The last lap!
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!