Ellis Park, Johannesburg - June 12, 2010.
"Excuse me. Can you please tie your hair up? Put it in a pony tail or something?" My husband, cloaked in our Nigerian flag, said to the young lady in the front row, tapping her shoulder one time too many.
"Every time you flick it, it flies into my face," he completed his request, addressing her horrified glance, expecting full compliance.
The damsel in distress turned anguished eyes to the fat guy to her left before swinging back with a retort:
"It's my hair!"
Not sure what to expect, I stole a quick look at hubby and "WTF?" was written all over his face.
We were now more than thirty minutes into the match and the couple's euphoria was temporarily disrupted. The fat guy's Argentina was leading Nigeria 1-0. With fantastic Category 1 lower level seats, just five rows up from the pitch, right behind the press folk, there was nothing to complain about, except an inconsiderate fan's recurring self-conscious habit driven by vanity, nothing more.
The fat guy flung a fleshy arm around his Goan-looking girlfriend's thin neck, pacifying her whimpering: "He's losing. He's upset. Just ignore him," was the likely consolation passing through his indulgent lips.
There. No more ribbing for a while. You see, much earlier, fat guy and hubby had engaged in some friendly fire.
"Argentina will demolish Nigeria 2-0! I'll bet you One Million Dollars!" Fat guy looked like he had that kind of cash.
"Nah. Nigeria will tie Argentina 0-0!" My husband responded, "Get ready to pay me!"
Now, I leaned over towards hubby with empathy and before I could say anything he started:
"What? She keeps flicking her hair back towards me, and I have to lean forward sometimes and the darn hair gets into my face! This lady seated to my right has not flicked her hair, NOT ONCE!" He continued in hushed irritation.
I took a glance at the beautiful African chick next to him and it was plain to see (well, maybe not for all), that her hair was not 'hers' per se.
"That is because it is not HERS!" I whispered back and was met with a watered down version of the earlier look - "WTH?"
Most weave-toting African woman don't flick 'their' hair I had to explain later. Hair flicking is a learned behavior that has constraints, for example, the risk of revealing the tracks along which the fake hair has been sown...
In the end, everything went well. After half time, the couple returned, the Goan chick had a woolly hat on (temperatures had dipped) the couple switched seats, there was no more hair flicking. The score remained Arg-Nig 1-0 so there was no exchange of funds.
Tomorrow, we are off to Free State Stadium, in Bloemfontein, for the Nigeria-Greece match.
Go Super Eagles! If the Eagles play as well as they did in the second half of the Nigeria-Argentina match they will win! Sharp! Sharp!