"Unforeseen Collision: My Encounter with a Lagos Street Vendor"

 


Since I came packed into my new apartment in Ebutte-meta, I have had these "evangelists from hell," posing as neighbors, who the devil, in collaboration with my ever-plentiful in wickedness village people, commissioned with 70-cm shovels to uproot the fibers of my destiny.

 

I can't really give a detailed account of how myself and these guys rose to the point of being "paddies," but one thing I can still very much recall is the event that joined me in unholy matrimony with these guys. One of them had knocked at my door one hot Sunday afternoon to ask that I borrow him my water fetcher (Guga, as Hausas call it), and innocently, without hesitation, I did. As far as my 1860-degree voltage brain can recall, I guess this is the only sin I committed: lending that guy my property and, most importantly, forgetting that "Nah from clap dem take dey enter dance."

 

And it was the lending of this fetcher that led to "Boss how far" and "Chairman, Wotsup" conversations between myself, that guy, and his roommates, and that in turn was what led to these guys now coming into my apartment to play video games on my Samsung LED TV.

 

Every evening, immediately after I returned from work, these jobless guys would troop in, and one would claim player 1 and the other would take up the other player 2 gamepad, while the third guy would have to wait for one of them to lose before he came onboard. (Loser out and Winner play-on, as they call it).

 

At first, this really didn't sit well with me, especially as I'm this calm, reserved person who has always avoided anything that will generate an invoice between myself and the wicked sons of Adams since I was 12.

 

Eventually, I began to grow fond of them, and gradually my social life, from the "Genevieve Nnaji" state it was before, augmented to a "Funke Akindele" stage. But with the drama that happened yesterday, my social life just gained admission into Blessing CEO's College of Education. All thanks, of course, to the rascals in my compound.

 

Yesterday, as usual, they came around and played PES 2023, but unusually, this time, they dropped their gamepads some minutes after 8 and said they were going to one of their guys' birthday parties. And they asked that I even follow them—an offer I firmly declined. Follow these rascals to a birthday party of their fellow rascals, where I'll surely meet other rascals? Nah! I said no.

 

But that was not after these 'evangelists from hell" preached me a sermon from their book of Temptations, Chapters 12:1–98, giving me a thousand and one reasons why a little fun won't break my ankles. My heart mellowed!

 

So I followed them, first to where we rented a cab from one of their friends nearby, and then to the birthday party. And brethren, it was when I got there that I knew that, truly, just like I first thought, the party was not just the usual "happy birthday to you" type but a disguised reunion of co-hooligans, proudly hosted in a club.

Come see wayward children everywhere! Ex-convicts, ex-cultists, retired or actively serving Runz girls, untrained offspring of single parents, and the ones whom pastor parents must have given up on—all in full representation.

Whining of waists everywhere! Erection of pendulums everywhere.

See how people's next of kin were testing the healthiness of their kidneys with cigarettes, while the ones in the alcoholic department were shagging as if their liver's stamina equated to that of Aso Rock.

 

Well, I would be a liar if I said the party wasn't fun and that I didn't participate in the iniquity. I'm not Apostle Kwena Esiri, please. I danced with about three gigantic, backyarded ladies and took a few bottles of Hero lager beer. Actually, just two bottles! In the scheme of things, I should be the holiest sinner in that gathering.

On the contrary, other people at the club were actually looking at me like a Jambite among Ph.D. degree holders.

 

Talk about my crazy neighbors. Those ones are Leitubant colonels in clubbing. By the time the party was over by 1 a.m., these guys were in between the valleys of drunkenness and madness. In fact, these guys were almost half-dead. So, of course, the mantle of driving the crew and the car back fell on me. I mean, if any of those drunks were to drive us back home, then I would first have to send two of my best photos to my immediate younger sister through WhatsApp Business with the caption "My last wish, please use these on my obituary poster.".

 

I (the rest were drunkenly asleep) was initially driving on about 60km, gently and calmly, until that evil spirit prompted us to fire up to 90–100 km. Since the road was clear and there were fewer motorists plying, I just thought that it would be a deliberate act of time wastage to drive so carefully as if my passengers were the prime ministers of Russia, Israel, and South Korea. Why drive as if the lives of those drunk guys were so precious? I'm sure even if we have a fatal accident that results in the deaths of these guys, it won't take God more than 7 minutes to grant their families the fortitude to bear their loss.

Omor, I fired. With little or no thought that there would or should be any miscreant crossing the road by that time of the night, I fired, and at the peak of that firing was when that tragic incident that would have resulted in me committing an "unplanned murder" almost happened.

 

What had delivered me were the screams, shouts, and hand gesturing from some Agberoistic-looking dudes telling me to halt. And the second deliverance was that I actually stopped. Because at that point, I had almost wanted to increase my acceleration and drive past those potential-looking armed robbers. I would have run across a human being. I would have killed somebody.

 

As soon as I stopped, the first salutation I was met with was violence: insults, shouts, slamming of our car, and different versions of Werey and Oti ya Werey. In a split second, our side mirror was gone, and our front tires were punctured. Of course, that was when the misfits I was riding back home with jacked off from sleep.

 

Omo, we stepped out of the car, and behold! Up to 889 people had rounded us, and more than 12,876 future Arise TV correspondents were rushing towards our scene. Omo! Fear gripped. My spirit left me. I remember humming the lyrics of this popular gospel song: "Ebenezer eh, Ebenezer eh, my stone of help, only you are my helper." Truly, if this "stone of help" doesn't help me, the stony hearts and faces I was seeing there would so deal with me that I would be hospitalized and diagnosed with kidney stones.

 

I peeped through the main scene, and lying in the middle was this probably 12- or 13-year-old girl, with blood stains and bruises around her knees, legs, and hands.

 

According to one of the radio-without-battery eyewitnesses, the girl, who happens to be a street hawker, was about to cross to the other side of the road when the speed of our car flung her aback.

 

Men and brethren, please help me wonder. Because I certainly can't be the only one wondering how the speed of a car will fling a human being. A full human being, not an empty container of Mirinda?

 

Well, I didn't respond to that Jackie Chan tale, nor did my friends. We dare not argue with angry people who are already exaggerating the extent of the injuries the girl sustained.

 

We dare not further annoy people who are already making it seem like the girl lost her tongue and broke 18 bones in the incident when in actual reality, all that is needed for her recuperation and wholeness is taking 50 ml of Ampiclox Bicham and 2 vitamin tablets morning and night for four consistent days.

 

We remained calm, still, sober, and kept a "sorry face." In other words, we agreed that the speed of our car actually flung a human being. Toh! No wahala.

 

All we did was continually apologize and promise to pay for her medical treatment and fully compensate for all the goods she lost. And slowly, the tension was brewing down! Slowly! The temperatures were freezing. Slowly, people were dispersing, and at that point, we had gotten one or two volunteers ready to take us to the nearest clinic or pharmacy kiosk (if available) where the girl would be given first aid treatment first.

 

That Was The Stage We Were On When The Main Wahala Busted.



This girl's troublesome parents! Nah Not parents, please.

No right-thinking parent would allow their kid, a girl child, to still be hawking by 1 a.m.Well, unless they had that child from wedlock, which later led to their various families forcefully merging them in marriage.

So I would rather call those people the Guardians, caretakers, or even more like colonial masters of that girl. Whichever one they were, all I knew was that one flat-headed, lanky, malnourished-looking man and his "I lack words to describe" wife stormed in.

Upon entry, the woman came directly to me and jacked my collar, calling me unprintable names: Yahoo Boy Way wan use her daughter to renew  December Covenant, Ritualist, drug pusher, devil, e.t.c.

I remained calm and cool, with thopingafter the rantings, she would freeze and chill just like the crowd did. That was where I was wrong. The human being I was dealing with at this time had the perfect definition of "when you allow a person, they start seeking  allowance."

 

From the tantrums and name-calling came efforts to slap me, and of course, that I didn't take.

I responded with my own corresponding slap. And that was where Episode 8 and Season 12 of the movie "Battle on Buka Street" began. Or would I say track 2 off the Sophomore album titledin Vawulence"?

Myself and my friends vs. That woman and her houseboy, also known as husband, insulted ourselves to satisfaction. Trust an Aba boy who was raised in Rumuokoro nah. I used my mouth to sketch more stretch marks on the woman's Christian mother's arms and my uncircumcised tongue to further flatten her husband's empty skull.

 

Long story short, shit got so messy that the police had to be involved, and by the special grace of God, we all slept in police cells last night. Trust all these unprofessional Nigerian police officers with forged JSCE certificates. Without even asking any questions at all, they bundled all of us like smuggled goods and threw us into their dungeon.

 

Longest story sliced short, I just bailed myself a few minutes ago, hours after my rivals had bailed themselves already, and promised to take care of their daughter's medical fees.

 

As for those other ones that evangelize clubbing to me, I pray and hope they have money or friends that would bail them out. Because if, by any chance, they use me dey get hope, then they are of all men most miserable.




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