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TGIF columns are in order by date from the most recent.

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Letters of discredit

WHENEVER Trinidad out-Trinidads itself – like when a private company pulls out of a project in Tobago despite a sweetheart deal so sweet it makes anyone who is not a shareholder feel sick, and Trinidadians & Tobagonians don’t realise that they’d just got lucky – I cheer myself up by printing a few letters from the editor. It’s another stolen idea, like all the best ones, and I got this one from the National Lampoon, the nationwide spinoff of the Harvard University satirical magazine that could not survive in an age where a Russian sympathiser not only sits, but spreads out massive, in the Oval Office.

As always, I certify these letters are 100 per cent authentic because I made them up myself.

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​Crystal Balls-Up

TO WRITE a startlingly original newspaper column, you’ve got to copy ideas from firetrucking everybody and, in 1999, I stole one of the best from Robert Steinback, then of the Miami Herald, who, every January, wrote a column making predictions for the coming year and assessing the accuracy of his predictions the year before.

Robert’s prognostications were serious, because he lived in what we thought was a democracy until November 2016, when Russian bots & Facebook installed in the Oval Office the kind of illiterate buffoon normally found only in Third World dictatorships. In Trinidad, where we expect our saviour of democracy to be a cross between Duterte Harry and Vladimir Put-the-Boot-In, I simply couldn’t be entirely serious; like the place itself. Some of my predictions, then, are meant to make you laugh, while others would make anyone with any sense weep, the eternal Trinidadian conundrum being distinguishing fantasy from reality.

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The Return of the Bone Trini

IT GIVES ME very great pleasure to say that, after a hiatus of a year-and-a-half or so, my feature, “Trini to the Bone” returns to the newspaper world in next Monday’s Newsday (and will, like Thank God It’s Friday, also appear online on my website, www.BCPires.com, subsequent to its appearance in the physical paper). Trini to the Bone will, I believe, lead off the paper’s features section and the only people who might be happier about it than me might be my editors and the Trinis to the Bone themselves.

For those who don’t know it, Trini to the Bone is a personality-led news feature, accompanied by a photograph – the new incarnation may have two photos – which I dreamed up almost 20 years ago, in London, England, but which did not see the light of publication in a Trinidadian newspaper until July 2010 – and then only because I had begun its precursor, “As Bajan as Flying Fish” a year-and-a-half before, from early 2009, in the Barbados Nation.

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