Is there a fear of cars? Or to put it in another way, is it possible for one to fear a car the same way (s)he can fear a spider, or a dog or a snake? Well, this is my case. Back in my childhood days, an accident occurred near our home. It was around half past 9 in the evening. The usual supper meal of ugali na sukuma wiki was over. The News bulletin for the day was over and we were waiting for Nightman before The bo and the beau (The Bold and the Beautiful) followed at 10 p.m. These were the days when adults would keep on using phrases like, ”Watoto wa Nairobi wameshalala, kwenda lala haraka!!!” (The Nairobi kids are already asleep, go to bed fast!!!) to ensure that they had a nice time watching The Bold and the Beautiful. It seems that Ezekiel Mutua’s rules had been in force a long time ago as the hot romantic show aired after 10 p.m.
Cover photo for The Nightman, a show that aired on KBC back in the days.
Image Credits: MTV
Back to the accident story. All we heard was a loud bang. Screams and shouts could then be heard. A certain neighbour whom we nicknamed Sister came over to our place and amidst her hasty breaths, she muttered, ”Lorry ya makaa imeanguka!!” The night had been dark and out of fear of darkness, all I could do was peep at the accident scene from the balcony. This fear of darkness was largely due to my fear of wrestling stars namely The Undertaker and Kane! All that kept playing in my head each moment I found myself in the dark was that The Undertaker grabbed me by my neck and dumped me in his ubiquitous casket before proceeding to bury me alive! Or worse still, I could not help but imagine Kane grabbing me before executing the Tombstone Piledriver then proceeding to burn me alive!! Woi!!! What a childhood gripped by fear I had!
Kane executing the Tombstone Piledriver
Image Credits: Triple-threat Podcast
That night I slept well despite the imagined thoughts of the different kinds and bouts of phobia I used to experience. Oh! How I wish I knew in advance that the worst was yet to come. The morning came and the first thing that came to my mind was to rush to the scene. I did not mind the breakfast. Little did I know that I was going to subject myself to a new kind of phobia.
The Undertaker and his casket.
Image Credits: Youtube
People had milled around the accident scene. The scene was all messy. It felt like an oil spill on dry land due to the crushed bags of charcoal which now had scattered all over the road and surrounding bushes. According to eye-witness accounts, the old model Isuzu lorry had been overloaded with bags of charcoal and upon negotiating the corner, it overturned. The way the Isuzu lorry had been distorted seemed to tell the story of it being in a fight with nature. It was like the lorry had been trying to defy the laws of physics only to be put down and reminded that one cannot defeat nature. One has to abide by the laws of nature! In an instance, I could sense sharp pangs of fear rising within me. My heart began pounding hard and I could not explain what was going on inside me. Disturbing thoughts of the driver and his turn-boy being trapped beneath the wreckage began hitting my mind and in no time I could feel myself being under the strong grips of fear and I could not explain why.
The old model Isuzu lorry had been overloaded with bags of charcoal
Image Credits: Courtesy
Efforts were being made to clear the scene and the first attempt was to use the Town Council’s Caterpillar. The whines of the Caterpillar’s engine as it ‘struggled’ to pull the lorry out of the roadside ditch were enough proof that there was no work being done. According to science, and more specifically Physics, work is said to be done when force is used to move an object over a certain distance need I say more? In this case, the Caterpillar was ‘jumping’ on the spot. And then at one moment, the rope cut lose and the Caterpillar jerked forward as its engine growled like a bear taunting an enemy. I just found myself running back to the house in fear. It was as if I was going to die in the next minute! Tears welled up my eyes and I could not explain why I was suddenly developing a fear for Caterpillars!
An earthmover Caterpillar
Image Credits: frsCapital
To be continued……………………