This is a tale of ponmo. Now ajebutter babes be like “What the Procreation is ponmo?”. I’ll tell you. ponmo is that soft tender cylindrically rolled piece of meat that resembles a roll of sausage without beef. That is if you buy a perfect one (which is very unlikely in Nigeria today). Ponmo is simply put; cooked cow hide.
Now the soft tender blah blah blah I just described above refers to ideal ponmo which is not always the case. Unfortunately, the most commonly sold ponmo is hard, tough, troublesome and a problem for the teeth.
I was once fortunate to witness an unfortunate encounter two girls in my class had with such ponmo while I was still at Akoka. One of the girls was my crush then (I change crushes every week), so when I entered the popular Mavise canteen, I ordered my food and sat down opposite them.
Sitting on the plate of my crush was an ideal looking piece of ponmo. It was perfectly cylindrical, with one end even overlapping the other. I began to develop a crush on my crush’s ponmo too. Sadly though, I couldn’t order one (a big boy has to keep his gluttony in check).
As I was trumping down my meal while trying deliberately to mistakenly catch her eyes and try one of my enchanting winks at her, she cleared the food on her plate, except the ponmo.
As a big girl she picked up a knife with the fork and tried dissecting the ponmo. For where, ponmo no gree. She tried and tried and finally resorted to putting it in her mouth and biting it off, still, ponmo no gree.
By now she’s getting really frustrated and I was getting less interested in my food and more interested in the spectacle. After several attempts at biting off the ponmo, she dropped the fork and picked up the ponmo like a real Yoruba girl that she is (let’s go back to the roots!) and tried to take a traditional bite, still no show.
She looked at her friend and commented, “Na WA o, this ponmo is strong”.
Her friend replied “Hmmmmn, lemme try it” and I was beginning to wonder if she too had been coveting the ponmo as I was, and if by some witchcraft (I don’t trust these girls), she had bewitched the it with tensile strength.
She tried it too, first with the fork, then her hands, then something happened. She managed to get a bite off, but the ponmo slipped out of her hands and landed on her blouse staining it with stew.
My crush picked up the ponmo and while her friend was trying to clean herself up, tried to get her own lucky bite. There was another breakthrough and another ponmo break-away. She got a bite and the ponmo slipped away again, out of her hands to her blouse, and rolled down her body to the floor.
She looked at her body then at the ponmo with that look you give your new phone that got smashed to bits. She made to pick it up (and she’s not igbo o) when her friend nudged her to forget it. Sitting there, eating slowly, I could feel the crush on her dying prematurely (it was barely a week).
The two girls cleaned themselves up,and hurried out of the canteen with stained blouses, leaving an imperfectly cooked perfectly sized piece of ponmo lying on the floor with two bites off. Also leaving me making a mental note never to eat ponmo in public.
Maybe you can’t judge a piece of ponmo by it’s size.