Old people and crime
I WOULD LIKE TUH KNOW wha’ getting in tuh the old people nowadays dat causing dem tuh find duhselves before the law courts where the magistrates and judges got tuh be scolding dem all the time like dem is li’l children and reminding dem of their age.
The other day I was reading the court cases in the newspaper and remarking ’bout a man in his 60s who had gone before the courts fuh something or the other. I cahn remember now but one o’ the fellas who I was talking tuh at the time and who I know tuh be in his early 30s say dat when he was growing up, he never used tuh hear ’bout nuh old people getting into anything wid the police or the law or nothing so.
He say dat the older people used tuh be constantly warning dem tuh keep away from bad company and trouble. Duh used tuh say dat trouble doan set up like rain.
The fella went on tuh say now dat he is a big man wid children of his own, all of a sudden every time ya open the newspaper ya could read ’bout people who he would consider old, 40 and up, in the courts and getting involved in all sorts o’ criminal activity, sometimes even fighting, getting duhselves involved wid young men and ending up before the law courts looking stupid.
He went on tuh say dat ya would expect tuh see or hear ’bout the young boys fighting; some o’ duh like duh born fighting anyway; duh like duh cahn stop.
He say ya would expect tuh hear ’bout dem tiefing ’cause duh lazy and ain’t want tuh work but want evahthing duh see evahbody else wid.
The man say dat from the beginning people used tuh always fight and carry on, but he say dat when ya get a certain age ya does have tuh settle down, respect ya age and be able tuh settle ya differences in a more level-headed, mature kinda way, and wid more common sense.
I suppose old habits doan die suh easily and duh got some people, both male and female, who did hard-mout, own-way and disgusting when duh was growing up – real rebels, bad Johns and decide dat dem gine be rebels till duh dead.
Stalwarts in neighbourhood
In my day when I was growing up, ya had tuh look up tuh older people; ya had tuh respect the older people.
I ain’t talking ’bout nuh grandmother – or grandfather-looking people, ya know?
I talking ’bout people who as long as duh as old as your parents, you had tuh pass the road and speak tuh the older people. “Good morning”, “good evening” or “good night”. Doan get tie-up. Dem was the big-ups, the backbone, the stalwarts in the neighbourhood.
Dem never used tuh get into nuh fighting, tiefing nor gine before nuh law courts. Ya had tuh call dem by Miss this or Miss dat. Ya had tuh call dem Mudda this or Mudder dat and ya had tuh call the men Mister this or the other. These is people who you would nevah hear in nutten wid nuhbody old or young.
But I ain’t know who tell this new crop o’ old people who going before the magistrates or judges wid a head full o’ grey hair dat duh does look hip. Look, some o’ the very magistrates dat dem got tuh go and humble duhselves before does be far younger than dem, could be dem very children. I ain’t know who tell dem dat sitting down pon a block all day long wid a big-able bundle o’ grey hair pile up pon top o’ dem head and ’round duh face could bring dem any kinda respect.
Look, I ain’t gine tell you dat things won’t happen. This is life and anything is possible, especially if ya got young people around and particular if ya live in area where people are always testing ya. It is possible dat ya could lose ya head and do something foolish or leh we say irrational and then regret it. These is things dat would ’cause ya tuh find ya’self in the courts.
But I ain’t talking ’bout dem kinda people so.
I talking ’bout the ones who still like tuh hang wid the boys; uh mean the old men pon the old men block, the rum shop. The ones who does drink too much, get into arguments or want tuh fight wid some o’ duh friends who sometimes doan really bother wid dem.
But it might be a younger newcomer pon the scene who duh does get duhselves in trouble wid ’cause what duh have in duh heads fooling dem and got dem believing dat dem could still do the foolishness they used tuh do when they were younger. So, somebody does get hurt and, suh dey now, a foolish old man before the courts.
• Mavis Beckles was born and raised in The Orleans. She has an opinion on everything.