Fetiquette

“The bouncing done, the bouncing done, the bouncing done!”

Ash Wednesday and I’m recovering (slowly) from Carnival. I meant to post this last week but the partying got in the way. Use the Trinbago dictionary if you are struggling with the slang!

Fetiquette

Carnival season is a wonderful time in Trinidad and Tobago. The country buzzes with energy and a sense of excitement seems to engulf the whole population, irrespective of whether they take part in Carnival activities. The wonderful thing about Carnival in T&T is that it can be enjoyed at everyone’s level. You can spend as much or as little as you want to indulge your Carnival passions.

For many people the fun lies in attending the increasingly expensive all-inclusive fetes.  When I first returned to Trinidad as an adult, the average cost of an all-inclusive fete was circa TT$300 (US$50). Consequently I went to many such events. One memorable season when I was between jobs I hit eleven fetes.

Times have changed. Ticket prices shot up – $800 (US$130) is now considered reasonable for an all-inclusive fete ticket; especially in light of the Hyatt charging $3000 (US$500) to attend its LIME fete.  My income has…ahem…not kept up with the increase in ticket prices and I am now very discerning in my fete attendance.

Over the years I’ve come to understand the unwritten Fetegoers Code of Conduct, or Fetiquette that governs the all-inclusive party. There are many rules, but I’ll stick to the basic six which every feter should know.

Rule Number 1 – Arrive In Daylight

There are several reasons for this. After spending the equivalent of a Latin American GDP on clothes, shoes, makeup and hair, one needs to be seen.  Equally important is who one is seen with. Men want their peers to see the attractive arm candy (of either sex) standing in the shadow of their biceps. Women want other women to know

a)      I arrived with a man – stay away from mine; or

b)      I arrived without a man – hold onto yours; and

c)       I look good and I know it (I may be delusional).

As members of a bourgeois society, a significant percentage of fetegoers want people to know they can afford the exorbitant ticket prices. So what if they’re secretly living on bread and cheese? Update your Facebook status – “On my way to Salybia!” –  tweet about it, post a picture of your fete tickets on instagram, change your BBM and whatsapp status to “Having fun at… insert fete here”.

Rule Number 2 Better Belly Bus Than Good Food Waste

The good stuff goes early and quick. Check out all the food options as soon as you arrive and decide which food queue to join first. If moving with a posse it may be wise to strategise. One person can queue for doubles, while another hits up the bake and shark stall, and you load up on Chinese. Always remember the fetegoers mantra – I paid for it. Eat everything. Leave it too late to eat and you’ll be lucky to get the pomerac chow no-one wanted.

Ironically, at a fete Trinis will line up in sun, rain and mud to sample cuisine normally rejected by their pets. The queue for horse meat at Old Hilarians’ All-Inclusive is always extensive. Take note Tesco.

Rule Number 3 – Bus De Bar

Start with the premium drinks and work your way down to puncheon. What is your mantra? I paid for it.

Rule Number 4 – Dress to Distress

Carnival fashion has nothing to do with style or modesty and the all-inclusive fete is the ultimate peacocking opportunity. Choose an eye-popping outfit you wouldn’t want your mother to see you in and make it worse. When it comes to Carnival fashion, more is more. To quote the Dowager Countess Grantham – nothing impresses like excess. Over accessorise – wear bangles, garish earrings, glitter, press on jewellery and have all your tattoos on display. Better still if you have gold teeth or a mouth grille.

Rule Number 5 – Control Your Property

Swappi  said it best – What yuh mean yuh cyar wine? Trinis are born knowing how to wine. It’s in their DNA. While other nationalities are learning the Three Rs in school, Trinbagonians are taking lessons in how to bubble and flex.  Trini men are programmed to track it, grab it, and wine on it. When soca music infects the brain it’s hard for women to resist the urge to put their hands on their knees and push it back.

Nothing Trinis like better than an opportunity to display their skills, but time and place people, TIME AND PLACE. You do not want to end up featured on the front page of the dailies doing the wheelbarrow.  Save the dutty wining for a private audience.  There is life after Carnival. Nobody wants to be remembered by their pundit/boss/peers for sending Shakira into early retirement.

Rule Number 6 – Spread Your Hands and Leh Go

Have fun! Whatever you end up doing for Carnival – partaking in the festivities, spending quiet time at home, or having a mini vacation – enjoy it to the max. YOLO is real. We get one shot at life and it is up to us to make it good. As I write this my neck, shoulders and feet are sore; legs are covered in unexplained bruises; and after two days in the sun I am so black I’m blue. Worth every minute.

Tell me your Carnival experience. What do you like/dislike the most about Trinidad Carnival?


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.

Enjoy!

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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Humbug, bah

It’s the most wonderful time of the year …yeah right. Christmas brings out extreme character traits we keep submerged for the rest of the year. The additional stress caused by crowded shops, traffic and family pressure among other things is enough to frustrate even the happiest elf.  Normally polite individuals become foul-mouthed demons competing for the last shopping trolley and parking spaces near mall entrances. Cuss outs in traffic queues are common and bank meltdowns become de rigeur (had one myself last week; they called security). Credit card machines breakdown under the additional strain and ATMs empty faster than Usain Bolt in the 100m.

It is also the time of the year when people who don’t usually drive hit the road, much to the annoyance of other drivers. Nothing worse than being stuck behind granny or granddad while they try to remember which turning is the correct one for Cousin Jean’s house.

I’m beginning to view Christmas as a multi-disciplinary event – a kind of Seasonal  X-Games.  We compete in a series of events – the office party, Christmas Day with family and friends, shopping, parties – and emerge either victorious or defeated at the end. Christmas Day is the showcase event and naturally the most challenging; a Seasonal Steeplechase with several hurdles and water pits to overcome. For example:

  • Accepting every party/lime invitation lest you offend someone
  • Buying the perfect Christmas present for everybody on your list without ending up in chronic debt
  • Eating every food item put in front of you with gusto as if your life depended on  it
  • Drinking to excess without telling certain family members what you really think of them
  • Spending several hours in a confined space with your nearest and dearest without killing them

Consider your skill sets and choose your events wisely. Most of my neighbours take part in the Decoration Decathlon.  They try to outdo each other with garish light displays while taste takes a back seat. For the record, my outdoor lights are pathetic; having mostly been destroyed by my cocker spaniel. I choose to avoid this event in favour of the Christmas Cooking and Seasonal Shopping. At least I have a shot at those.

The Seasonal Shopping event is particularly competitive as shoppers literally do battle for the last tin of cranberry jelly and this year’s must have toy. Forget about courtesy. I saw the Coach handbag first and I WILL have it. Seasoned competitors know this is a team event. Plant someone in the checkout queue while you race madly around the store grabbing items on your list. It helps to have a third team member – the scout – who hunts for tricky items and alerts the team captain. “Christmas crackers on aisle 2 by the wrapping paper!” God bless smart phones.

As with any event, there are different classes of competitor. Seasoned competitors line up against Lazy Lookers (self explanatory) who get in the way and Harassed Harrys who just want to buy something – anything – and go home. Lazy Lookers are never alone. They always bring the whole family to gawp, point and generally clog up the shops. Then there are the Smug Shoppers (some of these are also SMOGs so they have a double reason to feel superior).  Smug Shoppers complete all their Christmas shopping by the end of September and return to the shops solely to make friends and relatives they bump into feel inferior.

At this time of the year parents are under extreme pressure from offspring wanting iPads, iPods, and iPhones.  Well here’s the situation – iPoor. As I explained to my kids, times are hard and no such luxuries would be forthcoming this year.

Coming down to the last few shopping hours before Christmas Day, Desperate Dans join the Seasonal Shopping Event. Visit any shopping mall on Christmas Eve. Who are the shops crowded with? Wild-eyed men willing to pay extravagant amounts for spa gift certificates, chocolates, lingerie, fake fur lined carpet slippers in any size –  virtually any present that will ensure they don’t end up in the dog house on Christmas Day.

By far my favourite event is the Christmas Cooking. This is a serious business. It can be a daunting task preparing festive meals for one’s entire family and friends, particularly when you live in a country where finding items like brussel sprouts and fresh cranberries is akin to searching for Sasquatch.

I am a competent cook and start my training in early October, focusing on upper body strength. One needs strong arms to lift the turkey out of the oven and quick reflexes to snatch a just-baked mince pie away from ever present pilferers.  I find bicep wine curls to be most effective. Pour wine in glass, neck it down, repeat. Not only does the added hydration put me in a good mood, it enables me to spend hours in the kitchen churning out culinary masterpieces. Except for last week when a few bicep curls too many might have contributed to me almost pouring whiskey in the brandy butter.

One of the primary challenges for me during the Seasonal X Games is overcoming the Obstacle Course. The obstacles are many and varied – the traffic, the crowds, the annoying relatives, and the propensity for every appliance in the house to break down. For some reason, come December every year all my appliances successively give up the ghost. This year it was the dishwasher quickly followed by the air-conditioning units and two showers. Feeling left out, the gearbox in my car packed up. After all, I wouldn’t be doing much driving in December, right?

It’s a conspiracy perpetrated by appliance stores and tradesmen. They know full well that faced with the prospect of no fridge/stove/washing machine for Christmas we will gladly sacrifice a firstborn and remortgage the house to ensure the much-needed appliance is repaired/purchased by Christmas Eve.

We don’t get medals for successfully completing the Seasonal X Games so why compete at all? Because somewhere at the back of our minds there is that notion of peace and goodwill to mankind and the importance of spending time with those we love. So every year we grit our teeth, gird our loins and knock back another glass of Baileys before inviting Auntie Bessie over for Christmas lunch. The real prize is the memories we create and the joy of making our loved ones happy. And if you believe that BS, you are just as sappy as I am. Bah, humbug.

Best wishes to you and yours! Sound off in the comments below and tell me your favourite/least favourite Christmas event.


Madman or Martyr

I tried and failed to stop myself from commenting on the Kublalsingh issue. I know some people will deride and dismiss my opinion, and I will most likely be labelled a PNM sympathiser. For the record I am a supporter of NO political party, despite voting for the Congress of the People (COP) in the last general election. I am however a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, and I am horrified by the unfolding tragedy which has gripped our nation’s attention over the past fifteen days.

Like many people, I initially dismissed Dr Wayne Kublalsingh’s hunger strike as that of an attention-seeking madman. I couldn’t see the point of dying for a highway. His protest was pointless and would do nothing to change the Government’s position. To me it seemed like a stupid way to die when so many persons the world over are desperately clinging to life.

But as the days wear on and the rhetoric becomes increasingly heated around this issue my sense of discomfort is increasing. I am simply not comfortable watching a man die. Every morning I tune in to the local TV stations wondering if Today is the Day. I find myself breathing a sigh of relief that his increasingly emaciated and visibly weakened frame is still moving.

A friend of mine today described Wayne Kublalsingh as “a pest, a fraudster, and an idiot who deserves to die”. This sentiment is apparently shared by many, including our Minister of National Security who recently called upon Kublalsingh “to hurry up and die”. When did our society become so callous? When did we lose our compassion for those with whose opinions we do not agree? Have we become so jaded by loss of life that we no longer care for anyone apart from our own loved ones? Is our prevailing attitude “The highway doesn’t affect me so why should I care about Kublalsingh?”

I disagree with Dr Kublalsingh’s chosen protest method but I fully support his right to protest. I cannot help but admire his strength in the face of overwhelming opposition. As this hunger strike continues I realise This Man Means Business. Kublalsingh is not backing down. Do I believe he is secretly scoffing sandwiches and guzzling Gatorade? I am not putting my head on a block for any man. I have no doubt he is fully aware of the effect images of his ravaged body is having on the public psyche and he is actively courting media attention. But his courage and belief in his convictions are astonishing. Are you prepared to die for a cause? I know I am not.

As misguided as you may believe Dr Kublalsingh to be; irrespective of whether you agree with him or not, he is a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago and deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. He does not deserve to be publicly ridiculed and maligned by Government Officials. He does not deserve to have his family described as a cult for standing by him. His supporters do not deserve being hounded by counter-protesters who looked suspiciously like professional protesters (paid for by whom?). He does not deserve to have his opinions dismissed as irrelevant and unimportant for the sake of expediency.

Serve the people, serve the people, serve the people – who said that? Certainly not the Prime Minister who sat and applauded at the United National Congress (UNC) public meeting in Debe while her ministers disrespected the citizenry and deliberately misled the audience. Could this be the same woman who wrote to Vilma Kublalsingh (Wayne’s mother) of her “personal grief” over the “self inflicted suffering of Wayne Kublalsingh”?

Despite what the government would have us believe, the Re-Route Movement is NOT against the construction of the highway. Their protest centres on the unpublished technical review of the project, and the proposed route for the Mon Desir to Debe section which would destroy local wetlands. It is difficult to ascertain if the Re-Route Movement’s objections have any merit because so far we have not a decisive answer from the Government on the issues raised.

This Government’s response to criticism or objection of any kind is to attack. Forget about a counter response which addresses the issue in a systematic manner and outlines government policy. That would be too dignified. Instead, denigrate and disgrace the critic. Shoot the messenger and destroy the message.

One thing is clear about the Kublalsingh issue. It has illuminated the true characters of politicians on every side of the political divide. Members of the Government are either publicly abusive or woefully silent as their colleagues heap insults on Dr Kublalsingh and his supporters. The Leader of the COP, Prakash Ramadhar, issued a statement distancing the COP from the statements made by cabinet colleagues at the UNC public meeting in Debe. Frankly Mr Ramadhar, this was not enough. Meanwhile members of the Opposition PNM rub their hands in glee as the People’s Partnership digs an increasingly big hole to fall in.

And then there are Dr Kublalsingh’s supporters – a motley crew of True Believers, civil society activists, trade unionists, failed politicians, persons with a political axe to grind, and self serving-individuals who see this issue as a chance for them to regain the spotlight.

I do not believe Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar should meet with Dr Kublalsingh. It would set a bad precedent. On the other hand, in the interest of transparency and good governance, the Government should consider meeting with civil society groups to hear their suggestions for ending this unfortunate impasse. At the very least this would help the government to recover some modicum of dignity after engaging in a very public and vitriolic dogfight. For a government which swept into power on a tide of goodwill the People’s Partnership has done an extremely efficient job of turning public opinion against them.

As I write this I hope to God Wayne Kublalsingh is still alive. I cannot contemplate the ethical dilemma the Government – and society as a whole – will face if he dies. Whatever the outcome of this situation, the San Fernando to Point Fortin Highway will be a permanent scar on our nation.

 


Blood Ties – The Teenage Menace

Two things happened recently which gave me pause for thought. The Vampire Diaries returned for a fourth season and I heard Christmas music on the radio. Christmas means the holidays are approaching and my home will once again be under siege from pernicious, home grown bloodsuckers – aka teenagers.

Teenagers are basically vampires. During their vacations they sleep all day and emerge at night to prey on my wallet and food supply. They terrorise homeowners (parents) with incessant demands for money, possessions, and vehicular access. Their grip on our emotions – and finances – is vice-like; those of us unlucky enough to fall prey to these creatures are unable to shake them. I am currently harbouring three within my walls and they show no intention of leaving.

Like vampires, teenagers have to be invited in. Foolishly, we innocently welcome these creatures into our homes in their infancy; unaware of the impending danger – and poverty – we are unwittingly bringing upon ourselves.

Vampires are clever. They woo us with their childish antics and playful innocence, all the while biding their time until the transformation take place. What transformation you ask? This is the night when your  loving affectionate child goes to bed aged 12 and wakes up aged 13 sullen, moody and blaming you for ruining his/her life. You would think with all the advances in Genetic Modification somebody somewhere would have figured out how to create a teenager without raging hormones.

Once a vampire has claimed your home as his/her lair you, the homeowner, have few options. Forget about garlic, crosses, and holy water. You cannot abandon or forsake your bloodsucker. Apparently that is illegal in most countries for reasons I do not fully understand. You are bound by blood to the creature and if you are not careful you will succumb to a serious case of anaemia. I heard of a place called boarding school you can send the vampire to at 13 and have it returned to you at 18, semi-matured and ready for university/ workplace. Tried that. Mine got expelled.

During non-vacation periods vampires hide among us masquerading as school kids. Some of them have adapted well to daylight and can often be found clustered together at shopping malls and popular liming spots. Most vampires however, shun the light, preferring to spend endless hours in their bedrooms attached to laptops, iPads and smart phones.

The male vampire is particularly dangerous. This creature has hollow legs and the capacity to decimate the contents of a refrigerator or larder cupboard within a matter of hours. My advice? Buy a lockable fridge. Male bloodsuckers have another unique talent – they are experts in attracting mayhem, chaos and exorbitant bills which inevitably accompany their…ahem…”adventures”. (See my views on the MOB – Blog post March 14, 2012.)

Selfish and narcissistic in nature, the vampire is the centre of his/her universe. Our only value as victim/parent is to provide a constant source of food, finance and transport. Unlike the creatures of legend, these vampires are unable to fly and need their parents to take them everywhere. Inevitably, this means your life is on hold until the creature is old enough to travel unaccompanied and/or compel a Transport Official to give them a driving licence (paid for by you of course, lessons as well)  – and trick you into handing over keys to a vehicle.

But the situation is not completely hopeless. Some parents gain relief when the vampire leaves home to attend university. But here’s the kicker – you have to pay to send and keep them away – and they return at regular intervals to resume their bloodsucking habit.

Some teenagers chose to jump right into the workplace and forgo the university route. Their parents rejoice but the elation is usually short-lived because even though gainfully employed, the vampire often chooses to live at home and continue parental debilitation.

Given the pernicious, selfish and ungrateful nature of these creatures why oh why do we continue to harbour them? Because we stubbornly believe that one day our little vampire will be saved and miraculously transformed into a mature self-sufficient adult capable of making a meaningful contribution to society. Why are we kidding ourselves? All we are doing is perpetuating the cycle so that our monsters can make monsters of their own. I understand now why grandkids are called the grandparents’ revenge.

In the meantime I continue to nurture my home grown bloodsuckers in the hope that one day I shall find salvation. Pray for me.

 


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