Thursday, April 25, 2024
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HomeEducation / CultureTrump and follow suit

Trump and follow suit

By Tony Deyal

Jamaicans say, “Sometimes yuh affi tek bad things mek joke.” This translates into, “We are always joking and having a good laugh over any bad situation.” Political jokes are like that, and the reason I stay far from them is because they all get elected. When that happens, you find yourself on spit street. In other words, it is better to be discreet than talk sheet.

Staying with Jamaica, one of the Jamaica Gleaner readers was astonished by the present prime minister, Andrew Holness, saying that crime is beyond what the country can handle. However, he showed what he could handle with his supporters. After a country trip, he was quoted as saying, “Mi go a one place call Mosquito Hole; and when mi leave deh suh, mi go a Big Wood, and den Long Wood, and more places with all kind a wood…” This is why so many Jamaicans remember the past leaders, especially Alexander Bustamante and the joke about the Montego Bay riot.

The story is that when this was happening, “Busta” tried to summon his police chief to bring him some help and a weapon. The phone connection was bad and “Busta” had to speak slowly and spell out what he wanted. “Bring a gun! You hear me, a gun. You still can’t hear me? GUN. G as in Jesus, U as in Europe, and N as in pneumonia.”

I thought of this as I followed the funeral of former prime minister, Basdeo Panday, and this week’s “courting” of Donald Trump. I link these two together for my own convenience and yours. It is based on what Panday replied when asked if his link with other parties for an election wasn’t “a marriage of convenience?” In his usual insouciant smile, Panday replied, “Aren’t all marriages?” Donald Trump had three marriages and the joke about the present one, Melania, is the question, “What does she see in her husband?” A truckload of money, high cholesterol and COVID-19.

There are a lot more like, “What do you call a Trump supporter who doesn’t believe in democracy?” A patriot. “If minorities have the race card and women have the gender card, what do rednecks have?”

The Trump Card. Among the others are: “What does Donald Trump say when he can’t find his Viagra?” The erection is rigged! Why did Trump cross the road? To get to the Russian side.

Then my favourite two. When his car passed on the streets and people applauded and shouted, “Well done!” Trump asked his driver, “God, what did you tell them?” The driver replied, “I’m president Donald Trump’s driver and I just killed the pig.”

The one I like best is, “A Russian spy, a sexual predator and a billionaire walk into a bar. The bartender asked, “What can I get you Mr President?”

One of the recent stories about another president, Bill Clinton, was apparently, that he, Prince Andrew and Sir Richard Branson were in the “sex tapes” of billionaire, Jeffrey Epstein. It reminded me of when Clinton, George Bush and George Washington were on a sinking ship. As the boat started to go under, Washington heroically shouted, “Save the women!” George Bush was historical and scared. He made it clear what he felt was the right thing to do and shouted, “Screw the women.” And Clinton asked excitedly, “Do we have time?” When Clinton was asked what he thought about foreign affairs, he replied, “I don’t know. I never had one”. Most of my American friends believe that both Clinton and Trump should have learnt an important lesson from one of the earlier presidents, Calvin Coolidge, who was famous for being so taciturn that they called him “Silent Cal.”

One time, at a party, a woman approached him and said, “I have a bet with one of the other guests that I could get three words out of you.” Coolidge replied, “You lose.”

This is very much like the story about tough, old Generalissimo Franco who lingered on, clinging to life and power. Rumours of his death were rife but wrong. He hung on, testing the patience of the nation and his successor, Prince Juan Carlos. Finally, one evening after attending to Franco as usual, the doctor came out and said to the Prince, “Your Majesty, I have good news and bad news; which one do you want first?”  “I can do with some good news,” the Prince responded. The doctor said: “Congratulations, you are now in charge. General Franco is dead.”  “And what is the bad news,” asked Juan Carlos. “The bad news,” said the doctor, “is that you will have to tell him yourself.”

In my case, having worked for three Trinidad and Tobago prime ministers and helping others in the region, I stick with the American humourist and social commentator, Will Rogers, who claimed: “I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.”

Another, journalist Doug Larson, insisted: “Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks.” When I was based in the office of our first prime minister, Dr Eric Williams, my office was just below ground level. One day a youngster came and rested his bicycle on the huge tree in the yard and was about to leave it there when a police guard stopped him.

“Listen, today is cabinet day and just now the ministers will be here right where you put your bike. George Chambers will come early. A.N.R. Robinson will be here very soon. Mahabir too…” The boy stopped the policeman from continuing by saying, “In that case, and those people, I better move my bike yes!”

This also made me remember Dr Williams and his determination that he didn’t want anything in his name after his death. Of course, that did not happen and even now there are suggestions about using his name in a similar vein. The one question few people ask is how Dr Williams feels about this. One of his closest friends was John O’Halloran who was able to get away with crimes that many other people have done major jail time for. When John O’Halloran finally reached the Pearly Gates, he asked St Peter if he could talk to his old friend, boss and ally, Eric Williams. St Peter was not very helpful.

“Listen, there are a lot of Eric Williams up here and some due over the next few years. I need more information than that.” Johnny O thought a bit and then said: “We used to call him Bill.” St Peter was impatient: “Look man, we have thousands of people named Bill Williams up here, is there anything else you can tell me about him?” Johnny O had a flash of inspiration, “Well he once told me if they ignored his wish and named anything after him, he would turn over in his grave.” “Oh,” St Peter said triumphantly, “you mean ‘Revolving Bill’?”

*Tony Deyal was seen reading about the lawsuit against Trump by film actress, Stormy Daniels. She claims he called her a liar. She said, “He can’t screw with me like this, at least not again.”

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