One of the most accurate readers of a domino game was Dessie but even he was sometimes fallible especially when his partner was the Dunce.

Dessie posed double-six; Gene Autry contributed six-five; and the Dunce five-four. My only play was six-four so I spun a mental coin and went two fours. Dessie passed. Autry played four-blank and the Dunce inserted double-four. From my original hand of six-four; five-trey; double trey; trey-ace; double-deuce; double-ace; double-blank, I again had Hobson’s choice. There was no way I could pass Dessie again but the good news was that Gene also hung on until the game arrived at Dessie with five and deuce facing him. He had two dominoes left (five-deuce; deuce-ace) with double-deuce; trey-ace; double-five and trey-deuce out.

“Double-five dead like a dawg in di middle a’ Hope Road!” crowed Dessie as he slaughtered that unfortunate domino while going two deuces. As Gene Autry turned over trey-deuce with a wry smile, the fight began

“Wha’ yu kill mi double-five fa?” complained the Dunce.

“YOU have double-five?” Dessie was beside himself. “Your first play was to cut five!”

“So?’ queried the Dunce belligerently “Mi haffe cut Autry card”

“No yu don’t yu [expletive deleted] idiot” Dessie was inconsolable “Is yu firs’ play! Yu no know di rule about not cutting yu own double?”

“Rule mek fi bruk” announced a piqued Dunce adding, for emphasis, “if a macca mek it jook yu!

The confrontation escalated. Dessie threatened to cut the Dunce with a domino.  Gene intervened by calling a food break so they could cool down and we sent Haemorrhoid, who was kibitzing, to Cloud Nine for Pizza.

I’ve been reminiscing on the Dunce’s very Jamaican admiration for the rule- mek- fi-bruk mantra firstly when Darryl and Dayton shattered every rule of Parliamentary conduct with a confrontation akin to a Mexican Standoff forcing the Speaker to call an Autryesque break to cool tempers. At every moment I expected either to throw a domino at the other.

Secondly, during the “debate”, the Opposition Leader chose an unfortunate way to inject “humour” with primary school children present and live TV cameras running.  His obscene gesture was appreciated by many Parliamentarians but not so much elsewhere.  Instead of admitting his error, he significantly lowered the bar for parliamentary “humour” as follows:

I used a gesture which has become the subject of controversy and interpreted as offensive. …At no time was any offence meant and none was taken either by the Speaker…nor (sic) by any member of parliament….. In light of the misinterpretation, and in some instances misrepresentation, I regret using this gesture in what was a light-hearted moment of banter…., intended to diffuse any tensions…

An expression of regret isn’t an apology despite the Gleaner’s lame attempts to so categorize his compounded waywardness. Apologies don’t include blaming others for forcing regret upon you by their misinterpretation and misrepresentation. It sounded like we should be apologizing for suggesting an obscene gesture was obscene and submitting to mind-reading classes as penance. Barf!

In contrast, Darryl said “…truth is I over-reacted to the aggressive response of Campbell. I have a responsibility to the people and I could have handled it better. I unequivocally apologize to those offended and to the people of Jamaica

THAT is how apology is done.  Much later, Dayton also issued a sincere sounding apology in Parliament.

Finally, in dutiful rule-mek-fi-bruk style, a driver of an expensive car bought for Ministers’ transport disobeys a red traffic light; collides with two other motorists and flips a Prado (a difficult manouvre even for Evel Knievel). What could possibly justify this? How do the motorists recover their repair expenses and loss of use from a government that self-insures and takes years to pay judgments of the Supreme Court?

As the pigs controlling Animal Farm government might say “All animals are equal but some are more equal than others”.

Peace and Love


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