Wetin you no sabi big pass you,
Hold on, let me tell you my story.
I can remember vividly that glorious day. It was a Sunday and I was enjoying my Sunday rice and stew with a brutally cold 35cl bottle of coke.
The day was looking drab until my neighbor hurriedly entered our house through the kitchen door urgently looking to see me. He was just in a hurry like someone whose wife was in labour. He told me he needed to talk to me in private that there was something on his neck. I obliged and followed him out, providing the privacy he craved for.
He told me how his future was at stake and he needed me to drive him to the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN). I can remember asking him what was really at stake. He told me he needed to pick up dancers for his music video. And if he doesn’t pick them up that very day there would be trouble.
As my guy that he is, I said “no wahala. Let’s go get it done”. On second thought, this dude is supposed to be driving himself. He’s of age; there are cars all around him. What is really wrong with him? I didn’t have the slightest idea and to be honest, I didn’t care.
UNN isn’t close to Enugu metropolis; please bear that in mind and it’s like a two-hour drive.
On getting to his house, I realized he wanted to use his mum’s car. Coincidentally, his mum wasn’t around, apparently, she traveled to Abuja for a conference. Knowing the type of woman the mother is, I said I won’t use her car until I get express permission from her. The lady is very stern and like I previously mentioned, “I no like Wahala”
Fast forward ..… She agreed that I take her son with her car; a 2005 Honda Accord, popularly known as End of Discussion (EOD).
The car handling is okay, above average and the acceleration is surprisingly good. It’s 4-cylinder by the way.
I hate driving at night, so I was rushing to avoid the twilight. The thing is when driving at night, those oncoming drivers like using their full flood-lights as if they are blind. Mtcheew. Dimming their headlamp is not in their encyclopedia.
Before we could finish up with everything in UNN, night befell us. My time read a few minutes past 7 pm. But we still picked up the dancers and hit the highway. We were homebound.
A couple of minutes later, we approached a military checkpoint, we were stopped by the soldiers on duty and I was asked some questions.
One of the military men focused all the beams of his camp-torch at my eyes and said with his commanding voice – “where una dey go?”. My heart skipped, like that time when stole my phone at Trans-Egbu.
All the dancers were all boys and as we were in the car, to the soldiers, there was no difference between us and ga groups of robbers. We were just unarmed.
The soldier told me to open the trunk of the car for their routine check. I brought my hand down to beside the driver’s seat to access the trunk latch but I couldn’t find any. It was dark and I could barely see anything there even with the inner light on.
I said to myself, why not just use the keys to open it from behind. I brought out the key from the ignition and headed straight to the trunk. The military man was there already waiting for me to open it up.
My life problems started when I got to the trunk but couldn’t find where to slot in the key. The useless boy too didn’t know where we could slot in the key. Just imagine. Two presumed car thieves.
This was a surprising one for the soldier. The next thing he shouted is – “oga this no be your car. Where una steal the car from?”
He went further to command that everybody step down from the vehicle for a thorough search. I was very scared; I knew little or nothing about my alleged dancers. I had no knowledge of their criminal record (pardon me for that), I didn’t know their capabilities; I didn’t know if they had anything that could compromise them. What if these guys have some wraps of dope on them or something sinister? I kept asking myself those questions.
I was still battling to find where I could slot the car key in the boot. After all the gra-gra and high blood pressure, I found it. The key-slot is a part of the tail light (kudos to the engineer). I was totally ashamed of myself because I dubbed myself a car guy but I couldn’t even find the key slot for a very common car.
After a complete pat-down and security check, we all came out clean and I promptly presented the car documents upon their demanded (I’m not sure it’s one of their duties to check papers). After all said and done, we were left to proceed with our journey. I just felt like a bird released from a cage, or like a Nigerian given a visa. I flew off.
Had it been I didn’t embarrass myself with the opening of the trunk, I have a strong feeling that the search and scrutiny would have been minimal.
In a nutshell, be sure to know the car you drive so you don’t start speaking english upandan. I was glad it wasn’t the Nigerian Police Force. They would have checked everything that could be checked that day.
Always ensure you know what you’re driving. Having knowledge of these distinct nuances is crucial before taking a car for a long drive. Be sure you can open the trunk; be sure you can open the bonnet; be sure you know how to use the emergency brake; be sure you can access the fire extinguisher.
Get familiar with what you drive.