I was resting the evening away by the wall. The big wall with broken soda bottles stuck on top like some security measure. Every soda company brand is represented on the wall. Behind the wall, on the other side lays everything called garbage. Plastic bags from every supermarket around, Jameson bottles and –people here clearly don’t care about the environment –just everything constituting a nasty dumpsite smell. But the mademoiselle on a green dress on the other side makes it all go away, the fetor. If I didn’t know myself any better I would say I always get to the wall just when she steps out of the balcony for whatever it is she does there for approximately 45 minutes, sometimes its 43 other times is 50. But today she didn’t come out. So I didn’t stay long.
Just when I turned to take my leave, this young girl came up to me with a math book. She is in primary seven and she needed help solving some problem. I froze for a moment. I wanted to ask her, “girl who sent you? Who put you up to this? Huh? Who are you working with? Where are your headquarters? How much do you know about me?” but I didn’t. I smiled and took the book. See before you think what you’re thinking, math and I were friends, once. You can ask David, he’s the one who made the answer sheet for every math paper back in high school and I helped him most times. But really? I don’t even know how to spell math this days, it’s been like 100 years or something since. So my reaction is justified.
With that said, I have a trifle of history with math. In primary three, I remember one afternoon we had a math class. I wasn’t warmed up to it so I opted to skive. I begged Peter to come along but as always he was a chicken. I went alone. I ran towards the field in stealth mode. I was scared but it didn’t matter anymore. In my head I was a ninja spy. Leaping on the tip to the toe. I managed to reach the field and lay down on the long yellow dry grass. I lay there for a while. Being scared and stupid. I thought I hid well I started counting, to distract myself. The sun was so hot that day I remember sweat passing all the way to my grey sweater and making a huge patch there. Time wasn’t moving at all. Long story short, I was caught and BEATEN, not caned or punished…BEATEN. I still hate that security guard who caught me. And that how my spy career ended.
We sat with the young girl and went through the math ‘together’. It was some quadratic equation. I didn’t remember shit so I pulled one trick! Make her do the math herself, while thinking I was helping out with the math. It’s simple really, I asked her questions after questions concerning the problem and she answered. I was being all teachery*** like what do you do when you are given this and that. It worked. She did the math herself with my voice in the background and that was that, she got it right.
In her eyes am that ‘mtaa genius’. The guy you go to with the crazy math problems. The mum also thanked me for helping her child and even asked me to tutor her. Of cause I declined the offer. I gave her some bullshit excuse and she bought it. What matters is, her view of me has drastically changed to my advantage –that’s if she even had a view on me – and that;s a good thing.
The 48 laws of power: let people do the work for you but always take the credit. Always!