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”.