Hello, Where Are You?

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 Spouses, parents, friends, business partners and several others generally ask the simple question ‘Where are you?’ when talking to loved ones or business partners over the phone. Several times too, rather than give a simple reply of where they are, some people tell lies about their location at that point in time, because they believe that with the mobile phone it’s not easy to tell where a person is.

Over the weekend, I had a very engaging period, though it had to do with work, but I found time to also relax. While chatting with some people with whom I shared a table at an event in Freedom Park on Broad Street, Lagos, something caught my attention. Simple, it was a telephone discussion.

Now, don’t get me wrong here. I wasn’t like trying to eavesdrop,  because I was enjoying the discussions with two other people when the person on the phone kept emphasising that he was still somewhere in Minna! ‘But how could he say was in Minna, when we were all sitting right here in Freedom Park, Lagos?’ I thought to myself almost aloud.

With a glass-full of orange juice in my hand, I managed to push the plate of ‘small chops’ in front of me closer and turned faced him better. Don’t worry about the position I tried to adjust to because the young man was not perturbed. He continued in his discussion with the person on the other side. He spoke with this angelic voice, full of promises, and concluded that he would be back to Lagos within the week ahead. He had this broad but annoying smile on his face as he said ‘bye’!

He obviously knew what I had in mind, so before I could say a word, he started his confessions. He explained that he had to tell that ‘small lie’ about where he was because he ought to have given the person some money two weeks earlier.  ‘But should that warrant your lying that you were in Minna while you are in Lagos?’ I asked him. He replied to say it was no big deal saying he was not in Lagos, ‘after all, mobile phone helps everyone tell lies about their locations’, he concluded. He argued that spouses tell lies about their location over the phone, just as employees do to their employers. In his own case, he wasn’t going to ‘turn a new leaf’ any time soon, because he had once been ‘caught in the act’.  While telling a lie that he was in Apapa, the person he was lying to was right behind him in Ojota area of Lagos. He was highly embarrassed no doubt, but he sees it as something everybody does now. What do you think?