Sun | Jul 21, 2019

Gordon Robinson | Haemorrhoid causes perpetual change

Published:Tuesday | April 30, 2019 | 12:15 AM

Right after his standard refrain “if a macca, mek it jook yu!”, the Dunce (playing with Dessie) banged down double-six before I could change my mind about one last six.

Autry played six-blank; Dessie, blank-five. My hand was six-five; six-trey; double-four; four-trey; four-blank; four-deuce; ace-blank. After a silent eenie-meenie, I went two sixes. The Dunce cut with six-deuce; Autry contributed deuce-trey; Dessie drew double-trey.

Perennial kibitzer, Haemorrhoid, called timeout for one of his shaggy dog stories. For those coming in late, Ernest H. Flower was a lazy articled clerk whose nickname came from his middle initial twinned with constant complaints about “piles and piles” of files on his desk. Haemorrhoid, a domino foreigner, was, however, a high-class raconteur.

He told a tale of perpetual change:

“A man’s car breaks down near a monastery.

He knocks on the door: ‘My car broke down. Could I stay the night?’

The monks graciously accept him; feed him; fix his car. As the man tries to fall asleep, he hears a strange sound unlike anything he’s ever heard before. The Sirens that nearly seduced Odysseus into crashing his ship comes to his mind. He can’t sleep.

After a night of tossing and turning, he asks what the sound was, but the monks say, ‘We can’t tell you. You’re not a monk.’ He leaves distraught.

Years later, unable to forget, he returns to the monastery and asks again. The monks reply, ‘We can’t tell you. You’re not a monk.’

He concedes, ‘If that’s the only way I can find out what’s making that beautiful sound, then, please, make me a monk.’

The monks reply: ‘First, travel the earth; find out how many blades of grass there are and the exact number of grains of sand. Then you may become a monk.’

After years of searching, he returns as a gray-haired old man and is taken before all the monks.

‘I travelled the earth and found what you asked for: By design, the world is in a state of perpetual change. Only God knows what you ask. All a man can know is himself, and only if he’s honest and reflective and willing to eschew self-deception.’

The monks reply, ‘Congratulations. You’re a monk. We’ll show you how to decipher the mystery of the sacred sound.’ They lead him to a wooden door.

The Abbot says, ‘The sound is beyond that door.’

The monks hand him the key. He opens the door. Behind the wooden door is a stone door. The man gets the key and opens the stone door, only to find a ruby door. And so it continues. He needed keys to emerald, pearl and diamond doors.

Finally, there’s a door of solid gold. The sound becomes clear and definite.

The monks say, ‘This is the last door.’ The man is like the proverbial cat on a hot tin roof. His life’s wish is behind that door!

With trembling hands, he unlocks the door, turns the knob, and slowly pushes it open. Falling to his knees, he’s amazed to discover the source of that haunting and seductive sound.

But, of course, I can’t tell you what it is because you’re not a monk.”

Haemorrhoid’s moral: if at first you don’t succeed, don’t waste your life on repeat. Try a different grip. Only the oxymoron, perpetual change, turns failure into success. So I used six-trey to go two treys. The Dunce passed. Autry eventually won.

I remembered the man who would be Monk while hearing calls for a new St James state of emergency (SOE). But, if after a year’s worth of SOE, criminals simply pick up where they left off, surely all but the most partisan bats can see it has failed. Repeating it will again fail. Obviously, SOE isn’t an effective crime-fighting tool. Only detection followed by successful prosecution is. Declaring another SOE only kicks the can down the road.

Peace and love!

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