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The Lift and the Lifters

George is a High School Teacher and a literature enthusiast. His other interests include IT and Mathematics

The Lift and the Lifters


You see them every day-people or should I say passengers in those private vehicles that punctuate our roads interspersed by the maligned necessary evils – the public service vehicles. These tools of conveyance are in most cases occupied by multiple individuals.

These people can be categorized variously, depending on their facials. Occupying the initial slot are the owners who by some moribund tradition are consigned to the back left.

This can jog your memory of elementary algebra – the diagonals are the longest lengths in a rectangle. I thus posit the reason for such a sitting arrangement is to ensure minimum contact with the driver who is most likely a chauffeur – read servant, a family member, an officially assigned driver or one of those remote relatives.

The second slot has the relatives of the owner. Near or distant, these members deserve the ride to various destinations with the person calling the shots vis-à-vis the vehicle.

The third tier has the other beneficiaries of the benevolence of the good natured owner – or in the owner’s absence, the driver.

These are the folk to whom lady luck threw a smile or as they are wont to say – had their prayers answered. Once in not so long a while, we fall into this category by luck, necessity, affirmative action – no pun intended, or by pure coincidence.

Co-joined to the above list are the few fare-paying members. These are those who help the lowly paid (or is it ravenous?) driver to buy that much needed packet of milk for the juniors at home.

The tail section of the lots is occupied by those who are tugged along for an assortment of purposes. In case of breakdown especially for those long village-bound trips that veer to the dirt roads that signal rural domiciles. In such instances, our member will aptly replace the punctured wheel, forage for a stone from the nearby bushes to anchor the wheel and prevent backward movement on a sloppy section as the driver sorts out a mishap. He (usually male for this purpose) could also slide under the vehicle to check the source of the malfunction as the driver revs the engine or puts on one switch or the other.

He can also double up as a security when the vehicle is parked in some obscure location especially where the road does not permit arrival at the intended destination. In town, his presence will keep the petty burglar a tidy distance from the vicinity.

What amuses about these different categories is the swift metamorphosis they undergo once accorded the hospitality of being ‘between the wheels’. One notices that the once good-natured and amiable appearance while in ‘twos’ quickly repeals to reveal a mean face that will leave you at a loss who is the ‘lifter’ and who has been ‘lifted’.

It is noteworthy that the facelift occurs soon after exchanging pleasantries with the benefactor.

Make no mistake! That contorted face is not intended for those inside the vehicle. It is a near-natural reflex to the newly acquired status whose intention is to warn those who are still out there on their ‘twos’ – that they should not dare attempt to create unnecessary comfort to the now cosy ride.

Since the hike, those outside are considered a nuisance (how fast we forget!) who should be shunned-whatever the cost. Those who give a longing glance towards the car are met by repugnant stares whose coded message is – pass by and never look back till I round the corner ahead!

It once came to my senses when I looked viewed the rear-view mirror during such a ride. I discovered that my wrinkles exceeded the normal tally as when using the bedroom mirror. We should ask ourselves how inhuman thoughts permeate our hearts due to inane jealousy. The wellbeing of other members of our society pains us, to the likeness of other animals’ territorial seclusion.

Next time you have a glance to spare through one at the vehicle passing by, you’ll not have a difficulty in dichotomizing its occupants. Have a reflection on this and place yourself accordingly!

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2022 George Nyambega

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