Thursday, April 25, 2024

THE LOWDOWN: Froon needs bigger BRA


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I can’t understand it. Surely if we are beset by highly contagious diseases, Government should turn first to those with experience and expertise in such matters? We farmers deal with outbreaks of swine flu, Newcastle, mad cow and such like, swiftly and successfully. No problem.

Yet with chicken gumbo knocking dog and Ebola on the horizon, Sam Poochie and the Duppy have more say than us.

Sorry to pull an I-told-you-so but back in November 1991, I made a suggestion which would have virtually eliminated mosquitoes. This was a game I invented where two naked adults of different sexes go into the bath together, soap the hairy parts of their bodies, and use gobs of lather on their hands to catch mosquitoes. There was even a go-as-you-please version where you could use lather from your opponent’s parts.

This could have rivalled road tennis as our national game with big public competitions gainst overseas teams in see-through baths. With locals and visitors hunting for mosquitoes, they would soon only be available at Sports and Games for $5 each.

No mosquitoes, no chicken gumbo. But, instead, government let Soap-a-Quito die. Incidentally, Riceville, Iowa, has turned a similar concept into a major tourist attraction. After a big picnic, a siren announces the start of the Annual Mosquito Shoot-out where citizens “clad in brightly-coloured mosquito hunting attire” rush out to spray mosquitoes with free cans of insecticide. Soap-a-Quito is more environmentally friendly and less risky to health.

And now, Ebola. Two points to bear in mind: 1. It’s probably coming. 2. Any site used to quarantine Ebola patients will never be used for anything else ever again in Barbados. No matter if they burn it flat. Our cholera epidemic killed 20 727 in 1854. Ask Julian Hunte who, I believe, built a condominium on a cholera burial site. Some of those buried alive are there still waiting to get out and get even.

So let’s forget the nonsense of prime properties like Enmore, St Joseph’s Hospital, Greenland, Paragon or, God forbid, St Lucy. Imagine a driver transporting an Ebola-suspected African along the ABC.

“My bruthah”, he hears, “I need to puke”. “Be christmas, not in dis new Ebola van. Go behind dat heap of coconut shells.”

We recently sunk yet another retired ship off Barbados. They are a dime a dozen and have spacious accommodation. Get one for Ebola quarantine and park it out to sea.

Which brings us to UWI taking over the Lazaretto. We worry about 1854 cholera burial sites, yet tamper with a leper asylum still open in the 1920s? Let but one mother tell the NATION how her son is a wreck since attending the new UWI Laz facility: “Lately he does lep’ at every l’il sudden noise, even a bullet paxing outside. I feel he got leprosy.” Then some joker will shake cow itch in class and the whole place shut down.

Indeed, maybe some weird Lazaretto bug is already affecting UWI lecturers. Imagine Dr Tennyson Joseph wants Mia to “initiate a mass meeting and put (Minister) Jones on trial”. Is Mia to arrest him? Could there be a public Jonesing if he is found guilty?

While another lecturer, Kemaul Persaud (NATION, Oct 16), compares the solid waste tax and Rosa Parks’ stand (an unpardonable insult to that lady, in my opinion) and seems to suggest we should pay taxes depending on whether we agree with where the money will be spent.

Surely a recipe for utter chaos? I mean, many of us deplore the neo-liberal socialism seemingly rampant at Cave Hill. Should we refuse to pay taxes which go to support that institution?

We Bajans are well aware of the aftermath of the “glorious” Grenada revolution, gentlemen. We shall not be rabble-roused.

On the contrary, long lines attest that we want to pay our taxes. We just want it made easier. I went to Holetown last Friday. BRA closed for renovation. Packed crowd at Warrens. One gentleman went to Holetown, Bridgetown, and finally Oistins. Lots of confusion as to where you can pay cash, cheque or credit card. Get a bigger BRA, Froon!

In fairness, however, a sexy Italian businesslady did tell me last Saturday: “When first I come here we get duty-free conception. But no more”. If they’re taxing that, maybe we are being overtaxed.

​Richard Hoad is a farmer and social commentator.


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