MAVIS BECKLES – Tomas, a t’ief in de nite
But looka wha’ coulda happen tuh Barbados last Friday and Saturday gone doah nuh?
Evahbody was ducking ’bout trying tuh look fuh holes and some kinda shelter. We get hit fuh a six.
Look, I talking ’bout getting ketch off-side. Getting ketch wid ya trousers down.Uh talking ’bout ketch napping; something like the parable in the Bible of the five foolish virgins who get ketch wid-out light in duh lamps.
Lemmuh tell ya something, I never see nutten so yet in all my born years pon this earth. A system creep up under Barbados nose easy so, and before anybody could say Jack Robinson, it turned into a big-able storm and had evahbody scrambling.
The thing had people line off at the supermarket doors trying tuh pick up some odds and ends; ya couldn’t even get near a gas station ’cause the long lines from the gas stations had all the roads block up.
A friend o’ mine tell me dat she was in a Bypass bus trying tuh get home and the traffic was just dribbling along all the way from Government Hill and it was only when she get tuh Black Rock dat she realise dat part o’ the problem was there in Black Rock by KFC. She say it was something else; she couldn’t believe the amount o’ cars going in there.
She alright ya; people like duh did stocking up pon some fast food. After all, duh couldn’t get in the supermarkets and apart from dat the people in the supermarkets did brekking duh necks trying tuh get ’long home tuh duh families like anybody else. Even the people wid the businesses in town ain’t had time tuh put up duh shutters nor block up duh show windows
Look, I hear ’bout this system from one o’ my daughters who called about two o’clock tuh ask me if I had heard about it. The truth is, I didn’t hear one thing ’bout nuh system, so I didn’t take it suh seriously and the truth is dat I was in fuh the day so I didn’t worry too much ’bout anything. But I still called around tuh
a couple o’ my other siblings asking dem if dem hear anything. Some did and some didn’t, so I tell dem tuh try and get home and get duhselves organised and prepared in case anything should happen.
So, Mr Tomas breeze through in the early hours o’ the morning and did a fair amount o’ damage, picking out and selecting areas he gine hurt and trees he gine bring down. And look, he bring down some giant trees, ya hear?
I ain’t see all o’ the damage all ovah the island,
but from listening tuh the people calling in on
the radio, I gathered dat a lot o’ damage was done tuh people houses by trees alone.
The li’l bit I saw was something else in trute hear?
I pass through Holetown and see the trees uprooted and lying down in a line. As I say, Tomas like he had
a preference for dat type o’ tree out there; it was
the ones where all the leaves does change yellow
once a year and the flowers does be a beautiful red. Dat is real hard – all those beautiful, mature trees gone just so.Even some o’ dem big lovely old trees
in St Mary’s yard get rooted up just so.
As I say, the man Tomas like he decided dat in Barbados he gine destroy all the big trees like the breadfruit trees, the flamboyants, the casuarinas, even some mahogany ones. The man pelt way palings and rip off roof tops like duh did paper; then he turn around and wash we way in rain, causing
a lot o’ areas tuh be flooded.
But despite all o’ dat, Tomas went long ’bout he business before he could actually muster the amount
o’ strength tuh turn into a hurricane and unleash
he fury ’bout here, praise God!
But I feel real bad fuh the people in St Vincent and St Lucia, where he went and completely destroyed the place. Look, leh me say in closing what I said last week: Bajans, get back tuh God, hear?
Ya see how all o’ we get ketch unawares? Ya see how easy it is tuh be unprepared? Wunna see?
All right! I know a lot o’ wunna playing dat wunna doan want God, dat wunna got wunna life done map out, but leh muh tell ya something: we ain’t gine always get spared, hear? Who got ears tuh hear,
leh he hear!
• Mavis Beckles was born and raised in the Orleans and has an opinion on everything