The last lap!

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - Front Page -

Fel­low Bar­ba­di­ans, as yet another year draws on its clothes, let us re­flect that 2017 was the SH (sex­ual ha­rass­ment) year. SH from big-ups, hur­ri­canes, even our gov­ern­ment.

Nev­er­the­less, I had a great Christ­mas. Family all around, Ba­jan Christ­mas food and Lord have mercy! Anna War­ren sent down a bot­tle of Nicholas Abbey Sor­rel Liqueur, 30 per cent al­co­dynomite!

Me and the wife had had a testy aber­ra­tion be­cause I baled hay on Christ­mas Day when she and the off­springs wanted to open presents. But when I quaffed that Nicholas nir­vana, buh­dung! all was merry and bright. They said I was “in the mood”. That doesn’t half de­scribe it – if you drink one of them and don’t get an in­stant “Maloney”, check Jerry Em­tage.

They gave me a new cell­phone (ac­tu­ally, two – they got a “two for the price of one” deal). Ap­par­ently you can’t get bat­ter­ies for my old Nokia which I love dearly.

Hot tip, don’t share pis­ta­chio nuts. Cer­tain peo­ple claim they “can’t stop eat­ing them once they start”. Also, jump into bed as soon as you’re fin­ished lunch. When ev­ery­body’s guts is full and the “itis” sets in, there won’t be a bed spot left.

My friend John Welling­ton doesn’t un­der­stand Ba­jans. We’re a civilised peo­ple and do things the right way. Novem­ber is “take down Nel­son” month. De­cem­ber is the “price of Christ­mas ham” month.

You can’t come flail­ing around about Nel­son on De­cem­ber 22. Any­how, for the sake of peace, let me in­dulge him.

Nel­son, in my es­ti­ma­tion, is a “can-do” man who turned his dis­abil­i­ties into ad­van­tages. When Ad­mi­ral Sir Hyde Parker sig­nalled the order for re­treat at the Bat­tle of Copen­hagen, Nello held the te­le­scope to his blind eye and de­clared: “I really do not see the sig­nal!”

He fought on to win. Parker re­called in dis­grace, Nello ap­pointed com­man­der-in-chief.

More­over, Nel­son is part of Ba­jan folk­lore. If black Ba­jans tes­ti­fied that he got down off his pedestal to di­rect the sol­diers at a ma­jor Bridgetown fire, I be­lieve them. You have no idea how much we could milk that mir­a­cle as a tourist at­trac­tion.

Read about the early Chris­tian Saint Bar­bara who ran into a just-planted wheat field to es­cape the pur­su­ing Ro­mans. The wheat im­me­di­ately grew to full height to hide her. Did that hap­pen? Who cares? That is now a ma­jor tra­di­tional event in some ar­eas.

Like­wise, some­one claims to have found the hill that Jack and Jill went up and have turned that into a money-mak­ing ven­ture.

Now to Welling­ton’s query: “Why should any peo­ple want to hon­our a man who, given the chance, would have kept them in per­pet­ual slav­ery?”

John, that is known as a trick ques­tion, just like: “Do you still for­ni­cate with sheep? An­swer yes or no.” It’s a no-win sit­u­a­tion.

I don’t ac­cept the mar­tinised non­sense that Nel­son’s statue had any­thing to do with mak­ing black Bar­ba­di­ans “quiver” in fear or live in “per­pet­ual slav­ery”.

Nel­son to me was a bril­liant ad­mi­ral, no more no less. And brave too. Un­like his van­dals who came un­der cover of dark­ness to do their dirty work, he stood with his men in his eas­ily-tar­geted uni­form.

But good news, John, good news! In a mas­ter­stroke wor­thy of Nel­son him­self, Sir Hi­lary is go­ing to make you a very happy camper! Your “square of shame” will prob­a­bly be the “rec­tan­gle of re­joic­ing” sooner rather than later.

Sir Hi­lary is chair of the Repa­ra­tions Com­mis­sion for CARICOM. The com­mis­sion has sent a for­mal re­quest to Fre­un­del Stu­art, chair­man of the Prime Min­is­te­rial Sub-com­mit­tee on Repa­ra­tions for Na­tive Geno­cide and Slav­ery, for Nel­son to be re­moved. In this mat­ter, Sir Hi­lary is Stu­art’s boss and the PM could hardly refuse even if he wished.

Cor­net player John Duck­house has sug­gested putting Nel­son at the bot­tom of the sea as an at­trac­tion for scuba divers. No doubt the ad­mi­ral would en­joy las­civ­i­ous fe­males in biki­nis ca­vort­ing around him – and per­haps touch­ing him in­ap­pro­pri­ately – rather than the Bridgetown hot sun.

Another re­fine­ment would be to place him so he dis­ap­pears at high tide, reap­pears at low. This is pop­u­lar nowa­days. Imag­ine Eric Lewis back­ing a few at the Wa­ter­front when sud­denly he looks back: and there’s a dead man ris­ing up out of the sea! Bolt’s 100-me­tre record would be his­tory!

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