Saturday, April 20, 2024

YUH GAWH BE KIDDIN’: Remembering van days


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WUNNUH REMEMBER CATCHING van to go to school? I don’t much catch vans these days, but there was a time when I spent a quarter of my day on dem, cause I did live in St Philip and had was to travel to St Peter to guh school.

There was never a dull moment on de van. One evening de van did gunning gine up de road and de police decide dat it did look a li’l too full.

Now, de conductor was one a de ones dat had real pretty talk, he use bare big words with nuff green verbs thrown in de middle and even though the police could sound de people in the van he sticking to he story “Sir I only got seven standing, clean u glasses”.

De police laugh so bad dat he decided to give him a challenge, “if you could get all ah dem back in dey and not hang out de door den I will let u guh long”. Now listen, this din nuh li’l bit a people ’cause it was to be seven standing and he had 70, but he get every last one back in and shut de door too.

And though that may have been dangerous and uncomfortable it was common understanding amongst everyone that we all had to get to our destination so cooperation was necessary.

Van days gave me so many memories, from full vans to having to walk up Government Hill to catch a Bayfield van to go back into town so you could get a seat on de road up.

There was also a practice of people bailing off moving vans. What uses to happen was that de driver would slow down and the passenger would hop off without the can having to stop. Sounds interesting right? Sounds possibly dangerous right? Well not many cared about the danger part but many found out about it.

One early morning a man ease by the door like, a real G, and tell de driver “gimmie piece dey”.

So de driver slow down, my man now half way out de door and when he thought that it was safe he jump out real confident and stand up still (nobody like dem ain’t tell de fool that when yuh hop out yuh is to run so as to compensate for de momentum) after a dramatic pause de man hit de ground like a wet duck in a dry pond and everybody bust out in laugh.

Then another “nin-cum-poop” decide he gine hop off but run in de opposite direction to where de van was going. All now I hey laughing at de memory. He fall down so hard that it hurt my feelings, if you doubt me ask me.

I am Toni-Ann “Acka” Johnson. Love, peace and Mazola Corn Oil.

Toni Johnson is an actress versed in the area of comedy. Email:


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