Oxy Moron, Contributor
It's their divine right, they suppose, to jump on to the bus of their choice to 'trace' all and sundry. Angels sent by God, harbingers of doom, soothsayers they all are. Some toothless, some penniless, some fearless and fare-less.
Up and down the 'pews', their own brand of venom they spew, spittle flying to a seat near you. Qualified they are to speak and preach. To the University of Life and prison they had been. Retired! Gunmen, prostitutes, thieves, gamblers they say they were in the days of their youth, but the Lord intervened just as He did with Saul on the road to Damascus. The Lord had turned their scarlet sins into white snow. The Lord is a bleacher.
Now, they are on their way to Heaven, and they want you to accompany them through the Pearly Gates. 'Oh when the saints go marching in, oh when the saints go marching in!' So, whether you like it or not, these sanctimonious ones are not going to leave you in peace. They were told by God in a vision to tell you your deeds. Those who are accustomed to be going to the obeah man, look out, for redemption draweth nigh. "Back-bitters, backsliders, rum drinkers, He shall come like a thief in the night," they recite.
And then the singing, O, Lord Jesus, the singing! At the cross, at the cross, where I first saw Delight, Eve and NuPak, LASCO gives me joy, joy, joy abundantly. Blessed assurance, Jesus is mines, heir of salvation, salt fish! What a foretaste of glory divine.
Give them a voice, O, Lord. For I don't want to hear any more croaking lizards. Two already have taken up residence on my ceiling. And now Desmond is staring at the ceiling of the bus, holding on tight to the bar above his head. He's asking the Lord to deliver him from the commotion beside him. He's tired and sleepy. Lord! Lord! Lord! They are in his space, and his face, and his brain. He paid his fare. They didn't pay theirs.
Lord, Lord! Passengers, afraid of being criticised, lambasted, persecuted, and threatened with the Bible, are saying half-hearted amens and praise-the-lords. They are deep in their thoughts, yet they are jolted by this religious onslaught. Their hearts are aching with a cause: no money, no husband, no wife; baby-father not minding de pickney dem; girlfriend too licky-licky and miserable, she borrow mi money and no waan gi mi back; how the teacher fi beat mi pickney, watch mi and har tomarrah; how Sandra fi tief mi frock? A him mek the JLP lose the election, ediat; she a waan big ginnal, bout she lub poor people, poor she; pastor a church a throw wud pon mi and now this.
Then comes the disclaimer. They are not on the bus to beg money. But they have to eat and drink tuh. So if you find it within your heart, give them something. It is not within my heart, it's in my pocket. Twenty dollars change to buy icy mint. 'Lord, I didn't drink any tea this morning. Had no sugar,' I tell him. And then the Lord speaks. No more preaching on JUTC buses. Their jaws drop. The bus stops, and off they hop. What a twist of the plot! Thank you, Jeezas!