If ATMs Could Speak

July 23, 2021

Just Imagine is a Zikoko weekly series that takes fictional pop culture icons and reimagines them as chaotic Nigerians. 

What’s not to love about ATMs? If you just ignore the long queues, bad network, and occasional swallowing of cards, ATMs are a lifesaver. 

They do their jobs and let you go about your day. But what if you were stuck in a parallel universe where ATMs could speak?


It’s 5 a.m. A young man named Kunle leaves his house with his debit card and heads for the ATM down the road.

Kunle arrives and inserts his card into the machine. Nothing happens. Kunle slaps the machine to get it to work but still, nothing. He slaps it harder and the machine blinks to life.

ATM: Yes? What again?

Kunle asks to withdraw50,000.

ATM

Kunle slaps the machine again.

ATM: When did you put N50k that you want to collect?

Kunle: Okay. Give me 20K then.

ATM: From where? Which job are you doing that you want to be seeing  20k? Is it not just to rub nixoderm and eat corn that you know? 

Kunle inserts another card and asks for10,000.

ATM: Kunle, you go chop slap. You go chop slap this morning!


The next set of people are two girls named Linda and Tochi. They step up to the machine and Linda inserts her card, requesting for 100,000.

Linda: It’s time for me to shake my ass on a yacht! 

Both of them: In Dubai! In a thong!

ATM: It’s not only thong. Linda, it’s 302.56 that is in your account. 

Tochi: Let’s use my card.

ATM: Put it.

Tochi inserts her card and attempts to withdraw100,000.

ATM: You can’t even pretend and press 1,500. Who do you want to form for? More than 5K usually enter your account?


The next person steps up. It’s a middle aged man named Baba Kafayah and his wife, Iya Kafayah. Baba Kafayah puts his card into the machine and asks for  ₦25,000.

ATM: Ah Baba Kafayah, good morning o. It’s the last money in your account that you gave Sidi yesterday. 

Mama Kafayah: EHN?!

ATM: He gave her for bum bum cream…

Baba Kafayah: (cuts in angrily) Shut up! Who say you should talk!

ATM: … And he gave Kudi money for wig.

Baba Kafayah:

Baba Kafayah:  Iya Kafayah, will you believe machine or your husband?

ATM: I can print the receipt for you. He used to bring Tola here too.

The ATM pushes out a receipt and Mama Kafayah starts to pull Baba Kafayah out of the queue, by his ear.

Iya Kafayah: 

Baba Kafayah: Sidi said bumbum is paining her. So I can’t help someone again?


A couple steps up, and the man, Chike, kisses the woman, Lolade, on her cheek. He proceeds to make his withdrawal while Lolade waits behind him.

Lolade: Babe, I’m so grateful you’re helping me with my fees. I really have nothing left in my account.

Chike smiles and punches the machine but after a while, he turns to Lolade.

Chike: Babe, the network is bad. The machine is not dispensing.

ATM: I am not dispensing abi you are putting the wrong pin?

ATM: No dey cut eye for me. Use your original pin and collect money!

Lolade: Chike? Is that true?

ATM: It’s true, he no wan give you money. Spend this money Oga Chike! But Madam, shey you won’t spend on bros as well.. Shey Chief just put 5 million in your account?

Chike:

Lolade

ATM: You people should please shift, I have work this morning.


Two men walk up to the machine. The first man, Kola, is in his late 20s and his companion is his father, Baba Kola.

Baba Kola: Remove the school fees I gave you last week.

Kola tries to insert his card. 

ATM: Ehs! If you put that card inside me, I will swallow it. Baba, his money is not here. It is in Silver Fox; inside woman’s pant.


Another man, Hakeem, walks up to the machine and inserts his card. He withdraws  ₦100,000 and goes in for more. He withdraws another  ₦100,000. He asks to withdraw another  ₦100,000.

ATM: Don’t lie, you’re just coming back from Oba, abi?


At night, an old man, Pa Saka, comes to the ATM, holding a calabash. He starts to read incantations. Pa Saka inserts his card.

Pa Saka: It is only 2,500 that is inside this card but I want you to vomit  2 million.

ATM: Another day, another madness.

ATM: I used to think this white hair on your head is wisdom. I didn’t know it was for fashion.

Pa Saka: Vomit money!

ATM: *swallows card* Go to the bank tomorrow and explain what you were doing here.

A group of armed robbers rush in and start trying to remove the ATM. They keep trying but fail. They turn to Pa. Saka.

Robbers: Give us all your money!

Pa Saka: I don’t have any money. ATM just swallowed my card now now.

Pa Saka’s last 2,500 comes out of the ATM.

ATM: You can take this one.

The robbers snatch it and leave.

Pa Saka: You know you’re mad?

ATM shrugs. Pa Saka leaves in tears

Baba Kayafah sneaks back to the ATM – this time without Iya Kafayah – and inserts his card.

ATM: Werey, another person don get bumbum pain abi?

Check back every Friday by 2pm for new stories in the Just Imagine series.

Hauwa L

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