Monthly Archives: July 2010

Its Our Anniversary. Ten Years In the Game: Ode to Mrs. Chukumba

Chanel and Stephen sitting in a tree....

Anyone who knows me well, knows about my bottom b*tch, my wife, Chanel.

Without question, Chanel is my better half, my raison d’etre.

Why? You ask.

Let me spin you a yarn.

I met my wife in law school in 1994, but it wasn’t until the summer of 1998 that I realized that I wanted to marry her.

You see, that summer I had sublet my apartment to a classmate of my brother, to an African guy named Loseni.

I had moved in with Chanel that summer, and since her place was furnished, I offered my apartment as a furnished sublet.

One day I returned to my apartment to grab a briefcase I wanted to use for an interview.

I called Loseni to let him know I would be coming by, but when I arrived, he wasn’t there.

So I let myself in, grabbed my briefcase and left.

As fate would have it, I received a job offer prior to the scheduled interview (for which I had retrieved the briefcase), so I never went on the interview, and consequently never used the briefcase.

Fast forward a week later, and I started to get these crazy calls from Loseni, alleging that someone had broken into the apartment and stolen his passport and other ‘important documents,’ without which, he couldn’t travel.

Alarmed (as I had lived in that apartment without incident for three years), I asked him where these materials had been kept, and what other items were missing.

I reminded him that I had been there a week prior, and that the place seemed relatively undisturbed.

Upon hearing this, he went in on me!

He accused me of stealing his money (I thought you said passport and ‘important documents’) and threatened to call the police if I didn’t return his belongings to him immediately.

In his rant, he claimed that he had placed these allegedly missing items in MY briefcase, and by taking MY briefcase without his permission, I had stolen his belongings.

Dude was clearly looney, but for the sake of maintaining my own sanity, I told him I would return MY bag for him to retrieve whatever he claimed he had placed therein.

Since I had never even opened the bag (on account of the aborted interview), I knew that whatever he put in there was still intact.

That day, Chanel and I were headed out to some function in the city, so I decided to swing by Jersey City on our way to let Loseni get his belongings from my bag.

When we arrived on Hutton Street, Loseni wasn’t there.

I was going to let myself in and leave the bag, but thought better of it.

Instead, I called him on his cell.

When he answered, he told me that he was at the police station, filing charge against me for theft.

I told him since the briefcase was mine, I couldn’t be charged with stealing from him.

Moreover, since I was unaware that he had placed his things in my bag, he couldn’t prove that I had the intent to deprive him of his contents. Fresh out of law school, already thinking like a seasoned vet!

As I spoke, I saw him walking down the street, coming back towards the apartment (with one of his friends in tow).

As he approached, I offered him the bag, and told him to retrieve whatever he had placed in it so that I could be on my way.

He refused, saying that it was a police matter, and that I was going to have to take it up with them.

I called his bluff.

Since dude was clearly bugging, I was like ‘fine’ and proceeded to return to the car, and be about my business.

As I got in the VW Fox (Chanel’s VW Fox, I might add), Loseni reached into the car, in an attempt to get the keys out of the ignition to prevent me from leaving.

Dude was clearly out of his mind, and now Chanel (who had been silently watching this ridiculous episode transpire) was heated.

Loseni hadn’t realized that I had the Tazmanian Devil in the passenger seat.

Nor did he realize that when he tried to grab the keys of Chanel’s car, he crossed the line.

I, too, was offended by his affrontry, and got out of the car to teach his fool ass a lesson.

As we stood nose to nose, chests pumped, shouting obscenities at each other (with his boy bringing up the rear), I heard the unmistakable sound of shattering glass.

We all turned to see the diminutive Ms. Cook, wielding a broken Snapple bottle (bar-fight-like) moving towards Loseni with murderous intent in her eyes.

From that point on, I knew I was in love.

Realizing that the whole incident had escalated to the point of sheer lunacy, I talked Chanel off the ledge, told Loseni that he could retrieve his belongings from the Jersey City PD, and took my future wife to the city to unwind.

Fast forward and today, Taz and I are celebrating our 10th anniversary.

She has been unflinchingly by my side, as I take her through incident after incident with the Losenis of the world.

She’s still breaking bottles, and I fall deeper in love each time.

Happy anniversary to  my wife, Chanel Christina Cook-Chukumba, Esq.

Queue the music: Tony, Toni Tone, Its Our Anniversary.

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