I have fulfilled every responsibility why can't everyone overlook the fact that I can't drive?
Growing up, I had heard of how Hondas and Nissans were strong and inexpensive cars. So I figured, if I managed to destroy my dad’s Honda, he wouldn’t consider taking my life.
The first couple of minutes passed and I was doing fairly well. Despite the cups of Vodka swimming through my bloodstream, I hadn’t killed anybody, and that was pretty good by my standards.
Amidst shouts of ‘Who give you car?’, I was making my way through one lane, then the other at the same time, and I didn’t care. A man was finally driving. I was taking the first item off my bucket list and nobody could stop me.
Then I completely veered off the road and hit a car parked on the curb. And then I hit it again, way harder than the first time. I can’t remember ever sitting in the driver’s seat of any car since then.
I made my first bucket list at the fresh ignorant age of nine.
I’ve been fascinated since I learned of them; there’s something about the making a list of all the things you’d like to do before you expire. To be honest, I don’t understand people who don’t have one, especially Nigerians.
The way I see it, this country works day and night to end our lives in embarrassing ways; at the very least, we should do something we will enjoy before we die. I plan to.
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The first item on my bucket list was ‘Drive a Car’. See, back then, I planned to be a pilot when I was older.
I had it all figured out; I would overcome my fear of dying in a vehicle by learning to drive cars at ungodly speeds. Then I would go to Aviation school and learn to fly planes. Simple and straightforward.
Unfortunately for me, and fortunately for the rest of humanity, I didn’t get behind the wheel for the first time until 10 years later. That day, I learned that earthquakes are not the only kind of disasters.
Nowadays, thanks to advancements in public transport systems, and the gift from across the oceans that is Uber, more people are leaving the daily routine of driving to work and everywhere else. In Nigeria, for those who have stayed stubborn through all these beautiful things, the price of fuel has made them gentle.
Cars now sit at home and BRT queues are longer than ever. Yo, I feel like I’m defending myself right now, but it matters very little; the truth is knowing how to drive isn’t as important as it used to be, except you’re a 23-year-old aspiring Yoruba demon praying for any semblance of a social life. Then it’s important, more than a lot of things.
Accepting the fact that I cannot drive is up there with the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. I am learning that if you plan to have a career in Lagos, BRT and Uber will slowly and surely eat at your finances with the consistency of Juninho’s free kicks.
This thing is affecting every facet of my life. There’s routine to how things go when I hang out and try to shoot my shot at spots in Lagos: I meet a young lady, we chat whatever she feels like chatting about, she asks if I drive, I say No and soon, I have to start trying to meet somebody new.
I don’t know if it’s the series of very painful insults I’ve gotten from the people who call themselves my friends and family, but I have the utmost respect for anyone who knows what to do with a steering wheel.
Most times, I have to sit in the back so people don’t notice the look of adoration in my eyes when I stare at whoever’s driving. I simply cannot drive and I’m not proud of it.
On second thought, I cannot drive and I don’t care what anyone says. Sure, any man who doesn’t know how will miss out on too many opportunities. But what should we do? Cars simply do not agree with us.
One could blame women for this undeserved persecution. Thanks to their moonwalking priorities, driving a car means more than having a job that pays enough to buy a car. Sure, it’s weird that we cannot drive when 17-year-olds are competing in Formula 1, but guess who couldn’t drive too? Albert Einstein! Leave us to flourish.
Certain people make attempts at being smart and ask, what will happen when we get married and have kids that we need to drive around? My answer is as simple as it gets; We’ll employ the talented people known to laymen as drivers, and everything will be okay. We may not be able to drive, but we live fully functional and fulfilling lives, as we make our way through Lagos in public transport; we are still men.
Segun is a bit of a fondler of words. While always slightly inebriated, he studies youth behaviour and enjoys hanging out anywhere with more drinks than people. He's also appreciates a certain herb more than he should.