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FRIDAY TRACK: Which Seat do you bat for – Front or Back?

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TRM_LogoKilon Sparkles!

A few things signify the making of a man – puberty, memorizing Rudyard Kipling’s If, his first night in his university dorm room, his first tuxedo purchase, and buying his first car.

Buying your first car is as glorious as hearing a woman say “…you can come inside…” – the satisfaction after weeks of research, endless test drives, saving pennies, the obsession with the CD changer, the ‘should- I-get-a-personalized-licence-plate’ debate, etc.

Just as important as these dilemmas (if you have a driver) is the question ‘Will I sit in front or back seat of the car?

Sitting in ‘the owner’s corner’ is as synonymous with Nigeria as vajayjay clenching is with Japanese women. Only on our streets will you see a daddy rocking the back of his 1984 Peugeot station wagon with the same authority & swagger as the man riding his factory fitted, oshara, tear rubber, cha cha S500 Mercedes Benz in the next lane.

The truth is we Nigerians (in fact Africans) love to sit at the back of a car either the car is owned by us or our parent or AVIS Nigeria. We particularly love arriving at functions and getting someone open our doors whilst we take our time to put on our agbada or suit jacket delaying others on the drop-off queue.

If it weren’t for our city’s security concerns, I can assure you most car owners will have their drivers park and walk round the car every time to open their doors for them. But try that in the middle of Isale Eko and the area father might just spare your underwear as the only piece of clothing left on.

Even when we are away from home, Nigerians enjoy every opportunity to sit at the back of any car. I used to love ordering cabs in London because it was my only reminder of how life was back home even though I was quickly humbled whenever I took Addison Lee to Chinawhite, only to be outdone by an 18-year old Russian rolling out of his Aston Martin DB9 convertible metres away.

In my day-to-day commute around this metropolis, I always sit in front of the Bobsmobile and generally regardless of who’s car I’m in (expect someone is already seated in front) my ass resides in front. Why? Well because subconsciously I haven’t moved away from my 10-year old mentality that the back of a car belongs exclusively for mummy and daddy not for just anyone who can afford to pay their driver N25k a month.

But as I look left and right in today’s traffic, I see more and more toothpick legs who have worked less than an hour in their entire life spreading their Veet-waxed thighs all over the owner’s corners while a man old enough to be her father caresses her every wish with a “yes Ma!”, ferrying her to the Nail Place for an afternoon of hard work flicking through old editions of Hello Magazine. How can you explain that or perhaps how can you explain seeing someone sit at the back of a Kia Picanto. Really? Really??

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve heard some credible arguments that where you sit depends on you and also surprisingly, the driver – some drivers indeed do take the piss and might start leaning back making you look like the house boy in your own ride.

I can see the psychology behind the pretence especially in an environment where gatemen allow you entry into someone’s home without asking for your name purely because you’re sitting at the back of a ‘big’ jeep.
I myself have used this trick once before to gain access into the Awujale’s Palace. But I think I would feel more comfortable knowing majority of car owners chose to sit at the back purely based on comfort not because it’s the supposed thing to do.

On Tuesday Morning, as I got a lift to work in my brother’s car, I sat in the front passenger seat molesting my Blackberry cursor. Not realising we were in a queue trailing through one of Dolphin Estate’s police checkpoint, I heard a bang on the car. The ‘bros-in-black’ gestured that we park, of course, as we do in Lagos; we refused and continued driving on.

Realising we were not going to stop, the 5th policeman in a matter of centimetres pulled a cheap fear stunt by raising his shakabuula not realising that to shake this Ijebu Boy you have to come harder than that.
As we drove on, someone in the back said “….It’s because you are sitting in front, they think you don’t have any weight…”

So I got to thinking – is this nation full of ‘I’ll sit at the back so that I look like I carry “weight” or I’m sitting at the back because it’s more comfortable’?

I know I shouldn’t spend more than a second on what a bunch of N50 collectors think of my ‘bigz-ness’ or lack of it, but it got me thinking about why I’ve never desired to sit at the back of my car or any car in fact.

Perhaps it’s because a part of me thinks we’ve moved past the days of avoiding all conversation or contact with staff and more so, it’s just a bloody car at the end of the day – where you sit or what you drive can’t validate you the slightest and lastly, some of the men that I respect most in this town sit in the passenger’s side; a trend that I’m sure you too have noticed especially amongst G-wagon owners. So what exactly would my excuse be?

Anyway, let’s have some driving music as we’re on the topic. This week’s Friday Track is a new joint from a relatively new artist, New Orleans-based rapper Curren$y. His first radio-friendly single “Address” has done serious damaged to my stereo all week. You need to hear this!

Enjoy!

18 Comments

  1. Iya2

    July 23, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    I couldn’t concentrate after Vajajay clenching and Japanese women …. LWKMD!

  2. cherchezlacurl

    July 23, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    Hilarious! I agree – our generation should be past all this classism. Besides, according to Top Gear, isn’t the driver’s seat best? 🙂

  3. Ibo Omoge

    July 23, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    LOL! I still feel weird sitting at the back of a taxi in the U.S. The first time I wanted to sit in the front seat, the taxi driver told me to sit at the back. Most of them do it for your own safety and theirs. It’s different in Naija though. I sit in front either out of respect to the older taxi driver or if I don’t trust a particular driver. I like to see where I’m going and where the taxi driver’s hands are.

  4. fm

    July 23, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    lmao..as usual,i expect nuffin less of u,alwayz witty n on point,its funny wat we attach importance to rite?? o well!! mwhile pls ehn jo,try and stop for d cops at cheackpoints o,i hav hrd cases where these “trigger happy” crooks gun down innocent ppl cos dey refused to stop to giv dem dia usual 20naira tip..unfortunate but it happens..be safe..xoxo

  5. TrueTalk

    July 23, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    @Cherch: lol! Spot on o Top Gear foreva!!
    @Bobo: I feel you. I have a “jeep” (actually its more a compact
    crossover) and i ride shotgun with the driver while madam sits at the
    “owner’s corner” and the baby rocks the “baby’s seat corner”.
    The other day the house help was with us and madam wanted me to
    move to the back seat I said no cos i didnt want to give up my
    important position of being the extra pair of eyes.
    Truth is growing up I hustled to ride shotgun in my parents’ cars, friends’
    mobs etc and now there’s no way I’m giving that up just because i have
    driver!!! No way Jose!!

  6. Aweni

    July 23, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    lmao @ “daddy rocking the back of his 1984 Peugeot station wagon with the same authority & swagger as the man riding his factory fitted, oshara, tear rubber, cha cha S500 Mercedes Benz in the next lane”.

    Also cant get over seeing someone sit at the back of a Kia Picanto….Imagine seeing someone rocking owner’s corner in a “fiat punto” or a “ford ka”…..LMFAO……As in, really, who does that???

    Dis guy gives me bare jokes every friday and i always look forward to reading from u…

    Mr sparkles ur on point jare!

  7. Blossom

    July 23, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    Real funny.
    I sit at the back. I have my reasons. Toodles.

  8. jennietobbie

    July 23, 2010 at 11:09 pm

    hahahahah! I love this

  9. Itsekiri Girl

    July 24, 2010 at 6:31 am

    LWKMD! Quick question, what does “Kilon sparkles” actually mean? Been reading you for a while now, just curious. Nice one though. Again. As usual.

  10. Toni

    July 24, 2010 at 7:23 am

    currency is not a new rapper he’s been signed to cash money/ young money records for about 6 years now he had dat hit song where the cash @ with lil wayne and remy ma.

  11. Fehintola

    July 25, 2010 at 11:57 am

    It sounds mean but really, my sitting position doesn’t determine how i treat my driver..i pay them well, they eat free lunches, free hospital bills and dinners before going home and at friggin under 30 yrs or early 30s of age, i am more comfortable sitting in my owners corner. I worked hard and earned what ever change is in my pocket thus i will not make excuses for my success. It has nothing to do with age. That’s his job right? Same way in the workplace, you see younger folks making more than you do…they earned it right so i can only aspire to earn mine too. A lot of these drivers, gateman, cook etc will easily work all over you if you don’t draw boundaries and put them in their places. thats why some of us youngings sit in the back…to eliminate that we are cool familiarity nonsense before they start asking you pay their children’s tuition. You know sometims you can’t eat with the help…:) no arrogancy it’s just boundaries. My brother, a 33yr old used to speak yoruba to his driver, sit in the front with him and use words like sir, baba etc just out of respect until one day baba asked him for money. (mind you this was the 3rd time of him asking within the first 2 months of being hired) my brother told him he was broke and baba had the audacity of saying, but i saw you go the bank yesterday to collect money…what nerve? Needless to say my brothre fired baba and had to be a little less casual with his new one. it’s been 6 months, new driver hasn’t asked for money ..that’s cos he has been put in his own place

  12. Kechi

    July 25, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    @fehintola,…you could be as articulate without using this ”…put in his own place” statement, as that statement. That statement does not make you sound as smart as you may be, thus, your argument is invalid..Just saying.

  13. MissLC

    July 26, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    LOL…interesting as always…i sit at the left back sit just cos i hate the owners corner image..used to sit up front till i realized these ppl will insult u…my driver literally did dat…i am young yes..hence i dnt address him by his first name but i pay ur salary give me some credit…so i agree some boundries hav to be drawn sometyms

  14. bebe

    July 26, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    ”vajayjay clenching is with Japanese women” …… lmfao!!!!!

    @itsekiri girl: Kilon sparkles loosely translates to whats new

  15. tade

    August 28, 2010 at 3:35 am

    hahaha ‘molesting my blackberry cursor’
    u bb paedo!! hehe

  16. Ready

    October 29, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    Quite honestly, I feel the same way each time I sit in the backseat of my mom’s bus but her driver is a not-so-reformed omo-ita/agbero and he might mean well but dude tries to get too familiar with me. Sitting in front means having a conversation with him which is no problem except that he shares the information with every Tom, Dick, and Jamiu which I would like to avoid.
    That sounded like a justification…well then, it is.

  17. vee

    November 2, 2010 at 2:53 am

    I sit at the back cuz i hate seat belts – simple. Every individual has his/her own reason(s) whether rational or not for every action taken. I’m basically saying; never look at any situaysh in black or white. Your posts are always hilar. LMBO at he 5th policeman in a matter of centimetres pulled a cheap fear stunt by raising his shakabuula not realising that to shake this Ijebu Boy you have to come harder than that.

  18. vee

    November 2, 2010 at 2:53 am

    the*

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