With no television around, and none in sight, for decades, even remotely, in the south Georgetown backstreets I and my varied pals haunted, we children regularly begged adults to relate scary “stories.”
Experiencing another prolonged blackout, books few and nearly impossible to read against the thin, tired flame of a slumping paraffin candle, we would remember the expensive batteries being forever too low to power the sputtering Radio Demerara. Yet, we would eventually weary of trying to entertain each other and playing games like “Ring a Ring o’ Roses,” the search and find challenge of “Hot bread and butter” and the fast-moving competitive race and rush of “One, two, three…Redlight!”
Gathered under the stars, we would hold hands tightly in a circle, to dance barefoot and sing with the uninhibited gusto and lusty lungs of the happy young, “Ring-a-ring o’ roses, A pocket full of posies, A-tishoo! A-tishoo! We all fall down,” demonstrating the last part with such great excess that we would roll around on the cold concrete in mock ritual agony, loudly feigning the Black Death’s painful stranglehold until one of us rudely reincarnated and burst into an uncontrollable and contagious fit of the giggles…..