I’m sure when you saw the title of this post, the first thing that came to your mind was that I wanted to write about a traditional ruler or position of authority or something. I may do that or I may not.
This is a freestyle so let’s see as it goes.
You’ll catch on before you know it.
Are you one of those that came to this world with a golden spoon well shoved into your mouth? Silver spoon?
If you belong to the above class, I’d like to say a big “Good For You!”
You probably had some of the good things handed to you without breaking a nail for it and that puts you in an enviable position from the view of someone like say… ME for instance who was born with a borrowed stainless steel fork.
But there was one aspect I can’t envy though.
That was the Transportation aspect.
I lived the life.
See, rich folks always have air-conditioned cars to take them to everywhere they need to go. It’s either they’re driving or being driven.
But for me, I’ve had my share of almost all kinds of commercial transportation.
Okada (motorbikes), the occasional Drop (taxis), Danfo (commercial buses), Molue (those biiig school-bus types that have refused to go into extinction), Ferry (yea I’ve had that) and Train (that’s one I’ve not had the honour).
I will write about some of my experiences with a few of these modes of transportation later as they’re tons of them.
But today, I’ll pick the ‘Danfo’ as a case in point.
Molue applies too but God delivered me from these a very long time ago.
God be praised!
Now for those of you who haven’t sampled Danfo mode before, you are MISSING!!!
What’s your typical day like riding in that car to work?
Listen to the radio? Make phone calls? Read papers or magazines? Browse on your smartphones?
Yes, I said it!
That’s some boring ish. Get outta here!
On the other hand, when you take a bus, you never see what’s coming. It’s your daily dose of entertainment.
A few examples: Fights between conductors and passengers/touts, fights between passengers and drivers, fight between passengers, wise cracking passengers and conductors, mobile marketers, preachers and in some cases beggangelists, tale-tellers…
Wait, wait, wait… I said a few, right?
So those are a few of the entertainment you’ll be getting. But one of my favorite characters in buses are the ones called ‘STAFF.’
Now I honestly don’t know what gives some folks the temerity to think they can just get into a bus and not pay their fare.
Who the hell is STAFF? What is STAFF for pete’s sakes? How did they come about that concept?
The people that usually claim this status are Policemen, Military men, NURTW members (the ‘tout’ arm).
Even Man ‘o’ War members are now trying to wriggle into this.
It’s like everyone and their dog with a Uniform now claim ‘STAFF’ so don’t be surprised if you find a security guard trying to claim Staff these days or maybe even a law student.
I find it so irritating, to be honest.
A policeman will extort money from a bus driver and still not pay his fare when he enters a bus. You will even come across policemen who wear agbada for owambe but still wear their police beret so they can use it to claim Staff and skip on paying their fare.
The opportunistic, parasitic pricks…
I’ve seen tons of this nonsense happen but there was this one that happened a couple of weeks ago.
It’s one of those situations you find yourself that are so annoying when you’re in it but so hilarious when you reminisce on it later.
So I was headed for Ikeja from Iyana Ipaja and I really needed to dash down because I was running late. I sat at the back and the journey started when the bus filled up. When the conductor started collecting his fare was when wahala started.
I looked up from my phone to see the cause of the commotion even as the conductor was raking for a woman sitting in front in the row just behind the driver. Apparently, the lady was claiming staff.
I took a good look at her to size her up. The only thing that struck me about her was that she was light in complexion and she had this sideburns that would have made Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine green with envy.
I don’t know why I half-expected her to carry a staff of office or maybe an office seal or stamp or something.
She didn’t have none of that. She was even wearing mufti and was just mumbling incoherent crap.
The driver even challenged her to bring out an ID or something…
I was now wondering that do people actually step out of their house hoping to skip out on paying their fares by playing the ‘Staff’ card?
We all intervened in the matter because the driver had to park over the matter and folks were in a hurry. The lady had no choice but to pony up the dough when she realized we were all 100% “pro-conductor” on the matter.
When the lady now got down a couple of bus-stops later, the bus erupted in laughter. Driver opined that would she go to buy something or go to church and when they ask for offering, she’ll call Staff?
Good question. Because I wonder too.
Na make God flog am with that staff.
I’ve seen enough of Lagos Transportation drama though.
I now need a car badly.
I’m ready to live the rest of my life blasting on the car stereo, getting enveloped with air-conditioner, browsing on my mobile phone, reading a newspaper and generally minding my own business in my own car.
That’s that about this issue.
You can let me know you feel me by kindly commenting below. You could also share your experience on the comment box and let’s read.
You can follow me on twitter @blog_aces.
I’ll be sharing about my moment of mess-up in my next blogpost next Saturday.
Don’t miss it!
God bless you all.