THE ESSENCE OF CHOICE

Apocrypha, that fairytale land beyond the clouds, was in a “talespin”.

Corporate customers of Apocrypha’s lone electricity supplier, Apocryphan Pilfer, Obscure, Curtail and Lower Your Power Supply Enterprise (APOCALYPSE), impatient of its repeatedly broken price reduction promises, began acquiring alternative energy sources. This meant APOCALYPSE’s cost to the poor increased.

Minister of Energy, P. Yap Pall, famous for scattershot speaking without bothering with thought, rashly promised cheaper electricity from a new power plant and championed a company named Empty Wallet International (EWI) for the government licence to build it. Grand announcements were made but, when crunch time came, EWI had no money and told P. Yap it would rely on an asset-rich associated company to qualify EWI for the Licence.

P. Yap asked Oma D’unn what to do. Regular readers remember Oma, a PhD in logic; bright like a moon (only in the dark); who solves political dilemmas by parable. Oma asked P. Yap why he didn’t licence the asset-rich Company?

“Because dem no apply fe de licence”.

“But” Oma persisted “if EWI should tek di licence and run wid it leaving Apocrypha holding de bag, who we going sue?”

P. Yap, oozing the certainty of exuberant youth from every pore, affirmed “Dem nah do dat. Anyway, wha me fe do? Me no have nowhere else to turn. APOCALYPSE soon crash. Me cheap oil source in turmoil. It can’t get worse.”

So, Oma advised him to adopt a teenage girl. “What dat haffe do wid anyt’ing?” P.Yap asked in exasperation. Oma told P. Yap the story of Sarah, a 15 year old, whose best friend Sally was her neighbour. One day Sarah asked her father if she could sleepover at Sally’s house that night. Her father was aghast. “Absolutely not!” he said, “you’re too young for sleepovers”.

Later that evening, he went to check on Sarah in her bedroom to find her missing and a note left on her pillow:
Dear Mum & Dad,
It’s with great regret and sorrow that I’m telling you I’ve eloped with my new boyfriend. I’ve found real love. He’s so nice. Especially with all his piercings, scars, tattoos and his big motorcycle.
But it’s not just that, I’m pregnant, and Ahmed said we’ll be very happy in his commune in the countryside. He wants to have many more children with me. That’s one of my dreams too.
I’ve learned marijuana doesn’t hurt anyone. We’ll be growing it for us and Ahmed’s friends. After all, they’re the ones providing us with all the cocaine and ecstasy we could ever want. In the meantime we’ll pray for science to find a cure for AIDS, so Ahmed can get better. He deserves it.
Don’t worry about money. Ahmed has arranged for me to be in films his friends Leroy and Jamal make in their basement. Apparently I can earn $200 per scene. I get a $200 bonus if there’re more than three men in the scene and an extra $100 for the donkey.
Don’t worry Mum. Now I’m 15 I know how to take care of myself.
Someday we’ll visit you and Dad so you can meet your grandchildren.
Your loving daughter,
Sarah
P.S. Dad, it’s not true. I’m watching TV at Sally’s house. I just wanted to show you there really are worse things in life than sleepovers

Oma advised P. Yap never to challenge worse and to ensure that the company with the licence was the same company with the money.

Back on Jamrock, I read Donovan Wilson’s surgically precise critique of CTL’s racing office in March 21’s Track & Pools and listened to Cliff Williams and Ainsley “Jimmie” Walters defending the Racing Office by blaming the claiming system for the failings Donovan pointed out. No, guys, it’s not the system. Jimmie, try to resist saying “can’t”. Conditions CAN be tweaked as can anything. For example, we can stop protecting 4yos and 5yos from contributing to more competitive claiming races. If you really don’t know what a pro-active Racing Office can do, go to Doncaster where nineteen two year olds competed over five furlongs on Saturday; nine more raced at Kempton. When is our first 2 furlong juvenile race?

I hope handicapping returns so those with short memories can be reminded why it came under attack from horsemen and was unceremoniously dumped. Those brainwashed to worship everything British have forgotten a rating/handicapping system inherently guarantees corruption. Just as Claiming’s shortcomings are emphasized in small countries like Jamaica, so is handicapping’s corrupt spawn.

Peace and Love

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