MONDAY GONE AH got ah call from Arabesque Shippers saying dat my barrel has arrived at de Customs. By now dey all know dat I am ah regular, every year my ever faithful boy-days, village buddy, Dr David Joyette sends me ah Christmas Barrel.
As youths we did ah lot ah pardonable missshiff, night and day. He remembers every detail, like de time dey sent us lickle youths to town wid ah gallon bottle each, to buy Gonsalves Black Wine. We got carried away and tempted by de variety and smell of delicious wines, de attendant decided to set-us-up. He tempted us to ah glass ah Black Wine each, needless to say, by de time we reached half-way home under de mahogany trees, we complained bout feeling tired and sleepy, not knowing dat was drunk we drunk, sat down and fell asleep; when we woke up one ah de gallon bottles ah wine gone. Part of our Boy Days..
He subsequently left foh de cold to complete his eddy-care-shun, build ah lovely family and whatever else was available. He is ah Die-us-poorian who remembers de tuff life he had as ah kid, and over the last ten years has donated thousands of school books to several secondary schools, including de Community College in SVG. In my own case, every Christmas he sends me ah Barrel ah foodstuff. Clearly he does not shop regularly, but in dat Barrel, he puts ah lickle ah everything, and nuff for me to sub-barrel ah couple packages wid ah lickle rice, flour, corn meal, cooking oil and so on foh a few of his surviving peers, plus ah lickle pocket change.
Ah does dread to go to Customs at Christmas to clear ah barrell. Is ah whole day’s wuk.
Ah think de number ah barrels last year was over 30, 000; but dis year it was ah pleasant surprise, one hour and ah was back home wid me barrell.
When ah asked ah Customs Officer way going on, he reminded me dat immediately after de eruption de Christmas barrels came. Den he encouraged me to check de side-walks and ah did. Town jam-up under dem Galleries along Back, Middle and Bay, beginning at Melville Street by de Salvation Army, over to Heritage Square. Ah would say there are at least 450 Side-walk Vendors, selling just about everything available in de main stores. Daily dey’s about twice as many vendors as buyers. For these Vendor’s sake ah hope dey’s enuff money around to buy these excesses.
Greed seems to be popping it’s ugly head.
During de erupt-shun ah lot ah barrels of stuff came: NEMO /Go-venommint got barrels, Individual families got barrels, Organ-I-say-shun surfaced from nowhere and got barrels, Service Clubs, Churches all got barrels.
Was mass confusion, Dey was even discrimination as to which Organ-I-sayshuns are reputable and qualified to receive barrels. It appears dat what is happening now is dat distribution was not properly and equitably done .and some ah these Organ-Isay- shuns and individuals would have helped demselves and friends. Notice ah kept politics out ah de discussion. Deys ah faithful saying: “Freely receive Freely give;” otherwise it wouid be “Crave All lose All!” And wid dat is gone ah gone again
One Love Bassy
Bassy Alexander is a land surveyor, folklorist and social commentator.