Trinidadians are brimming over with expectation as carnival approaches. Every night you can hear Soca, pan or take in another fete. By next weekend the whole country will be a little bit tipsy as they move into two full days of playing mas. Big up my girlfriend Allison Demas who is head of all things carnival and doing a fantastic job.
But Trinis don’t have nothing pon the good people of Barbados. The excitement on our small rock is at fever pitch. And it’s not because the long awaited general elections have finally been called for 21 February. Few have high expectations of transformative political change whoever wins. No, something far more momentous has occurred in Bimshire. Our lives have been revolutionised in ways we have yet to fully comprehend because, drum roll please, BURGER KING has opened its first branch on the rock.
Naturally when such a phenomenon occurs you can expect the population to be mobilised and they have not disappointed. When First Born, Second Born and I went on Tuesday evening at 7pm we had a cool 20 minute wait in a line that stretched half way down the length of the food court. No one it seemed even noticed the Chinese food or the baked goods offered by the two other food outlets.
Those from foreign may not appreciate our restricted world. Bajns have been previously shackled to a lifetime of Chefette or KFC chicken. Now the common people finally have real choice. In the newly rebranded Sky Mall at Haggatt Hall we, the people, can partake of a Whopper or even a Double Whopper - as sandwich or meal - and all easily upsized for a few dollars more.
But them Burger King people not stupid. They know Bajans may be nervous about embracing change so chicken burgers are offered for those who can’t break free from wings and thighs. The bookies are also giving decent odds that macaroni pie will creep in as a listed side order before 2014. Speaking of odds, Burger King’s products in the UK have allegedly been found to be contaminated with horse meat.
Call me conservative but I ate the fish burger. It actually looked and tasted of real fish and was sandwiched between a tasty bun with bits of fresh salad poking out. The fries were okay. I prefer them long and stringy but that is a personal quirk. The growing lads both had Double Whopper meals which they declared to be the bomb. There also raved about the crisp fries. In seven minutes flat not even a shred of ice-berg lettuce was left between them.
But my posse can never have a simple, uncontroversial outing to a small mall anchored by a fast food joint. We spread our meal on the small, fixed table and put all the rubbish on our tray which I neatly tucked next to my feet. We had not been seated more than a couple minutes when a supervisor approached our table.
‘Dat tray belongs to you?’ asked the young, uniformed woman with hair pinned back off her face.
I looked up.
She lowered her chin and widened her eyes the more to scare me.
‘You know it on de floor,’ she continued.
‘Yes. I’ll move it when we’re done eating.’
She twisted and pulled her mouth but no sound came out. I took the opportunity to stuff myself with fries ever mindful of her continued presence and the piercing glint of her eyes.
‘It can’t stay there,’ she said loudly.
I swallowed the last bit of potato.
‘I’ll move it when I’m done,’ I said. ‘If you like you can move yourself.’
That was a step too far. My girl went straight to the security personnel propped up on the far side wall. Heated words were exchanged and the supervisor marched back to our table unaccompanied by the law. She wordlessly swooped up the tray and neither she nor tray were seen again. So if you go to Burger King and my mug shot with a big red X is at the entrance you will understand how I came to such a sorry-ass end.