Nothing but a rumour
A FEW DAYS AGO I was sitting in front of my smart TV via which I can watch and enjoy on big screen any of the thousands of movies and hundreds of TV channels now available free of cost on a variety of Internet sites.
Depending on your likes or dislikes you can enjoy from the likes of black and white Charlie Chaplin, action serials, quick draw westerns and anything else that thrilled among chinks in the Roxy, Plazas, Empire, Globe, Olympic and other cinemas of the day, right up to a yesterday’s releases.
My favourite movie genres are action and science fiction and I was deep into the new Transformers – Age of Extinction, which is enjoyable viewing despite the obvious fact that it had been recorded on release in a cinema with a handcam and uploaded as quickly as possible after the run of credits and the final END.
I had to watch the start on the diagonal because the person who recorded was not fully seated when the movie began and had pressed the record button without having the camera stable and matching the horizontal lay of the screen. When that condition was corrected I soon had to put up with two persons passing in front the camera and blocking out everything on screen until they were finally seated and, when they were, had to endure them cracking a few jokes before settling down to what was to be with Optimus Prime.
Eventually, both the video and the audio elements were good enough that I was able to settle back and be transfixed by one of Hollywood’s many modern-day miracles of film-making that make Charleston Heston’s Moses parting of the Red Sea in The Ten Commandments less impressive than most of what is enjoyed by my two-year-old grandson in his favourite picture.
In the midst of being transfixed by this motion picture production, my Digicel phone starting to ring. It was Jeff Browne, who is both a personal best friend and family pharmacist and I answered half-listening to what he was saying and half to what was happening on the screen. It was only when it hit my brain that he has said something about a stroke that every sound around me instantaneously gave way to that of his voice in my ear.
I felt my heart starting to beat out of chest as a prayer formed in my head as I hesitantly asked, him “Jeff, what are you telling me about a stroke?”
But to my surprise, his own just as hesitant response was pregnant with the same concern for somebody else’s predicament as I was feeling when he said slowly and almost mournfully, “Al, I am not telling you; I am asking you if it is true that you had a stroke.”
“Me?” I asked shocked and surprised. “Where did you get that from?”
“A man who knows that you and I are close just came into the pharmacy and asked me if it was true that Al Gilkes had a heart attack because that was the word going around town.”
It brought memories of Sparrow and the lyrics of his great calypso Sparrow Dead. For just as his reported death at the time was nothing but a rumour, I want anybody who might have also heard that I suffered a stroke that it was also nothing but a rumour.
Next thing, somebody will be putting it out that Al Gilkes dead too.