THE LOWDOWN: My 2012 Nuff Idiot Award
“Blessed is he who expects nothing,” Reverend Tudor used to tell us before exams, “for he shall not be disappointed.”
Words which still sustain against the flings and harrows of outrageous fortune.
Old Moore summed me up best: “Oh, ever thus from childhood’s hour he’s seen his fondest hopes decay, he never loved a tree or flower but ’twas the first to fade away.”
To hell with trees and flowers. Let’s talk women. In any given week, Sanka Price can scoop up bucketfuls of wanton wenches waiting to woo unwary married men. So I did a poll: 99.3 per cent of those I asked doubled up with laughter.
“Do it?” they shrieked, “with you?” While the others, mainly ecological, vegetarian types, got all sanctimonious: “I’d love to mate with you, Richard, but your wife is too nice a person. Sorry!”
My only prospect was a food van vendor outside CBC.
“My gentleman,” she asked, “you does keep outside women? I looking for a white man.”
Alas, I was hustling to do a Talk Yuh Talk – Agriculture programme with Edward Cumberbatch. And by the time it ended, she was gone.
However, my luck may be changing – as we shall see. But first, a mention of other celebrations.
It was the 90th birthday party last Saturday night for Sylvia Taylor, my wife’s aunt. Seldom will you meet a nicer person (my saying that has nothing to do with the ham she sends us every Christmas).
Not surprisingly, the last ones left on the dance floor were her husband’s sister, 97-year-old Florrie, waving her cane aloft with reckless abandon, Sylvia herself at 90, and my 88-year-old mother-in-law wukking up like a ball of twine; losing in the process her brand new hearing aid, requiring the music to be stopped and the dance floor cleared.
“It’s not my fault,” she explained, “the damn thing keeps falling out.”
Which prompted my wife to ask: “Now why does that remind me of Richard?”
Nuff respect this week, too, to a very special lady. In 1968 David Holford, my colleague at the Ministry of Agriculture, let on I was getting a female assistant just out of university. His smirk should’ve warned she would be a lot more than that.
Since then I’ve watched Frances Chandler become onion authority, PhD, no-nonsense senator, workhorse of the agriculture industry and now OBE. I still have one long-standing goal for her but she keeps putting it off. She’s my wife’s sister, by the way.
Congratulations, too, to Sir Wes Hall, to Doctors Gabby and James and to sweet potato chip pioneer Richard Armstrong. May the day never come when we have such young vibrant farmers around but no land for them to farm.
And then it was my turn last Friday when this email arrived from Tricia: “hi mr hoad here in my bed reading the paper and was contemplating read hoad 1st or clean and then read decide to read and i just had to tell u i reading get to the part about Mary Redman and had to lol and my first thought was “oh rangate richard hoad is nuff idiot” went to change my bb status to ‘richard hoad is nuff idiot’ but decide to email u instead and ask permission 1st. lol. anyway this is another bajan who reads ur article every week witty cause u say the most outrageous things and informative because some actually makes sense.”
Forsooth, we’ve come full circle here. This modern language is as weird as Chaucer. But we can glean the salient points: the young lady was in bed; she opted to read Hoad first and then clean; this caused her to lol; in recognition for which she resolved to change her “bb status” as aforementioned.
That “bb status” baffled for a while.
Then it hit me: “bb” must refer to her “bare backside” on which she obviously intends to get tattooed: “Richard Hoad is nuff idiot!” Don’t ask me why. Could be to do with those mirrors over the bed nowadays.
But, tell me, is this not the greatest honour ever? A rare (rear?) rejoicing for Lowdown.
Of course, it didn’t last. On Sunday, we were choking on pungent black smoke billowing from just east of the farm – miscreants burning the insulation off copper wire. And on Monday someone stole our garbage can.
• Richard Hoad is a farmer and social commentator.