Mon | Mar 19, 2018

Evonie Blake | How fi patch pothole (the Jamaican way)

Published:Sunday | December 3, 2017 | 12:00 AM

1. The first thing you must remember if you really want to fix road like how we do it a Jamaica is that as soon as the pothole start form, you not to see it. Every foetus and baby pothole must live! Therefore, continue walk and drive over the pothole, swerve and do everything else, but don't really pay it any attention. Remember, ALL FOETUS AND BABY POTHOLE MUST LIVE!

2. You should not start to pay the pothole them any attention until the baby pothole grow up to become big, adult man and woman pothole. But, don't get jumpy yet! You must wait ... you wait until the man and woman pothole them start to breed up and create them extended pothole family. Once that happen, then you can start to give them a likkle attention.

Sometimes, there is no step three. Sometimes you just continue to let potholes live! But in case people start to grumble, roads get blocked, or you might need some votes, keep reading.

3. Okay, so now that you don't have a choice but to fix the road, you need a contractor, a local one preferably. This contractor will get the job done for less, plus will hire the community people them - the man them to do the patching, and the woman them to hold flag and monitor traffic. They don't need to have much expertise in the area, but guess what, everybody eats a food!

4. Now before you actually start the patching, send out some people to do a pothole inventory. That means, them is going to count and circle every pothole in the road (except the ones to the banking). This will inform you of how many potholes there are and how short the material must be. Plus, this will make everybody excited that finally something a happen. It works like a charm!

5. One week to one month or so later, you ready to start work! First thing is, ALL POTHOLE MUST GET DIG OUT! Every single one (except the exceptions)! So, if the pothole was about 3x3, dig it until it's about 6/7/8/9 x anything you feel like. Plus, the edge must square and very sharp! We Jamaicans extra, you know, so if you fixing road, might as well chop some car tyres, too!

Please note, this work must happen during the day! Yes, people are going to work, kids to school, and taxis are plying their trade, but guess what? You have a road to fix! Additionally, always, always leave the 'Men at Work' sign once you have completed work and everybody has gone home. Oh, and if you don't have that sign or any other sign, green bush can be used as a temporary hazard sign. I know, bush will not last very long, but trust me, everybody will know that work a gwaan. Now, let's continue.

6. After about two weeks or so, minimum or maximum, depending on the feelings, you are ready again. This time, you going to put stone and marl into the pothole them and get the roller to flatten it. Yes, just that. Make sure it takes an entire day and that you use your entire workforce!

7. Once stone, marl and whatever else is done, it is going to rain the next day, for sure! Most of the marl and stuff will be washed away, but guess what? These things happen. Yes, material will be wasted, but just call it 'occupational hazard'; it comes with the job.

Now sometimes the process ends here, but if you really want to finish the job, keep reading.

8. Now that a couple days, weeks, month(s), or year(s) have passed, let's get to the actual patching. The entire team is needed for this one! This is the big day! Asphalt and everything will be used here! This is the day everybody will be excited about! Motorists will not mind that their cars will have wet asphalt stuck to their tyres, or that they have had to wait for minutes because of traffic pile-up. They will be too excited that finally them will have better roads to drive on for 'BOUT THREE MONTHS OR SO, IF SO LONG! Everybody win!

9. We are almost there! While you are patching, remember, quality is not necessary; just get the job done. Also, please refer to step number one that states 'ALL FOETUS AND BABY POTHOLE MUST LIVE!' Therefore, do not halt the development of these innocent potholes. Remember, we need to do this all over again! This is what I call 'The Pothole Cycle' and 'The Process of Sustainable Underdevelopment'.

10. So, that's it! You have made it to the end! And what should you take away from this? Simply put, bad things don't get better until they get worse, and then they get bad, and then they get worse, and then they get even worse before they get a little better for a while.

Stay tuned for 'How fi debush': coming soon!

- Evonie Blake is a teacher of English language, literature and communications. Email feedback to and