Taxi driver has ‘oops’ moment in the House

Members of Parliament were treated to Jamaican singer Gyptian’s “Hold Ya” during the morning session of the first day of Debates on the Estimates when someone’s cell phone rang. The ring tone interrupted Arsene James’ address to the House and caught the attention of the Speaker.
There was a loud outburst of laughter in the House as the ring tone kept on going way longer than anyone would have expected. Even the Prime Minister could not prevent his facial muscles from contracting as the gentleman whose phone rang attempted to stop the song which appeared to have even caused heads to nod to the beat of the music. The light moment seemed to be welcomed by many who may have otherwise fallen asleep!
Eventually, the gentleman stopped the music and an officer asked him to leave. The man was taxi driver Anthony Avril, who says he was stunned when his phone rang. According to him, he had connected his headset to the phone which should have prevented the ring tone.
As Avril spoke to the STAR, the expression on his face alone indicated that he was still embarrassed by the incident in the House. As he attempted to explain what had transpired, his breathing became heavier and faster.
“This is my third time coming into Parliament. I know the procedure but it happened that I chose to have my cellphone open by using the headset and I thought that it would not sound out.
“When I heard the phone, I felt so ashamed because I know I disturbed the proceedings and it should not happen again when I return to the House. I felt very, very embarrassed and I couldn’t even walk out but then I took a little breath outside as I explained to the officers that it was an honest mistake,” said Avril.
When the STAR asked why this particular ring tone, Avril took a deep breath before answering: “It is one of these smartphones. I am not the one who put it there, my people at home set it up for me but everywhere I go, when this phone rings, people would just dance to the music. I drive a taxi, so I would normally put it on loud to hear when the phone rings because sometimes when you drive you hardly hear when it rings.
“I would like to take the opportunity to apologize to the House for causing a disruption in the proceedings. I feel really sorry and embarrassed,” he repeated.
Avril was allowed to return to Parliament but was not given the opportunity to entertain Members again for he was asked to switch off his cellphone.
At the commencement of the sitting, Members were reminded of a letter sent to them by the Speaker of the House requesting them to switch off their cellphones because although their phones may be on vibrate or on silent, the data being received causes interference with the audio from the microphones.
If you plan to visit the House during the Budget Debate, you will not get 15 minutes of fame as did Avril for the officer outside will ensure that your cellphone is off before entering the House.

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