Finding Chuck Taylor on top of Roxanne

Traumatic as today’s post may sound, it is strange but true! Like any story it happened once upon a time. I was about to go out and I had packed a couple of things; my gym bag, my laundry bag and my trainers. Now, it wasn’t easy trying to hold all these items and still take the car keys out of my pocket, but in the end I managed with maximum awkwardness. Next on my awkward agenda was reversing out of my tight parking cubicle space – poor Roxanne. I probably drove her crazy after this ordeal. Observe a similar scenario:

 

 

Half an hour later I was able to breathe out the words, ‘Mission accomplished’ and then I drove out of my compound and into the unpredictable streets of Ikeja – Lagos. I drove past a couple of bystanders, one or two prostitutes and some bus conductors but I guess they all did not find it in their best interest to alert me about the unusual sight I was completely unaware of. It was only when I had driven for about 5 minutes and stopped at a red light then it hit me – where are my Chuck Taylors? I looked in the passenger front and back seat frantically like a fugitive looking over his shoulder. I sat back and traced my steps back quickly…and what felt like an out-of-body experience was me getting out of my car, reaching out to the top of the car, taking down my trainers from the top and throwing them back into my car. I then proceeded to throw my face into my two hands as I recovered from the shock of almost losing a pair out of sheer forgetfulness. Sad part is…this wasn’t the first time.

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Have you ever been forgetful in a rather embarrassing way before? Do share 😀

 

 

 

 

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Why my mechanic should be jailed!

Gallery

This gallery contains 3 photos.

Looking around the city of Lagos alone, one could argue that Lagosians lack a maintenance culture. Though, the federal government in August 2012 decided to maintain/repair expansion joints of the heavily strained Third Mainland bridge – the longest bridge in … Continue reading

‘B’ is for Blunder

Blunder /blǝndǝr/ noun. a usually serious mistake typically caused by ignorance or confusion (the free dictionary). As usual, the Crazy Nigerian is able and willing to give you real-life examples to help you cherish/despise the word even better:

On a particularly hot, sunny day my colleague and I were making our way from the head office to the nearby car park;  a 3-minute walk. Just as I was beginning to doubt the effectiveness of my Right Guard ’24 hour’ antiperspirant, we finally got there only to be told that the company car was at the second car park, which to my annoyance was in the direction we had just come from; in fact, it was directly opposite the head office! After the heavy sighing we did a ‘180’ and set out for the other car park. But before I could breathe a sigh of relief as I approached it, my colleague got a phone call from one of the security guards to say that the car had been found in the first car park! Barely containing my frustration I decided to wait while my colleague went back and got the car; I thought I’d probably have to wait about 5 minutes before I would be basking in the coolness of leather-laced air conditioning. 15 minutes later however, sweat patches were forming under my T.M. Lewin whilst my shiny head was getting a free sauna treatment. Like Elton John I was ‘still standing’ by the side of ‘yellow brick road’ in front of the second car park waiting for my colleague and the driver to zoom by. Where in Oz was this elusive company car?

Suddenly a blue Toyota Corolla with slightly tinted windows was ‘trafficating’ in my direction until it came to a halt. I went round to the other side of the car to join my colleague in the back seat. I opened the door and jumped into the car with my eyes half-closed from heat exhaustion and expecting to hear something along the lines of “Sorry for keeping you so long. Another car was blocking our car and they had to go find the driver then…” But to my surprise the remark I got was, “Who is this man?”

Lo and behold I had gotten into the wrong car! The suited-up gentleman and his driver looked puzzled. I (and the expression on my face) couldn’t have seemed more lost than Alice in Wonderland. As a matter of fact, I was ‘Jollof in Blunderland’ and I was wishing a rabbit hole would swallow me up. I can vaguely remember trying to laugh it off and apologizing at the same time but it sure would have been a different story if I walked right into my own abduction. Witnesses would say they last saw Jollof entering a car to go see a client but he never came back (yikes!). I was one sun-tan away from Idi Amin’s complexion when the car came another 10 minutes later.

More recent blunders I’ve committed this week include uttering a potentially offensive comment in an appropriate scenario (allow me to elaborate). Over the weekend a pair of spectacles was left in my office section. After asking around the following Monday it was clear that a visitor or customer had forgotten them. A few days later a lady came to my section, left shortly after, and then she returned minutes later because she had forgotten an envelope. Her timid remark was, “Oh, I didn’t know I left this here” to which I retorted, “Do you use glasses?” Now, I realize how that may have come across but if you read between the lines I was innocently trying to find the owner of those abandoned spectacles…honest!

Equally worse was when my lady boss exclaimed just as she was leaving for the day, “You guys didn’t complement my new shoes like Mr. So-and-so did!” and then I retorted, “But ma, when I talk to you I’m looking at your face”. The whole team was in hysterics (except for Mr. So-and-so, whose fidelity was indirectly thrown into question – yep, he’s married).

But enough about me, what about your blunders? I dare you to share…I double-dare you as a matter of fact. Are you willing or are you chicken? 😀 

See also ‘A’ is for awkward

Wishlist: Luxury Cars

 
 
 
 
 
 P.S – The cars speak for themselves… 
 

Leave me alone…I’m ‘tyred’

The Internet is indeed a blessing and a curse. I love the fact that I can do all my research online prior to decision-making. I’ve used it to decide on which Blackberry model to buy, which airline ticket to reserve, and even which blogging site would be a breeze for a crazy Nigerian like me to use. You would therefore think that I would exercise the same dexterity by browsing for news and reviews on the best type of tyres to buy for my car, right? Let’s see…

Tyres are no cheap investment. Replacing one tyre is expensive enough but changing all four can set you back quite a bit. The cheapest price I’ve come across for a brand new tyre in Lagos is N12,000 ($80/£48) – but I paid N13, 500 cash (cost of one tyre) to my supplier and gave him a promissory note to pay the balance for the remaining three tyres at the end of February. He gladly accepted my offer (Don’t you just love when you can defer payments?) Anyway, I was patting myself on the back for striking such a good deal, especially since my supplier came quite a long distance to deliver the tyres to my workplace. I told one of the company drivers to help replace all my old tyres with the new ones and then I went back into the office. About an hour later I decided to check on the driver’s progress and I was impressed to see that my car was sitting on a set of new wheels whilst my old tyres were in a pile by the gutter. However my driver made a comment that made my heart sink, “Oga (which means ‘Boss’), I prefer the old tyres to these ones you bought…”

Could this man be serious? Did he know how much money I’d (technically) spent on these tyres? He went on to ask me if he could take my old tyres to sell off. I didn’t see any reason to refuse but he did get me thinking about whether I had made the right choice. I bought Kenda tyres (Kenda Komet SPT 1 KR10 to be precise). My old ones were Khumo. By the time I started doing my research my heart was having palpitations. Below is a table of tyre brands by grade. See where my new tyres fall into:

 

 Premium Brand Tyres

Bridgestone Continental Dunlop
Goodyear Michelin Pirelli

Mid Range Brand Tyres

Avon BFGoodrich Cooper
Falken Firestone General
Hankook Kumho Marangoni
Nokian Toyo Uniroyal
Vredestein Yokohama

Economy Brand Tyres

Accelera Admiral Barum
Federal Fulda Goodride
GT Radial Infinity *Kenda*
Kleber Marshal Matador
Maxxis Nankang Neuton
Nexen Sava Semperit
Silverstone Sunew Sunny
Wanli Zeetex

 

 

As if that wasn’t bad enough the same source revealed just how risky my choice was. Below you can see how bad the Wet Grip rating is. Does it mean at the slightest occurrence of damp my car would be sent flying off the highway?  
 
 
Dry Grip 80%
Wet Grip 40%
Road Feedback 80%
Progressiveness 70%
Wear 100%
Comfort 90%
Buy again 70%
 
 
I had come this far with my research and I couldn’t help just making myself feel worse by digging up more dirt on my Kenda tyres. ScoobyNet reviews were less than kind:
“These are really bad tyres … plenty of write ups about them.”
 
“The nastiest tyres I have ever had the misfortune of driving on. With a directional tread, and acceptable dry grip, they lure you into a false sense of security. However, at the first glimpse of damp, they lose the little traction they had and you may as well be driving on bald tyres. Uncomfortable, noisy, no feedback, and annoyingly hard-wearing. A budget tyre to avoid at all costs.”
“There are budget tyres and there are BUDGET tyres if you know what i mean .
falken . maxxis. topend
kenda, westlake , chenshan. bottomend”
“Probably made in the Peoples Republic of Botswana out of sun-dried elephants foreskins!”

At this point I was holding backing the tears. My heart was now in my mouth. Just before I spilled my insides all over the keyboard I picked up my Blackberry to have a stern word with my tyre supplier. For some strange reason I changed my mind. I thought to myself, ‘Why not give them a try?’ I gave it the 100km/hr test on the Lekki expressway later that evening – so far so good. But as I curved with the bend just before the toll gate my car started gliding to towards the gutter…to which I screamed an unexpected new swear word…

MUTHAKENDA!!!

 
Sources: ScoobyNet.com, Tyrereviews.co.uk