Letters to Ogilvy: But why the hell would you cheat?

Some of you old afamzers may remember Ogilvy, my partner in love and other disasters. He's the only one I know that's as hopeless as I in all affairs of the heart. Still, we remain optimistic looking for shared dreams of flowers, chocolate and valentine's with other people. It is a truly depressing thing to find yourself single on February the 14th watching Love Actually with your best friend. It is how we have spent every Valentine's day since 2007.

We haven't emailed  in the past year because we lived in the same city. Emails were replaced by games of chess with a glass of wine in a lonely flat somewhere in Pimlico. Now that I've more or less moved back to Lagos our traditional form of correspondence has picked up.

Dear Afam,

I couldn't possibly have imagined that I would one day be friends with such a fart of creation. You left London without a word or a whisper. You literally just buggered off in the middle of the night. I was sick with worry.

When you receive this email, reply at once! I have been struck by a calamity so great that I fear I will not live another day if it is not resolved. Sophie and I are done, and I am undone.


Dear Gilly-weed,

You know all too well how I feel about goodbyes. I do not do them. It is better to arrive without fanfare and leave without celebration. Before I left I was struck by a wave of anxiety and melancholy so great that I looked at the moon and said, "Oh moon! What will become of this paltry life of mine?"

Praying to the moon was a near fatal error. She didn't do me the honour of answering my question and the moment I set foot in Lagos I was accosted by my mother. Her motherly senses immediately accused me of being a practitioner of the occult. She whisked me away to a Church to cleanse me of my sins and had me apologise to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit while she stood beside me taking notes.

Finally, how are you and Sophie done? She was perfect for you. It was you wasn't it? What the hell did you do to that poor girl?


Dear Fam-Biscuit,

I literally died laughing. You should know better than to look to the moon for answers. I hope you have properly atoned for your Witchcraft and Wizardry. The security of your soul in the gilded mansions of heaven is of the utmost importance.

You guessed rightly. The disaster was of my own making.

I was out with mates at a club, when my drunken eyes descended on this angel! I descended on her like a man possessed. I was like, "What's your name? what's your number? I don't know who you came with, but you're leaving with me." We dashed back to mine in a haze of lust, and made the beast with many backs.

In the morning, I chucked the adventure off to manly exuberance and forgot all about it. It took a month before the loathsome event bit me in the arse. How it bit me I dare not say, but what should I do?

Yours in depression and anxiety,

Dear Gil the master of foolishness,

It is incredibly irresponsible of you to leave the story half finished. I was using it as light reading while I dropped a juggernaut of a shit in the toilet. It was the only thing that kept me from wailing like a dying pig. Now, the people in my office are looking at me funny and suggesting that I eat more vegetables to lubricate my systems.

I will attempt to help you. My African sensibilities give me a slight edge when apologising. You must alert your parents about the situation and show up with them at her doorstep. When she answers the door all of you must prostrate yourselves at her feet and give apologies so profound that the very skies part to bless you.

Yours should be something like this:

Soph, Babe, you're the light of my world. Without you everything is meaningless, colourless and ultimately pointless. I cannot, no I will not persist another day if I haven't got you. I was a complete idiot that night for not only did I get more drunk than a man should ever get, I ravaged another who was not you. In my defense, I was so drunk that I believed she was you.

That, I think will be enough to undo the harm you have done.

Yours in Youthful Optimism,

Dear Afam the sufferer of numerous ailments of the brain,

I am at least 90% sure that you are an idiot. What sort of advice is that? "I thought she was you?" What sort of villain would say that? I'm not nearly as treacherous as that. I shall send her some flowers, daisies and profess my undying love. Roses are really much ado about nothing. Only the unimaginative would send a girl the same flowers that every woman on the planet is given at least once in a reasonable life.

I'll end the note with something like this, "If you are not too long, I will wait for you forever." It's an Oscar Wilde quote. If she doesn't come to a decision quickly I'll return to the wilderness of singledom and ride every pony that will have me.

Your stupid plan snapped me out of my phunk, and returned me to sanity. Am I not Ogilvy the dashing? I have my whole life ahead of me, and I have the benefit of being both beautiful and good. If she refuses me I shall find another in a heartbeat.

You really should eat more vegetables. If you don't your journalism will take you to some great wilderness and they'll have to force an elephant to give you an enema, after which you'll get a bacterial infection and die.

Many thanks,

Dear Ogilvy,

Any type of love life that you like, have it! Come back to me when you've got real problems.


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