Hae­m­or­rhoid on Butch

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION&COMMENTARY - Gor­don Robin­son is an at­tor­ney-at-law. Email feed­back to col­umns@glean­erjm.com.

HOLD­ING FOUR of a kind in­clud­ing the dou­ble, your first in­stinct should be to avoid push­ing that card un­til it’s in­tro­duced by an­other player.

This pro­tects the dou­ble. So, the cor­rect an­swer to last week’s quiz is six-five, hop­ing some­one will play five-four. Cut­ting part­ner’s com­pul­sory pose is no big­gie. Congratulations to Mark Brooks of St El­iz­a­beth, who was first with the cor­rect an­swer. He wins a much cov­eted Noth­ing Prize.

Segue to a story told by Hae­m­or­rhoid in­ter­rupt­ing a mas­sive whip­ping Autry and I were tak­ing from Lit­tle D and his fa­ther. Re­mem­ber Hae­m­or­rhoid (Ernest H. Flower) – ar­ti­cled clerk whose tal­ents were avoid­ing work and telling shaggy dog tales? His la­ment about “piles and piles” of files on his desk, plus his mid­dle ini­tial, pro­duced his nick­name.

Hae­m­or­rhoid told the story of Butch, the in­tel­li­gent rooster:

“San­dra was in the fer­tilised egg busi­ness. She had sev­eral hun­dred young pul­lets and 10 roost­ers, but kept records. Any non-per­form­ing rooster was ex­e­cuted, turned into Sun­day din­ner, and swiftly re­placed.

“This was time-con­sum­ing and tir­ing, so San­dra re­tained an ef­fi­ciency con­sul­tant who ad­vised on a more eco­nom­i­cal method. Act­ing on the con­sul­tant’s ad­vice, San­dra bought tiny bells and at­tached them to her roost­ers. Each bell had a dif­fer­ent tone, so she could tell from a dis­tance which rooster was ‘per­form­ing’.

NEW SYS­TEM

“With the new sys­tem in place, San­dra just sat on the porch and filled out her ef­fi­ciency re­ports by lis­ten­ing to the bells.

“San­dra’s favourite rooster, old Butch, was a very fine spec­i­men, but, one day, she no­ticed old Butch’s bell hadn’t rung at all! When she went to in­ves­ti­gate, she saw the other roost­ers were busy chas­ing pul­lets, bells-a-ring­ing, but the pul­lets hear­ing the roost­ers com­ing would run away.

“To San­dra’s amaze­ment, old Butch had his bell in his beak, so it couldn’t ring. He’d sneak up on a pul­let, do his job, and walk on to the next one. San­dra was so proud of old Butch, she en­tered him in a show. He be­came an overnight sen­sa­tion among the judges. Old Butch was not only awarded the ‘No Bell Piece Prize’ but the ‘Pul­let­sur­prise’ as well.”

I couldn’t help re­mem­ber­ing Hae­m­or­rhoid’s story when I read San­drea ‘Sand­in­her­brain’ Fal­coner’s inane cri­tique of Young An­drew’s fash­ion choice dur­ing Gov­ern­ment’s ex­cel­lent prep work for Hur­ri­cane Matthew’s even­tual non-ar­rival. Clearly un­able to find any sub­stan­tive fault in his per­for­mance and in­ca­pable of shut­ting up, she com­plained about An­drew’s green cap. “Mad­ness, mad­ness; they call it mad­ness. Mad­ness, mad­ness; they call it mad­ness.” As spokesper­son for a for­mer gov­ern­ment ex­pert at Old Butch’s strat­egy, namely, silently sneak­ing up on an un­sus­pect­ing elec­torate and screw­ing them when they least ex­pected it, you’d think Sand­in­her­brain might know bet­ter. But, no, ex­po­sure of her in­cur­able trib­al­ism seemed the ob­jec­tive.

Ce­cil Bus­ta­mante Camp­bell (Prince Buster) was no joker or peace­maker and didn’t, con­trary to Book­list Boyne’s as­ser­tion, do any­thing in a “light-hearted” man­ner. He grew up tough; was a pugilist; and a take-no-pris­on­ers type of en­ter­tainer. Mad­ness was his re­tort to main­stream Ja­maica who felt he was ‘touched’.

His mu­si­cal ‘war’ with Der­rick Mor­gan was deadly se­ri­ous. It be­gan when Mor­gan aban­doned Buster’s ‘stu­dio’ for Les­lie Kong’s Bev­er­ley’s Records, al­legedly ‘bor­row­ing’ a spe­cial horn pas­sage Buster had ‘put down’ to use later. When Buster heard the pas­sage in For­ward March, he went bal­lis­tic, in­sult­ing Mor­gan with Black­head Chiney Man (1963), to which Mor­gan replied with Blaz­ing Fire (1963). Der­rick closed that tune with what was meant to be a ‘las’ lick’ lyric, “Be still, bwoy, I’m your superior ...”, repris­ing a 1962 tune (Be Still) recorded for Buster.

In­censed, Buster re­tal­i­ated with Praise With­out Raise (1968), which in­cluded what was, in the con­text of 1960s Ja­maica, a dev­as­tat­ing in­sult, “I’ve said it, you’re a black­head Chiney men, not man”, to which an en­raged Mor­gan replied No Raise No Praise (1969), in which he re­vealed that when he was with Buster, “I nei­ther get praise much less raise.” Un­daunted, Buster hit back with 30 Pieces Of Sil­ver, al­leg­ing he bought ev­ery piece of cloth­ing Mor­gan wore and dub­bing Mor­gan ‘Ju­das Charmer’. The feud ended be­fore Mor­gan could carry out his threat of a nu­clear op­tion.

Lo­cal mu­sic his­tory buffs have one source of knowl­edge left to tap, and it’s not in The Gleaner. With the de­par­ture of mu­sic en­cy­clopae­dia Win­ston Sparks (‘King Stitt’), only Vaughn ‘Bunny’ Good­i­son (‘The Mighty Burner’) can de­liver au­then­tic lessons, in­clud­ing on the BusterMor­gan feud. Don’t ask any­body else. Not even me!

Peace and love.

GLADSTONE TAYLOR/PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Gloria Muir, a 66-year-old res­i­dent of Pen­lyne Castle, ru­ral St An­drew, slowly makes her way to the polling sta­tion at the Pen­lyne Castle Pri­mary School de­spite her lim­ited mo­bil­ity.

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