Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Of chocolates, Bikes and memories.

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.
It does.

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.
Big mistake.
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?”
“They’re dead.”
“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 horror.

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.
No .
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.
Message delivered.
10 seconds later the phone started ringing.
It was my mum.
The damn chocolates!!


chicala said...

yeeepeee am 1st!!!!!I wont lie, i'v missed those fast okada rides but when i remember the danger they'v put me and other pple in ehn, i refuse to miss the fast jolly rides. Damn, those okada guys can be so scary atimes, i feel u jare.

I still remember when the silencer (or whatever its called) of one okada burnt my leg when the guy turned wrecklessly. Memories...

Gen gen, ur mum caught u. I'm sure she didnt take it lightly, lol.

chicala said...

Thanks for stopping by mine earlier!

100%Lighty said...

boi! thank goodness u're alive 2 write this. i think that guy must have sensed ur fear and decided to take charge of it.

dang! after textin ur mum about ur evil behavior he decided to stop? i think he was reading ur mind. haaa sure u must have gotten ur ass wooped never too grown 4 one, be it with words of other means.

any invite 4 milk on the late nite news? lol! interesting stuff.

catwalq said...

Catwalq International Academie III is here!!!!!

Be silent said...

We have the bike sin my country and they are called Boda Boda my God the riders are crazy... you take it after writing your will


a nice post (but e long oo, i had to keep going back to start again)

lovely blog

would visit often

ozaveshe said...

funny, i just had a series of okada rides this week. the traffic in victoria island is terrible and i couldnt move with a car.

only one of the riders was a speed demon though. he had no speedometer to speak about. said something about losing it in head on collision with some Nissan after dropping off a passenger who happened to be a tree hugger...

princesa said...

lol, My God! You sabi exxagerate o!
Did all this REALLY happen??

One hell of a storyteller you are too.

Carlang said...

@ Chicala: You're fisrt. Yippee. As first price winner you get to go on an exclusive first date with me.
Yeah.. bikes are crazy. i lost a shoe to the silencer once.

@ 100% lightly: Me getting my ass whooped... you;re asking out of concern right?
And not because of some dark fantasy?

@ catwalq: Catwalq was here.
She;s there!!

@be silent: What country would that be? It;s nice to know we arent the only ones being tormented.
Do your bike people ride ducatti's too like ours?

@ ibo dude: Okay..
i'll write a shorter one next time..
Thanks for stopping by , by the way.

@ Ozaveshe: That was you?? i can't beleive it. You!!
I;ve been looking everywhere for you.
You're the one that i saw..
i cant believe it..
wait a sec.
WHo did you say you where again?

@princesa: lol. Dont mind me. No all this didnt happen.
My jacket didnt tun white for instance...

I did board a bike.
I did almost get killed.
I did write the tale afterwards!!

UndaCovaSista said...

Haba!! Okada and helicopter in head on collision? Only on your blog, Carl.Lol!!!

And lmao @ "we call them okada, you call them motorcycles used for commercial purposes and the Devil calls them his minions". Very true

princesa said...

I added you to my blog family.

bighead said...

rotflmho @ "...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..."

This is your funniest post yet. You gat a link on my page. Hope you don't mind.

100%Lighty said...

well dat, u'll av to find out 4 urself, dont u think? he he he.

Carlang said...

@ Undacovasista: Oh come on. It;s true.. i swear.
P.s have fun in the sunny M.

@ Princesa: Thank you dear. I feel extremely honored..
How are you today?

@ bighead: No i dont mind. I dont mind at all. How are you old chap? Havent heard from you in a while. Lol.
I'm headng off to your blog.

P.s .. your technical side do CCNA or oracle?

@ 100% lightly: Aw... teases..girls...
why do they always do this to me.
why do you?

30+ said...

Carlangg!!! Okada in head on collision with helicopter.

LAWL on how cat can get your tongue and taking bull by the horn

100%Lighty said...

well maybe because i can. hey i avnt seen you on lighty's spot, wotagwan?

bighead said...

I do a lot of stuff but primarily Java programming. My work ensures that I work with databases though but mainly postgreSQL; I haven't done anything with Oracle yet. I also haven't touched Cisco things either. I plan to but no time...blogsville keeps me quite busy.

Arewa said...

Good read... keep it up .... x x

Carlang said...

@30+ : It happeened!!
i'm serious...

@arewa: Thanks for stopping by.
Thanks for the compliment.

@Bighead: Nice.I;m studying both Oracle and CCna at the same time. Hard work. Java huh?
I hear that;s a $%^%!!
tell me about it...
i havent had breakfast yet..

Aijay said...

This was a good read. I'm glad u live to tell the story.
Lol @ the text message being delivered. What explanation did u give ur mum afterwards?

bighead said...

My roommate is CCNA infact he's teaching at karROX right now. If you ever need tips, send me an email.

geisha said...

you make me laugh.
i think i have a crush on you/your blog

Queen of My Castle said...

LMAO! This was ridiculously funny. OK, being that I am NOT an okada the equivilent of some sort of taxi/cab driver?

BTW, we non-Nigerians need no sympathy...we simply read between the lines. LOL

Nice post babe ;-)

bumight said...

u tell a story well, albeit a lil *raised eyebrows* embellishment. I'll be visiting more often! but if I fail in school (cos I'm reading ur blog) hmn...

Carlang said...

@ aijay: thanks you. I'll admit it was a bit embelished though. WHat explanation did i give my mum.

@bighead: Thanks a million. I;ll take you up on your offer.

@bumight: You wont fail. How can? lol. thanks for stopping by my page..

@geisha: a crush on my blog? lol.That's so blog blows a kiss to you.

@queen of m Castle: An okada is a what we call motor bikes used for transportation. Kinda like harleydavidson used for comercial purposes...

and yes..
being non nigerian is not always bad.
infact some of us Nigerians have bad crushes on some non nigerians.
read between that line!!

Queen of My Castle said...

LMAO! Ok, I understand the whole okada thingy now.

Would theses crushes of yours happen to be on American babes? Just asking.

Queen of My Castle said...

You are so sarcastic and witty. I swear those are weaknesses of mine. *swooning* LOL

Baroque said...

this one long oh, i go come erad am another day...

Onome said...

rolfmao.........omo!!!! u actually sent d text!!!!! dats d creme de la creme to me(lol)

teediva said...

wow!! this was so hot. now i'm getting funny looks from laughing so hard. i might have to copy this and send it around so they understand why, would be interesting to see the wholle office rofltao.

Che-e-ly said...

First, u have seriously embarrassed me all day. I have been laffing worse than a big fool does. My subordinates are almost disrespecting me cos of U!

I am gonna add U to my blog roll and I hope when i start putting up my fictions, they'd be as interesting as yours.

Cheers, C.

theicequeen said...

LOL! i actually rad this ages ago,and sumtalk i was having wiv Charizard reminded me of it...came back here to read..LOL! i still have tears in my eyes from laffin....the jacket changed colour!!! rotflmao!!!!..

..and this one that speed is scarin be you follow make pact say you go buy power bike??