The Man with the Dead P

About a week ago, I was napping when the phone’s ringing jerked me up. It was Auntie A, my 73-year-old landlady. Her voice was snappy, urgent: “Are you at home? Come to the gate, I need your support.”

I dragged my feet, annoyed at having been yanked out of sleep. When I got there, I saw men armed with pick axes, chiseling a hole at the base of the wall next door. She said our neighbor’s wall had blocked the drainage, which is what had caused previous flooding.

“If he shows up with his gun, you must leave,” she added.

A gun? I stared at her.

She explained.

She was the first person to move into the neighborhood. Built her house, had drainage installed. Male neighbor bought the land next door and built his house over drainage. Then he had marital issues. Wife confided in Auntie A, Auntie A advised. Wife did the stupid thing: told her husband. Man got mad, decided to block Auntie A’s property’s access to drain. She had her laborers reopen drain. He got madder, punched her to the ground. Her daughter got involved. He pulled a gun. They went to court. Court ruled Man couldn’t block her gutter. He seemingly complied, so she did the good neighborly thing. Invited him to her birthday party, do I remember him? We drank, we ate, we danced, do I not remember? I had a vague recollection of a portly, ugly dude.

So, on this day, she asked her laborers to clear drain in anticipation of the rains, because last year, her house got flooded up to chest level, lots of stuff ruined. That was when she discovered Man had blocked the drain, using concrete and iron rods under the wall. Incensed, she got her laborers to open drain, using pick axes to chisel at the concrete. Called now-divorced Wife, Wife called Man, hence Auntie A’s request for support from me, repeating, “I want you to leave if he pulls out his gun.”

Well, I wasn’t about to leave her alone to face a man with a gun. Obviously, inviting the non-gentleman to her party hadn’t softened his stance.

We waited.

Daughter showed up with some AMA officials and suggested we go inside. Just as well. Man showed up. With two policemen. Without his gun though.

The policemen suggested a meeting at the police station. I refused to go. Auntie A remained with me while Daughter joined the group to drive to the police station. That’s when things turned. Not only had the man pulled a gun on Aunt A in the past, he had also called Daughter a prostitute. Daughter had been burning with rage, sharpening her tongue, itching for an opportunity to cut him to pieces, so when he started shooting his mouth again, she shouted, “Your penis is dead, that’s why your wife left you! Go way you!”

Aie.

Neighbors heard it. Houseboys. Security men. Man got apoplectic. He frothed at the mouth. He slapped his chest and vowed to the police that he didn’t care if they threw him in prison, but he would never allow Auntie A access to the drain. He said that calling his penis dead was the ultimate sacrilege. The police talked and talked to no avail. After all, this was East Legon, the neighborhood of the rich, so the police cowed. Man said other people’s sewage ran under his land, and he would allow everyone else’s, except Auntie A’s.

He printed don’t-touch-my-wall posters and hammered them on the fence wall. He ordered his men to pour sand into our side of the drain and, for good measure, parked his car against the wall. Finally, he brought a truckload of gravel and dumped it along the wall. Auntie A filed an emergency suit, and summons were posted on the wall. The bailiff was dispatched to serve Man. Man refuses to respond and has threatened his servants with dire retribution if they open the gate.

After the downpour, I was about to go to Max Mart when I realized I was trapped. The compound was so flooded that water partially submerged someone’s car. Only an SUV could get out. My Honda Civic couldn’t make it. Auntie A’s flower shop was a lake. She brought out a pump to drain it via a hose directed at the street. The pump droned all night until morning when I woke up and discovered I could get out.

I pray the neighbors settle this once and for all in court on Monday. I hope they can get over whose vagina is used and whose penis is dead, but I doubt that will happen. Man has politicians in his pocket. Each side refuses to apologize for the insults. Daughter is willing to swear she has proof positive Man’s penis is dead. Someone has suggested producing video evidence of Man’s functioning genitals.

I’ll pass.

One thing is certain, never call into question the viability of an Asante man’s penis. He will sooner face a firing squad than be humiliated that way. Meanwhile I am considering getting a kayak and parking my car outside the next time it pours.

I wonder if Man is considering a visit to Adbul’s Herbal Center at America House, East Legon?

Bisi Adjapon is the author of Of Women and Frogs, named top 15 books 2018. She has written for McSweneys, Washington Times. Brittle Paper and other journals