By Gordon Robinson
In a recent radio interview, apprentice jockey Prince 'Daggerman' Holder, asked what's the best thing ever said to him by a woman, replied, "Dem sey me likkle but me tallawah."
I doubt this has ever been said of Agriculture Minister Roger Clarke, currently the male lead in a popular photograph doing the social-media rounds. In that photo, in bright orange, Roger presents (perhaps unintentionally) a classic caricature of his Government's effect on the average Jamaican after two years. Clovis couldn't have drawn a better cartoon. With a willing and ample female partner, Roger was caught showing off his 'daggering' skills.
I'd like to tell you a story about
What one dance can do;
One dance can do;
One dance can do.
I found the picture shocking. I had to sit down and catch my breath. Who knew Roger could dance? I mean, everybody knows Roger can eat, especially oxtail and rice. But dance? You could've knocked me down with a feather. And his position in the saddle would've made Daggerman proud. Up on his toes with weight going forward; right arm cocked so as to gather the reins at the withers; perfectly balanced; moving in total unison with his mount. It took me back to my days watching Rampin' (oops, sorry, Romper) Room.
Bend and stretch.
Reach for the skies.
Stand on tippytoes
Oh so high!
Roger appeared to be re-enacting an olde nursery rhyme often attributed to Queen Elizabeth I.
Ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross
To see a fine lady upon a white horse
With rings on her fingers and bells on her toes,
She shall have music wherever she goes.
The pubic gathering appeared political in nature as all were decked out in orange. But Dance partner's orange headdress was accompanied by a variety of multi-coloured accessories. And she appeared to be in the pink.
After one dance on the floor,
She came back, wanting for more;
And I don't know what it is
That I've got, but she whispered it was so nice
So nice ...
There was no sign of dissent. No challenge to Roger's leadership. No Man-a-Yard came for his belongings. Roger and daggering partner were alone on the floor. And everyone looked like they were enjoying the spectacle.
But her man is sitting across the way
And he can hear the things I'd say.
Now he watches from the corner of his eyes
So a move like this would be so unwise
Ooh, ooh, he's standing in my way
Standing in my way, hey, yeah, yeah.
It created a furore. People tweeted insatiably. THE STAR reported his explanation that "he was just enjoying himself with the People's National Party (PNP) supporter".
Had he been pressed on the cartoonish look, I suspect he'd have said something like: "This is not a caricature of Government's intentions. It's just man and consenting female partner having fun." We can rest assured there are no wider implications.
You could see
She was more than ready
To make the move with me
Not even thinking of the consequences
Now, now, now.
After all, the prime minister and selected ministers travelled long distances to hug up the Chinese business class. We've practically surrendered Jamaica to China. They want Fort Augusta? They get Fort Augusta. Now they don't want Fort Augusta? They want Goat Islands? It's theirs.
At least Roger is ensuring that Jamaican women get some of the love.
So I had to think quickly
'Cause her man, his face was looking oh so mean
As if anytime, he could create a scene
So gently I pushed her away.
Beresford Hammond's career began as vocalist for 'Zap-Pow', featuring Jamaican greats including Dave Madden (trumpet) and Dwight Pinkney (guitar). His subsequent solo career reached international superstardom. One of his more popular recordings, What One Dance Can Do, resulted from the collaboration among himself, Maurice Clive Hunt, and David Sinclair.
Congratulations to Roger for finding a willing partner to prove he can dance. Him tallawah fe true! Congratulations to the PNP for selecting a political platform sturdy enough to support the robust Roger and portly partner. It tallawah fe true!
Congratulations to attendees for giving the stage a wide berth just in case an accident required new calibration of the Richter scale. All that's left is for some senior Patois scholar to teach me what's a 'tallawah'. Ever since the CPL, I've been poring over Professor Cooper's columns for the answer. No luck.
Peace and love.
Gordon Robinson is an attorney-at-law. Email feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.