I invoke the me-you clause before you read another word. That makes everything you’re about to read inadmissible in the court of law should you choose to double-cross me. I am not a lawyer, I’m an advertiser. But I’ve been up to some mischief and now I’m coming clean.
When I got my car some time last year, I endured frequent stops by the police. The car is a decent silver Honda Civic, there’s nothing notorious about it. Me too I have an innocent face, no piercing or tattoo, almost always decently dressed. So it beat my imagination why they picked on me so. It wasn’t like I was stopped every day, but I’d have rather I wasn’t stopped at all.
They would ask for everything from driving license to spare duster. Sometimes I won, sometimes they did, but it felt very emasculating to beg some corrupt undeserving, completely compromised police office to take my hard earned cash and have a nice day with it. Is it the car that didn’t look too posh, or did I look like a small boy? Well I woke up one morning and decided I’d had enough of that!
I made sure I had a suit hanging in my back seat at all times. No matter how low on fuel I was, anytime I neared a police check point, I rolled up my semi-tinted windows and put the AC on full blast so that the chill would taunt them when I rolled down. To add to that, I’d always make sure that I was tuned in to BBC or had an audio book playing. That way when I said “Good day to you officer” in my Locally Acquired Foreign Accent, they’d get a very exaggerated sense of who they were talking to.
To crown it all up, I took both insurance and road worthy stickers off the windshield and fixed a Ghana Bar Association sticker right there in the center. I put it to you!
O boy was I on a roll! I cruised in and out of checkpoints like I was in the IGP’s convoy. There was even this one time when the verdict to the election petition was being announced, that Thursday. The baby police said my seatbelt wasn’t on and I was attempting to jump a red light so I should follow him to the station. I asked him to get in my car, follow me to my chambers where I had to prepare my closing arguments before the ruling, and then I’d follow him to the station. He smiled, introduced himself and his not-present family, described how he and I were both on the same team, and wished me the very best of the day. We even joked about pink sheets briefly before I drove off. But I could tell that he was small fish, the kind of wannabe policemen who wear that sky blue shirt and are employed by the NYEP (now GYEEDA, soon to be ?????)
My indemnity was unscathed whilst my documents were intact. Only recently when my roadworthy expired, it seemed like the entire Ghanaian security apparatus had been alerted. It avoid all wahala, I left home before 6 and left work after like 8. There’s always so much to do so it wasn’t like they were the only reason why (see me trying to save face). Well today my cup got full.
I left home later, got a tad adventurous and decided to try the route that led you under the N1 highway and through that tunnel that separated Achimota from Dzorwulu. Unknown to me, it was hunting ground for the most elite MTTU personnel.
Without any fear or favor, the imposing and impeccably dressed gladiator of an officer instructed me to pull over. It was too late to roll up and freeze the car, plus I had no suit hanging in the back.
“Can I see your documents?” he instructed, not asked. Not even acknowledging my greeting. I looked composed, but in my head, there was a choir singing to the chorus “I am screwed. Screwed in full. Shiiiiiiiiiitttttt!!!” forgive the French.
Come and see me looking for a roadworthy I knew didn’t exist. Fortunately, I did have an insurance sticker, I hadn’t even torn it out to stick on the glass, it looked like I hadn’t made the time to. I took that out of the glove compartment for him. He inspected it and asked for the Roadworthy and my license. The bloody license was apparently in the mood for piloloo. Now of all times for a hide and seek game! I searched for what I knew wasn’t in the car, and then I turned to him with the demeanor of an upright citizen.
“I’m sorry officer, looks like I forgot it in the other diary at my chambers.”
He hesitated briefly then said “You see, I expect you to know better. You should do the right thing you know the law.” He paused “I’m sure you pass this route every day, I hope you have it on tomorrow when you’re passing by.” For a brief moment I wondered if that meant I could just drive off. It did.
“Enye?!” I exclaimed in my head “Me Ben? Aint no way imma be using this route ever! Asta lavista bebe!”
Even I couldn’t believe my luck. Then I looked at the Ghana Bar Association sticker and nodded my head in approval. I was the hero. I had done it again. The legend of the Advertising lawyer! Just then I felt a strong conviction.
Clearly in my head I heard “It wasn’t the bloody sticker!” (The bloody is my own addition o.) That’s when I remembered, I had had a very thorough quiet time this morning, something I don’t do as often as I’d like or should. I’d even dropped some anointing oil into my hair.
It wasn’t the bloody sticker, it was a divine intervention. That officer was not a small fish. He was the Octopus. The tall Northern no-nonsense kind who spoke fluent English. He was no pushover; his sleek double-cabin pickup was parked close by. It was very unusual to not see my license or roadworthy and just let me go. It would be very wrong to credit a sticker for something God did.
But you and I, we like that. We shit well and we credit the laxative we took. We look good and we credit Chocho cream. We are called smart and we credit the books we’ve read. We score a pretty, virtuous fiancée and we credit our potent lyrics. We get promoted and we credit our punctuality and hard work. It’s wrong. It’s not the bloody sticker! It’s God. You’d be of blessed memory by the time you’re done reading this sentence if God doesn’t keep you alive. Stop giving credit to the wrong source!
So me mome, I’m going to get my Road Worthy done, but I refuse to honor a sticker for getting me out of a sticky situation. It was God. What is there in your life that God deserves glory for and He’s not getting? Dey gee oo. Do the right thing. Look up and say a thank you for everything you got and don’t got going for you. How hard was that? Oo o shame.
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