Thursday, March 21, 2013

Marijuana Inc: Do as I say and not as I do

The war on drugs has many components and the war on weed is just one such component. Jamaica has been the American front line in the war on weed for many decades. Various leaders over the many years have mentioned the words legal and weed in the same sentence but the American administration over the years made it clear that any such attempts will be met with Cuban style embargoes and sanctions, as we were told we will never be allowed to capitalize on our weed resources.

Fast forward several decades where one American state after other have legalized weed, yes the very same weed that we were not allowed to develop. With 18 Legal Medical Marijuana States including DC and a further 11 States with Pending Legislation to Legalize Medical Marijuana the Potential US Marijuana Market is Estimated to be between $46 Billion to $120 Billion, I have seen the $300 Billion figure being quoted in some news outlet, it is clear that the United States of America  have legalized weed and are reaping the benefits from it. They have weed dispensing machines, weed hotels and various state politicians came out declaring that they are trying to create weed tourism market.They have also developed new and improved types of weed in their laboratories.

WHICH COUNTRY SMOKE MORE WEED?: So you are having a debate online with some muppet in another part of the world and they realize that you are from Jamaica and the debate is not going like how they want it to go. Like true idiots void of any intellect they are forced to resort to insults based on negative stereotypes which is almost always void of any facts. You are told that you are a weed smoking smoke, who smoke too much weed which has gone to my head. We are dreadlocks weed heads and that we are useless because we smoke weed. The fact is less than one percent (<1%) of the 2.7 million people living in Jamaica identify as Rastafarian but that does not stop the stereotype and I took one puff of weed back in the 1980's after which I never touch the stuff.

Jamaica have a very big weed reputation, a reputation that surpasses Jamaica’s weed reality. The fact as per the UN we are not the weed smoking country everyone think we are. We are not the weed capital of the world but do not let facts get in the way of perception based of negative stereotypes.
You are in a debate with some first world muppet and who is not liking the logic you are dropping on so they resort to negative stereotypes of Jamaicans as a way to insult their way out of the debate. We are lazy criminal dread who do nothing but smoke weed and commit crimes and your line of argument comes from consuming too much weed.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the number one country that consumes most weed is Iceland with more than 18.3% of Iceland's population used cannabis but they are not disgusting weed heads. The USA is second on the list with 16.3% of Americans using cannabis while Jamaica occupy the 22nd position with only 7.21% of the population smoking weed and the UK the 26th position with 6.2%.

When it comes to making money from weed nobody beats the United States of America. Legal US pot sales soar to $5.4 Billion in 2015 and $6.7 Billion in 2016 according to Forbes. Marijuana sales in Washington state alone top $1 billion and Colorado Topped $1.3 Billion in Legal Marijuana Sales in 2016. The USA is now trading weed stocks on the Stock markets BUT it is Jamaica and Jamaicans and black people in general who faces the brunt of the negative stereotypes and suffer the consequences. Because when white people push weed it is regarded as business, especially when that white person wears a suit and a tie but when black people do it we are disgusting drug dealers and if that drug dealer is black and wears dread locks then he is scum of the earth.

The market for legal marijuana is heating up in a big way. Legal marijuana sales are predicted to hit $9.7 billion in North America in 2017.

If you are going to apply negative weed head stereotypes to Jamaicans then at least allow us to make the money the USA is making from it.

This reminds me of the crack epidemic of the 80’s that affected mainly poor black people and it was criminalized, then they were not sick they were criminals and they filled Uncle Sam’s for profit prison system. Contrast that with today where the USA now have a massive meth and heroin epidemic affecting mainly white people but every report says they are sick, addicted people who needs sympathy and need treatment, now the emphasis is not on prison but help from medical centers.

UK is world's largest producer of legal cannabis
The UK produced 95 tonnes of legal cannabis in 2016, more than double the total of the previous year, reveals the UN's International Narcotics Control Board. This accounted for 44.9% of the world total. The nearest competitor is Canada, with 80.7 tonnes. Some 2.1 tonnes was exported from the UK, making it responsible for 67.7% of the world total, followed by the Netherlands (16.4%).

Steve Rolles, Transform's senior policy analyst said: "It is scandalous and untenable for the UK government to maintain that cannabis has no medical uses, at the same time as licensing the world's biggest government-approved medical cannabis production and export market.

Pot Tourism Receives OK From State Marijuana Task Force
DENVER -- Marijuana tourism is on the way to Colorado, under a recommendation made Tuesday by a state task force to regulate the drug made legal by voters last year. But Colorado should erect signs in airports and borders telling visitors they can't take pot home, the task force recommended. "Marijuana purchased in Colorado must stay in Colorado," said Rep. Dan Pabon, a Denver Democrat who sits on the task force.. Marijuana: Copenhagen to import pot from Colorado....

Here we have this picture on Fortune Magazine, which tells me that weed is OK so long as the people benefiting from it is white and wearing a suit. It amazes me that everything brown people have is always devalued or demonized, diamond, gold, oil and other precious resources are not worth much when it is in Brown people country but once it leaves and reaches shores of America and Europe it immediately takes on great value.

Carved from 236-carat rough $20 million diamond found in Jwaneng Mine, Botswana

What upsets me is that our Jamaican Government have not tested the legalization waters in a long time, not even an open and honest debate on the subject. Various papers have been written over the many years stating that weed should be legal for local consumption and illegal for export which would enhance the tourist industry. Michael Manley mentioned it in the 70s and was met with threats from the Americans and Edward Seaga mentioned it in the 80s and suffered the same faith. I would like to know what they the Americans would say today because from where I am sitting they do not have a leg to stand on since they are high as a kite, legalizing weed and  raking in billions.

Jamaica’s parliament is backlogged, there are bills hanging around that place since 1962 waiting to be passed like a ghost in a haunted mansion waiting to pass over to the other side. It takes years/decades for them to do anything… The United States of America held a senate committee meeting about the lotto Scam coming out of Jamaica and almost immediately before the week was up an anti-lotto bill went through parliament faster than it takes milk to pass through my system and trust me milk and my system are bitter enemies.

Marijuana Vending Machines May Be Coming To California 

Seems OK when White People Grow and Consume Weed

But this seems to really scare the shit out of them!!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

When big man talk, no dogs bark!!!

When America has a problem with Jamaica they are not afraid to summon various members of our Government before their Committees for a good old fashion Bollocking… If Jamaica have any problems with America we will never hear about it because our Governments will never say and the people will get upset fearing it may affect their chances of getting the visa, so we can never publicly have a problem with America or be seen to criticize America in any way because we fear retaliation. Government ministers have been summoned to Washington (our colonial masters up north) to explain to the American congress why they have not eliminated Lotto scamming… Like a school boy being summoned to the Principle's Office

Members of the committee did not hold their tongues, there was no politeness on their part as they raked Jamaica over the hot coal... Jamaica was described as a hotbed of fraudsters, it was a full scale slaughter. I am not defending these lotto scammers, they should all be taken outside and shot nor am I defending the slow response from our Governments both PNP and JLP, they should also be taken outside and shot but I object to painting us all with the same corrupt brush. The JLP was Disingenuous as they were quick off the mark pointing fingers at the current Government, the lotto scamming is not a new thing, it was in full swing during the JLP administration and that Government failed to eliminate this scourge.

The political class must remember that when members of the American Congress Committee was classing Jamaica and Jamaicans like dogs, they did not once mention the words JLP or PNP… they said Jamaica and Jamaicans, as members of congress said that the Jamaican authorities were slow to react to this problem for many years which includes both PNP and JLP years. Jamaica as a country was slaughtered yesterday but the idiot political class could not wait to hold their press conference to start the finger pointing thinking they may get some political mileage out of this public Bollocking from the United States. It was the JLP who first fired salvos of accusation towards the PNP Government and the PNP Government Fired back with a couple Salvos of their own.

The only person worth listening to as the voice of reasoning was Ed Bartlett who calmly stated that blame must be shared by both sides and that politicians on both sides benefited from the Lotto Scam Money, however I did not agree with him that everyone must be careful how they talk as I would like to know who benefited from this criminal enterprise and before we start throwing stones at Jamaica a google search will show that many American/UK politicians have benefited and continue to benefit from illegal money, yes two wrong do not make a right but let’s have some perspective.

Both Members of the PNP and JLP looked extremely stupid in my eyes during the news as they fought for the higher ground that simply did not exist as this is not a PNP vs JLP issue but our political class can only think on those primitive lines.

The Hon. Julian Robinson is in Florida doing some five televisions and radio interviews targeting areas in Florida, Colorado, Detroit, Baltimore and Boston which are among the areas most affected by incidents of the lotto scam. So our Government must travel to the United States to warn the American people not to believe the scammers in Jamaica. We Jamaicans must fight the scammers in our country and then spend money hard earn tax payers money to educate Americans in America. So what is the American Government doing? I do not see members of the American Government coming to Jamaica to do television and radio interviews warning Jamaicans in areas most affected by incidents of gun violence of the dangers of buying American Guns...

While our Ministers are answering questions, I think they should bring up a couple issues we the Jamaican people would like the American Government to answer:

1)The visa scamming taking place at US embassy where they have no problem taking poor people’s money and then showing them the door... I wonder how much money per year the embassy rake in?

2) How easy it is for illegal American Guns to leave that country and end up at port in Jamaica. We would like to know if they can do something to prevent barrels upon barrels of their weapons of death from leaving their country thus flooding my streets turning them into killing fields. Please remind them that the Total Number of Jamaicans murdered between 1998 to 2012 is 18,817 and 95% of those were killed by American made and sold Weapons. Make sure you ask them if they can police their ports a little better and be more careful who they sell these things to.

3)Also Mr. Minister can you kindly ask them if it is OK for us to now Legalize weed because we noticed that they have been legalizing it all over America and making billions. We read that they have invented weed dispensing machine, have weed hotels and creating weed tourism. Remind them that the last time we said the words Weed and Legal they threatened us with all sort of sanctions.

Jamaica’s parliament is backlogged, there are bills hanging around that place since 1962 waiting to be passed like a ghost/poltergeist in a haunted mansion waiting to pass over to the other side. It takes years/decades for them to do anything… After the senate committee meeting about the lotto Scam coming out of Jamaica, before the week was up, an anti-lotto bill went through parliament faster than it takes milk to pass through my system and trust me milk and my system are bitter enemies.

Jamaica Comes Down Tough on 'Lottery Scams' 

Dan Rather doing an in-depth documentary on Jamaican Lottery Scam

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Life is One Big Road with Lots of Signs!

From birth we are all face with choices, lots of choices and part of being alive is to know when to make the right choice and what constitute the right choice. Do I go to a party tonight or stay home and study? Do I work late or meet friends for drinks? Do I buy a new car or pay down my mortgage? Do I get with person A or stay with person B even though person A is a good looking certified lunatic. As Kenny Rogers said… You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away and know when to run… life is all about decisions.

Growing up I was faced with lots of choices and I made some good choices and I made some bad choices. Even though most of my bad choices brought fun and enjoyment to my life they were bad choices none the less and some brought nothing but pain and misery. While in school we have all been faced with the choice of staying home, burn the midnight oil and study for our exams or hang out with friends. I am only happy that the bad choices I have made when I was young did not out weigh the good ones and although life could have been better if I had made more good choices. I am happy that the bad ones did not make life unbearable, unmanageable and downright miserable. At the end of the day whatever decisions I made in my life was my choice, it was my responsibility and as such my cross to bear. I cannot and will not blame anyone for the decisions I made or where I am in life.

At a very early age I came to the conclusion that I will never regret a choice I have made, good or bad. Each and every fork in the road of life is a learning process which prepares one to make a better decision when one encounters the next fork in the road. I have also tried to live my life base on a five year plan and continue to ask myself… where do I see myself in five years and how do I plan to get there and what do I want to achieve out of life? Life is a balancing act, a system of pros and cons and it is left up to the individual to balance the many aspects of life's needs versus wants. One must understand the choice we make today will determine the type of life we live tomorrow and people who do not understand this always find themselves in the tomorrow crying about… “I would have, should have and could have”.

There are people in this world that make choices based solely on the instant gratification of the moment and nothing more, they live from one excitement to the other, from one moment to the next without careful examination of each choice. The decision making process does not discriminate, it is not deterred by colour, class or wealth although the decisions we face can be slightly different, the fact is, the act of making a choice exist with all of us.

Recently there have been a number of reports regarding electricity theft in Jamaica as the Jamaica Public Service launched a massive anti-theft drive. It was reported that in one community of about 2400 people only 3 people had legal connection to JPS and everyone else was getting electricity for free, well free for them as JPS just allocate what they should have paid to its paying customers, everyone end up paying on their behalf. Off course this started the normal argument between the defenders of the supposedly poor and down trodden and the hard working Jamaicans who are sick and tired of supplementing their life style. One person pointed out that this community had almost nightly Dancehall events and various merriment activities and most houses had the latest in electronic devices coupled with the latest mobile hand held devices and these are the people who scream and bawl poverty. I am not saying there are not people who are truly suffering and need our help, what I am saying is that we do need to take care and identify those people who make their living, existing at the expense of others, those bloodsucker types.

JPS worker removing illegal connections

This takes me back to choices, Jamaica throughout history provides free education and health care to our population, almost everyone got the chance to attend school but not everyone showed up. I have been to school with kids who almost never show up or when they do they are late because they were out enjoying themselves the night before. These are kids who showed little or no interest in getting an education, never attending classes while other bust their chops, trying to get to school on time, enduring hardship at home but staying up late at night studying instead of going to dance or parties because they understand the importance of a good education.

Why should the tax payers finance this?
Jamaica in need of Moral Guidance
I have seen poor kids who came to school with no lunch money and members of the class would chip in to make sure they got something to eat, they would come to school in raggedy school uniforms but they studied hard and made something of themselves, I still see some of them to this day, I am still in contact with some and we often talk about the old days. I remember various teachers and principals would dip into their own pockets on a daily basis to feed these kids because they saw something in them, that ambition, that fire and determination to make something of themselves, they were from the Ghetto but not off the Ghetto, it did not define them. I know bright kids with parents who don’t care if they attend school but they make the decision to never miss a class, others with parents who cares but the child is not interested and those with parents who cares but cannot provide for them. I have seen many of these parents cast off pride and throw themselves at the mercy of the school or church, begging please, please help my child because I want him or her to be somebody, something, declaring that, yes I made mistakes but my child should not have to pay for my bad choice in life and I know of one instance where a child left the school they were attending because it did not ensure a proper education or survival,walked from school to school asking and begging to be admitted, to be giving a chance.

I have been to school with kids who when given the decision between going to Biology class or jump over the back fence to roam the Plazas or hangout in Half-Way-Tree Park, smoking weed or trying to pick up girls they never choose Biology class or any class. The importance of an education was not important to them but they were taking up a place in school that could have gone to a child who wanted very much the opportunity to get a proper education. I have seen high school girls who had relationships with grown men as they skip classes, leave school to meet these men, some of whom were married with kids, driving around in the front of their cars, simply because of instant short term gratification, only to see these girls later in life, living a life of poverty, some got pregnant at a very young age and end up having kids for several different men and not a father in sight to help support them or their children. Part of growing up is making both good and bad choices but it is important that the bad choices you made should not overshadow the benefits from the good choices you made in life.

In Jamaica we have a certain type of people who make a living screaming Poverty, Hard Life and Suffering, these people do not believe that the Laws, Rules and Regulation should apply to them because they believe that people like them should exist outside of Laws, Rules and Regulation because to them such Laws, Rules and Regulation only increase their suffering by cutting into their merriment time. We are so poor that we should be allowed to live any which way we want, we will do nothing to improve our condition or join mainstream society but we fully expect the rest of society to finance our existence, our life of merriment, this is when scream poverty, pays.

On the other hand one could also say that we have a type of people who are so rich and influential that they also believe the Laws, Rules and Regulation of the land should not apply to them, they should live anyway they want and at the expense of the rest of society as they refuse to spend their fortunes on the required taxes and duties but I will deal with those people at another time. You Ungrateful Wretch!

University Of Technology
Everyone makes bad decisions in their younger life but one should try to make the correct adjustments later in life and it is OK to turn to society and declared that although I have made some bad choices in my life, I have learned the error of my ways and would like your help, to get back on the right path and at which point society should do everything in its powers to lend them a helping hand. A lot of older Jamaicans are going back to school to do just that, when normally a 40+ or 50+ year old should be thinking of retirement they are in schools at nights with various study groups trying to complete their education and improve their situation. Society must help the hard working and ambitious poor those people trying their very best to correct past mistakes and create a better future for themselves and family.

I Refuse to finance your Let Off Culture!!
However a lot of the people screaming Poverty, Hard-life and Suffering have no intention of correcting their ways but still want society to finance their existence and these are the people we need to identify, first we need to see if we can talk sense into their heads but if that fails then we need to marginalize these people from society because “society cannot help those, who do not want to help themselves” and should not finance their existence as a result and we should make sure they follow the Laws, Rules and Regulation of the land because only we the people can change our lot in life because the building of a nation requires all hands on deck.

The Let Off Culture Must End!

I remember watching this program called “who do you think you are” where they try to trace peoples history. On this one particular show the person found out that he came from a long line of wealthy people. Money was passed from generation to generation until in about 1898 to 1901 when all the family fortune was inherited by the sole heir, this one man. The problem was this sole heir was a drinker, a gambler and womanizer and not much into business, so much so that a couple decades after he inherited the family wealth, it was all gone, done, nothing left. Every generation after that had to work for a living and was regarded as working class, what separates them from unimaginable wealth was this one individual who was not very good at making the right decisions…

A Day in the life of me: Stranded at Sea

As a child growing up, I spent most of my holidays from school running around Port Antonio, regardless of how long each holiday was. My Dear Aunt would pick us up from school on the last day or if we were lucky on the second to last day of school and off we go, Portie or bust, come rain or shine, hell or high water nothing could stop us. I use to suffer from the worst car sickness, it was just horrible and the winding country roads made the journey even worst. I tried many different tactics to ease my suffering, from turning my head before the car starts going around the corner, to looking up, down or close my eyes but nothing worked, eventually I grew out of it. I remember on one trip the car had that green peppers smell because we had pizza and being nauseous at the time meant that whenever I smell Green peppers I got nauseous for the next couple months even when I was not in a car but no matter what, nothing could stop me from heading to my Portie. One of the good things about being a regular visitor to Port Antonio was that we amassed a nice legion of friends who would also head to Portie at the same time.

On one particular night the Portie gang was hanging out by the tennis court trying to decide what to do the next day when someone came up with the grand idea that in the morning we should go fishing out on the high seas. The agreement was made to rendezvous on Monkey Island just off San San beach, however while the members of the crew who lived at the Blue Lagoon had their own boats, we needed an additional boat for members of our crew and at that time one could rent a row boat on San San Beach. So everything was sorted, boats… check, crazy kids… check, fishing tackle… check, time to turn in and get some sleep because we had a 7:00 am wake up time and 8:30 am Rendezvous time.

At about 9:00 am the next morning the phone rang, the Blue Lagoon crew had been to the island and back and we were still in bed, so up we jumped in a mad rush and out of the villa in 15 minutes flat, stopping at the other villas to collect the remainder of the crew. We stopped at the last villa to collect a young English kid who was new to the group as this was his family’s first time in Jamaica and as soon as he hugged his mom good bye, she burst into tears, she must have thought this was the last time she was ever going to see her son again and looking back now, I do not blame her, since most of the crew knew nothing about surviving at sea or even how to row a boat, with the exception of my little cousin and some members of the Blue Lagoon crew we were all novice, with very little fishing experience.

Off we went, down the secret passageway, which is a series of steps through dense vegetation, leading down from the hill to the street, then a mad dash across the street, through the bushes and onto San San beach towards the boat rental place which was just a section at the far end of the beach. On our approach one of the men working there said “a what unoo boys want?”, we said we needed a boat because we were going fishing, without batting an eye he said “unoo have money?”, we said have any what, why? …You see we were accustomed to running around Portie without a cent in our pockets, heck we did not even have pockets because all we wore at the time was swim trunks and our only means of payment was putting various expenses on our Dear Aunts tab and so the question of money was foreign to us. We looked at the man as if he was from the planet Mongo and he looked at us kids as if we were from the distant planet Remulak in galaxy far, far away, this was going to get nasty because we needed a boat and he was standing in our way. The boat debate carried on until the owner of the boat rental place came over and said, “oh... is alright man, is Mrs. Such and Such Pickney dem, just give them what dem want” ….great crisis averted. 

The man gave us a rawtid (very) big boat, we said to each other, no worries nuff room and jumped in as he pushed us off. We drifted for a while trying to figure out how we were going to do this, the boat was wide, much too wide for us kids to comfortably have one person row it and the oars were kind off fat for our hands but hey, we gave it a go. It was a slow and hard process, not very comfortable and we lacked coordination as each of us took turns. Finding ourselves out a bit we decided to change strategy, one person would row one side and another person would row the other side, …now que Benny Hill music, because it was the most Benny Hill of moments I have ever been involved with and I have been in many. First we tried to row to a beat to keep us in sync, like in those old Roman movies but soon after we started going in circles and off course, the boat bobbed up and down as tempers flared, everyone started calling everyone else an idiot and accused each other of not knowing what they were doing, truth be told none of us knew what we were doing. The English kid had the look of fear on his face and my little cousin said that he was not feeling too comfortable about this adventure and was thinking of jumping overboard to swim back to land. My little cousin does have a knack for abandoning any adventure he considers foolhardy and life threatening but we convinced him to do otherwise, we needed his expertise.

Next the decision was made to drop anchor, settle the boat and have a mature discussion as to how best to reach Monkey Island, where we could see the Blue Lagoon crew in the distance laughing their heads off at our expense, in our minds this was supposed to be a Hawaii five o moment but it was most certainly not. We dropped the anchor and watched as the rope swooshed over the side of the boat and sank beneath the crystal clear waters of the bay however it was way too late before we realized that the end of the rope was not tied to the blasted boat and we watched as the end swooshed over the side and disappeared from view.

Laughter, panic and cries of idiots filled the bay before we decided to signal the Blue Lagoon crew for help. One of the guys powered up his boat and came out towards us, he was coming at speed but hey he was the expert not us, then my little cousin realized he was not going to stop in time and shouted brace for impact! The boat hit the rented boat, it did not hit us too hard but the hole in the top side of the rented boat said otherwise, more laughter as he gave us a rope that we tied to our boat and he towed us over to Monkey Island.

We stayed at Monkey Island for a while laughing and joking about what just happened before the decision was made to split the crew into the two remaining power boats. I was given the job of tying the rented boat to a tree on the island and then we were off. It was a beautiful sunny tropical Caribbean day as we powered our way to find a nice fishing spot. We found a spot and dropped anchor with much laughter as someone shouted “make sure it’s tied to the boat”… It was then that I decided that fishing was long boring process, you can see the little buggers in the crystal clear waters below but they just ignored your line and bait. After a while the crew in the other boat decided they have had enough and was heading to the Blue Lagoon to relax while we decided to stick with this fishing thing a little longer. Then after about another hour everyone got fed up, we were hungry, thirsty and wanted out of this boat so we decided, to hell with these ungrateful fish, let’s head to the Blue Lagoon Restaurant for something to eat and to relax with the rest of the group.

What happened next can only be described as anchor’s revenge because this anchor was stuck on the reef below and no amount of powering and turning the boat could free it. After another hour which seemed like three hours of trying to free the anchor we began to feel proper sea sick. The boat bobbed up and down, up and down, the sun was hot, we were thirsty and hungry with parched dry lips and the smell of sea water made us feel even worst. One person shouted let’s cut the rope but the owner of the boat and anchor was not having it, it was not an option.

Not long after the English kid put his head over the side and decided to feed the fishes with the content of his stomach, he threw up and his face changed colour. I was this close to follow suit with a second course when another one of the boys went stir crazy, shouted he could not take it anymore and jumped overboard, dived down to where the anchor was and seconds later came up with not only the anchor but the large piece of coral it was attached to which had the most disgusting smell, it was an extremely stink piece of coral but we were free, free at last, thank God almighty, we are free at last and off we went, full speed ahead feeling the cool tropical breeze on our faces as the boat zipped over the water. All I could think of was standing on dry land, drinking some water and eating a club sandwich.

While heading back I left my line in the water, I looked back to see it skimming on top of the water as we sped along, then I looked back again a fish about a foot long was attached to it, I shouted I got a fish, even though it was totally by accident. We arrived at Blue Lagoon to find the English kids’ mother waiting for us with sandwiches, we chat and laughed then ordered more food on my Dear Aunts tab.

Sometime after we remembered the other boat we left at Monkey Island so we jumped back into the boat to retrieve it but when we got to the island the boat was gone. It seemed my expert sailor knot was rubbish because I knew nothing about tying knots at sea. The boat drifted away and went further out to sea, we went after it and returned it to the rental boat place which by this time was no longer open, everyone had left for the day, so we dragged the boat onto the beach with the rest of the other boats then head back to the Blue Lagoon where great fun was had by all.

The next morning my Dear Aunt called the villa, she was not pleased, she demanded we marched our little behinds down to the office immediately, which we did only the see the boat rental owner with a long list of grievances and to say he was not a happy chappy was an understatement. Anchor and rope missing, damaged boat due to hole in the side, boat not returned at the appointed time, rental fee due and he was told by someone that it was drifting alone on the high seas. The man demanded compensation which my Dear Aunt paid, she was very upset and demanded we be more careful at which point my little cousin and I put on our best Puss in Boot, “poor ting pickney” Face and even though she pretended it was not having an effect, we knew it was, how could she resist us, we had power and we were not afraid to use it as we turned up the “Cutetage” to max. Couple days later, Dear Aunt got the bill from the Blue lagoon and it was Puss in Boot face time again.

Health and Safety was not an issue back in those days as the owner of the boat rental place did not think twice about giving a bunch of kids most of which was not even in their teens, a boat and helped pushed them out to sea, no licenses and certification required. Personal responsibility was yours regardless of age, if you climb a tree and fall out then either you, broke your neck and die or get up dust yourself off or never climb a tree again or you learn to be more careful the next time you climb a tree. In those days you learn by trial and error, broken limbs, cuts and bruises was a part of the process.

Not too long ago I sat on my verandah drinking a beer, I saw my neighbour pulled into her drive way as she had picked up her little Tubby from school and was dropping him home. I watched as little Tubby rolled out of the car with his box of Meal Deal and entered his house. Then his friend from next door Little Tubby2 rolled over to Little Tubby’s house, soon after both of the Tubbies left the house with the meal deal and video game console in hand and waddled over to Little Tubby2’s house.

It would not have surprised me if mom packed the Tubbies back in the car, backed out of her driveway and drive the couple feet next door to deliver them to Tubby2’s house, fearing the little round porkly Tubbies might stub their toes while walking. The Tubbies were so out of shape and overweight that I would not be surprise if their Overindulgent parents still wipe their nether regions for them after doing a number two. I looked at little Tubby and I wondered if these kids still climb trees, roll ball, fly kites, make sling shot and have fun and experienced life threatening adventures or are all such excitements now reserved for the virtual world? When I was growing up the only reason I would be inside was because I am sick and even then they had a hard time keeping me indoors.