Thursday, June 18, 2015

ANOTHER SHITTY EXPERIENCE


I had thought for a good while if I should actually do this post or not. For some reason, it kinda sounds absurd doing two consecutive posts talking about shit. I mean, who does that? Definitely, most people don't. Then I thought again to myself. I'm not 'most people' so I decided to do it anyway. The story I began in the last post would really not be complete without sharing this experience.

The incident of 2005 proved to be a pretty embarrassing one for me but I was able to get over it eventually especially when I considered the fact that most people had lots of other stuff to think about than about some guy who shit his pants. Worst case scenario; they would laugh about it for a day or two and then move on with their lives. I have to admit however that it was pretty difficult for me to move on after that experience. It took my last nerve to show up for lectures the next day and I assumed every single person who looked my way or smiled at me knew the story.  Nevertheless, within a few days, it was history and I was back to my usual stylish and suave self. 

Of course, I never bothered to pursue my love interest in Chichi, the lady who brought me water to clean up myself. I was sure I would never be able to look at her without imagining her visualizing that ridiculous moment when I stood in the toilet in my messed up boxers. The sight of her that day passing me the bucket of water and with her hands over her nose was one I would never be able to get out of my head. Thus, pursuing any love interest with such messy clouds hanging over my head was a definite no no! I took special care after that day to ensure I never ever found myself in such a situation ever again . . . until about two years after when a similar event occurred.

For some time now, I do not ever bother to eat or drink anything before travelling, especially if it's through public transportation. I have experienced a rather strange phenomenon that sort of connects my mind to my bowels and as much as I have tried, I have just not been able to overcome it. Whenever I embark on any trip, my bowels suddenly develop a mind of their own and I find myself having reasons to visit the bathroom repeatedly before setting out. Once in the vehicle, my stomach gets extra-sensitive and thanks to the deplorable state of our Nigerian roads, every bump on the road further provokes my tummy’s sensitivity.

As a result of this, once I arrive at my destination, the first thing I usually do is go to the toilet for some evacuation of whatever my cranky insides have conjured up during the journey. I’m still yet to understand if my case is a medical condition and what it is called. The irony of it all is, I never experience this whenever I drive myself on such trips. Now, ain’t that some situation?

2007

The last straw that finally influenced the free-tummy-empty-bowels decision came about on one fateful day in 2007. I was on my way to Lagos from Ondo State; a four-and-a-half hour journey all things being equal. I had a light breakfast and set off at around 10am. Fortunately, I was one of the last passengers in the bus and so there was no delay. I paid my fare and settled at the right back corner of the 14-seater bus. A cute chewing-gum-chewing girl was seated on my left. Since we were going to be seating partners for the next four hours at least, we naturally had to say hello to each other. I decided to mind my business thereafter. Truth was, I had some emotional situation hanging over my head during this period so flirting with some random girl was the last thing on my mind. Her Sony Ericsson K800i phone caught my attention though. That was probably the ‘iPhone 6 of 2007’ if comparisons are to be made.

The journey was a rather smooth one for the next hour and half and I continued reading Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code which I had begun a few days earlier. We made a ten minute stop-over in Ore town and some passengers had seized the opportunity to buy stuff from competing hawkers struggling to get their wares through the vehicle’s windows. Some passengers alighted and rushed into the nearby fast food restaurant to ‘do their business’. I would have loved to come down to stretch my legs but my seating position meant I would have to disturb the lady beside me who had not bothered to leave her seat. I had no ‘business’ to do at that moment so I waited patiently for the journey to continue. Besides Dan Brown was thrilling the hell out of me at that moment as Leigh Teabing was planning an escape for Langdon and Sophie from his chateau.

I was so engrossed in my book that it was until I heard the engine start that I realized everyone had settled in again and we were good to go. It must have been about thirty minutes later when I felt a slight rumble. I dismissed it as a possible protest in my bowels. Perhaps, I was hungry. After all, I had only taken a few fingers of fried plantain and fried eggs and washed it down with a cup of tea that morning. Of course, that wasn’t food and I had a right to be hungry. We hit a terrible bump in the road a few miles ahead and I felt the rumble move down below. Instantly, it became clear to me that these were no hunger pangs. The protest wasn’t a request for an entry but for an exit. With every bump in the road and every pothole we hit, the feeling got worse and I was almost sure I would repeat Episode 2005. This would be a bigger disaster for many reasons.

Source
For starters, I had a beautiful girl seated beside me and I was sure I would be the headline news in her house that day once she got to wherever she was going in Lagos. Second, this was a public bus and who ever shits his pants in a place like this? The embarrassment was bound to kill me right there. Third, if I dared shit my pants here and the passengers were even nice enough to bear with me, how would I get a change of clothes? I had just an extra shirt in my bag. It was a ridiculous situation to find myself again. I made an attempt to call the driver’s attention but a thought stopped me. The passengers in the bus would definitely yell at me and ask me why I hadn’t come down to handle my business during the stop-over less than an hour before. Besides, how was I actually supposed to ask? “Driver, please park. I need to take a shit!”? I processed the thought in my head and instantly decided I wouldn’t risk the embarrassment. It was a case of choosing the bigger embarrassment – Shit in my pants and get embarrassed or Plead for a stop-over and rush into a nearby bush to take a shit while all the passengers waited for me. Whichever way, I was going to be embarrassed but I had two options here. I had a final option though – endure till I got to Lagos, which was over two hours away!

I still don’t know where I got the courage from but what I did eventually surprised me and I have considered myself a super hero ever since! It must have been the longest three hours of my life. Yes, the rest of the journey eventually spanned over three hours as we hit a most annoying traffic on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway. I was like a mad man all through the period and thankfully, the lady beside me slept for a good while or else she would have suspected something was wrong with me. Of course, I didn’t dare attempt to fart this time thanks to the lessons from the 2005 experience.

I told myself again and again that if I survived this, I could survive in the war zones of Benghazi, Afghanistan or Iraq. Trust me, it was that bad! I almost pleaded for a stop-over many times but held back and finally we arrived at Ojota, Lagos. As the driver parked the bus and came around to open the trunk to let out passengers’ stuff, I climbed out from the same trunk. It was too risky to wait for everyone to get out of the bus before I did. Only I knew why.
“Oga na wa o,” the driver said, “You dey rush o!”
Even the lady beside me seemed to wonder why I dashed off like that. I ignored them and with my bag swung behind me, I dashed off.

There was no fast food restaurant in sight so I asked a guy selling airtime recharge cards around for the nearest hotel or guest house and thankfully; it was just a minute away. I thanked him and took hurried steps towards the guesthouse.
“Hello,” I said to the receptionist, a rather ugly looking dude.
“Welcome bros” he replied.
“Please I need to use your restroom” I said, sweat breaking on my face. I could almost feel ‘it’ coming.
“You wan rest?”
“Abeg I wan use toilet!” I almost screamed.
“Na short time be that. Na N400.”
“What?” I screamed. “Guy I no dey do short time o. Na just toilet I wan use.”
“Bros na the price be that” the guy said dismissively.
I winced. This was clear exploitation but I just couldn’t deal with that right now. I gave the guy two N200 notes. “Please let’s go now. I need to use the toilet now.”
He handed me a key. The keyholder had 102 inscribed on it.
“Last room on the right,” he said, pointing in a direction. I was off already. I would find the room or break down any door if I had to. I had already paid for it anyway.
“Water nor dey o!” he called out after me. “You go patient small make I go fetch water!”
I could have strangled the guy.

In seconds, I was seated on the toilet bowl blasting out like the world was mine. At that moment, that was my own heaven. The N400 I paid was hurtful but it was just my luck. Of course I took it up with the guy when I was relieved and out.
“Na people like una dey spoil Nigeria” I told him. “You take advantage of people in their desperation.”
He shrugged dismissively as he retrieved the key from me. “Oga na your own be that o. When shit wan kill you that time, why you no talk all this one?”
I ignored him and left the place. I realized he actually had a point. Anyways, I had done what I had to do.

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