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Secure yuh vehicle at all times

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De dogs on de outside barking, is de young man trimming, doing community service, already on the job. Ah doh know what his “soldier” friend gave him to drink or smoke Sat-dey night;he said it was beers, but when dey dropped him off at 11 p.m., he decided he not walking up Mc Lean steep hill. He strolled into my driveway, got into de jeep, found de ignition keys, den all I heard was ah “big bang” on de side of de bridge; de driver obviously didn’t know what he was doing, by de time I realized dat it was my jeep ah heard another bang. De driver was den trapped between de jeep and de wall, nevertheless I approached him wid caution, thinking he could have had ah gun.

“Missah Bassy!” he said, “ah man just hit yuh jeep and jump de bridge and run gone down de gutter!”. I asked him how come he was trapped in de vehicle. Oh! He said: “Ah only trying to move it out de road and park it back in de garage for you!”

Someone summoned de Police and within 15 minutes, Officers Laborde and Collins arrived, very efficient officers. Dey took away my crash driver and invited me to come to de station de following day to give them a Statement.

Bright and early Sunday morning ah went to examine de damage: “Back tyre burst, wheel rim ben-up; steering almost seized and de side panel torn off.” Two villagers, Commess and “Bats” Baptiste stopped to assist me in removing de damaged wheel. When ah told dem my predicament, Bats asked if ah didn’t shoot him, and Commess was equally upset he second de motion.

Next ah went to de Police Station. And let me say here, we does give Police hell, sometimes justified, but seeing is believing. Ah was not impressed with de physical condition of de CID office. If we demanding good quality wuk, den we must provide our officers, females especially, wid ah healthy and productive environment: “bleached walls, no AC, de place hot like hell and de toilet smell.” No wondah de men dem wanted to Storm de PM’s office. De Commissioner is new and ah won’t fault him totally foh things he inherited, but ah less Harder-way is de way to go. He must declare war on de poor physical state of de Kingstown Central Police Station.

Anyhow, after giving my statement, ah saw de young man in de cell, sober now, he apologized and cried out to me for mercy. Hear de real joke. He gave me his father’s phone number, and asked dat he come to bail him. Ah male voice answered and ah told him who ah was, he became more relaxed and said “Yes Bassy, yuh speaking to Commess! Commess nah! Is me and Bats who help fix yuh jeep way yuh say de boy mash up.” Ah reminded him dat he agreed wid Bats dat ah should ah shoot de young man. “Yes man dem fellars need wiping out!” he said. Den ah broke de news dat it was his son who bang-up me vehicle. Ah felt like crying foh Commess.

Cut ah long story short, we went back to de Police Station. And ah figured it all out: “drunk driving, widout ah licence, stealing ah vehicle and banging it up!” Dah’s six months in prison. But I will still have to fix de vehicle. So ah told Corporal or Sergeant Bowens that ah will invite de young man to do community service, cutting de trees and bush around my home. Today is his third day, ah praying dat he keeps his end of de bargain. My add-vice? Secure yuh vehicle at all times! And wid dat is gone ah gone again.

One Love Bassy

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

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