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THE LOWDOWN: Rolling with the punches

Richard Hoad

THE LOWDOWN: Rolling with the punches

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Sweet Christmas! Sweet food! Family all around. Praise the Lord, I can’t complain. One daughter cut my hair, another tried to get my size 12 feet into size 11 shoes. Daughter three delivered baby goats, three mothers having three each.
The mother-in-law brought down the foodial necessities and, as the jug-jug worked its magic, emitted enough gas to keep Light & Power going for a week. Which is just as well as we had outages on both Christmas eve and morning. The meticulous sister-in-law senator listed who gave what lest we thank the towels-giver for the Ferrero Rocher chocolattos.
While brother-in-law Paddy up in Canada (peace be unto him) sent a heart-warming Happy Heterosexual Day greeting e-card, complete with explicit photos of God’s greatest gifts.
Alas, my NATION colleagues don’t seem blessed with similar exuberance, unless they’re just pretending to be parce and brown. Wild Coot sees the world turning topsy-turvy with the Caribbean island chain rising out of the sea and Miss Myrie driving from Jamaica to Barbados by car. Be careful what you wish for, Coot. Gabby would still be able to sing Dah Beach Is Mine! but he would have to walk across a few hundred miles of desert to the Pacific for a sea bath.
Sanka Price, the lay-on king, envisages layoffs in 2013. Ridley Greene laments disrespectful chatting at funerals. This is true. At one recently Carl Power was telling how he found me frying fish with shark oil, there being no cooking oil around.
Young, handsome Ricky Jordan sees only despair in a future where he will be “destined to live a life of regret or futility . . .” for the next five, ten, 20 or 30 years.  
Lord have mercy! Were it not for some bright greetings from human resources manager Cicely Green, I too might despair. Instead I intend to roll with the punches.
Consider the parabola of the Tree And The Grass: The mighty Tree in the forest stood, majestic and erect; he feared no storm, he feared no flood, nor woody woodpecker’s peck. He scorned the lowly Grass below, tramp’d and trod by all. Quoth he: “Grass, you ***, you have no class, you need to grow rigid and tall.”
But came a terrible hurricane, Tree’s roots trembled in the ground, try as they might, they lost the fight, and Tree came crashing down. While Grass he swayed, scarce lost a blade, just flattening with the breeze. And when t’was done, his battle won, he stood again at ease.
Don’t fool yourself, we got licks in 2012 and have had to cave in on many fronts. But the occasional licking does no harm if one rolls with the punches.
The homos have gone from recognition to acclaim. Standard English is on its deathbed. Marijuana will soon be legalized to bring tax revenue. Christians fear to show their heads in the country that once boasted of trust in God.
I still maintain that freedom of religion implies that one’s religion is not the target of scurrilous billboards and mockery of our Saviour. But who cares?
Capital punishment here is no more. I go further. If, God forbid, a beloved relative is murdered before my eyes, I won’t be testifying. I refuse to be part of the farce where “learned” judges sentence a man to hang, knowing it’s unlikely to happen. Where life imprisonment means that brutal murderers are let out after a number of years.
Compare any killer set free in recent years with a counterpart who committed no crime. You can’t help notice the former, fit, healthy, bursting with energy and hailed as a hero. While the latter has aged visibly, worn out with toil, taxes and threats of hurricanes. No, let the criminals stay out here with us and take their licks.
Finally, my beacon of hope this Christmas. Go to Ashton Hall, St Peter, Clarke’s Road, Worrell’s shop. For $10 you can get a CD of The Poetry Of Carmen Worrell 2011. Listen to the lady, a genuine Christian Bajan. I once suggested that with her powerful voice and clear diction, she must’ve been a headmistress.   
“Mr Hoad,” she told me, “I never even had the opportunity to go to secondary school.” Her Just Imagine puts us negative NATION columnists to shame. Thank you, Miss Worrell!  
• Richard Hoad is a farmer and social commentator.