-Aunty please your seatbelt.
-Na dis black rope. Just put am for your chest.
I picked the slack rope that didn’t look anything like a belt and tried to hook it. Then, the driver interrupted my thoughts about how the rope actually worked, -aunty just do am like dis for your chest. I was supposed to let the ‘belt’ just lie casually across. Just for show. So all through that ride, my safety was owed to a dirty black rope and a, hopefully, sensible driver.
Based on popular belief, using the seatbelt is taking one step away from damaging your body parts or even worse. So, when a passenger straps him/herself to the seat, there should be a feeling of “I won’t die today and even if I do, it won’t be in this vehicle” going on in the mind.
What if I told you that where I come from, you don’t use the seatbelt to save your worthy life. Rather, you are functioned to save the ass of a commercial vehicle operator. Even when they hurry to help with strapping at the front seat, or when they advice you to occupy the space of the person who just alighted, so you can use the belt, they still don’t care about your safety. All they want is to avoid being victims of the law – which is a good thing because everyone should run away from trouble. But what isn’t so comforting is when that safety device is only a makeshift, an improvisation, a poor attempt at creativity. It then becomes apparent that your life is of no value; “ain’t nobody care about you, ‘cept you”. And even more annoying is when the bus operators come at you, screaming like cranky, pregnant, gorillas when you refuse to go astrapping. Why yell at me for refusing to use the faux seatbelt that still proves harmful?
However, despite the irritation, there’s no missing the comedy the transport sessions have to give. Who are the best comedians in these sessions if not the honourable passengers. Some of them are mule-stubborn when it comes to using the belt. It could be that their fine cloth could get rumpled, or that they do not like the tone of the driver/conductor. Also, some people would decline, arguing that it doesn’t look anything like a belt, while others would say: ‘Mi o le ma sokun morun bi ewure.’
I can’t tie a rope round my neck like a goat.