ALL ABOUT WARREN

One of the downsides of a propensity for wanderlust is not being able to take my handful of enduring friends everywhere with me. You can always find people to celebrate success but it is your friends who are there when life throws you (another) curved ball. But just occasionally, when you least expect it, there is the serendipity of lives walking into each other, and new friends emerging. And so it is with Warren. We met through M., his sister and my old college buddy. Not normally a whiner, he has recently complained bitterly that nothing he has ever done, or said, has been odd enough, or funny enough, to feature in this blog. Shawn, his gorgeous and talented wife has featured. M. has made an appearance. But my man, Warren? Never. This has become a more pressing concern of late as he is about to leave this small rock taking with him with the gorgeous wife as well as two beautiful brides-to-be for First and Second Born.

Warren wants to build a future in his wife’s birthplace - the land of blue mountain coffee, Bob Marley and Reach Falls. Never heard of Reach Falls? Don’t mistake this for the Dunn River scene of Ocho Rios, with little old biddies holding hands, and wading through ankle-high water, while a light mist moistens their skin. This is a half-day swim/hike to the top of the waterfall through what looks like a forgotten, sunken Garden of Eden. We did this B.C. (Before Children) and long before the Tourist Board promoted it as a site worth visiting. Now the government controls access and charges an entry fee. But at least one visitor has confirmed on the net that there are still local guides to take you up the falls the old fashioned way. A popular guide is Renny, usually found hanging out at nearby Bigga’s Tuc Shop or Jah Priest’s stall.

I have a two-centimetre scar on my right knee - a lasting memento of that visit to Reach Falls - the outcome of a heated argument with a big rock. And if you think my scar is bad - you should see what the rock looks like. As blood gushed out, a brother offered me 100% proof white rum to clean the wound, and Jah’s weed of wisdom to ease the pain. What with the lush scenery, the seductive, cool water crashing down, searing pain and the organic herbal brew flowing through my body, I and I reached a higher plane of consciousness that has not really been glimpsed at again. But I digress. This blog is not about me. It’s all about Warren.

One of Warren’s most endearing qualities is his modesty so I thought I would interview people who know him well to get to the essence of the man. I started with M. She adores her brother and is particularly proud of his tenacity. And Warren manages a good work/life balance that gives him time to go for long bike rides on weekends. Of course after this week’s budget, his bike licence jumped from $5 to $25. M. is not impressed. It is unlikely that you will find her getting up in the morning, putting on her clothes, and going down to parliament, to raise bicycle tax. And if it was just the stupid bike tax that would be alright. But the PM has effectively raised taxes by 5% across the board. At least this is a polite interpretation of what I think she said. M and I parted, promising to find time during Parliament’s summer recess for chilling out together, doing diddly squat. Five minutes later she sent a text asking me to emphasize what a supportive brother Warren is, his sense of fairness, and how much she will miss him. After all she does not want the blog to be about taxes. It must be all about Warren.

From The Sister I moved to The Wife. Warren is handsome in a rugged, I-used-to-be-a-surfer way, but The Wife is plain hot. She is also a loving, thoughtful woman and the first to help me navigate life on this small rock. We decided to meet for lunch so I could get the scoop on Warren The Lover. Turns out naughty Warren stole her from under the nose of a most suitable boyfriend by a combination of charm and a thousand tiny acts of romance. He was a law student at the time working part time in a night club. And speaking of law and lawyers, Shawn has just been through the ordeal of selling their home in Bim. It was an ordeal because of the whole conveyancing fraud that happens everywhere.

It starts with the estate agents. Few actively market your property. The preferred marketing method seems to be a prayer for divine intervention that another cash-rich Brit / Canadian / American / Trinidadian walks through the door and pays the asking price, so they can collect their 5% commission, thank you very much. And then the legal process is notoriously slow, uncertain, and more expensive than equivalent transactions in London or New York. Poor Shawn lost a good two kilos during the whole process from sheer frustration and anxiety. But it’s over now and she is off in a couple weeks to a place her heart has never left. Anyway, our lunch was quick because she was still packing. As she drove off I think she yelled something about put in the blog that Warren is the best father, and a fabulous photographer. Don’t bother to mention my little problems. It should be all about Warren!

And it would be all about Warren but he is so understated that he would never agree to being interviewed or boast about his achievements. Some people are all fancy fretwork built on shaky foundations. He is the solid foundation that every sister, brother, lover and friend needs. If I knew how, I would write a blog, and it would be all about Warren.

OBEAH FOR BEGINNERS

It’s the end of the school year and the kids have brought home excellent report cards. The fact that they seem to know times tables is viewed by The Husband as valid evidence that they will share the Nobel prize for economics. I can never understand parents who hoist their own thwarted ambitions onto their children. Why isn’t he content that our boys are well balanced, happy, healthy and destined for the Nobel in literature? There is just no pleasing some people.

As the summer holidays set in I find myself delving into an alternative dimension of space and time. I blame J.
“J. said that apparently if you don’t wear red panties to the funeral of your late husband they say his spirit will haunt you if/when you have relations with another man.” I announced after dinner.
“Why are you mentioning dead husbands?” asked The (Still Breathing) Husband.
“No reason.” I replied.
He and I practically share a birthday so it is unlikely that my evil twin will kick the bucket anytime soon.
“What if I die before you?” I inquired, sitting up. “Would you wear red boxer shorts for me?”
He sighed. “If I must.”
Then, almost as an afterthought he blurted out,
“If you plan to haunt me otherwise then I will definitely wear them.”
Glad that’s settled. At least I know what to get him for Christmas.

Indeed, following the guidance of local folklore and superstition can solve more than your present-buying dilemmas. If you are feeling really blue, or offset, as we say on this small rock, you might be tempted to hit the Prozac. There is another way. Check out the very alternative, obeah practitioner. She is likely to recommend a cure of holy water in one hand, and an open pair of scissors in the other. Apparently epilepsy and hallucinations also respond well to this Bajan version of Edward Scissorshand.

And if your desperation is for a band of gold on the fourth finger of your left hand, but The Boyfriend has only ever bought you a copper nose ring, then maybe it is time for a little help. The Mighty Sparrow, in his calypso, Melda, accused her of taking his “name to obeah man” and practicing witchcraft in the form of lighting different coloured candles and placing garlic around the house to speed up the walk down the aisle. But the magic was not enough to force his hand. Instead Sparrow advised Melda to use another kind of magic:
Like scrubbing your teeth and bathing regular
Soap and water keeps you fresh and clean
.


Even if you are not a mouldy Melda you might still have problems that the best personal hygiene habits cannot fix. Time to find the obeah doctor. For troubled souls outside Bim obeah spells are keeping up with the times and available online at several sites, including www.calastrology.com/obeah.html. Here we use the old fashioned classifieds in either The Nation or Advocate. Many who have not heeded the call of our late brother Bob to emancipate themselves from mental slavery might be tempted by Psychic Matilda’s USP that she is a “European Healer”. True she has “NEVER FAILED” in “twenty-six years of experience”. Damn I hate people like her. I can fail more than twenty-six times in one day.

And if you are feeling a failure, or maybe broken hearted because your man / woman is intimately acquainted with half the village, Psychic Matilda will “guarantee miracles in minutes”. But be careful what you ask for. Matilda’s miracles might actually work and you’ll be back in bed with the same cold, slutty, son-of-a-she dog man / woman you had before. Just a thought.

If the local versus European healer dichotomy does not shackle you, then it would appear that Psychic Astra provides more extensive services. Of course she can do the run-of-the-mill healing, cleansing and guiding. But that is not the half of it. Astra can also supply the following spiritual washes:
- Money Drawing,
- John the Conqueror,
- Uncrossing, and
- Reversible.
You can also purchase Van-Van wash, for good luck, which I did on Swan Street in Bridgetown. It smelt rather familiar. Suddenly I realized I had been ingesting Van-Van for years. It’s vervain – reduced to Van-Van from the French Louisiana dialect that named the herb “vaah vahn”. Given the amount of vervain herbal tea I have drunk I should have won the lottery several times by now. That I have yet to actually buy a lottery ticket is beside the point. Maybe a Supercentre blessed herbal tea is not on par with one that has been touched by the likes of Psychic Astra or Psychic Matilda.

But Psychic Astra does advertise a wash that I thought might be useful called Road Opener. My first thought was that this was the answer to easing the stupid amounts of traffic we have in Bimshire. Maybe it could even help conclude the road building programme that should have been finished in early 2007 yet shows little sign of completion. Sadly this Road Opener only opens a wormhole between the physical and spiritual worlds. That is just no use. What I need is a traversable wormhole within the physical world of this coral landmass that makes the school run less painful.

If your issues are still not covered by any of the healing or washes described earlier, and you have already cried a river into your coffee, then turn to Psychic Astra’s third classified ad. There are a number of oils that can be ordered in one easy call or quick email. Oils in stock include:
- Man Trap,
- Hold My Man,
- Jezebel,
- Bossfix,
- Influence and Victory Over Evil,
- Bewitching, and
- Controlling.

I have a better idea. Wipe those tears away. Let go of your pain. Don’t try to hold on to that man or woman, fix the nasty boss or conquer the evil men do. Try smothering your enemies with generosity. On the same page as Psychic Matilda and Psychic Astra’s ads are gift ideas for those people who have messed with your karma.

DRY COW’S MANURE. Minimum delivery amount 10 bags @ $10/bag. Closed Sundays.

I almost agree that revenge is a dish best served cold – cold and dry.