Party hacks turn red over in­fra-red ther­mome­ters!

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - In any event it was not the

More proof that you can’t be­lieve politi­cians even when they speak the truth: On Thurs­day, the big news was that the gov­ern­ment had at last de­cided to present some­thing re­sem­bling ev­i­dence it was not nearly as out to lunch on the deadly mat­ter of Ebola as most of us had ear­lier be­lieved, not with­out cause.

A some­what zom­bie-like model in an Ebola-resistant en­sem­ble turned the House cham­ber into a run­way, for the ben­e­fit of gov­ern­ment min­is­ters, the op­po­si­tion, in­vited guests and other un­em­ployed cit­i­zens with noth­ing bet­ter to do. Pre­sum­ably, many also took in the spec­ta­cle, or a few min­utes of it, via NTN.

All in all it seemed a pretty happy af­fair, con­sid­er­ing the grim news that Ebola con­tin­ues to have its mur­der­ous way— aided and abet­ted by wallto-wall ig­no­rance, con­spir­acy the­o­rists and plain reck­less­ness on the part of pre­sumed pro­fes­sion­als with ac­cess to the best weapons for com­bat­ing the dis­ease.

For once our politi­cians had de­cided to keep their ver­bal ma­chetes out of sight. NTN’s cam­eras panned on sev­eral fa­mil­iar faces in the House that brought to mind faces at a Cokes per­for­mance. Di­da­cus Jules seemed par­tic­u­larly amused as he ex­changed un­heard words with the pres­i­dent of the Saint Lu­cia Se­nate. The prime min­is­ter, re­cently re­turned home from an Ebola-re­lated ALBA com­min­gling in Cuba, ap­peared quite im­pressed by the day’s model.

For my part, I’d have been far more cap­ti­vated had, say, some­one from the gov­ern­ment’s cre­ative whatchamacal­lit min­istry been thought­ful enough to have en­gaged the ser­vices of a Hot Cou­ture model on the oc­ca­sion.

Just imag­ine it: the model stand­ing on her red-painted toes atop a raised and redspot­lighted plat­form, at­tired in a barely there bikini (red up­stairs, yel­low down­stairs—in the name of na­tional unity, you un­der­stand). At her side is a nicely suited up MP, any­one but His Ug­li­ness the MP for Soufriere, to whom “nicely” can­not un­der any cir­cum­stances be le­git­i­mately ap­plied.

Of course the best choice for the par­tic­u­lar as­sign­ment would be the tourism min­is­ter Lorne Theophilus, who should be re­named Min­is­ter of Cool, on ac­count of his def­i­nitely-not­made-in-Morne Du Don be­spoke suits. But let’s not di­gress too far.

He picks up a sealed pack­age, then with hands in pro­tec­tive red gloves with lit­tle red stars all over them, pro­ceeds in a most gen­tle­manly fash­ion to help the model into her pro­tec­tive clothes, care­fully ex­plain­ing his ev­ery move and touch in Cre­ole and in English, for the ben­e­fit of the folks from Babon­neau to Bruceville—not to men­tion Mary Isaac and her con­cerned crew, and those poor long-ne­glected Vic­to­ria Hos­pi­tal nurses.

Fi­nally the MP gal­lantly steps aside, while the model struts her Ebola-resistant stuff around the House cham­ber, three or four times. I imag­ine some say­ing the Dame on the Hill in made-to-mea­sure Ebo­lare­sis­tant gear would present on TV an im­age as ar­rest­ing as any pro­fes­sional model. To which I say, cha­cun à son goût! uniden­ti­fied awk­ward model (that wasn’t the MP for Anse la Raye-Ca­naries, was it? De Papa Vader?) that made the lunch­hour or evening news. Hardly had Ti­mothy Poleon de­liv­ered the day’s Newsspin ser­mon than the fa­mil­iar-sound­ing calls started com­ing in “to com­mend [the day’s in—not N—word] Mr. Claudius Fran­cis for his gen­er­ous do­na­tion of two in­frared ther­mome­ters.”

At least two reg­u­lars point­edly ad­vised it would be most use­ful if other cit­i­zens (not in­clud­ing the call­ers, of course) would follow the Se­nate pres­i­dent’s ex­am­ple and put their money where their mouths are.

At one point, leg­en­dar­ily care­ful re­porter that he is, Poleon du­ti­fully en­quired whether the spe­cial ther­mome­ters were a per­sonal do­na­tion from the prez him­self or from the in­surance out­fit of which he is also pres­i­dent or chair­man. Not that Poleon sniffed a rat or any­thing, you un­der­stand. He was twice re­as­sured the ther­mome­ters were “a per­sonal gift to the peo­ple from Mr. Fran­cis.”

And then, pre­dictably, came the spoiler: an email from At­lanta-based Saint Lu­cian Den­nis Ish­mael con­firm­ing he had with­out any prod­ding do­nated the ther­mome­ters. Of course Poleon (who has ev­ery good rea­son to be over care­ful about mat­ters con­cern­ing the Se­nate prez) kept Ish­mael’s iden­tity to him­self. In­deed, he ac­knowl­edged he had no way of know­ing whether the e-mail was gen­uine.

But let’s all be fair to the prez. He never claimed he had paid for, or begged for, the much ap­pre­ci­ated ther­mome­ters pre­sented dur­ing Thurs­day’s po­lit­i­cal-love fest, did he? In any case your hum­ble (?) re­porter can con­firm the vi­tal in­stru­ments were from Mr. Ish­mael who, it turns out, has made some­thing of a ca­reer sourc­ing all kinds of use­ful things for the less for­tu­nate among us. Bar­rels­ful, in fact. And for that he de­serves our eter­nal grat­i­tude.

Oh, but where would we be with­out our con­firmed party hacks who are never be­liev­able but can al­ways be counted on to give us a stress-re­liev­ing laugh when we most need one!

Where are those con­sul­tants, vi­sion com­mis­sion­ers and other tax-funded su­per tal­ents when the coun­try needs them?

Imag­ine our non-par­ti­san model wrig­gling

her way into an Ebola suit.

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