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Tek off yuh shoes


Lie-Za is ah-darm-ant dat dey’s not ah single Customs official in de Carry-Beyond dat ain’t know who is de Prime Minister of SVG, even PM Tim Harris of Sin Kitts, de newest kid on de block should be known by every customs official by now.

Bajans should not misplace PM Gone-soft, he lived dey in Tom Adams time and had ah memorable departure. Even Lie-Za say she will accept de apology foh way happen to our PM in Bo-bathe-us, but she not accepting de excuse dat de Customs official, who wanted to strip de PM, claiming she did not recognize de Come-red.{{more}}

Ah tried explaining to de same Lie-Za dat our PM has done ah good job losing weight, he looks well too, maybe he is not de same anymore, correct-shun dat should read, in de Customs official’s eyes, he does not look de same. But she loves to carry on wid ah thing, all in de spirit of good humor and rumor she tells me: “Nah try dat, in de darkest ah de night, even George Bush would ah recognize Ralph.” She add-myths to de part wid de losing body weight, den got de nerves to tell me in her sociology studies, when ah polly-trickan could lose so much bodyweight overnight way people no longer recognize him, way officials even ready to subject him to body-search, suggests dat he has become both ah physical as well as ah pull-it-tek-all light weight.

On ah more serious note however, these lickle incidents do have dey Divine Purposes, lickle reminders in life dat no matter how elevated or promoted or even powerful one becomes, we are nothing in de sight of de Big, Big Man. Ah typical example is last week way Victor Espinoza, famous jockey celebrated back-to-back wins in de prestigious Kentucky Derby. After de race, Espinoza remained mounted, standing tall on de horse he rode around de track waving victoriously to de crowds who reciprocated wid loud cheering foh his grand performance, den after such ah triumphant ride, and de cheering stopped, Espinoza calmly dismounted de real winner, his horse “American Pharoah” interestingly dat’s de name of de horse. Ah suppose dat Go-venom-mints dat ride de backs ah de people and claim victory, are inspired by Jockeys who ride on de backs of horses to win races. Maybe polly-trickans should not ride too high on dey horses because, dey too like Rspinoza will have to come back down to de ground.

Sir James comes to my mind as ah recall back in 1984 when he became PM, foh quite ah while he drove himself in an ole Volkswagon dat he had when he was in opposition. No bodyguard to protect him from Whatever or Whomsoever??? Today things are different, so we are made to believe. Bumper to bumper traffic at mornings, all of ah sudden yuh will hear ah sigh-rain coming ah mile away, dat’s ah warning: “clear de way, de PM or his deputy, or de GG have to get to wuk!” Den ah Police on ah motor-bike, followed by an on-to-rage of two or three, sometimes four vehicles wid armed policemen, to protect de PM from de very citizens whom he represents.

De Airport VIP treatment when de PM or other dignitaries are accorded de VIP treatment, dey pass thru customs like an Exam. It all backfired when PM Gone-soft lost his way at de Airport in Bim and walked into de humble track wid de ordinary man again, he must ah bin horrified when he heard de security alarm squeal on him. Lie-Za who is never present, but famous foh reporting stories dat sometimes carry100 percent discount, was telling me when de female Customs officer pulled de PM from de line, he was so shocked, he panicked when de female officer told him: “tek off yuh shoes,” He made connect-shun wid dat request and his fear-most request: “wash yuh foot and come!” Things got sour she said and he PM was enraged, but dey was no body guard, not even an Elson Crick to give dat Beer-jon Customs officer “one box” dat he Elson badly wanted to give de Papa-rat-see wid de BBC panorama camera crew ah couple years ago, foh harassing de PM on de plane. By dis time de PM must have lost his cool and wid no further ah-due he gave her Camilo’s reply to de security at de UN: “Do yuh know who I am?” And all fall down!

Even Lie-Za saying all ah dat could ah bin avoided if de PM had simply said to de female Customs officer: “Excuse me, I don’t think yuh recognized me, I now look half de man I used to be, but I am Ralph Gone-soft and still de Prime Minister of SVG.” Things would not have exploded as it did. And wid dat is gone ah gone again.

One Love Bassy

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