MAVIS BECKLES: Evahbody is a big man
You notice dat nowadays where evah you go, ya does hear somebody calling somebody big man?
Wha’ I cahn understand it, though. The smallest body does be calling another small body like demselves “big man” and the biggest body does be calling the smallest body “big man”.
Look, I ain’t know where it come from but it coming outta evabody mout, from the smallest tuh the biggest.
I could only think dat it might have come off the block and the boys use it when duh want tuh sound big and tough. But I gine tell ya: it pon evahbody lips suh much dat all sorts o’ people does be calling any and evahbody “big man”; even a woman is a “big man”.
It ain’t got nutten tuh do wid the size nor the height, the shape nor the very gender, ya is a “big man”.
Ya could be in a wheelchair or in a pram, ya getting called “big man”. You could be five or fifty, duh calling ya “big man” and even though duh could see you wearing lipstick, walking in dem flimsy cardboard slippers and got two big-able boobs in front o’ ya, duh still calling ya “big man”. It is something else in trute.
Now, fuh example, look at a man like Mac Fingall. Duh ain’t nuh way dat anybody should call he “big man”. I would have tuh call he “tall man”, “lanky man” or “bony man” but “big man” doan come in there at all.
Another body is Stephen Lashley, the Minister o’ Culture. Now, tell me honestly, how anybody in duh right mind could think ’bout calling he “big man”? I would think dat dem would call he “li’l man”, “small man”, “fine man”, “short man” or even “talkative man” but not “big man”, ting! Dat is a insult tuh the man.
One o’ my brothers is a preacher and the other day he was in a heated discussion wid a young fella who clearly did not want tuh hear what he was saying, so he start tuh get vex wid my brother who is a short man wid a big voice and attitude and hear the boy: “Leh muh tell ya something now, big man, hear this . . . ting”.
I had tuh do a double-take tuh see who he was talking tuh. He clearly had tuh be seeing somebody else cause I didn’t see nuh big man out there.
I does get a laugh outta watching and listen tuh people, children especially, and the other day I was watching some li’l boys nuh older than five or six years old playing cricket.
Well, the bowler and the batsman start tuh quarrel because the batsman say he ain’t out because the wind blow down the piece o’ galvanise stumps and the bowler say dat he telling lies and dat he tiefing.
Well, who tell he say so? The batsman get vex and holler, “Wha’, big man, you ain’t bowling nutten. If the stumps didn’t fall down, big man, you won’t get me out. You cahn bowl, big man.”
Well you would know dat the water was running outta my eyes ‘cause I couldn’t hold back from brekking down laughing. Look, first of all it was the way dem was arguing wid some o’ the others joining in and then dem is barely six years or so years old and calling one another big man.
But the best is this: the other day a few people, including two women, was by the shop talking ’bout all sorts o’ things dat happening ’bout here when all of a sudden the conversation turn tuh politics, the politicians and the tones changed. Well, it wasn’t light-hearted and funny nuh more. Some people start tuh get defensive and vex and the yardfowlism kick in.
Next thing ya know, one o’ the men get hot, look the woman full in she face and holler, “Listen tuh this, big man” Well who tell he say dat? The woman get vex as France and ask he who the hell he calling “big man”, if she look like a man tuh he, far less a big wun?
Next thing ya know the argument did done and the man start tuh apologise and say, “Sorry, I din mean it so, man. It is just a expression, man.”
He just didn’t know how tuh stop saying “man” and the woman refuse tuh leh he touch she.
Look, I ain’t know who is the body is dat come up wid this “big man” ting but um stick on pon evahbody mout.
• Mavis Beckles was born and raised in The Orleans. She has an opinion on everything.