The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

Jan 24, 2011

Burma Boy Grog

In Burma Boy, Biyi Bandele's moving account of Nigerian Chindits in the Burma front during World War II, a fellow called Bloken used to swear he was protected by the amulets he had bought in his homeland before travelling to fight the Japanese. Lately, however, his faith in them has been wearing a little thin. His mates are going on an exploratory expedition, but he has to stay back because he has a terribly upset stomach.
Bloken was in tears when D-Section left White City without him...Bloken blamed his amulets for failing him. He now realised the charms had let him down because when he acquired them in Gboko, his home town in Tivland, he had gone to the snake-oil pedlar instead of going to the Great Priest whose charms cost a whopping sixpence more. It wasn't because Bloken was a miser; on the day he bought the charms he'd been drunk on sweet palm wine, and on a potent home-brewed gin which was called Push-Me-I-Push-You because a man drunk on it entered a dizzying state in which he thought he was walking forward and backward and upward and downward and to the left and to the right all at the same time when in fact he was simply swaying in one spot. 
He'd had several gallons of Burukutu, a vinegary malt beer made from fermented millet. 
Then he'd moved on to Pito, a glorious chaser which was no chaser at all. Pito, like the wonderful Burukutu, was a hallucinogenic cider made from maize and millet but fermented for only half the time. 
He'd topped up by smoking wee-wee, a fragrant medicinal herb derived from the dried flowers of top-grade, non-industrial Gboko hemp. 
It was a mind-bending cocktail which always had the curious effect of making Bloken break bottles on his bald head just to show how tough he was.


Space Bar said...

oh my. (btw, you should get Gind for the kid. it's full of kashayam-swilling vanaras).

Fëanor said...

Gind? What's that, then?

Space Bar said...


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