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Guerrilla war-fair Renwick’s style


“It’s beginning to look ah lot like Christmas.” Man it’s freezing cold in Canada, two nights ago we had freezing rains, yesterday it snowed and we been having sub-zero temperatures most ah de week. Foh those who don’t know what is sub-zero temperatures well, dat is when water start to tun ice. But winter or snow, people got to go, back home we does say “no rain could stop de Carnival,” up hey is: “No snow could stop de wuk from going on!”{{more}}
Ah had dinner wid Keith and Celena Bradshaw last night, dey are both Vincies living up hey donkey years. It won’t be me if ah ain’t talk bout de nice Vincy Food: curry goat and chicken, rice and pigeon peas, eddoes, dasheen, tannias, green Banana. By de way, kindly inform Minister Gomry Daniel dat pigeon peas is EC$2.50 ah tin up hey, home in SVG is close to EC$4.00. Green or ripe Bananas two grains weigh ah pound foh 80 cents, home is 50 cents foh ah ripe Banana, at dem prices, our Farmers must put on “sackcloth wid ashes and pray”. Mrs. Bradshaw has one ah de healthiest looking Banana tree growing in ah basin in her living room. She was telling me dat early spring she moves it into her ‘green house’, by summer it is in de yard, back into de green house in Autumn; now dat Winter is almost (officially) here, de plant is back inside. Dat’s ah lot ah caring foh ah Banana, de exact opposite to what’s happening at home, we no longer care or care foh Bananas, otherwise we would have had Bananas to ship all now so. Please ah not recommending Mrs Bradshaw’s kind ah care; only de simple basics: fertilizing, irrigating and most importantly, spraying dat Guv-ah-mint failed miserably to do, dat’s all!

But while folks up hear cringing up in snow, things over-heating in SVG till Matthew threatening “Guerrilla Warfare.” Matthew is ah lickle late, and ah wish he will simmer-down. De Guerrilla War-Fair is already in progress, dey war fighting among dem-selves to save de ailing Banana industry; fighting ah deficit budget and ah negative growth economy; fighting wid De-muck-we-see, closing down Nice Radio Station, dat one is like slaying de messenger. Years ago ah told Dug-he De-Freitas dat as long as he allocate one tenth of his broadcast time to spreading “de Good News,” de NME can’t touch his station. However, he got to insist dat persons who use his broadcast facility do not implicate his station. Lie-Za send to ask me if Gonsalves is ah Prime Minister or ah Pry Minister, why on earth is he prying into every lickle detail dat is said about him. She is convinced dat all dat is going on around Ralph and in de country is as ah result of ah Pull-it-tek-all climate of divisiveness, dog eat dog, me-foh-me and none-fee-yuh, ah condition dat not only has he failed to change but has permitted to grow and flourish.

Maybe de country is in need of ah Guerrila War-Fair in truth, one dat will encompass de Battle dat Renwick Rose has been fighting all his life, more recently as WINFA’S Co-ordinator, working above and beyond the call ah duty to make a difference to the lives of Vincentians and Windward Island Banana Farmers. Renwick’s “humble” contribution to de Windwards Banana Industry, is more significant dan all de ole talk, de wretch-or-wreck, unfulfilled promises from all de Pry Ministers and Ministers ah Agriculture put to-gather. Ah falling short ah words to say how happy ah feel foh Renwick on being given de International Development Achievement Award.
Ah bet de committee who selected Renwick ain’t know dat he does not own ah vehicle (Renwick can’t drive), unlike every other Co-ordinator or Banana Executive, Renwick and his wife cuddle dem-selves up in ah Mini Van every day, travelling from home to wuk and back. Dat is de nature ah de man Renwick, humility and sincerity, never seen him in ah Jacket’n’Tie. Which brings me to ah e-mail joke ah received wid dis fellow in his Jacket’n’ Tie who pulled up in his BMW at de Sheep Farmer’s property. Widout being asked, he offered to tell de Farmer de exact number ah heads ah Cattle he got on his farm; and of course demanding ah calf if he was correct. “Go right ahead and count dem my brother” said de Farmer. Mister “Best Dress Man” took out his GPS, an electronic device dat will give de co-ordinates of his exact location; he den e-mailed de info via his i-pad to ah satellite station back to headquarters where, dey identified de farm, dey blow up de area and was able within minutes to count every animal on de farm.
De Sheep Farmer almost had ah heart attack when de visitor told him de exact number ah animals he had. “Can I have my calf now” he asked. Disappointed and wid pain, de Sheep Farmer watched dis man from ow-way as he loaded one ah his best animal into de car trunk, den he said to de city slicker: “Mind if I tell you who you are?” So he began to describe de scamp. “You got to be one ah dem pull-it-tek-all represent-ah-thief,” he said. “ Yuh come here uninvited, offered to give me an answer to ah question ah never asked, now yuh taking one ah my best animal as payment foh doing absolutely nothing. Yuh know what sucks, is you don’t even know de difference between ah cattle and ah sheep, now give me back my shepherd dog, and get to hell out ah here!” Don’t we know ah number “sheep convicts” mask-ah raid-in as Guv-ah-mint ministers in SVG. Keep all yuh Red Jet and Yuh West Jet and yuh Air Canada, Santa Claws is giving me ah slay-ride home to SVG foh Christmas. Gifts or no gifts, ah riding wid Santa. And wid dat is gone ah gone again.

One Love Bassy

Bassy Alexander is a land surveyor, folklorist and social commentator.