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THE LOWDOWN: Tick tick


Richard Hoad

THE LOWDOWN: Tick tick

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Unlike the Pussycat, I’ve never been to London to visit the Queen or perform any other office. However, Chamber of Commerce president Andy Armstrong’s views on that city do not accord with those of the many English people who lament its takeover by foreign elements.
Mr Andy would have us believe that, despite the presence of 400 000 Frenchies, 300 000 Arabs, large numbers of Eastern Europeans, Africans and West Indians, “the city has remained English”. He apparently envisages a Barbados of similar cacophony so that by 2020 we can become “the number one entrepreneurial hub in the world”. May God help us!
Unlike Mr Armstrong, I accidentally visit an internet site called “pornhub”. As a farmer and a writer of foolishness, I google “corn” for prices and info like, “Why do they put walls around cemeteries?” “Because people are always dying to get in”, and end up with “porn”. Bad typing.
Pornhub is also the world’s number one hub.
And, trust me, Mr Andy, sights one sees there have convinced me that we Bajans should do all in our power to stop our beloved little island becoming the kind of commercial-at-all-costs hub you desire. Everybody gets done.
Mr Armstrong admits there will be social tensions as hordes of foreigners come here and take over management of our businesses. He must have seen, in those already taken over, our new masters strutting around while Bajan former executives trail respectfully at the mandatory three paces behind.
Yet, the almighty dollar must prevail.
I got sidetracked into that rant by all the talk about an immigration search at our airport. Already some want to bring in experts from Britain or Canada. Columnist Ricky Jordan also favours foreign intervention but wants it to come from the Caribbean.
Something is wrong here. Did we who went up to the Garrison to see the Union Jack give way to the Broken Trident do so merely to exchange European colonialism for a Caribbean version? Do sovereignty and independence mean nothing?
It’s almost as if Bajans know nothing about searching. Actually, we were born into it.
Many times when Mummy and Daddy left me at home, the cook and maid would shout “Lewwe search ’e!” And while one held me horizontally, the other would pull off my shorts to expose the “micey”. Miceys are never at their best under such circumstances and there would be great merriment at my expense.
Worse was to come much later in life when a doctor bade me strip and lie backing him while he . . . no, even now I can’t talk about it. Especially after sundry friends had a lengthy discussion as to whether thereafter I could consider myself a virgin.
I know about invasive search. And in turn have done my own research.
One ancient rumour at Vaucluse told of a “pot-washer” who had stuffed her bloomers with sugar only to be discovered by an amorous overseer. Chris Gibbs and others report a young lady putting a whole box of chicken chest under her nylon dress in a supermarket, no doubt to thaw it and avoid paying.
And no one found the missing watch in “Tick, tick, everybody looking, tick, tick, nobody finding; tick, tick, everybody searching, but none could tell where the watch was hiding”.
So we have a problem. Women do transport illegal substances and probably weapons in their nectaries. Finding them poses a sensitive but necessary challenge for our hard-working Customs officials. Those most guilty will protest loudest to avoid detection.
What to do? Here are a few suggestions from a homegrown expert:
• No X-rays. Radiation kills.
• Sniffer dogs, yes. A milk-buying lady seemed to enjoy personal nudges from my long-nosed Dobermann, Bozo.
• Make searches enjoyable. Wild Coot hated being “felt up” by a homo Customs officer. But suppose Halle Berry was doing the fondling?
• Ban the term “cavity search”. “Cavity”, like “cave” and “cavern”, implies formidable bigness.
Actually, we’re probably dealing here with a storm in a teacup. Customs officials tell me they usually get tipped off even before the mules leave Jamaica.
But if you need the lowdown on searching, Minister Maxine, just call.

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