Stacks Image 82615

Subscribe to Thank God It’s Friday

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

Scroll down to search or read more

​SEA BC on F

LAST THURSDAY, 18,000 11-year-olds sat the Secondary Entrance Assessment, all trying to get into one of the very few “prestige schools” in the country, in the hope of staying out of a fry-guy gig at Prestige Holdings Ltd, purveyors of KFC.

In sympathy, then, with children who wanted to grow up to become CEOs but may end up at CEPEP, I began, last Friday, my own Somehow Escape Alzheimers’ exam with the maths segment of a Newsday practice test. Today, I attempt what we used to call the “English” paper, until we realised there was considerably more self-esteem and inversely proportionally less work involved if we changed its name to “language arts”. As with the maths paper last week, I’ve shortened the questions considerably because SEA writing style is not particularly languaged-ly-artful.
Read more


YESTERDAY, 18,000 11-year-olds sat the Secondary Entrance Assessment, all hoping to pass for a “prestige school” which, in Trinidad, means a school where the chemistry lab actually has some test tubes and a bunsen burner and the weapons used in schoolyard fights do not usually include firearms.
In sympathy, then, with children whose educations may have ended yesterday, before their adolescence started, I begin my own Senility Escape Assessment exam, with a Newsday practice test, maths today and, next Friday, “language arts”, the modern Trinidadian pidgin for what used to be called “English”. I’ve shortened the questions considerably because SEA grammatical style is not particularly languaged-ly-artful.
Read more

​Chronicle of Several Deaths Foretold

YOU KNOW your week’s not going to end well when, on Monday, Africans and Indians in Trinidad & Tobago are furiously spitting accusations of racism at one another and, on Tuesday, a white American, Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, chooses a dougla woman, Kamala Harris, as his vice-presidential nominee.

The irony becomes steely when you consider that this is place that coined the word, “dougla” to describe the child born of an African and an Indian person making love to one another!
You think, well, what’s the firetrucking point of being Trinbagonian any more? Look, you best tell David Rudder to firetruck away with the Ganges & the Nile, yes.
The great Lloyd Best, who was right about more or less everything while he was alive (and was more or less ignored by policymakers for the same period), recognised race was a legitimate basis for political organisation in newly-Independent Trinidad &Tobago.
Read more

Choose Your Hobson Carefully

Hobson’s choice. The option of taking either what is offered or nothing (from a 16th Century carrier who gave his customers in Cambridge the choice of taking the next horse or no horse at all) Shorter OED

NEXT MONDAY will almost certainly deliver yet another in a long line of general elections in Trinidad & Tobago that may possibly make a change but will certainly make no difference.
This isn’t an opinion or an idea, it’s just counting.
Mark Twain said there were three kinds of lie: lies, damned lies and statistics but the Trini stats really don’t lie (except in wait, to catch anybody hoping for any positive development).
In almost 64 years of Independence, we have had a grand total of three political parties in government in Trinidad and perhaps one-and-a-half in Tobago (the PNM Tobago candidate and the Tobago anti-PNM candidate).

Read more

​Monkey Business, Family Tree

THE ODD CROOK OF their heads — both tilted sharply upward, at the same angle — made me turn from the cricket to see what the dogs were looking at. Then I heard the squawking: making noise was all the birds could do, like the sufferers of Morvant/Laventille.

An egg-stealing monkey in the tree!
Better to scare a murderous monkey away than watch West Indies monkey about on the field, I thought, but the monkey jumped down and ran away before I reached our gate. The birds settled on their nests again; if he’d got their eggs, they’d still be flying around, squawking, but in grief, not desperation.
I did my best bird whistle, hoping they knew I was on their side. What more can a parent ask for, but that their children survive each day?
I watched them for a bit, wondering what it would be like to have someone nearby who could scare my monkeys away. How good an idea is God, who takes every shock away from you, like some almighty ground wire.
Read more

Show more posts

Navigational Links