Sighs! Before y’all start to nag and cuss me in demon-speak, let me say I’m sorry for going AWOL and leaving 360zibah unattended. Apology accepted? Yes? Great. No? Kiss my beautiful ass then. Ok, but I’m really sorry, been caught up in a lot of work plus Zibah got drunk a few days ago (yep, for the first time-virgin drunk. Sordid deets later) couldn’t remember anything the following day. Calm your vibrating tits already, I can hold down my liquor but didn’t feel the need to. I actually pushed myself over the edge. You must be wondering what the celebration was? It was the convocation ceremony of a special friend.
Anyway, as usual there were some unusual highlights to an otherwise ‘happy’ (read inebriated) week. Most of it happened in traffic. Yes, same-ol-same-ol Lagos traffic sometimes spits interesting slapsticks Zibah’s way.
Granted, Lagos traffic is horrifying especially after a long day at ‘work’, in a commercial bus filled with the scent of equally smelly people and shrouded in the embrace of a humid weather. Once in a while, one or two events take the strain off the journey and Zibah’s sore backside; a fire and brimstone preacher may point out an indecently clad lady in the bus who isn’t part of the 90% ‘acutely religious’ in Lagos and has no qualms about unleashing her viper tongue to verbally assault preacher or a passenger with booty that the creator originally designed for three individual women insists on paying fare for one….and so on.
Boarding a bus at Yaba on Lagos Mainland on this fateful day, I paid the fare to the burly conductor and settled comfortably into the barely-there seat, plugged my ears with my headset and allowed Florence and the Machine’s Cosmic love to remind me of my totally non-existent love life/boring valentine celebration. The bus backed out of the park and the journey began slowly.
‘‘owo mi da’’
That is the local ruffian asking for ‘road tax’. I peered out of the window and was greeted by the sight of a gangly ruffian with plaited head-as ugly as they come- wearing nothing but fancy Burberry shorts with the glistening sweat highlighting his solid torso accosting grandpa (the driver) for his ‘owoda’. I must have rolled my eyes and resumed my playlist but after 5minutes and grandpa hadn’t resumed his job (driving) and fellow commuters were beginning to grumble (read swear), I looked again and heard ruffian rapping in the local language, gesturing wildly with his brawny arms trying to intimidate grandpa. Apparently grandpa was trying to convince ruffian that he had paid ’tax’ for the day previously to another ruffian on the same route or something but present ruffian refused to budge, insisting he (grandpa) pays again. Suddenly he pushed grandpa roughly to the side of the road, grabbed the wiper of the already decomposing vehicle and proceeded to twist and bend it in a bid to break it; he succeeds in mangling the poor rod, he then moves over to the side of the vehicle, grabs the side-mirror in his massive paws and proceeds to mete out the same punishment to the object. At this point, passengers were angrily shouting, the enraged conductor rushes out of the vehicle with clenched fist (was wondering when he would act), Zibah tosses music player into bag and mentally shouted ‘ghen-ghen’ (ain’t i theatrical?), it was on. Grandpa laid on the floor forgotten, probably nursing a sore butt while we (passengers) were already laying bets and giving pointers to the street fighter on where to kick, punch, deck…squeeze (sighs…I felt so alive and happy. Hey! I like a good fight too and this was erm…fight for justice. Right?)
Somehow the fight moved to the side of the window where my humble self sat. In my peripheral vision, I saw an old withered arm snake through the window and reach for ruffian. A quick sideway glance showed that the arm was attached to the socket of a seemingly frail old woman sitting close to the window. She grabbed ruffian’s braids in a surprisingly strong grip and jerked it forcefully backwards while at the same time hurling colourful insults (women have always been so good at multi-tasking; physical and verbal insult simultaneously executed, outstanding!!!). The momentary distraction was all conductor needed to place well aimed jabs at ruffians stomach, this somehow loosened ruffian’s belt and snap, Burberry short was on its way to the floor leaving ruffian in all his booty glory. ‘‘Ruffian has no panties’’ I snickered, hilarious.
At this point, a Lagos crowd has formed; hailing, laughing, making no noticeable move to intervene…me, I felt wonderful, I could feel the stress and fatigue slinking off my shoulders (who needs a shrink when you have Lagos?). Eventually, grandpa was able to pull the warring parties apart. Conductor was obviously the winner but he didn’t leave unscathed; bleeding nose, a closing left eye, singlet-less with scratches on his face (dayum, ruffian fights like a Sisi). Ruffian was a sorry sight, trying to buckle his belt to cover up his hairy butt (i noted some ugly stretch marks and some odd multi-colourings-trust Zibah to have eyes for disturbing sight) and sporting some serious bruises (wonder why none of his ‘colleagues’ came to his rescue….maybe he is an illegal ruffian. I hear they (ruffians) have associations). Anyway, journey resumes with an obviously exhausted conductor, a grim grandpa and rejuvenated passengers who rehashed the experience with bolder ones commenting on ruffian’s ‘package’.
Wow! There’s the final bus-stop. I alight as do the remaining passengers. I cross over to board the final bus to my home; leaving grandpa with his smarting rear and conductor with his purple-y eye. I still feel refreshed though.
I love Lagos. Don’t you?
P.S. I may have altered/fine-tuned some details. Why? What good is a story without a lil tweaking? None right?
Note: The pictures in this post are in no way connected to the incidence in the post, i just found ’em kinda appropriate.