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MAVIS BECKLES: Good bittle out o’ style


rhondathompson, [email protected]

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Well, leh muh tell ya! All wunna environmentalists out there could talk as wunna like ’cause it looks tuh me like nuhbody ain’t tekking wunna on. Ya see the styrofoam and plastic disposable containers? They are here tuh stay, talk wha’ wunna like.Ya see all o’ wunna doctors, nutritionists, health freaks, gym enthusiasts and herbalists who does be playing wunna swearing by this lot o’ good, wholesome, natural food; who does be begging people evah day tuh grow a li’l herb garden in duh backyards or pon duh window sills? All o’ you people who does be talking ’bout silent killers and dem kinda things so, like wunna only wasting the li’l breath wunna got, ‘cause duh got a whole new generation out there dat decide dat dem ain’t cooking nutten fuh demselves or another boy.Ya want tuh know what Mavis talking bout nuh? Well, I look in my Thursday NATION, and lo and behold what gine salute me is an article announcing dat Wendy’s, the “Where’s the beef” fast food restaurant, gine be setting up shop here in Barbados just now.Ya understand what I mean now? More fast food and obviously more disposable ware tuh clutter up the gutters, the gullies, the beaches, the sidewalks, the drains, Swan Street and Independence Square.Look, um is only the old people like me and you who playing we stan’ing up over a hot stove evah day saying we cooking food. Um is only the people in we age group who does play we brekking we neck when the Saturday morning come tuh get in tuh the different markets and the vendors ’longside the roads talking ’bout we buying fresh fruits and vegetables. Living tuh 100We ain’t nuh career people, boh; we looking tuh live tuh a 100 if ya please. We want dat when we reach the 100-year mark and the NATION people and the Governor General come tuh visit us, and duh ask we what is the cause of our longevity, we want tuh be able tuh say “some good food like yam and sweet potatoes down in some good old beef soup wid big dumplings in it”.We want tuh tell dem ’bout a licking piece o’ mellow cou cou wid some red herring or flying fish floating pon top. We want tuh tell dem ’bout okra slush or green banana, breadfruit or split pea cou cou wid a close salt fish butter sauce. Even stew sweet potatoes ’longside some pickle cucumber and pear wid a long glass o’ lemonade or home-made mauby from the bark tuh wash um down wid. We want tuh tell dem ’bout good bittle like dat.We want tuh tell dem ’bout some good corn meal pap, or a rich cup o’ sago or barley tuh full up ya belly first thing in the morning and mek ya belch hard and start the day right. If we full up we stomachs wid the lot o’ greasy fast foods duh got selling at the fast food joints all over the island now, wha’ we ain’t gine be able tuh tell a boy ’bout the reason fuh reaching nuh 100 year mark; we won’t be around, ya understand?The other day I was getting my hair spruced up and was listening tuh some young ladies talking ’bout how dem cahn wait fuh the submarine place tuh open, dat ya ain’t gine be able tuh keep dem from in there.I had tuh smile tuh myself. Some young people ain’t easy at all – everything must be quick; dem ain’t got nuh kinda time tuh waste pon cooking one thing fuh demselves – duh want ready-done(s). On every street cornerDuh want things tuh hand; duh want tuh know dat if dem feel like some pasta wid cheese and the works, duh looking for an Italian take-out place. If duh feel like eating Chinese, dat is easy – dem all over the place. Doan talk ’bout if duh want fry chicken at all; duh could get dat pon every street corner nowadays.Dat is why the streets suh cluttered up when the day come ’cause duh buying the purtiest motor cars and SUVs, ain’t saving a cent and when duh get hungry, duh pulling into a fast food joint and spen’ing up a whole lot o’ money pon some food dat gine only fill dem up fuh now and later on in the night when duh get hungry again, duh ain’t got one pang in the house tuh eat, so it is jump in the purty vehicle and back tuh another fast food joint again. This is why all wunna could talk, but the fast food joints will win out over the supermarkets every time. It ain’t got one thing tuh do wid health or nutten so; it’s about quick, easy and convenient food.
•Mavis Beckles was born and raised in The Orleans. She has an opinion on everything.

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