Sunday, March 6, 2011

Float On, When You Are Out of Plans

Nothing goes as planned most times. Most of those times we were left hanging to decide if it was appropriate to forfeit Plan A for Plan B [if there was any]. Then again if Plan B was that good it would have been Plan A. But what do we do if we were out of back-up plans and there was no time to think of one? Or the situation we found ourselves was one we never anticipated so no plan? My answer...float on, words from a Modest Mouse. These are experiences of situations were there was nothing to do except float on and let instincts take over.

I was in the exam hall during my second year in the University of Lagos when this happened. There was a new lecturer in my department and he was present in the exam hall as an invigilator, he was known as Ginger. Ginger was hyperactive and wanted to make his presence felt as early as possible and probably gain respect or be feared. All he needed was to apprehend a student cheating and he would guarantee the student faced the examination malpractice panel without mercy. As he kept pacing the hall he spotted a student with who had walked in with prepared answers on a piece of paper. The student was occupied, copying and Ginger decided to surprise him and catch him red-handed. The fact was when it came to examination malpractice, evidence was very crucial, so he knew it wasn't only about stopping the guy, he needed that paper as well. Ginger's Plan A was foiled when he was tables away and their eyes met, they were now both aware of the same information. In a flash, Ginger climbed on the table closest to him to jump on the student's own, the prepared answer was on the table, he stretched one of his arms to pick it up...

Before I continue that experience, I would share another one. I was probably four, five, or six, maybe seven years old when this happened. I had just returned home from primary school and wanted to buy groundnut and sugar for...[you know naw!]. To get them with probably the two Naira and fifty Kobo I had, I would have to cross to the other side of the road. This road wasn't your typical Nigeria road. Chevron was constructing their guest house in my area and decided to fix the road all the way to their site. In short, the smoothness of the road was one enjoyed by F1 cars. When I stepped out I didn't see any car approaching so I decided to cross. Middle of the road I heard a car horn then I looked at the direction. The car was a Volks Beetle, the first one- where cars were made of metal, and it was no doubt speeding on the limit. At that spot I had no idea what to do, there was no plan for situations like that. The car was now less than 10 metres away...

...Back to the initial story. So I was in the exam hall when I saw this man jumping on tables trying to snatch a piece of paper from a student. The student had sat in the examination hall with one plan and that was to fully utilise his prepared answers and hope to pass. There was no Plan B. I haven't heard of anyone whose Plan A was to cheat and believed he/she might get caught. This invigilator was now on the student's table, like a Lion about to devour his prey. His claws stretched to pick up the paper. If he succeeded this student would get rusticated, probably two sessions. The student's reaction was nothing short of amazing. He stretched his hand to block the lecturer's outstretched arm and used his second to put the paper in his mouth and began chewing hungrily. He chewed so fast the lecturer knew there was nothing he could do. That could have been the most stupid 10 seconds of his life as he stood on the table he had jumped on in an examination hall, watching a man chew paper.

...So I was in the middle of the road and this car was fast approaching. The car was used as a cab in my area but what I didn't know was the break had failed and the passengers were aware. So he had passengers in the car, screaming, disturbing his thought process. He needed to come up with a plan amidst the noise as the car accelerated faster. And there was me with coins in my hand crossing the road the same exact time the car would drive pass my house. I wish I could say something heroic happened. But in situations like those where there was no Plan Anything just free yourself and see where life takes you. Mine took me to the hospital. It was the same car that allowed me see the world in 360 degrees that drove me to one. Wondered what happened to the breaks? Apparently I was the impact needed to stop the car. Don't worry... I was so gangster I was in school the next day with bruises and all.

I know so many people have been in situations where all their Plan A-Z failed. Either our instinct would take control to get over the crossroads or we close our eyes and see where the crossroads takes us, hope you get to tell the tale with a genuine smile on your face.


  1. wow.. glad u survived with no major injury. lol @ ur badass self :)
    hahaha bout the lecturer story. poor guy :(
    hope he was able to catch another cheat sha

  2. No way, lecturers like that do not catch students. He actually became pals with the student.
    I'm glad I survived too. I should actually write about situations I've survived. Something to be thankful for. Baba God eshe o!