February 9, 2016

The sufferation of Nagga


Satiricus had finally solved one of the biggest mysteries that’d baffled him for years. He was relieved but at the same time shocked. As the man he considered his leader in so many ways, (the other was Rum Jhaat) Satiricus had always wondered why Nagga Man’s face was so contorted. It was the face of a man who had suffered much.

And at last Nagga Man revealed the cause: it was because of all the sufferation he had to endure from PPCEE’s persecution for 60 years – just because he wasn’t a Hindu. Since Satiricus had been so concerned he’d guessed Nagga’s wizened and lined visage had been due to his legendary consumption of Bush Rum. There was also that oily, sweaty veneer over the crevices in his face that was also a tell tale sign.

Satiricus was amazed at Nagga’s revelation… because all along he’d thought Nagga Man was Hindu. In fact because of how Nagga Man boasted of his bravery, Satiricus actually thought his leader was a Chatree Hindu – the warrior Hindu. Satiricus thought Nagga Man drank so much booze because that was what  Chatrees were supposed to do. They were REAL men – and real men HAD to drink!! And cuss… even grandchildren. Now Satiricus knew that it was really because Nagga had to drown his sorrows at his sufferation because of the PPCEE persecution.

And Nagga had soooo tried to fit in. Whose face wouldn’t become contorted if you forced yourself to drink all that dhall just to develop a dhall belly to match that old Hindu Rum O Tar’s. Rum O Tar had lost his dhall belly because he had to run for President, but Nagga Man couldn’t run and so he was stuck with his dhall belly… in addition to his contorted face. What a bummer!

But all of that was behind him. He could now be himself because he was with people of his own faith. No more Bush Rum – it was now Grey Goose. No more bottom house… it was State House. No more old car – it was SUV. No more small freck – it was $1.7 every month! It was so good to be himself.

But as Nagga Man cried, “FREE AT LAST,.. FREE AT LAST; THANK GOD ALMIGHTY, I AM FREE AT LAST,” Satiricus saw his face was just as corrugated. Was it really the Nagga Man’s “bad mind” that caused it?

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Friends and favour

Satiricus is a sucker for humility and sacrifice. And that’s why he teared up so copiously at the gala opening of the new KFC building. The old KFC building had fallen into disrepair (and disrepute) with cockroaches in the ovens and granny sugar in the cupboards. What to do? All the big ones had been elevated to High Office and were busy doing what people in High Offices do.

No…not only get high! They have all sorts of “line responsibilities”, doled out by Pressie. Rum Jhaat, leader of the KFC, for instance, had been kept busy issuing proclamations to keep you and me safe. Like that one that nailed the crime spiral: “Hear yee! Hear yee” Rum Jhaat had trumpeted, “Let all inns and taverns cease from serving any spiritous libations after 2am!”

Nagga Man, the other “big one” in the KFC, had become the Prime Moocher, but was kept so busy flying here, there and everywhere, he didn’t even have time to berate errant reporters at the Chronic any more. That he left to his waterboy, Shillo the Shill to rewrite headlines for errant reporters at the Chronic and not annoy Nagga Man.

And that explained why Rum Jhaat gave a shout out to his old buddy Loud Singer – from far back as when he, the Jhaat had been imprisoned inside the PPCEE. “Ladies and gentlemen,” the Jhaat had cried out in delight, “let’s give it up for Loud Singer.” When people – including Pressie – started to look around wondering who the heck was “Loud Singer”, the Jhaat continued, “Hey, Loudy my man, stand up and let everyone see you!”
Ignoring the wince on Pressie’s face, Rum Jhaat continued. “When we were down and out, and the House of KFC was falling down, it was Loud Singer who’d said to me, “Jhaat ole buddy, I’m gonna build you a new House…just you wait and see. And I want nothing in return. That’s what friendship is all about.” And the tears started to cascade down Satiricus’ cheeks.

But Rum Jhaat wasn’t done. “Now I expect some people gonna say GPL gonna buy power from Loud Singer wind farm for twice what it cost GPL because of this bribe gift. And also Loud Singer gonna get big contracts to sell drugs to the Big Hospital.

But they don’t know friends don’t look for payback. Like the favour I did for my friend Feather Loud and didn’t take a blind cent.” By this time, Satiricus was sobbing like a baby. Fitfully.

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The Ghoul strikes

Satiricus was full of admiration. He admired iconoclasts… men who marched to their own drummer and hummed their own tune. Most people thought these kind of people were plain nuts—and even salted nuts—but that didn’t faze them. They only answered to the voices in their heads.
Satiricus was just reading that maverick Ghoul Seh Run’s latest bit of muck he’d made up and leaked to the Pee and See/KFC leaning Muckraker. Ghoul Seh Run was a bookkeeper during the hard guava Burnt Ham days. He was forced to sell phoulowrie to his staff to keep going. He hated those who didn’t have to sell phoulowrie… yet also worked for government. He didn’t bother to check whether these people were doing better work than him.
But being a bookkeeper, he also checked the books of fellas in private industry who made much more money than he or anyone else in Government. He did this on the side to supplement his phoulowrie sales which in turn supplemented his Government job salary. He hated these business types even more. With all this bookkeeper knowledge how dare they do better than him by only buying and selling??!! He only found life bearable because of the hate he felt for so many people. And that he could take out his anger on his staff.
After finagling his way to foreign for some years, Ghoul Seh Run came back to Guyana and this was when he became an iconoclast. Bookeeper’s weren’t supposed to carry news on their clients. Something called “fiduciary responsibility”. But back in Guyana, Ghoul Seh Run’s hatred for his betters boiled over because they were now doing better than him. Living even better than Burnt Ham—for whom Condensed Milk had been the height of luxury! These new rich people wouldn’t even give Condensed Milk to their cats!
So Ghoul Seh Run said “to hell with this fiduciary schupidness” when the other fella who hated everybody who did better than he—Mook Lall from the Pee an See/KFC leaning Muckraker—offered him a “small piece” to spill his guts on folks the Ghoul hated. If he didn’t find news in the books, yhe Mook said he could just make it up!! And a “small piece” was better than nothing—he could now spill his hatred coming and going!!
A “freck” in his pocket and nasty made-up news about the people he hated. Ghoul Seh Run was in pigs’ heaven!

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Inspiration from Nagga Man  

Satiricus was depressed with all the bad news spreading like dark clouds around him. There were all the folks thrown out of work at Wales. There were all the folks taking their own lives because they had no hope. There was the spiralling crime wave crashing over his head like a tsunami. There was the slowdown in the economy that was hurting him plenty.

Then he remembered the one thing that always cheered him up – the inspiring words of his leader – the Nagga Man. And since he couldn’t walk into the Office of the Prime Moocher, just like that, he did the next best thing. Satiricus went to the great man’s website to see what he advised about all the challenges that was besetting Satiricus and other Guyanese.

The website, of course, was run by the PM’s shill, Iman – otherwise known as “Shillo”. Every day, Shillo would sit at the feet of Naga Man and collect the pearls of wisdom that flowed from his tongue. It was on account of these pearls that Nagga Man’s salary had been bumped up to $1.7 million. He had no other “line responsibility”. Occasionally, he would leave his official residence being refurbished at the cost of $72 million and have Shillo drive him to meet his “constituents” in his $$60 million LANDCRUISER.

On the website, Nagga Man had moved off the Wales closing after saying, “Oooops! I misspoke when I promised “NO closing of sugar estates” during the campaign.”

And these were the new Nagga pearls collected and posted by Shillo, the Shill.

“This is the year of our Golden Jubilee, and as depicted by our logo, we take pride in roaring this to the world.

The jaguar is roaring for us a narrative of Guyana – the land of many waters; the land of many ethnicities; a land of diverse cultures. We say to the world today in the words of our National Anthem that we are “united and free”; in the words of our motto, we are “one people, one nation, one destiny”; and in the preamble our Independence Constitution, that our society is founded upon “the Rule of Law.”

A tear rolled down Satiricus’ cheek. This was PRICELESS, MUCH LESS $1.7M! All Guyana’s problems had been solved. He felt like shouting, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty I am free at last!!”

What a man was Nagga Man and his waterboy Shillo, the Shill!

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Great Brown Hunter

Satiricus had been upset. Very upset. “I can’t believe Guyanese bad minded so,” he’d fumed to him-self. He’d been thinking about all the fuss the chatterati had made about Rum Jhaat and the Jaguar skin he’d nailed to his office wall. Well… all of that would change now, wouldn’t it?
Satiricus had been reading about the Jaguars killing out the sheep and goats of the good people of Mainstay, Tapacuma and Lima Sands over in the Cinderella County. Satiricus was waiting for all those tree-hugging bleeding hearts who’d given Rum Jhaat hell… to speak up now. So what would they ad-vise those poor farmers? Go hug the Jaguars?
Did they care that when these Jaguars were finished with the lake people they’ll move to the coast? There those poor people are already suffering with their rice coming out of their ears. Rice, rice eve-rywhere… and not a grain being sold. Satiricus had spoken to his grand uncle at Charity and the poor fella had told him in a quaking voice, “Abee na come out abee house. Abee friken dem jaguar too bad!”
He said his neighbours all along the Coast were all demanding that Rum Jhaat come right over to Esse-quibo to get rid of these man killers! Hadn’t Pressie just announced that, unlike his Budday Nagga Man who could fly around adding to global warming with all his talking – he had a LINE responsibility – which was “National Security”? Wasn’t Essequibo part of the nation? Or were they giving it over to Maduro?
His uncle then continued with his clinching point, “Rum Jhaat gat experience fuh kill Jaguars, bai. When he been a campaign he tell abee how he kill wan Jaguar wid he bare hands when he bin wan lil bai.”
Satiricus told his uncle he wasn’t too sure. “These Ministers are BIG people, you know Unk… they busy!”
His uncle snorted so hard, Satiricus thought he was having a stroke. But then his Uncle said, “Busy? Bai, a wha wraang wid yuh? You na hear demtek he Tax Paper? If you think abee rice farmers ah cheat pan tax… yuh na see Rum Jhaat tax return. Dem shut he up and he na gat nothing fuh do!!”

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Water boy and powerful boss

Satiricus was upset at the way his favourite paper was claiming his favourite politician, the Nagga Man, was being “emasculated”. Satiricus didn’t know what the word meant – so he looked it up and discovered it was the same thing his father used to do to the bulls on the farm that he didn’t want to bother the cows. Those bulls began to act real weird!

Anyhow Satiricus was happy Nagga Man’s water boy, Iman, put the rumours to rest. In fact Iman revealed that Nagga Man hasn’t not only not been emasculated, he’d been given a whole lot of other powers that made him even more a man. A bigger man. And of course, totally coincidentally Iman would also be a bigger man by reflection. More water to carry.

The biggest “bigging up” was to place Nagga Man in charge of “Info”. This of course was a big boost – since way back in 1992, he’d been given the same job by his hero Hagan. Just to have the job Hagan had given him was worth more than silver and gold – not to mention the power to nominate Cabinet Ministers, which had been promised him.

With the power over Info, Nagga Man could now harangue even younger cub reporters when the new Budget was being presented. Iman could also leak stuff to the blogosphere. Parliamentary “leadership” was another “blue pill” given to increase Nagga Man’s manhood. Never mind every Prime Minister before him had played that ceremonial role and the Chief Whip held the real power.

Nagga Man was also now “co-chairing” the cabinet meetings. Pressie had determined that “chairing” was unconstitutional but “co-chairing” was not. Nagga Man was also in charge of Constitutional change and had promised Pressie the first change would be to confirm that “co-chairing” actually was better than “chairing”.
“And now I hope Nagga Man will be seen as the most powerful man in the Cabinet,” thought Satiricus. “And Iman is seen as the most powerful water boy”.

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Preserved Fish 

Satiricus just loved perseverance. Not “Perseverance”, the village which he’d never seen, but people who just won’t give up when they just had to do something. The Americans called it “True Grit”. And in all this wide world, Satiricus had never seen such perseverance as that shown by Mook Lall in his mission to “Get Brassy”.
It was like a LOCAL remake of “Kill Bill” excepting The Mook didn’t have as much hair as Uma Thurman as “The Bride” named “Black Mamba”. In “Kill Bill”, The Bride wanted revenge because her asssain partners had killed her entire wedding party. That’s motivation to a trained killer, won’t it?
“The Mook’s reasons to “Get Brassy” were just as serious,” thought Satiricus, who was obviously a movie buff. Here it was The Mook and his close (very, very close) best friend Tiny had been making money hand over fist at the Big Store near the Big Market. They’d worked very hard to rebrand the Big Store from being the premier shopping address in Guyana to being like a fish Market.
“If the truth be told,” thought Satiricus, “ it WAS a fish market. Excepting that The Mook and Tiny didn’t SELL fish, but preserved Banga Mary with a special white powder and shipped them to New York City”. They provided employment for so many people. But just when business was really taking off, up comes Big Brassy and hauls the Mook and Tiny to the courts.
Why? And this was what got Satiricus really mad. Just that the Mook and Tiny had never bothered to pay for the store, which Brassy had sold to them for the govt. Now isn’t that motivation to “Get Brassy”? Why the heck did Brassy have to get so….well…Brassy. What’s four hundred millions between honourable “preserved” fish exporters providing employment to Guyanese?
So the “Get Brassy” campaign was launched. At first the Mook and Tiny could only call Big Brassy false names in their Muckraking Paper. But the moment the govt changed hands – the very hands into which the Mook had handed millions as head of FUCOP (Funding a United Candidate for Opposition Presidency) “Get Brassy” shifted into a different gear. Perseverance.
The Mook put pressure on his new friends in high places and soon SAROO told DAROO who told SOCOO and before you know it, we had a bigger hair raising high speed chase than in the Terminator. And three dead.
“Let’s see who’ll now try the Mook in court!” thought Satiricus with a chuckle.

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Fast and furious

Satiricus was bemused. Not “amused”, you understand. Bemused…bewildered. Why would so many people stand in the way of progress? Back in school the young and callow Satiricus had learnt about the “Luddites”. Those troglodytes who’d gone around smashing machines in 19th century England since they were fearful about losing their jobs. They didn’t appreciate with “progress” there’s always “collateral damage”.

But Rum Jaat knew all about progress and collateral damage. Why! Hadn’t he predicted his KFC party would become ”dead meat” if it coalesced with the Pee-an-See? But for progress sake (or duty free allowances – same difference!) he had taken the plunge. Now seven months later the stench confirmed his worst fears! “The things the Jhaat would do for progress!” marvelled Satiricus.

And it was in the same spirit that the Jhaat had authorised the SOCOO high speed chase. Well…maybe not “authorised” since he’d only been told about things AFTER three persons had died, two persons had their hair permanently styled (standing straight up!) and two vehicles totalled! “Gone along” might better describe his situation.

But what the heck! He’d gone along because of the progress the operation brought to his police force. He was a man of progress. And why was the high-speed chase progress? Before SOCOO and the Jhaat, all the police did was put up roadblocks to shake down unsuspecting motorists for a fried rice or a chow mein. Rum Jhaat had been looking at police movies ever since he’d been made into the Police Boss Man – to learn about policing.

Did he ever see police shakedowns at roadblocks? No siree Bob! All he saw were high-speed chases in which dozens of cars crashed and burst into flames and otherwise totalled, men, women and children maimed and general mayhem committed as the police went after the bad guys. He’d been speaking to his Police Chief See All again and again for his police to “modernise” and get with the programme.

“What did you think we bought all those police cars for?” he’d screamed at See All. “To send out for fried rice and chow mein?”

To be “modern” he’d explained patiently to the quivering mass of flesh into which his screech had reduced the Police Chief, was to launch fast and furious high speed chases.

And finally now that Guyana had witnessed its first “modern” police op (including “collateral damage”!) Rum Jhaat’s chest swelled with pride.

“You can’t make omelettes without breaking some shells, can you?” he smirked.

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Satiricus was amused. Here it was that everyone and their uncle were carrying on about SARU and why was it getting involved with the business of SOCU. The latest to pull its hair out was PUSU. These were the big business magnates who really run the economy behind the scenes. But PUSU should be the first one to understand why SARU was doing SOCU’s work.
It was clear as day and it all had to do with their names. PUSU got its name because like the country, it was putting “multiculturalism” into practice. When people talked behind closed doors or under their breath – especially about other people – Indian-Guyanese called this “PUSU PUSU”. And since the captains of industry and salt goods stores were always talking behind their closed doors – “PUSU PUSU” they became. Or “PUSU” for short.
It was the same with APANU. When the Pee an See wanted to make itself kinder, gentler and more attractive to Indian Guyanese, it picked an Indian name when it joined up with some alphabet soup parties – APANU. This was a Hindi word that meant “ours” – or in Indian Creole “abee wan”. And the tactic worked, didn’t it? APANU was able to attract those quintessentially Indian Berbician Babus, Naga Man and Rum Jhaat. “And the rest as we know,” thought Satiricus, “ is history”.
So PUSU should have known that the Indian Guyanese name for two completely unrelated fellas who marry two sisters become “SARO” – or as some call them (especially Berbicians like Naga Man and Rum Jhaat), “SARU”. SOCU Was actually “SONU” – like that fella Nigam. But, since Berbicians pronounced it “SOCU” and THEY now had all the power being two Vice Presidents and all, SOCU it was.
What PUSU should have realised was that SARU and SOCU being related so closely (married to GrainJa and HardMon) would help out each other without bothering with formalities.
They were family. Like SURU AND DURU. Satiricus was soooo touched. He wiped a tear that rolled down his cheek.

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Testicular perspicacity


Satiricus is a man who just loves the English language – it is so unique. Which other language would have the words “tough”, “though” and “bough” – all ending with the same letters, but pronounced differently? But with all the words available in the dictionary, there are still some individuals blessed with the power to come up with combinations that just take your breath away.

Take Rodee of the PPCEE, thought Satiricus admiringly. He’d just called on Naga Man to have the “testicular perspicacity” to follow up on his promise during the elections to cut down the powers of the Guyanese Presidency to size. Now Satiricus, as an old newshound had heard of “testicular fortitude”. This was somebody who had had the courage to “tell it as it is”.

In the vernacular, it was called having “b*lls” – meaning the fellow was “a real man” – since only real men had a pair of them. The Americans would say admiringly of such chaps if their courage was oversized,, “he has brass b*lls”. In other circumstances the appurtenances were also called “the family jewels” or “nuts”. Like when his son had recently explained why he got into a fight: “He hit me on my nose, dad, so I kicked him in the nuts!”

So Satiricus knew about the “testicular” part of what Rodee spoke about. But “perspicacity”? Jeez…Satiricus had to go to the dictionary for THAT. “Having an insight…shrewnedness” he duly read. So was Rodee saying Naga Man should have an “insight with his nuts” to tell Pressie to reduce his powers?

Satiricus knew that Naga Man was full of himself – and a lot of other things, for that matter – but wasn’t Rodee giving Naga Man too much of a Herculean task? After all, right after the elections, hadn’t Pressie cut off Naga Man’s nuts when he gave him Larwah rather than “Governance”?

What kind of “testicular perspicacity” could a neutered man muster when he is bereft of his family jewels?

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