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Parading ‘tings we have’, toys and reality

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September 11, 2012 by Fensic

De udder day, I was scrolling through YouTube watching clips of de Independence Day celebrations. Actually it was de military parade since dat is what everybody does go tuh de Savannah and line all de parade routes tuh see. Dis one was special since was de big Five Oh

De parade has always fascinated me oui. Maybe is because I still ah boy at heart and all dem gun and ting is toys. Not like de caps gun I did have though. Ah wonder who here remember dem days. Yuh is ah boy and yuh getting ah caps gun fuh Christmas. Yuh get ah few rolls ah caps wid it and yuh gorn outside. Cowboy and Indians time.  Ah smelling de sulphur all now.

Anyway dis eh supposed tuh be no trip dong memory lane nah. I does get distracted too easy, steups.

So ah watching YouTube, hearing all de comments in de background and using mih special zoom sorfware tuh zoom in on tings. I is ah boy again but wid bigger more shinny toys.

Dis woman voice, sounding youngish, bring mih back tuh what I does always wonder about wid de, ‘show of force’, dat is de Independence Day parade.

“We have plenty ting”,  she say, de pride and amazement clear in she voice.

Now as ah expat, ah open fuh criticism eh. Not just because I doh see all dem gun and shinny fire truck and police cars wid flashing lights and woman marching wid gun across dey chest and all dat except fuh in dis annual parade . Is more dan dat, but I eh know how good I go be at articulating whatever it is ah trying tuh say.

I does look forward tuh seeing de parade and I does certainly get into de spirit of de occasion. I does be secretly, okay openly eef anybody was here tuh watch wid me, pumping mih fists saying ‘YES!’ when all dem tings rolling parse. Dem uniformed people marching like only Trinis know how tuh march when is jump dey want tuh jump up tuh de sweet music.

Buh ah cyar leave it at dat. Not when I does be asking mihself what is de point of showcasing all dem tings eef crime is such ah major, major problem

Ah only speculating here eh buh I wonder if ah lot ah all dem shinny new tings eh geh buy in de larse five years.


Is dat what ah hear getting asked?

Ah profound question.

Well when de parade done and dem men take orf dey boots and dem woman police, woman soldiers, woman sailors and woman air guard officers take dey guns orf dey bosoms does ah different world take over? Dey real world maybe?  All dem tings is……. nah ah cyar really call dem ‘toys’ like before, not like my caps gun was ah toy.

All dem tings supposed tuh be tools of de profession.  Right now dat is primarily de crime fighting profession as nobody watching dat parade go dare invade T&T. ‘Nobody’ means Barbados, Guyana, Grenada, St Vincent, Antigua, de Grenadines, even Jamaica. Ah forget anybody island? Let dem come, alone or tuhgedder.

Yes, dey does look good tuh people like me and we heart does pong in we chest when we see dem and dat chest does swell wid pride. But dat is all. Not so? When dat real world take over is like dem, ‘plenty tings we have’, dem tools does get put on ah shelf.

When dis regiment truck was parsing wid two strange looking four-wheel tings buh wid plenty more dan four wheels on dem de same woman had more tuh say.

‘What is dem?’

Dat spark ah real Trini debate wid only one person left saying anyting at de end so dey agree was ‘amphbians’. Somebody den ask, ‘way dey does use dem? I never hear dey does use dem’.

Maybe dey did get used in all dat flood in Diego’, somebody else suggest.

Okay I take some liberty wid de exactness of de quotes. If yuh ah police and going tuh arrest mih fuh dat, please doh slap mih first eh.

While it was ah entertaining lil debate, it speaks tuh questions dat does always be in de back ah mih mind arong de end ah August beginning of September.

Where does all dem tings geh used? Is T&T too ‘militarized? What if ah next Abu Bakr arise and he successful? He used tuh be ah police. What if ‘he’ inside  de regiment and try what Raffique Shah and dem try all dem years ago? Sorry if yuh never hear of Shah and La Salle. Dem is part of yuh history, yuh should know about dem.

All dem questions tied into ah next set ah questions I does ask mihself. Ah ask mihself dem again while I was watching parts of de Military Tattoo.

Wid de level of crime, how come more ah all dat training eh getting put tuh use against dem who seem…….


No. Dem who intent on making everybody else continually adjust dey life tuh new levels of normalcy dat include being inside when it get dark?

In de tattoo it eh escape mih ears when de MC say some ah de druggies in de inane skit escape de initial attack and make dey way tuh ah urban area tuh hide. He put emphasis on ‘urban area’ like he was winking wid he voice.

De army has in de past put orn ah lil ting showing ah mock attack against ah mock drug den. Ah next time de Coast Guard do something wid man dropping out ah helicopter into de sea and ting tuh capture more mock criminals. Training is fine buh what about de real drug dens? Dem cyar feel de brunt ah all dat training? Or is dem skills only tuh show some visiting dignitary?

I all confused oui. I eh have no answers. Ah prefer tuh say dat dan tuh force mihself tuh come up wid answers I eh go like.

Maybe de problem ah having is dat I does always be looking fuh de bigger picture. Tings happening now in front mih eye is fine buh what it mean when ah pull back mih telephoto lens and start panning arong what else going orn. How does it fit in wid udder tings I seeing?

Examples ah what ah mean?

Yuh cyar say yuh fuh road safety, stopping speeders when yuh law enforcement eh have tools like radar guns. How does Jack’s ‘turn around bays’ on de highway help exactly? I bet dat working just as good as pleading wid people tuh not speed. Like anybody does say when dey jump in dey car, ‘I going and speed and kill people, including mihself’.

We eh go even touch de area of de selective application of de law when it comes tuh de Breathalyzer test. Apparently if yuh high up enough on de food chain tuh call de acting CoP after yuh refuse tuh take de test, you eh go make ah jail. Yuh file go get sent tuh de DPP. Udders go make de jail or get fine or whatever de law say supposed tuh happen.

Damn, ah digressing again.

How yuh could start ah discussion about hanging murderers, wid one political side calling de udder side names fuh not agreeing when law enforcement eh solving murders and de judicial system more likely tuh toss ah murder charge or find de defendant not guilty as it is tuh convict. So who yuh hanging?

Everyting connected tuh everything else. It is dat complicated yet dat simple.

Somewhere between dis past Independence Day parade and next one, I go forget about dat sense of uneasiness I does feel looking at all dem tings we have. Den it go be parade time again and I go start all over again. I go be in dat zone again. De boy in mih go be checking tuh see what new tings we get tuh add tuh de tings we already we have.

Spectators go have conversations about de new tings dey seeing fuh de first time. Den dat parade go be over and all de tings, new and old, go get put away. Everybody den go look arong tuh see where dey leave dey bundle dey put dong before de parade start. Each go pick up dey load, put it on dey shoulder and get back tuh business. As usual.

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September 2012
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