A foul smell, borne on an ill wind, has been blowing over sections of the Corporate Area in recent days, bringing much discomfort. The National Environment Planning Agency (NEPA), called upon to solve the puzzle, has declared it may be emanating from the Yallahs Ponds on the road from Kingston to St Thomas. Not everyone agrees.
In a classic case of what some believe is a case of "cyaan ketch Quackoo, yuh ketch him shut", the ponds have been labelled the villain in a smelly story. This is not the first time that the Yallahs Ponds (there are actually two of them) have been accused of being up to odiferous business; but none as nauseating as this one. People who know everything recall times past when there was a project to grow krill, a tiny crustacean from which we were led to believe we could reap a fortune selling to producers of pet fish food. The project started, then stopped "Braps!" as usual. Nothing was said about stinky stuff in those days.
The water appears thick and sluggish for the most part, but sometimes when ruffled by the wind it could pass for normal. The scientists say the salty pond water actually makes its way out to sea and returns mixed with more sea water. Fish are supposed to live in it, but so far I've not heard of anyone who has made a gourmet meal of whatever kind of fish lies below the surface of the strange pools. With such a mysterious history, it is no wonder the title of "dutty water" is ascribed to the ponds and the role of villain is easy to attach.
In the recent stink-up, the wind from the east comes into the room where I work, bringing a stomach-churning effect and headaches as well. So far, NEPA, or nobody, has produced evidence as to whether is "duppy dat deh pon we". Kingston and St Andrew are not faultless places, so it could well be argued that we are due for some kind of retribution in return for our abuse of the environment and each other. Did we dump something in the ponds which has returned to haunt us? Since the start of this week, the wind has dropped, but stubborn remnants of "stinky" remain. Now you will see why some of us want assurances that we must protect our environment from abuse from one end of the island to the other.
In the meantime, I keep a red candle burning in my office, not on the advice of any obeah man, and not because the obeah law has been up for repeal, but because I found one of those candles in a glass jar, and was drawn to the pleasing scent of ripe apples which has been proving fairly successful in fighting down the stink.
PS: Let it be known that until some scientific evidence is offered, I don't believe the pond story. Something nasty has fouled the air, and until the source is proved, I will continue to be sceptical.
I know at my age I'm not supposed to understand some things, like why, with every young boy on The Rock convinced that he can win the Grammy, we have to import a "boy band" to entertain us, especially one with the title Mindless Behavior. We have more than enough of that here. Mindlessness is our way of life. What else could account for schoolboys continuing to endanger the future of their manhood by stitching up their pants so closely that the wearers look like "men in tights", a section of humanity with which no Jamaican male wants to be identified. While we're at it, look at the 'preckeh' some politicians now find themselves in because of real mindless behaviour.
Someone will rush to recommend that "I lighten up" or stick to my geriatric corner. No problem. I've heard it before. Who knows, I might turn up one day in a band titled "Stupidness Guaranteed" or "The Mighty Fool-Fools". By the way, I don't need to leave home to be entertained, I can stay by the TV to be zapped into mind numbness by the backward utterances of the likes of Jaden Smith, son of Will. Master Jaden has been tweeting all kinds of crazy things to his doting fans, said to number in the millions, and to who he is spreading the gospel of dropping out of school to do anything they want. No surprise, education is not on the to-do list.
It's so easy when your dad makes gazillions of dollars and you don't have to "worry bout a ting"... Memo to any deluded yute who would follow him. Rich or no rich, you will always be a mindless idiot.
You have to ask what was the Mayor of Savanna-la-Mar Mr Bertel Moore really thinking when he suggested that the police adopt a "shoot first and ask question after" policy to curb crime. One would think that this leading Westmorelite would make sure which side of the bed he got out of, as he faced another day, trying to enrich the lives of citizens of his community. If perhaps it was an attempt at a joke, clearly His Worship will not be replacing Oliver or Ity and Fancy Cat anytime soon. Remember sir, the ancestral saying: "What is joke to you is death to me." I can understand his frustration at the wave of violent crime which is plaguing his parish, but His Worship should be aware of the consequences of shoot-first. Alas, there are many former citizens now in the cemeteries who were not given the luxury of answering questions before or after. Dead men tell no tales. Mayoral hats aren't worn every day either, so we presume that he couldn't have been talking through his. We know that desperate times called for desperate measures but not this one. Mr Mayor, wheel and come again.
No way out
After the scorching verdict of the contractor general, it will take a miracle for Member of Parliament Richard Azan to repair his shredded reputation and keep his place in the Parliament. Question of the day is whether he will resign voluntarily or see the Government pay the price for his poor judgement. The media is watching like a hawk and was already pouncing on the day of the release of the OCG report, battering not Mr Azan but the Minister of Information who could not bring instant news of what lies ahead. We now await a new boxing event — "Will Archie TKO Sandra?"
BAR TALK: Attorney General Patrick Atkinson was right after all speculation about the Americans still having a lease on Goat Islands was only thatZ — rum bar talk. Goat Islands is officially ours to protect or "gi weh".