Stacks Image 82615

Subscribe to Thank God It’s Friday

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

Scroll down to search or read more

​The Road Make to Park Car on Carnival Day

MOST PLACES, you can choose half-a-dozen ways to drive from any point A to any point B. In London, I could make the five-minute drive from Clapham to Balham for a fortnight and never take the same route twice. In tiny Barbados, drivers have even greater choice. In the heavily-populated areas of Trinidad, however, no matter where you start or finish, you have to use one or more of the same half-dozen major roads.

And, in Carnival week, the only times those roads are are not jammed chock-a-block with cars are the times no one wants to go anywhere. From the Croisee to Chaguaramus, from Blue Range to Belmont, from Cobo Town to Cascade, from St James to St Anns, Port of Spain’s road system, at Carnival, is one big firetrucking car park. Minshall could have designed a King of Carnival: Mankind Car Standing Stick Right There Like a Frozen Metal River.

Read more

​Mas in the Time of Corona

A version of this column appeared on Carnival Friday in 1992, when the panic was over cholera. Current Finance Minister Colm Imbert held the Health portfolio in Cabinet and Panorama finals were on Carnival Sunday night

AT A DAY fete on Sunday, I had to drink beer all day long. It was either that or rum-and-cholera. Luckily for me drinking beer all day long was not difficult. I can think of worse fates. Not drinking beer all day long, eg, comes to mind, as does drinking boiled water. Boiled water tastes either of nothing or of kettle and neither tastes as appetising as dirty water. It must be the germs and filth that flavour water well. Most things in life becoming boring when sanitisied and water is no exception, but this was in the pipeline from the time we allowed Aids to happen. Now two perfectly normal acts you think about a dozen times a day can kill you. Don't "safe sex" and "boiled water" sound exactly the same? What's next? One day, we’ll kiss a stranger and explode.
But this cholera (pronounced by a drunken friend with the "ch" sounded, as in "channa") is affecting my Carnival in a big way. No rum and water. Or, worse still, hot rum and water. Or, worser stiller, hot rum, no water. I'm told ice is safe but can I really believe that? It was a drunk friend who assured me ice could be consumed in a drink without risking infection. He told me he would prove ice was safe by having a rum and water himself. I tell you, this damned disease has us in school: I promise to get cholera if you promise to get cholera.
Read more

​Pan in a Major Minor

PAN IN THE Savannah Sunday — which Y’Boy know is really “Semis” nowadays but which Y’Boy, becaw he in this pan thing long-long-long, doesn’t can think about excepting as “Prelims” — and Y’Boy walking by he one on the Savannah pitch-walk opposite the US Sex Worker-Briber-in-Chief Embassy, right there by the Sagicor building, which part it had, on the wall behind the main steps, that dynamic work of art what Trinis did call, “the Minshall Muriel”.

And, all on a sudden, jus’ so, Y’Boy stop dead in he tracks.
From quite-oh, quite-oh, quite by the entrance to Savannah Track by Memorial Park, for the first time in donkey years, Y’Boy could hear the sound of pan.
You ever hear ‘bout, “spirit lash”?
Y’Boy stand up there on the pitch-walk like a chupidee, begging for mercy, and he t’un he back on Fat Nixon and his interminable firetruckeries, and listen, for a half-minute or so.
Clear-clear, like the moon over Laventy.
Read more

​Fete with the Oppressors

THE RESTORATION of the President’s/Governor-General’s residence (about US$13.1M, TT$89M) and the Red House (US$16.8M, TT$441M) has, predictably and beneficially sparked a national debate — or at least a flurry of contradictory Facebook posts, which is as deep as Trinidadian debates get — about how such impressive sums of money might have been better spent.

Read more

Brexit Tax Day

THERE’S A LOT to snigger over, for the cynic, in Friday 31 January being Brexit Day, the day that (Soon-to-be-not-so-) Great Britain literally takes itself out of the European Union and figuratively shoots itself in the monetary, trade, fiscal and socioeconomic head.

First, this theoretically awe-inspiring declaration of English “Independence” — for Brexit is an English, not a British, phenomenon — this golden moment of Ye Olde English confidence, this defiant throwing-off of the yoke of European bondage, this proud show of English ability to declare itself on its own terms — will happen, not at English midnight, but at 11pm GMT — because the actual moment of the arrival of Brexit Day, midnight, will happen on European time, one hour later than GMT!
So, in Britain, Brexit will take place at 11pm, English time.
A full hour before it should.
Read more

Show more posts

Navigational Links