Sailing With Charlie: Referendum

Graphics by Anouk Sylvestre

Happy New Year, Everyone! Hope people have now got over the cataclysmic shift in the world’s political landscape during the latter months of the old year. Brexit and Trump certainly stole the limelight with their isolationist policies. The whole scenario, though, has resonated with some of the Caribbean’s great minds – perhaps it’s time for the Caribbean to separate from the rest of the world – go back to pre 1960, a simpler time where family was paramount. A time when farming and fishing were king and people shared what they had.

During a recent talk show a Trump admirer suggested a great wall ‘that America would pay for’. It would start at Florida’s southern tip and surround the Greater and Lesser Antilles and keep out all undesirables. Then a caller reminded the distinguished panel that the Puerto Rico Trench is about four miles deep and this might cause engineering problems. But the wall idea has not been completely abandoned but only shelved awaiting further scrutiny.

The economy came up and a politician raised concerns about his six figure salary evaporating. But a panelist came up with a plausible answer, “Tariffs,” he said. “We’ll charge shipping hefty fees for transiting the region.” There were mumbles and nods of assent at this positive proposal.

“What about tourism and all the charter boat business?” This was mulled over for a while but it was then decided to sacrifice tourism in the name of ‘deplorables.’

“Pollution, traffic jams, bank queues, fat white bodies and too many deck chairs on the beaches were all sited as deplorable situations. Charter boats were charged with ruining the sea bed, especially reefs, and depleting fish stocks. One knowledgeable panelist stated that charter boats were plastic and environmentally unfriendly, “Deplorable,” he said. “They must go.”

Then the chair of the meeting spoke. “We shouldn’t just concentrate on the negative but let’s look at all the positives. We’ll live off the land and sea like our ancestors did. Imagine; turtle soup for lunch, goat water and boiled fish every day with rice and beans and callaloo. Traditional sailing yachts will be allowed in because these are sailed by ‘real people’. They can be harnessed for inter-island trading. Donkeys and horses will again be used for transportation with fine carriages for the ladies. Inter-island ferries will be sail only and schedules will be even worse than they are now – but who cares, we’re not in a rush anymore. Long sweeps will be passenger operated in calms.

The National Health Care Program will be abolished and replaced by Bush Medicine. People will no longer be poisoned by pharmaceuticals and when it’s time to go, it’s time to go. A selection of heavy painkillers will still be allowed until the diseases of the last two hundred years have become extinct. TV will be outlawed and traditional and cultural entertainment will be encouraged. The population is expected to increase substantially.

The talk show ended on a triumphant note, “We’re going to call it, ‘Webegone’. A referendum is planned during August Fesival, J’Ouvert, when most citizens are properly inebriated or high as a kite and will vote for anything.”

 

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Graphics by Anouk Sylvestre

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