Tuesday, April 16, 2024

THE LOWDOWN: Pitons and perils


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In recent days a decree went out from Antoinettia Editoria that all columnists should provide an email address in their “column ender”. As a shy individual who has had his share of angry-reader ’busing, this writer felt such a demand should come with a hazard allowance.
However, positive vibes thus far: “Richard, keep writing!” “You are in fine form, Mr Hoad.” Lascivious Loretta and gleeful Glenville exhorted me to “suck a breast and save a life”, quoting medical evidence that such activities are beneficial to women. And so on.
Alas, breasts are now haunting me from another direction. We have recently seen maps of Barbados showing areas vulnerable to a tsunami. And they seem to concentrate on the west and south coasts, with one disaster expert stating that the Japan situation “calls into question the safety of any living creature along the coast from Half Moon Fort, St Lucy, to Chancery Lane, Christ Church”.
I therefore contacted the epicentre of the Coastal Zone Management Unit, Dr Lorna Inniss, oceanographer, who advised that a tsunami could hit on any coast. “Bath Beach, for instance, would be vulnerable”. Also Morgan Lewis.
Moreover, continued the good lady, and here’s where my timbers shook, tsunamis may result from causes other than earthquakes.
“You no doubt know the Pitons of St Lucia? Well, if one of them slipped into the sea, it could precipitate a tsunami from that direction and …”
But I had already ditched the phone and was hieing for higher ground post-haste. For, follow me closely here, “pitons” in the creole tongue mean “breasts”.
And, impressive as are the Pitons of St Lucia, we have young ladies here with pitons next to which the St Lucia versions would look like snow cone cups.
No problem so far.
But suppose, God forbid, such a young lady liked to go yachting around our coasts. And suppose in the throes of some busy entertainment she should fall overboard, pitons and all. Might we not have not one, but two, tsunamis (properly called a “tsu-tsunami”) coming at us?
Sorry, but I, for one, will not be descending from the top of Morgan Lewis mill until reasonable assurances to the contrary can be given.
Okay, let’s move from a possible woman-made disaster to an actual man-made disaster.
I am frankly amazed, so many years after the supposed end of colonialism, at the unabashed hypocrisy and callousness of the powerful white nations, who have taken unto themselves a God-given right to manhandle the affairs of some sovereign countries. While cuddling up to other brutal, non-democratic regimes.
How can Barack Obama see the mess America made in Iraq and Afghanistan and yet attack Libya? How can David Cameron discontinue the excellent BBC Caribbean service for lack of funds, yet find money for unprofitable war? How can they both not see that they are playing right into the hands of Islamic extremists, who will move in to fill the voids?
It boggles the mind. Yet Barbados must take advantage of these new trends. Specifically, I recommend we take over Canada. The time is opportune, for both of Canada’s warplanes are busy in Libya. And her most sturdy citizens happen to be in Barbados drinking rum punch.
And it will be easy. We send Froon to whip up the Canadian Bajans and seize a province. We promise Obama all of Canada’s oil. The yanks will bomb them into submission for us.
A near disaster: I overheard the wife and daughters discussing blood-thinning remedies to give me – ginger, molasses, green pawpaw tea. Then someone came up with warfarin.
“Isn’t that the main ingredient in rat bait?” asked the wife, “Great! I’ll give him a pack every morning as his cereal. After all, he isn’t helping on the farm.”
I went back out next day.
More disaster: Last Tuesday marked 36 years since we got married. An old school friend asked the wife about our love life then and now.
“Much the same”, she replied, “except then he fell asleep after. Now he falls asleep before.”
“So you get to sleep a lot earlier?”  
“About two minutes!”
Happy birthday to Ridley Greene!


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