Last Christmas – With my Inlaws

Merry Christmas

Jennifer and I had been dating for 2 years, and last Christmas her family asked me to come spend the holidays at their country home with them. Of course I was both excited and scared. I was going to be in the same house with my ‘in-laws’ …my father in-law especially. He was a Brigadier General in the Nigerian Army, and his name inspired fear in many hearts.

When I told my mom about the invitation, she at first asked me not to go, but after I told her how important it was for me to, she insisted I go with my older cousin, Samson. His Anambra wife and son were in Awka for the Yuletide and he was going to join them sometime before the New Year. Mom’s reason for saying he should go with me was that he was older, married – hence had experience, and would ensure nothing happened to me. I told Jennifer and she said it was okay to come with him. The house was big, and … the more the merrier.

So, on the 23rd, while the world still slept and shivered from the harmattan winds, we left Ibadan for Rivers State. Samson and I took turns driving my fairly used Honda Civic, while he gave me advice on how to relate with the in-laws. He was spilling the dos and don’ts as if he had once authored a ‘Meeting the In-laws’ textbook.

“Don’t shake the general with both hands. Look him in the eyes and shake him firmly. He will know you’re a real man and can stand up for his daughter.”

“Don’t talk too much. Speak when it is very necessary to. He will know you are wise, because wise people talk less and listen more.”

“If they ask you a question you’d rather not answer, don’t hesitate to decline. He will know you are not a pushover.”


I kept nodding and grunting my okays while he schooled me. While I had this look of bored disinterest on my face, I knew I was going to follow most of the advice he was giving. I was not going to embarrass myself at Jennifer’s family home, and if his methods were going to ensure I didn’t, then following them would not be a problem.

“And one last thing,” he said as we passed the “Welcome to Portharcourt” sign. I glanced at him with the corner of my eye, exasperated, and re-focused on the road. “This one is very very important bro …” he continued. “Don’t eat too much. DO NOT. A man’s character is measured by how much he eats in his inlaw’s house.”

“Who is measuring character with food again?” I sighed. “Which book is it in?”

“Guy, I have been there. I know what I’m saying,” he chided. “A man who eats too much is a glutton. Gluttony is one of the seven vices. I know you like food very much, but for once, control your appetite and eat responsibly,” he finished.

I sighed again. “Okay,” I muttered. “I will not eat too much. But, how much do you think is too much? Four wraps of fufu as opposed to the five I normally eat?”

“My God!” he exclaimed, letting out his normal ribald laughter. “What are you? A GP tank?”

“Okay, two wraps then?” I asked, slightly embarrassed.

Tears were rolling down his eyes as he tried to stop laughing. “No …don’t worry,” he breathed. “This is what we’ll do. We’ll sit together on the dining table and when I think you’ve had enough I’ll tap your leg.”

“Okay then,” I sighed. “I’ll stop eating when you tap my leg.”

We got to the house and we were heartily received. The general was a tough and cold man when he had his uniform on, but at home, he was totally merry and warm. Jennifer’s mom welcomed us like we were her sons. Her sons gave us bear hugs like we were long lost brothers and her daughters gave us hugs and pecks on our cheeks. The joy in my heart was boundless. This was home. This was HOME.

After we freshened up and chit-chatted a bit, it was time for dinner. The huge dining table sat all 10 of us with two seats to spare. (Oh, I didn’t mention that Jenny had 5 siblings. 3 guys and 2 girls). On the menu was jollof rice, fried plantain, roasted chicken and salad. We had stopped only once to eat and we were both very hungry. I was salivating as Jennifer’s immediate younger sister went round serving everyone. She got to me, and, remembering Samson’s advice, I asked her to stop after three scoops. That was the same amount of scoops she had put for the general and I didn’t want to eat more than him. She got to Samson and my jaw almost dropped when he asked her to stop at the sixth scoop. “Bastard” I cursed in my mind. When she went round with the other servings, I copied the general again and took two slices of plantain, one scoop of salad and one piece of chicken. Samson took 5 slices of plantain, two scoops of salad and 3 pieces of chicken. His plate was a mountain. The kind of mountain I loved. I wanted to cry.

If every family had dinner as cheerful as this, the world would be a better place. We were talking about football while eating, and surprisingly even mom and the girls were very current. The general was an Arsenal fan while mom was a Manchester United fan. Two of the boys and Jennifer were United fans too while the rest were Gunners. Samson, a die hard Chelsea fan was having a ball arguing football with everyone, while I – a passive Manchester United fan – quietly ate my food, laughed when I should and nodded when I could.

Then he tapped me. Samson tapped me. I had eaten like 8 forks of rice, and one slice of plantain when the bastard tapped me. I wanted to cry. The food in my plate was small already and I had not even gone a quarter when he gave the sign. The meal had just started hitting home, and I was still hungry, but he had experience in ‘these things’ and I was determined not to embarrass myself. I ate the chicken and dropped my cutleries. Jennifer noticed and mouthed “are you okay?” She knew I loved food and had a very healthy appetite. I smiled and mouthed “I’m good”. Mom noticed the exchange and asked why I had stopped eating. All heads turned towards me. For a moment I was tempted to pick up my fork and continue eating, but I smiled and said I was full. The food was very delicious, but I naturally did not eat much. They shrugged and went back to their meals and football bants, except Jennifer, and Samson. The look of bewilderment on her face was only matched by the one on Samson’s. Then it dawned on me that he had totally forgotten about the plan. Lost in the euphoria of such a wonderful family, magnificent meal and passionate discourse about his favourite game, he had mistakenly tapped me. He had mistakenly tapped me and I had stopped eating. I wanted to cry. I was still very hungry and the Satan beside me was filling his stomach with gusto.

Dessert came – a variety of fruits. I took a little more than everyone, but it still did nothing to assuage the worms in my tummy. After the meal, we went to the sitting room and saw a very hilarious movie. I only remember it was hilarious because everyone was laughing except me. I was reserving my energy for the long night ahead.

After the movie, we said our goodnights and went to bed. Samson and I were sharing a room and as soon as we got in, I confronted him. He looked lost for a moment, then when he remembered, he burst into uncontrollable laughter. I wanted to strangle him. When he saw how mad I was, he controlled himself and apologised. He said he had totally forgotten about the sign and if he indeed tapped me, it wasn’t done on purpose. I’m sure a tear dropped from my eye. It was barely 10pm and if breakfast would be served by 8am the next day, I was wondering how I’d survive the next 10 hours. The only meal I’d eaten that day had been by 11am, at a restaurant along Benin-Ore road.

I went to bed with a rumbling stomach. For the next 2 hours I couldn’t sleep. I just couldn’t. The fact that Samson was snoring peacefully beside me made matters a whole lot worse. When I couldn’t take it anymore, I started pacing. Then I decided to make the biggest mistake of my life.

I gently opened the door. Thankfully it didn’t creak. I stuck my head out; nobody was sleep walking along the passage. I knew the kitchen was beside the dining room, just down the corridor, so I tiptoed down, entered and shut the door. I turned on the light on my Nokia torch and scanned my environs. I finally saw the pot on the gas cooker. I gently opened it and, I almost wept …for joy. Rice. Beautiful jollof rice. I gently dropped the cover, picked a plate from the rack on the sink and heaped it with food. I covered the pot, settled down and ate. When I finished, I wanted to wash the plate and go back to bed when I noticed the pot that had all the chicken that was served earlier. One mind asked me to wash the plate and leave, but my hand lifted the lid and, behold, delicious finger-licking chicken. I took two pieces (the plan was to equal Samson), put them on my plate and settled down to devour.

Then it happened.

I was about to take the first bite out of the second chicken when a big rat from nowhere ran across my leg. I jumped and the plate fell out of my hand, shattering into tiny smithereens. The sound was like thunder. Startled even further, I fell back and hit the pot of rice. It hit the floor, and the explosion was nuclear. For a few moments I was too stunned to move. When I regained my senses, my first impulse was to run to the room and creep back into the bed. Then I heard doors opening and footsteps running towards the kitchen.

I was looking for where to hide when the kitchen door swung open and the lights came on. The general, mom, Jennifer, her siblings, and the barrel of a deathly black shot gun were all staring at me. I raised my hand in surrender – a lap of chicken in my right hand, my Nokia torchlight phone in my left.

To cut the long story short, Jennifer is getting married this Christmas and I am still single.

Merry Christmas Guys. Prosper.






55 responses to “Last Christmas – With my Inlaws”

  1. juliet Avatar

    Hilarious! Story toh badh

  2. Tola Avatar

    Laughing out loud!! You made my Xmas

  3. Funsho Avatar

    Loool, so funny.

  4. Hope Iphy Avatar
    Hope Iphy

    Always feeding us with your “DreamWorld” experiences. A very nice piece though. Thank God you didn’t wake up this time after heaping the food, at least you ate to your fill before palava struck! Curse that rat!!! Still laughing sef! Funny Chydee….. U no go kill me. Lmao.

    1. Chidi Avatar

      LOL. If I ever catch that rat ehn …@)#(*$^&}

  5. hetty Avatar


  6. Taiwo Avatar

    Please tell me this is a fiction. I can’t stop laughing… Amazingly hilarious story! Pity you tho…. Wish you had left the kitchen after you ate the rice.. Wish the rat never showed up… Wish you’d called Jeniffer to bring you extra meal after dinner… LOL

    1. Chidi Avatar

      LOL. If wishes were horses …

  7. Barbara Avatar

    Loool Chai!! Dat rat must’ve been sent from d deepest part of d village. Kai!

  8. Kiitan Avatar

    Oh my God! So hilarious! That rat spoilt your show! Good job you did there!

  9. Lawrence Avatar

    Guy, I must confess, you just made my day. Big ups to you!

  10. chux Avatar

    Chydee….chai,u got me laughing so hard I wet me pants…ur stories always gets me crackalacking. I hope u weren’t shot sha!! Still laughing hard.

    1. Chidi Avatar

      LOL. No, I wasn’t shot. I wish I was though

  11. Abayomi Avatar

    Bhahahahahahahahha! Hilarious!

  12. sam Avatar

    Meeehn you funny die!!!!

  13. wunmi Avatar

    OMG! And that is what you call a “gobe moment” Can’t stop laughing, Nice piece.

  14. Abanifi Phoebe Ijeoma Avatar
    Abanifi Phoebe Ijeoma

    chydee you are a great writer. Really! so hilarious. hahhahahahahhahahahhahahahahjjajaj

  15. zainab Avatar

    Am in tears. Diz is a veri mad story. U shld write a book.

    1. Chidi Avatar

      I should 🙂

  16. wunmi Avatar

    Can’t stop laughing #lwkmd

  17. nnenna Avatar

    I almost fainted reading this while walking on d road… serves him right

    1. Chidi Avatar

      LOL. You mean, ‘serves me right’ ehn?

  18. Jez Avatar

    *Creative*………heart racing write-up, can’t stop but laffin out loud on each paragraphs.

  19. king teazzer Avatar

    This story is very very scary…u tried chydee

  20. ayokunle Avatar

    Why use ur nokia fone to steal instead of making a call to ur fiancé wit it? Boy u are good!!this piece is so good, My wife has been wondering who’s making me laugh so hard@my fone..Merry Christmas to u 2

    1. Chidi Avatar

      LOL. Regards to madam 🙂

  21. omotoyosi Avatar

    Really funny. I knew u will break it down d moment it got to d point of samson kicking u. Nice onme

  22. Ajibade Avatar

    LWKMD…. yeeeeparipaaaooooooooo. You have killed me oooOoo. choi! you can write for Afrika… BigHugs

  23. Joshgyang Avatar

    Lol…what a story. Absolutely loved it, really funny dude

  24. Ayodeji A A Avatar

    Hahahahaha, nicely done! Ojukokoro. Should just left after the rice! Wetin!

  25. licious Avatar

    Very funny. Guess in the end it’s always better to listen to people’s advice but yet follow your gut instinct and stay true to oneself.

    1. latunde Avatar

      Best comment av read on this story…

  26. tosin Avatar

    Looool…..cnt stop laughing!!!

  27. Ugo Avatar

    Hilarious. Nice one bro. Chidi never disappoints

  28. Emmanuel Avatar

    Lolz, chydee who born u? Ur mama is a Legend

  29. christian Avatar

    you are so good, I love this story from the begining to the end. This is so hilarious. Thanks bro. Merry Christmas.

    1. Chidi Avatar

      Thanks Christian, merry Christmas

  30. tonia Avatar

    Can’t stop d lafta kudos bro dat was hilarious

  31. Deedee Theo Avatar
    Deedee Theo

    Chai!!! See tears. My girlfriend is angry I’m laughing at this alone. I have to read it 3 more times before showing her

  32. Lawrence Avatar

    Uhm..Not a nigerian, buh am from Zambia..nice your creativity and sense of humor..

    1. Chidi Avatar

      Wow, nice. We’re gradually becoming Pan-African 🙂

  33. Meena Avatar

    This is really funny, made my evening. And to think I stumbled on it by chance, I should be online more often. But honestly, you should write a book. You use words beautifully.

    1. Chidi Avatar

      Thanks Meena, I will write a book. Amen

  34. akin Avatar

    So so so funny. Thumbs up for you bro

  35. adeoye Avatar

    hilarious as usual… u have gat a great sense of humor.. More greatness, bro….

    1. Chidi Avatar


  36. sarah Avatar

    Chai @chydee. Bless d day i started to follow u. Mehn u r an epitome of inspiration to evry niaja youth n am so proud of ya.. Big ups darlyn

    1. Chidi Avatar

      Honored. Biko what is your handle?

  37. Ebenezer Oladipupo Avatar
    Ebenezer Oladipupo

    Trully hilarious! Gud one my friend.

  38. Toecin Avatar

    Bad ass writer ✋

  39. Patience Cleopatra Kalu Avatar
    Patience Cleopatra Kalu

    Lmao… See pesin! Hunger couldn’t have killed you sha… Need to beat up da Samson shaa… Don’t like guys like that

  40. femi Avatar

    Wow! Nice piece bro…. U going places believe it or not

  41. femmysin Avatar

    Hahahahahahaha! Hilarious I was expecting you to wake up at the sight of your inlaws ….
    Wow! You are a genius a good writer at that… Don’t worry ooo Oscar coming your way.

  42. oyinB Avatar

    hahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!! lol

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