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

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​Nought to 60

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO will be 60 years old next week and I can’t think of a present for her. What do you give someone who has everything she wants (no matter how trivial) and doesn’t want anything she needs (no matter how important)?

I used to have this problem with my father.
Every February, when his birthday rolled around, and he’d already got the obligatory Christmas socks (and I was saving the mandatory ties for Fathers Day), I was myself in a monkey pants.
My father wanted only two things he did not have: food security for Trinidad and Tobago; and West Indian integration. All his life, my father dreamed of the region feeding itself and looking inwards to itself, rather than outwards to the big cold countries that ran the world.
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​Heresy for Dummies

THE BEST thing about the stabbing of Salman Rushdie is it brought to mind two great jokes first cracked 30-plus years ago, when the fatwa on the British/Indian writer was imposed, for the crime of writing a book the ayatollahs had not read and would not understand if they had.

Facing, in 1989, exactly the risk of potentially fatal attack that materialised last week, Rushide saved his personal life by vanishing from public life. And here are the two jokes: What has bright red hair, wears a pink bikini and lives in the backwoods of Oregon? Salman Rushdie; and: Have you heard that Salman Rushdie is writing a new book? It’s called Buddha, You Fat Firetruck.
Laugh at your figurative peril, perhaps.

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​Small Change

NO PATRIOT should complain about spending $7.5m on the celebration of our 60th anniversary of Independence? By TT “petro-duller” standards, US$1m is “small morney” to spend on a national party.

We’re accustomed to spending far more than that for far less.
Too besides, how it go look if the government announced it would put exactly $0 towards Independence celebrations (and spare the dogs of Port of Spain their annual Hell Night) and, days later, a Carnival band charged masqueraders TT$5K for a costume comprising a pair of short pants, a handful of beads on rubber bands that burst when you stretch them over your bicep and a kind of feathery thing you stick on your forehead somehow?
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Belle’s Last Walk

BELLE, our beautiful big tan pothound, made her last walk last Sunday, Emancipation Eve. She limped from her home of ten years to the spot on the hill where I had already dug the one sure thing that awaits us all. Whatever is left of Belle lies there now, on the edge of eternity and her favourite cane field.

She was a fine specimen of canine pulchritude and a natural athlete. Let off the leash on a walk, Belle streaked away like a tracer bullet.
She hasn’t run like that this year.
In a matter of weeks, severe bone cancer speedily reduced the scourge of the postman’s motorbike to an invalid forced to take a standing rest every half-dozen steps. Once, she was like a cat with the old couch on which she liked to sleep: she only had to look at it and she would BE on it. For the last week of her life, she couldn’t pull herself up laboriously on to it.
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