Tuesday, August 7, 2012


P.S. This happened last week Wednesday and I have finally just come to terms with myself to share this story. I do not feel any sense of pride in what I did or what happened to me but still…

I made plans with my sister who was passing through town to go see the ‘Dark Knight Rises’ Its been out for a while and I heard a lot of reviews from people but I really wanted to see it and form my own opinion. My anticipation was built… It had to be that day or never (I don’t know why I get like this but I do sometimes.) So, I kept looking at the time at work. The movie was going to start 5:30PM and close of business is 5:00PM! My ‘James Bond’ skills had better be on point! I had to beat all traffic!

It was 5:00PM, I was running to the car park and calling my sister at the same time, she said I could go on without her that as she didn’t feel like going anymore (#fakeBatmanfan!) I was more than happy as I didn’t have to make any stops to pick her up. So in my ‘James Bond’ mode I got into traffic and believe me when I say that no matter how tight your ‘James Bond’ skills are, If traffic jam head, you ain’t moving anywhere! Hence my ‘James Bond’ skills were humbled by the almighty Port-Harcourt traffic (Old GRA)

I got to Silverbird Cinemas by 5:52PM *Damn you traffic!!!* Hurriedly parked and ran into the cinema. I don’t know why I get like this but sometimes I can be ‘over’ determined (If there is any word like that.) Tickets were sold out by the time I got to the counter. I felt so bad! All my efforts just gone like that! There were other people like me clustered around the counter with gloomy faces…we would have to wait for the next showing that evening or come back the next day.

 The event that followed was a miracle in my own books!

I overheard one of the sales girl talking to a couple that someone didn’t want to see the movie anymore wanted to sell his ticket. The lady was still complaining about how they were a couple and came to see the movie together when I went like “I’M ALONE! LEMMI BUY THE TICKET!!!”  and that’s how I got to watch ‘Dark Knight Rises’ *said in batman’s voice* which was by the way AWESOME!

The real story starts here. I’m driving back home and decide to take the old GRA route which I came from. I would like to point out that I have lived in Port-Harcourt for almost two years and I am still not familiar with the road system. For starters, almost all road names start with ‘RUMU’!( I am confused already!)  Anyways, I was not very familiar with the Old GRA roads but it was closest to home hence the decision.  So It’s raining heavily and dark everywhere, no streetlights on (or maybe they don’t exist!) and I am driving down Old GRA, Duncan Mighty’s Port Harcourt first son playing in the background. I am almost about to make a turn off this crescent when a white pick-up truck drove in from the opposite direction and blocked my car! I tried to get out of its way but then, it blocked me again! I became scared. I had so many thoughts running through my mind all at once but the predominant thought was to run away! And fast! I quickly put my car in reverse and tried to speed off. These guys followed me bumper to bumper oh! This chase continued till another car blocked me from behind! My last thought at that moment was ‘I am finished!’ In a split second the car behind me started reversing quickly and I screamed out, “WHAT IS GOING ON?!!!” (Leaving out profane language) I was going to continue my reverse saga when I noticed the guys from the pick-up truck were already by the side of my car holding guns and screaming all sorts of things. “Open this car!” “Why are you driving one way?!”  “Police! Police!”

It hit me. These are the frigging Police! They just gave me the scare of my life! And to think I was running for my dear life! (I rolled my eyes in my mind) I calmed down a bit, wound down, still a bit shaken, I asked politely,  “What did I do please?”

“You are finished today! Open your car!” One of them barked and at the same time pulled my car’s door handle. I tried to get a clear look at him but all I could see (Imagination overdrive working here!) was a dog’s head on a policeman’s body barking!

“But what did I do” I asked again.

“Are you pretending you don’t know? You are finished today!  Open this car we are going to the police station!”  The barking continued.

“I am not pretending. I don’t know what I have done. Please tell me.”

“Didn’t you see the one-way signs? You are finished today!” The other policemen were shouting in the background “Officer! Enter that car!’’ “Station” “Finished”

“Oga, how could I have seen the sign? There are no street lights! Everywhere is dark and it’s raining!” I replied. I was beginning to get myself at this point…my emotions were quickly turning from fear to anger.

“Shrrap there! You want to teach us our work abi? Ok! Let’s go there!”

At this point it was getting really late and I was tired. What a way to mess up my day! I just opened the car and one of them jumped in.

“Ok! Drive to the station!” the policeman barked at me. My car was beginning to smell damp no thanks to him.

“But I don’t know where the station is.” I said meekly.

“My friend, drive this car!!” he barked once again, spraying saliva all over the place.

As I was driving with the aid of his directions and the pick-up truck tailing me, a million and one thoughts raced through my mind.  Top of those thoughts was how to get home tonight. It was at that point that I decided to play them at their game (or whatever it was they were doing). I suddenly broke into a loud sob!  Oga, pleaaaase I didn’t know it was one way! Pleaaaaase! I sobbed. I think I should say wailed. I don’t normally watch Nollywood movies but I remember passing by ‘Wailing’ scenes.

“Oh! Madam, why are you crying? Stop crying nah

“But you people want to arrest me! For an offense I wasn’t even aware of! The street lights were not on and it was raining heavily!” By this time we had reached the police station and had parked outside.

“So what are you going to do?” He asked facing me which was not ok as I didn’t want any saliva showers on me.

“What do you mean?” I feigned ignorance. This was going to be a long night.

“Madam, you are still speaking English! Arrange yourself make we free you!”


“Madam, I will be frank with you, if we take this your case officially, we will impound your car and you will spend nothing less than seventy thousand naira.”

“…and they said police is your friend...” I mumbled amidst tears.

“What did you say?” He asked me.

‘Nothing… Officer this is really not fair! Why would I purposely drive on a one way route? There was no traffic, and everywhere was dark and I could not see the sign. Should I be arrested if the conditions are not favourable?’

“Madam! All dis one na grammar equals grammar! How much can you give us?”

You can imagine the rest of this dialogue. It went on and on like the hassles you see in the market but with me pleading, “I don’t have any money.” And the policeman saying “ok what can you give us?…”

To cut the extremely long story short, I was forced to cut a deal with the policemen. They took the three thousand naira I had in my wallet, my phone number and (fake) contact details. They were demanding I show up at the station the next day with ten thousand naira! I was already too tired to argue with them. I accepted their deal and drove home.

What a night! All for ‘Dark Knight Rises’

The first thing I did next day was install a ‘call blocker’ software. Did they really think that I would sleep, wake up the next day, count that money and pay them? Jokers! One thing I knew for sure, was that I would never be caught dead on that route! Ever! (Maybe much later in the future...)

My fingers hurt from typing all of these. I apologise for the extremely long write up.


1 comment:

  1. Sorry o!
    Annoying set of ***!(rolling my eyes)



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