Something To Chew On!

Nicole David entered a guilty plea after she was arrested during the Carnival season for using “obscene” language.

Nicole David was recently arrested by the SSU. This is how the story appeared in the STAR: “Magistrate Michelle Louis fined Nicole David $400, to be paid by November 10 or in default face seven days imprisonment. This follows the soca star’s guilty plea to a charge under Section 508 of the Criminal Code, according to which ‘any person who in any public place or to the hearing of the public swears or uses any abusive, indecent or obscene language is liable on summary conviction to a fine of one thousand dollars.’”
This is how the prosecution put its case before the magistrate: On June 13 about 4.30 pm on Micoud Street, during the line jam, the soca singer was heard to say: ‘Anybody who is not part of the band, tiwe tjou-la.’
Though the magistrate is a native Saint Lucian and presumably familiar with the lingua franca, the prosecutor nevertheless saw the need to explain why the singer’s use of the words complained of was illegal. When spoken in English, he said, the sentence amounted to ‘Move Your Ass There!’ So now, folks, let us combine our brain power perchance to uncover which of the four quoted English words falls into the category of swear words, or abusive or indecent or obscene language.
Move Your Ass There! Could the problem word be Move? I dare to say that would depend on how it fell out of the painted mouth of Nicole David. You know, her tone. Was it a sexy whisper? An orgasmic scream? As in: Babeee, you move sooo goood! Saint Lucian mothers teach their daughters early in life that it ain’t so much what you say that matters, it’s how you say it. For instance, there’s: Man move-move-move-move! Not nice. The word is downright emasculating when spoken in creole by your fantasy female: As in gassa, sorti la, sorti la! It certainly has the potential to bring a guy down in a flash.
So much for Move. Now consider the next word: Your. Under normal circumstances, it might be pretty innocuous. Harmless. But just try hurling it at a touchy American brother, say from Watts, in South Los Angeles. Especially if following it is another four-letter word: as in Your Mama!
We come now to the third word in the Move Your Ass There quartet. By all I’ve taken away from my several dictionaries, ass defines a “a long eared mammal of the horse family, serving as a patient, sure-footed beast of burden when domesticated; a donkey.”                 Ass is synonymous with stupid. As in: I tell you, dah man is one ass. Or: Mate eh know his ass from his goatee. Remember the tipsy lawyer, high on Dutch courage, who during a court hearing declared the magistrate a stupid (as opposed to wise) ass? Was he arrested by the SSU? Was he fined?
We hear the nation’s most honorable gentlemen calling each other poodles and asses at nearly every sitting of parliament, right there in the presence of a rosy lady. But then, you say, these honorable gentlemen enjoy a special privilege. In any event, what was it about what Nicole David said that bothered the carnival police?
As for the word there, it simply means in or at that place. So is it then remotely possible, when Nicole invited certain miscreants on Micoud Street to Move Your Ass There, that the police imagined she was inciting the crowd to move their asses in that place? That place meaning the nearby Cathedral? Eureka! That’s got to be it! The cops didn’t want sweaty asses moving into God’s house. Oh, my goodness that’s it!
Ass was obviously not the word that got Nicole into trouble. After all, in Saint Lucia asses abound. Fat asses, skinny asses, asses both great and small. Yet I’ve never heard a complaint from an onlooker. Obviously, the SSU were not offended by Nicole’s “ass.” What obviously got their goat up was the last word in her sentence. Move Your Ass—There!
It would certainly explain why Minelle ran away with top honors for her song about Mr. Ass, er, I mean, Mr. Chou. Had she followed that up with there, as in Look Mister Ass over there. . . well, let’s all be thankful for small mercies. It certainly wouldn’t do to outlaw Chou, neither as a substitute word for ass nor as a year-round red-lettered Santa Claus!

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