Tue | Jan 23, 2018

Gordon Robinson | The new visa

Published:Tuesday | May 2, 2017 | 12:00 AM

Old golfers never die. They whack on their balls until they finally get them into the hole.

I remembered this insightful bit of amateur philosophy espoused by stand-up comedy legend and great grandfather of all 'African-American' comedians, Nipsey Russell, as I followed (who can avoid it?) the daily routines of the three-ring circus that is the Trump presidency. I thought to myself: "Myself, if ever the Trump administration needed a suitable theme, that'd be it." Let's look at the evidence together:

- POTUS spent more time on his golf courses in the first 100 days than Barack in eight years;

- Camp David is but a vague memory as Trump occupies Trump hotels; ordering expensive chocolate cake for Chinese President Xi Jinping (while bombs are dropping on Syria) at an official summit held at Trump's Palm Beach resort; and

- In a subsequent Fox News interview, devotes more time to the cake's virtues than answering questions on his decision to bomb Syria (whose name he forgot).

Nipsey would've been proud. Under the guise of a foreign-policy interview, Trump was detailing to Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo how much the Chinese president enjoyed the food and facilities at his resort.

"So what happens is, I said, 'We've just launched 59 missiles heading to Iraq, and I wanted you to know this,'" Trump told Maria. "And he was eating his cake. And he was silent."

"Syria?" Bartiromo corrected.

"Yes, heading towards Syria," Trump casually agreed, then followed up by mentioning Xi finished his dessert.

You can't make these things up. President Trump was dead-eye-dick on the resort's facilities, meals and, in particular, the superiority of its chocolate cake. But he didn't know which country he'd just ordered bombed. As the greatest American lawyer ever, Clarence Darrow, once said, "When I was a boy, I was told that anybody could become president; I'm beginning to believe it." Old golfers never die ... .




Recently, the circus has drawn closer to Jamaica and isn't looking quite as funny. A bill introduced in the US Congress to tax remittances to foreign countries (specifically including Jamaica) in order to pay for the famous border wall is estimated to cost Jamaicans sending money home to family almost US$30 million extra.

Howls of protest have come from local receivers of the remittance bounty. Foreign Affairs Minister Kamina Johnson Smith, who seems to be living in crisis-to-crisis mode, is making all the right noises and pulling together her diplomatic troops to see if this now threat to our nation can be averted. BTW, Kamina is one of the new government ministers doing a top-class job without feeling obliged to shout, bully, threaten or profile. She definitely deserves an A+++. Did I mention she's a Campion College alum? No? Bad columnist!

Nowhere was the proposed new bill's effect more disconcerting than in Apocrypha which, although a far away fantasyland, still has a strong Jamaican diaspora contingent whose talents, especially in cultural presentations, contributed significantly to Apocrypha's economy. Culture Minister 'Boobsie' DeRange was at her wits' end as to how to respond to the many queries and asked Oma for advice. Regular readers remember Apocrypha's former finance minister (now retired), Oma D'Unn, who, despite his PhD in logic, was (like a moon) bright only in the dark, but had the knack of solving political problems with parables.

Oma advised her to buy a geography teacher. When she didn't get it, he told her the story of the stubborn student.

"Bobby, a geography teacher unfamiliar with language or nuance, taught by rote. Students read in turn from the text. One student read about one country's exports, which included salmon.

"Bobby interrupted the student. 'That word has an 'L' boy. It's sall-mon! Try again.' The unfortunate student, accustomed to the silent 'l', pronounced it as before. Bobby was livid: Boy, I've told you 1,000 times. That word is 'sall-mon'. Sammon is when you want to call somebody, you sammon dem.'"

Oma explained she had a geography problem and trouble letting go of traditional concepts.

"If USA won't allow money to be sent to you, then you must go earn di money."

"But," complained Boobsie, "we caan go America. Dem nah gi wi visa!"

"I hear dem have a new kind of visa. Is like an extra visa weh nah cost nutten."

"So, how can I get one of these extra visas?" Boobsie's voice quivered with anxiety.

"Easy," says Oma. "Call an old lady in Ohio. Dem will give yu an extra dite visa."

Peace and love.

- Gordon Robinson is an attorney-at-law. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com.