Features — 30 September 2017 — by Colin Hyde
He’ll eat those new words yet

The history books, or the epitaph, will say that this man never quit. Poor us, we’ve learned so many new words since he got the title in Pickstock, our little brains are fit to bust. We’d go crazy if we tried to figure out which one takes the prize. One thing for sure, these border lessons are so stuck in our heads you’d have to be really IGNORANT, or ARTIFICIAL like a plastic man, to not RECOGNIZE that in the south and the west we don’t have any.

Someone who really likes flights into intellectual fancy wanted to know what’s with Guatemala and their harassment of Belizeans on the Sarstoon. The word choice from the great man was as painful as any he had selected to teach us before.

Those of you with the tape recorders to pull out whenever he takes the podium, just-in-case, just-in-case, have him down verbatim. I’ve got just a mas o menos, until he hibs the word gas on the fire. You know, St. Michael’s College must be congratulated for all these local fellows with the fluid speech. We know they didn’t bother to teach them much math, but bohgaz they can speak!

When it comes to the Sarstoon, our philistine said, just like us the Guatemalans are … The man pauses here. It must be for effect. He’s well versed in the Shakespeare and other great playwrights, so he knows the value of silence between chatter. Of course he knows what he will say next. But wait, wait, he has tied himself up here with this, just like us, hasn’t he?

Do you need help … What is taking you so long … Why are you killing us with suspense, Sedi? I’m serious; this pause is getting really long. You know that sometimes seconds seem like hours. I watch his eyes … The devil has twinkling eyes too, when he’s got a soul cornered! The look of triumph spreads till it reaches his mouth. He’s got it, he’s got it, and if a leopard doesn’t ever change its spots we’d better hold tight because we are going to get it.

Yes, the foreigner minister says, When it comes to the Sarstoon, the Guatemalans are just like us—SENSITIVE. O daam bohgaz no! They—SENSITIVE—about our property? Don’t these bullies know the protocol? Heck man, it’s been there since 1859!

No man’s a total bust. He’s Peter Principled our solid borders into a dotted line but every man has a place that is his saving grace. Early in his reign as Pickstock area rep, he recommended that Belize hire a foreign head of the police. He knew that the UDP wasn’t ready for this. Belizean nationalists didn’t agree with him; they rejected his call.

But sometimes you have to swallow your pride. This independence we have, it’s limited. The reality of Belize, an important tiny country with a small population and little paper wealth, forces us to do things differently from the seven or so countries with the seven or so bombs. In the old days we would send for the West India Regiment. Maybe we could make a trade. Maybe Jamaica or Barbados could use a police commissioner from Belize.

Sedi is the one who said that political leaders will yield where there is the greatest pressure. Some of us thought that Belize, being a little country, our political leaders would naturally realize that we can’t operate like a big ship. They would know that any agitation in a small dory means the whole shebang is going over and so, knowing that, they would try and do the right thing. Sedi, sadly, was right. Politicians in Belize are like a fat boy at the dinner table. They have to stuff.

Unfortunately, his bad points completely overwhelm his little good. So he doesn’t deserve any sympathy. He might not even appreciate it. The man clearly doesn’t care what anyone thinks. The man knows where his next meal is coming from, for days, and he feels insulated from the violence that is sucking the life out of the masses. He doesn’t care, or have a full understanding, of the real of violence in a small nation.

No, we shouldn’t feel too sensitive for Sedi. Mercy he doesn’t deserve. Some would say that what he deserves is a French solution, one from medieval days, for what he’s done to our precious borders. I’ve seen a dungeon in the movies and it is not a nice place. All you get to eat are roaches, rats, and frogs. You can’t eat new words. And because four walls will block the new word they’ll bring no hurt to the nation, so he’ll get no psychological satisfaction.

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