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GAL FRIDAY: Singing economist to the rescue


VEOMA ALI

GAL FRIDAY: Singing economist to the rescue

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CLYDE MASCOLL could sing. I don’t mean like the cat-howling-in-pain karaoke kinda crooning, you know . . . I mean, the man could really sing! Put him on the stage with Placido Domingo or one of them fellas and he could hold his own.

Of course, you must have heard by now about Harold Hoyte’s new book, Political Warriors. Well, at the launch, Dr Mascoll graced the audience with his vivacious vocals. I mean, this man is a virtuoso, venturing to even higher notes at the end of our National Anthem, which traditionally ends on a lower pitch.

And after the singing was the signing. Harold Hoyte’s night was full, with a line bobbing and weaving among the bobs and weaves at the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination. But in between the vocalist and the journalist there were the politicians . . . and though it was an evening of warriors, it was not one of warfare. Senator Dr Esther Byer and Dale Marshall shared the same stage, reading from page after page of the same book.

Minister Ronald Jones uttered the prayer like a minister of the church; and he prayed for all of us – Hoadie, Harold, Coot, Connell… all the writers on the island. And the vote of thanks was lovingly delivered by MP for St Thomas, Cynthia Forde.

Perfect book launch

From a PR perspective, it was the perfectly executed book launch.

Yesterday’s lunch was rice and peas with flying fish and a “slight” salad. I use the word “slight” because it was less than a handful of greens; and the server was looking at me with bad eye. Not a googly eye, but like a cut eye; you understand? I said, “Please, sir, may I have some more?” in my most impressive Oliver Twist impression, but he was unmovable. I did not get more than said handful of salad.

Bad feels

I had bad feels. The line was so long, that by the time I got to the table I was trembling. You know when you so hungry you can’t even eat? Well, that was me yesterday. So, I asked for a cup of tea. Watered down, in a beer mug, tea came by server, still cutting eye. (Reader, I have no clue why the man was regarding me with such scorn, but I was more focused on the tea at this point). “May I have an extra tea bag, please?”

“Four dollars.”

“Pardon?”

“You got to pay four dollars, ’cos is like you gettin’ aneddah tea free.”

And then – this was my hero for the day – he swooped in. Let’s just say I was most impressed with this economist of sorts, who interjected, “There is no extra mug, no extra water, no extra sugar and no extra heat, so this young lady should not have to pay the full sum of four dollars.”

Tea bag was thrown on to table forthwith.

Bad feels dissipated and I thanked the kind economist. And then – for no reason whatsoever – he began to sing. Other than the “economist” part, let’s just say . . . he was no Clyde Mascoll.

Veoma Ali is an author, broadcaster, advertising exec and most important,a karaoke lover.

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