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GAL FRIDAY: A listener’s woe


VEOMA ALI

GAL FRIDAY: A listener’s woe

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I WAS having withdrawal symptoms while making a withdrawal at First Citizens Bank. I didn’t have a Coke in three days and approximately four hours. You may be dieting for the holidays, too; just like Monique Archer and all the other slim folks who really don’t need to lose weight.

But you see me, I really need to forfeit some of the flab and pounds that I’ve packed on in the last two years. I mean, it’s so bad that I overheard Vic Fernandes talking on the phone. Forgive me for eavesdropping, but his end of the convo went like this: “Well, she’s okay but having a real hard time; panting and puffing after climbing up the stairs.”

Now, reader, we had just arrived at Courts to have a pow-wow with Peter Ellis. You ever climbed the stairs at Courts in Bridgetown? Well, Peter’s office is on the top floor!

So the assumption was that Vic was telling the other person on the line that I had put on so much weight that I couldn’t get up the stairs like before. I was blue vex. And, by the way, you ever wondered why we say “blue vex”? Why not red or black, or brown vex? And it may be that I was missing the Coke and couldn’t think clearly. But I was vex and ready to walk out like a dentist without patients. And my patience was wearing thin.

I was on my guard.

After the meeting, this was me: “If you have to comment on my weight, tell me and not other people please,” I snapped. Vic looked concerned, since I could be a serious snapper when I ready.

We went to a lunch meeting. Imagine – this man knows I was off the Coke up until that point – but he still ordering a cold, sleek, luscious libation. A Coca-Cola. While he went to the washroom, I slyly emptied two packets of salt into the Coke. It hurt me to do this, since I am not one to adulterate the drink in any form or fashion; not even with a tinge of Mount Gay or anything so. But the salt was sweet revenge.

Or so I thought.

Upon returning, there was some jovial conversation as the client had arrived. And then came the moment of maleficence. As quickly as Coke was sipped, it was spat . . . and onto the client, to boot. Well, Vic got the boot, as the client had to go home and the deal wasn’t sealed.

It is only then that he decided to ask me about the comment on the weight.

“You telling people I so fat that I can’t climb stairs?!? That is why I put salt in your Coke!”

Well, reader, I didn’t feel so shame in a while. Vic explained to me that his dog was getting up in years and could no longer go up the stairs; and that the old dog had trouble breathing.

Apparently, I flattered myself by feeling that the conversation was about me. It was, however, about a poor dog. Pouring a new glass of Coke, I apologised and offered a fresh drink. I had one too.

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

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