Wed | Oct 16, 2019

Gordon Robinson | Point-blank!

Published:Tuesday | October 9, 2018 | 12:00 AM

It was Friday night in July 1973, and the domino regulars were off partying, so Gene Autry and I headed to UWI to seek out our domino pals, Dr S. Blank and Jimmy Hunchback.

Readers were introduced to these UWI maintenance workers in my first column (2008), which reproduced Dr Blank's view of the IMF. Blank called himself "Senior lecturer in the Faculty of Domino" and he was a superb player. He needed to be, because his partner was the world's worst domino player, but also the luckiest. Jimmy would repeatedly do his best to throw a game away, but it would almost always be given back to him.

We found them idling at Taylor Hall as usual. While the table was being set up, Blank's standard opening, "We set our table without knives and forks! And we serve our stakes without gravy!" was followed by his exposition on the follies of privileged male college students

In the summertime, when the weather is high,

you can stretch right up and touch the sky.

When the weather's fine,

you got women, you got women on your mind.

Have a drink, have a drive.

Go out and see what you can find.

Blank condemned the attitude of most of the students he encountered, but especially the boys, who he said were lazy, arrogant and entitled AND clueless on how to treat their female counterparts. He shook his head: "You t'ink dem would learn because is four bwoy fi each girl student, but still dem don't show no manners, charm or skill. Dem jus' believe in hol' down, tek wey!"

If her daddy's rich, take her out for a meal.

If her daddy's poor, just do what you feel.

Speed along the lane.

You can turn or return to twenty-five.

When the sun goes down

you can make it, make it good in a lay-by.

During the first game, Jimmy Hunchback frequently cut Blank's card, but Blank, intent on lecturing, didn't seem to notice. As it turned out, most of Blank's plays were 'compulsory' anyway and Jimmy found himself in front with an unbeatable hand, so merrily cruised to victory.

Blank sighed as Autry shuffled. "See what mi a try fi tell yu? Dem nat even gwine pay fi dem bad behaviour. Jimmy can't learn domino because him win, no matter what foolishness him do. Same t'ing wid di student bwoy dem. Tru dem parents 'ave money, dem will neva haffi learn manners. If di likes of me eva behave like dem, is prison mi a go!"

We're no threat, people.

We're not dirty, we're not mean.

We love everybody, but we do as we please.

When the weather's fine,

we go fishing or go swimming in the sea.

We're always happy.

Life's for living, yeah, that's our philosophy!




I recalled Blank's lecture as Democrats ran a relay of past sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Simultaneously, Temple University alumnus Bill Cosby, now 81, was imprisoned after conviction on long-outstanding sexual assault charges. After the uncorroborated evidence of one woman, Cosby was sent to state prison for three to 10 years. After the uncorroborated evidence of one woman, Kavanaugh was elevated to the Supreme Court. You work it out. It must be comic. Both did pay with at least tarnished reputations, but one's seat seems less uncomfortable than the other's. I wondered if Blank was watching.

When the winter's here, yeah, it's party time.

Bring your bottle, wear your bright clothes.

It'll soon be summertime

and we'll sing again.

We'll go driving or maybe we'll settle down.

If she's rich, if she's nice,

bring your friends and we'll all go into town.

In the Summertime, 1970 debut single of British rock band Mungo Jerry, written and composed by lead singer Ray Dorset, was an exposÈ of young males' 1960s and '70s perspective 'boys will be boys'. Has anything changed? Will anything change?

Peace and love.

- Gordon Robinson is an attorney-at-law. Email feedback to