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Friday, December 6, 2019
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The 9th wee wi

The way this story goes, this much liked, real personable brother who has some years on him, takes for wife a woman a little younger, okay, much younger than he is.

Now, the person who told me this story was well brought up, very decent, never engages in debauched talk. The person who told me this story told me that in his youth he tried the church, to see if he’d like it, but the pastor of the church he was serving was a rogue, a villain, a dastard, a rapscallion, and he soured from the profession when he thought of meeting more low-quality scum.

There is no question that our storyteller was too quick to quit, because we know there are many brothers of the cloth who are upstanding people. But we have to respect too that there are people in this world who don’t take two. For them: once bitten, twice shy. If I could judge, quick to quit is far better than being a sucker for punishment. Whew, one bad pastor damned the whole lot.

The reason I told you all that about my storyteller is because I know the minute you hear older man and younger woman you will most likely get to thinking what this story is not about. Sparrow said, “How can you look so clean and think so dirty?” But you have no reason to feel ashamed, unless you are a churchgoer. If you are, you really have to dig deep and try and find your best self. You shouldn’t be thinking wickedness.

Sex is just about the easiest thing to think and talk about. That’s because it’s natural. Put a female sheep, called a ewe, and a male sheep, called a ram, put them in a yard and you don’t have to ask what they’ll do. There won’t be much conversation, there won’t be a quarrel.

You really have to wonder if our ancient ancestors got tired of it. I mean, when you think of the way they ran around wild, the way they lived, your mind, when you think … okay, let’s not.

A village is a very physical world. Some of the guys I respect paddle dories and chop firewood. I used to paddle dories. Ahem. My big respect is for guys who dig sand and mix cement. Those are really tough jobs, and on top of strengthening the body, it’s productive work to build our nation.

Hmm, I wasn’t intending to say something mean about the buff fellows, but I can’t help myself, so let’s get over it. In the evenings they go to the gyms and pump a little iron, and then they go home and drink protein. They build muscles, but not to serve the country. Hmm.

A guy who shovels sand or mixes cement all day will beat the stuffings out of an iron pumper. It’s because of the muscle memory. The Schwarzeneggers will tire out. I do think the guy who paddles dory all day will give anyone a run, but if I had to put a wager I’d put it on the guys who mix cement and dig sand.

The wily boxer, Bernard Hopkins, will tell you the same thing. He slipped and dodged through everybody and then he got in the ring with a cement mixer. Press Cadogan prides himself on remembering things, so he should know what happened to Brother Hopkins. My memory says he got clocked.

In the village everybody has to make plantaysh. In the Maya villages in Toledo they still do faena. When the alcalde calls for a community activity, every man has to report, or else they go to jail. Order, respect for duty, that’s village life.

Ah, about the brother with some years on him, he wasn’t moving fast enough on the job for the village brethren, and so they set out to fix him.
Village people, and cay people, are flat out the best storytellers. Everyone loves a good storyteller. That’s not my forte. I’m not one, and I don’t care that I’m not one. I enjoy listening to a good story, not telling it.

Sometimes when you get on the bus you are fortunate to be in the presence of storytelling royalty. Some guys have all the luck, and some people have all the color. A good storyteller is a gem.

A few people who talk a lot really should content themselves with small chat. There are crude sorts who want to talk rude things in public and somebody really should tell them, man, you are just fouling up the air. I’m not talking down on anybody, because I have my vice. Some people think they sound good when they are foul. You sound terrible. You sound worse than I do when I dislike myself.

I don’t fancy my tummy either. I got an invitation to Big Bird’s Isle and the famous owner of the place pointed it out. If he wasn’t older than I, and giving me beer to drink, I might have considered him farad, but not as farad as the lady I met on the bus. I can’t remember if I told you about her. I was standing in the aisle of the bus one night and she patted my tummy and said, “You should do something about that.” Our Belize!

Yap, the brother was slow to pick up his machete and axe, and so his compadres decided to take him in hand. Their solution was the 9th wee wi.

It doesn’t get more industrious than wee wi. The wee wi ant (Atta cephalotes), and the drunken bayman (Trigona sp.), were the main insect pests of citrus before the terrible Asian citrus psyllid came along and introduced the Greening disease. In the old days every big farm – citrus, cacao, mango, you name it — had a wee wi team. In the old, old days the wee wi team used to go around with a Klim pan filled with Aldrin powder, a now banned insecticide. Then with progress came Mirex, an insecticide of the same family as Aldrin, but in pellet form. Incidentally, that Mirex is now also on the banned list.

There is nothing clandestine about wee wi. They are big, they make a conspicuous road, and those bohgaz carry ten times their weight in leaves cut from your prized plants, which they take to their nest on the edge of the farm. Wee wi nests can be large; some sources say that some nests can have 2 or 5 or even 10 million ants.

When they are about their business, and it’s not leaves from your plants they are carrying, you just watch them and marvel at their industry. Or you collect them if you have a purpose. The best potency, my storyteller told me, is in the 9th one.

He said there is nothing like the 9th wee wi to get a fire going under a man who is moving slow. He said it was his task to procure the cure, so early in the morning he went to bush and found a road of wee wi. He said he had a jar in his backpack and he took it out, then he dropped to his knees beside the wee wi road and started counting. One – two – three … NINE, he collected that one and put it in his jar. Then he started counting again until, NINE, and he collected that one, and put it in his jar.

He said he collected a few of them, and then he put the lid on his jar, put it in his backpack, and headed home, to the kitchen. When he got there he put a frying pan on the fire, and then he dumped in the lot. He wasn’t making an Asian delicacy. I’ve seen what the Chinese do with grasshoppers. These Asians can make cardboard taste good. What they do, you call it – cuisine.

My storyteller said that after he toasted the wee wiz – hihn call it patch – he ground them up with a pestle and added a few teaspoons of powder milk and then some water. He poured the potion into the jar and gave his village brother to drink. The story goes that after imbibing wee wi # 9, compa became so quick at getting into his rubber boots and picking up his weapons in the morning, he could have joined the army.

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