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THE LOWDOWN: Tom bend, hang dick

Richard Hoad, [email protected]

THE LOWDOWN: Tom bend, hang dick

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DON’T TALK about licks. I feel like a sno-cone. Or the Prime Minister. He’s blamed for everything from Sargassum to water pressure. After the recent flood, lots of Internet sympathy flowed from Barbados to Dominica. After he went down to look, so they say, all the sympathy traffic was in the other direction.

My boy Harry got licks too. Wild Coot, they told him, “you will burn in hell.” I thought that was rough. Until Roger WorrelI responded to my comment about execution by hanging being painless. Suggested he: “If so, Lowdown, why don’t you opt for it? Less pain than cancer, heart attack or a stroke – one of which is likely to take you out”.

Ouch! The man wants poor Dick to hang himself. Please note that “execution by hanging” isn’t stepping off a chair. It’s a scientific process involving a calculated drop which snaps the spinal cord. But thanks for the suggestion, Roge.

Then Frank Morris hit me with a big headline: “Monkeys no joke, Hoad!” No joke? Why then do we say, “as much fun as a barrel of monkeys”?

Okay, let’s be frank, Frank. Monkeys are a major challenge to agriculture. We get nothing from our orchard. One big boar monkey, Herbert, even comes to borrow a skillet and li’l lard oil when he’s picked my breadfruits.

In similar vein, one day some dreadlocked fellows collected about eight bags of husked nuts from my coconut trees. I asked them to leave the few trees next to my house because I sold the nuts to a small bakery. With much knife-waving and shouting, they told me that my farm was their Father’s land. And anything they wanted from it, they were taking.

Since then vendors pick all the nuts, sometimes a truck-load, seldom ask permission, almost never offer us any. I don’t shoot the monkeys. I don’t mess with the coconut-takers.

You see, Frank, today we live in a world of no solutions. There are no solutions to ISIS, to refugees. None to our paralysed, non-functioning justice system, child abuse, gun violence, daily murders, ZR madness, stray dogs killing our livestock, praedial larceny, or monkeys. None. And if you don’t joke away the frustration, you may find yourself relishing the Roger route.

You suggest mass culling. Beware! Animal rights activists are powerful. They oppose culling. Don’t be surprised to see worldwide headlines: “Monkey holocaust!” With pictures of cute Bajan monkeys in cages “awaiting execution”. And calls to boycott our tourism. Worse yet, tourists love our monkeys.

So, is there any good news? Well, at least the consolation that not only we Bajans are suffering. Several Jamaicans apparently launched a “tirade of vitriol” because their government gave US$100 000 (the same as little Barbados) to flood-ravaged Dominica. Typical comment: “It’s a gud look, but wha happen to some place in you country wha want wata, light, road, and some people wah nuh live no weh, ah bwoy, smh, politicians”.

Was it Jamaican Shanique Myrie who ridiculed Bajans living in “board houses with zinc fences”? Wha ’appen, she nah does visit dem Jamaica places?

Real good news: after the Sargassum, fellows are catching endless fish in my area. My grandson and his father bagged 40-odd one day. Some catch a hundred. Fish-frying is now a frequent evening delight – beardies, jacks, fresh seasoning from our garden.

We had a great time at Ocean Park last Sunday. The resident marine biologist took time out to teach us tons about keeping fish in tanks. They also can supply all the equipment you need. My grandson keeps tilapia and a koi. I’m hoping to do a small aquaponics set-up.

Granddaughter Haillie is coaching me to whip and nae nae a la Veoma.

My brother-in-law in Canada applied for a credit card only to be told he was classified as dead. Apparently some young lady reported this after a lacklustre performance. Meanwhile, Sagicor now says I must prove I’m alive or they will stop my pension. Lord a’ mercy!

Finally, what’s in a name? The new Aussie PM is all for gay marriage. He’s Mr Turnbull. No comment. This week we bought a ram goat from a guy in Tom Bend Road, Ashton Hall. And named him accordingly. My wife isn’t happy. “Tom Bend”, she says, “no good for mating”!

Hang in there!

Richard Hoad is a farmer and social commentator. Email [email protected]

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