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THE LOWDOWN: Had a good one!

Richard Hoad, [email protected]

THE LOWDOWN: Had a good one!

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CHRISTIANS, rejoice! Jesus not only saves, He delivers. Christmas is the best season ever, bar none. And it’s not only the birth of the Christ Child, the welcome commercial activity, the gifts, the food, the feeling of peace and joy, the greetings, the Ferrero Rocher chocolates…

Got to mention them. This lady’s prize-winning dogs drink our goat’s milk. Last year Spencer sent us a box of Ferrero Rochers. Coco got jealous. So this year both dogs sent us each a box.

Conkies flowed this time around. Pork from Fab, livers from Ronald. Pepperpot from my usual Guyanese lady friend. And don’t talk about Christmas lunch at Mouse and Sophie. Lord have mercy! Bajan Christmas food excelleths all others. Mind you, when I say lunch at Mouse and Sophie, I’m talking about location, not who cooked the bittles. Although, in fairness, Josh did go to collect the ham.

My wife was so into the spirit of things, (and the ponche-de-crème), that, come leaving time, she grabbed and squeezed a tall, handsome fellow’s butt while moaning: “I’m ready whenever you are.” Then, seeing me, she explained that she mistook his shirt for mine.

I didn’t score big in the gifts department. My daughter gave me a shirt about eight sizes too small, promised to exhange it, but then phoned to say it fitted her husband perfectly so, tough luck.

Talking about gifts, I want Adriel to extend the death penalty to anyone giving children toys that make noises, especially dinosaurs. All Christmas Day, these two hideous swamp creatures were meandering malevolently through the house belting out hideous swamp grunts. Thank God for dead batteries.

Veoma wanted to give me a time machine to put me back into a world of chickens and goats. Don’t worry, Vee, I’m already there. Only thing missing is a nice donkey but every time I contact St Vincent about a jackass, they want to send me some old randy politician.

Vee, you ever heard Bert Kaempfert’s trumpet man do Wonderland by Night or checked the words “Stars hang suspended, above a floating yellow moon; two hearts were blended, while angels sang a lover’s tune”?

Well, come down some night (bring Archiebull as chaperone) and I’ll show you one better: a spectacle vouchsafed only to we goat farmers. There are often no man-made lights visible in the hills when we go searching for the goats, only a dazzling blanket of stars overhead. Then you aim the spotlight and another miracle appears. Hundreds (literally) of brilliant lights clustered together, looking everything like earth-bound stars. These are the goats’ eyes reflecting back at you. God’s special gift to we lonely goatherds.

I was challenged (and scared) to be sharing a page with Ms Ali but somehow readers like the idea of a young unspoilt debutante trapped between the sheets (newspaper sheets) with a dirty old man.

Last week subeditor David Harding sent my column for checking and included Veoma’s picture at the bottom. A bad mistake for I fell asleep and dreamed. And, as often, I dreamt in calypso:

“I dream I stop by Veoma, Christmas greetings to bring; she perched on top of a barstool, in a li’l nippy housecoat thing. I racking back in the settee whereon she put me to sat; and next thing I couldn’t believe my eyes – Veoma whax the cat.

(Chorus) “Why, why, why, Veoma, why yuh whax the cat? Puss is your little faithful friend, why yuh treat her like that? She cuddles up, she’s there for you, at night she keeps you warm; whuh yuh goin’ do if a tornado come through, or the roof blow ’way in a storm?

“I got a li’l dog called Hardy, he thinks all life is a game; he don’t bark nor bite, nor even fight, won’t live up to his name. Many times when I say ‘Attack!’ he lies right there like a log; but no matter how he may let me down, I would never whax my dog.

(Chorus) “So why, why, why, Veoma? Now poor Puss must be sore; even if she behaving bad, please don’t do it no more. She is still your best defence against a micey or big boar rat; think of the good times you’ve had together, and next time don’t whax the cat.”

Happy New Year!

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