Honesty is the best policy, says an age-long adage. But this doesn’t seem to hold much weight in a world like the one we have today. People no longer believe it; in fact, it is almost laughable when you mention it. Perhaps, this is so because more often than not, the patient dog who was supposed to eat the fattest bone gets to die of starvation. The honest man almost always gets crumbs out of life. Consequently, most people have been unruly, paying no attention to virtues like honesty, integrity and loyalty.
Honesty has been thrown out the window even in seemingly dignifying places like the government house, corporate offices, schools and religious institutions. How much more the hood, the ghetto or the streets, if you like! Urban Dictionary defines the hood as “a place where plenty shit goes down like gangbanging, drug dealing, killing, a place where you wouldn’t want to be”. You really cannot trust anyone in the hood and you live everyday in the hood like it is your last. It is not a place you expect people to have home training or where virtues are honed. The language of the hood is very different. Taboo words fly all around and forgiveness is a scarce commodity.
Notwithstanding, the importance of honesty cannot be overemphasized. Even in the hood, honesty is valued. Throwback to the 2019 movie, Cold Pursuit starring Liam Neeson, Tom Bateman, Tom Jackson, Arnold Pinnock, etc. Nels Coxman (Liam Neeson’s character) seeks to kill Viking (Tom Bateman’s character) in order to avenge his son’s murder. Heeding his brother’s advice on the way to go about it, he hires The Eskimo (Arnold Pinnock’s character) and first gives him half of the deal upfront to do the kill. But The Eskimo cocks a gun at him and talks about how the street had moved on to getting two-thirds upfront and one-third after the deal is done. “Okay. We can do two-thirds”, says Nels Coxman as he pays him the two-thirds upfront.
When The Eskimo goes over to Viking’s house, he announces that he has information Viking would want to buy.
“I’ve been offered ninety grand to ice you”, he says.
Because Viking had suspected that the Indian White Bull wants him dead, he goes,
“You wanna ice a guy, you go to The Eskimo. Well, that works for me. Who knew White Bull had that kind of coin”
“White Bull’s an Indian. Indians don’t farm out their kills”, says The Eskimo.
“So, if it wasn’t White Bull, then who the hell was it?”
“That’s what I’m selling”
“Well, how much?”
The evil but lighthearted Viking lets out a laugh and says,
“You gotta love the symmetry there. You are one hell of a business man”
“I tries”, The Eskimo retorts.
I couldn’t help but laugh so hard at this man’s grammar. You see, The Eskimo doesn’t only suck at being honest but he sucks at grammar too. Stay with me.
“Try. It’s a singular”, Viking corrects.
“Do we have a deal?”
(smiling) “‘Course we got a deal’
So, The Eskimo gives out his Cayman Island account number and asks for the money to be deposited in there. He says when the money hits, Viking and his men will get the name of whoever wanted him dead. The money is transferred and he is shown proof on the laptop screen. He tells them how he likes working with pros and how pros help to cut down on the bullshit factor.
“Yeah. So, who wants me dead?” asks Viking with arms wide open
The Eskimo replies, “Guy’s name is Coxman”.
“There was a Coxman on Dad’s payroll, right? What was his name? He called himself, uh, Wing… Ding… Ringworm… Wing… Ding… Wingman! Wingman wants me dead? Why?”
“The why of it ain’t my business so I don’t aks”. At this point, you would agree that The Eskimo is the king of all speech blunders, including spoonerisms.
“Ask”, Viking corrects while giggling but the Eskimo interrupts,
“I think our business here is done”.
“So, it is”.
Here is the twist. You would think that our humorous Viking would thank The Eskimo and indeed his own stars for sparing his life. Instead, he gets pissed by the man’s dishonesty. It bothers him so much that when The Eskimo gets up leave, Viking asks him two questions, one pro to another.
“Why do they call you The Eskimo?”
“Comes from the brothers in the hood. Any nigga crazy enough to move up to snow country has gotta be a fucking Eskimo”, The Eskimo brags.
Viking lets out the kind of laughter that would make you laugh too and pointing at him, tells him that he’s very funny. The Eskimo rushes him, asking him to ask his second question.
“Alright, it’s… Who taught you your ethics?” asks Viking frowning
(Quite vehemently) “You made a deal to kill me for 90 grand and you didn’t honor that deal”
“It’s because I’m honoring this one”
“Yeah. Guess a man’s word doesn’t matter in the hood, right? Guess it’s just every man for himself in there. You see, out here, character counts. Without character, there can be no business… …and without business… (he walks up to one of his men and nods at him) …well… What the hell would we do all day?”
And that is how The Eskimo gets “iced” in a very funny and unsuspecting way.
Of a truth, character counts, even in the hood. In fact, everywhere in the world needs honesty. We all should pay attention to this. Life shouldn’t just be about making money. How we make the money should matter too. Dishonesty sure has consequences and it is only when you get hooked that you find out just how ugly the consequences can be.