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  • Jason Inanga

Jason's Jive: April 2019

Teenagers! I am sure this is one word that will make you reflect on your time when you were younger and the trouble you gave your parents. Those of us who are parents now, a different type of parenting skill is required. I got two teenagers and trust me, everyday is a different challenge with them. I try not to be too hard on them as when I reflect on my teenage years, I got away with a lot of things.

I did not have the muscles to fight, as a teenager, growing up in Nigeria, but I had a way with words, so at times I would confuse my aggressor with the use of big words that the person could not comprehend…it always slowed them down from beating me.

As a teenager, I got in a lot of trouble. In 1982, we were in a neighbor’s yard, picking almonds. Two of us had climbed the tree and were picking what we could reach. A boy who lived nearby came across and asked if he could get a few almonds. We said, ‘sure you can.’ From on top the tree I could see him quietly slipping a lot into his pockets. I told him if he could wait a few minutes, he could get better almonds from the bag I had in the tree. He waited for me to come down, and I opened the black plastic bag for him to look at the almonds. As he put his head closer to the bag, I pushed the bag in his face and started hitting him. The noise from the fight attracted his sister who came out their house and so it was two against one, and as the kids cheered me on, I continued to fight both of them. At this point, the loud noise had attracted their mother who came to where we were fighting. I initially gave her the option to part the fight, but she sheepishly started hitting me, so it was three against one as I fought all three of them. Eventually the fight stopped…of course that was the talk of the school the next day, as it was out of character for me, but I had to fight back to avoid being picked on by others. The boy and I never spoke again till possibly 1991 or 1992, and we lived three houses from each other.

I almost killed myself in 1983…had just gotten a brand-new chopper bicycle and was going down a hill and decided to bank low as I took a corner on a major road on the University of Ibadan Campus. Apparently, there was loose dirt there and so I had a bad fall and, in the process, got the handlebars of my brand-new bicycle bent. The crazier part of the story is that a Coca Cola tractor trailer had just come to a stop at the intersection where I fell. The bicycle rolled under the truck as I fell, and I jumped off and rolled close to the tires. If that truck had still been in motion, I would not have survived. My parents never knew about this till sometime in 2010 or so when I mentioned it casually. You know with parents, you are never grown up, no matter how old you are. I couldn’t have told them earlier…they would have punished me.

Switching gears, my dear readers, I need to publicly ask a favor. I am trying to teach myself to make cheesecake from scratch. If any of you reading this has a recipe for no bake cheese cake, especially one where I can use little or no sugar, I would like you to share the recipe with me. Please it should be a recipe that you have used. I tried using a recipe I found online and put the cheesecake to set in the fridge…my teenage kids simply told me I must do a lot more practice. Email me a recipe I can try please: Put Jason’s Jive as the subject. I will try it and share the experience with you and if it works out well, I will be happy.

I am doing a Spring Garden this year and will share that experience with you. Have a great month.


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