September 21, 2014

Principles

Satiricus was puffing with pride. Here it was his favourite politician Rum Jhaat was proving once again, he was so far ahead of the pack. What a guy!!! Forget that some sniffed it was a “pack of rats” he was ahead of. They were just jealous. Rum Jhaat could out drink them every day of the week, and thrice on Sundays. “A large a day, keeps the doctor away,” was his motto.

Most people in the world followed the maxim: “Important principles may, and must, be inflexible.” Bah and humbug!!! Not Ramjattan. He was not afraid to say that he was willing to abandon any damn principle. “Now that’s the mark of a man who’s not afraid to march to the beat of his own drummer,” marvelled Satiricus. Was anything ever achieved by fellas who followed the herd? Wimps!!

“But man Sato, dis na none ardinary principle!” objected Cappo. “De difference between de KFC and all dem adda party is dat deh Leadah gon switch between black-man and coolie-man.”

“That’s right,” agreed Suresh. “So no one race gon be pon top all de time!”

“But you chaps don’t understand,” countered Satiricus. “Things change since Rum Jhaat and Trottie announce the principle.”

“Really??” asked Hari, with his eyebrows touching his hair. “And what exactly changed?”

“Budday! You don’t hear what everybody talking?” Satiricus sounded agitated. “All them race thing gone!! All awee is one now – so KFC don’t have to rotate no more!”

“But if de race thing done, how come KFC not joining up wid Pee an’ See??” Cappo wanted to know.

“Listen chaps, that is only because Naga Man still remember GrainJa said that he NagaMan is still “PPEE” replied Satiricus hotly. “Is GrainJa fault.”

“So how did the KFC achieve this remarkable feat to solve the race problem in Guyana??” asked Teacher Samad, who’d been listening quietly as usual.

“Well, where you been living, Teacher Boy?” replied Satiricus huffily. “The three top leaders of the AFC show the country that there is no difference between we, the people of this country!”

“How?” asked Samad laconically.

“Well they show the country that all the races in this country thief and have conflicts of interest like one another,” said Satiricus with a smirk. “NoGel tek money from Site and didn’t tell nobody: NagaMan tek money from NICIL for the Bridge and didn’t tell anyone, and Rum Jhaat tek money from Feathers and still didn’t tell nobody up to now!”

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Can’t get it up?

Satiricus was not a Satyr. By far. But he had to admit he admired fellas with high libidos. Wasn’t this what the “Caribbean Man” was all about?? And didn’t the Mighty Sparrow, the greatest philosopher produced in the West Indies, tell the story in the vernacular about “The Village Ram” – our version of the Satyr?

“Is me the village ram/I ain’t give a damn/Is me the village ram/I ain’t give a damn/I cutting down black and white/Man, I working day and night/If you have a job to be done/See me, I ain’t making fun? And not a woman never complain yet with me/I ain’t boasting, but I’ve got durability/And if a woman ever tell you that I ever left her dissatisfied /She lie, she lie, she lie.”

Satiricus had been afraid the species had died out. So he was more than ecstatic when he read of the exchange between the Mayor-for-Life and the Town Clerk. Seems the latter had accused the former of being too “tired” to perform his functions and that he should, therefore, step aside. But the Mayor-for-Life took serious umbrage at this. “Not so!!!” he cried. It was just that the Town Clerk was not his type!!

And this was what earned the respect and admiration of Satiricus. He knew the Mayor-for-Life had to take care of things – like garbage and sewerage and world peace and moral re-armament and such things.

Little did Satiricus suspect that among his duties the Mayor-for-Life had to perform was to be the City Ram and service the members of the female species in City Hall – including the Town Clerk. And if a Village Ram had his work cut out for him – imagine what labours being a City Ram demanded!!

But Satiricus learnt something from the Mayor-for-Life’s comment. The Village Ram – and presumably the City Ram – just didn’t service any and all females. They had to be “his type”. So this led Satiricus to ask as to what kind of females was the Mayor-for-Life’s “type”? What would raise his libido, among other things?? After all, he’d had acrimonious fallings-out with every one of the last three town clerks – all different “types” as you could get.

Could it be that now he’d passed the age of 80, the Mayor-for-Life wasn’t titillated by females anymore?? Was he now coming out of the (pink) closet?? Would Satiricus have to call him the “Village Ewe”?

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Over the hill

Satiricus was surprised at the humility of GrainJa. How many politicians would publicly admit they were so old and their hands were probably so arthritic, they had to “write slowly”? But here it was GraniJa had so declared!! “What a guy!!!” thought Satiricus.

No wonder that “Donkey Cart” economist was so love smitten with the man, he jumped ship from the KFC to GrainJa’s APANU. Some said it was a case of jumping from the frying pan into the fire…but that was neither here nor there.

Fact of the matter, at long last, here was an honest politician. And if GrainJa could admit to the infirmities of old age…who knows what revelations might lie ahead. Even more than the fairer sex, politicians loathed revealing their age.

GreenBridge, who lusted for GrainJa’s position, but lost, has to be in his 80s – and he certainly looked it! – but were you ever hear him admitting it?? “I’m not holding my breath,” muttered Satiricus.

But GrainJa was “de man” when it came to baring his soul – and Satiricus was so happy to have the purloined secret diary of the man who would’ve made Diogenes finally take a rest. Courtesy of his niece, maid to the Opposition.

Dear Diary, I must tell you that I feel soooo much lighter now that I have admitted I am an ooooold man. I remember that poem I had to learn as a child back in the 1940s: “My hair is grey and it is with years/nor grew it white in a single night. My back is bent and it is not with toil/ but rusted with a vile repose.” This is me, Dear Diary.

And it is not only writing that I have to do slowly. Have you heard me speak lately?? That damned whippersnapper North Ton, always tried to finish my sentences when we debated, because I just couldn’t get the words quickly enough.

But I tell you, Dear Diary, what makes my years weigh most heavily on me are the secrets I had to carry all these years. You think lead heavy?? You should try carting around secrets. Especially the deep, dark secrets I had to carry. They are heavier. Now that I have admitted that I am so old I can barely write, I will spill my guts if they ask me to testify at the CoI.

Didn’t my old pastor always tell me that “confession is good for the soul”? And after all I have done, God knows I need something to help my soul.

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Boje-waa-zee

Satiricus was titillated. He’d heard about the threat to expose the skeletons in the Naga Man’s closet. And now here in his hot little hands was the secret diary of the Naga Man, courtesy of his niece Leelawatee. She was maid to the Opposition. They’d voted themselves all kinds of perks since they got their one-seat majority. But they paid her on the cheap and Satiricus gave her a top-up for her temporary filching of diaries.

Dear Diary, I is real mad. Look how dat Rodee trying fuh embarrass me. Talking about “skeletons” in me closet. Is jealous he jealous. He always jealous me. When I join the party, I used to be a teacher boy…and he used to just lime at the Metropole. I learn fuh use big words like “boje-was-zee” before he.

But as soon as I learn the word, I know I got to be a “boje-waa-zee” one day – I like the fancy life too bad!! This must be one of the skeletons they talking about?? Ha!! I not scared ‘bout that!

Even in the old days when we used fuh drink beer, I use to pour me beer in a glass and put ice inside. That is real “boje-waa-zee”. But I never used to stir the beer with me finger like them low class. I used me thumb. Real “boje-waa-zee”. So let them talk. I doan care!

But deh jealous me more when me turn lawyer. I always wanted to be a bigger “boje-waa-zee”. Big like Ralphie.

Dear Diary, Ralphie was de biggest “boje-waa-zee” in the party – and he was me hero. Suit and tie every day, boy!! Now he and me together in de KFC “boje-waa-zee” party. So let dem talk. I is a “boje-waa-zee” and proud of it.

“Boje-waa-zee” does drink liquor all the time suh if they think they gon embarrass me by telling people I was a drinkah – leh me tell dem something.

I is a drinkah! Me father was a drinkah! And me grandfather was a drinkah! I come from a long line of drinkahs. Me favourite song is “Rum till I die!” Dat is no skeleton to me. Suh what else dey gun seh?? Dat I thief?? Ha!!! Didn’t somebody say, “All property is theft??” All awee “boje-waa-zee” does thief.

So Dear Diary, I ain’t worried about skeletons in me closet. I is a drinkah, thief and traitor – and proud of it!! I is boje-waa-zee.

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Rigging warning?

Satiricus’ brow was furrowed. Surely all his fellow newspaper hacks couldn’t have missed what was playing out on this voters’ list thing. The Pee an’ See we’re so misunderstood. No matter what they did, folks just didn’t believe they were on the up and up. So here they were, not being taken seriously when they said the PPCEE were making a fuss so they could question the elections later.

“Jeez,” exclaimed Satiricus to the fellas at the back street bar, “who know rigging more than the Pee an’ See??”

“Yuh right!” agreed Cappo. “It tek a teef fuh catch a teef!”

“And the Pee an’ See thief a whole lotta elections!!” grinned Suresh. “And they questioned voters list in every election since 1992. And challenged them too! They know what they talking about!”

“But yuh gat fuh admire de Pee an’ See,” interjected Bungi, Cappo’s cane-cutting partner. “Na everybady does admit deh wrang.”

“Wha yuh mean??” asked his buddy a bit roughly.

“Well de las’ time, Pee an’ See seh how SurujBallsy cock up de wuk,” Bungi replied, “And now look how deh seh de man like wan genius fuh mek wan perfect list.”

“But I don’t know what the PPCEE complaining about,” observed Hari who’d been listening to the gaff. “Is only 3000 dead people on the list.”

“Budday! In my village alone, they have more than 3000 dead people!” laughed Teacher Samad. “I mean “brain dead”…and if you brain dead! You dead! no.” Everybody chuckled.

“Deh gat some brain-dead people right hay at dis table!” cackled Cappo.

“But leh we get serious chaps,” interrupted Suresh. “How come Pee an’ See agree wid Ballsy that the list “almost perfect” and that the PPCEE only throwing talk?”

“Budday, is the Pee an’ See fella the new head,” replied Suresh, “and the big Enchilada Surujballsy lose he balls after Pee an’ See march in front of he house the last time!”

“Yes,” grinned Teacher Samad, “he choke on his wine.”

“Well, if the expert in rigging and doubting the list to make trouble later – the Pee an’ See – seh the PPCEE just bluffing, it got to be true,” concluded Satiricus as he raised his glass. “You got to go with the experts, no?”

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The loaded question

Satiricus was left with his mouth open in admiration at the Editor of the Stabber News. Here it was, he’s been wondering when the Stabber would get around to writing about this “re-migrant scam” story. He’s known about the “Blue Wall” that Police the world over throw up when one of their own is fingered. The omertà or Code of Silence of the Madia is the guiding principle of the Blue Wall.

But even though he’d been in the newspaper business since he was wet behind the ears, he hadn’t realised how strong the code was in his business also. The Black Wall??? (Think of the Black ink….jeez!!!) The entire media of Guyana were all agog when that crusader for truth, justice and the right to steal electricity, Mook Lall, was fingered at the centre of a re-migrant scam that would’ve robbed the Government of $100 million – but not a squeak from the Stabber!! Not even a line!

Thing was – even the Muckraker had carried the story. That the Mook’s slave Editor had put a spin that the Mook had “borrowed” the duty-free hundred million-dollar SUV’s to drive around for “protection” was understandable. Satiricus was very sympathetic that the Mook needed protection. His “friends” hadn’t forgiven him for snitching on them to the US Ambassador to get back his visa. People don’t taken lightly to their visas being pulled.

So why didn’t the Stabber print all this?? There was no reason to put up the Black Wall. So what if most persons who did maintenance work (that’s what the re-migrant did in the States) couldn’t afford such vehicles in two lifetimes?? Maybe they’d won the NY lottery. So what if the wife couldn’t drive? This isn’t Saudi Arabia, was it?? Women could own vehicles here, whether they could drive or not.

And if the re-migrant couple could list the Mook as closer to them than their own flesh-and-blood son, why wouldn’t they lend the Mook to use of the SUVs all the time ever since the vehicles landed in Guyana? What the heck would the re-migrants do with such vehicles in Berbice, anyway? Too much cow doo-doo on the roads. While those luxury SUV’s came equipped with snow tires, they weren’t equipped to handle cow doo-doo.

But what stuck Satiricus’ admiration when the Stabber finally carried the story was the headline: “GRA boss denies using re-migrant probe to retaliate against KN publisher”. Satiricus had heard about the “loaded” question. You know…where whether you answer “yes” or “no” you’re a goner. Like: “Have you stopped beating your wife??” See???

Satiricus wondered how could the “GRA boss” respond?? More to the point he wondered why his own Editor didn’t put such (loaded) headlines over his stories.

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Guyanese (political) wedding

Satiricus was proud. Proud that in its behaviour, the Opposition Pee an’ See (aka APANU) and the KFC refused to be swayed by foreign customs but were steadfastly following Guyanese traditions.

No, Satiricus wasn’t talking about brukking up the place when they lost elections. Plenty other politicians in plenty countries did that, not only Pee an’ See and KFC. “Wasn’t old time fast bowler and now fundamentalist Islamist politician Imran Khan laying siege to the democratically elected Government of Nawaz Shariff right now?” thought Satiricus.

No! What Satiricus was talking about was the soon to be consummated wedding between Pee an’ See and the KFC. None of that “rushing to the altar” if you’re in love, like in those foreign climes. No Sireee! Hey!! What’s love got to do with it?? It’s all about your interests, no?? Guyanese first “live home” for years, make some children, and THEN get married. Very often the children can be flower girls and ushers and so on. Saves money.

And so here we have it that the Pee an’ See and the KFC have been living together and frolicking under the sheets for three years. They had created so many lively children – the Linden riots, the Agricola blockade, the Naked Paddy Protest. And now, the recently-rigged-into-office Pee an’ See leader GrainJa has just dropped to his knees and asked Rum Jhaat to officially tie the nuptial knot! Ooooooo, how sweet!!!

Satiricus was sure the children would show up at the wedding as “flower boys and girls”. Might get rambunctious though…but what the heck, thought Satiricus. But why was Rum Jhaat playing so hard to get?? The whole world knew what had gone on (or in) under the sheets of the Opposition bed.

The groans and moans and the joint positions in the Big House at Stabroek said it all. Was he afraid of his reputation if he hitched up officially with GrainJa? What reputation? That he was easy? All GrainJa had to do was offer him some scotch – and that was it! Everything gone fuh channa, thought Satiricus!

The thing was, GrainJa was an honourable man. And even though it was late in the day, he wanted to do the right thing. “C’mon Rum Jhaat…maybe the official ceremony might bring back the excitement in bed,” said Satiricus aloud. “Say yes!! It’s a Guyanese tradition! Look how many more children you and GrainJa will make to join Linden and the others.”

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Defender of the nation

Satriicus now realised why so many people didn’t like to get involved with politics. There were lots of small, mean minded folks out there who just could not understand that not ALL politicians were “in for the money and power”. Not to mention, “wine, women and song”.

Especially women! Take this fella Bobby KorBin. Here it was, his enemies were trumpeting the fact that back in the seventies KorBin was given hundreds of weapons – small guns, big guns, long guns, short guns, bayonets , bullets and whatever.

As if this was something bad!! They forgot KorBin had jumped into politics even when he was still in short pants in Linden – which wasn’t even called “Linden” then. If fact it wasn’t for youth-men like KorBin, the place would’ve never been named after the Founder Leader.

The part where KorBin lived was called Wismar and it was full of rats who lived in decaying houses. One night – KorBin and other members of the Youth-Service-Men did the community a great favour when they burn down all those rotting houses to the ground. And all the rats had to flee.

KorBin, was promoted for his noble deed at that tender age. And so it came to pass that he moved to Georgetown where he performed many more noble deeds for the Founder Leader – without a thought for himself. Since the Founder Leader and the State were one and the same (the Constitution said so) KorBin was proud he was serving the State.

The people of Guyana didn’t understand democracy. They just couldn’t get this “voting” business. And so KorBin was designated by the Founder Leader to find a way to vote for the people. And boy was he successful!!! Guyana became a country with one of the highest voting rates in the world. But KorBin refused to accept any medals for his yeoman (Yo man!!) work to entrench democracy in Guyana.

And now the guns thing. Jeez! Here it was that this fella RodKnee had gone to Tanzania and come back with all this idea of revolution!!! The Founder Leader had gone to that same Tanzania and come back with Cooperative Socialism. But that didn’t satisfy RodKnee. So the wanker started “stockpiling guns”. Why!! Even RodKnee’s Queens buddy RoopNaRain now announced this! What was the Founder Leader to do??

Well, everybody knew what was to be done. But who to do it?? Duh!! Of course the Founder Leader went to his “go to guy”, KorBin. If RodKnee could stockpile weapons – well then KorBin would show him who was the biggest stockpiler!!

And for this he’s being criticised?? It was enough to make a grown man cry. Satiricus wept.

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Why integrity?

Satiricus never failed to be surprised at how insensitive people can get. Here it was the Pee an’ See party had worked for over 50 years to create its image. And now the Integrity Committee expected then to just blow it away in a day?? Who the hell did they think they were? Didn’t they know that in the end all a party could count on was their reputation? Lose that and everything gone fuh channa.

He could only imagine the entry in secret diary of GreenBridge:

Dear Diary, Ah tell yuh…ah suh mad, ah gon talk to you today in me old New Amsterdam fashon. Dese people really full ah schupidness. Dey want we fuh file we “integrity” papers!

Integrity?? What de arse is duh? We in the Pee an’ See spit pon “integrity”!!   We party born without integrity; we live without integrity and we gon damn well die without integrity! But dey ain’t foolin’ no body! Dey mean fuh embarrass we. Deh want we fuh be just like dat Jedi Jagon.

Dear Diary, I is a Berbician, but I gon tell yuh something. De Foundah Leadah was dam right fuh laaf at Jedi Jagon fuh being full of integrity! Look wha’ integrity get he…28 years running around like a lil boy, while we ruling the country. De Foundah Leadah form de Pee an’ See after he show de British he had no integrity when he sell out Jagon and de PPPCEE. Dat was how we party born. We get plenty money from de ‘mericans and de British.

We party refuse fuh get any integrity when we rig election every five years fuh de 28 years. We had no integrity when we use we army people fuh kill RodKnee. We had no integrity when we mash up sugar and rice just fuh teach Jagon supporters a lesson. De lesson was dat integrity is fuh losers. And we gon win by any means necessary.

And Dear Diary, Leh me tell yuh something else. Ah cyaan tell everybody but Ah gat guh hand it to GrainJa. Because nowadays, we ain’t get de chance fuh rig de national elections, de man prove to de world day we still ain’t got integrity. Last time he rig me out from de leadership and dis year he rig out North-Ton.

Now when yuh can rig yuh own people, yuh full of something else other than integrity. Suh we ain’t need GhoulSerum advice not to listen to de Integrity Commission. Integrity?? Is scampishness fuh we till we die!!!

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New cricket

Satiricus was proud. Once again Caribbean cricket was showing that the expression, “Sport – it’s not just a game” was not just a marketing gimmick. Back in the day, the old master CLR James had written his masterpiece “Beyond the Boundary” and ripped the mask of hypocrisy from the face of the British. When we whupped them on the cricket field, how could they still insist – through their stiff upper lips – that we were still inferior?

But there was still a lot of the old British hypocrisy stuck to the game itself. Imagine some people thought that the protest, “But that’s not cricket!!” meant something! So folks still went around with their heads up in the clouds – or down in their nether orifices – spouting sanctimonious nonsense like, “It’s not whether you win or lose; it’s how you play the game!”

“What a crock of s*it!” exclaimed Satiricus, causing his wife sitting nearby to spill her coffee on her lap. Satiricus was very sensitive when it came to cricket and losing. His life as a child was one long-suffering nightmare because of his inability to ever get bat to connect to ball. “Loser” was about the kindest name that had been applied to him by his “friends”.

So when the Barbados TryDents used the Umpire who was from their country against the “rules” to help out the 11 men on the field – he couldn’t understand why the fellas from the Amazon were complaining about the “rules” not being followed. What rules?? In which world were they living?? In the darkest Amazon??

Didn’t the British always change the rules to suit themselves?? Pace like fire from the West Indies?? Hey! Introduce rules against “bodyline” bowling. Umpire taking sides?? How about Billy Bowden against the Indian players. So what’s the problem if the owners of the TryDents decide to call off the game – when they were ahead.

All the Trydents did was not to be hypocritical and pretend that they had to “play cricket”. They should get a medal for their bravery. We as West Indians should be proud that at long last we had the courage to “call a spade a spade”.

So what if the word “spade” is just a euphemism for the “N” word!!

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