I’ve been told by a couple of my silly Ibo friends that the Yoruba fart a lot.
See why I called them silly? I mean, is farting a cultural thing? Without trying to task my Biology knowledge or putting my old Biology teacher, Mr. Masagbo, to shame, I do know for a fart…errm, I mean, a fact, that farts come as a result of what you eat and the formation of gas thereof?
Anyway, so when this particularly silly Ibo friend of mine farts, he goes, “It’s because I’ve been associating with you for so long, that’s why I fart ceaselessly”. He’s shameless, this friend.
But why am I grossing you out today?
I’ve just been to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, (LASUTH) to visit a friend who has just undergone a major surgery. I’m told she’s improving but doctors are waiting for her to fart.
Is that all? To fart?
How hard can that be?
I was left to ponder on it as I drove out of the hospital premises past a local bus park along the way before I was stopped by the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC).
While the corps marshal scrutinised my driver’s license and inspected my boot for a fire extinguisher, I had time to observe passengers boarding buses by the bus park.
I noted a particular male passenger buying boiled eggs and groundnuts and all I could think was, “Now that’s one guy who will fart so much his pants would tear.”
I pity the passengers that will seat next to him, for you see, I was once, no, twice or more times than I care to recall, a victim of careless fellow passengers who buy nothing but boiled eggs, groundnuts, gala or moimoi, for long journeys that will take some 9-12 hours.
Their choice you will say?
No. They should consider fellow passengers because when the farts begin to roll in, there’ll be no escape for anyone.
I studied at the University of Jos and so travelled by luxury buses from Lagos to Jos on three or four occasions before a road accident scared my mum into ensuring I travelled to school by air. Those days, when I used to travel by bus, I encountered a couple of nasty fellow passengers who have no milk of human kindness.
On one of such journeys, I got a window seat and had a matronly woman in her 40s, I think, seated next to me. I was quite comfortable having a woman next to me, because it ensured I wouldn’t have to deal with any amorous male who would under the pretext of buying items through the window brush against my breasts. Anyway, my joy didn’t last as my fellow female traveller had plans. She stocked up for the trip with Gala, three boiled eggs, two wraps of moimoi, a bag of sorry looking chinchin, cashew nuts and every sort of food item that a normal person would realise can mean trouble on the road.
She offered me each of these food items, which I rejected citing nausea and smell of petrol as reasons why food would be bad for me on a journey like this.
Madam laughed, said she was thankful she didn’t suffer any such malaise and subsequently shifted her bulk to settle for the long journey. She introduced herself, single mother of 4 who was in the business of buying and selling.
Soon after our bus took off, madam began feasting on her store of food. She ate and talked and told me about her four boys, her useless ex-husband, her witch of a mother in-law and her determination to ensure her children did not suffer.
You can’t dislike a woman like that. She was friendly, you see, so it was hard to ignore her long tales but I knew I had entered one chance!
She tapped me constantly when she noticed me drifting off to sleep then oohed and aahed as if her own story was shocking her afresh.
It was a sad one for me to watch her talk with a mouth full of masticated food as she opened it to exclaim her angst over her tales.
Then she fell asleep, as most bus passengers are wont to and I heaved a sigh of relief.
No way. My relief was short lived because all of that moimoi, groundnut and eggs had somehow been churned into a huge ball of gas that was waiting to be let off.
The farts came quick and fast every time she shifted her bulk, she would let one out.
At first, I simply opened the window wider and put my face outside. But on a journey that still with some 6-7 hours left, my neck began to hurt.
I was too embarrassed for her to say anything but cover my nose. The other passengers had also begun to complain. They didn’t know where the farts were coming from but I heard one woman, three seats away from us, cursing whoever it was that couldn’t stop farting.
How do you stop someone from farting?
Madam on the other hand just kept patting her stomach, muttering, “That moi moi no done.”
I wondered why she didn’t realise that before consuming two wraps.
Over the next few hours, madam had to ask the driver to stop or she would shit herself.
It got that bad.
Everyone prevailed on the driver to stop at the nearest town, where madam ran into the bush to find relief.
Having done the do, the rest of the journey was smooth.
By the way, the madam wasn’t a Yoruba woman o!