During the past weeks I decided to focus on a few things that were important to the development of the nation. These issues were wide-ranging, but certainly not controversial. Some people found them mundane because these were things that they had been encountering almost every day and they simply wanted to escape, even briefly.
With that knowledge I have decided to provide that escape. In the first instance, some people do not know just how lucky they are. We walk the streets and we see affluence, especially at this time when we tend to spend even what we do not have.
There is this guy who is not known to work so that at the end of a week or a month he would uplift a salary. However, there he was planning to attend some show at the Providence Stadium. As fate would have it there was this woman boasting to her friends that she too was heading to the show. I didn’t know the woman but people did.
It turned out that the man whom I heard planning for the show was known to consort with this woman. She was planning to go at the expense of the man. All I could say was that I hope that I am not one of his victims. In any case, if he attacks me the money he will get will barely get him into the ground. The woman would have to seek her own devices to get the clothes these women decide that they must wear once they are going out.
And that is an interesting thing. Women, more often than not, would not be caught dead in public wearing the same outfit twice. I am left to wonder what they do with the outfit they wore the last time. Surely they do not give them away.
Even the entertainment spotters focus on what women wear. I was informed that Mrs. Obama wore a certain dress on four occasions. Now what should she wear? It’s her dress and she surely bought it to wear whenever she pleased.
In Guyana, even where I work, I hear women saying that they have to buy this shoe and that skirt and this top just to go to a show that is unlikely to last more than a few hours. I have also seen some weird gear. On a few occasions I happened to see a three-hundred-pound woman decked out in something that would look good on a woman weighing one hundred pounds.
Needless to say, the spectacle is always something to behold. Like the time this night club on Sheriff Street staged a back-to-school party. There were women decked out like schoolgirls,but these same women hated to be seen in a school uniform when it was their time to go to school. Such was their resentment that they failed to learn anything. Now years later, there they were pretending to be schoolgirls.
In the party, these women danced as no schoolgirl did in my day, although I hear these days schoolgirls would put some experienced streetwalkers to shame.
But such happenings are only part of the season. There are the decorations and the preparations. I am not going to talk about the days when varnish was king and when Mansion Floor Polish was a must in every home. In fact, I don’t even know if Mansion still exists.
I remember the woman who had this floor polish that had gone hard because it was left open somehow. Getting polish soft was no hard job; all it took was some kerosene and a bit of heat. Well this woman knew just what to do except to regulate the amount of heat. She placed the tin with a combination of polish and kerosene on the fire.
When the mixture burst into flame she made the mistake of knocking the tin to the floor—the very floor that she had planned to polish. The fire was most destructive. It destroyed everything, right down to the lights that she had strung up just moments before.
Such disasters were not rare. Many of them occurred during the cooking. I had a narrow escape when my pepper pot was burnt to cinder. I was using what is known as a Chinese stove back then, so when I thought that I had blown it out I had not. There is no smell like really burnt pepper pot. That smell remained in the house for weeks.
All I can do is to warn those who love to cook close to midnight—that is when some people like to do their baking and roasting—keep your eyes open. I also know about taking an alcohol-induced nap while cooking.
And of course there will be the less fortunate who would be happy with anything. It is said that poor people are the happiest people in the world because they always have a lot to smile about. They smile when they get anything that they did not have and they smile when others get.
These days, toys are so cheap that the children of the poor do not need to make home-made toys. My mother once made dolls for my sisters. How those girls could play with those things is beyond imagination. But then again, I see the cartoon characters and realize that the weirder they are the more the children love them.
Pres. Ali putting water meters on the citizens in Berbice, and not meters on Exxon oil pumps.
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