Indulgence in alcoholism as a way to escape from life’s challenges has been condemned in Episode 12 of Glo-sponsored TV drama series, Professor Johnbull.
In the episode entitled Fool’s Paradise, the story of Boniface, Professor Johnbull’s America-based brother, is deployed as case study to bring out the ills of the vice. Boniface, an ex-teetotaler found solace in alcoholism after his wife left him for another man as a result of a major downturn which crippled his business.
The episode opened with the arrival of Boniface at Professor Johnbull’s residence to the excitement of the household especially Professor Johnbull who accorded his brother a warm welcome. Later at the welcome dinner in his honour, Boniface displayed a ‘been-to’ attitude by insisting that his table water be sourced from Sita, Mountain Spring, Arkansas, instead of the community water served in the professor’s house which he feared could injure his health.
While sweeping the house the day after, Caroline saw Boniface lying prostrate on the floor with the content of his flask spilled and raised an alarm. Caro, moved to taste the content of the flask, discovered to her consternation that the much touted ‘medicinal water’ was alcohol which she tagged ‘mmanya,’ (strong drink in Igbo language).
Boniface is thereafter seen on a drinking spree at Olaniyi’s joint where he regaled Olaniyi with pitiful tales of how his wife whom he brought from the village and sponsored to train as a nurse in America abandoned him for her lover. Flash and Jumoke’s entry to the bar made Boniface to express the opinion that Jumoke may abandon him later. This flippant remark infuriated Jumoke who requested Flash to defend her. To her disappointment however, Flash declined the request on the premise that Jumoke had refused his love overtures for two years.
Flash subsequently joined Boniface in the drinking spree, and Flash is later seen lying on the street drunk and threatening to commit suicide. Jumoke called Flash’s bluff just as Flash ran away when alerted that a vehicle was approaching.
When Professor Johnbull was informed of Boniface’s drunkenness, he went on a search to Olaniyi’s joint but failed to see him there. He thereafter formed a search party anchored by Churchill and Caroline.
The search party later found Boniface in a gutter where he lay dead drunk which made Caroline to describe him as an “elephant rat”. An examination of Boniface by a medical doctor led to a diagnosis of too much alcohol in his system and a medical advice to steer clear of alcoholism in order to avert an untimely death.
A rehabilitated Boniface in a state of sobriety declined Flash’s offer of a drink while cheerily engaging his new consort, Margarita on the phone.
Professor Johnbull’s conclusion was on point, as he again enumerated the debilitating effects of alcoholism on the health and quality of life of sufferers as he insisted that romance with the bottle is not the way out of the challenges of life.