“This Table You Are Shaking” Origin, Usage & Influencer Chat

If you have been on Twitter for a week or two, one thing you must have noticed is the thirst to trend. Everyone wants to be relevant and in a global, viral, unforgettable way. Many brands and businesses even go as far as paying for people to make their ideas trend. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

So when an innocuous phrase seems to capture the attention of the entire TwitterNg overnight, without any big name endorsement, grand budget or media team, people are curious.

‘Shaking the table’ is no great poetic marvel. It is a simple idiom that describes disruption, interference, meddling with the norm. It is odd that its documentation in the Urban Dictionary is as early as October 2017, but that would not be enough to make it viral.

image.jpeg

For the phrase to capture the collective attention of thousands (millions) of people it needed a unique use, some synergy, an ability to deliver more than mere expression; it found this in the quote tweet.

Specifically the quote tweet used to comment on a subtweet.

Subtweets are as old as Twitter. They provide a subtle way of voicing ideas that are potentially embarrassing or controversial with little of the backlash. Without mentioning names or triggering anyone’s mentions one can effectively deliver barbs, abuse, shade or any combination of the three.

But most subtweets lack context and are not as effective as they could be.

Enter the quote tweet where added context can be provided.

But how to provide this context in a witty/satirical way? Cue ‘This table you are shaking” and in an instant the subtweet is united with it’s target in a witty/silly/more memorable manner.

The first use of the phrase, as a quoted tweet to give more context is credited to @MallamSawyerr. The origin tweet is not entirely ‘safe for work’ but it captured the imagination of a small set of users, one of them was @Olumuyiwa__ .

Olumuyiwa started using the phrase to add some context of his own. The first time, he used it in quotation marks as attribution to an unknown source. When the phrases popped up on @Olumuyiwa__ feed it was barely noticed. The phrase remained largely unnoticed the next time Olumuyiwa used it but he stayed with the phrase until it broke through.

image.jpeg

image.jpeg

 

image.jpeg

 

image.jpeg

With that the phrase took wing and within days, there was an epidemic on the TL. It wasn’t only food on the table. There were babes, guys, activists-turned-government-spokesmen, On Air Personalities, BellaNaija, even the users of the phrase it self.

image.jpeg

image.jpeg

image.jpeg

In a chat with @Olumuyiwa__ he was quick to say he wasn’t the inventor of the phrase but someone who saw its potential and stayed with it till it caught on. Our chat went:

Me: It looks like you invented a trend..

Olumuyiwa: I didn’t invent it. I saw it somewhere and it stuck, ‘this table you are shaking has food on it’ it seemed really apt at the time.

Me: But you stayed with it till it caught on…

Olumuyiwa: Yes, I did, using it persistently till it racked up 200RTs, that I can take credit for 😂

Me: Absolutely. So what next? What do you think will happen after this?

Olumuyiwa: Nothing else. Just one of the many definitive but passing fads of social media.

Me: I quite agree.

Already, many people are fed up with the phrase. But I think it still has some more miles to go before joining the history books especially as some people are just falling in love with it.

image.jpeg

image.jpeg

What better way to mock the next losers of a Champions League match, National election or Tweetfight than to remind them, they are pawns on a shaking table, in the next avalanche of subtweets?

***
Chats have been modified for clarity

Advertisements

My Dear Son, Gov Udom Emmanuel

 

My Son,
Or is it your excellency now? Hehe, how time flies. How is my daughter, your wife,(labels can be tricky), Martha and your beautiful children? Just kidding, I know they are great.(What else can they be? First family of an oil producing state?) still kidding.

Now to the meat of the matter, I have seen (with joy) the edifice you intend to erect in my honour. It is just a picture but I marvelled at its sheer size and sophistication, I nearly mistook it for a spaceship!

It is beautiful my son, and I am honoured that you thought to set up such a magnificent monument in my name. I am glad that you remember where I brought you from and all I have done for you. I am happy you don’t take my blessings for granted, but I don’t want the building.

I did like them once, temples, tabernacles and altars; grand, imposing things that kissed the skies and made the eyes of men to water, but not anymore. Now, all I want is to live in your heart, and the hearts of all who believe in me.

This is no longer the time when people shall worship buildings but a time when people should worship in spirit and truth. I desire more to see truth justice and mercy than a zillion gargantuan skyscraper churches built in my name.

So, my son, I would like to propose something else: use that money and make a difference in the lives of the millions of Akwa Ibom people in your state.

Pay your counterpart funding and access the grants for education that are available for educating children in your state.

Equip your ‘specialist’ hospital and make it a centre of hope for the sick and the hurting. Also equip all the other hospitals, health centres, and clinics in the state.

Address the street kid problem.

Fix the roof of the butchery shop in the Uyo main market and while you are there, equip it with standard amenities: water, toilets, waste disposal.

Repair the roads that need attention, especially the little known ones without politicians residing on them.

Pay pensioners and teachers that are being owed salaries, pensions and gratuities.

Create skill acquisition training and employment opportunities for the unemployed.

Provide adequate local and state security in both urban and rural areas.

Make the Ibaka seaport work.

Support agriculture and work to update methods.

Equip all the schools and institute proper supervision for them.

Sign the bills sitting on your desk.

But how will I be remembered? You ask, Akpabio has his stadium and hotel, Attah has Le Meridien, even Idongesit Nkanga has the secretariat.

To be remembered, you don’t need another empty hall, all you need to be remembered is to build a school. Build the best secondary school south of the Sahara and give scholarships to the brightest brains in the state to attend, then hire the best teachers in the world to coach them.

Do this and you will be remembered by the children that go there, the ones who benefit from their expertise and by history, as a man who focused on excellence. The best place to live is in one’s heart my son, that is what I know and now tell you.

Forget this church, or ‘interdenominational mega Christian Worship Centre’. Focus on the demands of your people and the needs of your state. And I will be honoured and you will be remembered, and Akwa Ibom State will continue to prosper.

Love,
Dad

He’s Got You

When the world is falling on your head,

your belly is empty and your account red,

when nothing makes sense,

when friend is foe,
and come means go,

when every hour brings another horror,

when white is right and black is a bullet,

when kids are chained and thieves are free,

when vanity is lauded and truth defrauded
Filth applauded,

When your strength is gone,
your body torn,

your hopes and dreams
in slow burn,

When what you want
doesn’t want you,
and
who you love won’t love you,

when you have no money
and places to go,

When life is all this and more,
Close your eyes,
take a deep breath
and know,

He is with you,

He has gone ahead of you,

He will keep and protect you,

today
tomorrow
and evermore

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

The Hangman’s Dream 1

 

 

 

I was looking for the best spot to hang myself when Alex called. She wanted to know if I could manage working as a driver with a local government chairman. I almost laughed. I would have grabbed any job: feeding pigs, washing corpses, packing shit, anything. Seven long, hard unemployed years had robbed me of all the pride, choice and hope I ever had. All I wanted was to end it; purge the world of my parasitic self, make myself more useful as fly food and manure. Then Alex called.

The interview was the next day and I didn’t have anything to wear. All my clothes were at least eight years old and most looked eighteen. The interview was meant to be just a formality but I couldn’t go looking like a loser. Alex had worked that out. She brought me a new jacket and a pair of black jeans.

“Hon Sam can be picky, so you want to put your best foot forward. Smile when you talk. Try to maintain eye contact. And for grief’s sake stop grinding your teeth!” She said rolling her eyes. I blinked away tears and tried to swallow the pebble in my throat. I was still looking for the words to thank her when she drove away.

The jacket fit perfectly but the jeans were loose at the waist. A sad smile flitted across my face; she was shopping for the old me. The one that played football, weighed 90kg and dreamt of owning a hotel chain not the underweight shell I had become. I looked into the mirror and a wave of panic hit me. What if Hon. Sam didn’t like me? What if he changed his mind? What if this was just another can of dashed hope? My blood froze at the thought. I couldn’t –wouldn’t imagine what that would be like. Before I left the house, I put the rope in my pocket and switched off my phone. If this was another of Fate’s twisted jokes, I didn’t want to be unprepared.

I left my house three hours to the interview but with unexpected traffic and a sudden rainstorm I found myself racing against time. To make it to Hon Sam’s house, I ran the last hundred meters under a relentless drizzle. His compound was massive, the size of three football fields. Its ten feet high, barb wire capped concrete walls loomed ahead of me. A kennel of dogs barked as I approached and a stone faced policeman looked me over before letting me in. I clenched my teeth to stop myself from shivering and tried to relax. I was cold, wet and scared.
A smiling young man led me to an outdoor bar to wait. We passed rows of cars in black covers. Part of me wondered which one I would drive, a Lexus? A Mercedes? A Porsche? The other part snickered: get the job first. Dreamer.

The young man gave me a seat at the bar and asked me what I wanted to drink. I wanted black tea, in a giant mug, served hot with plenty of sugar and cream but I smiled and said I was fine, while I struggled not to grind my teeth.

Who Are We?

What are we?
Black or brown?
African or American,
African-American,
or American-African?

Are we our skin or our brains,
our hearts or our legs,
our pain or our faith,
our past or our future?

Are we the mistakes that we made,
or the amends we desperately work towards?

Are we what they say we are?

Or what they say we are?

Who are we?

The Help?
The Magician, The Wretched?
The Negro, The Nigger, The Afro?
The problem or the solutions,
Our passions or our addictions?

Who are we?

We need to know.

 

The Unravelling

They sat in silence. They’d dreaded this moment. She more than he.

“Do you really have to do this? Isn’t there anything I can say to stop you?”

“Honey, please, let’s not go over that again. The arrangements have been made. The bus will be here in an hour.”

“But why Dan? Have I been such a bad wife to you? Is there anything I haven’t given you? How can you just throw your life away like this? Like rotten fish?”

Her words slapped him, and something in him shifted.

“Like rotten fish ehn? Thank you for the compliment. I better walk up the road. Take care of Ade and Wana. Bye Shade.”

He left with the sound of her sobs drumming on his ears. Wana and Ade were asleep. He hated to imagine how it would have looked if they weren’t.

He loved Shade. She was the only other woman he had ever cared about enough to change. To sacrifice. For her he had stopped smoking. He had learnt cooking. He had even started going to church twice a month. No other woman had been able to keep his attention for this long. Six years and she still stirred him as much as she had on their first date.

Except at moments like this…

The sky was aglow with the colours of the setting sun. A gentle breeze played with the dry leaves, scattering them on the street like confetti. The evening was so beautiful, he was so miserable.

He remembered something he heard the pastor say last month.

“Anger lies in the bosom of fools.”

It was true. He wasn’t being reasonable right now. Any woman would be worried under the circumstances. Shade was just worried. Worried and scared. Why wouldn’t she be? People were giving their souls to run away from Liberia and here he was leaving for the same place as a volunteer. She probably thought he was mad.

The worse thing was that he hadn’t found words to tell her everything. He couldn’t express how excited he felt when he was offered the opportunity. He couldn’t tell her how the moment he read the email, life suddenly seemed ten times nicer, livelier.

The past two weeks had been like reliving his childhood. He was the toughest police chief on the playground, eliminating the thieves. He was him.

Now he had a chance to do it again. In real life, with a real thief called Ebola. He had a chance to do work that really mattered. Not the dead brain routines of Malaria, Typhoid and Diabetes. A real time Emerging Disease Epidemic Response, a real war. He couldn’t stay away for the world.

But.

He could go gently. He could hold Shade and rock her till the bus came. He could remind her of how much he loved her and the kids. He could go over the instructions for his memorial( there would be no burial, just ash in an urn). He could kiss her brows one more time.

So he went home and did so.

It would be 8 months before he returned, not in a stainless steel urn, but in the flesh.

Shade wouldn’t be at the airport to welcome him, neither would the kids.

He would spend the next two years looking for them and failing to find them.

He would discover that she had sold the house and the cars and the land he bought at Lekki.

He would fall into a bottomless depression. And pick up smoking again. And try weed, and like it. And over do it.

He would want to die and pray to do so before morning.

One day, he would get a call from Wana. She was fine, her mother had placed her in a Catholic boarding school in Kenya, she even spent holidays there. Ade was with mother somewhere in Europe. She missed him. She had tried to reach him but mom said she shouldn’t dare. Was he OK?

“Yes, I am fine.” Dan said. And for the first time in three years, he almost believed it.

He travelled to Kenya to see her. As he stood beneath the pine trees waiting, he remembered another place, another evening. Then she was running into his arms, quick as a bullet, and he felt the broken things inside him melding.

It would be a long fight. A long wait. But six years later Wana would be back home in Makurdi with him. He would not marry again. Stop smoking again. Start jogging again.

He would travel the world lecturing on Emerging Disease Response. He would receive more honours than the four walls of his study could hold.

He would forgive Shade (but they would never be friends again).

He would live to eighty-nine. And from time to time he would think over things. He would imagine how things would have been if he stayed. Then he would laugh and mutter to himself.

“There’s no way I was going to let that Bastard get away.”

* * * * *

Thanks for reading,
Please read, vote, share
Our Etisalat Flash Fiction story:
Before Sunset
http://wp.me/p3nAsA-kK

Thank you