Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Nigerian Highway Code

When the white devils ruled over and oppressed the people of this land, they created something called the Highway Code. This special code was meant to regulate the behavior of drivers on the country’s many roadways, and it was rigidly enforced by the relevant agencies.

Eventually, our ancestors rose up and chased these white oppressors away. In the aftermath of the successful liberation of our land, it was decided to jettison the ways of the white devils. Some things were too deeply ingrained in our people and couldn’t be rooted out. For instance, the display of the full breasts of our women caused many of the male white devils to stray from their homes and the female white devils, jealous of our women and their gifts, forced their men to make our young ladies cover up.

Other things however, could be rooted out. Our people have always had a deep distrust of those strange markings the white devils called writing, and their claim that this was the best way to ensure that events were recorded and passed down to future generations. Our people have always believed in the oral way of handing down records, and if a few stories became slightly embellished in the retelling, it was fine by us.

It was decided that if our people were to travel in the strange mechanical beasts of the white devils, we would need a code of our own, which would be handed down from generation to generation in the finest oral traditions of our people. This would both ensure that the code survived for centuries untold, and free our people from having to view the writing of the white devils.

As a humanitarian service, I have decided to put down some of our own code in the style of the white devils, to ensure that foreigners who wish to come down here and drive on our roads will be aware of our rules, and follow them accordingly.

1.) Right of Way: This belongs to the most expensive car at any junction. Where two or more vehicles of equally expensive valuation meet at a junction, ROW belongs to the vehicle containing the highest number of fully armed mobile policemen.

2.) Speed Limit: This is dictated entirely by your ability to control your bladder. As such, the speed limit is the speed just below that at which you would involuntarily piss yourself. If you happen to be a passenger in a vehicle travelling at a speed limit greater than your own, feel free to ask the driver to stop so that you may empty your bladder. Frequently calling on the driver to stop will however earn you the hatred of passengers with higher speed limits than yours.

3.) Turn Signals: When a vehicle veers suddenly in a direction different from that in which it was previously travelling, the act of turning is deemed to be a sufficient signal.

4.) Particulars: This is a set of papers required to be held by every driver. The exact composition of this sheaf of documents varies according to the size of the pot-belly of the Inspector in charge of the checkpoint at which you have been stopped, and your willingness to part with N200.

5.) Traffic Signs: These works of art were commissioned by the government to demonstrate the proficiency of our people with metalwork and spray paint and have been installed along most major roadways to freshen up the landscape.

6.) Traffic Lights: Following the success experienced with the signs, the government decided to show off to the world that we had also mastered the ability to combine metal, spray paint and electronics. These superb masterpieces can be found in every major city in the country. Further, in a demonstration of our keen awareness of the need to protect the environment, the lights inside these works of art are only switched on in honor of visiting dignitaries, thereby conserving electricity.

7.) Hand Signals: These are used to demonstrate displeasure at the behavior of fellow road users and may be accompanied by verbal affirmation. Acknowledging the fact that we now live in a global village, the traditional five-finger salute is gradually being replaced by the more universally recognized single-finger salute.

The above list is by no means exhaustive and there are some roads in the country such as the world-famous Ring Road in Benin City, which have their own special rules. Memorizing the 7 rules above will however ensure that your driving experience is a pleasant one.

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I love my country, enjoy a cold beer once in a while, rabidly support Arsenal FC, but I don't get Diet Coke...