By Pat Amobi Chukwuma

A forth night ago, I was driving along a busy road. Accidentally I met a traffic hold-up. For a long time, the movement was standstill. After waiting patiently behind the steering for over forty-five minutes, I was fed up. Shrouded with anger, I got out of my car and walked forward to ascertain the cause of the terrible traffic congestion. At a point I saw a fat man and a thin man exchanging unpleasant words. They were sweating and pointing accusing fingers at each other. The fat man was boiling like hot water while the thin one was melting like ice-block. Out of excessive anger, the fat man carried the thin man shoulder high and was about to smash his head on the broken tarred road. Thank God that some able bodied young men were around. They surrounded the fat man and overpowered him. Then they brought down the thin man who was hanging on the air. As they were still verbally attacking each other, I rushed back to my car and brought a container of Holy Water. I sprinkled it all over the bodies of the two fighting men in order to dispel the evil spirits that had taken possession of them. It was very efficacious (akpucative). Their boiling high spirits started to calm down. By that time two armed policemen had already arrived at the scene.

What was the cause of the matter? The thin man was sacked without notice from civil service due to negligence of duty. He had a third-hand Volvo car. Because of economic bite he decided to sell the car. He put a sticker at the front and back windscreens of the old car with the inscription: FOR SALE. On the fateful day, his wife was conveying their three children to school with the car. Incidentally the fat man was willing to the buy the old car there and then, including its occupants. He was impotent and has been divorced by three wives because of the problem. He had gone to native and orthodox doctors for a cure but all to no avail. In fact one of the doctors told him clearly that his impotence is incurable. Consequently, he was at sea.

Opportunity, they say, comes but once. So, when he saw the car, the woman and the three children inside the old car with ‘For Sale’ stickers in front and on the back of the automobile, he thanked God for answering his prayers. The husband of the woman permitted her to sell the car as well if opportunity comes, at a stipulated amount. Hence on that fateful day the woman cleared by the road-side and negotiation began. There and then the fat impotent man paid for the car. The three school children were already seated inside the car. He ordered the woman to enter the car and let them go. Instead of obeying the order, the woman opened the back door and asked her three children to come down because the car had been sold. The buyer fumed and was pushing the woman into the back seat where the children were. According to him, he bought the car, the woman and the three children because they were all inside the car with labeled ‘for sale’.

As they were struggling, the woman made a distress phone call to her retrenched husband. He reported at the scene promptly. His wife told him that the fat man bought the car which was for sale and wanted to kidnap her and the three children. That was the cause of the traffic hold-up. All said and done, the policemen took the two fighting men to the station and threw them behind the bars. Later, they were charged to court for causing public disorder, obstruction of traffic, attempted murder and kidnapping.

The fat rich man hired a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) as his lawyer. Due to hardship, the retrenched thin man hired a hungry lawyer. In the courtroom, the hungry lawyer couldn’t defend his client well. The SAN with big legal grammar argued convincingly that the fat impotent man bought the old Volvo car and its human contents because they were all labeled FOR SALE. Thus the fat man won the case. That was how he lawfully became the husband of the woman and father of the three children. Unfortunately, the retrenched thin man had no money to appeal the verdict. From then he became wifeless and childless till the day he died in a mysterious circumstance. So, beware of FOR SALE.

Marriage is for better and for worse. It is good as well as bitter. The lucky couples enjoy their marriages while the unlucky ones regret for entering into marriage at all. Anyone who marries a bad husband or a bad wife is already in hell-fire. It happened that a certain man got married to an evil woman. Her bodily beauty deceived him into entering into the bond. The woman’s body was beautiful while her heart was ugly. Is it not better to marry a bodily ugly woman with a beautiful heart than a beautifully bodily woman with ugly heart? Make your choice. In the course of the ill-fated marriage, the husband in question was almost serving the devil-incarnate wife as houseboy. One day, when the wife was about to go to market, she commanded the devalued husband to come and zip her blouse up at the back. Before then, the fed-up husband had already bought a FOR SALE sticker and was looking for an opportunity to put her evil wife on sale. Hence the opportunity came on that day. He rushed happily into his wife’s room to zip her blouse up. As he was going, he hid the FOR SALE sticker in his pocket. When he was doing the zipping, he secretly brought out the sticker with automatic gum and placed it conspicuously at her back. She ordered her husband turned houseboy to wash the plates and her inner wears and to keep the house tidy before she comes back. The husband sarcastically shouted, “Yes Madam!”

She left for the market. Hardly did she know that her poor husband had put her on sale. As she was going through the market, one tout was following her behind and was ringing bell and shouting, “Going?! Going?! Going?!” When she entered a particular cosmetic shop, the tout shouted higher, “Gone!!!” He asked the cosmetic shop owner to pay for the woman she bought. The evil woman shouted, “God punish you! Go and sell your mother. Idiot!” There was a giant mirror in the cosmetic shop. The allegedly sold woman watched her back with the help of another mirror. Angrily she tore off the offensive sticker. She suspended the shopping and angrily rushed home to deal with her foolish husband. Before her arrival, the unfortunate husband had sold their house and disappeared into oblivion. Till today, he has not been traced. The evil cheated wife instantly went into prostitution as the last resort.

Again, there was an unrepentant prodigal son who went about selling off her father’s plots of land and property when the father was still alive. The distressed father tried to arrest him but couldn’t. He had joined an evil group of boys and was operating from their hideout. The unrepentant prodigal son had sold every other plots of land except the ten plots situated close to the family compound. During the day, the father climbed up one of the trees within the plots of land to keep watch and to confront his prodigal son called Ebuka, in case he comes with the buyers. But he could not be there at night. An idea came into his mind. He went to an artist who wrote neatly on a big bill-board: “This Land is not for sale. Beware of Ebuka, my useless son!” The father conveyed the bill-board in an open vehicle. On reaching the spot he placed it at a central place within the ten plots of land. On a certain night, Ebuka came to measure the land in the company of an agent. When he saw the bill-board and its inscription, he was furious. He took it down and went to an artist and rewrote: “This Land is for sale. Don’t mind Jideofo, my hopeless father.” He put it at the exact position the father placed his. If you were the father of the unrepentant prodigal son, what else would you do? What advice do you have for Ebuka?