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My first hundred

Carl Moore

My first hundred

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MY LATE FRIEND Don Norville used to say: “It’s a great achievement whenever you reach a hundred . . . in anything: cricket, chronological age, whatever . . . .”
This is my 100th column since former Editor Roxanne Gibbs and Wilfred Field enticed me out of a 28-year retirement almost four years ago. I dedicate it to Don’s memory – he died in 1995 at 66.
After my third column Send Them A Banana, when I clashed with the timid bloggers who ambush people from the safety of noms de plume, I received this email:
Your skilful use of the language of the Wild, Wild West – “I quickly took cover behind my laptop and returned fire, picking off quite a few.” – had me in stitches.
If only the obnoxious in society realized how well with the stroke of a pen (or the click of a mouse) you make blithering idiots of them, they would desist from their offences.
In column No. 73 I said that I was not swept away by the razzamatazz of the iPad – and didn’t need one. A friend emailed: My son has an iPad and I agree the distractions of it are great; however, the ability to have a book – any book – in my possession within seconds has changed my outlook forever. The Kindle is not as distracting as the iPad but having access to so many books is mind-blowing.
Naughtily, I asked: “Can I borrow one of those books on your son’s iPad?”
In response to No. 46, Blackberry Sheep, this brief email arrived: I try to not let it take over my life.
I began my 26th column with: “Barack Obama is a white man.” Feedback went through the roof.
One respondent asked: Why is it that black can taint white but white remains pure in the black man’s eyes?
This came from a reader in Brooklyn: America has said from time immemorial that as far as ethnicity was concerned you are what your mother is. Ever since the campaign started, I was mystified that they are saying that he is a black man.
Fast-food cricket
I termed 20/20 cricket “fast-food” in column No. 58, and a friend emailed from London: Please, give it an hour or two next year and you may, like me, decide this game is something else.
I predicted that it would destroy the game in pursuit of quick bucks and fleeting satisfaction.
Why call it cricket? Even the Indians are growing tired of it.
I stepped into hot water in my 31st column when I wrote about the stray dog that the canine-challenged Moores of Rock Dundo Park thought we were assisting when he took up residence at our home in January 2008.
A friend came at me like a rabid Rottweiler and hasn’t spoken to me since. She growled: Unfortunately, Carl, I was very disappointed in you, not because you decided not to keep the animal – that was your prerogative.
What disappointed me is that you did not take the time to do a little research into the alternatives to the animal gas chambers. I found that your article was only an attempt to ease your conscience. It did nothing for the poor dog that got abandoned twice.
The assault went on for weeks. A caller boasted that her dog slept in her bed. “Good for you,” I replied, “but no dog will sleep in my bed or slobber sticky saliva all over my face.”
In column 74, I likened Prime Minister Freundel Stuart to the Roman general Quintus Fabius Maximus, the Cunctator, who frustrated Hannibal during the Second Punic War with his delaying tactics. I received an angry phone call: You only wrote that because you are a B. That’s the man’s style.
When I wrote my 98th, an emailer coined a nifty phrase about noise: I very much admire your worthy persistence in your campaign for a quieter Barbados. My own aphorism is “The wages of din is deaf”.
• Carl Moore was the first Editor of THE NATION and is a social commentator. Email [email protected]