Good week everybody! Thanks for the feedback on my conquest last week. It goes to confirm that we are united in counting our numerous little blessings in preparation for bigger things to come. This week began on a rather funny note; one that that I hesitate to narrate because it shows me in a not very sunny light. Still keen on knowing what I did? Well you’ll just have to be patient and hear me out.
It was a lovely sunny Sunday afternoon and I was on my way to a business meeting on the island. It was a rare Lagos that was sprawled before me; there was very little traffic on the road. I was in high spirits as I barrelled down the Mobolaji Bank Anthony way in Ikeja. I like to drive fast; it’s the closest I come to flying. It is almost like if I try hard enough I’ll take off into the air. Well, someday, sometime… Anyway, I was flying towards the GRA intersection while on the phone (with a hands free device of course!) with Frieda arguing amiably over some not-so-good script I’d received some days ago. I looked at the traffic lights which didn’t happen to be working so I slowed down, just enough to be prepared should any vehicle emerge unexpectedly from either side of the road, when I saw at the very last moment a police woman frantically waving at me to stop. I stamped on the my brakes very hard, rending the air with the loud screech of my tyres and smelt the pungent stink of my rubber and brake pads as they wafted past me. She hadn’t been standing in the traffic-signalling booth like she was supposed to so I didn’t see her on time. Try telling that to the Nigerian police when they’re on the lookout for a hapless victim to break the jinx of a boring day.
I looked back at her with the most apologetic smile I could muster, fearing the worst, and was greeted with a surprisingly understanding smile; the kind a mother gives her errant child. I smiled again in relief. Beside her were two other witnesses to the incident, two men who were standing beside a motorcycle that had a flat tyre. Oh, did they go off like rockets?!!! They began shooting their mouths off about arrogant people who have no consideration for others and just think the road is just for them alone. That just because I have a ‘big’ car doesn’t mean I should tread on other people like ants. I ignored them and apologised to the police lady, thanking her for letting me off. That brought another tirade from the duo: “Oh yeah, why not? They think they own the police as well, don’t they? You knock us down and we’ll probably go to jail for staining your car, won’t we?” She waved me on to go. I thanked her and began to move off.
The two idiots who insisted on drinking the paracetamol meant for someone else’s headache weren’t done. “Go on. Don’t stop. Go on and smash…” I lost the rest of what those two girls nattered about but I had by then run out of my tolerance reserves so I put my head out the window, shouted a hearty “F$#@ you” and finished it off with a very forceful five finger (shege) salute to them.
As I retreated into my shell, something made me look at the other side of the road and to my horror I saw a long line of cars waiting at the lights on the oncoming lane, their drivers watching what was going on. I didn’t know where to look except forward and fervently prayed that as little of them as possible would recognize me. Never mind the ear ripping I got from Frieda when I told her what had just happened. I won’t bore you with the details of how she went on about she’d always warned me about the way I should comport myself in public and blah blah blah. Never mind me the aggrieved one, who should let himself be insulted and not say a word back. Anyway, all that is past; I forgive all three of them for they know not what they do!
It is increasingly becoming clear to me what responsibilities are thrust on the shoulders of the public figure. It sometimes seems unfair to me that I have to be the one to work more on restraint and self control than the other party is obligated to, being that the spotlight will invariably land on me should any fracas occur between us. Then again, I am the bigger man and should continue to work on being one. Have a great week everybody and drive safely wherever you go!