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Callaloo and Coup-Coup

Picture Courtesy Mark Lyndersay

Picture courtesy Mark Lyndersay

A little ditty/ ‘bout ANR and Abu/ set out this way cuz / rhyme’s less painful to do

THIRTY-TWO YEARS pass now since the Old Abu uprise/

and, every year, July 27 is still a shock but no surprise/ Babies newborn when Muslimeen first shoot up the place/ watching the mirror now, seeing lines in they face/ A new generation grow up “after de Coup”/ but we ent find someone yet who could tell we what to do/ What law to pass, what guideline to enshrine/ To make sure we never again hear bullets whine

Over our heads, in our ears, in our hearts and all our organs/ Lawyers still bailing out, doctors still stitching up all our gorgons/ All the same forces that was at play in 1990/ set in stone now and at war in this century/ An Islamic coup at home was just a dress rehearsal/ for the main production, and now a problem universal/ When society is nothing more than Wealth’s fortification/ the onliest sharity is upheaval from below and rebellion/
Is not to say we ent fling money all over the firetrucking place/ Is pelt we pelt cash, uno, dos it vanish without a trace/ Like hospital, school system, bus route, even Piarco/ No government ever change procurement to see where the cash go/ This is how we does do it and always has done it here-oh/ If a actor man have to act we, it ha’ to be Robert Dinero/ (Although, if we’s a Robert, we’s a Roberto Duran/ Excepting we cyar say, “No mas” in this here island)
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AMBITIOUS YOUNG TRINIDADIANS often threaten to “put Trinidad on the world map” (usually with dreadful soca songs) while their Tobagonian counterparts tend to actually quietly do it on a huge scale (like Dwight Yorke winning the UEFA championship in Fergie time in 1999, or whoever the serial killer is who’s murdered seven elderly white people in their own homes – although, for that infamy to pinpoint Scarborough, the Tobago police would have to solve the case).

Now there’s no doubting Trinidad’s widespread cultural influence when the world’s largest musical street festivals – Notting Hill, Brooklyn, Toronto, many more – are all modelled on our own Trinidad Carnival; and a new one seems to pop up in a new city every year.
But who would have thought that Trinidad and Tobago’s most powerful influential force from behind the bridge to across the border would be our politicians? Not our musicians, athletes, chefs, writers, artists, surgeons, scientists, sports people? Who would have thought our guabines and guppies from this little political backwater would outperform the New York Times-rated shark-and-bake for making the world sit up and take notice of Trinidad and Tobago? And then copy us, too besides?
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Lord of the Earrings

IN A WEEK in which the political Fates are serving up a pair of slow, waist-high balls outside off-stump on both sides of the Atlantic, I’m opting not to flash my bat at either, “should in case” I find myself being caught out.

It really does look like Boris Johnson, the second worst English-speaking Western political leader in history, is finally getting his long overdue comeuppance – – but he is the Michael Myers of politics, the grownup version of the child murderer in the Halloween movies: declaring Johnson’s political career is over is like watching Halloween II and being surprised that Michael Myers gets up again after being killed – didn’t you firetrucking see him sit up behind that couch in Halloween I?
It also looks like Donald J for Jackass “Fat Nixon” Trump, that other idiot who managed to find himself, entirely undeservingly, in the most powerful elective office in the world, will soon finally get what he deserves – the rest of his useless life in a very rough prison with a cellmate named Bubba. But thinking Trump will be punished today is like thinking there was no way he’d get the Republican nomination after “grab them by the pussy” or avoid impeachment after January 6 2020.
Given the un-flushable nature of the turds offering themselves up in this week’s political toilet, then, I’m opting to play it safe and play a word game my friend Jonno and I (and maybe Chris) used to enjoy while sipping a few (too many) ales. (I thought we’d stolen the idea from Salman Rushdie, Martin Amis and Christopher Hitchens but, scouring the indexes of various memoirs and non-fiction books of theirs on my shelves, I can’t find any reference to it at all.)
The idea, which I now think was purely Jonno’s, was to come up with titles of books that almost got published, and might have, if only the author had improved or refined their title just a little. Suppose, said Jonno, eyes narrowing over his Old Speckled Hen, VS Naipaul had named his magnum opus A Studio Flat for Mr Biswas? No publisher would have touched it!
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Staying Alive

BELLE, our beautiful big tan pothound, who stands almost at my waist height, is on her way out. She’s hardly getting up any more. At age ten, she’s already lived longer than most dogs her size, but now she’s literally on her last legs: the aggressive bone cancer that has reduced her right front leg to a fragile organic crutch will spread. Just to touch the leg even lightly in the wrong way now makes her yelp.

For the whole weekend, she lay without moving wherever I carried her and put her down. The pain was too great for her to even try to press her weight down upon the bad front leg, to try to get up. This golden wonder who had twice survived being thrown into an abandoned well (Bajan canine euthanasia), the alpha bitch of a six-dog household and the scourge of the postman’s motorbike, was motionless for three days. She did not even eat, just lay with her head flat on the ground, rolling her big brown cow eyes up to us, as if to say, “I think it’s time.”
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Roe Verses Weighed (Clarence’s Secret Plan)

LAST WEEK, the Christian Taliban (disguised as “the US Supreme Court”) overruled Roe v Wade, the most important decision ever given by any court, anywhere, because it started the world debate over the right of women to terminate or carry to term their own firetrucking pregnancies.

The strongest weapon in a united world war against poverty is women keeping their reproductive rights. Wherever and whenever women are so empowered, poverty begins to recede at once.
But it is in the interest of the very rich to keep women very poor, because more babies mean more people who will grow up to become either Amazon Prime customers or Amazon warehouse toilet cleaners.
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