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​BC & the Big C

IN AUGUST I began having difficulty swallowing food. By mid-September, breakfast was a pack of Dixee biscuits, lunch, another pack and supper was porridge. Trying to eat almost everything else was like choking myself one bite at a time.

On September 14 a barium meal in Barbados showed a blockage in my gullet. On September 15 I came to Port of Spain for the TT Film Festival and ended up in a medical festival. On September 17, my gastroenterologist, whom I trust absolutely, did an endoscopy and said, “We weren’t lucky. It’s not muscular, it’s a growth. I’ll get the biopsy report within 48 hours but I don’t need it. I’m telling you now that you have cancer.”
And I do.
Oesophageal adenocarcinoma, to be precise, a 4.5cm tumour almost completely blocking the end of my gullet at the top of my stomach.

But I’m a firetrucking Gemini!

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Simple as that

THROUGHOUT THE ridiculous over-extended Bodger Johnson succession farce in the UK, Liz Truss kept my interest, a real achievement for someone so thoroughly dull.

Now, the only reason you couldn’t safely declare Liz Truss as the Least Substantial Public Figure of All Time is we haven’t had all time yet. She will be eventually. She has always been patently, painfully inadequate.
That there has never been anything at all to her, I knew from the first cursory glance… but I kept thinking there had to be! Why else would she get another chance to fail yet again? She peaks at useless. Whatever her new job, she could be sacked upon signature on her contract of hire.
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Stoosh Explainer

BanskysTHE GUARDS at the pillar box don’t even look up at you, once you’re light-skinned and not chattering in Español. My gym gear is still new enough to pass for a resident’s but my wife’s is a little tattered, like her husband, but she has the beauty – and the legs – to turn their heads only in the right way.

And so we saunter unopposed into possibly Port of Spain’s most restricted and expensive neighbourhood, where working-class people don’t need to explain their presence at every step but better have the name of their employer ever ready at their lips.
We hear ourselves puff because this hill is the sonic opposite of Lady Chancellor, where residents live at the pleasure (and mercy) of the joggers, walkers and music-blasters. You don’t hear a firetrucking word on this hill, unless you utter it; in an hour and a couple o’ hundred houses, we will pass one open window.
Near the summit, we enter one end of a particularly quiet side street and discover it is a cul-de-sac only when we turn the left-hand bend 100m away, out of the corner of which, walking towards us, emerge three young mothers pushing prams.
My wife and I are silent as the distance between us and them narrows and the gap widens. They are talking animatedly about something but mention only its price, which is higher than the arches of their perfectly plucked eyebrows. It would take me two months to buy it, whatever it might be.
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​Karen and Keith and Kamla and Who Cares?

Bored stiff by Joe de la silvaFORMER FINANCE MINISTER Karen Tesheira-Nunez is challenging Prime Minister Keith Rowley for the leadership of the governing People’s National Movement and it’s downright impossible to think of a less momentous event; the only thing that might tear me away from the next several weeks of this non-gripping contest is if someone paints a wall and I get the chance to watch it dry.

The only other political event this year that offered the onlooker as much ennui was former Something or the Other Fuad Khan’s challenging Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar for the United National Congress top post. Now there was a contest that would have gone down in the annals of tedium, if only someone had stayed awake long enough to chronicle it.
If it does happen, the only people for whom the prospective PNM leadership contest will matter at all are Keith Rowley and Karen Tesheira-Nunez; and I might be counting one too many people there. It’s as difficult to imagine Keith losing his hair over the non-confrontation as it is to imagine Karen gaining anything from it. Unless Keith Rowley loses a general election, he will remain PNM bossman until he’s too bored to continue; and Keith’s immediate predecessor, Patrick Manning, proved that you could even lose a general election (or two or three) and still keep the bossman-work; the great Patos had a way of resting on his laurels before actually achieving any.
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The BC Honours

SO THERE it is: another Independence Day honours list and I’m not on it! You’d think that, after 34 years in the gig, they’d have run a little Humming Bird Medal (Plastic) for Y’Boy for his Contributions in the Sphere of Mocking Firetruckery! Look, I think I going New York and make it on Broadway, yes!

Of course I’m joking.
Firstly, I don’t want an award; I don’t need any encouragement to keep jamming them on a Friday. I don’t even understand what makes people want one. I remain perplexed, especially after watching One Hand Don’t Clap on the big screen at the TT Film Festival last Saturday, that the great Lord Kitchener, the man who put most of the musicality in our music, whose work was itself a national award, except he gave it to us – I can’t think why he would die hoping for a Trinity Cross; and the fact that, knowing he wanted it, “they” didn’t give it to him left a distaste in my mouth far too powerful to be overcome by rinsing it with a Chaconia Medal Bronze or bay rum.
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