This one’s no good,move on to the next article.So there I was,standing by the roadside,waiting for a taxi.One drew up shortly and the ‘conductor’ asked me to get on board. I gave the taxi a long hard look and decided against it, there was simply no space.Plus I was getting some nasty looks from the thirty or so passengers that were spilling out of the windows.
“Some people are getting out.” The conductor attempted a pitch.
He didn’t need to tell me this, I could see that for myself and I politely told him so.
Muttering something under his breath about fuel prices, airtime taxes and my apparent snobbish attitude,he left.
Wondering how I was going to get to the city I started to walk.I had absolutely no intention of walking to town,you realize,but I needed to create the illusion that I was making progress in some way.Suddenly,there was a voice,
“Are you going to town?”
I was perplexed.Actually that’s a lie,I was freaked out,so I asked, “Father,is that you?”
A brief pause,and then the voice came back, “Faza? No,boss.Its just me;a boda boda cyclist without a spare helmet and a bad attitude.”
You need to understand that I was pressed for time and was undergoing a serious case of selective hearing.I chose not to hear the bit where he said something about having a bad attitude.
I was not keen on the idea of haggling over fares,so I attempted an alternate conversation…
“Man,these clusters of humps…we keep moving like this and I will not have kids.”
No response.Not even a grunt.All he did was swerve a couple of times to avoid the inconvenience that was the smooth bit of the road.
I tried once more.
“Last night’s weather,awful wasn’t it?It rained cats and dogs…”Then he spoke.
“Shaddup!” the words were spat out with a fair amount of venom.
I thought I’d heard wrong,surely it was the wind playing tricks on my ears.
“I said shut up!You know,as in shut your gob or whatever.Its not an effect of the wind playing around with what I’m saying.Its all me.I’m telling you to shut up!I warned you though,I just happen to have a bad attitude.”
In the ensuing one-sided conversation it emerged that his wife had left him for two guys aptly named Katz and Doug on a rainy night .Her reason being that he had failed to play his part in the Make Babies Promotion.
It was sad really.Surely by now everyone knew that the whole Make Babies thing was a scheme perpetrated by some sinister organization so it could come out and claim that German imported condoms were not doing their work.
“Look man,” he went on, “I realize its not your fault,but you should have seen this coming.”
With that he made a sharp right turn and we ended up in a field of maize that had previously not existed.
“Do you know who I am?” he asked,his eyes suddenly looking red.
Maybe they did look red as I jumped on,but I was way too preoccupied. Excuses aside,I had a nasty feeling I knew where he was taking this. My fears were confirmed.
“I am a bad man.Not like R.Kelly or that Bebe Kool fellow.Cut me,I bleed…”
I had to step in,this was getting inexcusable, he was clearly taking the piss,stealing lines from the Spiderman sequel, “What’s that got to do with anything?”
He hesitated before replying, “I’m just saying,I have achieved Bad Man Status.Your attitude has angered me,so I’m going to make like Red San and Step On It!”.
I was briefly confused, “On what,my attitude?”
“Don’t be ridiculous, have you had a chance to look at where you are?”
I took a long hard look around. I saw a couple of maize stalks lying on the ground.Other than that there was barely anything noticeable. Then it came to me,” Ndi Ku digi!”
“Exactly!So,do you always accept rides from strangers?” He inquired.
“Well,I rarely call them strangers if I have to part with some money.” I pointed out.
I was starting to get scared.Would anyone actually read this without occasionally pausing and wondering where the truth ended and how much of it was bull.
Then he cut into my thoughts.
“That’s actually a valid point.I say,were you done?”
I was a bit confused,“With what?”
“With your thoughts.I have this annoying habit of interrupting people’s thoughts…not that it matters to me anyway.I have a bad attitude and this has gone on long enough.”
“What has?The ride,the utter foolishness of it all?” I asked hopefully.
“That too,but I was talking about something else.Don’t you have a word limit?You probably do.So,if you don’t mind,I will go into monologue mode for the most part.I have issues,you see,big twisted issues. I wasn’t breastfed as a kid ‘coz my mum liked me as a friend…but that’s not it,I am as bad a person as you’ve painted me so far.Sure I’ve dragged you through this field,but I am like any other sane person. I pay my taxes by way of airtime and I most certainly don’t go around wearing banana leaves during Spring in the United Kingdom trying to prove a point.I am,however, a cereal killer!”
What I wanted to know is how I fit into this thing,what I asked instead was, “Is it possible that you have got this serial killing business all wrong?”
“Boss,look around you!We are in a maize field,I have destroyed enough crop and soon as I’m through,I’m going to Burn Dem Down.That makes me a certified Cerial Killer!”
“Or an utter moron,”I opined, “So what do you need me for?” I was getting really impatient and all sorts of asinine thoughts were setting up abode in my head. One of them had me convinced that this is how crop circles were formed…”
“Sorry about this,the whole breaking and entering thing.I need a writer!We cerial killers need publicity.Without it we are inconsequential,useless and as unappealing as feuding artistes.Oh darn…we have come to the end,”
“Of what? This tripe? This nonsense, the banter…”
He cut in for what was to be the last time.
“Of the article.”