Tue | Sep 22, 2020

Gordon Robinson | Mind yu pop yu bitta gall!

Published:Tuesday | August 13, 2019 | 12:00 AM

Autry, the Beast, and I spent ages unsuccessfully trying to raise a fourth.

So we were lyming (N.B. ‘Callow and Wutliss’) on Gene’s verandah when we heard, wafting in on the breeze, “If a macca, mek it jook yu!”

The Dunce!

But he came with his brother, Dessie, the domino genius, so the Beast, despite his proven loyalty, began as a kibitzer. Right away, I drew these: six-trey; double-five; five-deuce; five-blank; double-trey; trey-ace; double-ace.

To my right, Dessie posed double-six; Autry tossed six-ace; the Dunce six-deuce. Cunningly saving double-ace to help Autry later, I contributed deuce-five. Without hesitation, Dessie played “two fives”; Autry produced five-trey; the Dunce cut with five-six. I drew double-trey (desperately seeking a trey-four or six-four then four-five combo), but, instead, Dessie played trey-blank. Autry passed (ugh). and the Dunce, giving me a look of which Machiavelli would have been proud, played six-four. Aaaauuugh! “Bloody Dunce, bloody late again,” I muttered to myself. After asking for water and appealing for bad light, I gingerly put down blank-five. Exhibiting more euphoria than was appropriate, Dessie slaughtered my double-five. Eventually, double-ace also went to mow the meadow.

“Ullo!” Dessie chortled while Autry shuffled and the Dunces sang:

T’ink I neva see yu when yu jump ova di wall?

Yu t’ink I neva see yu when yu accident’ly fall?

Mi sey ‘a it mek’, mek yu pop yu bitta gall.

A it mek, why yu accident’ly fall.

A it mek, hear she crying out fi ice water!

Another ‘Dessie’, Desmond Dacres (stage name Dekker), with his group, the Aces, formed one of the best singing groups of the ska/rocksteady era before Dekker migrated to the UK and became an international star. Before leaving the Aces (Barry Howard refused to “fly ’pon iron bird”), Dekker recorded one of his biggest hits, A It Mek, on the hard-to-collect Leslie Kong (Beverley’s)-produced album Intensified.

I remembered our Dessie’s patented “ullo” (using ‘rounds’ of a domino as a search warrant for the double) last week as PNP factions relied on apparently contradictory political polls.

Propaganda tools

But both polls are nothing more than propaganda tools used to try to sell “ullos” to party delegates who weren’t specifically polled by either pollster. I was especially disappointed by Bill Johnson’s poll question drafting. In my opinion, the inclusion of words like ‘probable’ and ‘think’ negatives the results. These questions are too vague to produce useful responses.

Not that it matters. Firstly, national polls are irrelevant to the contest that’ll end on September 7. Don Anderson was clear that his poll was conducted with identical parameters as his RJRGleaner-commissioned poll of six months ago with a partial view to eventually completing a consistently accurate graph leading up to the next general election.

Second, by now, you know my view of political polls everywhere, but especially in Jamaica. Polls, schmolls! Jamaicans don’t react well to science unless it comes with special oils. We live in a small, tribal country and so guard our political privacy jealously. We don’t respond frankly to political pollsters. This is why questions must be tightly drafted to produce any dependable analysis.

Narrowing binoculars to party delegates, these electors have ONE vision, which is to promote the best interests of their party. They aren’t fooled by propaganda. They are propaganda experts themselves. They want to know which candidate will look after THEM (first) and the short-, medium, and long-term sustainability of the party machinery (second) so as to maintain their piece of the political pie for as long as possible.

I told yu once and I told yu twice

Wha’ sweet nanny goat a go run him belly (ya mi sey)

A it mek, mek yu pop yu bitta gall

A it mek, why yu accident’ly fall

A it mek, hear she crying out fi ice water!

THOSE are the issues that will decide the September 7 plebiscite. THOSE issues can’t be polled.

Peace and love.

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