The Knoff Hoff Sage

Inspired by his favorite show, Kofi decides to be helpful for once. He sacrifices his playtime to make a universal remote for his dad; as a sign of good faith.

We all lie. You can say the world is run on lies. Big, small, little, fat you name it. They are the cogs that keep things in place. Usually, the truth is a lie with better fitting clothes, it looks good so we don’t question it much. I learnt that quite early.

I was always telling stories to get out of trouble, really good ones mind you.
They were so good my dad had gotten tired of having to separate the truth from the lies, so he came to me with a deal. All I had to do when I did something wrong was to come clean when questioned and all will be forgiven.

I hurriedly agreed, my dad could really wield a cane. I needed some respite, also he didn’t know about me staging a whole donation to teach Kuu a lesson. Monsieur Akankude for some reason, hadn’t bothered to come tell on me as was his want. I needed to stay in my dad’s good books till then, build up some good karma; so a deal was made.

Quite often, I was the first to come back from school, my sisters came back an hour or two after me. Our folks were at work by then.
The previous week hadn’t been good for me, I had been grounded. None of the reasons justified. I was giving myself a break from it all this week. So though I had seen Kuu, Hazard and a couple of the boys about to start a game of “kpetingɛ”, I had ignored them and continued home. It was a difficult thing to do; when it came to kpetingɛ too, I owned those guys. The collective look of relief on their faces made it worse.

I was sullen when I got home, and entered the living room to find the t.v on. My mood perked up considerably, I was the one who had left it on. It was a good thing I had come straight home, had I lingered, my dad would probably have been the one to come meet the tv on. With the kind of luck I had been having previously, that would have been the outcome. Things were beginning to turn around it seems. To top it of, they were showing the KNOFF HOFF SHOW.

This was a show where they explained how things work and introduced crazy inventions by people. I loved this show. I forgot all about kpetingɛ and plopped into the sofa. I made myself comfortable and settled in to watch.

Today’s episode was about a guy who had turned the armrest on his sofa into a universal remote. They were going through the process with him. Considering how my dad always had to call me or my sisters to get him the remote; one that couldn’t be moved and could control all the remote-controlled appliances will be a lifesaver. This was my chance to redeem myself.

I paid rapt attention, taking notes and all. The inventor basically inserted a remote into the armchair and covered it with glass (removable of course). Well, this was how I interpreted it all. As soon as the show was over, I went around gathering the materials I will need for this seminal piece of remote. I will become famous in Ghana I was thinking.

We didn’t have a universal remote, so I decided to make one. How difficult could it be, that inventor hadn’t looked so bright. And yet he had made one. To begin I gathered all the remotes at home. For the glass cover, I appropriated glass from the door of my dad’s bookshelf. It was loose and easily came off. My dad kept some tools in a box in his room, in that I found a glass-cutter,  not finding a saw in there, I got a bread knife from the kitchen and then I was set.

I started by opening up all the remotes. Not having a universal remote, my intention was to combine elements from all the remotes and have one mega bomb remote. Everyone would be so jealous they hadn’t thought of it. With the remotes all open, I compared them and moved elements that were missing from the tv remote into it. I chose the tv remote as the mother remote because let’s face it, the tv is the boss of all appliances. After a couple of minutes of swapping out items, I taped them fast with a sellotape, after which I screwed it shut. I was about testing it when the lights went off, but I wasn’t bothered though. The sensor in front lighted up when I inserted batteries, this was all the test I needed. I next put the remote on the glass and cut out the shape with the glass-cutter. This was easy, it went smoothly with no hitches.

The tricky part now was to insert the remote into the arm of the sofa. I spent over a half-hour trying to cut out a groove from the armrest with the bread knife, It wasn’t working, I had moved from sofa to sofa and all I had managed to do was make a mess of the arm rests. I looked around taking in all the damage, my dad’s favorite sofa had been the worst affected. I had started with that, I hadn’t known I would have such a difficult time with the wood. The show had made it all look easy. I knew I had to do something about the defaced chairs, they had been finished to have this dark brown look. I remembered thinking they were as shiny as my dad’s brown shoes when polished. And suddenly I had a solution.

I run to my dad’s room and got one of his brown shoes, and yes, they matched. I had been thinking to rip the shoe apart and cover the defaced portions of the sofa with it. But there just wasn’t enough of the shoe. I settled on polishing the wood with some shoe polish, the results weren’t spectacular but the scratches and cuts I had made were covered. And just like polish dried on leather, it will dry on wood too I am sure. This was of course a temporary solution, the little success from the remote will make up for the wood being messed up. I had sort of made a universal remote after all.

Having patched up the chairs as best as I could, I cleared my work area and thought to go clean myself. But then it was getting late and the lights weren’t back on. The room had started getting dark and I didn’t have the problem of the sofa to distract me anymore. I could now see how dark it really was.

Darkness wasn’t my friend, you never know what manner of thing was lurking in what corner. I run to my dad’s room and threw everything into a box not bothering to put them back where I had taken them from. I was walking over myself to get back outside, the light out there beckoned. Again I have to say it, darkness is not your friend. Cleaning myself was forgotten, no way was I going to enter the bathroom, much less cover my face with foam in  the dark. Nope, it wasn’t happening.

Once outside, I sat quietly on the porch wall waiting for everyone to come. You should know, the porch wall was the farthest I could be from the darkness in the house and still find a comfortable place to sit.
My sisters came home not long after, opting to sit next to me instead of going inside to change. The rooms will be hot they said, but we all know the real reason. They didn’t have to keep up the pretense for long, my Mum was the next to arrive, and with her came bravery. So happily we followed her in and as if ECG knew they couldn’t scare us anymore the lights came back on.

My parents had a rule, no tv after 6pm. It was now just a little after 6, so while my sisters changed to go help my mum make supper, I had to sit in the living room and get my homework done. I used to be part of the catering crew, but my incessant questions annoyed everyone. So now I was excused.  After my homework though, I usually went to sit by them and did what little I could to help. But today I chose to sit by them right from the beginning. I was trying my best to distance myself from the crime scene. That’s how my dad came to meet us, his girls and his darling boy being all quiet and helpful at the same time.

My dad was a creature of habit, when he got home, which was usually before 7; he showered, supped and watched the evening news. Today was no different, he wanted to watch the news but he couldn’t change the channel with the remote. I heard a loud “AH!”, from the porch I peered into the living room and saw him holding the remote in his right hand and repeatedly smacking his left palm with it. It looked to be messing up, my universal remote that is.

My first thought was to make a run for it, but before I could come to a decision I heard him scream my name. Years of deeply ingrained obedience came to the fore, I found myself responding before the thoughts had even been formed. And the next thing I knew was my dad asking me to explain.

A half formed thought to lie flitted to the surface, but I was a new man and the truth was what I gave. My dad just stared at me for a full minute. And then asked me to kneel down. I was aghast, wasn’t this the same man who had said he wouldn’t punish me if I came clean when questioned about something I did? Still in shock, I did as asked, my dad then turned and entered his bedroom.
Usually when I am asked to kneel, I do just that. But my instincts were screaming at me to do something else. So I employed an age old tactic of mine.

This tactic involved me running and coming back quite late, my folks will be too worried and would have had time to cool off from whatever had them all riled up to begin with. Yeah, so I ran. I loitered about till almost midnight, I judged the time sufficient for my dad to have cooled off. I started heading home then.

The front door wasn’t locked when I got home, my food was in the kitchen. I went to check and my parents’ light was off, checked the room I shared with my sisters and the lights were off too. I felt quite pleased with myself. Another beating escaped. I had my dinner and made my way to the bedroom.  I didn’t turn on the lights, didn’t want to wake up my sisters and they probably my parents. Quietly, I climbed into my bed.

No sooner had I done that than something grabbed my right hand and proceeded to tie it to the bedpost. I made a grab at the rope and realized that whoever or whatever already had my left hand tied. I screamed and the lights came on.
My eyes took a while to adjust, when they did I saw my family standing around the bed. My dad had his canes with him; Cain and Abel.

Quietly he asked me;
“Why, why do you do it?”

Author: OsugyaniAbrantie


2 thoughts on “The Knoff Hoff Sage”

  1. This takes me back to the countless experiments i made with my parents items 🤣🤣🤣 heck i even said i waa going to build an artificial satelite.


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