Saturday, April 13, 2024

Chain snatchers


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Would you believe it? Two youths, about in their early 20s, attempted to snatch the Wild Coot’s chain and pendant. This is a chain that means a great deal to the Coot, its being a gift from a Cootlet while they were in the land of the many canals and gondolas. Mrs Coot had given strong instructions: “Wild Coot, do not go down to the bottom of the gap and stand up; people have been attacked down there.”
“This is Barbados and they have not yet repealed the law of freedom of waiting at the bottom of a gap,” was the caustic reply.
Well, there he was, standing all alone, waiting for a promised ride. These two tests, looking healthy, strapping and strong, came walking out of the Drive-in entrance, crossed the road and approached. Suddenly, as if on cue, their direction changed, veering straight for the Wild Coot. Their faces took on a mean and hungry look as they stopped in front of the Coot.
“Can you tell me . . . .” Then the snatch came to my chest decorated by my chain, partly concealed. It was a vicious assault meant to pop the chain and pendant, at the same time striking a blow.
However, the Wild Coot was on full alert. Knowledge of recent attacks at the front of the gap was fresh in his mind and it seemed obvious that these fellows were not lost and seeking direction. When the snatch came I drew back, at the same time knocking the hand of the attacker away, thus saving my chain. The intended strike came up empty as the villain struck on the run. The two fellows ran off.
Now suppose that I had a wedger. Look how much trouble I would be in! Now suppose they had a wedger. Look how I would be taking afternoon tea with Gabriel, flapping my wings and playing with seraphims and cherubims.
The incident highlighted the many snatchings of gold chains and bracelets that eventually find their way into the shops and individuals that offer cash for gold. There has to be a market for the stolen articles, otherwise there would be no point in stealing them. Clearly, some stores that redeem jewellery are legitimate but, equally clearly, some, probably most, are not. Just as there must be an underground market for stolen cell phones or copper. Who are the perpetrators, both of the stealing and the redeeming? We probably know.
We need to step back and ask ourselves a question. Are people stealing because they see others in high places stealing and getting away with it? Maybe! Perhaps!
We are really in a bad way if our youngsters are reduced to this. There was hatred in the fellow’s face as he aimed the blow at me and at my chain. Was he out of work or pure worthless? Was he reacting to the Government’s handling of the economic situation and taking it out on society, on me?
The politicians are saying that there is no need to be worried, that everything is under control. However, what the politicians are actually doing shows desperation. For example, you borrow from the National Insurance Scheme to support the Ministry of Works and in particular the running of the buses. Crazy! The NIS has rules that dictate how its money is to be invested. How are you going to pay back – from next year’s Budget allocation?
This is an educated country. The world is two minutes away, so we know what is happening. We can ill afford now to fund education from the cradle to the grave. Neither can we bus everybody free. Just as we cut back on health to the chagrin of the people, we have to cut back on expected “freeness” and waste. It is going to be a mean election.
• Harry Russell is a banker. Email


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