Sunday, March 3, 2024

MAVIS BECKLES: The vagrants multiplying


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Wherevah you turn nowadays ya does see some man in dirty-looking clothes, walking ’bout looking hopeless and begging, sitting down or sleeping ’long side o’ the road. People does call dem all sorts o’ names. Some people does call dem crack heads, some does call dem mad or crazy people, some does call dem paros, some does see dem as just homeless people and because most, if not all o’ dem does be men, some people does see dem as weak men.

Some people does just ignore dem and hope dat they would go away; some does look the other way and tell demselves dat duh ain’t there, dat duh doan exist. Some people does look pon dem wid disdain and scorn. Some does have duh tinted windows rolled up, the air-condition on and the music blasting – this way nothing or nuhbody pon the outside o’ dah vehicle could distract or off set dem. Look, duh does cahn even hear the siren from an ambulance, the police or even a fire truck; duh does be in duh own world. Then duh got another set o’ people who really couldn’t care less if duh in the gutter, stretch out pon the sidewalk, dead or alive fuh dat matter. It just aint got nutten tuh do wid dem, dem ain’t put duh so.

But howevah ya look at the situation, it is a sad one and duh getting outta hand. Sometimes you would see tourists walking going ’long ’bout duh business and one o’ these people would walk straight up tuh the people and demand money. Duh doan only demand the money, but when the people resist and walk ’long, some o’ dem does follow the tourist all the way up the road harassing dem all the time. I see dat wid my very eyes.

Of course ya should feel sorry fuh some o’ these vagrants because all o’ dem ain’t pon drugs. Some o’ dem might be men who might have fallen pon hard times. Some o’ dem could be men who got families but lost duh job, cahn get nothing tuh do so they become stressed out, frustrated and angry at life, then find demselves drinking, cahn stop and then duh end up pon the streets.

 Despite how duh may look though, some o’ dem ain’t stupid, hear? Some o’ dem very smart; duh went tuh good schools and held down good jobs in the society at some time or the other but duh get caught up wid the drugs and the wrong crowd and find demselves trapped. It is some o’ the intelligent ones who does get hit the hardest because duh intelligent and don’t think dat anything could happen tuh dem 

 Some o’ these vagrants think duh real smart too; duh does come up tuh you and ask fuh money tuh buy something tuh eat, dat duh hungry. Now you on the other hand because you feel fuh dem, would offer tuh buy dem something tuh eat and they would start tuh give you all sorts o’ reasons why dem ain’t want wuh you gine buy, dat dem want the money and a whole long story.

I ain’t care wha’ nuhbody say, doan give dem a cent. If duh hungry and cahn eat what you get dem, playing dem picking and choosing, duh aint hungry in trute. You know wha’ dem hungry fuh!

But it is true: something got tuh be done ’bout it. Evah day ya does see a new one in town. It look like they does leave wherevah duh live and fly into town. Duh like the monkeys now – duh multiplying all ovah town and something has tuh be done ’bout dem, and very soon.

• Mavis Beckles was born and raised in The Orleans. She has an opinion on everything.


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