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

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Crapauds by Any Other Name

LAST WEEK, in either their wisdom or their cups, the mayor of Port of Spain and his partners-in-creativity renamed Queen Street to mark the 40th anniversary of Janelle “Penny” Commissiong, being crowned Miss Universe, sparking the kind of utterly meaningless debate Trinidadians love: we pontificate at a length far in excess of the actual worth of the thing being quarrelled about; no one ever turns a page in a dictionary when they could turn a phrase in a rumshop; and, no matter how the “debate” ends, everyone can claim to have been right all along.

For retaining the original street name while inserting the new one, the Mayor and City Council get my vote for the Neatest Attempted Sidestep of the Year. Had they simply renamed Queen Street as “Penny Lane” - which this Beatles fan would have supported I Wanna Hold Your Hands-Down - the historians and the cultural activists would have come to blows, the way they did over renaming King George V Park as Nelson Mandela Park.

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Not a Fete

This is not a fete in here/ This is madness – David Rudder

The hard part of an early morning walk around the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain’s open green space, is not the thick exhaust fumes from the cars speeding by on the roadway, nor the 70 per cent-plus humidity, even at 6am, that, after 200 metres, has you sweating like you’re swimming; no, the hard part is figuring out which of the people you pass are crazy.

A lot of early morning Savannah people are, no doubt, crazy about fitness; but many are just plain firetrucking crazy.

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Routine, My Ass!


THEY CALL IT a “routine” colonoscopy; as if it could be part of your everyday routine to eat and drink nothing but black coffee or clear soup for a full 24 hours, then take a massive overnight purge of the few specks left in your digestive tract, and then, first thing next morning, lie butt-naked on your side, in a brightly lit room, awake, for 45 minutes, while a man in a gown you never met inserts a six-metre tube into the wrong end of your alimentary canal.

If that’s “routine”, what in Hell would a non-firetrucking-routine colonoscopy be like?

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Anthony Bourdain: Parts Uncut

TRINIDAD WENT WILD over the episode of CNN presenter Anthony Bourdain’s show, Parts Unknown, that revealed parts of Trinidad some of us would have preferred to have kept unknown – particularly the handful of Trini Syrian/Lebanese around Mario Sabga-Grey Goose’s dinner table with Bourdain for a Middle-Eastern meal in the West.

In three shameful minutes, two of the self-declared leaders of Trinidad’s Arab community scuttled and sank, with their loose lips, the entire Trini Syrian-Lebanese ship. The public reaction was so intense, the old Mario was forced to put down his Grey Goose-and-coconut water long enough to apologise for being drunk, rich and self-important – as if that description doesn’t apply perfectly to all of Trinidad’s ruling sector, regardless of ethnicity!

Indian and African Trinis felt deeply insulted by what fell from the lips of Super Mario and Peter Gorged-on-Power and it wasn’t the raw kibbie, but the raw sentiments.

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God the Father

FATHER’S DAY and Y’Boy wondering what the firetruck it is going on in this Trinidad and this world. Y’Boy’ father dead long days so Y’Boy does only get presents, not give them, and, Sunday gone, Y’Boy collect a nice, broad brim hat to shade he delicate pate in the sun: you has to remember that Y’Boy have only some empty follicle, abandoned like orphan, on top he head whereby other men does have natural sunblock called “hair”; is a long time now Y’Boy chirren ent give him no shampoo neither no conditioner for Father’s Day.

Father’s Day reach but Y’Boy on’y find he-self saying, “Buh-wha-mudder-is-dis”? Last week, Y’Boy write ‘bout how the world cram two weeks of insanity into one; this week, is like everybody forget ‘bout sanity altogether, and is only madness in we nen-nen, 24/7.

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