During my NYSC year, I lived with a very interesting uncle and his family in Ikoyi. One day, he sent me on an errand to bring a cup of drinking water. I went into the kitchen and used a tea mug to bring water for him because in the past I had seen him drinking water from the tea mug. When I brought the water to him, he looked at me like I fell from the moon and in his Zebrudayya voice asked me, ‘Nnem, what is this?

Uncle you asked me to bring drinking water for you. I replied.

Eh he, did I say I wanted to drink it like tea? My friend, disappear from here and bring me water in a tumbler. I left in a subdued mode and got him water in a tumbler’.

Few weeks later, he asked me to get him drinking water. Remembering the last experience, I quickly got him water in a tumbler. When I presented the tumbler to him, he looked at me like I was a comedian and retorted, ‘in this hot afternoon, you are using ordinary tumbler to bring water for me. Don’t you know that a mug will keep the water cool. These graduates sef! Common assignment, they cannot carry out. ‘Nnem’, he said in a sarcastic tone, ‘bring water for me in a mug’. I ran into the kitchen and replaced the tumbler with a mug; thoroughly embarrassed by the two incidents

Few days after the second cup incident, my uncle asked me to get a cup of water. My instinct told me that the trouble has woken up early to look for me. Anybody who watched me would think that I had run slightly mad. I walked into the kitchen in a trance-like mode, went to the tray shelf, got the biggest tray and started placing assorted cups, tumblers and mugs in the tray.

When I had got about twelve cups in the tray, I placed a big jug of water and carried the tray to my uncle in the sitting room. When he saw me with the tray, cups and jug, he asked me, ‘Nnem, what is this again? In an exasperated tone, I said, uncle, I don’t know the cup you would like to drink from today? His wife who had been present during the last two cup-incidents, just laughed and said, Nnem, you are the one who fits your uncle, any cup he likes in the tray, let him choose and drink from it.

That was the last time my uncle had a confusing approach to his drinking water container.

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