When I was growing up it was difficult to identify when a question is rhetorical and even worse was how to answer. I’m sure many of us remember those days. How did you answer
1st case scenario
Mum: Mary, Mary, How can you let this soup burn to the pot ehn? (clearly you forgot but the deed has been – so why the question) Are you stupid? Are you stupid?
Mary: (no answer)
Mum: So you cannot answer abi? You cannot answer shey? Only last week you open ya mouth to abuse the neighbour, or you think I did not hear you! Now you are deaf and dumb. My daughter can not cook o! Chei! Who wan marry this kin pikin! You will see stars today when I am done with you. Mscheew.
2nd case scenario
Mum: Are you stupid? Are you stupid? Ehn ehn?
Mary: No mama
Mum: Ehen?? (with a surprise stare) So you have the guts to talk back at me? Do I look like ya mate? I said do I look like ya mate? You are a very stupid girl Mary, very stupid. You are saying you are not stupid ehn! if you had not slept off or busy gisting why did you allow my soup to burn? Answer me before I slap you now (if you answer you will expressly be accused of talking back at her). “I am not stupid, nye nye nye nye nye” (mimicking you in the most annoying voice ever). Foolish pikin with no respect.
3rd case scenario
Mum: Are you stupid?
Mary: (Confused and wanting no wahala) Yes mama
Mama: Heewo, Mary has killed me o! (Spins around dramatically). Nobody in our family is stupid and lazy o! All of us can cook and take care of family. See your Aunty Joy and Aunty Benita. Where did they bring this girl from o! Stupid girl that admits that she is stupid. I am finished! At least you know you are stupid, you must have gotten it from your father’s mother’s side of the family , I hope you did not carry her madness too.
Note: After this don’t blink, shake or move a muscle, if not she will take this as an acknowledgment and as soon as your father comes home, she will surely say that YOU said that you got your stupidness from his side of the family and that his mother is mad. Also note that all responses come with a koboko so what exactly is the right answer? (By the way, that was a rhetorical question, I’m sure you already answered it…)
How many times have we been asked ‘are you deaf?’(how will you hear the question if you are?) ‘are you blind? can you not see the soup is burning?’ ( If you were how will you see?!) ‘can you not read? did you not read the price is N500?’ (well if you could read,wouldn’t you have done so?), All with the asker expecting a response?
If you have fallen prey of this situation. Kindly share with us how you answered those questions – because the next generation children and in for big wahala.