Columns

For every solution, a problem

Barbara GLOUDON

Friday, August 29, 2014    

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There has been no natural hurricane so far this year. We seem eager to fill the vacuum, however, by cranking up some stormy weather of our own. Political breeze-blow seems to be drawing nearer. We haven't yet established the speed of the winds, but there are definite signs that we may have to batten down soon.

This is not the kind of warning you will get from the Met Office so you'd be best prepared to learn how to recognise the direction from which the wind is blowing and how to differentiate between a breeze-blow and a storm. The Opposition leader is not prepared to wait on what the barometer is saying, or for the storm season to be declared open. He is chawing fire and rearing to go.

It is not often you hear of a political rally on a rainy Monday morning. Although we've been texting the Higher Authority to send down mercy rain to break the drought stranglehold, most of us don't like to get wet. "Raindrops falling on my head" might be okay for a song maker enriching his fortunes, but it should be made known that Jamaican people are not too enthusiastic about raindrops falling on their heads just so.

Watch and see how people respond if even two rain rops hit them. Shelter has to be found immediately especially to protect the mole, that vulnerable part of the head which science refers to as the 'fontanelle', the soft spot on the skull which is supposed to close of its own accord as an infant grows. Watch big smaddy run for cover, sheltering beneath anything to avoid the mole getting wet. No matter what it takes, the head top must be covered, whether by newspaper, piece-a cardboard, or even a hand. To ask people to come out in the name of democracy, on a morning when the mole is in peril, is to test the faith of the faithful. The Leader did not leave his fontanelle exposed to the elements either. He brought out his rainy weather cap.

National colours was the requested dress code for the faithful, but green dominated. No trumpet was blown for the multitude to answer the call. That instrument belongs on the other colour, some of which showed up in the news photos. What are we supposed to believe? That the oranges had an urge to endanger their moles or were they already crossing the aisle? Marches and demonstrations usually have proximity to polling booths and election dates, but so far we haven't heard of any date set or any prophecy of starters already at the gate. Either we're getting some of the political conventions mixed up, or new ones are being developed.

I believe there's a new connection between elections and keep-fit. How so? Lissen up. Bus fares up or bus fares down could well end up being a health issue. Think about it... Rather than wrestle over fare increases, why not give up riding the bus altogether and engage instead in a series of 5Ks from Half-Way-Tree to Negril and back, come hell or high water. Think how fit the electorate would be eventually. Trimmed of all the excess fat, the nation could get down to real business. No more handouts. Election races would take on new meaning. To be successful, candidates would be required to race against Usain. Some journalists who think they know everything would have to train for a new challenge -- dodging slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.(Shakespeare is back in town.) We should be used to it by now, and if Busta were here, he reminded us "the people have become unmanageable."

LET'S RETURN now to finding a problem for every solution. You must have noticed by now that every time something positive happens, we never stop until we make a negative out of it. By now some scientist or other may have discovered that we are deadly afraid of seeing things work. It is in our genes. We must mash it down, then make a big thing about how we're going to build it back up -- pardon our progress.

Look at the new north coast highway, for instance. To hear some people talk, you would believe it is the first time we have seen a road with a steep slope -- never mind Spur Tree. There are the claims that vehicles either grind to a halt climbing up or roll back down. One rumour says vehicles actually run away leaving drivers. Others swear that they have to push the vehicles uphill. Any minute now we will hear that Rolling Calf and Three-foot Horse -- which used to scare the daylights out of our ancestors -- have returned to haunt us.

The first time I was driven on the new hill, I found myself awaiting the moment when everything would crash. One fool makes many. When nothing happened and we reached the end of the road, incident-free, all I could say was "how wi so lie?" Seriously though, what is the purpose of all the chupidness being said about the road? True, there are some small finishing touches which need attention. For instance, people have been clamouring for directional signs to assist drivers who don't know which way to turn. There are some challenges which need more serious attention, eg loose earth falling down from a section of the embankment. Well fix it nuh!

Going up and coming down the road, there is some wonderful scenery -- great, so long as drivers are not taking their eyes off the road to look or take a selfie. It is good that the road traffic authorities have been visiting the highway to see if some of the public's complaints are justified. To date, they've given it a clean sheet, so back off with the duppy stories.

RE FAITH'S PEN: There is a lot of weeping and moaning and gnashing of teeth currently going on. As a committed customer for nuff years, I can say it had begun to look rundown and trade was falling off. If Faith's Pen is to regain its glory, these challenges must be dealt with seriously. Both the location and certain questionable elements who had moved in will have to be addressed and quick-quick.

BAD MANNERS: To the alleged glitterati who came late -- some very late -- to a certain high-end theatre performance the other evening, note: It was bad manners, quite bootoo, to bore past people already seated, long after the curtain had gone up and the actors were settling into their roles. In London, New York or any other name-drop places, you'd be locked out until intermission... no matter how much you paid for your ticket. Discourtesy to ushers is another on the list of what-not-to-do.

RIP, Roger Clarke

The news came mid-morning yesterday. Roger Clarke, minister of agriculture, died in Florida where he'd gone for medical treatment. He will be missed by those who knew his remarkable wit and sense of fun, even while defending the agricultural sector. He was fearless and defended his turf despite the beating he often took. Messages of love and sympathy poured into radio stations. Walk good, Uncle Roger. It will be hard to replace you.

gloudonb@yahoo.com

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