Life is full of self knowing .
Most of them are really absurd.
One example is the saying “take the bull by the horns.”.
I fail to see the logic behind that particular reasoning unless the bull in question happens to be some one month old, heavily sedated bull. Or do they call them bullings?
I don’t know.
Or yet again take the annoying phrase “Cat got your tongue.” .
I’ve gone over this particular scenario over a hundred times and I’ve come to the conclusion that the only way this can happen is either.
1) You're one of those people with detachable tongues who carry them around in tuna fish cans. I’m not sure but I think you can find people like that in China.
2) Baring that, the only other way this can happen, (Children don’t try this at home) is if you lie on the floor and stick your tongue as far out of your mouth as possible. Off course this is hardly incentive enough for the cat to come and have a nibble so you’ll have to embellish the meal with something they actually like. Say, ketchup, or tuna. For the really brave try balancing a piece of fish on the tip of your tongue. That usually gets the cat’s running. (Children if your parents actually do this. Drop the toys and call 911.)
But sometimes you actually come across some sayings that have a ring of truth to it.
Like, when you’re about to die your life flashes before your eyes.
That, my dear friends, is true.
My near death experience occurred on an Okada.
I see furrowed looks already. An Okada my dear Non Nigerian friends--(my sympathies by the way. There are over a million benefit of being Nigerian, one of which is instinctively knowing what an Okada is.)—is what we call the commercial motorcycle riders. We call them Okadas, you call them motorbikes used for commercial purposes, and the devil calls them his minions.
It had been a long day. I was pressed for time and I was sick of listening to common sense.
I boarded an Okada.
So there I was on an Okada and we were breaking the land speed record.
I had made the mistake of suggesting we reduce our speed shortly after we took off to our destination. I had heard stories of bike accidents. The other day there had been head line news involving a head on collision between an Okada and a Helicopter. I wasn’t crazy about bettering that and quietly mentioned the fact.
He had simply grunted and tripled our pace.
I watched with horror as objects became blurs of streaking colors. My jacket fluttered wildly behind me. A cape in the winds.
“Aren’t we going to fast? “ I yelled out to him.
“No!” he replied back. To ensure I got the point he went faster.
This wasn’t working. Appealing to his sanity clearly was futile. I attempted damage control.
“Are you married?” I asked with a smile.
“Do you have children?”
“No” My smile faltered.
“What about your parents?”
“You don’t have any siblings?”
Thank God. I had struck it lucky. I smiled again in relief.
“He died last year.” He added. And then just to make sure I got it. “Bike accident.”
He paused for effect,
“ I was riding the bike.”
That was it. I was on one of those bikes. The ones where the riders didn’t care if they lived or died. More importantly they didn’t care if their passengers lived or died. I looked over head quickly. Was there a chopper in the sky. Did he have a parachute on?
The lord is my sheperd. I shall not want..
There was no helping it now, the only way I was getting of the bike was head first against something. Something hard.
I swallowed my saliva and reached for my cell phone.
Knowing that I was infact going to die on the bike, I started typing out my goodbye text messages on the bike. If I was going to die I would do so with a will.
“Dear mum. I’ve always wanted to tell you this. I love you. Yes I was the one who stole the bag of bounty chocolates and then attempted to flush it down the toilet. I really am sorry. The devil made me do it.”
I raised my head just in time to watch us streak between two trailers. The drivers in both stared after us in shock. Looking at the text I decided to change the end. I was going to be meeting the devil in another five minutes. It didn’t make sense accusing him of things he didn’t really do. The last thing I wanted was an irate devil.
“I really am sorry” I corrected. “I was just hungry...”
Did that make sense? I could imagine the fury of my mum when she read my good bye text.
He stole my chocolates just because he was hungry.
He made me watch Dynasty on an empty stomach just because he was hungry.
He made me rip open the toilet floor to extract a chocolate bag just because he was hungry.
If I knew her she probably would try to flush my dead body down the toilet at the morgue. I debated sending them a message to have a plumber handy.
Then I reconsidered. They probably had a standby plumber already. What with bodies trying to escape and all.
“We just passed 120 kilometers an hour!’ The Okada rider announced with a smile on his face. Least I think it was a smile. At the speed we were going my skin was also being stretched away from my face. I had the same grin.
“Okay! Splendid. “I replied.
My jacket kept flapping in the wind. Before the bike ride it had been a lovely green. Now it was pale white.
I was glad to know I wasn’t the only one terrified.
Tears streamed down my eyes.
Boo hoo. I was going to die.
My life flashed in front of my eyes.
I was debating who the next recipient of my text message would be, (My brother who owed me money or my sister who I had borrowed the money from to loan him), when I felt a decrease in speed. I held my breadth in hushed hope. Could it be? Would I get to live?
I felt my skin settling back in place. I peered over the shoulder of the ghoul riding the bike. The needle on the speedometer was arcing towards the left. A steady depression. I stared. 90km….80km…
My mind went into overdrive.
I’d read an article somewhere that It was safe to jump of a bike as long as it was not going faster that 20km/hr
the needle hit the 20km/hr mark , I decided , I was going to jump off the bike. Who cared if I broke my bones in the process? At least I’d get to live.
I waited. My body tensed with anticipation. Adrenalin coursed through my veins.
The needle stayed at 50km/hr.
“What’s this woman driving?” The rider grumbled.
In front of us was the reason for our deceleration. A Nissan Jeep. Whoever the driver was she was most definitely not a speed demon. She drove slowly down the highway, thwarting the insane path of the bike I was on. I stared at the needle.
Please drive slower. Drive slower.
As if we shared telepathic link, unbelievably she slowed down some more. Despite the cursing and honking from the bike I was on.
The Okada rider looked possessed. I suspected that somewhere , inserted in his contract with the devil , was a clause wherein, he was not allowed to slow down for more than 2 minutes. Already he had slowed down for a minute and a half. Another 30 seconds and he would be punished by the devil and sent to heaven where everyone walked, no one went more than 5km/hr and chariots of fire were drawn by well behaved ponies.
The number leaped at me. I was almost there. I could make it. I braced myself for the leap. I sincerely hoped 20km/hr was a lot slower than 25km/hr because in my opinion we were still moving too quickly. My left leg ignored the rest of my body.
You jump if you want too. I’m staying here with Schumacher.
Oh come on.
A mutiny now?
I tried to convince my left leg to move. Trying to convince it that spaghetti mode was hardly the best of choices. I’d do anything after we get off.
A massage. A pedicure. A brand new pair of trainers only for you.
Just when I thought I had gotten through to it. Just when I thought I would be able to make the leap. Just when I thought I would live. She slowly drifted across the lane making way for the bike man to pass.
The needle shot from 23 to 70 in a second. I screamed in shock. The bike man laughed and launched himself into space. I could see the end. I had to stop this soon. If I didn’t, I would end up as graffiti against some wall.
My family would sit down for the evening news and my observant sister would go. “ Doesn’t that body without a head look like Carl?”
My brother would probably just smile and thank God he hadn’t paid me. My PSP would be his too.
I had to do something . I was too young to die.
As we raced past the Nissan I yelled at the female driver. Somehow I had to stop the bike.
“See how you dey drive. You idiot. Like say you be Okada rider.”
He slammed on his breaks. literally. One minute we were a bullet set to beat the speed of light the next we were dead in the center of the road.
“What did you say?” The Okada rider snapped at me.
I jumped of the bike and ran away tossing more than my fair share of the fare at him.
I’d always had a problem with the saying. “ A fool and his money are easily parted.”
“If the guy is such a fool” I would ask with an intelligent look “ Then how did he get money in the first place?”
Efico. What did I know. Life had thought me a lesson. It was possible to be a fool.
Behind I heard the loud roar of an approaching truck .I ignored it and ran to the nearest tree on the road. I jumped straight at the tree and hugged the roots. Tears ran down my eyes.
“Land. Land!!” I muttered.
People walked by giving me strange looks. I was past caring. I had just survived an attempt on my life. The tree at least had some sympathy. It’s branches patted my head in comfort.
Across the streets the bike roared into life again. I looked up quickly. He had picked up another passenger. Some cute girl. She had on a T-shirt with the words You want milk? inscribed on the front. I memorized the shirt. I would look for it on the news tonight. Another victim.
The Okada rider gave me a look.
“Idiot.” And then he was off.
“Land…” I mumbled to myself, slowly standing. I Brushed the leaves of my face. That was the problem with trees. You hugged their roots and next thing they assumed you were a couple.
I heaved a sigh of relief. I had survived. I had lived. The sun was shining. My legs were intact. I was alive. I was well.
Nothing else could go wrong.
And then two things happened that made me wish I was dead. MY phone gave a short beep.
I looked at it and my heart leapt.
10 seconds later the phone started ringing.
It was my mum.
The damn chocolates!!