I am so looking forward to the Christmas holidays! Before some readers get carried away, stop—my opening line has absolutely nothing to do with pastelle-making or curtain-changing or house-painting. My body and mind are yearning for some rest and relaxation—what a year! And it ain’t over yet.
As this is my last column for 2018, I decided to give all readers a gift for which they may find some use over the Christmas season and in the New Year. A gift that, as we say, will keep on giving!
I was introduced to the word ‘Ridonkulous’ by a work colleague and immediately fell in love with it. According to the Collins dictionary (www.collinsdictionary.com/), Ridonkulous means “Beyond ridiculous. Ridiculously ridiculous”. Alternative spellings: Redonkulous, Redonculous, Ridonkulous.
With that definition in hand, can you see how this word can so easily apply to almost any situation in T&T? Hear my stories:
A few Sundays ago, I was caught up in the Christmas-yard-cleaning-frenzy—ah tried a small yard clean-up. While cleaning, I noticed a nearby bush fire and called 990, the number for a fire emergency.
To their credit, the call was answered P-R-O-M-P-T-L-Y! Kudos for the prompt response Trinidad & Tobago Fire Service (TTFS). I provided my name, the area from which I was calling and the location of the bush fire.
I asked the seeming common sense question of “May I have your name officer so I have a record of the person with whom I spoke?” “Ma’am, it is not the T&T Fire Service Policy to give out Officer’s name.” Mash brakes on the kudos…
“OK then, may I have your badge number?” “No ma’am, that is also against the T&T Fire Service Policy, we cannot identify ourselves to callers.” If such a ‘policy’ exists in the TTFS, tell me if that is not ridonkulous!
When Scrunter sang about wanting “…ah piece ah pork…” or Marcia Miranda asked to “…bring out de ham…”, I do not think either of them EVER envisaged the ridonkulous behaviour that some citizens displayed on November 29 as one major supermarket had a so-called sale on hams. I mean really people?!
As the videos went viral on social media, and mind you, videos presumably taken by persons who clearly were enjoying the frenzy, I had to also wonder about the supermarket itself. They MUST have expected the ridonkulous stam/ham-pede given the national appetite for pork in any shape, form or fashion.
Just listen to the number of swine songs on the local Christmas music scene and you will agree, Trinbagonians love their pigs. Could they not have come up with a better system to have their so-called ham sale?!
Yes, I said “so-called sale”, since the supermarket said they got the hams at a “good price” which was “passed on to the customers…”. So, my ridonkulous question is, was the “good price” on account of the suppliers for one day only?
Then there is my pet peeve, the continued inefficiency of our public institutions—whether private sector or public sector, guess who they serve? Yes, the PUBLIC.
Imagine, trying to apply for online service at a financial institution. You go to the institution’s website, complete the form online, call the number listed O-N-L-I-N-E to confirm successful completion and processing of your application, only to be told you have to print the form and take it to the nearest office of the institution… Ridonkulous!
Several other examples of appropriate use of my “2019 Christmas gift” –
* One dollar for one pimento just because there’s a high demand for the local genius pepper for pastelle-making—Ridonkulous!
* Sharing of private mobile numbers for reckless amusement—Ridonkulous!
* ‘Bussing’ fireworks and scratch bombs for Christmas and frightening the daylights out of senior citizens (including me) and helpless animals (CRUEL)—Ridonkulous!
* A ‘qualified’ primary school teacher who doesn’t know that Rio Claro is in South East Trinidad and proceeds to penalise a seven-year-old pupil. Miss, when in doubt feel free to check www.Wikipedia.com—Ridonkulous!
What is not ridonkulous though is the fact that Christmas 2018 will not be a cheerful time for many. Spare a thought for those near and far who were victims to crime and violence this year; a thought for those who lost possessions in the great October floods; a thought for those whose spirits were shattered this year for one reason or another.
In the midst of those sobering thoughts also remember that “…unto us a Child was born, a Son was given…”. Let us go into 2019 expecting it to be a great year, even with all the ridonkulousity that will invariably confront us. Yes, a bit ridonkulous that I made up that word!
I close wishing all readers a Happy, Holy and Safe Christmas. Catch you in 2019.
That’s just my point of view!