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THE LOWDOWN: Getting abreast


Richard Hoad

THE LOWDOWN: Getting abreast

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“Knowledge without wisdom,” says an old Japanese proverb, “is a load of books on the back of a jackass.”
And since many of us UWI graduates emerge with an abundance of the former but very little of the latter, it should perhaps be our goal to have a non-graduate in every Bajan household, lest we be overrun by a deluge of book-burdened jackasses.
For example, our medical experts advise that we reduce our salt and fast food intake to avoid obesity and associated problems. This cannot be too highly stressed.
But reader Geoffrey E. Wallace last week quoted a study from Frankfurt, Germany, which shows that gazing at women’s breasts daily cuts the risk of a man having a heart attack or stroke by half.
The fuller-breasted, the better. My boy Bizzy is home and dry.
So why are our celebrated Frasers and Hassells not pushing this most welcome news? Far from it, the medical fraternity says there is no such evidence and the whole thing is a hoax.
They don’t fool me. Too many well-endowed females have let on that doctors check their bosoms assiduously if they suffer a sprained ankle or cut toe.
I go further. Harrison College classmates who went on to Mona report how undergraduate contemporaries of Dr Henry Fraser would don white lab coats and stethoscopes and try to convince first time female students that they were supposed to sound their chests.
Of course, we know Henry himself would never countenance such shenanigans, his interest being more in Gothic phenomena like the pointed arch, the ribbed vault and the flying buttress. But why would his fellow medical students go to such lengths if not to reduce their risks of stroke or heart attack?
Beware of bookish experts, say I. Or, as Virgil so nicely put it, “I fear the geeks even when . . . .”
Recently, a Popular Mechanics article pontificated on how wonderfully safe nuclear plants are. More experts. The experience of Japan sure gives the lie to all that nonsense. Nor should we have any truck with high-rise buildings.
The sad reality is that the parameters have changed, the goalposts have moved and our technical experts simply cannot come up with precautions to keep us safe from the megadisasters now being experienced all over the world.
In fact, should Barbados’ vulnerable power stations fail due to a tsunami, says a 2009 report by Alerting Solutions Inc., we may “need to revert to traditional warning methods like loudhailers, church bells and conch shells”. However, “warnings by these methods used on high ground may not carry to areas closer
to sea level”. And in any case, the warners “may be too busy running to pull or blow”.
This is serious business. Effective immediately Julian Hunte should be appointed Minister of Conchs and Bells to train a cadre of warners in the art of blowing and pulling while running.
Anyhow, today I really wanted to keep abreast of our situation here in Bim. I was backing Froon to the hilt, assuming he was emulating Fabius, the Roman general renowned for his delaying tactics. I thought our PM Freundelius Cunctator was just letting Owen and Sinckler wear themselves out.
Alas, I was wrong. The PM has recently admitted that from an early age he has had more love than he could handle (causing the Market Vendor to dub him “The Love Man”). Such abundance, if you remember Solomon, can cause a man to go to pieces.
A piece here, a piece there and, before you know it, one is worn out.
Meanwhile, the country seems to be just muddling along. It is not enough in these trying times. We need every citizen to be galvanised into action, shoulder to the wheel, straining every sinew, girding every loin.
And how better than by emulating our African brothers? Massive street protests, declare St Andrew independent, a no-fly zone in Swan Street so men won’t be able to open their pants to pee, yet institute complete freedom of the breasts so we can gaze to our healthy hearts’ content. Sounds like a plan to me.
Finally, thanks to Ian Estwick who brought me some sweet Laff-It-Off CDs. Of course, no Laff-It-Off experience is complete without a Capt. Watson hot dog. But one is grateful nonetheless.

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