THE LOWDOWN – Crevice tool for safety
I’m not one for household appliances. No washing machine, dryer, dishwasher, vacuum. I figure they’re functions of a wife. And if you go to the trouble of marrying one, you may as well get the most out of her.
Yet last week I bought a brand new vacuum cleaner. It was one of my most brilliant moves. We’ve always been plagued with sandflies. They attack your very eyelids before you can wake up. Eat you raw. Repellants are of little use.
But I read that they like dead skin, hair and dust. Hence the vacuum, and Boom! Miracle time! No more sandflies! It also works for moths, Jack Spaniard wasps over the bed, shedding female cats and mother-in-law flatulence when we have guests . . . .
Besides, as salesman Joe explained (Joe is a young English Brad Pitt lookalike, only better looking and pure muscle), it has a “crevice tool” attachment for those hard-to-reach areas. Trust me, friends, if you don’t have a good crevice tool, you ain’t living.
Immigration could save all that Jamaican hassle with one of these. Mine is just under eight inches long.
Today, as we get into the so-called “hurricane season”, I want to be your crevice tool, going places where the heavies won’t go. This is going to bring me in conflict with the experts but, hell, it’s just another view.
If you don’t like it, there is a much more popular word for a crevice tool. Feel free to call me one of them.
First, the Santapee Factor. I walk my field every night in the dark in slippers. While spotlighting for snails recently, I discovered there are many santapees. Yikes, I thought. But wait, I don’t get stung.
Similarly, many budding weather systems kick up every year but, because of our location, most pass Barbados harmlessly. Don’t let them overstate our risk.
Secondly, “experts predict 17 storms, nine hurricanes and five major events”. That is balls. Computer data can suggest above-average storm activity in any particular year. Nothing more. They can’t forecast numbers or where the systems will go.
Thirdly, they want us to be ready “24/7”. TV and radio ads at this time are designed to spread panic and fear. They think panic will lead to preparation. It is a sad mistake.
The mammalian body faces danger by releasing adrenalin into the bloodstream, increasing heart rate, making you ready for fight or flight. It cannot be sustained for six months on end. And attempts to do so will have crippling effects on health.
Fourthly, hurricane straps and such like. Your car, my hay baler, your house electrical system all have devices which self-destruct to avoid major damage. Call them fuses, circuit breakers, breaking bolts.
We are being told to build houses with no such protection. When, for instance, your roof was put on with drive nails, the sheets would often blow away in a hurricane, leaving the structure intact. Sheets can be easily replaced.
If you screw down the sheets, the roof beams can be ripped asunder. And so on. It is dangerous nonsense to suggest that the average Bajan house equipped with hurricane straps is somewhere to weather a hurricane.
Fifthly, beware insurance. Insurance is a no-win game. My Tomas experience left me wee-weed off and wishing I could borrow Rihanna’s gun to put another man down.
My friend Mr B pays no insurance for his lovely bungalow. He puts aside money each year instead. Like me, he would rather lose all than feel he’s been ripped off, as most insured claimants do. The choice is yours.
Peoples, we need a level-headed, mature approach to hurricane preparedness. Tell the powers that be to fix our radar. Stop the scare tactics which aren’t working. And do a realistic assessment of houses and buildings.
Meanwhile, we should make plans to be somewhere secure if a hurricane comes. Better yet, if your crevice tool is working, find thee a crevice. And don’t worry!
Richard Hoad is a farmer and social commentator. Email [email protected]