The search for Alfred Pennyworth: The Challenges of Lagos Driving

Gbaddy: Your driving is horrible
Afam: Come on, It can't be that bad. I know I may be a little too quick sometimes but...
Gbaddy: Your gear changing sucks and your braking is literally the worst thing. If you drove an invalid he would die!!

Gbaddy: (He bangs the table and screams) DIE!!!

Afam: Mummy!!!

Enter Mama Afam

She turns her disdainful gaze upon me

Mama Afam: You're generally reckless and you have no regard for the car.
Afam: But you're meant to drive the car! It isn't meant to drive you.
Mama Afam: How many cars have you broken?
Afam: How many cars has he totalled?

The he here is Gbaddy, three years ago he totalled the pimp mobil. He wrapped it around a street lamp, and broke the radiator. You're probably thinking, how does one break a radiator? I'll tell you...

I was 19 at the time and I had never been out. Well, I had never been out on a night out in Nigeria, and I had only ever been out twice before that. The first time was in Western Supermare when the lads and I sneaked out to go clubbing during a Geography school trip. That escapade put me on the lad map. It was then that I discovered my true calling in life,  I am and always will be a raging party animal. My second night time outing was less successful. I was extremely self conscious and I really didn't let myself go. I blame this on the lack of alcohol. For while I was drunk enough to stagger from West Kensington to Tower Bridge in London, I really wasn't drunk enough to leer at and then assault every female in attendance.

This night was going to be different. My big brother Gbaddy, a recent graduate of Economics and Politics at the time would take me out on a grand adventure, during which we would sail many seas and tame an infinite number of peahens (I am really not above referencing myself). The previous sentences should serve as a warning to all aspiring party beasts. If you approach a night out with such high expectations, it will always fail to meet them. My night consisted of listening to my brother whine about his love lives and watching him consume. This obviously led to me consuming, for no man should shoulder another man's troubles sober. The result of this vicious cycle of alcohol consumption was that neither of us was completely able to stand without support by the time we were through. Arm in arm, we staggered to the pimp mobil. Gbaddy decided that he would drive home. I giggled in agreement.

This is how I remember the journey.
Gbaddy speeds away. It's an aggressive leap of the mark, the tires squeal. He's driving like an absolute mad man, but in my state I find this incredibly amusing and exciting. I remember thinking that this guy might just end up killing us, but my drunken glee bats these reasonable thoughts away. We're approaching a t-junction and Gbaddy slams his foot on the breaks. As he attempts to handbrake turn on to the main road our back tyre bursts. He brakes, the one thing you should never do in such a situation. We climb the ramp in the middle of the road and wrap the car around a street light.

The next part is a testament to the strength of the pimp mobil. With a broken radiator, the lack of a bumper, a bonnet that sat dangerously close to the wind shield and only two functioning tyres it still got us home safely.

So far we've established two things, the first is that my brother and I are incurably reckless and the second is that I can't drive very well. I feel like a heavy weight has been lifted off my chest with that admission. It's like going to alcoholics anonymous and saying the life altering words, "I am an alcoholic." No, I have no answer to the question that just crossed your mind. You shouldn't ask questions you don't want to hear the answers to.

After several life threatening experiences in the short time I've been back I, Afam decided to hire myself a chauffeur. Someone who would ferry me from adventure to adventure. The guy I had in mind was a Nigerian, Alfred Pennyworth.
That's Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne's care giver.

He was supposed to be an older companion. An infinite supply of wisdom and good sense. Instead I got Roger, a middle aged thug of a man. On Roger's first day as my chauffeur and confidante, he drove the pimp mobil so terrifyingly badly that I who tend to remain ignorant of the feelings of my car, was worried for it's safety. I felt certain that the bagger would blow the engine. As a reckless driver, I usually find being driven by a reckless drivers exciting and exhilarating, but in the hands of Roger I was genuinely terrified. I said to him;

Enter Afam and Roger

Afam: Roger, I'm really not in that much of a hurry, please slow down.
Roger: (Silence)
Afam: ROGER!!! You really must be careful.
Roger: I'm finding it difficult to drive with you yammering away from the back.

I'm quite surprised by this exchange. I pay this man to drive me, but he's acting like he only deigns to.

Afam: Please, slow down! If you don't I'm certain that we shall not live to see our destination.
Roger: That's it!! (He stops the car in the middle of the third mainland bridge, the longest bridge in West Africa. He throws the key on the seat and steps out of the car.)
Roger: Drive yourself then!! Oh you can't can you? (He walks a little way and looks at me filthily)
An extremely good picture of the third mainland bridge at night. It doesn't usually look like this. This picture suggests that I should have been brimming with felicity at my abandonment.


At that point I decide that I'd rather risk my own bad driving than Roger's bad driving, so I get into the drivers seat and speed away. Roger is dumb founded. He wrongly assumed that I couldn't drive. After I complete my travels for the day I return home to find Roger at my gate. At the sight of Roger an evil idea pops into my head.

I give Mr Philip, the steward a ring.

Afam: Mr Philip 
Mr Philip: Afam
Afam: How's the Captain today?
Mr Philip: He's in a terrible mood.
Afam:Why?
Mr Philip: Who knows? I generally don't concern myself with the mood of your dog.
Afam: You really must pay more attention to these things Mr Philip.
Mr Philip: Pah!


You see, Captain Reginald is my rottweiler and Mr Philip is an extremely surly man who finds it immensely difficult to complete even the simplest task without glaring most inhumanely.
Captain Reginald and I.


Afam: Can you let him loose? I have something that will lift his mood.


At this, I get out of the car and open the gate. Roger is making a scene a little to my right. He's pleading for his job, but his pleas fall on deaf ears. I see Captain Reginald bounding toward him at full pace and smile. You must understand that the sight of a pedigree rottweiler in his prime bounding towards one at full pelt is not a thing to be taken lightly. Roger pivots on the spot and flees for his life. I give Captain Reginald a scratch behind his ear when he pulls up beside me and I give myself a pat on the back for a job well done. And that folks is how you get rid of nuisances.

Happy Days,
Afam.


 



2 comments:

Anon said...

Lol. you funny boy.

Afam said...

Thanks.:)

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