How I dodged a bullet: Memories of UNILAG.

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MEMORIES OF UNILAG: How I Dodged A Bullet


My mother must have been very prayerful those days. My smart escape could not have been due to my own inconsistent prayers. I thank God for the discretion with which I acted, else…


I was in my 200 level, the early years of cutting my teeth on the medical profession. We had moved from the Akoka campus to Idi-Araba campus of the University. The incident happened in the Gross Laboratory of the Anatomy Department. Anatomy course exposed us to working on dead bodies (cadavers). We were required to have knowledge of the structure and locations of different tissues and organs in the bodies of dead people. Such knowledge came handy when we began to care for living people.


I was one of the 20 - 25 student dissectors in my class. The student dissectors were responsible for cutting through the cadavers, using the guidelines in the popular dissection book, “Cunningham’s Manual of Practical Anatomy”. The Gross Lab had about 5 bays. Each bay had about 4 - 5 tables on which we placed the bodies we worked upon. An average of twelve students were assigned to each cadaver. We were initially irritated by the grotesque look of the bodies. The cadavers later became study companions, by the way we touched them with ease. Prof Oremosu Ademola Ayodele was one of the Anatomy lecturers who welcomed us into the “home of the dead”. It was during his speech that he mentioned that he won the award of the best student in Neuroanatomy in his set. The Nobel prize awaits him, hopefully. 


Everything went well until I had an encounter with two female students in my Anatomy group. They were very close friends. They were literally inseparable. Let me call them Tolu and Titi. The two of them gave me good assistance during the dissection sessions. They ensured that I followed the guidelines, else we would miss the nerve or artery we were required to study. Student dissectors often got to the Gross Lab earlier than other students in their respective groups. It gave us little distraction from other students while cutting the bodies. Tolu and Titi were usually in my company.


While I was mutilating the cadaver, Tolu and Titi got involved in a friendly argument, a distraction from our mission in the lab. The two of them had taken a photograph together, which they began to analyse. They soon started contesting which of them was finer in the picture. I ignored them. Each of them felt right with her assessment. I was indifferent until they asked for my opinion.


“Ehn?” I reacted in shock.


“Which of us is finer?” Tolu asked me.


I was still trying to understand the necessity of the question and why I was the unfortunate guy to answer it when Titi also requested me to tell them the finer person.


I went back to my dissection. The cadaver needed my attention more than these ladies that put me in an uncomfortable position.


Titi and Tolu persisted. They wanted an answer.


It took me microseconds. I looked at the picture then looked at the two of them scrutinizingly and made my conclusion. They looked at me expectantly.


“Tolu is more beautiful than Titi,” I said. Tolu jumped in excitement and began to make a mocking expression at Titi. 


Titi looked at me beggingly, “Demola, so Tolu is finer than me, abi?”


I gave Tolu less than a nanosecond to enjoy her euphoria then said, “but Titi is prettier than Tolu.” It was Titi’s turn to also enjoy the compliment. She too sneered at Tolu.


All of a sudden, the two of them reasoned together, “ahn ahn! Demola, ‘more beautiful or prettier,’ which one is a better compliment?”


As said in my introduction, my mother must have prayed well for me that morning. Before I could respond to them, a fourth student had joined us. Till date, I am yet to answer their question.


That’s my testimony of how I dodged a bullet. Praise God!

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