More proof that you can’t believe politicians even when they speak the truth: On Thursday, the big news was that the government had at last decided to present something resembling evidence it was not nearly as out to lunch on the deadly matter of Ebola as most of us had earlier believed, not without cause.
A somewhat zombie-like model in an Ebola-resistant ensemble turned the House chamber into a runway, for the benefit of government ministers, the opposition, invited guests and other unemployed citizens with nothing better to do. Presumably, many also took in the spectacle, or a few minutes of it, via NTN.
All in all it seemed a pretty happy affair, considering the grim news that Ebola continues to have its murderous way—aided and abetted by wall-to-wall ignorance, conspiracy theorists and plain recklessness on the part of presumed professionals with access to the best weapons for combating the disease.
For once our politicians had decided to keep their verbal machetes out of sight. NTN’s cameras panned on several familiar faces in the House that brought to mind faces at a Cokes performance. Didacus Jules seemed particularly amused as he exchanged unheard words with the president of the Saint Lucia Senate. The prime minister, recently returned home from an Ebola-related ALBA commingling in Cuba, appeared quite impressed by the day’s model.
For my part, I’d have been far more captivated had, say, someone from the government’s creative whatchamacallit ministry been thoughtful enough to have engaged the services of a Hot Couture model on the occasion.
Just imagine it: the model standing on her red-painted toes atop a raised and red-spotlighted platform, attired in a barely there bikini (red upstairs, yellow downstairs—in the name of national unity, you understand). At her side is a nicely suited up MP, anyone but His Ugliness the MP for Soufriere, to whom “nicely” cannot under any circumstances be legitimately applied.
Of course the best choice for the particular assignment would be the tourism minister Lorne Theophilus, who should be renamed Minister of Cool, on account of his definitely-not-made-in-Morne Du Don bespoke suits. But let’s not digress too far.
He picks up a sealed package, then with hands in protective red gloves with little red stars all over them, proceeds in a most gentlemanly fashion to help the model into her protective clothes, carefully explaining his every move and touch in Creole and in English, for the benefit of the folks from Babonneau to Bruceville—not to mention Mary Isaac and her concerned crew, and those poor long-neglected Victoria Hospital nurses.
Finally the MP gallantly steps aside, while the model struts her Ebola-resistant stuff around the House chamber, three or four times. I imagine some saying the Dame on the Hill in made-to-measure Ebola-resistant gear would present on TV an image as arresting as any professional model. To which I say, chacun à son goût!
In any event it was not the unidentified awkward model (that wasn’t the MP for Anse la Raye-Canaries, was it? De Papa Vader?) that made the lunch-hour or evening news. Hardly had Timothy Poleon delivered the day’s Newsspin sermon than the familiar-sounding calls started coming in “to commend [the day’s in—not N—word] Mr. Claudius Francis for his generous donation of two infra-red thermometers.”
At least two regulars pointedly advised it would be most useful if other citizens (not including the callers, of course) would follow the Senate president’s example and put their money where their mouths are.
At one point, legendarily careful reporter that he is, Poleon dutifully enquired whether the special thermometers were a personal donation from the prez himself or from the insurance outfit of which he is also president or chairman. Not that Poleon sniffed a rat or anything, you understand. He was twice reassured the thermometers were “a personal gift to the people from Mr. Francis.”
And then, predictably, came the spoiler: an email from Atlanta-based Saint Lucian Dennis Ishmael confirming he had without any prodding donated the thermometers. Of course Poleon (who has every good reason to be over careful about matters concerning the Senate prez) kept Ishmael’s identity to himself. Indeed, he acknowledged he had no way of knowing whether the e-mail was genuine.
But let’s all be fair to the prez. He never claimed he had paid for, or begged for, the much appreciated thermometers presented during Thursday’s political-love fest, did he? In any case your humble (?) reporter can confirm the vital instruments were from Mr. Ishmael who, it turns out, has made something of a career sourcing all kinds of useful things for the less fortunate among us. Barrelsful, in fact. And for that he deserves our eternal gratitude.
Oh, but where would we be without our confirmed party hacks who are never believable but can always be counted on to give us a stress-relieving laugh when we most need one!