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THE LOWDOWN: Dickie, Oma save the world


Richard Hoad

THE LOWDOWN: Dickie, Oma save the world

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You don’t hear about him nowadays. They won’t name a fowl cock after him. Yet there was a time when the mere mention of Burton Hinds made big men tremble.
Hinds was editor of the Truth newspaper and with his trademark “I am minding my business but I would like to know . . .”. He exposed infelicities in Government departments far more effectively than any Auditor General’s Report or Public
Accounts Committee. At the Central Livestock Station where I worked, a fellow wouldn’t lift an egg for fear of appearing in the Truth.
We need a Burton Hinds to ask today’s uncomfortable questions. Like: if Emergency Management and Coastal Zone are so concerned about earthquakes and tsunamis, how come they don’t vehemently protest the removal of the Walkers sand dunes and Greenland clay hills which are the only effective natural protection for this most vulnerable part of our island?
Or, are the marijuana legalising proponents aware that Colorado authorities now have a major problem keeping children away from marijuana-laced “Get Happy” brownies and “Mountain High” lollipops? And that there is no ready test for marijuana-induced driver impairment as there is for alcohol?
Or, is the Attorney General serious that only those who kill a “juror, lawyer, prosecutor or judge” should face the death penalty? Are farmers, homeowners, housewives, policemen or businessmen not important enough to rate equal justice?
Recently, my brother-in-law Paddy and other visiting Canadians did an in-depth survey of Bush Hill’s nocturnal attractions. They will no doubt report in due course. Shouldn’t we columnists also do hands-on investigations?
For instance, Veoma took a look last week at “$50 for three hours romantic getaway rooms for rent”. Minister Jones’ call for more babies will require that we emphasise laying-ons rather than laying-offs. And surely $50 rooms will play their part.
Which got me thinking that maybe Veoma and I should check out such rooms from a hygiene and romantic point of view. Professionally, of course, with no hanky-panky involved.
Whereupon I fell into a deep sleep. And dreamed how “Dickie and Oma saved the world”:
Never before had I been summoned to an editor’s meeting. Already there with Carol was a young lady (Rihanna? Halle Berry? I never recognise people) and a gentleman (Johnny Depp? Sanka Price?)
“Hello, Richard”, said Carol, “meet Veoma Ali and President Obama.”
Obama explained. An evil consortium of neo-liberal, Bolshevik, Bolivarian, boar-joysies and Barbados-based malcontents was bent on taking over the world.
“Their first strategy is destabilisation. This ranges from diverting Malaysian Flight MH370 to destroying Sir Everton Weekes’ bust.
“We have evidence their next hits will be revealed at a meeting tonight at a room rental facility in Barbados. This is where you and Veoma come in. We need you to smuggle in and operate sensitive recording equipment. Needless to say, if caught you will be killed.”
Carol chipped in here: “Lowdown, they can monitor cellphones and such like. So we will rig your flute with a special transmitter. The tunes you play must guide us as to what is going on. By the way, your names for this mission will be Dickie Lowe and Oma Vali. Good luck!”
Oma drove. I figured “A69” might give the wrong impression. Big plantation house somewhere in the St George Valley. I piped Peace in the Valley to show all was well. And then Behind Closed Doors and In a Long White Room to let on we were in business.
Oma worked the headphones. Piece of cake, I thought. Until I went to the bathroom and came back to find her under the sheet. “Quick, Dickie”, she whispered, “they suspect us and are sending someone to check. Take off your clothes and get under here. I’m already naked. We’ve got to pretend . . .”
I stripped and dove.
“Wow, Lowdown,” she exclaimed, “they lied about white men.” “Let it go, woman, you’re holding my flute.” “Well, play something to alert headquarters”.
I fluted Bag’s Something’s Happening and Come To Me Softly.   
They didn’t. They came with sirens screaming. Oma stood watching from the window. “The crooks have fled. We have the tape to foil them. The world is saved.”
“Okay”, I ventured, “so can we put back on some clothes now?”
Richard Hoad is a farmer and social commentator. Email [email protected]

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