Relativity Of Madness

Relativity of Madness
Picture Courtesy: Neil Rosenthal

Some of you know pain is relative, and if you didn't know, well, now you know. Asides pain, some other things are relative like joy, hunger, madness e.t.c. Yes I said "MADNESS", and today I'll tell you about the "Relativity Of/In Madness. Case study: Lagosians". First off, let's define the terms "Relativity" & "Madness", be calm, I'm not about to go Einstein on you. According to an online dictionary, Relativity can be defined as "dependence of a mental state upon the nature of the human mind." While Madness from the same dictionary is "1. insanity; lunacy, 2. extreme anger, excitement, or foolishness". After careful observations and thorough experiments (thanks to the availability of Lag rats everywhere, sorry! I meant "LAB RATS), I have arrived at the conclusion that madness is relative, you don't believe my theory? be calm still, whilst I elucidate (only mad people won't be calm at this point). The events I'm about to relay occurred between a Thursday and Monday of the next week.
I got off work at 5:00pm, but stayed back a while to chat with some female colleagues & no it's not what you think, I was only stalling for time because I was supposed to pick a friend from Murtala Mohammed Airport 2 (MMA2) whose flight was supposed to arrive at 6:45pm, at 6:30pm I left my car at the office car park somewhere beside Execujet Hangar at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), I took the airport shuttle instead which cost only hundred naira, that would save me fuel & the exorbitant fee charged per hour for parking at the MMA2 car park, the plan was when she arrived, I would take the shuttle back to MMIA, pick my car then come back to MMA2 where she would have been waiting outside, I would drive through, pick her & drive out. So even if there was a delay I was covered, because I wouldn't have to pay extra parking fees for overtime.
I was waiting at the arrivals section when I heard the announcement that the flight was delayed due weather, so +45minutes ETA, I went upstairs to the food court so I could relax and put something in the dear belly of mine, 15minutes to ETA I went down to arrivals, while I stood & observed, an acquaintance called out to me.
      "Ol' boy long time ooo, person no just dey see your brakelight" He said
      "Guy na work ooo" I replied
      "E pure, e pure, mehnnn see as you fresh, guy show us way na"
      "Na God ooo, brother na God" I answered
      "Na so, so wetin you dey do here?" He asked.
Selah!!! You see me and other people standing opposite a sign that reads "Arrivals Only: No Entry" and you're asking what I'm doing there, woe betide me if I give you a straight answer, woe betide thee if you expect a straight answer.
      "I dey plant corn here" I replied
      "Serious jooo"
      "I don tell you wetin I come do, I come plant corn" I told him
      "Na you know ooo, me dey go" he said in a I'm-not-pleased-with-you tone. Like I cared -pfft!-
      "Bye"
Now that was one level of madness I had just dealt with. Please note "For every foolish/stupid question, there's an equal but opposite sarcastic reply"- Anonymous.
After the acquaintance left, while I was standing, I noticed different girls/ladies would look up at the "Arrivals Only: No Entry" sign and want to walk through, most of them were "lie-skin" (you know, the I-Was-Dark ladies) ladies, so it left me wondering if the bleaching had bleached their senses such that they couldn't read the simple sign.
      "You can't go through here" a personnel would tell tell them
      "Why?" The ladies would ask
      "Please read the sign up"
      "That's rather rude" the ladies would say or they would look up and say
      "Ehennn, so?" Then they'll hiss & strut away
Depending on the state of mind of the personnel, he/she could get angry, react & cause a scene, that also depends on the mental stability of the "lie skin" lady that can't read & understand "Arrivals Only: No Entry", she may fire back at the personnel, the personnel may also get angry and transfer the aggression to a different person- "Transferred Madness", well, you see some of these ladies operate on another level of madness, and we have a whole lot of them in Lagos.
My friend arrived, her name's Margaret, I call her Margie, She's one of the best fashion designers the World had and she's good at what she does, she's pretty & she's also good at being pretty (Instagram: houseofmegg & Megzzz01/Megzzz), we exchanged pleasantries & rather than wait for me to go pick my car, she followed me.
When driving in Lagos, please assume every other person on the road is mad, including pedestrians, yes some pedestrians operate on a high level of madness, otherwise explain why a woman with a child or a guy on the phone would want to run across the highway, where there are speeding vehicles, right under a pedestrian bridge. Another set of mad people to be very wary of are the danfos (bus) & okadas (bikes), the latter have a way of being in your blindspot & suddenly riding recklessly past you. As we drove through the roads & streets of Lagos, we talked about a lot, then someone's mad moment interrupted our smooth ride, a car while trying to avoid a reckless danfo had hit my car, I parked then got out to check the extent of damage, it was just a dent in the bumper, the driver of the other car stepped out too & apologized to me, then went to the danfo, an argument ensued, the danfo driver obviously high on igbo (weed) & reeking of alcohol was displaying his madness and claiming he was right, then a passenger made the english language speaking mistake of his life by asking the car owner.
      "You are mad" He sounded like those teachers that teach phonics to primary school pupils, he was even dressed like one, apparently he meant "you are angry", unknown to all of us that the man was a soldier (he was in plain clothes) and he had uniformed soldiers in the car, when they stepped out, the driver saw them and wanted to take to his heels, but his decision wasn't faster than the soldier's slaps, blows and kicks, the english teacher after receiving just one slap started weeping & pleading in pigin, the more he tried to explain that he meant "you are angry, the more slaps he got, 3 lanes were blocked because of this, traffic was building up behind and mad impatient drivers were honking their horns. Now my dear friends, that was a whole new level of relative madness.
After the melee, the soldier apologized again (I was scared though, make them no go change am for me) then gave me his number and we went out seperate ways.
I dropped Margie off at her house,then continued to my apartment feeling exhausted. My friends called me to inform me about T.G.I.F. the next day, I knew what they meant, it was just a way to say there weren't enough cars to contain friends to go clubbing & mine would be needed, and since I didn't trust drunks with my car, I had to be there.
Friday, I went to do some transactions at the bank, you see, the bank is where you see different shades of mad people, from the rude security personnel, to the man who's making noise over the phone, from the 50 people that tell you "I'm behind you" so they can go and sit, to the one that borrows your pen and disappears forever, from the crazy male teller that calls the lady behind you because familiarity to the annoying female teller whom at first treats you as if you look like her ex she caught with her bestfriend till she sees your account balance then she starts giving you T.L.C. (Tender Love Care). That about sums up the mad people you meet at the bank. Friday night, I picked the people I could and we headed to the club, and one lady who couldn't even afford the spoke of a bicycle wheel said.
      "If his car doesn't have A/C, I'm not going with him ooo & I want to sit in front" she said, referring to me, can you imagine such madness. I allowed her in, turned the A/C on, didn't move the car for 10 minutes, then I stepped out, went to the passenger side, opened the door & politely asked her to step out. She did, then someone else took her place & we left for the club, good riddance to mad rubbish. On our way we got stopped by the police, being the law abiding citizen that I am, my car documents were complete, license valid, I had my identity card, but these police men weren't really interested in all that.
      "Oga find us something" was all they said, refusing to give in to their demands was tantamount to delay and there was no telling what they could do- you can't judge madness.
We settled the police and continued our journey to the club.
The club is another place where you find different degrees of mad people, from the ladies that are barely dressed, to the ladies that are verified smokers & certified alcoholics, from the dudes trying to outshine other dudes with the number of expensive drinks they buy, to the well dressed dudes that won't spend a dime but would make everyone think they bought the club, from the dudes that fill their cups from random tables to the dudes that fight for no sane reason. I couldn't drink because red/white wine gave me palpitations, beer & spirits gave me rashes, so I just settled for coke. The bad part about clubbing for me, was dealing with drunk friends on our way home.
Saturday came, my tailor couldn't sew the extremely expensive aso ebi I bought under duress for a friend's wedding, why couldn't he sew it? He travelled for a ceremony that took a week- imagine such madness. I had two choices, wear something else to the wedding or not go at all, I picked the latter and was about to relax when the groom sent me a text- I just had to go, so I wore a native attire and drove down to the venue, at the venue I knew I was surrounded by potential mad people, especially the ladies with their scary makeup, their faces all white, looking like ghosts, witches and vampires, even the bride's make up would leave the groom wondering each time he looked at his real wife & the bride in the wedding pictures, the next mad people were the party food hustlers, oh you don't want to get tangled with them, oh no you don't, another mad thing they did was you could hardly get anything to eat or souvenir if you weren't wearing the aso-ebi and that could also awaken the madness in you especially if you were like me that spent so much for the aso-ebi and for some reason couldn't wear it.
Sunday, I went to church *sigh* let's not even talk about the madness in the church- I should just fast track to monday.
Monday, I had an interview for 8:00am & I had already taken the day off from work, I had to leave home early to avoid traffic, I got to my car and noticed I had a flat tyre, I changed it, started the car, it refused to start, battery perhaps, there was no time to waste, so I picked my suit and left the house, I saw an okada, the man trying to avoid a long route, decided to take a detour over a muddy & slippery terrain, I warned him, he wouldn't listen, we lost balance and hit the muddy ground, rather than feel ashamed, he blamed me for bringing badluck to him, I wanted to react by getting angry and giving him a serious reprimand, but I didn't even say anything to him, I just jogged home, changed & picked another suit.
I got to the interview early, and saw 14 other people who were there for the same interview and the company needed just 1 person- now that was a wicked form of madness, one of the female applicants wore a dress that was too short, had a very low neckline and she was busty, she kept pulling the dress down and pulling the neck up, like the dress would grow some inches more- confused madness, as a result of this madness, some men there forgot why they were there, next they were arguing and the lady was the subject of their argument, these were people who were here for an interview- relative madness. When it was my turn to be interviewed, I went in, responded to questions with confidence, I got the panel nodding and smiling in approval, but there was one particular man that was grumpy throughout, he stared at me intently, then dropped a bombshell
      "I see you're an APC member" he said, by reflex I looked at my APC lapel pin, then looked at each of them and noticed they all had PDP lapel pins. I swallowed hard, this situation required great tact.
      "No I'm not" I denied
      "Then why did you deliberately wear that pin, because the moment I mentioned APC, you looked down at the pin" he said. Really? how did that relate to the interview, should I explain to them that I used the pin to cover the iron burn that the drycleaner had caused?.
      "Sir, someone gave me the pin & I used it to cover a burn" I answered
      "I see, so what party do you belong to then?" He asked. Another trick question, I couldn't say APC 'cause it was obvious I was in enemy territory, I couldn't also say PDP 'cause they could ask PDP-related questions that a party member should know, but I didn't know.
      "None Sir" I answered
      "Young man, you're either lying or you do not want the progress of Nigeria or you cannot stand up for what you believe in because you lack confidence, all these are negative traits for a promising young man like you, okay let me ask you, what do you want for Nigeria?"
      "Change" was all I said, the word had already left my mouth before I realized the implication.
So, if the car hadn't messed up, I wouldn't have used a bike, if the okada rider had listened to me, his madness wouldn't have thrown us into mud, if that hadn't happened, I wouldn't have gone back to change my outfit & wear the suit with the APC lapel pin, and if the drycleaner hadn't been high on alcohol he wouldn't have burned the spot where I used the lapel pin and perhaps the panel wouldn't have asked political questions- Madness is relative.
After the interview, I went to the bank & while I was filling a form, a pen fell & I picked it up, while still writing and handed it to the elderly woman beside me.
      "You children of nowadays lack manners, they didn't teach you not to give elders anything with your left hand abi?" She said. I was shocked, didn't she see I was writing with my right hand? Quietly I said sorry & dropped the pen back on the ground, got up and went about my business, she started raising her voice and other elderly people around who had no idea what happened joined in- "Relativity Of Madness". I left the bank, took a bus, and it was the most uncomfortable journey of my life, the driver was reckless, his conductor was foul mouthed & I was sandwiched between two enormously large sweaty women, at some point I changed positions, then the guy who was beside me kept staring to see what I was doing on my phone, I was so tempted to put the phone in his face and say- "Oya, see am, enter the phone na".
Nemesis caught up with the bus driver because he refused to listen to reason, he made a wrong turn and was blocked by a LASTMA vehicle, some policemen and two traffic wardens, while he was still pleading and settling, the VIO got involved, and all of them wanted something, while in the bus, a woman wanted to buy just one sachet pure water with five hundred naira, the already frustrated seller just hissed and walked away, the woman was offended by the water seller's reaction and began ranting, other passengers in the bus verbally attacked the woman, too many mad people, so I got out & took another bus home. I got home, the fact that there was power outage was in itself a mad phenomenon synonymous with living in Nigeria, I went downstairs to retrieve my gallon from my neighbour, with the intention to go get fuel so I could run my generator, I knocked on his door, I saw someone peep through the window, 10 minutes later, they still hadn't opened the door, I knocked more, a lady answered with a scowl.
     "Madam, sorry to disturb you, please I need my fuel gallon"
     "Is that why you're knocking like we owe you, kini, kini nkan na (wetin, wetin sef)(what?)?" She asked, she hissed and called out to her man.
      "My guy, no vex, she dey provoke" The guy said.
      "No wahala, wey my gallon?" I asked
      "You wan go buy fuel?" He asked. Can you imagine the question?
      "No ooo, I just wan piss inside, use am run my gen" I replied sarcastically
      "Hehehe, you no well ooo, wait, make I bring am." Stupidity and sarcasm are equal and opposite- Anonymous.
Just as there's a drop of greatness in everyone, there's also a drop of madness in everyone, for some people, the drop is like the tiniest molecule of water, while for some people, the drop is like an ocean. You do not learn madness, it's in you!!!
With these few illustrations of mine I hope I have been able to clear your doubts about madness being relative, and if you still do not agree, I won't be surprised 'cause you just might be mad (No Offence -_-).
Many are mad, few are in Yaba-left, the rest are around you. Safe to say I'm the only sane person in Lagos.
            Do Have A Madness Free Day ;-)

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