Monthly Archives: January 2013

It’s My Country and I’ll Rule How I Want To

The world is in trouble. Islamist rebels light it up in Mali. Guatemala court orders trial of former dictator. Government Ministers openly defy the Prime Minister in St Kitts and Nevis. Kim K has a wardrobe malfunction. The established rules of civilisation and government are not working. I’ve had enough of poor governance, rising crime, and worldwide idiocy.

My solution?  Start my own country. I have my eye on a tiny Grenadine isle. Think about it – my own private Paradise Island with white sandy beaches, lush vegetation, and the perfect year-round climate. There’s room for 2000 citizens. You can apply for citizenship once you meet the immigration criteria and agree to live by my rules. I promise to be a benevolent dictator. Who’s with me?

Forget about party politics, elections, coalition governments and minority opposition. There will be no need for any of that in the Republic of Abbuccet (pronounced Ah-buck-et). In fact, politicking of any kind will be banned and punishable by death. The Citizens Rule and Prosper party (CRAP) will be the only political voice permitted in the country.

Abbuccet’s legal system will be a based on a hybrid of martial and sharia law. I suspect citizens will have few problems obeying the law if stealing an orange results in losing a hand and driving on the shoulder warrants a gun butt to the head.

It goes without saying that citizens of Abbuccet will be taxed to within pennies of a full pay check. Independent wealth will come in handy. High taxes – a small price to pay for a government that provides the best of everything free – education, medical care, housing, childcare, weekly wine rations (It’s my country. I can do what I want and in my world wine is a necessity).

As all benevolent leaders should, I will keep the citizenry constantly informed of decisions that affect their day to day lives. They can voice their opposition of course. Free speech is welcomed. Opposers however, will be beheaded. Every town and village, no matter how small, will have a public execution square. Did you miss the part about mar-sharia law?

Imagine the benefits of living in Abbuccet. Mondays will be banned. Mandatory three day weekends and state funded BFF (Brain Fart Free) neighbourhoods. Kate Middleton’s visits to The Gap to buy leggings will not be reported as headline news. People will be paid to come up with good ideas that benefit society. Wasn’t that the point of democracy? It didn’t work.

I know you are dying to apply for citizenship but before you do, make sure you meet the criteria. There will be a non-refundable application fee of USD$100,000. What? A girl’s gotta eat. As proof of your commitment I’ll also need a minimum two strands of Patrick Dempsey’s hair. No I haven’t got a thing for Dr McDreamy but he looks like he could spare a few locks.

If you are a former or current politician, convicted criminal, reality TV star, or a Kardashian – don’t waste your time. You will not be welcome in Abbuccet. But if you are willing to work as part of a team to form a new society based on mutual respect   – and dedicate a room in your house to a Daniel Craig Shrine (my country, my rules), then show me the money. The application process will be swift and let’s face it – given the state of the world today, being ruled by CRAP in Abbuccet doesn’t sound half bad.

Help me develop a Citizens’ Charter. Please post your contributions in the comments below.


You Is Ah Gonian If

The recent Tobago House of Assembly election was a stark reminder of the many differences between Trinidad and Tobago. Tobagonians  are fiercely proud of their heritage and the election result – a resounding victory for the PNM – was further proof that Gonians will resist any attempt of perceived Trinidadian dominance. Tobago culture is an enigma to Trinidadians. To understand it, you have to be one of them.

Let me stake my claim to being half-Gonian thanks to a Patience Hill born-and-raised father. Despite spending most of my childhood in Trinidad, I didn’t gain Trinbagonian citizenship until adulthood. I  entered the world in England, Mother is a Bajan, and no-one in my family was born in Trinidad. So you see I’m really not a Trini at all. I’m a fake.

Having said that, I’m more Trini than Gonian and with typical Trini arrogance here’s my take on what defines the Tobago native. Use the Trinbago Dictionary if you need translations!

You Is a Gonian If…

…You eat crab and dumplings at least once a week

…You race your pet goat

…You can dance the Heel and Toe

…You believe Trinis are always in a hurry

…Six of your relatives share the same name

…You use words like ninyam “Meh put ninyam pon table” and pickney “Where mih pickney an’ dem?”

…You love a good Bongo Night

…You think all Trinis need to humble themselves

…You grew up chasing crabs on the beach

…You not-so-secretly want Tobago to secede from Trinidad

…Your uncle has a fishing boat

…You look forward to  Great Fete Weekend

…You never miss a village harvest

…You know nothing about cricket but would never admit this

…Half of your family works for the Tobago House of Assembly. The rest are in the hospitality industry

…Going to church is a social event

…When talking to two or more Gonians, Trinis can’t understand you

…You have 100,000 extended family members. 80,000 of them live in Tobago; 40,000 live in the USA, and one lives in Trinidad

…You exist in a different time universe to other nationalities. One Tobago minute = One hour elsewhere

…You can make a cook anytime, anywhere, with anything

…You know where to get pacro water and bois bande

…You dislike Trini politicians…in fact, anything Trini…

…You consider turtles to be unofficial wild meat

…You’re related to me!

Vampire Bytes

Regular readers of my blog and followers on Twitter know that I am a huge fan of The Vampire Diaries, the hit CW Network supernatural drama. I have written the occasional commentary on the show and last year I wrote an article entitled Is The Vampire Diaries Losing Its Bite? for my friends at TVAfterDark.

My latest Vampire Diaries  article is a review of Season 4 posted here on the TVAfterDark website. If you are into The Vampire Diaries click here to read the article. If you are not, please forward the link to someone who is and be sure to “like” the post.


Vampire Diaries Season 4 – Mid Season Review

Yuh Know You Is A Trini If…

I’m often asked by non-West Indians what distinguishes Trinidad and Tobago from other Caribbean nations. The answer is complex. The Trinbagonian love of partying and having a good time is well known, as is the country’s dependence on oil and natural gas for its main source of income.

There is a unique set of characteristics which defines the Trinbagonian  and sets him/her apart from Caribbean brothers and sisters. Within this character set are the subsets Trinidadian and Tobagonian. You would think that being a twin island state the differences between occupants of the two isles would be minimal. You would be mistaken. Trinidadians (Trinis) differ in many subtle ways from their northern neighbours. I’ve decided to document some of the differences, starting with the Trinis. For the benefit of those not familiar with Trini parlance, refer to the Trinbago Dictionary here.

Please add your own observations in the comments below!

Yuh Know You Is A Trini If…

…You never leave home without vex money

…You have an uncle named Junior and a cousin called Baby

…You can fete whole night and wake up for work the next day no problem

…You treat the shoulder on the highway as the real outside lane

…No meal is complete without the mother-in-law

…You take out a loan to play mas

…The back seat of your car is a set of speakers

…Everyone in your family has a home name

…Sunday lunch must include callaloo and macaroni pie

…You pitched marbles as a child

…You have no idea what an orderly queue is

…You sing lustily to every parang song but can’t speak Spanish

…Your ring tone is a soca tune

…You bathe pizza in ketchup

…You give every flu virus a name  e.g. “I was home sick with Section 34”

…Your smart phone cost more than your car

…You have at least one item of red clothing in your wardrobe

…You believe every sporting achievement should be rewarded with house, land, and a public holiday

…No drink is finished until you’ve eaten the ice

…You have KFC delivery on speed dial

…You can’t foxtrot, samba or waltz but you can wine, jook, jam, and palance

…Your favourite card game is All Fours

…You collect rain water in buckets for “in case”

…You put up new curtains every Christmas

…As soon as you jump on a plane to “go foreign” you lose the Trini accent

…You know everybody’s business

Liming takes priority over all other activities, especially work

…You drink bush tea to cure every ailment

…Your pit bull knocked up the neighbour’s pompek

…Scotch and coconut water is your favourite drink

…You skive off work to watch cricket in the Oval

…You arrive two hours late for every event

…Last minute beating book got you through school

…You’ve been to New York more times than you’ve been to Tobago

…You support Manchester United and either FC Barcelona or Real Madrid

…Words like broughtupsy and bobol are part of your everyday vocabulary

…You can’t understand how all dem Jamaican and Bajan make the West Indies cricket team

…You take your pet bird for walks in its cage

…You know God is a Trini!

Don’t Panic, I am crazy

Greetings dear followers.

You may see some random words/numbers/bits of code etc appearing in recent posts.I have not been hacked and I have not been hitting the bubbly (ok – the first part of this sentence  is true). I am merely upgrading my blog and making it more accessible. After all, more people need to read about my functionally dysfunctional life,right? Right?

(I kind of expected to hear a distant cheer….oh well)


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