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THE LOWDOWN – Taking random potshots

Richard Hoad

THE LOWDOWN – Taking random potshots

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IT’S ALWAYS NICE to spread a little joy.
Last week I mentioned how the Governor General had treated some of us to a selection of memorable tunes. This tickled a Bajan gentleman of the cloth living in England who phoned to add other old songs that came to mind.
Sister Anne in Canada copied me versions of the Lambeth Walk and Vera Lynn doing When I Grow Too Old To Dream with the comment: “You brought back a lot of old memories!”
And reader Jina Scheper was apparently inspired to go forth and do wonderful things which she can remember at her leisure in later years. A Google search turned up a super-attractive Jina Scheper who’s pregnant with her fourth child. Since that one is already way active in the memories-creating business, she obviously isn’t the Jina who emailed.
The column therefore at least on some occasions does function for some useful purpose. Which is why it was a tad uncharitable of His Excellency to introduce me merely as the fellow who takes “potshots” at all and sundry every Friday. Especially when the introducees in question were spectacularly beautiful young ladies, one of whom had emailed me that very day with an invitation to call her “Lou”.
Anyhow, today I’m fitting right into the GG’s profile and taking potshots right, left and centre.
My father, God rest his soul, allegedly did his utmost to spread his genetics far and wide. That only nine of us claim that distinction must be blamed on far too widespread family planning methods rather than lack of effort on his part. Which is a pity, for he left his offspring with noble ideals like paying one’s debts, never wanting what one couldn’t afford to buy cash, avoiding waste, and above all staying clear of dishonest dealings.
Alas, we Teddy Hoad offsprings don’t have it easy in today’s world. Take the case of R. Hoad versus the Barbados Water Authority.
Some many months ago, we noticed that our water meter wasn’t working. The reading never changes.
So week after week we called the required number but gave up in frustration.
No one ever answered.
One day a Water Authority official gave us a number for someone who could help.
He was out, so they connected us to the phone that nobody answers.
Another day we waylaid the meter reader.
“We call that a stopped meter,” he explained and promised to report it. No luck.
I even put in the column one week “will someone please tell Water Authority my meter isn’t working”.
Last week I phoned again. Wonderful to relate, a young lady answered.
“The system is down,” she told me. Call back later.
I called next day and explained the problem. Meter not working.
“Oh, sir, you will have to come to our Green Hill office to report that in person.”
Dad, forgive me. I tried. Water Authority has computers and can check in half-minute if I’m telling the truth. They can see, and should have seen long ago, that the meter reading never changes. I want to pay my correct bill. But I’m not driving to Green Hill to report it. Sorry.
Next potshot, Banks Holdings. I buy everything cash. Now Banks Holdings says I must fill out a form to open an account to get needed supplies from the Pine Hill Dairy. I can live with that, but do they have to get so downright inquisitive?
As in requiring my wife and I, as persons authorized to sign contracts, to state our “position”? 
Suppose we change position? My financial adviser Mr Green tells me to just put “missionary”. But is that information really necessary?
Potshot three: Messrs Sagicor, do you have to send those 200-page documents to every shareholder knowing most will end up in the garbage? Paper . . . trees . . . environment . . . do you care?
Finally, would the person who removed three of our goat kids last Friday please return the same? Especially the black and white one with the remarkable markings. Thank you.
Richard Hoad is a farmer and social commentator. Email [email protected]