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When we eating?

By Clarence Rambharat

So this is Christmas. Thankfully, your painting is almost done and what's done is almost dry. No need for a wet paint sign, as most of the guests will figure it out on Thursday when they try to wear the same clothes to work. What you will have to do is tell everybody to pass around while you finish painting the steps. Yes, THIS is Christmas!

Even though the date is fixed and the year is not getting shorter, the Trini Christmas is an insane urgency to get almost everything done. But this morning there will be unfinished business and somewhere in a house in this country, somebody is asking if the shop open today. Okay, they may ask if the shop, the store or the grocery open today. Still, I can guarantee you that nobody in any house in Trinidad and Tobago is asking if the rumshop open. Because if is one thing for sure, we have rum, and rum ent go run out today! Is Christmas!

But things, little and big, will run out or be completely forgotten today. If you live in Chaguanas, Tunapuna or the main towns you are lucky because almost every place with something to sell will be open for a little while today. You should be able to get anything, from cough drop to coffin, but hurry up because it is not like they waiting for you to forget something. And buy enough!

Of course, for God alone knows what reason, this is the time of the year most people will try to get by with one 20-pound cylinder of gas. And, those same people will be the ones baking the largest ham, the biggest turkey and making all the various local dishes which spend hours on the stove or in the oven. Look around and watch people driving around in search of a place selling cooking gas. Help them if you know who have gas. You might also see somebody in a maxi taxi embracing an empty cylinder and heading for a full replacement. That will keep the wife quiet because she still don't know how he could have thought "de tank go las". Come on, it never does! This is Christmas!

And don't talk about curtain. Geezan ages! Which Trini does not have a Christmas day curtain story? Now I know that they coming ready-made and it makes life easier if you actually know how many panels you need. But no matter how many premade curtains they come up with, they will not have precut curtain rods and predrilled holes. Honestly, I don't want to get in your business, but let me see if all them curtain hem and if all them rods gone up properly. Ha, ha. You see that set over the toilet door? Is pong allyuh pong ah wood screw into that concrete to hold up that curtain rod? Lord have mercy!

Well, if it's any consolation nobody going into that toilet soon. Because the way things going this Christmas, nobody eating until night. Since I reach I ent see ah man put food in they mouth. I mean, everything smelling nice and the place look like it will have plenty thing to eat. But all I hearing is pot knocking, thing falling on the ground and cupboard slamming. And quarrelling! Personally, since I here, I eating sweet biscuit, prunes, nuts and wafer. But what taking this food so long? I can't even see the people who invite me here. Is just pot and pan!

And oh God, how much time that little boy go run across the road for ice? Is two fridge and a big deep freeze I see in this house. So nobody in here does put ice tray in the fridge or even a two-litre bottle in the freezer to make ice? Well yes, I understand that meat more important than ice but also understand that since I here I only smelling meat but I ent even get ah fowl foot yet!

And why I go be walking around with four D-size battery? I get up this morning, dress up and come down here by invitation. I take a taxi, and what will cause me to pack four D-size battery? I understand that the boy get a remote control truck with big tyres. And, yes, I understand that it cost $750 and the store only had three and you was lucky to get this one. But at what point in this whole transaction it occur to you that I will happen to come by you on Christmas day with four D-size battery in my pocket? I look like ah torchlight!

Look, this thing does only come once a year. Once today finish you have another three hundred and fifty something days to sort out your stories. Whole year the store will have fabric and battery selling. Whole year it will have hog, fowl, flour and cake pan. Whole year your madam dress size and shoe size will be the same. And whole year it will have Scotch tape, ribbon, postcard and stamp. I mean to say, God only give you sense to estimate rum and chaser?

And while I wait for this food, you happen to have some pitch oil to rub this thing off my hand. The varnish like it coming off this dining table. And talking about dining table, this is Christmas, when we eating?

Merry Christmas!

* Clarence Rambharat is

an attorney and a

university lecturer

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