Bassy - Love Vine
October 15, 2004

Give me de ole time religion

Ah remember when ah celebrated my 40th Birthday my kids got me ah Card that said

“You know you’re over 40 when you help your children with their Home Work and when they go to school next day, and all the answers yuh helped with, wrong!” Ah know they were giving me ah hint because in those days ah uses to help them with they school work, so after that Card ah marched them all off to evening lessons. {{more}}Ah anxiously waited to see what they would come up with when ah hit the 50th mark, but like they forget and didn’t send me any Card. Was my 50th so ah remembered and ah made up a nice Card and posted it to me-self from ah secret add-mire-raw. Ah had ah lickle message nicely scribed on the Card that said: “ You are over 50 when you become real upset and think yoh child is Rude if you are speaking and s/he decides to choops his/her teeth.”

This whole topic of being “Over 50” came to mind last weekend, when the story with Is-real Bruise “Choops his Teeth” give de Come-red during an address, dominated the press and Radio talk shows. As ah child growing up 50 years ago, Choops-Teeth was ah sign ah disgust and resentment. When yuh and yuh peers arguing and one ah them talking foolishness and non-cents, ah Choops-Teeth was appropriate. On the other hand if yuh Mom or Dad or any adult foh that matter talking to yuh and yuh disapprove, do anything else but don’t ever think of Choops-Teeth. If yuh try that and yuh still had Teeth left to Choops after, consider yo-self lucky.


Choops Teeth was only one ah the many Cardinal Sins of ah Child. Ah simple thing like putting yoh hands in yuh pants pocket when an adult speaking to yuh was considered Rude and playing man. Now-ah-days ah parent will demand that the child looks him/her straight in the eyes, if yuh looking foh guilt. 50 years ago yuh dare not watch an adult straight in the eyes when yuh are being corrected, that was being defiant.

Now-ah-days children mashing down even they parents, passing everybody like they come from outer space. If yuh as ah child said good-morning to an adult and didn’t get an answer, yuh better repeat what yuh said loudly and mek sure that adult hears, otherwise when yuh get home, yuh will pay the penalty fuh missing yuh Manners.

As ah child if Mrs. John and Mrs. Smith got botheration, the children had no business in that, and were expected to greet the adults as usual with full respect; otherwise ah licking was sure. Doctor Mills was telling me that one ah the finest licking he got was foh eating in the street while all dressed up in his Sunday School clothes. I learn my place as a child when I call Mr. Rodney by his nickname “Pork” He turn right back, tek off his shoes and climb up the hog plum tree by Richmond Hill school wey I thought I was safe and buss one hard clout in the back ah me head and tell me “You christen me name Pork?”

Ah could’nt even think of choopsing teeth after that clout cause if Mr. Rodney did only report me to Granny, the real cut back-side was sure.

Body language was something yuh kept to yo-self. Things like Cut-Eye, Push-up Mouth, Shrug Shoulder, and Stiffen-up yoh Neck were forbidden. Mek sure when reprimanded and dismissed yoh don’t give any sign of Stamping or Barging Off. Yuh were going clean over board if yuh push back yuh buttocks give any body; or ah female shaking the hem ah they dress. Don’t ever hoist up yuh dress and expose yuh bottom, that was equivalent to “Sticking Up de Come-red Middle Finger!”


It is obvious that my friend Is-real Bruise is still ah Pull-it-tek-all Juvenile. He had to be born after 1960 and grew up in the period when Good Manners and Behave-yah was beginning to tek ah back seat and gave way to Back Chats and Rudeness. But good cents should have kept him in check, being ever mindful of his responsible role as his Party Secretary, representing the Owe-Position on this august and esteemed Committee. I am amused that ah Committee set up to prepare a New Constitution foh SVG that has been meeting foh almost two years, traveling all over the World getting input from Vincentians where-ever; and after listing every possible clause that will provide foh ah more mannerly and respectful Society, is it not eye-run-ache that at the penultimate session, ah member of the Committee decides to prove with one piece ah body language, that yuh could change the Constitution every day, that ain’t mean ah thing, until we can find ah way to change the attitude ah the people..

Lie Za is all NDP and loves Is-real Bruise. She saying Is-real remind she of Campbell and de Come-red when they were aspiring foh pull-it-tek-all office. She say in their time, if Cato was at the Podium pull-it-tek-in, they would ah Choops dey Teeth too and walk out! So ah ask her what she think of Is-real when PR apologized foh the Choops-Teeth and Is-real told Campbell to speak foh himself. She say Is-real right, PR must be think Is-real lef he Mouth in he Momma!

Yuh see me, ah thank God that ah grow up in the 50’s with Ole People who believed in and practised De Ole Time Religion which emphasized good manners, respect and value for human life. ! And with that lickle bit, is gone ah gone again.

One Love Bassy.