
DENNIS: Yes, we did.
MR. ARO: And I won him three times.
DeA: Aw, Mr. Aroghubosure, did you?
DENNIS: Yes, he did.
DeA: You know, it sounds almost impossible to believe, but …
MR. ARO: It is true, dear. I am looking forward to playing another game with your nephew.
DENNIS: Don’t worry, Mr. Aroghubosure. Next time we will play chess.
MR. ARO: Chess? What is that?
DENNIS: I will teach you, Mr. Aroghubosure.
TAMI: It is an easy game to learn.
DENNIS: You might even come and play with us, Miss Zebedee. I can even teach you.
TAMI: I do not think so, Dennis. I will practically be busy. I won’t have time for games.
DENNIS: You intend to write another article for HINTS?
TAMI: Well, not exactly.
DENNIS: Come on! You can at least spare some time for some game.
DeA: Dennis, if Tami says she will be busy, then she will be busy. Mr.
Aroghubosure, we have to be going. Can you manage on your own? Or should Dennis come and spend the night with you?
MR. ARO: Well, I would like his company. But I do not want to inconvenience him.
DeA: There is no inconvenience at all, is there, Dennis?
DENNIS: But … my dear aunt …
DeA: Then, it is settled. He will stay with you, Mr. Aroghubosure. Wouldn’t you, Dennis?
DENNIS: Well …
DeA: OK then. He has agreed. Goodbye, Mr. Aroghubosure. And once again, Dennis. Take care of yourself. [Exeunt DeA & Tami.]
MR. ARO: Pardon? What did you say?
DENNIS: Nothing, Mr. Aroghubosure. Excuse me, Mr. Aroghubosure. I am coming. [exits]
… … … …