Here’s to a complete and speedy recovery, O thou of a high place

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It was with some degree of consternation that we heard that he of a high place had contracted the coronavirus. We here at NEWSCO certainly wish him a quick recovery. After all, we need his undivided attention to the very pressing matters of State. We’re talking about all that time that he must spend locked away in his office, trolling social media to see and discuss those who are wearing pink underwear, as opposed to white, those who have money in their bank accounts or not, those who got a good performance report or not, and all of that sort of petty, childish foolishness. We mean, who could we summon to replace our undisputed king of social media, the one who is supposedly quite busy with the defense of the realm, but can find an inordinate amount of time to mind ‘people’s panty and petticoat business?’ We humbly suggest to he of a high place that hereafter, “He drink some water and mind his business.” [MIND MY BUSINESS by Patrice Roberts]

To be sure, this is not to suggest that the good gentleman of a high place is not diligently minding his personal business, never mind that he has been extremely neglectful (seriously neglectful) of the peoples’ business – the monthly social security debacle, the vast sums of money owed to contractors, the disgraceful fire tender situation, the investor-unfriendly treatment meted out to the University of Health Sciences Antigua (UHSA), the extremely dire water situation, the many unfinished projects (see the proper dredging of a berth for the Oasis vessels, the Sunshine Hub Car Park, the removal of the double-decker stand, and so on and so forth. The list is legion). This administration’s performance is piteous at best! So many grandiose promises, and so precious little to show for it.  Whatever became of the planned rehabilitation of St. John’s city, or the Willoughby Bay city, or the stalled Booby Alley project (Ignore the dubious promise that it will get moving in sixty days. We have heard such trite promises before). Seems, former Prime Minister Sir Lester Bird, was on to something when he questioned why this pathetic administration  cannot start a project from scratch and complete it. It is an insidious affliction.

So too is this administration’s penchant for swiping all the brilliant ideas being put forward by the United Progressive Party (UPP) for a betterment here in our fair State. It is manifest that this administration has made an art out of cogging! It will soon cog the brilliant Maintenance of Minors (MOM) proposal. It has also perfected the art of ignoring the people. Nobody can ignore the people like he of a high place and his grasping cohorts. We submit that the shocking state in which we find ourselves, with the administration’s flunkies desperately trying to make up for lost time at the eleventh hour, is proof positive. Time was, these past four years, when a needy constituent could NOT find hide nor hair of his or her Representative, it was as elusive as a search for the Holy Grail. Today, those clowns are picking up their phones on the first ring. And they are returning missed calls, ‘like it going out of style.’ But be not fooled by their words of contrition and their feigned concern. All that they do and say at this point is geared toward their reelection. It is cynicism of the highest order.

In the meantime, he of a high place is busy looking about his personal business interests – his monthly rent from the WISEZ (Western Imperial Special Economic Zone) folks, and the paving of certain areas of his farm by the Chinese folks, and all of those other self-enriching, conflict-of-interest schemes. His cohorts, notwithstanding the fact that they are a bit slow upstairs, have taken his advice, and they too are busy feathering their nests at Half Moon Bay, in Liberta and in other corners of this fair State. In fact, nothing in Antigua and Barbuda moves unless someone in a high place is materially benefitting. These are the real movers and shakers. Everybody else is playing dolly-house and dolly-catcher!

Of course, we understand that he of a high place is self-isolating, and that so far, no one in his inner circle has tested positive. His symptoms are reportedly mild. Thank God! He has said that he wears his mask invariably, and as far as he recalls, he only took it off a couple of times when he went out to dinner, just prior to testing positive. Again, out of an abundance of caution, those who were in contact with him should have themselves tested as a matter of urgency.

Meanwhile, during and after his convalescence, we are praying that he will a kinder and gentler person be. More statesmanlike. Less obnoxious and abrasive! Hopefully, he will put his mouth in quarantine, and thereafter, there will be good social distancing between his mouth and his brain. We pray that he will continue wearing his mask, especially when snarling like a rabid dog and spitting venom at those whom he considers his enemies! And yes, a vigorous exercise regimen is paramount – an exercise of the body, and not merely his blabbering mouth. We also trust that he will try to get his full eight hours of sleep. All of that time spent in the wee hours looking at, and responding, to melee is . . . well, . .  er . . . rather unmanly, not to mention unedifying.  Minding people business is so unhelpful!

Of course, we must offer more unsolicited words of advice to he of a high place, and all those of like ilk. Permit us, if you will. A great calypsonian of yesteryear, Director, had this to say in his classic offering, NEIGHBOR, NEIGHBOR: “When I put my garbage outside along de way / Soucie does pass and smell it to see wha I buy today . . . Neighbor, neighbor, neighbor, leh me lone / Neighbor, neighbor, neighbor, mind yuh business; not meh own!” Hmmmm!

In a similar vein, two young reggae artists, Christopher Martin and Romain Virgo, offer their treatment of nosey neighbors obsessed with that which ought not to be of  concern to them. It’s a popular song entitled, LEAVE PEOPLE BUSINESS: “Narsy, narsy, chatty, chatty / Mouth a massey, mix up / Why yuh no leave people business / I say fuh lowe people business / Narsy nearga, nosey neighbor, yuh place warn fix up / Why yuh no lowe people business / Leave people business alone . . . “ Hmmmmm! And of course, we return to the song by Patrice Roberts that we mentioned earlier in this piece. It is good advice to he of a high place, especially since he is now afflicted with the coronavirus, and as you know, the health authorities have recommended that those who are stricken drink large amounts of water. Sings Roberts: “Me, I don’t watch people man, ah looking for house and land / Me, I don’t watch people tings, I am a queen, I am de ting . . . . I goin drink water and mind my business, drink water and mind my business . . . .”

Hopefully, after his full recovery, he of a high place will devote considerably more time to the peoples’ business, and a great deal less time and energy on people business – nearga business!

      Get well soon, Sir!

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