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Who Stole The Principal’s Car? - a short story by A.B.King

   Once upon a time in a place called Nigeria there lived a principal named Mr. J.K. Brown.
Mr.Brown had a slight problem today … OK! Maybe a major problem. He rubbed his eyes twice to see if the problem in front of him would go away but it didn’t. It was still there. He pinched himself to see if he was dreaming … Ouch! That hurt, that means it wasn’t a dream. It was real. His spot on the parking lot was empty. The place where he parked his car was empty. His car was gone – stolen; on school premises.
   Now who would have the nerve to steal the Principal’s car? Which student would have the nerve to steal what no teacher should ever come near?
   All the students were gathered in the assembly hall for the emergency assembly. All classes had been cancelled for the rest of the day until the culprit is found.
   The principal raged and raved at all the students, telling them that whoever knows anything should come forward, better yet the culprit himself should come forward.
   The teachers were outraged. Who would dare steal the principal’s car? Who would dare steal that which even they are forbidden to near?
   The principal’s blood grew hotter every minute. What would the principals of other schools think if they found out that his car was stolen in his own school? OH MY! He would be the laughing stock of all Nigerian disciplinarians in all the history of Nigerian discipline.
   He has struggled to build the school’s reputation to be one of the best Christian schools in the country. A school with responsible, peaceful, God-fearing students. All of that would come crumbling down if word got out. It would be even worse if the culprit is not caught. The only way to redeem himself was to catch the culprit and punish him or her in a way that would be legendary. The punishment would demand a lot more than his usual withdrawals from the vast pool of punishment ideas that lay deep inside his mind. No matter, it won’t be much of a problem because his anger today was quite unusual too.
   However, Principal Brown decided to start small then work his way up on the ladder of punishment ideas. He decided to start with capital punishment right after he finished giving his sermon titled, “THOU SHALL NOT STEAL.” It was not like Mr. Brown was a true Christian like he always pretended to be, but he had hoped that the sermon would soften someone’s heart enough to give him some information – to give him some clue as to the identity of the culprit so that he can redeem the school’s reputation.
   Anyway, 1st on the list of the capital punishment menu was flogging every student 20 strokes of the cane on their backs, as they lay flat on their stomachs on the assembly ground.
   Item one, took longer than he expected. The time for school to close for the day had passed and the Principal and the teachers were yet to move to Item Two which was for every student to move on their knees around the school premises. It may not be an original in the Nigerian school disciplinary world but it would have to do for item number two. It was item number seven that had promise of an everlasting sting.
   School hours for the day being over meant that parents whose children didn’t go back home after school on their own would be coming to pick up their kids. And that they did.
   When a parent showed up to pick up his/her kid, the parent was informed about what happened to the principal’s car. Flogging kids and wounding them for doing something wrong is acceptable to Nigerian parents but flogging a child for what another child did was not totally acceptable to every Nigerian parent.
   The principal’s excuse was that whoever was guilty was among them , therefore by punishing all of them, he would also reach whosoever was guilty. That was the general idea behind all capital punishment but it just wasn’t good enough for all the parents who arrived so it only heated up the situation.
   Some parents resorted to calling other parents who were also friends of their's on their cell phone. Some parents used their connections to call friends in the Nigerian Police, which made Principal Brown (being the principal of one of the most popular schools in Nigeria) use his hot-shot connections to call up his own friends in the Nigerian Police Force, along with the best Nigerian lawyer money can buy.
   Being a school of high reputation, a lot of Big Shot Nigerians sent their kids there, including the Commissioner of Police whose arrival made it took like no matter how heated up things may have been before it was only a little above room temperature but now it was about to turn into the insides of an active volcano.
   Only God knows how the Deputy Governor found out about it or who invited him but he and his platoon of bodyguards arrived making the situation more critical maybe even on a national level.
   A local Nigerian newspaper crew soon showed up and in their quest to get the spiciest news out of the situation; asked all the wrong questions. They intended to make the commotion more turbulent so they could get a greater front page for tomorrow morning’s newspaper.
   Things got so out of control that the seemingly ever increasing number of parents started fighting and throwing bottles at the teachers who retaliated in an equally barbaric manner. There was sure to be a riot anytime soon. That was the blood that made the shark called “Nigerian TV news reporters" shows up. This was too irresistible to them. Soon there was a live broadcast all around Nigeria about what was happening.
   Minutes later the wife of the Principal drove into the school premises.
   The principal was shocked to see what car she was driving – whose car she was driving. She was driving his car. She was driving the so-called stolen car.
   The principal’s wife shouted at her husband for being a not very nice husband. She told everyone that she had told him earlier that day, during breakfast that she would need to use his car to run some errands around town since she had no car of her own but since she wouldn’t want him (the school principal) to be late for school, she would let him drive it to work (school) and then later on she would take a Taxi to the school and using the spare key, take his car to run her errands for the rest of the day.
   Apparently, like most husbands (who should be ashamed of themselves), Principal Brown wasn’t paying attention when his wife had spoken to him at breakfast that morning. Most men have the disgraceful habit of not listening or paying attention to their wives. They want to do anything with their wives except talk. Today, that disgraceful habit had put a big “Oh-Uh!” in his mouth that he would have to talk about. He should have fun trying to explain to all the angry students, parents, police men, lawyers, top Government officials, the press, plus the folks viewing the whole commotion at home via the live broadcast that it had all been a terrible misunderstanding.
   This goes to show that men should take the will of God concerning their relationship with their wives more seriously, for it is written that Husbands should love their wives as Christ loves the church, which means a man should be definitely willing to die for his wife in the name of love if the need arises. And if a man loves his wife that much, then he would definitely have no trouble with paying attention to every word that comes out of her mouth.
   Also husbands should buy their wives a car of their own.


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