Tuesday, April 23, 2024

THE LOWDOWN: Better days are coming


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The old people used to say, “there’s never a bad happening”. And despite the negativity and proposed job cuts, it can still be true.
I can’t forget how in the mid-70s I got fired, just married, couldn’t afford house nor home, the works. That ushered in the best days of my life.
There’s always a silver lining. I used to hate that email address idea where the NATION decided that, rather than irate readers sending letters to the editor, let them write directly to the columnists. A typical letter reads: “I usually enjoy your column but…” and you know lashes aren’t far behind.
I figured that was unfair. I pay $2 000 for a computer and a goody sum for repairs and Internet connection to get enjoyment, not lashes.
Besides, the Lowdown character who writes in the paper is definitely not me. I just take the blame for his junk. I’m not joking. Any writer will tell you things appear on the screen you’ve never ever thought of. A lot of times I don’t even agree with him.
For instance, Lowdown comes over as super-patriotic, suspicious of other West Indians who have come to live here. I spend most of my leisure time with non-Barbadian West Indians. Last Sunday, for instance, I played some music at the home of Trini Ian De Souza, managing director of Republic Bank. A great guy and an accomplished guitar and cuatro player.
He and I were hitting some old calypsoes when he suddenly said: “Let’s try this one.” And he launched into our second anthem: “Beautiful, beautiful Barbados, gem of the Caribbean Sea; come back to my island Barbados, come back to my island and me.”
He is the first non-Barbadian I have ever heard sing that song. And with feeling too. And at this time of year I’m on the hunt for genuine Guyanese pepperpot. Ann Smith, peace be unto her, has already delivered her annual delicacy.
Lowdown probably doesn’t get past flying fish and coucou.
Anyhow, I wasn’t keen on that email thing until SD wrote last week:
“Hello, my love, my name is SD. I read through your profile and I became interested in you. I will also like to know you the more, and I want you to send an e-mail to my e-mail address so I can give you my picture for you to know whom I am and for the both of us to know each other very well and better in life and we can achieve it because true love and feeling means a lot in future… I promise to be honest and to keep a very good relationship with you. SD”
Now I’m a decent married man who doesn’t stray. But Lowdown has to do practical research for his column. Only problem, neither he nor I has done anything so for the past 20-odd years.
Worse yet is that premature e-thing we both suffer from. Some joker, advised in a recent Sunday Sun that you just say: “Oops, I did it again! Ha Ha!” He obviously deals with much more understanding females than I’ve ever met. Except for one sweet young lass who speaks of hubby’s “abbreviated performances”.
That has a kinder touch. We shall see. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Which is the Lowdown message for this Christmas.
I sometimes wonder if we live in two Barbadoses like Ado says. I see beautiful sunshine, cool breezes, grandchildren delights. My wife enthuses about the friendly Nation guard, always pleasant, always willing to go the extra mile to get her back-copies of the NATION workbook. Why don’t they highlight the Nation guard?
Instead they have my friend Trevor Marshall bitching about Rihanna. And, instead of celebrating Nelson Mandela as the true embodiment of all Jesus stood for, he goes around with Belleville on one shoulder, Strathclyde on the other, Lodge School on his back and Lord Nelson around his neck.
    While my other friend Owen Arthur, whom Boar Cat Roach’s  daughter praised to the heavens on Sunday night, says we are in peril. Ask older Bajans about real poverty and have done with the negativity.
How can we be in peril when Barbara from Shorey Village just brought me her second set of perlixing conkies for the season?
Happy Christmas, peoples! Enjoy!
•? Richard Hoad is a farmer and social commentator.


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