The Chronicles of Chill: Missingstopheles & The Lost Scrolls of the Kingdom

 

Lost Scrolls

From the days of Ser Lee Sou, the warden of the junior senateens, the Scrolls of the Kingdom suffereth violence and the Lords of the Realm yinmued it by force. Selah.

– Chronicles of Chill, Chapter 41, verse 9.

Verily, I say unto thee brethren, that the demon Missingstopheles (of which ye have heard in a previous chapter), the mischievous sprite of peculiar vanishments, was particularly fond of the Lords of the Realm. Ser Lee Sou was a young man, full of grace and fair of face but his wardenship was short-lived because Missingstopheles had vanished all record of Ser Lee Sou’s attendance at the Citadel of Roan Toe and his Scroll Bacalauratum was never to be seen again..

Yea, while the demon was at the Citadel of Roan Toe, it also beheld the Scroll Bacalauratum of Shiwajun and for a while, it toyed with its existence. First it was there and then it was not, and there was no gaddem chill until it sort of came back. For who dare question the scroll of Shiwajun?

Behold, Missingstopheles, full of testicular fortitude, descended on the scroll of Gambrach vanishing all his scrolls, even the scroll de minimis, causing much embarrassed explanation by the King. For he was a senior man of Gunn and had once been king, so how dare anyone suggest the scroll was not there? But it was Missingstopheles, you see. He made sure the scrolls were missing.

The tsunami of the missingness of scrolls swept even into the house of Gejoshaphat, vanishing the magnum opus written in pursuance of his Scroll de Doctora. Behold, the haters searched high and low for the magnum opus but Missingstopheles had vanished it too. Or it had been kept in the kingdom’s archives as a testament to the cerebro-cranial power of King Gejoshaphat. But that which the people believeth is the former. Selah.

Lo, Missingstopheles wreaked reputational havoc wherever he went. Lo, he even vanished the replica of King Snoop Neffy Neff of Deltonia, before he was carried away to Jandinia in captivity. Yea, he had even vanished Wen Rem, the twin brother of Wen Rems, who was also briefly Warden of the Senate before Chewba-Ka. But, aswerraghad, the demon neverhessperredit when he dared to vanish the scrolls of Dinobetes Melitus.

Dinobetes was a man of extreme learning, with 8 scrolls from reputed citadels, some from beyond the shores of the kingdom. His learning was so profound, that when, filled with rage, he threatened to go into Mimi the wife of Shiwajun and imbue her with offspring, all who heard him misunderstood him – for she arriveth menopause by that time.

And so it was that Missingtopheles went after the 3 most prized scrolls of Dinobetes, from the citadels at Ravadium, Jandinia and Zah-Reeyah. And yea, after the scrolls were vanished, he that vanished them blew news of their state of non-existence to the Journos of the Kalahari. The Kalahari Journos went to town proclaiming, “Dinobetes lyeth about his scrolls!”

Behold, at first, Dinobetes sought to laugh it off, for he was a deep and profound man, not given to frivolities, but the Kalaharins resurrected the Dead Red Pen of Ayedeeveedov and began to make markings, and draw signs and cause wonder. Yea, did the senateens summon the Master of the Rolls at the citadel of Zah-Reeyah to make known if it was truth or alternative truth that Dinobetes was enscrolled.

“Answer us this, Master of the Rolls, dost thou have Dinobetes of House Melitus in thy roll of the esncrolled?”

“Verily, I say unto thee” said the Master, “indeed we do, though he changeth his name. For then he was dubbed by the much uncooler appellation, Knee-Ell. Behold, his transswagerration into Dinobetes!”

“That settleth the matter!” said the satisfied senateens.

“Nay!” cried the the Kalahari Journos. “Behold our red circles and lines made by the lost Dead Red Pen of Ayedeeveedov! Ye knowest when the red line blings, it can only mean one thing! And regardez! Dinobetes performeth the Nsync dance before he taketh the scroll at Zah-Reeyah! Tis an impossibilitum!”

But Dinobetes had been vindicated by his peers. And he rejoiced. Yeah did he strip himself of his finery and came to the square of Twilistia in his loin cloth, his body covered in white war paint, and he sang and chanted a song of victory. “Behold, I am Dinobetes Melitus the great! I am the arrow of truth! I am he that darest to stand in defiance on the streets of Shiwajun! Let this be a lesson, that when a weakling decides to ensnare a warrior, he setteth himself up for the beating of his life. Selah, niccurs!”

And behold, there was laughter and mirth in the land, and the people forgot about the unchill for a little while.

 

The Chronicles of Chill: The El-Farquaadian Gambit

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The Day of Kingsleycost had put a spring in the step of the spinning quills. FemCallamitus had a particularly springy bounce in his step. He was full of song and daily refilled his lamp with the oil of hope, like the wise virgins of yore. “My bridegroom, King Gambrach, cometh for me, surely!” he sang, with great expectations. “Will you be ready? Will you be ready? Will you be ready when my Lord shall come?”

Behold, his expectations were not cut short. For like a thief in the night, though he was not one and his arrival was not in the night but early when the cock crowed at dawn, Gambrach returned to the Kingdom from Jandinia in his winged chariot.

The evil detractor-enemies from Padipalia and beyond had rented huge bellows and yea, they orchestrated a heavy gust of wind to blow Gambrach of his feet as he descended from his chariot. However, Gambrach was full of Jandinian fortification and though the bellows blew and caused him to sway and stagger, the King stood firm. And the all Lovengers exclaimed, “Oh what a great and stiff standing of the King! The greatest and stiffest standing the Kingdom has ever seen! How blessed we are to have a King so stiff and firm, against the bellows of the haters!”

Lo, as the King arrived, the scribes of the Kingdom gathered to welcome him. Yea, were there scribes from beyond the Kingdom even, for his long absence had become a source of consternation for the entire global world. “Welcome, O King,” they greeted him. “It gladdens our hearts to see thee back from thy flossing and chilling and big pimping in Jandinia.”

“My what?” asked Gambrach clearly puzzled.

“Thy shooting of the breeze” they responded, “for it was the word of FemCallamitus (who by the way, spake not with thee until Kingsleycost) that thou wert not infirm. Twas also the word of Lar Yi that thou wert hale and hearty. His Highness must therefore have been hanging out with his Jandinian homeboys.”

“Ye mock me, surely” said the King, “for since I was young, yea unto my geriatry of present, I cannot recall a time when I was more infirm!”

“Oh, wawu! So art thou taking over from Pretend King Osinoshin yet?”

“Nay, he shall yet be Pretend King a few days more. For my journey was long and fatiguing. Behold, I have yet more recovery to recover.”

However, very quickly, Gambrach decided the time for Osinoshin’s pretence was over and he came back into the throne room. And lo, as he ingressed the room, the entire council of the Kingdom was there – his ministers and the lesser kings. So, he shook the hand of the nearest councillor and accepted the warm remarks of welcome, then made for the throne. However, he heard the gentle song of the councillor standing beside the one whose hand he had shaken. It was a soft and piercing song of supplication, “Gambrach, Gambrach, here my humble cry! While some others thou art shaking, do not pass me by!”

Gambrach rolled his eyes, for all he wanted to do was sit and preside over the council. Now they were all singing it and he had to shake all their fricking hands. And so he shook them one by one, until none had been passed by. But then he saw that one may have indeed been passed by, or was perhaps not in the room.

“Where is El-Farquaad?” he asked Balavida. “In the Land of the Nethers, your Grace.” came the reply. “Hmmmmm…”

The following day, the time came again for Magoo to defend his prefecture of the Everly Failing at Convictions Commission before the senatii under the wardenship of Abushola. Kyocera had snitched on Magoo’s ess like crazy the last time but the King had returned and Magoo was down with the King, so he was confident.

“Why shouldest we affirm thee as Prefect of the Everlies? Thou art everly failing, after all.”

“My Lords senateens, ye may yet change our name, for the commission faileth not anymore. We have recovered vast vaults of coin stolen from the Kingdom. Behold, the magistrates have convicted former king Jabal of the kingdom of Mah Wah and sentenced him to half a decade in prison. Our noose tightens against many of ye senateens before whom I seek affirmation today. Affirm me with haste, that I may procure thy incarceration with uncompunctious despatch.”

“We see thou comest today with a bagful of jokes, Magoo” said Abushola “dost thou want to be prefect or a mouth of basket?”

“Perhaps, Lord Warden, he might tell us exactly how much he recovereth” volunteered a senateen.

“My Lords, I cannot tell thee the number. As we were counting the recovered coin, we reached the upper limit of our numerology. The numbers as we know them finished. Just know ye this, that it is a HUGE amount of coin.”

Magoo expected to receive his affirmation then. Alas, Kyocera and the Deliverance Squad Squadron had delivered yet another word for Magoo, proclaiming him unfit for the prefecture. And the people were puzzled. For Kyocera and Magoo were both courtiers of the King. “Perhaps they are gladiators and senatii is the arena and Gambrach pits them against each other for the kingdom’s amusement” the people mused.

There was also more puzzlement as the Trumpet blew yet again in Trumpstantinople. The Trumpet had just accused the former king of tapping his booty during their electoralis and then was visited by Queen Mer Kel of Allemagne. King the Trumpet and Queen Kel addressed the people jointly and as they finished, the people called for the customary clasping of royal hands. “Grab her hand, grab her hand!” the people demanded. But the King in his tremendous and bigly wisdom demurred. “Okay, grab her pou sea, grab her pou sea!” they suggested in the alternative. At this point, the revelation became hazy and the chronicler had to put down his quill.

And as the quill went back into the ink pot, the voice of the Tword commanded, “pick it back up gaddemit, for unchill cometh!” So the chronicler obeyed and opened his eyes to the revelation.

Behold, there was a rumbling of unchill in the kingdom, as several copies of a cluster of parchments were distributed across the kingdom by the Kalahari Pseudojourns. Was it a new play by a famous playwright? It certainly had an intriguing title  – “Thou Fallest My Hand, Bruh!” but it was no play. It was an epistle from King El-Farquaad of Dunamis to King Gambrach. And it was two score and ten gaddem pages long! Luckily, the voice of the Tword abridged the epistle for the chronicler. And it read thus –

“THOU FALLEST MY HAND, BRUH (for reals)

Thou fallest my hand, bruh. Thou promised change to the people but in the words of the great bard Amaru, ‘Change? I guesseth change be good for any of us, whatever it taketh to get up out of thy farm. I’m with thee, I ain’t mad at thee…’ I ain’t mad at thee for thou anointest my head with oil and made me king. But thou fallest my hand bruh with the dud change and if the people be mad at thee, they be mad at me too.

“Dude! Why be-est thou aloof? Why chinnest thou Shiwajun and the convocation from which thy reign arose? Why givest thou Kyocera and Balavida the audacity to feel like they running things? Those homeboys are rude, naive, uncouth, inexperienced, clueless and just generally bad news. Thou cautionest them not, and thou fallest my hand, bruh.

“I believe in you bruh, but everything be falling apart under your reign. You my dawg and errthang but unless you bring your A-Game, we are going to lose the throne. The other sheets in this epistle are my blueprint for the turnaround. Don’t let Balavida or Kyocera get their hands on them – if you do that, you be falling my hand again, bruh. Anyways, I hope you get this, man, hit me back
Just to chat, truly yours, your biggest fan, this is Stan Farquaad.”

It probably helped not that El-Farquaad was away in the Land of the Nethers when the epistle went into circulation but, my gheeeeuuuuurd, there was no gaddem chill in the land!

 

 

When a WhatsApp Broadcast from your Parents FINALLY comes to life

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First of all, a gloat with my learned friends. If they ever sneer at you, asking “What do lawyers really do? Why do you want to collect all that money? Isn’t it just to write ‘heretobefore’?”, wave this judgement in their faces. Good lawyers help clients avoid losing money by asking the right questions ahead of transactions.

Here’s the summary of the case. Fijabi Adebo Holdings Limited bought several cases of ‘soft drinks’ from the Nigerian Bottling Company PLC, makers of Coca-Cola, Fanta, Sprite and those feel-good adverts we see on TV from time to time. The company tried to export the drinks to the UK (yay, diaspora market) but the authorities there found the drinks not in compliance with EU regulation and destroyed them. Bad Market, as is sometimes said. Of course, this was a huge shock to the system of the company, not to mention the financial loss as well, all N15m or so of it. The company sought to recoup this loss by suing NBC and NAFDAC, the Nigerian food and drug regulator.

The company sought general damages of N150 million against NBC, for negligence/breach of duty of care, special damages of N15.1 million, being costs incurred as a result of said breach and N3 million as the cost of bringing the law suit. From the orders sought, as listed in the judgement, the relief sought to be enforced against NAFDAC was “ an order directing [NAFDAC] to carry out routine tests on all the soft drinks and allied products of the [NBC] to guarantee the safety of consumable products [produced by NBC].”

The case turns on the reason for the claimant’s goods being destroyed on arrival in the UK. According to the letter from the Stockport Metropolitan Authority, “[T]he ‘Fanta orange failed due to an excess in sunset yellow colour and both samples failed for excessive levels of benzoic acid.” The samples being referred to here were for Fanta orange and Fanta lemon. It was therefore the claimant’s contention that the soft drinks purchased were unfit for human consumption and that NBC had breached its duty of care.

NBC’s response was that its soft drinks were manufactured well within the regulatory limits set by NAFDAC for production in Nigeria. The benzoic acid was within permitted limits and there was no national limit for sunset yellow. Evidence was led to prove (certificates and testimony from NAFDAC) that the NBC was compliant with NAFDAC and Codex (World Health Organisation Food Standards) and the court agreed. To be clear, the court dismissed the entire claim against NBC.

The claimant tried to suggest that the NBC ought to have known the soft drinks were being exported, since they were loaded into containers in NBC’s premises but that argument went nowhere. The NBC discharged its full legal and moral obligations to the claimant.

Now to the part of the judgement that has gained the most notoriety in its slight misrepresentation. The judge, relying on the following exchange during the cross-examination of the subpoenaed NAFDAC official, decided to order a warning to be printed on NBC labels –

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According to the judge, from this testimony, “it is manifest that [NAFDAC] has been grossly irresponsible in its regulatory duties to the consumers of Fanta and sprite manufactured by [NBC]. In my respectful view, [NAFDAC] has failed the citizens of this great nation by its certification as satisfactory for human consumption, products which in the United Kingdom failed sample test for human consumption and which become poisonous in the presence of Ascorbic Acid, ordinarily known as Vitamin C…” The Court therefore ordered NAFDAC to mandate NBC to include a warning on its Fanta and Sprite bottles that the “…soft drinks cannot be taken with Vitamin C as same becomes poisonous if taken with Vitamin C.”  With respect to the Court, perhaps the basis of the finding should also have been the result of testing and certification, as it was with the other findings of chemical composition. The exchange, as recorded, does not really seem to have much coherence about it. However, the judge had the benefit of observing the witnesses first hand and I didn’t, so I shouldn’t dwell too much on that.

Is there an issue with combining benzoic acid and vitamin C? That’s probably one for the food scientists to tell us. NBC itself says there isn’t, in its statement on the issue here. The FDA in the US doesn’t seem to think there’s that much to worry about either. The ‘harmful’ substance formed when benzoic acid combines with ascorbic acid (vitamin c) is benzene, but it appears to only be harmful in large amounts. I’m a layman where that’s concerned and would be very happy to take guidance from a pharmacist or nutritionist on this point.

What we do know for sure from the judgement is –

  • The claimant failed to find out what the regulatory requirements of the UK/EU were and got burnt (even regular travellers know to check that the ogbono or stock fish in their luggage is permitted across their journey);
  • NBC has shown that its products are safe consumption by both NAFDAC and WHO standards;
  • The Court made no negative finding against NBC.

Are there other health reasons to give up soft drinks? Yes! All that sugar and fizziness never helped anyone except to put on weight and feel bloated. So, give up soft drinks if you want to. You just can’t say it was because of this law suit.