Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Trini emails to Santa Claus

As all Trinbagonians know, Christmas is a magical time of the year. A time for giving to the less fortunate, showing goodwill to our fellow man, and listening to sexually suggestive Soca Parang songs.  It’s also the time of the year when boys and girls across the world write to Santa Claus, asking him for the presents they would love to find under their Christmas tree on Christmas morning. Of course no one writes letters anymore, they send emails. Thanks to the power of the internet and some Russian hackers we can read some of the sweet and delightful messages that jolly Saint Nick has gotten from good boys and girls in T&T. Here they are:

Friday, December 16, 2016

T&T’s next top hangman

Do you like working with your hands? Meeting new people? And enjoy the bloodcurdling sound of someone’s neck snapping in half? Then why not consider an exciting career as T&T’s hangman! T&T has not needed a hangman since 1999. But career prospects are looking brighter.  That’s because the current outrage over the tragic murder of Shannon Banfield, as well as our spiraling out of control murder rate, has many people calling for the services of hangmen to be resumed. Thus making the business of killing people, who have killed other people, a killer opportunity.

Friday, December 9, 2016

The ugly truth about post truth

 Every year I send the Oxford Dictionary my suggestion for their annual “word of the year”.  This year I submitted a word I invented; “Imbert”. This “means “making it up as you go along until a riot starts”. As in “We haven't really thought out this fuel price increase, let’s just Imbert it”. But as usual those snobs in Oxford have ignored me. Instead they have chosen “Post Truth” as their word for 2016.

Local government yokels

Unlike general elections, local government elections offer the opportunity for citizens to think about the everyday issues affecting their communities. Issues like; how much did the previous government spend on roti?  Or, how many people can Inshan Ishmael insult on his TV show? And of course, just how many outside children does Dr. Rowley have? One issue close to my heart is the tall uncut grass along the river bank near where I live. Despite my numerous letters to my local councilor complaining that it's an eyesore as well as hindering me from disposing of my old fridge, he has yet to respond.

The elegant design of potholes

Forget the steelpan, the hummingbird or a masked man robbing you at gunpoint; the true symbol of Trinidad and Tobago is the humble neighborhood pothole. Potholes perfectly capture what our nation is about; a land of irregular shapes mysterious depths and completely unnecessary car accidents. Indeed the pothole has been our longest serving and most trusted institution. Successive generations have seen governments come and go, new technologies come and go, and road pavers come and go, yet through it all, the nation’s potholes have endured.

The ‘Yuge’ upset

Shocking! Unbelievable! It’s the end of the world! Those were the sentiments expressed this week as the world witnessed the incredible scenes of Finance Minister Colm Imbert actually apologizing for a remark he made. What fantastical thing will happen next - the Prime Minister holding a press conference where he calmly answers questions directly? But that wasn't the only earth shattering event this week. On Tuesday Americans elected Donald Trump as their 45th President. Defying all the odds, Trump proved the American dream is alive and well. As long as you’re a billionaire reality TV star , telling bold faced lies to your supporters  and bullying everyone who disagrees with you  - you too can become President.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

What if Trump wins?

For most Americans, major decisions usually involves whether or not to supersize your happy meal, choosing between Ruby Tuesday’s or TGI Friday’s and which wrestler to support at ‘WCW Summer Slam’.  But next week Tuesday, Americans have a really tough decision to make; choosing between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump to be President. Though Clinton has the edge in the polls, a Trump victory shouldn’t be ruled out. After all stranger things have happened this year; like the UK voting for Brexit, Columbia voting against a peace deal with the FARC rebels and most shockingly  the West Indies winning a test match against Pakistan.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

A T&T Halloween story

It’s that time of year for tales of ghosts, zombies and blood suckers. Yes, local government elections are upon us, and political candidates have started canvassing. Of course it’s also Diwali and Halloween time. I love Diwali but I find Halloween more intellectually stimulating; as it allows me to go to parties where women dress as sleazy versions of superhero characters. T&T is also home to a great Halloween horror story, worthy of Stephen King. It’s a tale of a twisted curse that has been revisited upon successive generations of Trinbagonians since independence. Inflicting pain, misery and mediocre politicians. I am talking about; ‘the resource curse’.

Friday, October 21, 2016

A message from the Attorney General

Dear fellow citizens, my friend Darryn Boodan has allowed me to use his regular column space to address the current controversy of the pictures of young children holding weapons at Camp Cumuto. Now I cannot confirm nor deny that the children in these pictures are mine. It’s hard to tell, the pictures are grainy and I certainly didn’t teach my children to hold a HK G36 - C Variant with such poor posture. All I will say is that whoever these children’s father is I’m sure he’s a simple, hardworking man who is trying his best as  Attorney General and you all should get off his damn back.

UWI Double Think

The University of the West Indies (UWI) has fascinating lecturers. Take for example Faculty of Engineering Professor, Stephan Gift. Mr. Gift has written many letters to newspapers refuting Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity and Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. Or take Computer Science lecturer Noel Kalicharan, who warns the public that vaccines are part of a worldwide conspiracy. Or former poetry lecturer Dr. Wayne Kublalinsgh who claims he can live for months on sunlight and Tulsi leaves alone. If UWI ever needed a suicide squad of lecturers saying dumb things, they could easily assemble one.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Imaginary Q&A with Colm Imbert

Last week, Minister of Finance Colm Imbert, presented the 2017 Budget, entitled “Shaping a Brighter Future:  A Blueprint for Transformation and Growth” to Parliament.  I wanted to meet the Minister to discuss the budget at his office in Port of Spain. But then I realized driving to Port of Spain from Chaguanas is burning gas I can’t afford. I figured it would be cheaper to simply imagine interviewing Minister Imbert. So that’s what I did. Here’s how it went:

Monday, September 26, 2016

Reading Dr. Rowley

It’s highly unusual for a sitting Prime Minister to publish his or her memoirs after just one year in office. But that’s exactly what Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley has done with his book “From Mason Hall to White Hall; His name is Keith Rowley”. In publishing his memoirs so early, Dr. Rowley is the first T&T Prime Minister to tacitly admit that he’s probably not going to do anything worth writing about in the next four years. It’s a refreshing move. Some have pointed out that the title is a bit odd, considering T&T’s Prime Ministers no longer reside at Whitehall. But the title is actually inspired by a speech. And in fairness, "From Mason Hall to St Anns" doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

A crime prayer

Dear God, whether you go by any of the many names Trinbagonians call you; Jesus, Shiva, Allah or Lionel Messi, I am praying to you to help stop the violent crime epidemic plaguing Trinidad and Tobago. I know you are a Trini at heart. Which may explain why you allowed crime to spiral out of control and have done little to fix it, despite our constant pleas. It’s ok, as a fellow Trini I understand. You’re probably on lunch and the lunch hour in heaven must operate according to a different standard of time than it does on Earth. Just like it does in the Passport Office. 

Hang 'em High!

Like most Trinbagonians I believe we need to foster a humane society where the value of human life is respected. And where those who don’t respect it are brutally executed. That’s why I support the enforcement of the death penalty. By resuming capital punishment, T&T will send a strong moral message to the violent gangs and crime lords currently terrorizing our land: cross us and you’ll die. It will also help teach the youths that killing is wrong. The same way I intend to teach my son about the dangers of alcohol; by making him watch me get drunk and then beating him senseless.

Freshly Brewed Paranoia

Last week news broke of the horrific conditions in which dogs were being kept at the San Fernando dog pound. Some dogs were so starved for food that they were eating other dogs. Rightfully, people across T&T were outraged. Because American coffee house chain Starbucks had opened a branch in San Fernando. Foreign imperialists had come to sell us their foreign coffee. At least those dogs at the pound were eating local dogs.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Why I hate the Olympics

There is nothing I hate more in this world than the Olympic Games.  Sure, I know the world is filled with horrifying things, like terrorism, poverty, and Machel Montano’s new movie ‘Bazodee’. But even ‘Bazodee’ has a meaningful purpose; to test the threshold of psychological pain of those willing to sit through it. The Olympic Games on the other hand is nothing more than a bloated overcooked dish, coated in pompous ceremony, stuffed with political corruption and sprinkled with human growth hormone.  Every four years we are forced to swallow it in the name of national pride and sporting spirit. 

Dr. Rowley Under the Microscope

The recent scrutiny surrounding the health of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley has raised some very important national questions. Like, should the public know the full condition of the Prime Minister’s health? How much privacy should he be expected to have? And has anyone heard any juicy gossip of what might be ailing him? Of course the Prime Minister hasn’t suggested he may be seriously ill, saying only that he is having a medical abroad before he embarks on his holiday. This sounds entirely reasonable. A little bit too reasonable. As all Trinbagonians know, sounding reasonable is a sure-fire way to tell that a politician is hiding something.

ISIS Career Guidance

This week we learned that nine Trinbagonians are being deported from Turkey, having been suspected of trying to join ISIS. No doubt these men are in for a difficult time when they return. Their heads will be filled with puzzling questions, like, ‘What will I do now’? and ‘How will I fit in’?  and ‘wait a minute, just how many children does the Prime Minister have’? But it need not be like this. T&T actually offers many career options for failed ISIS fighters. If you’re one of those who are disappointed you can no longer fulfill your dreams of adventure, excitement and religiously inspired madness, here are some great local jobs that will help you reintegrate into Trinbagonian society.

Friday, July 29, 2016

This column is offensive

I believe in free speech. But like most Trinbagonians I know that free speech comes with responsibility; and by that I mean the responsibility of the person speaking freely to me to validate all my opinions and prejudices. That’s why as a writer it’s important for me to understand those issues which I need to be careful of when writing, so as not to offend anyone. After all, as Trinbagonians also know, the whole purpose of a newspaper is to present ideas and opinions that everyone agrees with. In fact, the constitution of T&T guarantees citizens the right not to read anything in newspapers that offends them; be it satirical columns, horoscopes, or even cinema listings that conflict with their schedule.

Friday, July 22, 2016

The gate crashers

One day I want to have a son. When I do, I will do everything in my power to ensure he succeeds in life. That’s why I plan to pull him out of school when he’s around 7 years old. Get him training in the cricket nets every day and ensure he makes the West Indies team by the time he’s 20. Surely a nice big juicy Indian Premier League contract will then come long. Then I can kick back and live my dreams through him. My fiancé has this crazy idea though that we need to educate our prospective children and ensure they go to University. And I’m sure she’s planning on making girl children just to crush my dreams.

Friday, July 15, 2016

How not to be killed by Satirists

Last week Wednesday as newspaper readers like me went about our business, checking our lotto numbers, reading our horoscopes, and perusing the classifieds for a personal masseuse; tragedy struck. There, lurking in the middle of the Trinidad Guardian newspaper was a satirical column written by Kevin Baldeosingh, entitled “How not to be killed by Islamists”. 

Friday, July 8, 2016

It’s not smart to be bright

This week I had to console my nephew Garret who did not pass for a prestige school after writing the SEA exam. “Uncle Darryn, does God hate me?”, he asked, on the verge of tears. “Oh Garret, God doesn’t hate you, you’re just duncey, that’s all,” I said. I then tried to get him excited about all the new and wonderful experiences that awaited him at his new mediocre Government secondary school. Like dealing with his first bullies, his first rejection by a girl and making his first viral video of a classroom fight. But nothing I said seemed to cheer him up.

Friday, July 1, 2016

My relationship from hell

Since I started writing for the Trinidad Express I get lots of emails from fans asking me questions.  Questions like, “Darryn, what’s your bank pin number” or “Darryn, would you like to purchase Viagra”, or “Darryn, where do you live, I want to come and punch you in the face”. 

But last week I got one question I think I can actually answer. It’s from spambot23, who asks “Darryn how do you spot the red flags in a relationship?” Well spambot23, great question. Allow me to illustrate these red flags using my own personal relationship from hell.  Here they are:

Friday, June 24, 2016

Feeding Hysteria

I’m very careful about where I eat. I only buy food from people displaying a food badge, practicing good hygiene, and in the case of Sookdeo, the man I buy Oysters from; willing to give me half price off if I get Cholera. That’s why I am shocked by the news from the president of the Poultry Association of Trinidad and Tobago, Robin Phillips, saying imported chicken may be classified as pet food. Only last year, there was a public scare that Chinese restaurants were passing off dog meat as chicken. Now on top of unknowingly eating a dog; I have to worry if I’m eating my dog’s dinner.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Dude where’s my 72 Virgins?

As an atheist I do not believe in the existence of God. For me the lack of a supreme being watching over us can easily be proven by observing the nature of the Universe, life on Earth and the fact they keep making Transformers movies. Therefore I also know that there is no sexual paradise, with 72 virgins for jihadist Omar Mateen, to go to. However no one can be 100% sure of anything. In the 0.01 % chance that the Jihadist idea of paradise exists I really pray that the following scenario is what Omar finds himself in, when he arrives at the reception desk.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Venezuelans Go Home!

Trinidad and Tobago is a land of opportunity. A land where a fat person can open a successful weight loss clinic. A land where you can make millions renting a building to the state that’s never occupied. A land where a foreign cruise ship can get half a million dollars in tax payers’ money without even docking here. Yes, sweet T&T is a place that makes dreams come true for those who believe in the ideas of hard work, perseverance and that a sucker is born every minute.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Shooting the Gorilla in the Room

Like most Trinbagonians, I appreciate the beauty and majesty of wild animals. Especially if they are curried. That’s why I, like  many this week, was disheartened at the way Cincinnati Zoo officials shot to death Harambe the gorilla when a young boy fell into his enclosure. No doubt zoo officials had a tough ethical decision to make. Either kill Harambe to save the child or watch as Harambe administered some good old fashioned corporal punishment. 

Most Trinis would argue that, had the boy been left to get pulverized by the 450 pound gorilla he would have learned the lesson of not wandering off at the zoo again. Americans though, love to spoil their children.

Friday, May 27, 2016

The Silence of the Cheerleaders

The most depressing thing about the impending collapse of Venezuela is how so very predictable it was. So predictable in fact, even fortune teller Yesina Gonsalves predicted it way back in 2008. In contrast to socialists at UWI who were at the time championing Hugo Chavez's Bolivarian revolution as an economic model the world should adopt. Thus finally answering that age old question: Does a Venezuelan fortune teller know more about economics than socialists? 

Friday, May 20, 2016

A better tourist trap

When I’m choosing a holiday destination, I like to look for somewhere that has great beaches, a vibrant night life and a low probability of me being brutally murdered. That’s why Minister of Tourism Shamfa Cudjoe was upset this week at people who were sharing grisly pictures of murdered victims on social media, making it appear we have a towering violent crime epidemic. 

After all, we don’t want potential tourists getting the wrong idea; that T&T is a place with reliable internet connections. Or for that matter, drawing their attention to our towering violent crime epidemic.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Dear future child bride

Dear future child bride,
Being a child I don’t expect you to fully understand this letter. Everyone knows learning to read and write is wasted on girl children. But this week, the Inter Religious Organization (IRO) reiterated their opposition to any changes to the Marriage Act that prevents 12 and 14 year old girls from being married. This means I can continue to dream of the day we meet and get married.
I’m not sure when exactly that will be. But I imagine it will involve a romantic courtship where I coerce you into having sex and get you pregnant. Or when your parents palm you off on me. Or maybe after I win you in a game of all fours in a rum shop. Only destiny knows.

Friday, May 6, 2016

The Fast and the Feckless

Like most motorists I was shocked to learn that I can now be fined $1000 for going over the speed limit. Since when do we have a speed limit? I do always see some signs along the highway that say ‘Speed Limit 80kph’. But, being Trinbagonian, I thought that was just a casual recommendation and not a law. Like ‘no driving on the shoulder’ or ‘no parking in the handicap zone’ or ‘no riding the leather-back turtle’. For the first time, traffic police will be enforcing the speed limit using sophisticated speed guns. Yes, we have traffic police now.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Thank God I’m a Man

There are lots of reasons I’m grateful I’m a Trinbagonian man. For starters, I can pee anywhere, anytime I want. I can appreciate the art form that is WCW wrestling. And I possess the ability to hear that Beyoncé’s music is rubbish. But most especially, I’m grateful I’m a Trinbagonian man because I will never  require getting an abortion.

Friday, April 22, 2016

A Gold Medal for Cronyism

Like most Trinbagonians, I want to extend congratulations to the Trinidad and Tobago Gymnastics Federation (TTGF) on its treatment of gymnast Thema Williams. The TTGF’s plan to pull Thema Williams from the Olympics, in favor of fellow gymnast Marisa Dick is a fine example of those proud Trinbagonian traditions of nepotism, cronyism, and bad mind. It also proves that if destroying the hard work of others to fulfill your own selfish ambitions were an Olympic sport, Trinbagonians would surely dominate.

Friday, April 15, 2016

How to get Poor, Quick

Comrades, are you fed up with living in a country where grocery shelves are stacked with food? Frustrated by your freedom to use the Internet? Tired of using toilet paper? Then why not embrace the wonderful economic theory of socialism. Socialism is the easiest and fastest way to reduce the economy of any country to a smoldering ruin-guaranteed.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Darryn’s Backyard Abortion Clinic

In these tough economic times, everyone needs extra cash. As I lack the skills to enter into the obvious money making ventures; selling doubles, planting cassava or starting a church, I have decided to do the next best thing and open a backyard abortion clinic. 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Flying Spaghetti Monster demands Public Holiday

 Everyone knows that God is a Trini. Which means there's nothing God loves more than an excuse to take a day off work. That’s why we at the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster are calling on the government to immediately proclaim  June 1st a public holiday as 'Flying Spaghetti Monster day'. This is to commemorate the holy day when our lord and noodle, the Flying Spaghetti Monster descended from his beer volcano in heaven and created the Universe. 

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Escape to a Police State

Do you need a break from the daily grind of your job, your commute and your right to free expression? Then why not take a vacation to the socialist paradise of Cuba?!  You may have seen that this week President Barack Obama himself visited Cuba, as part of a “thawing” of relations between it and the US. This makes it the ideal time to visit Cuba, and potentially the last chance to experience the country in its un-spoilt state before the Americans ruin it by opening KFC and Starbucks chains and other steady means of employment.

Friday, March 18, 2016

The Naparima College Physics Test

Physics, like all other branches of science, is normally associated with rational, clear-thinking people who emphasise the need for ideas based on reason and evidence. However, there are those daring to break this stereotype. Take for example the Naparima College physics teacher whose lecture on gays, atheists and the “drug pushers from room 5M,” went viral on social media this week.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Imaginary PMQ’s

Last week, I imagined conducting an interview with the Prime Minister at the cabinet retreat being held at the posh Magdelena Resort in Tobago. I had to imagine it because the Express refused to pay for my ticket and accommodation there. I figured Dr. Rowley wouldn't mind and if I emailed it to myself and printed it out, he might even think it really happened. Anyway here’s how I imagined it.

Friday, March 4, 2016

The Indian Trump

Like all proud Indo-Trinbagonaians, my interest in mother India mostly revolves around Shah Rukh Khan movies, T20 cricket, and Priyanka Chopra. But I notice that there are startling similarities between current Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and prospective US Presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Monsters Inc.

Everyone knows that having no regard for the law, no respect for others and a love for violence are the traits you need to be a success in Trinidad and Tobago. Just ask certain second hand car dealers in Chaguanas, Ian Allyene, or that guy Machel Montano beat up outside Zen. Of course this only applies to adults. As everyone also knows, children who display these traits are nothing more than Monsters.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Dear Raymond Tim Kee: I Salute You

I am deeply saddened by your resignation as Mayor of Port of Spain. First, allow me to congratulate you on what is surely your greatest accomplishment as Mayor; getting more people to hate someone named ‘Raymond’ other than culture critic Raymond Ramcharitar. Outmatching Mr. Ramcharitar’s rhetoric about Carnival being the bastion of all evil is no small feat.  

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Carnival on the Ropes

If its one thing I learnt from Carnival 2016, is that rope is the new symbol of the national festival. Sure colour, creativity and the occasional glass bottle fight are all the usual things we associate Carnival with. But nothing truly captures the sprint of the modern festival than the image of a yard of rope. Take for example:

Friday, February 5, 2016

Stupid and Contagious

Watching pornography, trolling carnival sites for embarrassing pics of your coworkers in fetes, or playing online Poker during work-sure the internet has enriched all our lives; but do you know it’s also full of useless and potentially dangerous junk? Take for example the current deluge of misinformation currently flooding cyberspace regarding the Zika virus.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Why You Should Join a Gang

Are you a bright, ambitious and hardworking young person? Then why not join a gang? In Trinidad and Tobago, joining a gang is an excellent way to enhance your career, increase your financial stability and make Babylon think twice before they mess with you.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Debunking the ‘Buy Local’ Myth

Whether it’s “Carnival is the greatest show on earth” or “God is a Trini”, or “T&T Police: to protect and serve”, Trinbagonians love repeating meaningless slogans. And there is one meaningless slogan which is now all the rage; “Buy local”. 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Hitler’s Book Club

This past week, Neo-Nazis in Germany celebrated what to them was the equivalent of getting their own Star Wars sequel.  After more than 50 years, it is now legal in Germany to buy and own a copy of Adolph Hitler’s autobiography ‘Mein Kampf’, German for ‘My Struggle’. Since the end of World War 2 Mein Kampf had been banned in Germany. But its copyright, which was owned by the State of Bavaria, has expired and a newly annotated version is now on sale. In this past week alone, more than 4000 copies have been sold making it an instant bestseller. The Fuhrer has awoken.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Everybody Hates Chris

A West Indian cricketer being humiliated in Australia isn’t unusual; it’s been occurring at regular intervals for the past 15 years. But this week, batsman Chris Gayle, playing in the Australian Big Bash tournament, hit such a record-breaking innings of shame that it is likely to stand for decades to come.  

Monday, January 4, 2016

The Upside of the Downturn

The Prime Minister’s shocking address to the nation last Tuesday night left many people asking one question; who still uses DVDs to record? Seriously, did the PM’s office run out of Betamax tapes? It was not surprising however, that Dr. Rowley chose to record his address to citizens. After all, when you’re delivering really bad news, it sometimes helps not to be there in person. If it were me I would have just sent a text to everyone saying, "Hey, guess what, we’re dead broke. Off 2 Miami for a wedding. TTYL."