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

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Two, Maybe Three, Cockroaches (or The Condemned Come to Know)

LAST WORKING DAY –night, really – of the old year and I see them as I’m taking what the English call my last slash before bed. They remind me of the joke about the Native American brave who asks his chief on what basis he names all the tribe’s babies. “It depends,” replies the chief. “If a child is born during a storm, I might name it, ‘Rolling Thunder’. Or I may look out at a herd on the prairie and so name the baby, “Limping Buffalo”. In winter, I might name a child, ‘Snow Falls Deeply’, in summer, ‘Blazing Sun’. Tell me, do you understand now, Two Dogs Firetrucking?”

Last Wednesday night of the year, almost Thursday morning really, everything asleep in the house, except me and the two cockroaches on the shower floor I’m looking at, back-to-back, rear ends joined.

Two cockroaches firetrucking.

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Ghosts of Christmas Presents

CHRISTMAS falls next Tuesday, making today’s TGIF my last chance to provide the last-minute-Santa, unrequested gift advice service for which I am so deservedly unknown. Of course, with so few people in Trinidad actually having jobs nowadays, it’s something between otiose and offensive to tell people how to spend money they don’t have, but I’ve kind of made a career out of giving people advice they resent; ask Prime Minister Keith Rowley, Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Minister of Fine Ants, Colm Imbert or the West Indies Cricket Board (trading nowadays as, “Cricket Lose-These”).

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​BC-Exit from Brexit

THE ONLY person who could possibly be more fed-up of Brexit than me must be British Prime Minister Theresa May – and she, at least, is getting something out of it, even if only a pay cheque now and, in the near future, a far earlier retirement from political life than she’d planned. All Brexit is delivering to me is the kind of hazardous distraction you get when you’re driving 120 kph down a highway and a Jack Spaniard crawls at eye-height across the inside of your windshield; if that firetrucker stings you, it could mean death.

So now you have to keep one eye on the road and the other on the Jep.

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​A Country Called Rihanna

ST LUCIAN Prime Minister Allen Chastanet talked more sense in a single sentence on TV Six’s Morning Edition this week than his combined brothers and sister across Caricom, the Caribbean Community, have all year. Indeed, Chastanet’s casual comment this week is more important than all the formal official statements made in the near half-century since the “heads of government” have met twice a year – roughly 90 times so far, and counting – ostensibly to bring Caricom countries closer together, but actually to determinedly keep them apart, to protect their own fiefdoms. “The world keeps seeing us as one,” said Chastanet, “and we keep resisting that temptation to becoming one.”

It’s not rocket-firetrucking-science.

It’s not ground-firetrucking-breaking, either.

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​Inception Conception

TRINIDAD, THE PLACE, is like a really long extended version of Inception, Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi/fantasy/action/mystery flick. Like Inception, the movie, Trinidad, the country, is based on an impossible premise you have to just swallow whole, without question, or the whole thing simply crashes and you steups, turn it off, and go your own way, leaving those impossible people to play their impossible selves according to their impossible premise.

Like Inception, the film, Trinidad, the place, features an array of gifted actors in the lead roles: Leonardo Di Caprio is not really a thief who can break into people’s dreams and pick-pocket their intellectual property, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is not really a navigator of other people’s dreams to discover their most closely-guarded secrets and Ellen Page is not really an architect of dreamscapes; just like Keith Rowley is not really a prime minister, Colm Imbert a finance minister or Kamla Persad-Bissessar an opposition leader – though the Trinidadian performances are pitched to win votes, not Oscars.

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