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January 2, 2013
Star Features


Priceless Jamaicans

My Jamaican people are priceless. I was standing in line to buy my 'Island Grill' breakfast at the airport and they were quite a distance away so I couldn't hear them. But the couple didn't know I had a spy sitting beside them who reported the fun part of their conversation.

The woman recognised me and blurted out 'Rahtid, nuh Blakka dat?' The man beside her looked on in bewilderment and asked 'Blakka? Ah who him?' 'Yu nuh know Blakka?' The woman loudly continued, 'him do comedy!' The man looked even more puzzled. 'Comedy? Wha yu mean' he asked, repeating the word comedy like it was a strange multi-syllabic foreign term. 'Yu nuh know comedy, like Shebadah!' she explained, and he apparently finally understood. And dear Lord, I'm still not sure if I should laugh, weep or kick myself.

I also met two absolutely beautiful Jamaican ladies over the past few days though, and they never needed any explanation, they knew me and made me feel really, really special. But look here nuh people, if my foot was really long enough to reach around there, I would seriously give myself a good, hard kick in the rear. I want to kick myself because in both instances I forgot to get the lady's names.

And that's bad!

I met the first lady on Sunday. She's a quiet, well-spoken lady with an affectionate and winning smile. She travelled all the way from a little town called Slipe in St. Elizabeth to sell shrimps at Waves Beach near Fort Clarence in St. Catherine. She has such a genuinely warm and engaging spirit that if I wasn't allergic to crustaceans I'd buy every single bag of shrimp she had selling.

blessed my morning

The other lady, who I met on my way out of Jamaica on New Year's Eve, is a vibrant and vivacious security officer working at Norman Manley International Airport who blessed my morning with touching compliments.

Both ladies took time to talk to me and express their admiration for my work. Both shared how much they enjoy and look forward to reading this little column every Wednesday. Even though the airport security lady readily admitted that she doesn't always agree with some of my views, I feel blessed and fulfilled just knowing that real people look forward to reading what I write, and I thank those two ladies for making my day.

Talking about ladies, to the DJ lady who told Winford Williams in her 'Onstage' interview that me voicing my strong aversion to her use of 'Black' as an intended put-down, is due to my desire to get into the hype, I say this: Macka you still don't get it; but hush, it's not your fault. I don't want hype. You see, what you call hype I may actually call tripe. A fleeting, fickle and hollow dancehall currency or public attention aka 'hype' that's built on delivering divisive diatribe and spewing nasty personal insults can never compare to the unadulterated, authentic affection I received from my two readers, the lovely ladies mentioned above who just love fi read whatever mi write.

Anyway, it's now 2013, so cut and clear! To friends, fans, family (and foes) from far and near, I'm praying for a powerfully productive, prosperous year. Holidays are over, so it's back to the daily grind. I hope good things get better and your better becomes the best for you. But, if you're one of those fool-hardy folks who ended 2012 with nuff liquor and fete and now facing a 2013 burdened with debt, don't bother look to me for help, because you have none to get.


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