Mon | Dec 5, 2016

Breaking news!

Published:Sunday | August 31, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Anthony Gambrill

For the past few weeks I have been confined to barracks recovering from surgery on the shoulder of my right arm. Having tried my best to find what's going on in the world outside Jamaica in the Daily Sandals and the Daily Gay Debate, I had to resort to cable TV newscasts. Apart from a nightly diet of Seinfeld reruns, I found time to compile a cornucopia of words and phrases used in these reports. Terms like sectarian conflict, jihadist terrorist, extremist militants, geopolitical endgame, ethnic cleansing, economic asylum seekers, post-traumatic stress, and so on. But with these news sources in fierce competition with each other, the most pernicious phrase was 'breaking news'.

It appeared on the TV screen with annoying regularity whenever Obama, Assad, Hague, Maliki, Kerry, Merkel, Sisi, etc approached a microphone. Each time a drone passed over Waziristan, or ISIS approached Baghdad in a stolen American Humvee, whenever France's Hollande was spied with a new mistress, it was breaking news. And as for the Cambridge's offspring George, well, it's a surprise that his potty training hasn't been repeatedly announced as breaking news.

Here at home, very little gets categorised as breaking news, because everyone has heard the rumour already. Mind you, we could do with a little more breaking news type of excitement with the possibility that it will, however briefly, take precedence over the endless newspaper photographs of alcohol-fuelled socialising and corporate good neighbourliness.

To fill the void, I have conceived of the following international conflict that would justifiably be designated as breaking news for as long as it lasted.

Breaking News

A separatist movement led by Maxwell Machado has emerged as a threat to the stability of the Cayman Islands. In a fiery address to his fanatical followers outside Captain's Bakery, he is claiming that the British colony should never have been hived off by the UK when Jamaica became independent in 1962. He charged Cayman authorities with a campaign of ethnic cleansing by allowing non-Jamaicans to take in laundry.

Breaking News

It has emerged that former Jamaica Prime Minister P.J. Patterson, known to be a wily strategist, is fomenting support in Jamaica for the pro-Jamaica separatists. He has said quite definitively that it has nothing to do with the fact that the Cayman Islands has 270 more banks than Jamaica, which, of course, is contributing to its enviable wealth.

Breaking News

More than 80 Jamaican prisoners incarcerated in gaols in Grand Cayman have gone on hunger strike in protest. As we went on the air, nobody knows yet what they are protesting about, although it is believed they are unhappy about last night's dessert. In the meantime, ISIS, Al-Shabab and the Taliban have offered assistance to the pro-Jamaica separatists as long as they are Moslems.

Breaking News

The Government of Jamaica is planning to round up all Caymanians resident in Jamaica and detaining them in the National Stadium. Next week's return football match between Jamaica and French Guiana has been postponed. Retaliating, Jamaica's consul in Cayman has been incarcerated in the Ritz-Carlton hotel suffering from post-traumatic stress.

Breaking News

The United Nations' Ban Ki-moon is preparing to fly to the Cayman Islands in an effort to resolve the sovereignty dispute. The militant pro-Jamaicans have hijacked the island's traditional Pirates Week party and announced that they will be restoring genuine piracy to the agenda with the seizure of passing oil tankers for ransom.

Breaking News

The Cayman Islands government intends to repatriate all Jamaican residents, describing them as unwanted "economic asylum seekers". The United Nations watchdog for human rights says this is totally unacceptable, as the Jamaicans are already earning four times more than they could in Jamaica.

Breaking News

William Hague, Britain's foreign secretary, has announced that the Royal Yacht will be taken out of mothballs to send to the Cayman Islands to take off several hundred UK citizens. However, the Royal Navy admits it will take months to get it ship-shape.

Breaking News

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has disembarked in Bermuda.

Breaking News

The Jamaica Skeet Club has commandeered a dozen boats from the Royal Jamaica Yacht Club and is on its way to support the pro-Jamaica extremists.

Breaking News

Having realised his error, Ban Ki-moon left Bermuda and is now in The Bahamas. He leaves tomorrow for Grand Turk in a final attempt to find the Cayman Islands.

Breaking News

President Obama has made it plain that if Prime Minister Putin intervenes, he will send an aircraft carrier to George Town. However, he declined to speculate how long it would take to move an aircraft carrier from the Mediterranean to the Cayman Islands.

Breaking News

The turtles have been released into the sea from the farm in Grand Cayman in a symbolic gesture which nobody understands. Cayman Brac and Little Cayman have taken the opportunity to declare their independence from Grand Cayman and have been annexed by Cuba.

Breaking News

The Cayman Islands government has capitulated to the demands of the pro-Jamaican separatists. The area known as Hell has been partitioned for the militants to occupy as long as they take with them any jerk pit, restaurant or bakery operated by Jamaicans. In making this announcement, the government says that the conditions in Hell are most like those prevailing in Jamaica.

Breaking News

Having failed to find the Cayman Islands, Ban Ki-moon has accepted Butch Stewart's invitation to vacation at Sandals Montego Bay. In an interview at the hotel, he said he was glad that the dispute was settled and explained, "All you need is love."

Anthony Gambrill is an author and playwright. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com.