“It’s only in Lagos that you’ll be driving and your lane will just disappear; a whole lane”- R. Macaulay (2018)
Not all things can be proven scientifically. A scientist that argues otherwise hasn’t been to Lagos. Riddle me this; how do you ensure that the mathematical equation a bus conductor uses to give you your change is correct? – “Oga bring 100 naira, make I give you 80 naira, so you go give that baba for back 30 naira.” How do you prove (scientifically) the mystery behind why a traffic jam could start without a cause and end without one? If you’re drafting an answer, you’ve never been to Lagos.
Prior to my sojourn to the yellow city, I’ve read comments on social media about Lagos traffic and how you haven’t experienced traffic jam if you’ve never been pressed while you’re stuck in traffic (in other words- if shit never catch you for traffic, that one no be traffic). As usual, I never took any of these warnings seriously and since I moved to the big city, so far so good, I had been lucky, I haven’t experienced serious traffic so I believed they were all exaggerations. Well, son, that will soon change. Three months into my career as a Lagosian, I started venturing out of my default route (Gbagada-Ikeja-Gbagada-Ikeja) at least, that’s the only way I would be able to say I know Lagos. All my adventure to various places where pretty much the same except the Ikotun road trip.
YOU SHOULD TOTALLY READ: BUILD YOURS
The day before my date with destiny, I ate a very sumptuous meal- beans (this was the national identity of where I stayed in Lagos: give us any food but add beans)– double ration, it was just too delicious to let it go. I knew Ikotun was a far and I would need to set out early if I wanted to meet my appointment. However, something funny started giggling within my tummy the following morning and long story short, I was purging. I paid little attention to this early warning- first mistake chief– and began my journey.
THIS IS A GOOD TIME TO READ: THE THING ABOUT BEANS
We were approaching Iyanya-Ipaja when all hell broke loose within me. We were sitting in traffic with no movement and our lane had disappeared. My stomach was ready to release all I ate the previous night right there on that seat while the conductor was making all the other passengers laugh; all was ‘perfect’ with the world. The moment I started sweating I knew this was no longer a drill; I was losing this war- son, you actually lost the moment you took the first spoon of that beans– and I had to come up with a plan quickly.
IS THIS YOUR SUB?: THE FAKE FRIENDS
Luckily I had a friend who stayed around that area, let’s call him “Hero”. I called Hero immediately, told him the problem and we came up with a plan; I was to stop at his house, get my tummy cleared, then we would both continue on the journey to Ikotun (let’s clap for Hero, a true legend). I did the necessary at Hero’s house and I was set for the rest of the journey- or so I thought.
BEEN THERE, FELT THAT!: I AM DEAD (A HAIKU)
We were on the road once again but my moment of internal bliss and solitude was cut short as we passed Igando and my old nemesis reared its ugly head once again. This time around, I felt the blow. With one look into my eyes, Hero saw terrible things and he knew at once trouble was back. Again, we started sourcing for an escape route; then just ahead of us, I saw it, First Bank of Nigeria. Never have I in all my life been so happy to see a bank, I knew I’d found grace in the eyes of my village people when I noticed the bank hadn’t closed yet. At once, I knew what to do; “Conductor! We dey come down for First Bank oo!” Hero got the message.
SO THIS HAPPENED…: MISCONSTRUED – A SHORT STORY ABOUT MEN BEING SCUM
We came down, walked majestically (well for me I worked cautiously, we don’t want to litter a banking hall now, do we?). Hero got his deposit slip, walked up to the security guard and then said those magic words: “Sir, please where is your restroom?” Immediately I got the coordinate for the place of deployment- The restroom, I began to work. Naturally, I would be bothered about the lack of air conditioner in the room, but this wasn’t a natural situation; it was a desperate one. Once again, Hero saves the day.
NOT SURE IF THIS IS A GOOD TIME BUT: #LAZYNIGERIANYOUTH: YET YOU CALLED US LAZY – POETRY BY HOLINESS SEGUN OLUFEMI
We knew we were in the end game as we got to Ikotun; the mission now was to get whatever we came there to do done as swiftly as possible to avoid stories that touch from a toilet angle. Nevertheless, my stomach had other plans, it began its third and final phase. In a desperate bid to put an end to this torture once and for all, I had to recruit another soldier, let’s call her Point Break. The moment Point Break got apprised with the situation, and saw the evidence as I had to go even at her house, she knew the solution was Ijebu-garri. I took it and for the first time that day, I saw the light. If not for these two heroes, Eko would have won this war yet again. Lagos, you thought I’d stopped counting? you’ve got jokes. Lag 2-1 Nuel (GET IN!)