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TO WRITE a brilliantly original newspaper column, you’ve got to copy the best ideas and, in 1999, I stole a great one from Robert Steinback, then of the Miami Herald, who, every January, wrote a predictions column.
Robert’s predictions were serious, because he lived in what we thought was the world’s leading liberal democracy (until November 2016, when Americans apparently voluntarily elected the kind of fraudulent, inbred, illiterate buffoon normally produced only by corrupt Third World dictatorships; in the third generation). In Walcott’s Limers’ Republic, though, where the audience usually has more talent than the show, I just couldn’t be entirely serious. Some of my predictions, then, are meant to make you laugh, while others would make anyone with any sense weep, the unending Trinidadian challenge being distinguishing fantasy from reality.
Since 2011, when I first thought of the skulls, I have stunned readers with the accuracy of my first prediction:
FIRST BLACK FRIDAY of the year and, just like the first working day of the year, Y’Boy in one-them pensive mood, whereby he can’t think ‘bout nothing else other than the thing he thinking ‘bout, which is how them Maraval people and the Diego Martin Regional Corporation only un-fairing all them Catholic by trying to stop the Opus Dei school from opening on Long Circular Rd, which part it had one-them Japanee Chinee restaurant before, right there opposite the biggest Catholic church, by square footage and by congregation- and collection-size, in the whole of Trinidad; is like them adding insult to injury.Read more
FIRST DAY of the year and Y’Boy remembering when he did first go away to the Cold and find out that white people’ country doesn’t have Old Year’s Night, them does have New Year’s Eve. That-self is one of the answers Y’Boy would give, if he ever had was to ask himself, like he does ask other people every week, “What is a Trini?”: “A Trini is somebody who celebrates Old Year’s Night, not New Year’s Eve”. Some people wouldn’t see no difference, but Y’Boy – and, Y’Boy suspect, most Trinis – would nod they head, and chuckle to theyself, and winks at one another: Y’Boy done know he never had as good a time at the best New Year’s Eve party in Foreign than he had at the worst Old Year’s Night in Trinidad.Read more