But my dear men, at this age, a toaster is not cool. A young man who calls on you when he’s bored and feeds you lame lines in hopes of catching some fun—cliché. We’ve been neighbors for six months (he’s a corper too) but his lines started recently when I was on my way to work. I was yielding for traffic at a bus stop, when he taps my window and gets into the car. We make small talk. Nothing unusual until he sends me a text later that night saying “Tanx 4 d ride baby I miss u and my heart desires and want u.” He follows up with a call because he wants to hear my voice before he sleeps and says he’ll call me first thing in the morning so he can wake up to my voice. Eh? Am I in a bad nollywood script?
I begin to screen his calls. But you can’t dodge your neighbor for long. He catches me one day and with our property wall between us, I tell him I didn’t like his text or his lines. With characteristic cockiness, he laughs it off as “just being friendly”, but quickly adds that being friendly can lead to something. I am feeling like a harassed 16 year old. So for now, I am playing hide and seek.
…and the Petrol Queue!
On Monday I drove into the petrol station at 7:20 a.m. feeling like a smart chick only to find smarter drivers already there. The queue was longer than I expected. My dearest dad with whom I drive to town with every morning was still at home. We were supposed to do this together but I didn’t want to be late to work. He’s an oga who can resume whenever. Me? Am at the other end of the hierarchy. I can always pull the corper card in the face of lateness, but I don’t like talking too much early in the morning. So I decided to get a head start, get fuel and return home to pick him up. I didn’t leave the station until two hours later. NYSC orientation camp introduced me to the culture of shunting but I didn’t know that cars also jump queues! Nobody is their brother’s keeper on a Nigerian petrol queue. Noborry.
So when my turn finally arrives at the pump, almost two hours later, the attendant fuels two bike drivers then turns to me and says: “anti, you go find one N200 for us oh!” A
After your slow crawling queue, the first thing that comes out of your month is a half-demanding, corrupted request for more of my money?
I put on my best agbero accent and tell him no oh! After all, he allowed the okada drivers to chance me! He apologizes and asks how much I will give him. I feel bad, but unfortunately I have no change and neither does my dad who is annoyed anyways and not in the mood to part with his money. I tell the fueler to stop short of the N3000 I’m buying and keep the change, but the attendant grumbles because I didn’t tell him sooner and they shove my 30 naira change in my face. Na wa! for your people.