I traveled to my hometown on Friday for a double weekend
event and was unfortunate enough (or perhaps fortunate, for the trip might otherwise have been quite
dry) to find myself upon a bus with a particular pair of driver and conductor. The center of distraction, shall we say, was the bus conductor. He was a colorful
one. Or rather his tongue was.
This man was continually engaging in a war of words with anyone who would take him up on the offer. The most spectacular of his verbal opponents was a lady–a very fat lady, according to him. He complained that the lady shouldn’t board his bus again. When asked why, he quite simply responded, “you take up too much space!” I’m sure you could argue that this was very discriminatory but Nigeria is not a land known for political correctness.
The woman turned and rained all sorts of abuses on the very thin, bespectacled man, concluding with, “you’re simply an idiot!”
As with most fools, the argumentative Mr. Spectacles was not one to let you have the last word. With a depth of gravitas that he clearly summoned with great effort, the conductor’s final retort was: “there’s clearly a difference between an idiot and a compound idiot as you clearly demonstrated now!”
Though I successfully stifled mine, there was outright laughter from some of my fellow travelers. It seemed clear from the reactions of each of the combatants (indignant huffing and puffing on his part; hands raised in victory on hers) that there was no confusion about whom the laughter was aimed at.
My final thought: I think the little man was just angry that he didn’t get to drive the bus.