You think it’s rough in your neck of the woods? Then take comfort, fellow victimized citizen. Things could be a whole lot worse. And you don’t have to remind me about the escalating job lay-offs that Robert Lewis says are par for the course. If you are a hotel worker, that is. Or a police officer. Or a local manufacturer, a fireman and so on.
It seems the only people who never get laid off are government ministers and their NICE satellites. But then you can’t get laid off from work if you never work anyway, right? Oh, and let’s not get into the threatened increases in the price of your daily bread. We remember only too well those not so bitter days when the Lord had nothing better to do with his time but answer prayers. You simply had to say “give us this day . . .” and voila, penapaniere. Bread in your basket!
Let’s not dwell on life-saving medicines that you couldn’t get even if you had the other kind of bread—which is scarcer than scarce. As for the weekly closures up and down the Rock of Sages, not to mention our once fair city center that more and more is turning into a Choc Cemetery lookalike. Hey, the less said about such killer depressants the better for our mental health.
And speaking of consecrated ground: there’s a rumor currently making the rounds that our churches will soon be conducting business behind closed doors, and then locking up, like other houses of commerce, until it’s time to let in the next set of better-days-are-coming believers. Why the new policy? It seems too many recently homeless citizens are hell-bent on turning God’s house into their own pad, now that there’s no room left at the Jeremie Street inns, formerly police and fire stations.
They say it’s getting over-crowded and downright dangerous even in Derek Walcott Square! By the way, remember when our city rats were the size of fat cats? Not anymore. Either the leptospirosis dispensers have voluntarily taken the advice of health minister Alvina (‘You are what you eat!’) Reynolds and now consume only fat-free garbage, yes, that, or that chicken bones are no more as plentiful as once they were. These days even our burial grounds are rat free!
Sounds scary, right? Here’s my advice: take heart and count your blessings. What blessings? For one, we still have Bordelais. Busting at its seams it may be, but the center continues to serve free meals, free dope, free relief from the usual effects of enforced celibacy, and a host of other perks that nowadays are close to nonexistent on the outside. Sex with virgins, for instance. Soon you’ll have to leave this world to get some—on a one-way ticket, besides.
Yes, indeed, things could be a whole lot worse. Consider the bolom’s predicament. Once upon a time, with tons of pilfered food and drink stored away, local boloms could spend all day scarfing and snoozing in their underground hideaways. Which is why they were never sighted before 2 o’clock in the morning, and only by guys full of the spirit of St. Lucia. Not anymore. As desperate as they are these days, the starving miniature demons have taken to eating each other. Which not only explains the daylight sightings but also their missing arms, ears and other not so vital organs. Lord alone knows what’ll happen when those five percent salary cuts start to bite!
—– Rick Wayne