I don’t know why boys love cars or anything with wheels. Almost all their toys are a sort of miniature speed masters.
I am not referring to you that grew up with ready-made toys kids in Japan make in their daddy’s garage, the same toys your daddy pay huge sums for. By “boys” I meant kids like me that lived through the era of “borris”, made moving ‘vehicles’ from “sprockets”, formed toys from bleach containers, milk tins, and toothpaste packs…
And when we want to go faster, we rolled wheels or beat tyres or ran around turning imaginary steering wheels.
Some of us were more ambitious. If I wasn’t, then my younger one was. These were the ones that dared driving real vehicles -scrap or functioning, moving or stationary- and simulate driving.
We did read stories of a boy who dared fear and drove a lorry that was used for a school trip. We read that in an English text book and it scared us for a time. Apparently, the vehicle lost control and went wrecking havoc while the driver, one Tafa Dauda had stepped out to buy something and a boy took over the wheels.
Well, the fear did wane and we respected lorries, but boys will still be boys and there is something that something with wheels stirs in us.
These days, I look at the scar on my right toe and remember that day when one uncle visited with his motorbike.
How old was I then? 5 or 6, I cannot really say, but on the motorcycle I climbed and ‘drive’ I did, while Goodnews Samuel my sister was ‘taking pictures’ with her camera-hand-to-eye…and Ezra Samuel my younger brother became my passenger. We wanted to make it real so outside the engine noise that we made with our mouths, we also created the pothole effect by shaking the motorbike and…
…Ezra may have heard voices from the parlour for he jumped, and down came me and the bike, with the stand standing on my toe. I was too pained to scream for help, but my spectator siblings looked on and laughed as if I was pulling the type of stunt they usually see on TV. Thankfully, the sound of the fall attracted someone near and I was rescued.