The futility of indulging in alcoholism, as a means of escape from problems has been unraveled in Episode 12 of Professor Johnbull broadcast last Tuesday on NTA, NTA International and StarTimes.
The TV drama series deployed the story of Boniface, Professor Johnbull’s brother who is based in the United States, to enlighten viewers about the vice. Boniface was initially a teetotaler before his business crumbled and his wife abandoned him for another man, compelling him to take solace in drinking himself to stupor.
The episode aptly tagged “Fool’s Paradise” started with the arrival of Boniface at Professor Johnbull’s abode to the delight of the occupants especially Professor Johnbull who gave his brother a bear hug. At the welcome dinner later, Boniface said he preferred his special water sourced from Sitar, Mountain Spring, Arkansas, to the community water, which he claimed, could give him diseases.
The next morning, while sweeping the house, Caroline saw Boniface lying on the floor with the content of his flask spilled and raised an alarm. Upon tasting the content of the flask, she discovered that the much-touted ‘medicinal water’ was alcohol, which she called ‘mmanya,’ (strong drink in Igbo).
The next scene depicted Boniface on a drinking spree at Olaniyi’s joint where he regaled Olaniyi with details of how his wife whom he brought from the village and sponsored to train as a nurse in America jilted him. On sighting Flash and Jumoke at the bar, Boniface told Flash that Jumoke might abandon him later and this infuriated Jumoke who asked Flash to defend her. But Flash declined, citing her refusal to accept his love proposal in the last two years as excuse.
Flash joined Boniface in the drinking spree and he was seen lying on the street drunk and threatening to commit suicide. Jumoke told him she would not fall for the ploy and Flash ran away when alerted that a vehicle was approaching. After Professor Johnbull was apprised of Boniface’s drinking problem, he went to look for him at Olaniyi’s joint, but did not see him there.
A search party anchored by Churchill and Caroline was thereafter organized for Boniface who was discovered dead drunk in a gutter by Caroline who described him as an “elephant rat”. Upon examination by a medical doctor, Boniface was advised to stay off the bottles to avert imminent death.
In the next scene, a contrite and sober Boniface was seen declining Flash’s offer of a drink and happily chatting up his new consort Majerita on the phone, while Professor Johnbull’s conclusion was vintage: he harped on the mistake of thinking alcohol can take away sorrows.