I 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:)
When 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)
I can’t say exactly what has come over me these last few days but I’ve had this natural push to do things, complete things and start new things. I haven’t taken any steroids or other performance enhancers (though I wouldn’t mind NZT-48 #LimitlessMovie). I’ve been active to say the least: Exercising more frequently, drinking more water, eating more healthy foods, attending social events, playing football (which isn’t my forte, for my friends who know me well – I suck!), housecleaning – which I hate doing till the last-minute when I can no longer gain entry into my flat with the full blockade of impenetrable cobwebs (damn you Spider-man!), etc. But why am I writing this post? Is this just part of my enthusiasm to just stay active no matter what? Or am I about to embark on something even bigger? Continue reading →
November 19th, 2011 – 3.25pm: Time was running out. It was either risk going through gruelling interrogations with possible use of torture techniques, or taking my chances with the ferocious, jaw-snapping shark community awaiting my descent. It must have been ludicrous to assume that with the speed of my 95 foot drop I could possibly dash past all the sharks’ razor sharp teeth – but it was worth a shot. I turned back one last time to the police squad who were all now pointing their pistols at me. I put my hands up in the air and they started approaching me. I simultaneously took a step back to the deadly edge. “STOP!!!”, the Chief in Command shouted. I smiled and then I turned around, crossed my legs, crossed my arms in an ‘X’ formation across my chest, took a deep breath and with my eyes wide shut I took the leap to my doom.
The fall was excruciating and by far the epitome of adrenaline rushes that have lasted under 7 seconds. The sharks must have just finished their ‘meal’ (the guy in the picture above) or maybe my kind of meat did not appeal to them but I whizzed past a host of the predators with minor injuries from their pointed fins. I jumped out of the water and continued the pulsating run towards the ATLANTIS exit.
Whether I peed my trunks I’ll never know but I was soon safe and sound in an undercover van driven by an Arab spy who took me to the delivery location (for the package I still had bulging in my swimming trunks). I was driven to the world’s only 7-star hotel; the Burj Al Arab.
Sadly I never got past the gate for obvious security reasons. I handed the wet package to one of the guards and headed for an exclusive beach. First I had to find something to fill the void in my stomach after burning over a 10,000 calories in the face of a near shark-attack. The Philly Steak Special was just what the doctor ordered at the Barracuda snack bar: Premium beef cuts smothered in a rich sauce, fried onions and topped with melted cheese, chips for good measure and a pint of ice-cold cola to wash it all down. What a feast! Each succulent bite was a stark reminder of what the sharks could have been sinking their teeth into if I didn’t have a lucky escape.
My outward flight wasn’t for another 24 hours so I soaked up the sun at a beach not far from the Burj Al Arab. It was high time I threw in the towel. Risking my life for the Nigerian government was fast losing its appeal. The perks were great but how long would this go on for? I was informed about another mission which would take me to the other side of the world. If I accepted then this would be my last mission before retirement. All I needed to do was brush up on my Malay…
Source: TCN Classifieds
Photo Credits: The Crazy Nigerian © All rights reserved
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Malaysian Mayhem Coming July 2012