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ON THE OTHER HAND: Get that heirloom!


Peter Laurie

ON THE OTHER HAND: Get that heirloom!

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The scene: early one morning sometime in the future. There is an ominous banging on the door of a large chattel house in Carrington’s Village.
Voice from within: Who the body is?
Outside: The Antiquities And Relics Police. Open the door!
Girl (peeping through the window): Ma! Nuff police outside! Task Force with AK47, police dog and thing. They even got on gas masks. And a helicopter like it want to land on top the house.
Ma (shouting): What wunnah want? We is law-abiding people. No herb here, excepting the cerassee bush Grandma does take for she pressure.
Antiquities And Relics Police (ARP): Ma’am, we’re here to purchase or confiscate the valuable heirloom you’ve been concealing from the relevant authorities. Please surrender it forthwith, or we’ll have to make a forcible entry into the premises under the Preservation Of Antiquities And Relics Act 2011, Part 2, Section 4, Subsection 3, Sub-Subsection 7, or any part thereof notwithstanding heretofore.
All claims for damage arising from, or relating to this confiscatory process, or the alleged breach, termination, or questions as to the validity thereof, shall be null and void with reference to a specific statute or any statutory extension or amendment of such statute and any regulations or orders made under such statute heretofore whereof thereunder.
Ma (at the door): Wait! What language that is you speaking? I ain’t understand a word you say. And you don’t have to use that megaphone. I right here.
ARP: Ma’am, we come for your heirloom.
Ma: What heirloom you talking ’bout? We ain’t got no heirloom in here. I tell you we is law-abiding people. I ain’t even know what a heirloom is. Hey, watch it there. You mashing down my plants. Wunnah keep them dogs out of my flower bed, you hear!
ARP: One of your neighbours has informed us that you have been harbouring an antique vintage Victorian enamelware chamber pot, and have refused to disclose the possession of such object.
Ma: Harbouring what? Antique vintage wha . . . ?
Girl: The chamber pot, Ma. The po Granma does keep under she bed. You know, Ma; the one she does wee-wee in at night.
Ma: Wait! That is a heirloom?
ARP: The Ministry of Relics is willing to pay you ten thousand dollars; but if you do not surrender it immediately we will have to enter and confiscate it.
Ma: Ten thousand dollars! Girl, run quick and get that po for me.
Girl: Ma, it full of wee-wee.
Ma: You outside, you going have to pay another $1 000. That po smelling real antique.
ARP: We want it empty and clean, please.
Ma: Girl, go and throw it out in the backyard. Right under Miss Jones window. ’Cause I feel is she who spying on we, the miserable old squingy-face, dry stick of a woman.
ARP: Lady, do you have any other antiques or relics that you’ve been concealing?
Pa (getting out of bed): You want a relic? You could take she father. He’s a relic. Pushing a hundred. How much you going give we for he?
Girl: Pa, hush! We not selling Granpa!
Pa: How about he false teeth then? Hey, you outside, you want a set of vintage Victorian porcelain false teeth, Chow Ming Ping-A-Ling Dynasty?
ARP: Let me check the ministry’s list. Yes, we’ll give you eighteen hundred dollars.
Pa: Woman, go and grab them teeth. Drag them out he mouth, if you have to.
Girl: No! You not selling Granpa’s teeth.
Pa: You idiot, we could get he a brand new set for three hundred dollars. One that would fit too.
Ma: Give me them teeth! Lord have mercy! The teeth bite me!
Girl: Granpa loves those teeth. Leave him alone!
Pa: All right then, gimme the cheque, take the po and go ’long. You know what wrong with these young people today? They ain’t got no sense of values at all.

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