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THE LOWDOWN: Low blows


Richard Hoad

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You pot-shotters out there should walk a mile in my pyjamas and see how it feels. For a start, you’d get arrested for indecent exposure: I haven’t had a pair of pyjamas for over 40 years. But that’s not the point. The point is I don’t have a clue what the point is.
Wait, I’ve got it. The point is the Internet sucks. Okay, it’s great for checking on things and watching old Jack Benny clips. But what genius ever thought of beaming newspaper columns all over the world for free?
Many years ago someone suggested I aim to become a syndicated columnist like Rickey Singh. That way I’d get published in several papers and make millions every month.
I didn’t even consider it. What I write has always been for a limited Bajan readership, specifically the crude and not too intelligent.
The Internet has knocked all that for six. Judging by the feedback, I am dissed by readers in more countries than many syndicated columnists. Only I don’t get millions like Rickey Singh.
To make matters worse, readers in all sorts of godforsaken countries have got my email address, don’t ask me how. And when I go cheerfully looking for the odd porn from Paddy, David Marshall or Alan Edwards, inspiration from Joyce and Barb, or the latest family news from sister Anne in Canada, suddenly I’m being taken apart by Anonymous Remailer in Austria.
Austria? Where the hell is Austria? Who could know me there? And who would want to read me there?
Anon Re (Austria) doesn’t mince matters: “It seems you are hard-pressed to find topics to write on these days.” He then suggests four areas to tackle: first, stop portraying everything in Barbados as “successful”. I need to say things are “lousy, poor, boring, monotonous”.
Add “non-existent” and I’d be describing my sexlife to a tee.
But seriously, Anon Re (Austria), are the world’s floods, earthquakes, oil spills, trapped miners, cheating cricketers and genocides not enough bad news for you?
Sure, life isn’t perfect here. But what with the pure sweet water from our taps, the electricity that flows, my wife’s delicious food, an out-of-this-world spinach soup from Jamaican neighbour Rose (aka Dudus), St Andrew’s Annual Crab Night tonight . . . how can I complain?
Last Monday, a former PM brought his daughter to meet me. No escort, no bodyguards. Trinidad’s Kamla Food-Processor couldn’t do that. Nor Jamaica’s Truth Holding.
“He is a good man,” Owen told the delightful young lady.
Anon Re (Austria) also wants me to highlight the plight of young graduating musicians, diss locals who big up themselves with awards, and press on with the smut: “Are you a weakling? Say something, man, and (bad word) the (very bad word plural) who don’t like it – those who are still stuck in the Middle Ages.”
From Australia cousin Len emailed that the name “Goldsworthy” which many Hoads carry might be Jewish. Whaddya know! Lowdown is a (very) uncircumcised, pork-eating Jew!
Rev. O.G. Butler in England cautioned against a Jewish backlash: “Get all the family to lay hands on you and say, ‘Father, forgive him, for he knows not what he hath done’. If not, an undressed Ursula Andress will come out of the sea and do you in, James Bond-style”.
From New York, one “Professor” claimed the Jews never hang anyone. “It is illegal. Assassinate, encompass the death of, did not warn of impending acts of God . . . but never hang.”
A local lady phoned to say it was the Jews who poisoned David. News to me. I thought he died of frustration when they put a young girl in his bed and he couldn’t “gat no heat”.
And from Switzerland Ms Joanne Page, reportedly a sex symbol and former model over there, buoyed me up with a few pleasing remarks. And then slammed me amidships with:
“It is always comforting to know that today’s Lowdown wraps tomorrow’s fish.” That has to be the ultimate put-down! Or, wait a minute . . . .
Could it be a columnist’s ultimate accolade? To spend one’s last moments in that heady aroma, redolent of viscous memories, nostalgic youth . . . .Who could ask for more?
Eat your hearts out, syndicated columnists.
• Richard Hoad is a farmer and social commentator.

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