It is sometimes the case though, that the answer is not clear at all.  For instance:

I’m watching our premier television station NCN. It’s the hallowed 6 o’clock news. Paul Moore is there with that calm demeanour, delivering every item with his usual aplomb, but his microphone is distorting badly; he sounds like he’s talking through kite paper.  On the 6 o’clock news, people?  Don’t we check those things before we go on the air?  Oh, it happened suddenly?  Well, why then don’t we tell the viewer “we’re having audio problems” and cut away while the glitch is fixed?

As it is, Paul sits there unaware, looking very pleased with himself, and the kite paper continues to rattle.

A recent controversy in our press concerns a school in the interior where the students were required to fetch logs from a nearby forest to be used as firewood in the school kitchen.  One official, in defending the practice, said the children were only required to go less than half a mile away, not 3 miles as initially reported in Kaieteur News.  Why, doesn’t it occur to this person that even if the children had to go next door, the practice is egregiously wrong?

And I have a further question: for this conniption to continue for weeks, as was reportedly the case, it means that several key individuals (at the school; at the regional office; at the Ministry) must have been sound asleep at the switch.  One has to wonder: how is it possible for so many people to be sleeping in one area at one time?  Shouldn’t the snoring have caught someone’s attention?

The sports world is replete with these contortions. On a television programme this week, Barbadian Barrie Wilkinson was hosting a programme reviewing the West Indies/India ODI, with former cricketer and now commentator Ricardo Powell. In his heyday on the pitch, Ricardo was known by T20 bowlers as an attacking batsman, and he now seems to be taking the same approach to the English language.

On the point that the current WI players are too friendly with their opponents as compared to the aggressive Australians, Ricardo responded.

“I don’t see it as a problem. Each team are different.”  On a previous segment, commenting on a high, leaping, one-handed catch by Chris Gayle, he said. “Chris Gayle is one of the best slip fielder you will see.”  Now Ricardo comes to us as a man who has played the game, and who, refreshingly, does not back away from controversial comments, but he needs some help on the grammatical side. Don’t the WICB boys listen to these broadcasts?  Shouldn’t they be prodding Barrie to shuttle Ricardo over to Cave Hill for some fine tuning? Nothing is far in Barbados.

This next one will take a minute; stay with me.  A friend sends me a small package from Toronto (a car part and a CD) and I go to clear it at Laparkan on Lombard Street – previously a 10-minute exercise.

This time, I go to the Laparkan desk, then the Laparkan cashier, and back to the desk, only to be told I have to go “in the bond” to get my package. A friendly security guard directs me upstairs to a cheerful Customs official who signs my documents and directs me downstairs to a second Customs official. He retrieves the package, I identify it, and he sends me to a third Customs official, who fills out a form, and sends me to a brokerage officer to determine the duty.

I then go back to the bond, pay the duty at the Customs cashier line (4 persons), and then join an adjacent line (6 persons) where a Laparkan employee fills out another form, and directs me to the Customs documents line (4 persons). The lady there takes the documents, stamps them, directs me back to Customs guy #2 who sends somebody inside for the package and hands it to another Laparkan employee who escorts me to the exit gate.

The lady officer in charge there, takes my documents, writes in a ledger, which I sign twice, and I leave. I had interacted with 9 people in a process taking just over an hour. Some background: the Laparkan people say the difference between my previous 10-minute clearance and this extended one is that they were shipped differently: the first one was courier/flat rate but this one was regular air which required the long in-bond procedure.  The question, though, is why does it take 9 persons to clear something from Customs?  Can’t we do better than that?

Here’s a real puzzler. It’s the French Open tennis final and presenting the trophies to Nadal and Ferrer they have, who?  John McEnroe?  Wrong, Usain Bolt. Now Usain is my boy (makes every West Indian proud) but a sprinter presenting a Grand Slam tennis trophy?  The French are usually a colourful lot at what they do, but it looks like Pierre had a little too much cheap wine at Roland Garros when they dreamed up this one.

Finally, let’s go to the Industry area.  There’s a recently repaved road there (let’s call it Road A) and two weeks after the work was completed, it has holes; trust me, several holes, within two weeks – you have to dodge them.  The very next road south of that one, (Road B) about 200 yards away, was put down 8 months ago.

There is not even a hint of a crack in it, never mind holes. It is perfectly graded with a slight crown and white lines edging all the way from the seawall road to the Embankment.  It is clearly a far superior piece of work. I actually have two questions: First, what are the names of the two companies who built Road A and Road B?

My second question is this: the next time they’re having a road done near where I live whom do I call to propose that Company B gets the contract?

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