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TGIF columns are in order by date from the most recent.

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(Con) Men of Letters

ANYTIME Trinidad threatens to out-Trinidad itself – like when the PNM spends its first year in government proving that it doesn’t grasp the concept and Tobago promptly resoundingly votes them back in – I cheer myself up by diving into my “mails-bag” for letters to the editor which never got printed in the newspapers.

A rudimentary recollection of the law of copyright forces me to confess I stole this idea from the National Lampoon, the American satirical magazine that, though very funny, had no choice but to fold, because satire has no place in a modern American reality that actually elected a joke for a president. (How the firetruck does anyone satirize that?) As always, I certify these letters are 100 per cent authentic because I made them up myself. It being “the season”, there are several Carnival-related ones; and the Donald certainly qualifies as “ole mas”.

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King of Trumps

For the Rip Van Winkles who fell asleep in 2017, it was 20 years ago, today, that the 45th American president was inaugurated. The 88-year-old future BC Pires reflects, on 20 January 2037, on how the USA was changed

THE LAST GREAT President’s inauguration on 20 January 2017 was overshadowed by nothing, not even the early morning bombings of abortion clinics all over the USA by the newly-formed fighting wing of the Promise Keepers, the Covenant Enforcers. The liberal communist socialist BBC, CNN and other leftwing media/guerrilla groups thrust microphones at the Last Great President

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Firetruck It Man

And I think it’s going to be a long-long time/ ‘Til touchdown brings me round again to find/ I’m not the man they think I am at home/ Oh no, no, no, I’m a rocket man/ Rocket man burning out his fuse up here alone – Elton John, from the song, “Rocket Man”

NOT EVEN TWO proper weeks in and already this year is sizing up to be a long-long one. Still fully seven days clear until the installation of President Jackass, and the longest four years in history actually begins counting down and, as if Time itself fears that unholy inauguration, the hours preceding it drag by and the minutes grind down into individual seconds that creep like moss; torture and time at the dentist’s pass this way.

On the up side, though, at least it will seem we’re living that much longer.

But then, why would we want to?



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O Crystal Balls

TO WRITE a sparklingly original newspaper column you’ve got to plagiarize brazenly and, in 1999, I stole a great idea from Robert Steinback, then of the Miami Herald. At the start of every year, Robert wrote a column of predictions and assessed the accuracy of the previous year’s predictions.

Robert’s predictions were serious, because he lived in what we considered the leading First World liberal democracy (until last November, when Americans apparently voluntarily elected the kind of fraudulent buffoon normally produced only by corrupt Third World dictatorships; in the second or third generation). Here, though, where we alternate between electing black and brown versions of the original white Great House body-thieves as governments, I just couldn’t be entirely serious; like the place itself. Some of my predictions, then, are meant to make you laugh, while others would make anyone with any sense weep; the perennial Trinidadian challenge remains distinguishing fantasy from reality.

Since 2011 or so, when I first conceived of the ruse, I have stunned readers with the perspicacity of my first prediction:

o Andy Murray will clinch the world number one tennis title in the last match of 2016. Correct, but only because, trusting the demonstrably short memory of a nation that elected both the PNM and UNC more than once each, I this morning changed this prediction from one citing Roger Federer;

o The T&T electorate will vote out the government but its replacement will prove worse. Anyone unconvinced this is true need only wait. The PNM might be marginally less corrupt and they’ve clearly replaced UNC brazenness with PNM pomposity - but they were never going to be any better

o Hilary Clinton will not get the presidential nomination. Wrong; but a fat lot of good that did anyone but the Jackass-elect.

o The West Indies will excel at T20 cricket and suck at every other form; the WICB will fire our best players. Half-true. We slipped to fourth and are effective bottom in Test and ODI standings – but our board did fire our best players

o The Rolling Stones will sell Sticky Fingers album cover-style Depends. This jokey prediction actually came through last July, when 72-year-old Sir Mick announced an upcoming baby with a 29-year-old ballerina, prompting Ricky Gervais to tweet that Mick Jagger would soon be buying nappies for two

o Carnival fete tickets will cost more than mortgage payments. True, but not really a prediction, more of a simple observation

o The T&T government will invest in solar power, and a Trini Cabinet member will steal the sun. True, but the PNM will have to find a way to monopolize all the sun’s heat and light, rather than just steal it outright

o Kanye West and Kim Kardashian will appear on Celebrity Apprentice to get noticed. Again, the joke prediction came true when Kanye West became the Jackass-elect’s first African-American grinning at Trump Tower

o The Pope will replace the Pontiff’s hat with the guaybera. Not yet, but he’s working on it, as with women priests. (He’s already got more gay ones than any church needs)

o China’s economic boost from salt prune sales will be offset by smartphone purchases. Given my Mick Jagger and Kanye West success, I could almost parlay this into a correct prediction about the exploding Samsung Note 7

o Just as the Guardian has regained its reputation, it will shoot itself in the credibility again. True, I’m sorry to say, since I took both barrels to the wallet myself.

And here are my predictions for 2017:

o West Indians, denied US visas, will try a Windrush II and storm the UK

o The PNM will propose the annexation of Venezuela, to make everyone there sing parang and bring plenty more clear-skin hos to Trinidadian brothels, but the UNC will say they’re not voting for either FACTA or FiretruckTA

o David Rudder will release terrific new songs when he’s ready to welcome people to Trinidad; Trinis will ask him why he don’t sing any more

o Donald Trump will fall either ill or bored and want to bus’ it from the White House but, terrified of a Pence presidency, Democrats will save the day by having Alec Baldwin playing him in the White House, SNL comedy thusly becoming USA policy

o There will be no wall built and neither Mexico nor Trump will pay for it

o The West Indies Cricket Board will fire every player and send a team of administrators to England. The WICB President will run out all the other batsmen and be not out for duck in every innings. His one over in each innings will concede at least 36 runs each. He will name himself WI Man of the Series and rename the Frank Worrell Trophy after himself

o It will be discovered that all jihadis are, like most other misogynists, secret (or at least latent) homosexuals

o Vladimir Putin will be outed as a transsexual, precipitating a putsch in the Kremlin, but finally revealing to the world what bothered him so much about Pussy Riot

o The whole world will legalize the drug trade; the West Indies will declare a war to the death on drugs in Jesus’ name

o God will join Facebook but, after He demands that everyone stop eating shrimp and blinds anyone who calls Him out on His anti-Semitism, everyone will un-friend Him

o The Chinese will invent genuine artificial intelligence; it will be no match for even ersatz American stupidity

o Construction of a Trump Tower will begin in Aleppo

o I will not be able to think of a better way of ending this column than I have for the last 17 years. How did I know? How did I firetrucking know? I amaze me!

o This column will end abrup

BC Pires is the inventor of not-for-Prophet journalism

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