Friday, December 1, 2017

The Prison Guard’s Occurrence book



This week Trinbagonians were shocked by the news of a woman making a daring escape for freedom; yes PNM Senator Allyson Baksh resigned. Less shocking was the news that fraudster Vicky Boodram had escaped the women’s prison in Golden Grove. After all, no one expects the nation’s top security personnel to be a match against the wits of a bogus travel agent.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Stuart Young’s Make-up Tips


Dear Trinidad and Tobago, regular columnist Darryn Boodan has the week off on account of being too scared to drive into Port-of-Spain. I am Minister Stuart Young. All my friends just call me Stewie, after the evil genius toddler from the TV show family guy. But have no fear, unlike that Stewie, I’m not a genius.
Being a Minister in the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs and a Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister comes with a lot of responsibilities. Such as crafting legal legislation, communicating government policy, and most importantly spying on the Attorney General for the Prime Minister. But you may not know that I am also a fully licensed make-up artist. As you know, Trinbagonian politics is all about skin tone, which is why knowing how to apply make-up is essential. I’d like to share my top five tips for tricking people into thinking that your government is prettier than it is:

Friday, November 17, 2017

An interview with Ambassador Antoine

This week controversy brewed as employees in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed outrage at the appointment of young and little known Makeda Antoine as T&T’s new ambassador to the United Nations. I wanted to interview Ms. Antoine to find out more about her. But I also wanted to see Thor; Ragnarok. So I skipped the interview and just did that. But here is a completely made up interview instead:

Friday, November 10, 2017

100 years of "That’s not real socialism"

This week saw  the anniversary of one of the greatest  events in world history;  20 years since  world wrestling champion Bret Hart successfully defended his title against Shawn Michaels at WWF’s Survivor Series.  Incidentally, this week also marked the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution in Russia. A hundred years ago, Vladimir IIyich Lenin and his band of Bolsheviks overthrew the Russian Republic, creating  a  glorious socialist workers paradise that would  be the tyrannical hell hole known as the  USSR. Which means it’s also 100 years since hippies, UWI intellectuals and trade union leaders started using the world's most popular excuse  for the failure of socialism; "That's not real socialism".

Friday, November 3, 2017

Pretty Vacant

Trinbagonians are a simple people. We can live for months without frivolous things like a Commissioner of Police, forensic pathologists or disaster preparedness plans. But we are also a proud people. That’s why it’s a national disgrace that we have gone a full day without knowing who our Miss Universe Pageant contestant is.  28 year old Yvonne Clark was initially awarded the honor but has suddenly been stripped of her title, with local franchise holder Jenny Douglas accusing her of violating her contract. A replacement has yet to be named. It’s not clear what aspect of her contract Ms. Clark supposedly violated, but as the old saying goes; beauty pageant contract violations lie in the eyes of the franchise holder.  

Sunday, October 29, 2017

How to prepare for an incompetent public official

We in Trinidad and Tobago must all acknowledge the fact that a natural disaster can strike at any time. And that when it does, an incompetent public official whose job it is to help us, will either say or do something incredibly stupid. All the while providing little to no help.  Here are some useful tips to get you prepared for the next time disaster strikes, and the ensuing desire to brutally murder an incompetent employee of a state agency begins to feel overwhelming.  

Saturday, October 21, 2017

#Dont Blame Me Too

Every Trinbagonian man  versed in the art of romance knows that to win the love and affection of a beautiful and enchanting woman, you need to look her right in the eye and say, “Aye gyal, you is a table or what? Because I want to ress something on yuh real bad." This is preceded with smiling lecherously while she contemplates how brilliant you are. Of course women these days are different. They don’t cook, or clean or appreciate the effort men make to point out in public what disgusting things we want to do to them.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Fast Food Fallacies

They say only two things in life are guaranteed; death and taxes. But if you live in Trinidad and Tobago, it's three things; death, taxes and the stupidity of bright, well-intentioned people. Take for example the recent call by First Lady Rema Carmona for higher taxes to be imposed on “unhealthy food imports”.  Her rationale for this is simple; higher taxes will deter people from purchasing junk food and push them towards healthier options. Thus, “saving people from themselves” as she put it. This is a great example of how public policy is crafted in T&T. Not by using evidence and reason. But by snobbishly assuming you know what’s best for other people.  

Saturday, October 7, 2017

A Fake Interview With Colm Imbert

This week was Budget Week. And with expressions like ‘fake oil’ and ‘fake economy’ and ‘fake sex tape’ being tossed around, I felt what better way to analyze the budget than having a fake conversation with Finance Minister Colm Imbert. Here it is:

The most hated group in T&T

Trinidad and Tobago loves to boast about being a tolerant multicultural society. But there is one group of Trinbagonians who face discrimination and prejudice everyday. One group who are constantly vilified and told to their faces that they are not welcome.  I’m talking of course about; sane people. Its not clear how many sane Trinidadians there are. According to the 2010 census they were up to 10, maybe even 12, sane people on the island. Its difficult to get an accurate number because sane people know nobody actually uses data here, hence them bothering to answer census questions is a waste of time.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Mouttet’s Ferry Tale


Last week Friday, Christian Mouttet submitted his report into the controversy surrounding the award of contracts to Canadian firm Bridgeman Services, to maintain the sea bridge between Trinidad and Tobago. The Prime Minister promised to review it over the weekend; just as soon as he was done binge watching ‘Defenders’ on Netflix. The report has yet to be made public, but the Trinidad Express has received an exclusive copy. It is reprinted in its entirety below.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Darryn’s Invisible Oil



Is crude oil always messing up your clothes, your floor and the inside of your oil refinery? Then why not try Darryn’s Invisible Oil! Darryn’s Invisible Oil enables you to enjoy all the benefits of crude oil without all the ‘crude’ and ‘oil’. That’s because Darryn’s Invisible Oil is produced via a special drilling process called “Rowley-Khaning”, which involves using the energy of Dr. Keith Rowley going on vacation to drill into the imagination of Minister Franklyn Khan;  unleashing endless barrels of rich crude nothingness.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Tips to solve my murder



The only thing more depressing than the recent brutal murders of Claire Broadbridge and Ramdevi Singh, is listening to the T&T Police Service promise to catch their killers. That’s because our Police Service knows as much about catching criminals as Shiva Chaitoo knows about playing the violin. That’s why I’ve decided to be forward thinking and devise a list of helpful tips and reminders for the Police Service to follow if ever I am brutally murdered. I got the inspiration from my girlfriend who likes to leave me notes by the kitchen sink reminding me to wash my coffee mug. Incidentally, if I am ever found beaten to death by a dirty coffee mug, please inform the police that my girlfriend constantly left me notes threatening to do just that.

Friday, September 1, 2017

So you want to be a Minister?



The Ministry of Public Utilities has once again been thrown into chaos, as the appointment of Robert Le Hunte has been revoked after just two days. Trinbagonian born Le Hunte, who holds a Ghanaian passport didn’t know that only citizens of Trinidad and Tobago, can serve in Parliament. In his defence, he said he was sick at home the day they taught that in Standard Five Social Studies class. The Prime Minister has said he will reappoint Mr. Le Hunte once he figures out which country he belongs too. Until then Dr. Rowley has started interviewing back up candidates, of which the Express has received exclusive transcripts off. Here they are:

Friday, August 25, 2017

How to curry an Ibis

 The Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts have declared August ‘National Patriotism Month’. And what better way to celebrate than to head to the river for a cookout lime with friends and family. Engaging in those two great Trinbagonian pastimes; heart disease and the senseless destruction of nature. But why not make your river lime extra special this year. Instead of the usual menu of curry duck seasoned in White Oak, try some curry Scarlet Ibis. There is no better way to demonstrate your love for your country than by eating its protected national bird.  Plus, the Scarlet Ibis is 100% organic and gluten free. 

Friday, August 18, 2017

The T&T Titanic




From the producers of such hits as ‘When Burkie met Marlene’, ‘Stop or Farris’kids will shoot’ and ‘Shamfa Cudjoe: Million-dollar phone bill baby” comes this summer’s biggest blockbuster ‘The T&T Titanic’. Witness the story of young Rohan Sinanan, a bohemian drifter and Minister of Transport who sails to Tobago on the T&T Titanic; all the way from Trinidad. Along the way Rohan meets privileged young socialite and Port Authority Chairwoman Alison Lewis. Watch as two people, both travelling in first class, fall hopelessly in love with mysterious Canadian firm Bridgeman Services:

Friday, August 11, 2017

Ancel Roget and the Mimic Men



July and August are the months in which the big Carnival bands in T&T show off their costumes for the coming Carnival season. Trinbagonians wait with bated breath to see which band has come up with the most creative and innovative way to pretend their designs aren’t just bikinis and feathers. It’s a time when the nation whets its appetite for the delights of Carnival that lie ahead; namely indulging in wild fantasies, staggering down the road tipsy, and urinating in public. Which also means it’s the perfect time for the nation’s trade unions to hold a rally; which they did last Friday in Port of Spain. 

Friday, August 4, 2017

Stuart Young defends Maduro



Greetings Trinidad and Tobago. Regular columnist Darryn Boodan is off today. He’s in court over an alleged zaboca theft. I am Minister Stuart Young. You may know me as a Minister in the Ministry of Legal Affairs.  Or as a Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister. Or simply as that guy who follows Dr. Rowley around everywhere and sycophantically repeats everything he says. I would like to talk about a very serious issue; the crisis in Venezuela. As you know, we in T&T have a saying, “When your neighbor’s house on fire, wet your own”.  And we in the PNM have another saying, “When your neighbor is a brutal despot; perform some mental gymnastics to rationalize doing business with him.”

Friday, July 28, 2017

How I Spent My Coup Vacation



In primary school, at the beginning of each September term, I had to write an essay on how I spent my vacation. My teacher, Mr. Lalchan, felt it was a useful exercise that allowed students to share what they had done over the long July and August holiday. As well as give him some time to catch some sleep at his desk. On this, the 27th anniversary of the attempted coup of 1990, I thought I would share with readers the essay I wrote about my school vacation that year.  I think it might be a useful exercise in exploring the turbulent events of July 27, 1990, through a child’s eyes. Plus it would spare me having to write an article this week, and thus I can catch some sleep at my desk. Here it is: 

Saturday, July 22, 2017

What’s in a Name ?


We all know that beauty pageants play an important role in inspiring young girls to believe in themselves and their ability to change the world for the better.  Provided of course they are not fat and ugly. That’s why most Trinbagonians were pleased this week to learn that Queen Street in Port of Spain is to be renamed Janelle Commissiong Street. Janelle Commissiong as we all know is the first Trinbagonian and the first black woman to win the Miss Universe title, back in 1977. In a statement, acting Mayor of Port of Spain, Hillan Morean said the city corporation was proud of “Queen Penny” and that they had initially took this decision in 1978, but due to the traffic problem in the city it took 40 years trying to find a parking spot downtown so they could change the sign. 

Friday, July 21, 2017

My advice to SEA graduates



To the graduating SEA class of 2017, I say ‘congratulations’. Like many Trinbagonains before you, you have made the journey from primary school to secondary school. This adolescent rite of passage has seen many time honored traditions played out. Like taking extra lessons out of the fear of failure. Dealing with anxiety attacks knowing your whole future is riding on one exam. And feeling like a loser because you didn’t pass for the school of your choice.
When I look at you all I am reminded of myself. I too was once a young, 11 year old eagerly looking forward to my first day of form one.  Full of optimism and hope for the future. Before the cold harsh reality of the world crushed my spirit. I would like to impart some advice to you. It’s the kind of advice I wish I had when I was your age. Listen carefully.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Etiquette for community leaders



As a columnist I get emails from readers asking for my advice. Like how to not get abducted by aliens. Or where can you buy urine to pass a drug test? Or how to evade Courts when they come to repossess your bed?  But this week I got an email I actually care to reply to. It reads: “Dear Darryn, I am a poor community leader who runs a humble multimillion dollar construction company. I have been invited to a swearing in ceremony for a Government Minister at President’s House. I’m not used to high society. I mostly socialize with people who will stab you in your chest as opposed to your back .Can you please give me some tips on how to act? Many thanks, C. Biggs.”

Friday, June 30, 2017

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

If you’re like me, you were disgusted by what you saw in Anthony Bourdain’s show ‘Parts Unknown’, featuring Trinidad and Tobago. Some twisted person took Anthony Bourdain for UWEE Doubles. Why didn’t they take him for roti by Hott Shoppe while they were at it? Or go looking for aloo pies at Adam’s Bagels? It seems most people are busy being outraged by comments made by Mario Sabga-Aboud. Mr. Aboud had the temerity to tell Mr. Bourdain over dinner that Syrians, despite being a racial minority, were the “most powerful” group of people in the country. A statement that would surprise any Trinbagonian, who is currently living on Mars.  

Friday, June 23, 2017

Cabinet’s Disaster Meeting



As tropical storm Bret began to bear down across the country last Monday evening, the organization the nation turns to for guidance in a time of crisis took a bold decision; KFC was going to close early. Which is the second highest disaster warning there is. The first being cancelling the Lotto draw. Members of Cabinet also held a special meeting. Via our source known only as ‘Sore Throat’, the Trinidad Express has received a full transcript. It is as follows:

Friday, June 16, 2017

A Church Robbery

Like most Trinbagonians I was shocked and appalled this week when I heard that Father Clyde Harvey was tied up and robbed at his church in Belmont.  Of course stories about priests being ‘rubbed in church’ are not new. But those rubbings usually just involve stolen childhoods and priests getting away unharmed. This was different. It made the whole nation pause and wonder aloud: "If God could allow a man who doesn’t drink, have premarital sex or spend all his money playing the fruit machines in rum shops, to get robbed; what horrors is he going to let happen to me?"

Friday, June 9, 2017

The PM’s shameful attack on Luis Almagro




Trinbagonian politicians have a proud record of disgracing themselves. Whether it’s through acts of corruption, incompetence or possessing  Faris Al-Rawi’s fashion sense. But the bar surely dropped to a new low last week when, on his return from Chile, Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley called for the Secretary General of the Organisation of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro to resign.

Mr. Almargo had evidently upset Dr. Rowley’s favorite dance partner, Venezuelan President Nicolaus Maduro. His great insult was expressing concern over the violent civil unrest, and crackdown on political dissent taking place in Venezuela. An act Dr. Rowley blasted as “derogatory”.  Because in Maduro’s Venezuela the word ‘democracy’ now means “your mudder  @#$.”

Friday, June 2, 2017

I am offended therefore I am

Are you looking for fun, excitement of just some self validation? Then why not try “getting offended”. Getting offended is the brand new craze sweeping the world. All you need to do is find something and let it offend you. Luckily there are lots of things you can get offended about- a tv advertisement, a movie, whether or not  a character in a superman comic book  is using appropriate transgender pronouns. There is a  University  degree you can take  to enable you to become a professional ‘getting offended person’; it’s called Gender Studies.  But anyone can be  offended . Here are some of the letters I wrote this week expressing my offense and demanding people pay attention to me for some inane  reason:

Friday, May 26, 2017

Dr. Rowley grills Darryl Smith

Minster of Sport Darryl Smith has been accused of going on a spending splurge on a recent trip with Ministry officials to Tobago. With a whopping bill of $92,000 for a weekend, Dr. Rowley has ordered a full report into the matter. The Trinidad Express has received exclusive access to the transcript of the conversation between the Prime Minister and Minister Smith. It’s most likely entirely made up; but here it is anyway:

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Myth of the Free Lunch

In Form 1, my math teacher Mr. Iro would take our class out to have pizza and discuss philosophy. It was during these pizza limes that I learnt about the economist Milton Friedman, and his famous “free lunch myth”. According to Friedman the free lunch myth is the belief that “governments can spend money at nobody’s expense”. In reality Friedman argued, goods and services must be paid for, and the idea that governments can provide these at no cost to the persons receiving them, is a myth. Mr. Iro was a good teacher. Unfortunately he was also a pedophile and was arrested a year later. In hindsight I should have realized why he kept telling me, “Darryn free pizza is a myth”.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Cheers to Unhappiness

There are lots of things that depress me. Like world poverty, child soldiers and Ravi B winning Chutney Soca Monarch; but nothing makes me more miserable than the cult of happiness. What is the cult of happiness? Well it’s the motley crew of pop psychologists, self-help gurus and advertisers who have turned the idea of happiness into a lame fad. Or any given day I am constantly bombarded via media or friends with cheerful recommendations on how I can be a happier person. Like “start running Darryn-it will make you healthy and happier. Or “practice mindfulness Darryn-it will make you feel more relaxed and happier. Or “please buy this really expensive car Darryn- It will make you happy. Because then the hot woman in the poster might go out with you”.