I was dreaming of clear blue waters and kissing a priest. Two sharp taps behind my neck had me jumping out of bed and my disturbing dream. It was a telephone call for me. At the other end of the line was the village shrew.
Why would that woman risk my wrath by waking me at 4.30 in the morning? Well, during the night heavy rainfall sent inches of water rushing into her beloved house. The carpet was ruined, she wailed, she didn’t know what was happening until there was almost 7 inches of water in her bedroom and she was absolutely terrified.
It was all the fault of the Neighbourhood Democratic Council, she insisted, and I had to do something about it. On my end, I yawned and then stretched with only one arm in the air. I couldn’t care less about her plight. She went on to say that the flooding was all the fault of the village overseer and I simply had to speak with him about it.
Am I the chap’s boss? His mother or wife? Oh wait, maybe I’m his Goddess. I’ll tell him: if you don’t fix that shrew’s drains then I won’t give you those 12 virgins and the jeep you asked for. Of course I told her none of this. You see, the shrew is my aunty.
She pays all of her taxes on time, she shrewed-away on the phone, and doesn’t deserve clogged drains. So what? I deserve clogged drains because I paid my taxes a few days after she did? The thing is I live across the road from her and I wasn’t flooded. Maybe it’s the earlier you pay your taxes the more clogged your drains become.
Yeah, so the ugly brown water damaged some expensive carpet and the underwear in her bottom drawer got soaked. Why is she telling me? She should try telling the overseer all about it and perhaps he’ll give her some bleach and a hard-brush to scrub. Who knows? If he’s in a generous mood he might even give her a junkie to do the scrubbing.
“Aunty,” I finally got that first word in, “I really don’t think speaking to the overseer will do anything… yes, yes, I know there is always the Ministry of Agriculture… yes, yes, I know, I know. Listen let me see what I can do and I’ll call you back later, alright?”
Call her back later? Do I sound as though I’m out of my mind? As I predicted her flood water disappeared in a few hours. Today, she has new and even more expensive carpet in her house. Isn’t she a happy woman?
All through that conversation I kept thinking of that dream. At the end of the conversation I thought that maybe I’d figured the whole thing out. Deep in my heart I yearn to be flooded by the clear blue waters in my sister countries. I’ve got to say that makes a lot of sense. Wouldn’t you rather be flooded by nice, clear, pretty blue water than the nasty looking, brown type?
As for kissing the priest, that may very well be a sign that we (perhaps my aunt the shrew and I, but not necessarily you) need to pursue a closer relationship with that divine force out there. Eureka! The answer every Guyanese would kill for. If you want flooding to stop, ask God!
So folks, we may very well have the Church Against National Flooding soon. It will be the new culture for Guyanese to flock its many branches to pray for deliverance from flooding. Or maybe it will be named the Fellowship of the Drainage and Irrigation Officials who believe in the power of the divine to unclog and straighten our embattled, troubled and corrupted drainage system. (firstname.lastname@example.org)