Trinidad and Tobago


If God were a Trini

October 04, 2000

WEATHER forecasters are going to find it exceedingly difficult to convince anyone of impending disaster in the future, after yet another storm prediction simply failed to materialise.

After all, it was not so long ago that they had us scampering home to avoid Hurricane Brett, which managed to somehow slip through the channel between Trinidad and Tobago, just to prove them wrong.

Last weekend's predictions about Tropical Storm Joyce fizzled into nothing more than nuisance rain, leading to another round of speculation about whether forecasters get their information from a wonder bag.

But having worked closely with the geniuses at the meteorological office at Piarco for more than a decade, I cannot be part of the fusillade of ridicule shot at them when Joyce declined.

In fact, I absolutely refuse to believe the widely circulated rumour about some nebulous conspiracy between the weatherman and supermarket owners to encourage panic buying, because everyone knows that meteorologists have the welfare of the nation at heart.

Even the alternative theory that God is a Trini does not attract me. For openers, the Vatican would have been situated here if that were so, since, as Cardinal Ratzinger took pains to point out recently, Roman Catholics are closer to the Creator than anyone else and wouldn't chance a trans-Atlantic voyage every time contiguous consultation is indicated.

More importantly, if God were a Trini, he would hardly leave his "homies" mired in the kind of difficulties that so frequently befall us. By the same opportunity, I feel certain He would also reduce the number of puzzles we are left to unravel each day.

What manner of God could leave us wondering why Trinidad and Tobago Television (TTT) would need security guards to escort Wendell Constantine out of the building if, as station officials claim, he was only going on vacation?

And when one examines the results of this year's A-Level examination, would not a sensitive Trini God have organised it so that members of African and Indian tribes ended up with equal glory? Why would The Father, Son or Holy Ghost allow a condition that gives Selwyn Cudjoe more reason to speculate on ethnic imbalances and Morgan Job another chance to say: "I told you so?"

Would he not also ensure that the Tourism and Industrial Development Company (Tidco) delivered on a promise made around this time last year that the compilation disc from the World Beat Festival would be ready in six months?

In fact, a Trinidad-born God might have taken up residence near Tidco full-time, if only to ensure that they do not make that many bloopers. Take the case of their steelband website, which has been saying to the world for at least the past three years (and continues to say mere days before the opening of the World Steelband Music Festival) that the Exodus Steel Orchestra has never been able to win this particular contest.

Given that Exodus and the Defence Force Steelband have been reigning joint champions since October 1998, The Master would surely have been able to find a way to reverse the error without undue embarrassment to the blooper-prone outfit. After all, if the revival of Lazarus did not turn out to be a major challenge, a website must be child's play to update.

But most of all, He would have been busy with politicians. Last week's other storm in a teacup, involving Opposition MP Fitzgerald Hinds and Education Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar would not have seen the light of day, were God resident in this land of commess.

And it was relatively easy to thwart the unnecessary conflict between the parties. Hinds, thinking that Persad-Bissessar was preaching the stuff of which Sodom and Gomorrah was made, said in Parliament that the Education Minister cannot talk about “pipe” on the hustings, because it was a bad example for children.

He went further to say he was happy that his children were asleep at the time of first airing of the contentious comment. Now, this is most curious, because he must have known that by saying it in Parliament, her statement would be reported and subsequently repeated ad nauseam in subsequent news stories when, presumably, his children would still be awake.

By referring to the incident, he ensured that his children, who, according to his own testimony, had not known of the matter up to that time would now be fully au courant with all definitions of “pipe”. A homegrown God would have guided him clear of such a faux pas.

But it is not just the tongue of Hinds that would be stilled. Long before last week, our Father would have warned Yesenia Gonzalez that her prediction about Ato Boldon winning gold should have been at least tempered with some kind of proviso.

Or, he would have secured for her, a job at the met office.

Indeed, if God were a Trini, he would hardly have the facility of resting on the seventh day.

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