One of the downsides of being female is the misfortune of being toasted in some toasting-is-uncalled-for places and in some disgusting ways. You can be toasted in a bank; in your mechanic’s workshop, by a man older than your father who thinks because he owns that fat brand new jeep, amongst others, and wears a fat ring and has a fat beard, he can own you too and add you to his fat harem.
You can also be toasted in your own car, in the name of the Lord, by the leading of the Holy Spirit while offering somebody a lift.
Ok. So, I was driving home from work, tired to the marrow, because the case-notes just kept coming and coming. It seemed as if everyone was sick at once. The thought that I would still have to make a stop and buy things for jollof rice made me more tired. Hunger was a bad girl. She was gnawing away the lining of my stomach and clouding my vision. But she did not stop me from seeing a man looking stranded by the roadside. I stopped. We were going in the same direction so I picked him.
He turned out to be garrulous. I was used to people who came in, sat quietly, got down, thanked me and asked me to greet my husband and children. Perfect. Or what logical reason could they have for finding a young woman behind the wheels?
I felt like increasing the volume of my radio to the highest because his incessant questions were beginning to annoy me. I did not ask for an interview when I picked him, did I?
You look familiar. Where are you from? Where do you work? Are you a Christian? My deliberately curt answers did not deter him. With each passing question, I got more tired and irritated. He did not ask for my marital status and so, if I were standing, I would have tripped or outright fallen at the next thing he said. Thank you, Jesus.
The Holy Spirit told him that his wife would be a doctor, driving my colour and brand of car.
Fantastic comedian. I burst into laughter. The laughter was full, satisfying, from deep within and in a moment, hunger, tiredness and irritation disappeared. So, he went on and on, about how the Holy Spirit could not lie, how Jesus could not lie. Laughter never felt so good.
Finally, when he was about to get down, he asked for my number. I turned to the roadside, applied the brakes and expected him to get down. He hesitated. Then I stopped laughing because my three friends appeared again and shut down my laughter system. Dude did not look like he was cracking a joke with the confidence in his eyes and his refusal to get down.
Hunger, grogginess and a mixture of helpless fury roused my throat. It did not take long for them to scream, GET OUT! through me. He got out, looking at me, as though, as a Christian, I had committed blasphemy by refusing to obey God’s spirit.
Headache was soon added to the list of my problems. I turned the steering, looked into my side mirror and accelerated with anger constricting my chest.
Back home, too tired to eat, sleep descended like heavy rainfall. By dawn, the anger had evaporated, and I was back again, laughing my head off and telling friends and family about my most recent toaster and his ridiculous pick-up line.
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