THE LIES THAT ADD SPICE By Chioma Emmanuel

“And he shouted at the gate man like he was his God. You should have seen how he puffed out his chest as he barked out orders. Chaii! I really pitied the poor man. He just walked quietly and opened the gate. I even saw him crying but our wicked oga did not even mind him. He just squeezed his face like someone that ate bitterleaf and drove off. I’m sure that he was cursing the poor old man as he drove away. Chaii! God punish poverty!” Favour gesticulated as she narrated to Kemi, the children’s nanny what had happened in the house while she was away. She put her hands akimbo in typical gossip fashion.

“Liar, liar, why are you lying?” Tochi sang for Favour.

“You this girl, you like lying ooo. Don’t mind her, Kemi. Oga was only a little upset this morning and he shouted at Mr. Osas to open the gate faster. He even told me not to drive him today. That’s why I’m at here sef. That’s all oo. All this maggi and salt that she added were cooked up in her head. That’s how she said madam threatened to kill her simply because she told her that she will slap her and she would see her grandmother. ” Tochi narrated and eyed Favour.

“Is it not the same thing? How will i see my grandmother if I’m not dead? That woman wants to kill me joor. Do you know I even saw her in my dream last night pursuing me?” She replied twisting her mouth round like she always does when she gossips.

_______________________

A lot of people are guilty of Favour’s offence. When they want to narrate a true life event, they don’t tell it like it happened. They infuse events that never happened and blow things out of proportion to make it more interesting. This is commonly referred to as adding salt and pepper. But I beg to differ. It is not just spicing up a story, it is lying. Those extra details that you add are the lies that add spice.

The only time exaggeration is allowed is when writing fiction. That’s when it’s called hyperbole.

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