Haemorrhoids, Hookers and Easter buns
Late one Easter Saturday, playing against Dr S. Blank and Jimmy Hunchback, I drew the following: double-six; six-four; five-ace; four-ace; trey-deuce; deuce-ace and ace-blank.
Playing REAL dominoes (not the artificial 'winners pose' version), I quickly spat out double-six. S. Blank played six-five; Gene Autry contributed five-four and Jimmy drew double-four. Quick, what's my play? Why? As usual, the answer's at the end. No peeking!
That's when Haemorrhoid turned up and insisted we pause (giving me time to think) so he could tell us the story of a young cricketer named Max. By now, readers should know these members of the Kooky Khast of Kharacters who met around a domino table at Gene Autry's home most Saturdays when we were teenagers. Blank, a maintenance worker at UWI, called himself a PhD in dominoes and senior lecturer in the Domino Faculty.
Jimmy Hunchback, Blank's co-worker, whose tragic deformity gave him his unfortunate nickname, was the worst but luckiest player we ever met. No matter how hard Jimmy tried to throw games away, they always came back to him. Finally, Ernest H. Flower was a lazy articled clerk who couldn't play dominoes but was a world-class raconteur, so was allowed to watch. His nickname came from combining his middle initial with his complaints about "piles and piles" of files on his desk. Haemorrhoid began:
"Max was what lunatics (dictionary definition 'cricket fans') call an all-rounder. He was a dependable, lower-middle-order batsman who could always be counted on for quick runs; a medium fast bowler who kept a nagging line and length; but real genius surfaced when he was patrolling the covers. Nothing passed him and his team needed neither cover point nor extra cover when Max was available.
tales of conquests
"The problem with Max was that, like most Jamaican men, his true expertise lay (pun intended) in philandering. Max was never short of girlfriends or tales of his many conquests embellished with lurid details. In a phrase, Max enjoyed kissing and telling. Well, telling anyway.
"Of course, as philanderers ought to know, two (or three) can play that game and usually do. One morning before a match, Max was in the dressing room regaling teammates with stories of how he'd spent the entire night going from one girl's house to the other; performing duties with skill and endurance; when he went too far by naming two of his 'conquests'.
The equipment man, busy checking on bats and pads, heard him and piped up with relish 'Man you a eeediat. Me know Maxine and Maria wey yu a talk 'bout. Mek I tell yu, dem haf nuff man wid yu.' With a wicked chortle, he returned to his chores to gales of laughter from the team. Almost immediately, news came that Max's team had lost the toss and would bowl first.
"Max was still in shock when he took up his position in the covers. In the first over, a tame push to cover slipped through his dazed grasp, between his legs and away for runs. The unkindest cut of all was when he heard a gleeful shout from the players' balcony, 'Cho, Max can't stop nutten. Is only one t'ing Max can do. Max field bun!'"
I recalled that shaggy-dog tale last Wednesday as an earnest young marketer appeared on local television touting Maxfield Bakery's new and more efficient method of distributing bun. When asked what made Maxfield bun better, he actually said, "People prefer moist bun to dry bun." I kid you not. I've been banned by The Old Ball and Chain from commenting on his statement in any way, shape or form, so I leave it to you to work it out.
But I can't help remembering an exchange between a caller to an early radio talk show (What's Your Grouse) and its erstwhile host with stand-up comics' gift of a name, Rabbi Bernard Hooker.
"Rabbi," the caller complained, "my wife giving me butter bun!"
"Eh?" said the confused Rabbi.
"Rabbi, yu nuh hear me? Me sey mi wife gimme butter bun!"
"My good man," said the still-perplexed Rabbi. "What's the problem? I love butter bun. My wife gives me all the time."
Or as a friend and former politician always warned me: In life, three things are certain; death, taxes and bun.
Peace and love.
p.s. Go two sixes. Apart from making Blank uncomfortable, you're looking for help with your hand's strength (aces). You're holding four-ace. Six-ace is out there somewhere. You'd rather it's used to introduce than cut ace.
- Gordon Robinson is an attorney-at-law. Email feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.