Finally, the moment had arrived. After all the preparations, the time had come to put our skills to the test. No matter how many times we did this, the rush was always there, just like the first time. As we took our seats, pens in hand and ‘chips’ on stand by, my mind did one of things oyibo people call a flashback……
Fresh jambites we were, feeling fly and also happy that we’d finally gained admission into the university. It was time to really see if all those tales of university adventures were true. Parties, parties and more parties. But in the midst of all this flexing we still devoted enough time to our studies. After our 1st year, results came out! “Damn!”, “what the fuck?”, these are the best expressions to describe our thoughts on seeing those results. Me and my closest hommies, Lampy, Face and Kponk decided to restructure our game plan. Maybe we were reading with our secondary school techniques. It was time to upgrade to the uni level.
Then the 2nd year results came out and o boy, they were worse than the previous years results. Kai!!!
One fateful day, while contemplating my GP, I came to a decision. If after all my efforts and reading, and my results were looking like this, then it was time to put my fate in my hands rather than trust the lecturers to mark my scripts using whatever magical system they used. After all, these 300 level courses were a whole lot more difficult than those of the previous years, the results were probably going to be uglier. It was chipping time!!! I told my hommies the idea, and they were on board with it. We practiced different chipping scenarios, trying to come up with the perfect chip. Finally, the day arrived. As we took our normal sitting formation in the exam hall, I said a little prayer in my mind, asking God to guide my hand and eyes. The questions were brought out, most of them initially looking like gibberish. It was time to put our practice to the test…..
One year and better results later, we are sitting for another exam. After a few hiccups along the way, a few experiments like the palm method and some half baked chips from kponk, I finally came up with the perfect chipping style; the long sleeve method. It was simple yet elegant and 99.9% foolproof. We also determined the best halls to write the exams, and the ‘correct people’ to co-opt into our scheme.
The exam papers were passed around. Everything looked good. All of a sudden, Mr Ibegbu walked into the hall!! For those of you that don’t know, Mr Ibegbu was our resident terrorist lecturer. His mere presence in an exam hall was enough to make you forget everything you’d read while preparing for the exam. And through some uncanny skill, he seemed to always know who was ‘chipping’. He’d been on to us for a while now, but we’d managed to safely elude him, until now. Mr Ibegbu looked in our direction, then smiled, a smile that sent shivers down my spine. Well, there was no turning back now. We put our heads down and went to work. Somehow, we managed to put our chips to good use and I think that’s when kponk let his guard down. A loud shout of ‘Hey you! Stand up!’ suddenly rang in the hall, and I heard face audibly gasp. Mr Ibegbu shouted again ‘am I not talking to you!’ and I could feel icy cold fingers grip my heart when I realized he was referring to me. All that I could think of was my sleeves, praying that my foolproof method passes the ultimate test.
‘Sir, what did I do?’ I asked. ‘My friend empty out your pockets’ was the gruff reply. All eyes were on me. I proceeded to empty my pockets, fronting like it was nothing while my insides had literaly turned to jelly.
‘Where is the piece of paper I saw you with?’
‘Sir I have no piece of paper o’
‘My friend if you lie to me I’ll tear this exam script’
Haba, I thought to myself. This man really has it out for me today. This was not a time to show any weakness, so as boldly as I could, I said to Mr Ibegbu ‘Sir, I don’t like what you’re trying to insinuate here o. I’ve told you I don’t have any papers on me, abi do u want me to strip?’ A few spurts of laughter burst out amongst my coursemates.
‘So u think you are sharp ehh’, Mr Ibegbu said, all the while smiling. ‘Oya remove your shoes let me check’. I pulled off my shoes, and socks too for good measure, then decided to also empty out my wallet. Slowly, the wicked smile on Mr Ibegbu’s face turned into a smirk, then a heavy frown.
‘Is that all sir?’ I asked
‘I can swear that I saw you with a piece of paper’ he replied
‘Sir as you can see, there are no pieces of paper or papers on me so please I’d like to continue writing my exam’. I said this looking cool, but in my mind I was praying to God for Mr Ibegbu not to aske me to roll down my sleeves. There were enough chips there to feed a whole classroom!
Reluctantly, Mr Ibegbu let me continue my exam. Luckily, I had already answered all the answerable questions, so I just sat through the rest of the exam, forming like I was revising my work, but really trying to reduce my heartbeat before my arteries burst.
After the exam, Lampy, Urch, Kponk and some other friends came to me. ‘Oboy, no be small thing o. I think say that man don catch you. Choi. Na Baba God save you’ said Lampy. ‘Siz, just thank God for ur long sleeve o, you for hear am’ was Urch’s contribution. Kponk was too shocked to say anything.
As we got home, the only thought going through my mind was ‘Damn. I’ve really got to patent the long sleeve method!’ 😉
Oh well, time to get my chips ready for the next operation. It’s always chipping time around here!
P.S: this is not a ‘chipping’ endorsement o. Exam malpratice is actually punishable by law ,(I think), so please if you must chip, the first and most important rule is this- DON’T GET CAUGHT! And if you do get caught, please don’t blame it on Sizzle. 😀