Fiction: 2021 (Pt.1)

I woke up tired. Thought about turning on the TV. But I quickly changed my mind; rather have a strong dose of caffeine than another dose of Covid news. Had a shower and threw some clothes on. Kissed my wife and daughter then grabbed my car keys and face mask. Whispered a prayer and ventured into the unknown. Just a typical start to the new normal.

Hit the highway and got lost in the soundtrack of my life. As I drove through lanes of masked motorists I recalled the last social gathering I attended – a wedding reception. There I was greeted with security detail brandishing digital thermometers. My wife and I had to produce our invitations to gain entry. Once in, it was a stark contrast to my pre-covid wedding reception of close to 1,000 guests. Due to the government restrictions around congregation numbers, there were no more than 50 scantily seated family members, relatives and close friends in attendance. It was still a fun party.

Red light ahead snapped me back into consciousness. The government had taken over many billboards as creating more hygiene awareness superseded the private sector’s objective of driving consumer purchases. Local celebrities were the new face of hygiene and social distancing compliance. Street hawkers became a thing of the past. The cheapest public transportation was by bus as most motorcycles were banned. The combination of these elements made for a reduced journey time of 20 minutes – usually 45 minutes.

Arriving at my office building, I go through the usual protocol with security personnel getting my temperature scanned and hands sanitized – a ritual that somehow was reminiscent of the order enforced in the Equilibrium movie. At the lobby my finger was going nowhere near the elevator button. Instead I used the corner tip of my ID card. 50 per cent capacity was observed once inside. Familiar faces were greeted with gentle nods. Hands tucked away in pockets or arms firmly folded. Soon after silence was golden except for the female elevator voice announcing arrival at my floor. I step out and head to my second home.

Photo credit: Dreamstime

Frowns, Clowns and Lockdowns

covid stay home

Last night while I was in bed I finally felt it (not my wife’s bum, thank you) – that excitement at the thought of writing a blog post just because. The first time I experienced this same feeling was in 2009 but since then it’s been on and off for the last decade in diminishing proportions. Why, I hear you ask? Distractions would be the easy excuse. Let’s say I had a few things to frown about.

I had a string of hopeless relationships, a dead-end job with no promotion prospects, and a highly anticipated sequel to my debut novel which wasn’t writing itself. I lost my mojo.  Just when I thought life couldn’t get less satisfying, I encountered a few clowns who entertained and kept me going.

Shoutouts to the following lifesavers who tickled my funny bone:

Fortunately, things started to pick up in the last 3 years – I met and married my soul mate, got an amazing job, ushered in a beautiful daughter and I’ve added a few lines to my second book in progress (well 3 out of 4 isn’t bad). Fast forward to present day, and it’s been a state of emergency in Lagos where residents have been advised to stay at home for the last three weeks (and counting).

Some things I have learnt/did during this period are: Working from home (didn’t have a choice really); Social distancing (My friends who visit talk to me from outside my gate); Baking a lemon sponge cake (all my top scores went solely to effort); Netflix weekend binge (Money Heist included); Yoga on YouTube (I never heard so many creaks and snaps in my joints before – 40 is no joke) and one of my favourite things I’m doing right now – blogging. It’s good to be back (insert smiley here)!

Image credits: Pinterest

What I did after a Traffic Warden seized my Driver’s Licence (Pt.2)

traffic wardenI have to admit – I didn’t have a plan when I sped off and left the traffic warden eating my dust (and pocketing my driver’s licence too). I was close to my parent’s house so I drove in and parked my car there. At least the car would be safe from impounding, I thought. But that didn’t stop me from looking at my rear view mirror every five seconds for a police bike on my tail. I met only my sister at home and broke the news (okay, that sounded kinda dramatic – to break news usually sounds like one is about to announce something tragic. I digress). My lil’ sister was in shock to say the least, like she had seen a ghost that was equally shocked that I had driven off without my licence. My explanation still left my sister’s jaw on the floor. She went straight into DLR (Driver’s Licence Retrieval) mode and ran some suggestions by me.

After deliberating for a couple of minutes I even went further to call a friend whom I thought would be able to advise me on what to do, based on his own experiences. He told me to prepare to give ‘something small’. We were ready to put the plan into action. We set out in my car but parked it in a corner about 300 meters away from the traffic warden’s spot. We strolled down towards the junction where the incident happened and then I told my sister to wait behind while I approached the traffic warden who was in the midst of a policeman and some LASTMA officials (the boys in black yellow). I caught his attention and he came over to deafen me with his broken English (insert action film music here).

‘Why you run na?’ he said with a smirk in his sweaty face.

‘I don’t want to argue. I just want my licence.’

‘No problem. I have already taken it to the station. You can collect it there.’, and he turned away with his nose up in the air.

‘What?’, I couldn’t contain my annoyance.

‘But oga, you suppose bring sumtin.’

‘Bring what? Look, you don’t want to me drag this matter’. I flashed a special ID card to him at this point. ‘I’ll go to the station and collect my licence’. I started to walk away and then he called me.

‘Oga wait. Make we go one side’. We walked a few meters away from his colleagues and got to way my sister was waiting. My sister greeted him and he reciprocated. They exchanged a few ‘pleasantries’ while I frowned (but they didn’t seem to take notice). The traffic warden insisted again that I should bring something (just like my friend said earlier) and that he would get my driver’s licence back for me. With about an hour of my life already wasted I just decided to part with N1,000 (less than $3) and to my surprise he pulled out my driver’s licence! To think that he lied and never actually went to drop it at the station in the first place. And worse still he asked for a bribe which I was forced to heed in order to get my licence….aaaargh! But the ID card sure got him rattled.

My sister and I walked back to my car and drove back home to gist about the whole ordeal. After that incident no one had to tell me to make a photocopy of my licence – that’s what I’ll be offering any official that accosts me on the road. At least that way I can drive off without ever looking back:)

What I did after a Traffic Warden seized my Driver’s Licence

traffic wardenWhen I was learning to drive in my late teens, the ‘qualified’ driving instructor advised that while driving I must assume that everyone else is drunk. Why? The logic was that if they were actually drunk then they wouldn’t drive properly. This would mean that they could run into me so I would have to be extra alert and preempt unforeseen accidents or close shaves. Unfortunately these words of wisdom didn’t pay off when I (allegedly) beat a non-existent traffic light and got stopped by a drunk traffic warden.

The uniformed clown had actually beckoned the vehicle right in front of me to drive forward so I tailed it closely. Obviously I wasn’t close enough else I would have smashed the warden’s legs. I said to him, ‘But you told me to come’. However he denied it and said he told me to stop. He looked at me in shock when I started raising my voice and so he directed me to ‘park well’ (away from oncoming traffic). He came to the front passenger window and started to engage me in shit-chat (no typo) which I’ve heard all before. It started with, ‘Let me see your driver’s licence!’ Then after I handed it over and he pretended to understand what he was examining, the next thing he said was, ‘Open your door.’

‘What the hell for?’ I retorted.

‘Look here, if you don’t want me to take your car to the station then open your door now’

I turned away from him and stared intently at my two hands firmly placed on the steering wheel, like a racer waiting for the starting pistol to be fired. I weighed my options: He gets in. We drive to the station. My car gets clamped. I pay a heavy fine and bank account bleeds. Total time wasted = 45mins to 1 hour.

I decided to go for my next option – I sped off and let the traffic warden choke on my dust! No money lost. Car is safe. Total time wasted = 3 mins. But as I let the adrenaline wear off it suddenly dawned on me that my driver’s licence was still in that traffic warden’s hand! not a photocopy…MY ORIGINAL DRIVER’S LICENCE – DAMN IT!!! (To be continued)

Not Suit-able for the Crazy Nigerian


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Patience isn’t one of my strong suits but I’ve been forced in recent times to take a crash course from none other than my last tailor fashion designer. Once upon a time (time time) my fashion designer came by recommendation. I … Continue reading

The 411 before the 711

I expect happy birthday greetings to start rolling in for me from the 7th day of the 11th month of the year but until then I just felt like dropping the real deal (411) on y’all as I’ve experienced them on earth:

  • meBe nice all you want; some people still won’t like you…for no reason
  • Be yourself because its ten times harder trying to be someone else…full time
  • One real hug feels much better than 100 arm-less emoticon hugs
  • Look good, feel good. Feel good, Act confident. Act confident, Earn respect
  • If she really wants you she’ll call back even if it’s years after
  • In the workplace there’s politics. Learn when to play and when to stray
  • Give – time, money, knowledge, support…just give and change a life
  • The ones who stick with you in the worst of times are your friends
  • The ones who call you on your birthday hold you in high esteem
  • Worry less about what’s on your head but more about what’s in it
  • Everyone’s allergic to bullshit. The art is in making it ‘smell’ good
  • You’re only as fat or as slim as you think
  • If you’ve cheated death at least three times someone upstairs has a ‘job’ for you
  • That point when you’re about to give up may be moments away from a breakthrough
  • Those who left a legacy behind are not forgotten today (Fela, MJ, Bob Marley, etc)
  • Attention isn’t always the best currency. Pay more and receive less.
  • Family is everything
  • When there were good times and bad times God never abandoned me. God is Love (1 John 4:8)
  • Be thankful and count your blessings
  • And if you insist on becoming a gang member then join the beard gang 😛

Hit and run in Ikeja City Mall


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Ever since the Lagos State government paved the way for Ikeja’s first modern shopping mall, Lagosians have come out in their hundreds to queue shop in Shoprite for bread while others go to window shop, loiter around the walkways, and … Continue reading

7 Simple things men want in women


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I like to think Life isn’t complicated; PEOPLE are. That’s why relationships can easily become strained when trivial issues arise; take for instance, leaving the toilet seat up (Ladies, which would you prefer – He raises up the seat to … Continue reading

‘D’ is for Desperado

des·per·a·do /despəˈrädō/ a bold or violent criminal; a desperate person who has no hope. If you’ve ever heard anyone say, ‘Desperate times call for desperate measures’ then take a wild guess what they will be getting up to? No Good, that’s what!

Just a few days ago I was looking outside my office window when I suddenly noticed some commotion involving a motorcyclist and some banking officers. In the centre of it all was a man grimacing on the tarmac. It was reasonably safe to assume that the corporate vehicle the banking officers were in had hit the poor man. To my surprise I saw the victim grabbing hold of the grill of the car as the driver tried to reverse. Was this a foiled hit-and-run? Coincidentally a colleague of mine, an eye-witness, narrated what really happened…

The corporate car had just driven out of the car park and stopped by the pavement to pick up the banking officers. The driver came out of the car to put items in the boot before setting off. Unfortunately as the driver was about to get back into the car a motorcycle carrying a passenger clipped the driver’s door even as the driver quickly tried to close it. But what happened next baffled my colleague – the motorcyclist turned his head, peered into the car and after ‘sizing up the talent’ seated in the backseat he proceeded to literally fall off his bike! Everyone around the scene looked on with disbelief…including the motorcyclist’s passenger who had already jumped off the bike unscathed.

The motorcyclist started to clutch his knee with ‘agony’ and strategically positioned himself in front of the rogue vehicle (so as to prevent the embarrassing scenario of the driver zooming off). He deliberately left his bike lying helplessly on its side while standby motorcyclists assisted to get it off the road. The driver knew the desperado’s game but he wasn’t ready to deal. They argued with each other and the fault was knocked back and forth like a tennis ball in a Nadal vs Federer endurance match. When the driver finally called a time-out he attempted to reverse the car in order to make a getaway. The trickster unexpectedly grabbed the grill of the Slow and Furious Toyota Corolla. He was barely dragged 10 inches before the car driver decided to stop and re-evaluate his next tactic.

The next and most effective choice of play by one of the banking officers however was to grease the motorcyclist’s palm (not literally, of course). At least that cut short his endless lament about how he was denied the payment he otherwise would have received from his passenger before the ‘wack-cident’ (nobody heard the passenger shout, YOU LIE! in the background, sigh). After the car sped off the injured motorcyclist miraculously stood on his two feet, mounted his bike and all onlooking motorcyclists cheered and hailed him – not  because he made a quick recovery but because he had made a quick buck! N1000  ($6 or thereabout). The desperado rode off into the sunset and lived happily ever after…

Have you witnessed any acts of desperation? Are you an ex Commando Desperado with a few nasty stories to share? Like Fraiser Krane, I’m listening 😀

See also C is for Cursing       

The Catch

I don’t mean to blow my own trumpet but I’m pretty darn good at catching things. If Nigeria promoted Baseball I could have been playing in the major leagues by now. On this recent trip alone I caught four flights: Lagos to Dubai, Dubai to London, London to Dubai, and Dubai to Lagos. Some days before the last flight, I caught a train back to my hotel and savouring the neo-modern metro stations was a pleasant experience…but sadly that was an experience short-lived.

I happened to stand next to a passenger who must have been one of the most generous men I’ve ever met. No, he wasn’t giving away Dirham or free travel cards. He was generous with germs – He coughed several times into the air without covering his mouth and I must have inhaled despite all my nasal dodge tactics – but I was a black belt in catching things, remember?. The next day I woke up and realized I had caught a double whammy of Cold and Cough. The icing on the cake was a nasty headache which lasted two days including my 7-hour trip back to Lagos.

Maybe it’s just as well I was flying with my favourite airline, Emirates, because other than my poorly state I had nothing to complain about – everything was perfect; the food, drink, service, and all the in-flight entertainment you could enjoy at over 30,000 feet. As my regular double JD and coke wasn’t working its usual magic I decided to blend into my ailing mood and watch one of Emirate’s recommended movies – Contagion. I’m tempted at this point to include a spoiler on this movie so if you haven’t watched it yet then look away now (…and jump to the next paragraph before you’re caught off guard). **********The scene where an infected shopper in a supermarket coughs into the face of Matt Damon was a subtle touch of déjà vu for me. I also saw how the simple act of not washing one’s hands could start an epidemic – it always starts with one person. The movie was so well-directed that I almost felt I could catch the notorious virus from just watching it – well if you sat next to me you would probably think I did.

After the movie I subjected myself to a post-Contagion surprise test, in which I failed miserably. The passenger sitting next to me had just finished her dinner and asked the airhost for another mini-chocolate bar. The air host had none to offer at the time but I was looking at mine which was unopened. I picked it up and offered it to the chocoholic – a gesture worthy of a gentleman, right? WRONG. She politely refused and then I thought to myself, ‘Did she or did she not want more chocolate?’ And then I thought, ‘Maybe she realized this offer was coming from a diseased passenger?’ ‘Maybe she was also watching Contagion or had watched it recently?’ She was later awakened by the same air host who suddenly offered her another piece of chocolate. Perhaps she suspected he had picked it from one of the cleared passenger trays and so again she refused. Yep…she definitely watched Contagion.

With the cabin pressure now affecting my eardrums I was suddenly at my wits’ end. It was almost as if everything around me had an ‘ill’ theme to it. I must have been going delusional. I was hearing things. Beyonce’s hit single now sounded like The best cure I never had, Rhianna’s hit was aptly titled Man Down, and Neyo’s So Sick hit the nail on the head. I even tried to amuse myself by holding my own award show. Some of the ‘lucky’ passengers won my imaginary awards for: Most Toilet Visits; Most Talkative; Most Camera-happy; and Most Finicky (I’m sure you know who that one was).

Eventually the pilot caught my attention when he announced our gradual decent into Lagos. From the boiling Immigration area to the chaotic Baggage Claim section my brain still felt like it was being compressed between a rusty vice…very, very slowly. It wasn’t until I took 2 tablets of Advil and had 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep on my comfortable flat pillow and orthopaedic mattress that I felt as right as rain. It’s good to be back and back to normal…or crazy as the case may be. Here’s hoping you catch the Crazy Nigerian bug, Cheers!