Hello and a good week to everybody. I have just begun to conquer another technological milestone – twitter! Yes my friends, for so long I have wondered what all the fuss was about twitting all over the place with almost ‘nonsensical’ tweets about favourite pets and, just nonsense! Far as I was concerned it was all just a massive gathering of twits until Frieda explained it all to me. I still haven’t comprehended it fully but I have begun to sound like I know what I’m talking about when I tweet. Point is, I can see what a dinosaur I will be when I become a father. Matter of fact I almost weep for myself because of the way those little mites are going to abuse my ignorance of modern technology. My resolve therefore is this. I must marry someone who’s a gadget freak and is up to date with every conceivable contraption that is invented. She will also be a very bad cook on account of my love for good food. Please don’t think I am mad. I have always loved good food, according to my mum, and the way my metabolism has dropped in the past few years has given me serious cause for concern. If I dare eat even half of what I used to eat three years ago, I could almost watch my girth increase, my cheeks billow and my feet much more leaden. Kilo nonsense en? One of my favourite meals, pounded yam and Afang, I can no longer indulge myself in. hence my solution to my problem; marry a terrible cook so I learn to hate to eat and then I stay slim – ish. How’s that for a solution? By the time my daughter gets married they’ll probably have invented some gadget with to cook any meal her hubby desires. I feel much better now after airing my thoughts in this rather long paragraph. I hope they don’t smell too badly. Now to what I really want to talk about; my smuggling trip.
I had been shooting some scenes of a movie project in Ogun state and we were determined to finish it that day which took us into the wee hours of the next day – 2am to be precise. Some of us decided against putting up in a hotel and opted to drive back in a convoy to Lagos. The road however was a route smugglers typically used to smuggle goods to and from the neighbouring Benin Republic country with fierce customs officers lay in wait and desperate smugglers strived to get their commissions through at all costs. I for one was ready to risk driving along that smuggling route at that hour than face the horrendous traffic gridlock that characterized the morning rush hour traffic. ‘Sides my car had been making some funny noises after I’d waded in a mini lake in a crater in the road on one of our trips to location. There was no way I would risk taking Betty though a four hour traffic jam without seeing her doctor.
Our three cars set off into the night. The moon was full and the ghostly shapes of the tall grass swayed to our rushing headlights. The red eyes ahead of me flashed an even brighter red intermittently as they dodged ubiquitous potholes. Okay Kalu, stop it! We drove fast weaving this way and that as we dodged the numerous potholes that were dotted all over the road. Occasionally we would hear and wince at the jarring crash of the shock absorber of the lead vehicle as he went into a hidden pothole and quickly learn from his mistake. I had no mirror to look into but I knew my eyes were bulging from concentrating on the road and its environs. I wondered what we would do if armed robbers waylaid us at some deep gorge we were negotiating. Would I flee into the bush and leave the women among us to fend for themselves? One never knows what one is capable of until the one faces adversity. This adversity was not one I was willing to accommodate, rather I saw it as an adventure and sped on. Surprisingly, the few customs checkpoints we went by didn’t even bother with us. It was as if they knew what they were looking for and didn’t even glance at us as we sped past.
We got to our homes safely, stopping at the married colleague’s first. After honking our horns at her gate incessantly, the gate man opened them to a relieved but very silently furious husband. I watched as she slunk sideways through their front door like a crab as I left for my own home with trepidation in my heart. I’ll explain. My street has about two or three street gates leading to it from all sides. They all shut at the stroke of twelve midnight and once they do, hardly anyone or thing can compel them to be opened before 5am. Getting there at 3am, I began to bang at the street gate before my gate but no one answered. Peeping through the slits I could see three security guards warming themselves round a fire and smoking what wafted to me as weed. I called out loud to them telling them I was a resident in the adjoining street. They stopped, looked in my direction and calmly turned around and began to walk further away leaving me with no choice than to curl into Betty’s back seat. The windows misted over within minutes of shutting the door and made me wonder how much they’d mist if I were to shag in it – kinda like the Titanic love scene. My rucksack served as my pillow and I slept soundly till 4.50am when my alarm clock woke me.
Well folks, that was my experience plying a smuggler’s route at a smuggler’s time. Who knows? Someday when there’s no more work in my profession… Have a great week everyone!