Features — 23 August 2017 — by Colin Hyde
Someone who could turn water into suds

From long experience I know how to prepare the holy temple to receive this not-so-saintly-to-all sacrament. Chopping grass isn’t a part of the ritual. But I, like all sinners who appreciate the virtue of work, cherish a good sweat. It humbles the soul. It cleans the pores. It titillates the heart, pipes, liver an lights. It does a body, old or young, good.

I lay down my machete for a heavier one. My regular Collins just doesn’t cut it in some of the grass at the back of my yard. Some grass, your cutlass just whistles through them, like the hot knife through butter. You can go against grass like that any old time of the day. Some types of grass, you got to go at them in the early morning. And your blade has to have weight, and be sharp, or your job will be more bruise than chop.

After my task—it’s breakfast time. I know you were thinking shower. No, after I have my bath I don’t even want to lift a teacup. I like to lather like a horse at the races. But after I’ve had my fresh, perspire is worse than a four-letter word at Sunday school.

I eat lightly, on purpose. First I have a piece of papaya. Then I do my egg. I brok the egg over a bowl and whip it up with a fork. I think there’s a name for that. Am I making an omelette? I chop up a piece of garlic, chunky, ‘cause I love to chew on the pieces. I add a little salt, a little black pepper, and then we’re off to a hot frying pan coated with a thin film of coconut oil. I have a drink of cocoa with sugar. I eat a Johnny cake. One suits my purpose this morning. For the sacraments to have full effect, I don’t need no belly full.

Oh, how refreshing is a good bath and a suit of clean clothes. You agree that a little nap is deserved. Today’s a little special. It’s my grandson’s second birthday, and I’ve got my little plan. The music for the moment is already selected, the cdeez all queued—my Peters, my Martha Weatherburn, my Leela, and my Rhaburn, all ready to roll.

In my one meeting with Stewart Krohn, the first owner of Channel Five, he told me that Brokdong doesn’t have much to it so it won’t go far in the world. I thought: This brother’s a whiskey drinker. All I know about music is how it makes me feel. I can’t find any better company than Brokdong to drink with. Yo, ho, ho.

My four beers are already on ice. Beer is the star for today. I plan to go out in the afternoon to Belmopan, to run a few errands, and rum does have a way of clinging to yu. Beer is a worthy substitute, if you prepare the temple the right way. The best hour for beer is coming on to dinner. A light breakfast is essential. Every golden drop will hit the right spot if your belly hungry.

I know well the worlds where I’m going. There’ll be some joy. There’ll be some sweet sadness. There’ll be a little reflection at the end, a little thinking about serious things. Okay, I got my songs and I got my drinks, so I’m off.

God is cooperating beautifully. There’s a lovely breeze, good cloud cover, and parked under our leafy golden plum tree I am, yes, as cool as a freshly picked cucumber. Ah, the first bottle is sooo refreshing. I call the grandson over, but that boy isn’t in to me at aal, at aal. He knows more exciting places, and people. My, I could do well with a friend. I quickly right myself. You can’t have it all. If I had a friend how could I sing, I mean, REALLY sing, with Peetaz… No one to care for me, No one to care for me, Not a friend in all this world have I, None have I ….

Aah, the second bottle, and so quickly sweet sadness turns to joy. Ooh Leela – This place, is just like paradise…The cashew wine, mek yu feel so fine. Hmm, this cashew wine business makes me think of the world’s most famous winemaker. What a wonderful, special guy! But oh, I sure feel for His old dad. Poor Joseph! Joseph, he’s really one of the all-time greats. Heck, I’m into reflection and I’m not done with my second beer yet!

First thing, Joseph finds out that his girl is pregnant—and he knows it isn’t him. When we get out of the dark tunnel, we find that all is good now, because he’s at ease with the one who done it. Thank God it’s God, or who knows if he would have been able to hold his tranquilo.

You’d think that after dealing such a hand, life would have eased up on him. Not so. The wicked King Herod is after the baby, so he has to pack up his things and flee with his family.

Only a sadist would have begrudged Joseph the little calm that then entered his life. The boy Jesus is coming along nicely, a real hardworking, obedient fellow. Joseph must have been thinking about all the things he would do when his youth picked up some muscles so he could lift the four by fours, and the six by six. Bah, at the appointed time, when Jesus is just about ready for some real hard work, he ups and skidooz. Poor Joseph takes it on the chin again.

This man must be Gabriel Oak. He lets it go without complaining. Well, we don’t hear of any griping from his corner. Long suffering you call people like these. Over the years he and his wife, the boy’s mother, must have got news of him and his exploits on his world tour. Time goes by. Joseph is getting a little old now, not so able to handle the big carpentry jobs. But in each life a little sun must shine. There’s a sighting of Jesus. The brother is coming home.

I’ll tell you about the homecoming, just after I open my third bottle. Yes, Jesus is coming home…but not to help Joseph. Jesus is a minister. But nobody’s all bad. Jesus, He’s no run of the mill.

We can be a bit upset with Him for leaving His earth father high and dry, and bringing problems on His family, but we can’t accuse Him of abusing/taking advantage of His ministry. He for sure was only about saving souls. There was no mammon greed in Him. And He had full respect for God the Father’s edict of free will. Some who copy His cloth miss the path. Jesus was for no racket and He was for no cudgel.

Some of these ministers, it’s all racket. If you ever have questions about the color of Jesus’ skin, you have all your answers in how He ran His ministry – just a little bit of food, a little clothing, a little shelter, and a whole lot of love. Let’s stop beating about the bush. If He were white He’d have been after the dollars. White people are mammon-driven animals, Braa.

My, there’s not a bone of carpenter in Joseph’s boy—all minister. Talking about minister, will this young man Wade ever stop playing Pharaoh in our path across the Red Sea? Ai, I really didn’t care for his kind of interruption today. Uh-uh, he’s not a bad sort. But why can’t he hear the other side? Okay, he asked for it; now I’m going to complain. What nerve to blowback on marijuana DECRIMINALIZATION, Braa!

Hold on while I get my last cold one, to cool me down. I say, my daughter says he taught her and he was wonderful, wonderful. She says he’s a Bio major.

Hmm, talking about Bio… Ah, I remember the day the results of the “O” levels came out. From my seat in class I saw Sister Diane, our Biology teacher, coming up the walkway. There was something Maria-ish about her; she looked like someone who had been whistling. She entered the door and her eyes, twinkling with the Almighty’s euphoria or from some lasting joke, settled on my face. How can I ever forget her incredulity when she said: Boy, YOU—PASSED—BIOLOGY?

I kind of quit school in third form, just had enough of being cooped up in a building when God’s glorious earth was all ablaze outside. Oh, I for sure enjoyed my classmates and I respected my teachers, but I hated four walls and a door I couldn’t go through. But Bio is nature science. If you love the outdoors, and the animals and the plants out there, you have a leg up.

I scraped by in History too, you know. Aha, that’s what that young man should have studied. Yap, give him and Scott and Richard some of that old time HISTORY. If those Evangelical bohgaz had any of that, they would have known about the part when rain water miraculously turned into blackberry juice. And the part that happened later, when religion-imposed Prohibition turned amazing wine into a bloody turf war.

Uh-uh, my fourth bottle is done. Hmm, I bet the winemaker could turn a bottle of water into suds.

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