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

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Crystal Balls-Up

TO WRITE a brilliantly original newspaper column, you’ve got to copy the best ideas and, in 1999, I stole a great one from Robert Steinback, then of the Miami Herald, who, every January, wrote a predictions column.

Robert’s predictions were serious, because he lived in what we thought was the world’s leading liberal democracy (until November 2016, when Americans apparently voluntarily elected the kind of fraudulent, inbred, illiterate buffoon normally produced only by corrupt Third World dictatorships; in the third generation). In Walcott’s Limers’ Republic, though, where the audience usually has more talent than the show, I just couldn’t be entirely serious. Some of my predictions, then, are meant to make you laugh, while others would make anyone with any sense weep, the unending Trinidadian challenge being distinguishing fantasy from reality.

Since 2011, when I first thought of the skulls, I have stunned readers with the accuracy of my first prediction:

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Arbor Resentment

FIRST BLACK FRIDAY of the year and, just like the first working day of the year, Y’Boy in one-them pensive mood, whereby he can’t think ‘bout nothing else other than the thing he thinking ‘bout, which is how them Maraval people and the Diego Martin Regional Corporation only un-fairing all them Catholic by trying to stop the Opus Dei school from opening on Long Circular Rd, which part it had one-them Japanee Chinee restaurant before, right there opposite the biggest Catholic church, by square footage and by congregation- and collection-size, in the whole of Trinidad; is like them adding insult to injury.

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New Year's Dazed and Confused

FIRST DAY of the year and Y’Boy remembering when he did first go away to the Cold and find out that white people’ country doesn’t have Old Year’s Night, them does have New Year’s Eve. That-self is one of the answers Y’Boy would give, if he ever had was to ask himself, like he does ask other people every week, “What is a Trini?”: “A Trini is somebody who celebrates Old Year’s Night, not New Year’s Eve”. Some people wouldn’t see no difference, but Y’Boy – and, Y’Boy suspect, most Trinis – would nod they head, and chuckle to theyself, and winks at one another: Y’Boy done know he never had as good a time at the best New Year’s Eve party in Foreign than he had at the worst Old Year’s Night in Trinidad.

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Kamla Get Orn

IN WHAT MAY prove yet to be her political masterstroke, containing more grace in the coup than even her ejection of Basdeo Panday from the leadership of the party he founded, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar sacked almost everyone she could see (and a couple she couldn’t even hear) from her government on Monday night; and time alone will tell whether firing so many Cabinet members in one sitting was enough of a splash to distract us from what we should really be doing: wondering whether the ex-AG should be behind bars (and if he will meet House Speaker Wade Mark there) and following those developments, or lack thereof, closely, not the red herring of whether Police Complaints Authority chair David West should resign.

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Crystal Balls-Up

TO WRITE a breathtakingly original newspaper column you’ve got to steal the best ideas you can and, in 1999, I stole one of the best from Robert Steinback, then of the Miami Herald. At the start (or end) of every year, Robert wrote a column of predictions for the coming year and considered the accuracy of the previous year’s predictions.

Robert’s predictions were entirely serious, because he lived in a First World liberal democracy but mine could not be because I lived here; indeed, some of my predictions are included only to make you laugh, while others are deadly serious and would make anyone weep; and the perennial Trinidadian challenge remains to distinguish fantasy from reality

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