Well, the Christmas breeze is already blowing, and so is the cycle between hot sunshine and flood rains in the same day. Jamaica is really a wonderful country to live in, especially if you have a good sense of humour.
As they say here, "We tek bad things mek laugh", or in English, "We see the lighter side of every situation". There is always a laugh in every local event, and perhaps that is why we rank so high on the happiness index.
Well, Tuesday morning proved very informative as I went to the police station at 34 Duke Street to have my fingerprints done for a "fit and proper person" in order to serve as a director of a business under the FSC. Every few years you have to do this exercise to "update" your records. I am, of course, a conscientious objector to this process, especially in modern times.
The last time I did this I left with traces of ink all over my hand, but this time the process was swift and computerised and the actual fingerprinting took less than one minute. The police personnel were prompt, professional, and very courteous, and I must say I was thoroughly impressed. But prior to that there was a poorly designed manual form, obviously a relic from the past. Quite frankly, except for meeting some great policemen and police women, the exercise was meaningless.
I sat in the waiting room with Oliver Clarke filling out the form, having been given a clipboard to write on. The questions were fairly standard — the usual name, address, age, sex, etc. But then we got to the reason for wanting the fingerprints done, and then quietly, as they say, all hell broke loose.
Oliver, with his usual dry humour, asked me, "As you are a good student of the English language" (I knew I was in trouble then), "what do they mean by expunge?" I replied naively, "Wash out your record", to which he replied "Well tick that one and see if they will give you an enema"!
Needless to say, having captivated Gary Barrow and myself, he needed no urging from us to recount his experience with a tyre-burning protest in a rib-busting style that only Oliver Clarke can do. Since most Jamaicans are related, I wonder what the connection with his namesake Oliver Samuels is. When the casinos come we will have no shortage of stand-up comedy as every day we are provided with something to laugh about.
I thought about the cars for the ministers that seem to be causing the trouble (as delineated by Gordon Robinson) and I started to get upset. Then my Jamaican spirit kicked in and I thought that Minister Lisa Hanna would look quite as lovely in a Lada, but I was facing a real mental challenge with how to fit my friend Roger in a Volkswagen Beetle. So dear Sister P, I suggest that you give out vehicles by the size and weight of your team. Clovis could have a field day with this topic.
While we are arguing about preaching on the buses, the "Empire Strikes Back" and the Roman Catholic Church has announced that "God's Vicar", namely the Pope, has set up a twitter account and will be answering the faithful in seven languages. Here comes our big investment chance as we could make it eight with the inclusion of the Patois Bible and some Jamdown responses.
I can see the possibilities of this immediately, and we could expand this into a Vatican call centre. "You reach di Vatican customas care; welcome and what a gwaan," says our operator.
"Well. I am single and living in Oregon and wish to find a kind religious gentleman to share my life with", says the softly accented American voice on the line.
"Oh, yu need a man fi deh wid, my girl," says the customa Jammie.
"Oh, if that means marriage, then yes" replies Oregon.
"A wha kind a man yu want, cause we have short man, tall man, maga man, black, brown, white, Indian and Chinese, an plenty mix up. So talk up di ting, my girl. Yu have money? Seh wha, yu say yes, well mi have di man fi yu. Hold please while I transfer yu to mi cousin Dalton, but most people jus call him Scammie. Him usual live a MoBay, but since police deh deh, him wi call yu and give further instructions. Hav a nice day."
This conversation has been recorded for quality and you may hear it again by dialling 8 and choose to hear it in the language of your choice.
Well, I'm sorry to give this idea to the Rev Al Miller as we could soon have fixed cellphones on JUTC buses giving free calls to the Almighty and a special blessing hotline. It probably would be a step up from the dirty music and the similar language of the ductas and loader man dem on the Coaster buses. The glory train will ride again, so "people get ready, there's a bus a coming your waywaywayway". Kick up, Driva.
I guess that by now you will realise that I am not about to let the Holy Season be spoiled by petty politics, and cass-cass. As I said in August, all politicians can have a field day for December with no need to pass any new laws, or do other work. Feel free to have the curry goat (but not the stolen ones), white rum, and two Puss Gin if so inclined.
This columnist will leave you to your own devices and pray that you may discover your own moral compass before the IMF forces you to make that discovery.
As Home T4 would sing "Mek di Chrismus ketch you in a good mood".
Peace and love.