October 31, 2014

Bugging

Satiricus was agog whenever he read about the exploits of the Mook. The crusader for peace, justice and the Guyanese way – not to mention duty-free cars – was not a man to be trifled with. But here it was he was sobbing like a baby into his dirty little face rag as he told his tale of being persecuted and threatened. Oh, who could have done this to this man of peace?? O more!! O tempora!! What has the world come to?

The sad truth was that the Mook had been betrayed by his own trusted man to his arch-enemy. Now Satiricus knew that all heroes must have arch-enemies and the Mook, in fact, had several. Like his bukta, the Mook changed his arch-enemy every month. This month the arch-enemy was the man the Mook had baptised as De Hana Rebel.

De Hana Rebel fought the Mook something fierce. Not just about peace, justice and the Guyanese way…but about the thing the Mook held dearest to his heart – duty-free cars. Satiricus gnashed his teeth violently, when he thought of how low de Hana Rebel could sink! Throughout his life, while the rest of the people had fought for things like “freedom” and “free and fair” elections, the Mook had fought singlehandedly for “duty-free cars”.

What was the matter with De Hanna Rebel?? He must be jealous that the old couple have spent their last cent to bring in duty-free cars and had given them to the Mook. De Hanna Rebel didn’t understand that he, the Mook, was like a God when it came to duty-free cars. And people liked to make offerings to him.

But what exactly had De Hanna Rebel done to the Mook to make him cry so?! The Mook had it all down on a bugged tape. And when the tape was played…the tears just gushed down his chubby cheeks. Not like when the Mook’s Muckraker had shown Amaila Falls all dried up, but like the Kaieteur Falls in full flow. Who wouldn’t cry?? Satiricus discretely wiped away a tear from his own cheek.

The bugged tape revealed that De Hanna Rebel had been speaking to the Mook’s house slave all the time about the Mook – behind the Mook’s back!! No wonder the Mook was crying a river of tears. Here it was he had fed his house slave the scraps from his own table and given him all his old clothes – for years and years. And now the house slave was talking to his arch-enemy De Hanna Rebel??

It was too much for the Mook to bear. No more old clothes for the house slave.

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Baring flesh

Satiricus was titillated. Satiricus wasn’t too proud to deny that he liked his share of eye candy. So he had no quarrel with the new dispensation in which the fairer sex had dumped the Victorian mores in which it was a scandal if an ankle was revealed!

While he wasn’t old enough to remember when the revolution had begun, he’d read of the “bra-burning” demonstrations back in the 1960s.

Satiricus was happy the revolution had eventually spread to Guyana. Even though sometimes he wondered about that when he attended events at the National Cultural Centre. No pants for women?? Please!! Would the revelation of the contours of the derrière throw the performers off their lines?? “Hey!” thought Satiricus, “They’re sitting on their buns, aren’t they?”

Now Satiricus had always figured if the new “letting it all hang out” ethos in clothes had spread geographically, sooner or later, it had to spread socially. Meaning the upper crust would have to “get with it” and reveal some skin.

No one batted an eye when the French and Italian PMs’ wives and girlfriends (they’re allowed simultaneously over there) bared it all on the beaches of Monaco. They never had their “Victorian” era, after all. But when Michelle Obama bared those arms and made sleeveless dresses all the rage in Washington, that caused some comments, remember?

What’s next? Was the Queen over in old Blighty going to throw off those hats at Ascot?? Let’s not go as to whether she’ll be more revealing in other areas. But her young’uns like Princess Di did give folks more than a peek, didn’t they??

So Satiricus was more than a wee bit surprised when a storm erupted over the Trinidadian President’s wife’s bared mid-riff. Seems she took a pic standing next to the wife of the UN head honcho and wore an outfit that bared her belly. And some (female) radio host took her to task. Now Satiricus had a position on this midriff exposure.

He absolutely would forbid those Indian women with their saris who routinely bared their naked midriffs – if they had more than two rolls of fat hanging out. Three rolls was too gross even for the stolid Satiricus. But Jeez, the TT President’s wife had a very sculpted midriff, thank you. Not as sculpted as Michelle Obama’s arms…but good enough.

“And,” thought Satiricus, “this is Trinidad, for goodness sake!!” Did the radio host want their country’s top lady to be wrapped in a burqa?? Hey, the lady was only selling TT’s top product – Carnival!

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Mo’ money

It wasn’t that Satiricus was one of those snobs who thought you shouldn’t talk about your money. Heck!! It’s just that Satiricus grew up with so little money, there was nothing to talk about!! So he kinda liked the fact that the Mook, the fella who owned the Muckraker, felt so free to talk about how he got his wealth.

“Hey!” thought Satiricus patriotically, “didn’t that fella over at the Stabber, CurlyLocks – who actually had to hand over his press to the Mook – compare him to the Great Gatsby??” CurlyLocks had to know what he was talking about.

He had to know the Mook inside out. So Satiricus had rushed off to read the book about this “Gatsby” fella. No he didn’t buy one – nowadays you could read anything on the Internet. For free. Not being used to money Satiricus liked “free”.

And he found out that Gatsby made a lot of his money from selling “moonshine” – which is what the Americans called “bush rum”. “Wow!!” thought Satiricus. “Guyana didn’t smuggle bush rum anymore…but the Mook sure did smuggle that “white lady” to New York! The Mook was so clever to put it in the curass and gill-backa he shipped to his friend Tiny who had the fish shops in the Bronx and Queens!”

Gatsby also pimped prostitutes – but since he moved the girls across state lines – the Feds called it “human trafficking”. “My God!!” exclaimed Gatsby. “This is incredible!! The Mook did the same thing to make his money when he did “backtracking” to New York! When girls couldn’t pay the US$10,000 per head, his friend Tiny would have them pick fare on 42nd Street!!”

This CurlyLocks certainly knew the Mook up close and personal to say he was just like Gatsby. Gatsby liked to throw big parties where whiskey flowed like the Mississippi River. The Mook did the same in every rum shop around his Muckraker Press!! It was rum till the Mook fall into Sussex Street Canal!!

And when Satiricus realised how Gatsby could live such a life of crime and the FBI didn’t throw him in the slammer – he knew that the Mook was the reincarnation of the Gatsby. The FBI gave the Mook a free pass because he finked on all his old friends who ran the moonshine and prostitution rackets!

And here it was in black and white: the US embassy – the local reps of the Feds has sworn that the Mook was their local snitch!!

When was CurlyLocks going to write the Great Guyanese novel: The Mook – from rags to bags (of money!!)

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Rent-a-crowd

Satiricus was a patriot. He was proud of his country. Sure things used to be bad. But that was long ago. There used to be shortages. But no more. Now, once you had the money, there was nothing you couldn’t buy. He sighed deeply in satisfaction as he gazed at the scruffy lot of louts surrounding the owner of the Muckraker – Mook Lall.

The Mook had rented them from “Rent-a-Crowd” over in Albouystown. From the bad old days of BurntHam when you couldn’t even rent a tuxedo, today you could not only rent cars and tents (with chairs), you could rent a crowd!!

Back in the day, these crowds would crawl out from the slums because the Pee-an-See would summon them to teach the PPCEE a lesson (or two or three). Buildings would be burnt, PPCEE supporters would be mugged, beaten and robbed, even a few rapes might be committed by some high spirited youth-men, and all that.

Ahh…those were the days, thought Satiricus. As the big time poet had written, that was how boys in the City became men! But then came the IMF with their “privatisation”, “free enterprise” and such talk.

At first you had to buy the hooligans lunch – Chinese fried rice was the thing. But pretty soon you had to RENT the riff raff if you wanted then out in the streets. And this is what the Mook, had to do – even though he was the biggest supporter of the Opposition.

The Mook had been dragged to the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts for “tax fraud”. Seems the folks at the Tax Office didn’t believe two old people would spend $40 million on two luxury vehicles and just give it to the Mook.

Well, if the truth be told, not a whole lot of people believed the Mook, thought Satiricus. Most Guyanese knew about the duty-free hustle, so they knew the Mook was just “trying a ting”!

Part of his “ting” was to tell people that it wasn’t his hustle that had gotten him in trouble – but because he was the “defender of democracy” in Guyana! That got a chuckle from his friends in the Opposition – none of whom came out to support him. Rum Jhaat and Lalloo Ram had to be paid big time to show up as the Mook’s lawyers.

And so it was that “Rent a Crowd” saved the day for the Mook. Satiricus’ heart swelled with pride at the progress of free enterprise in Guyana – as the Mook marched off South with his motley crew in search of their Chinese fried rice.

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Saving the free press

As a media hack, Satiricus was ecstatic he had the opportunity to be here – up close and personal – to see the saviour of the Guyana free press: Mook Lall. Satiricus was so happy other people recognised the works that this new great man was doing for the people. But that was what got him to here, no?? Hauled before the courts on charges of tax fraud.

Why was it so hard for the Government to believe that an old couple had worked and scraped all their lives – doing guard work and domestic live-in work – to buy two luxury SUVs now that they retired???

And why couldn’t they believe the old folks would return to Guyana to live and get the vehicles duty free ($100 million of “free”) – but give them to the Mook to drive around in?? Didn’t they believe that retired Guyanese old people – who had slaved all their lives – would give away two vehicles they’d bought for US$190,000 to the MOOK??

“What has the world come to?” Sobbed Satiricus as he glanced away from the Mook. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to gaze at the Mook all the time – it was just that the sun was shining off the Messiah of the media’s bald head so strongly, Satiricus feared for his sight.

“Didn’t these bureaucrats at the GRA think old pensioners valued a free press??” said Satiricus aloud, surprising the vagrants surrounding the Mook. They were told the Mook would share out sweeties from the factory he owned. Duty free.

“Of course, the old remigrants would help the Mook tool around in luxury vehicles!!” thought Satiricus. “The old folks loved the free press more than themselves.”

Satiricus was also surprised at his own newspaper. Here it was that the Mook’s Muckraker’s profits and tax figures hadn’t even been mentioned in the Case of the Hacked E-Mails. Satiricus hung his head in shame when he realised his own paper’s figures had been leaked. And the Mook was defending HIS paper when he talked about the Government going after newspapers. Satiricus sobbed some more at the sacrifice of the Mook.

He was saying his Muckraker was being persecuted, because he wanted to show solidarity with Satiricus’ newspaper. The Mook was definitely a Mahatma.

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Diddling boys

Satiricus was worried. Here it was the child-welfare folks, the court system folks, and the teaching commission folks were all reporting that “big people in position” were diddling people’s’ children. Satiricus wasn’t born yesterday….and as a matter of fact, he had once been a child. He’d known about some of the diddling of his young friends.

The problem had always been how to get people to believe the children weren’t just making up stories. Satiricus had concluded that some big people believed what they wanted to believe. Especially when it came to little boys being diddled. And they didn’t want to believe that some of their friends might be so low-down swines to do the dirty to children. “So what to do when the children told their stories?” wondered Satiricus.

Well now he knew: send them to BenchCock. He was the expert on diddled boys. For quite a while, Satiricus had thought BenchCock was Guyana’s answer to Malcolm X. All hot, bothered and angry about all sorts of things. Wasn’t a gathering anywhere of more than two people pissed off about something, and before you could say, “Kooma Kooma fish”, BenchCock was there in his nice, right-fitting suit and placard in his hot, little hands.

But then he messed up big time, and had to spend those five years at 12 Camp Street. Locked away with hundreds of men, Satiricus has wondered what life was like for BenchCock behind those galvanised walls. Satiricus heard stories about showers and soap but all he knew was when BenchCock came out, he was a changed man. He became an expert on diddled boys.

There was this boy from Linden who claimed a fella in the Government had solicited him. BenchCock immediately announced he KNEW what was going on. He went on a campaign and mobilised support for the boy. Some sceptics claimed that because BenchCock was violently opposed to the Government, he was just using the occasion to get back and embarrass them. But Satiricus knew that only those who felt something could know it. And it was clear that when it came to being diddled BenchCock FELT it.

But here was this young man WeltMan, claiming that he’d been diddled by the Opposition Speaker TrotMam, when he was just 12 years old. Being the expert on diddled boys, BenchCock, of course, immediately sought out and interviewed the young man.

And immediately echoed the Speaker, that the boy was “troubled”. BenchCock used even stronger words. And pronounced the boy wasn’t diddled. Was it because BenchCock and the Speaker were sworn to “appose, expose, and depose” the government?? “Nah,” concluded Satiricus, “BenchCock, was the expert on diddled boys. He’d FELT it.”

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In cake, bake and steak

Satiricus was disappointed in the President. Seems that he insisted on taking coals to Newcastle. “Or in the case of Guyana,” thought Satiricus, “sending emails to Mook Lall!”

Hey!! with all the hacking Lall did, his problem was how to keep up with emails! Imagine the President telling GrainJa, “Well, my mother used to say you can’t have it in cake and have it in bake; you can’t have it both ways, you have to make up your mind what you want.”

With all due respect to the President, that might have been true in Kara Kara up the Essequibo River, but not in the circles where GrainJa was raised. Ever since GrainJa was a boy in short pants going to Queens, he had been taken in hand by the Kabaka.

No, the Kabaka didn’t TAKE young GrainJa’s hand to groom him the way people in high places in Speakers’ chairs do with boys nowadays. That was just a figure of speech as far as the Kabaka was concerned.

He had taught young GrainJa that, indeed, you could have it in cake and have it in bake. Like how he showed GrainJa you could have not one vote for you – and still win the elections!! Or how you could tell the Opposition absolutely nothing and still say you “consulted”. All you had to do was call the fella up, say “Hi!!” and voila!! “Consultations!!!”

Or how the Kabaka took money from the Americans for NOT being communist, and at the same time took money from the Russians FOR BEING a communist!! You couldn’t just have IT in cake and in bake – but even in steak!!!

And GrainJa had proven to be such a good student of the Kabaka on the “Principle of Cake, Bake and Steak”!! Look at how he’d handled the challenge from the Pee-an-See Linden Group. Did he worry about all of those interior people coming to vote him out of the Pee-an-See leadership?? Nah!!! They also believed that you couldn’t have IT in cake and in bake at the same time. So innocent!!

All GrainJa had to do was dig into the Kabaka’s bag of tricks and pull the old rigging routine!! The Linden hicks never saw that coming!! They thought that rigging was only to be used against the President and his PPCEE! They had to slink back to Linden and nurse their wounds. But GrainJa wasn’t finished with them. That was just IT in cake and in bake. He’s about to show them IT in steak.

GrainJa just announced that there wasn’t even a Pee-an-See Linden Group! There’s just a Linden Coordinator – who he had personally appointed. This was IT in steak, well done.

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Hawaiian nights

Satiricus was very pleased. The old people used to say, “If you can’t stand the heat, don’t be in the kitchen”. But the old people never said when you run from the kitchen where you should go. Well now he knew: go to Hawaii! At least this was where the Muckraker’s Mook fled to now that the heat in Guyana was turned up against him.

For years and years, the Mook had a field day throwing mud – even sh*t – at anyone he had a grudge against. And the Mook had grudges against a whole lotta people. It wasn’t hard to get in the Mook’s bad books. Just work hard and be successful and you’re in!! That’s right. You could get in faster if you made money. That drove the Mook into fits of rage that made the Hulk look like a choir boy.

Right away, he’d have his house slave concoct up all kinds of lies and slander and plaster it all over the Muckraker. One thing you had to give to the Mook – he knew ordinary people liked to get the dirt on successful people. Even if it was made up dirt. But it looked like he picked the wrong Big Man finally. This fella knew that the Mook was more twisted than a pretzel…and had the facts to prove it.

Like most fellas who point their fingers at others – the Mook forgot he was pointing three right back at himself. And the Big Man just followed the trail. Turns out the Mook was not only stealing a hundred million on a single duty-free car scheme to defraud the taxman, he was willing to take down with him the parents of one of his closest pals. Sick.

So the Big Man turned the screws on the Mook. He seized the cars. You should see the sweat run down the Mook’s bald head!! The friend’s parents had to run back to the states. The Mook tried to hit back. He hacked into the Big Man’s email. The Big Man turned it over to the Police. The Mook started to shake worse than if he had the ‘Gunya!!

The Police turned it over to Interpol: hacking into international browsers like Hotmail’s a federal offence. The Mook couldn’t swallow his spit! Couldn’t sleep. So his best friend Tony picked him up (remember he doesn’t have a car) and dropped him at the airport to fly to Hawaii. They’d had a sweet time in Suriname last year. The Mook believes the Hawaiian breeze on the beach at Waikiki might dry his sweat.

The last time the Mook was spotted he had on his grass skirt, dancing the Hula with his arms undulating gracefully and his hips swaying suggestively.

But Satiricus wondered what would happen when the Mook returned to Guyana to face the music – and the heat.

Looks like he’ll be dancing the Hula for the fellas at Lot 12 Camp Street!! Without the grass skirt!!

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Defending the enemy

Satiricus was not surprised as to how far people would go to keep a good man down. He was talking about that saint of a man named Mook Lall, who owned the Muckraker. Ever since the fella came out of Hog Island in the Essequibo River, he’d been sacrificing himself just to help others. But nobody ever gave him any credit for his good deeds – much less praise him. The world was just so full of terrible people.

Look as to how the Mook (his friends called him Mookie, but Satiricus figured he didn’t know the sainted man well enough to call him that) has stepped in to help ordinary people when the US refused to give them visas. Those poor people only wanted to visit their relatives in New York. The heartless Americans didn’t understand what turmoil they were creating in these poor folks’ hearts.

Only the sainted Mook felt their pain. But he didn’t stop there. He travelled far and wide, met all kinds of people – at great danger to himself if the truth be told – and backtracked them into America. Homeland Security?? Ha!! That was child’s play to the Mook who was the best at “hide and seek” in Hog Island – where the bush-rum makers were ever hiding from the Police who were “seeking”.

People thought the Mook made a lot of money from the backtracking – at US$10,000 a head. But did they care how hard it was to collect on the money? It’s not easy to beat a man, his wife and his children every month for money. And after all the work the Mook did to get them to meet up with their relatives!! Ingrates!! The Mook’s hands became arthritic from inflicting beatings. But who cares??

But his latest act of looking out for others went beyond anything he’d ever done before. Tears ran down Satiricus’s cheeks as he thought of the selflessness of the Mook. Here it was that the Mook never insulted anyone in his paper. He was always saying such sweet things about others. He was a saint, no?? But other newspapers were jealous of him and would sometimes say mean things about him.

Especially that Tines paper that was close to the man who persecuted the Mook mightily – Jagdesh. And now here was the sainted Mook fighting tooth and nail against Big Brother who released the financial figures on Tines for the world to see!! Was nothing sacred??

And it was not as if the Mook’s Muckraker’s figures were released – just his competitors!! What a saint!! Always thinking of others. Satiricus’s shoulders shook as his body was wracked by tears.

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No loyalty

Satiricus is a self-confessed dunderhead. And because of that condition he couldn’t fulfil his childhood dream of being a lawyer. But even as a news hacker, he was just fascinated by the goings on in that fraternity – which he followed avidly and fervently. And he did think it was a “fraternity”. Until now.

Satiricus was trying to keep up with the accusations and counter accusations in the “Case of the Boy who cried Rape!” But right off the bat Satiricus knew the boy was lying. Just look at his name: Welsh Man. Now everybody knew that you are your name. Look at Rum Jhaat for instance?? It was “Rum Till Ah die” with that fella.

And it was for good reason that people who don’t keep their word is said to “welsh”. The boy’s word was not to be trusted. So Satiricus didn’t need Naga Man, NoGel Huge, Rum Jhaat and Trot Man to tell him that. But here was all these big name lawyers rallying around their comrade who was being wrongfully accused of raping the little boy!!

Satiricus knew it wasn’t just because they were all members of the KFC party and that if Trot Man was found of violating the little boy, their party’s chances of getting a seat at the next elections stood as much a chance as a snowflake not melting in hell. Nah…these were lawyers – and they stood for the tenets of Justice!! Satiricus discreetly wiped a tear from his cheek.

But then the Naga Man spoke. And this was when Satiricus started to doubt that there was a “legal fraternity”. The boy who claimed that Trot Man “took his innocence” had called this lawyer – Manic Sand – whom he’d had known from the days when he’d just become “troubled and disturbed”. Manic Sand immediately called then texted Trot Man that the news of him diddling a little boy mightn’t go down well with his family.

“Settle the thing”, she advised. All of this sounded plausible to Satiricus. Legal fraternity and all that. If the Police had a “blue wall”, why not a lawyers’ “black wall”? But Naga Man, with all the two years of experience he had under his belt, smelled the rat. “You don’t need a “retainer” to become someone’s lawyer. That’s too much botheration! I take clients like NICIL just like that!!”

And Naga Man insisted that lawyers don’t look out for each other. No loyalty. “Manic Sand,” Naga Man screamed, “was just trying to hustle Trot Man!”

And Satiricus figured who but Naga Man would know about no loyalty to fraternity and friends?? Hadn’t Naga Man sold out his comrades of 50 years because they didn’t hear their departed chief make him his successor?

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