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Promise her anything, but give her . . .

Richard Hoad

Promise her  anything, but give her . . .

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MARY HAD A BRISTLY BROOM, she thought she’d get a new. So she waited unabated and is still waiting for Froon’s Phase Two.
It is not a new phenomenon. But no one, to my mind, has refined this technique so well as Froon and made it into an art form.
The Froon Phase Two is a “tying off” procedure. In Phase One, you are led to believe that action will follow in the near future. But you may have to wait until Neveruary morning for Phase Two.
You may remember the Alexandra School insoluble impasse. Seems like a long time ago.
The teachers’ union wanted the headmaster “separated” from the school and went on strike.
Enter Froon, no fanfare, doing it his way. Tears, love, kisses and, we thought, promises of a speedy and smooth transition to Phase Two. Teachers back at work. Easy so.
“Broomes gone!” was the cry on the street.
A fellow named “Bish” even had the options: Uncle Jeff would either be made a Deputy Chief Education Officer or assigned to “Special Projects”. Which means he could be sent to China with Sir Sandi
to “critique the historicity of Chinese educational paradigm shifts” or some such.
And so we waited. It was like never-ending tantric sex with a whole nation.
You have a problem with that?
I think it’s beautiful!
So too with the Eager Eleven. A much touted conspiracy against the PM. Evidence in a letter. Heads will roll, we were told. All the demotions, dismissals, bring-ins were known to the public.
Or so we thought. Until Froon hit us with a Phase Two. Not a man moved! We don’t even talk about it any more. Now it seems Minister of Labour, the lovely Suckoo, is trying a Phase Two with Trottie and the union over the LIME workers’ salaries.
They also serve who sit and wait. Trottie, relax.
But don’t go on hunger strike. Ask Al Barrack – he’s probably on a Phase Seven.
The Froon Phase Two technique has taken over Barbados. After 26 years, my methane digester needed some minor welding work and repairs.
I found a “small black man” contractor with a nice write-up in the Yellow Pages. He came bright and early next morning and assured me he could handle.
That was getting on to Christmas, so I cut him some slack. Called repeatedly in the New Year but he was either at a meeting or not there. They would give him my message. Never heard him  again.                                                                         
In mid-January, I gave up. To hell with the small black man. I was going for the big white man, the biggest of the big with a beriffle of companies.
The rep was there within the hour. Professional estimate by email a few days later which I accepted. That was January 21.
Got a subsequent message that a Hiab truck was down, hence the temporary delay. One month on and counting, the digester is exposed to the elements and rusting. It’s another Froon Phase Two situation.
Like a fellow who asked to buy two heaps of manure a few months back. Terms agreed. He’s forever coming “next weekend” but never comes.
No wonder he doesn’t have any children.
Actually, these are good signs. When workmen promise to come and don’t, don’t fret because your car isn’t fixed or your roof is leaking. It means there’s plenty of work out there and no one is hungry.
It also means that Froon is large and in charge.
The police aren’t hanging about, though. And the white people are scared. Last weekend I heard the wife telling her sister: “You see they charged Jean-Marc for illegal bullets after all he’s done for this country?  And now the monkeys are pompasetting with plans to hold a Monkey On The Hill jam.
“They even have a rhyme: ‘Jean-Marc shoot off de monkey tail.
So, tell me, Marc-Marc, how de food in jail?
Bang! Bang! You dead, fall out de tree. But not no more, Jean-Marc can’t shoot we’.  
“I’m not taking any chances with Richard having all that unused ammunition. Bright and early next week I’m sending him for a vasectomy!”
Lord have mercy, why doesn’t she just let me use the gun?
• Richard Hoad is a farmer and social commentator. Email [email protected]