Not without a pre-nup, Mama Mia
Take 1: Wild Coot versus Homer Pigeon. We final year Bajans flew home at Easter 1965 to declare that we would soon be back to serve our country.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, apologized. There are no openings, he told us, try to get a job overseas.
I went home to crunch numbers. Say $10 000? No, maybe $100 000? No, how about $1 million? If offered $1 million a day, would I consider working outside of Barbados?
Trinidad was a great place but it wasn’t “home”. Besides, in four years there I hadn’t got a single piece of consideration . . . Anywhere else?
No way! There just isn’t enough money in the world to tempt me away from Barbados. I haven’t left these shores since 1970 and have no intention of ever so doing again.
To each his own. The Wild Coot has “roamed every island in the Caribbean” and, judging from his diary (which I fear has corrupted my young friend David Straughn), has reaped a cornucopia of consideration. The Homer Pigeon can’t philander.
But, Coot, fear not that the Myrie madness will stroke me yet again. If Barbados is to become a CARICOM parish (St Barb?), I will depart mea sponte.
Take 2: The Caribbean and I. A few days before crop began the pan boilers would arrive from Guyana. And what joy at reunion with these icons of my youth! Tales of a vast land.
UWI in Trinidad, students from all over. Friendships lasting to this day. Local Trinis gave me royal treatment.
In 1970 I founded (and ran for 40 years) Pan Carib Enterprises (can you get more Caribbean?), initially as agents for Thermoplastics (Jamaica) Ltd.
I have played parang music for many years in Guataka, with members from Trinidad, Grenada,
St Kitts, Guyana, Montserrat, Venezuela. The fare at Guataka’s lime last Sunday included Grenada oil-down, Jamaica ackee and salt-fish, some Spanish things from Melza and delicious Sambrano “Trini-style” barbecued spare ribs.
“Trini-style”, Michelle explained, means you bring the prepared spare-ribs to the party house and cook them in the oven there, thereby saving your own gas.
Finally, I have given full support to three teams from Trinidad and one from Jamaica all hoping to get into goat milk production. Last Saturday a lady putting together a goat milk project for Tobago visited and told me how goats are a top priority for the Trinidad government.
Ironic, isn’t it, that my government is bent on underselling local farmers while the rest of the Caribbean is hustling to catch up with us!
Take 3: The CARICOM and I. While therefore my commitment to the Caribbean cannot be questioned, I hate CARICOM with a vengeance.
It is the old story of a “live-wid” versus marriage since the law was changed. Live-wids stay together because they want to. Marriage is now about rights, entitlements and legal issues with no room left for love and spontaneity.
CARICOM is Caribbean regimented by bureaucracy, bungled by politicians. We are being forced to do what we have done freely for centuries. The Federation split us apart and CARICOM will do the same. Nor is it necessary for trade or movement of workers.
Mia Mottley said recently she understands how people feel in a powerless situation. That is exactly what CARICOM creates. The Myrie ruling has sparked bitterness. And bitter people lash out.
Take 4: the Bees and I. This column has previously suggested that a Mia “Thatcher” Mottley be given powers to take us out of this economic mess. She could probably do it.
But I have no BLP assurance that Greenland landfill won’t be opened; Nelson moved; a republic shoved down our throats; our sovereignty and Independence further sacrificed on the CARICOM altar with maybe Desi Bouterse as our Prime Minister.
We originally brought in mongooses to control rats. They turned to eating chickens instead. African bees were introduced to improve yields of honey. They turned to killing humans. We should have insisted on pre-nup agreements beforehand.
Sometimes the cure can be worse than the disease, the fire hotter than the frying pan . . .
Speaking of which, check out the Pride of Barbados Optimist Club’s barbecue, fish cakes and karaoke tomorrow, October 26, at the Fitts Village Esplanade, 6 to10 p.m. Proceeds going to help St Ambrose Primary School.