Stuck in the latrine

I had to be no older than three or four years old.
At the back of my grandparents house was this ‘tiny, little house’ that I would usually see only my grandpa (who we lovingly called Bobup), and my uncle Anson go to, with toilet tissue in hand.  This ‘tiny little’ house was neatly built with wood and a few sheets of galvanize represented its roof.  Mind you, there was a full bathroom and toilet inside of the house, but for some reason or the other Bobup and my uncle Anson would not let go of the pit latrine.
I remember being left sitting under the mango tree in the front of the house and being told “don’t move, ah coming back, ah going in de latrine”.  While sitting there I would keep constant watch over the latrine wondering what on earth Bobup and my uncle do when they went in that thing. (they went on separate occasions of course).
Anyway, one day I was finally left alone and curiosity got the better of me, and I was off to the races.  After scoping out the scene and making sure the coast was clear, I quickly made my way over to the latrine, and as I got my hand on the door, I took one last look to make sure that nobody was watching.   I stuck my little hand under the space in the door and pulled to open it.  But there as a little latch keeping the door locked.  I pulled on the door a few more times but was still unable to get it open.  Without relenting I decided to stoop down and peep under the door.  As I did that I realized that my arm and shoulder could fit under the space.  I moved my hand back and forth on the cold damp dirty concrete floor, but neither could I see or feel anything.  In my own wisdom, I thought if my hand could fit, then my feet could.  So I held on carefully stuck one foot under the door and was in the process of trying to stick the other in when I heard somebody yell “look at what this little big head girl trying to do”!
I was startled and fell to the floor.  A few slaps, a stern warning and a bath later, I was sitting under the mango tree with Bobup with only thoughts of getting into that latrine on my mind.
Fast forward to about three years later, both Bobup and my mother were now deceased.   My mother died first, and Bobup went a few months later via a massive heart attack.  Many said he died of a broken heart after she passed.  Mind you, my mother was his daughter-in-law.  Not his daughter.  But like everyone else, he loved, loved, loved my mother!  But anyway, I digress, back to the real story, before I get weepy.
After my first adventure of trying to get into the latrine by crawling under the door, the slaps were hot enough to keep me away until I was tall enough to open the latch on my own.
With Bobup gone, that left my uncle Anson as the only one in the family using the latrine.  All this time, still no one ever told me the purpose of the latrine, and seeing my uncle go in there a few times per day, only ripened my curiosity.
One day while my aunt and grandmother was entertaining guests in the house, I had the perfect opportunity to find out what treasures were beyond the latrine door!
As kids, we were not allowed anywhere near the livingroom when adults were having discussions, much-less when there were visitors in the house.  We were allowed to come outside, acknowledge the person(s) and disappear!  This was my perfect opportunity to really disappear.
I sneaked through the side door, and into the back yard and headed directly to the latrine.  I had to tiptoe just a bit to reach the latch, but I reached it, opened the door and quickly slipped inside.  As the door closed behind me,  I could feel the intense heat of the small room with unsealed galvanize and the sun beaming down on it.   My lungs were filled with the most horrific scents!!  Did I run out?  Noooooo!!  I was still curious.  As I covered my nose to mask the foul scent I looked down into the pit of the latrine.   It was deep and dark.  I could see nothing.   What was my next move?  (shaking my head)
My next move was to climb into the pit of the latrine!!!!  As I carefully placed one foot at a time into the pit, I was now holding on for dare life onto the seat of the thing, while my feet just hung in mid air.  When I realized that there was no ground under my feet, neither did it seem to be anywhere close, I decide that it was time to get the hell out of there.  That proved to be much easier said than done.
As I tried to pull myself up, nothing happened.  I couldn’t figure out how to use my upper body stength to get out of the hole.  After a few futile attempts, I started to cry desperately.  I was literally in deep trouble.   I knew that if I fell in, I was going to die.  I also knew that if I held on and kept screaming for help, someone would eventually hear and come get me.  I also knew that after being rescued from my hell hole, I was going to get a good whipping!   Which do I choose?  Let go and die or hold on, get rescued and get a whipping?
Of course, I was smart enough to choose the latter.
HELP!!!  HELP!!!  HELP!!!  HELP!!!  I started screaming.   For what felt like an eternity, I was not letting go of that wooden seat for all the gold in Fort Knox.  The stench was overwhelming, I was exhausted, but I kept on screaming!!   Help!!  Help!!  Help!!  All of a sudden I heard my grandmother’s voice saying “what happen, who in the latrine getting on like that?”  I yelled “ma, help me, I in de hole!”  All I heard was “Oh God!”  Then the door flew open, there was light, and my grandmother grabbed my hands and pulled me out, and the slaps immediately began to fly!!    LOL!!!!   With every slap it was like a song “little – girl – yuh – want – to – get – some- body – in – trouble – for –  you – or — what?  Yuh – poor – mudder – eh – even-  cold – in – she – grave – as – yet – and – you – want – to – put – big – people – in – trouble”!   With every slap, came a word!   I was slapped from the latrine straight to the stand pipe in front of the house, where I was made to take off my clothes so that I can get a proper scrubbing.  While my grandmother was bathing me, she fussed all the time, and every time she remembered what I did, I got another slap!  LOL!!
After that faithful day, that latrine became totally invisible to me.  It was there, yet in my mind it wasn’t.  It stayed there for a few years later and when my grandmother renovated the house, the latrine was broken down and the hole was filled with dirt.
LOL…….why don’t I have kids again?……LOL, (sigh) what a memory!!!

The wicked wizard is dead

This morning while getting ready for work, this crazy memory of my childhood came back to my mind and I couldn’t help but to shake my head….

Living back home in Trinidad, we had a crazy neighbor who was just evil, for no apparent reason.

This neighbor, may God rest his wretched soul, would be awake during the most ungodly hours of the morning just making all manner of noises, cleaning his yard, gardening, sweeping and washing the street, cleaning his car, feeding his dogs and all sorts of weird things which would disturb the entire neighborhood. But he was more of a menace to my family because our house was closest to his from the other neighbors.

He had a coconut tree in the front of his yard with very low hanging branches which connected with the city’s electric wires and subsequently our gate. Now the issue is, whenever it rained, we were trapped on our property because we couldn’t leave because the wet coconut tree branches that made contact with electric wires then our gate, would become charged and carried that high voltage from the power wires above, making it impossible for us to touch our gate to get in or out, without getting juiced or and fried to death by the electric charge.

For years, my dad and other relatives pleaded with this man to cut the branches, that were making contact with wires – not the tree, just the branches. It was explained to this man in every possible tone that we cannot come in contact with our gate once it rains. The gate would be super charged with high voltage electricity. If we were out, we couldn’t get in, and if we were in, we couldn’t get out until the sun comes out and completely dries the tree, its branches and the gate!

His answer was always, “I’m not cutting my tree!” No matter how much it was explained, that we did not want him to cut down the tree, but only the branches that are making contact with the wires, he just didn’t get it and turned a blind eye and a deaf ear and never complied. So we were always on “rain watch” to run out and open the gate so that we would not be trapped inside or outside of our property after the rain.

One day the guy who cleaned our yard called my dad and informed him of what we already knew, which was that this neighbor was not just evil, but he was also doing evil. While cleaning our yard for a significant number of months he came across different relics, symbols and other things that were obviously tossed there by someone trying to cause harm by doing voodoo or evil.

Our yard person, Mr. Fox, was very familiar with these things, because his father was heavily involved in the occult. So he knew these things when he saw them. So for months, he continued cleaning the yard as usual, but he would gathered all of the things he found and removed them from the property. But this particular day, what he found was so startling, that he had to bring this issue to my dad’s attention. To this day, I do not know what he found, but he told my dad, that the neighbor was “nasty handed” and trying to bring harm to the family and he told my dad he needs to buy salt and sprinkle it at the four corners of our property, every other day.

Now back then, my dad was super busy running multiple successful business and did not have the time to be walking the property sprinkling salt every other day like a crazy person. So, he took Mr. Fox’s advise, but just to a whole other level.

What did my dad do? He went to the local wholesale store and purchased a huge sack of salt and waited until it was light out at the evil neighbors house, and he went on a salt throwing spree! My daddy not only salted our entire yard, and not just the four corners as instructed, but the evil neighbors yard as well! He threw salt on his roof, on his car, on his porch, under his house, in his yard, on the street in front of his house, in his garden, on his stairs…..nothing was sacred! Salt was thrown just about everywhere a fistful could have reached.

The next morning we were awoken by the house phone ringing. Our neighbor to the right, called and said to my dad, “so your boy died last night.” Startled, daddy said, “who boy?!” He was then informed that the evil neighbor died sometime during the night, and the “white van” came before sunrise to take his corpse away.

According to Muslim rights, he was six feet under by twelve noon.

The next day, his wife and daughter who NEVER spoke to us a day in their lives, suddenly called my dad and told him he can cut down the coconut tree! They became our friends and wonderful neighbors from then on.

Years later, we found out that he wanted our property, so he was doing evil to try to get is out.

(There is something with salt and my family, because I remember having another salt episode with old aunty Edna)

Hello world!!

Well, where should I start?! From the beginning I guess….So here goes nothing!

I have been blogging for over five years on Microsoft Spaces, (2005 – 2010) then for whatever reason Microsoft decided they couldn’t maintain Spaces, so they migrated us to WordPress. On the final day to do the transfer, after I hit the send button I expected to see my years of writing automatically appear somewhere on WordPress. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, and for several weeks I tried and cried for hours to locate my work and couldn’t. I kept getting error messages and was unable to find my posts. I send several emails to both Microsoft and WordPress informing them that I cannot find my blogs, no one ever answered. Long story short, I just gave up after weeks of constant checking to see if my space made over to WordPress and just never found it.

But lately with the “Covid-19 shit-uation/plan-demic”, I’ve been longing for an outlet to just get back to writing and ranting or just to loose myself from the stresses of work and life, so I decided that I’d try to making time to start up a blog again. So after talking to my friend Marsha and telling her I need get back into writing so that I can vent and get my intolerance for stupidity and stupid folks under control, and she expressed that she really enjoyed reading my mess back then, so I decided to do a search for a site to restart a blog, and WordPress popped up, then I remembered that’s where my former blog was transferred to! So I followed the instructions and entered my email address and password and got a message stating to check email to confirm who I am. So I checked my email and it literally said, “Just hit the MAGIC button to get started!” So, I hit the button and was literally floored when my ENTIRE BLOG – ALL OF IT popped up!!!! I cried tears of happiness for this discovery, because I thought it was all lost and gone forever!!

So, now that I feel I have a good head start, I’m getting myself acquainted with WordPress and its operations, and it will be off to the races as soon as I possibly can. It’s been ten whole long years since I wrote a blog, and of course I’m older and have less patience and have gotten a bit daft on certain operations and functions of the computer.

Buckle up, it’s going to be a wild ride….boy do I have some rants and crazy stories to tell!

In the mean time, feel free to browse around in my archives.

What is going on?

 
Just got an email from Chocolate with regards to making the switch from Spaces to WordPress, so I rushed on here to see what on earth is going on, only to be greeted with the official notification that Spaces is going away!
 
What is going on?  Only recently Whazat was going through her history and stated how much she missed all the friend she used to have.  I can’t help but to think that this is just going to crush us all.  I’m confused.  Then it says we have until March of next year to make the switch.  What if I don’t want to switch?  Does that mean we are going to loose all of our great entries in history?  No mention was made of the history being transfered.   I’m sad.  I’m confused.  I’m…..I don’t know what to say or do at this point.  I hope our history will be making the move too.
 
I visited a friend (KC from Canada – remember her?) quite a while ago who left Spaces to go to WordPress, and I didn’t like it over there back then, and I’m not sure I’d like it now. 
 
Chocolate, to answer your question – I have no idea what I’m gonna do right now.  But it seems as though the result is that we have no other choice but to make the switch eventually. 
 
Anyways, as I always say, change brings noise until it settles.  Let me visit this WordPress again and see what it’s all about, since that’s going to be our new “spaces home” soon.
 
(Sigh) – Starting over is just as hard a breaking-up!
 

A few things

 
Hey y’all!  Just dropping in to leave a note about a few things that’s been happening with and around me lately.
 
Well, after posting about my new job last week, I have to let you all know that I had to quit that assignment.  Why?  There was too much girlie drama going down.  I was working in the scale house at a recycling plant.  I was training with one individual who had a STINK attitude because she was obviously intimidated me and she started creating problems and I quickly made my exit, because I’m not down with the drama that she creates, I’m not going to have anyone treat me like crap.
 
So, I’m at home again for a few days waiting on another assignment to come up.  Yes, I know the golden rule is to get one before you quit one – but this situation warranted walking away with my dignity and sanity in tact. 
 
Anyways, the hot topic as of this past Tuesday is this mess that is going with Bishop Eddie Long being accused of sexual misconduct.
 
I’m staying mutual in this story, since Bishop Long is “my spirutual granddaddy”.   He just happens to be my current Pastor’s spiritual father – he used to be a Pastor at Bishop Long’s church, before he had his own church.  Bishop Long even preached at our church a few weeks ago at Pastor’s anniversary. 
 
So I’m staying in faith that none of the allegations are true and all parties involved will do the right thing so that this mess can go away just a quickly as it came up.

A short short ….

 
Sorry Chocolate, there will be no juicy photos or story to follow the title…..lol…..but don’t ever loose hope, one day you just might get what you expect from that title!
 
Anyways, just to inform you’ll that I’m back out to work!!  Another totally different assignment and environment from what I’m used to.  It also involves working nights and weekends.  I’ve never had a job where I had to work nights and weekends before, but I’m gonna make it do what it do!!  (No, it is not stripping).  When I have a bit more time I’d post an entry all about it.
 
God is great-  things are getting better – soon enough I’d be posting my "I’m moving out" blog!  I can’t wait for that day to come.
 
I’m off to do a quick blog walk to see what you folks have been up too in my absence……see you around!

A short, short

 
Hi folks, just dropping a few quick lines.  I’m on "vacation" again, until I find another job.  Last Friday was my last day on assignment with the temp-agency.  You know how they do it, but I’m hoping that this will be a very short "vacation", so I’m not stressing. 
 
Although, I haven’t updated my resume as of yet, I’ve already started my job hunt and responded to a few applications.  But I’m going to update it adding this past assignment, because I got experience on a new computer software that I think is note worthy. 
 
I’ll miss my co-workers, and I know they’ll miss me too.  They were the "bestest" bunch a folks to work with!  It really was a pleasure.
 
Anyways, I’m looking forward to going to NYC for the up-coming labor day weekend for some relaxation and enjoyment.  I’m hating the fact that it may be a girls only "roadtrip", I’d rather fly, but I’m going to do it – SLEEPING ALL THE WAY – I deserve a break!

Live & Let live

 
Today I got to work at my usual time, nothing strange.  I got out of the car and headed straight throught the break room to the time clock to clock-in.   As I entered the break room, there was an old caucasian man standing at the back wall reading the posters and notice boards, so I said good morning, and kept going my way towards to the time clock.  
 
Instead of responding to me saying good morning to him, he said "Is this America?"  So I turned back and said "the last time I checked it, yes it is."
He then said, "so why do you all have your posters in spanish and english?"  "This is America, we speak english."  "Does anyone here speak spanish?’ 
 
Seeing exactly where he was going with this, I turned away and kept heading towards the door and the time clock, without responding to what I recognized as discriminatory questions, that could have led to somewhere where I really didn’t want to be!  
 
As I approached the door, I realized that he was now following me while continuing his rant and of course expecting a response from me.  Still not giving in too him, I stopped at the time clock only to have him stop behind me holding the door, and waiting while I swiped my card.  All this time he is still ranting on……"this is America, we speak english and we shouldn’t have to do stuff like this for nobody!"  "Very soon there will be no America, they’re going to change the constitution and the declaration of independance to suite everybody else, these people are here illegally and want us to cater to them….."
 
Now a bit aggitated because he is following me through the break room, the evil side of me is saying "let him talk, then drop your trini accent on him so that he will see that you’re from another country and see what he’ll say to you."  Then I thought, "am in on ABC’s What would you do?"  But anyways, I kept walking with him following me and ranting all the way back to the other side of the break room. 
 
As I approached the door he said, "you just wait and see, just know there will be no more America, not with the way things are going right now."
 
As I opened the door to leading to the corridor to the offices, I turned and said to him, "all dem silly things yuh talkin ’bout eh go happen – live an let live." 
 
Looking back to see the perplexed look on his face, I then said to him – "don’t worry about it, have a wonderful day" in my best America accent and walked away.
 
Although I agree with his point that these people should learn to speak english like everyone else if they want to live in this or any other english speaking country, I was not having any of it.  Not all foreigners came here or are here illegally as he believes and I was not about to have the "political fight" that he trying to intice me into with him.  I’m waaaaay smarter than that!!

Questions from a child

 
Every weekend I’m charged with the responsibility of taking care of my eight year old niece, Jacinda.  (She’d be nine this coming weekend)
 
She is quite a handful I must say.  In the beginning I had to administer the "rod of correction" a few times, but she is settling in and getting used to doing it right, MY WAY, at least when she’s at this house!
 
Anyways, on Saturday I started cleaning daddy’s quarters/upstairs, but was unable to complete it because I had to run a few errands on the outside which took longer than anticipated.  So after church yesterday, I came home and went upstairs to complete my chores.  As I was removing and dusting off the stuff from the top of daddy’s chest of drawers, in came Ms. Jacinda – "auntie, why are you always cleaning?"   Now, I know she’s extremely inquisitve, but that question took me by suprise and completely stomped me for a few seconds.
 
Trying to ignore her, because the shock of the question had me a tad bit speechless – she walked up to me at the dresser and touched me to ensure that she had my attention and said in her comedic way "uh, auntie, uh, why?", pointing at the brooms and the cleaning equipments. 
 
Sort of embarassed that I couldn’t come up with an answer right away, I smiled at her as a delay tactic and said to myself "think fast woman!".   Then the light bulb went on – "Jacinda, #1 cleanliness is next to Godliness, #2 when you’re in a clean environment you feel better and you think clearer, #3 I was raised by GOOD CLEAN women, who taught ME how to be a GOOD CLEAN woman."
 
Shrugging her shoulders, she responded, "Oh, okay", then she sat down on her grandfathers bed, and watched as I continued steadfastly cleaning.

“Free” Checking

 
I’m making good on my promise to have something published this weekend – it is now 12:30am (Sunday morn. June 27th), waaaaay past my bedtime, but it seems as though this is the only time I’m can find to do this.  So here goes…..
 
This past Wednesday, I got up early with all intentions of updating my space (as previously published), but ended up checking my bank accounts before I logged on to Spaces, just to do the daily routine of reconciliation and balance checks.  Going down the expenditure list on my “free” Chase checking account, I noticed a line that said “service fee – $6”. 
 
“What type of madness is this!?”  I yelled out.  I immediately whipped out my debit card, flipped it over, hit the speaker button on my desk phone and dialed the bank’s phone number quick, fast and in a hurry!!  I had to go through all the usual formalities for the automated thingy for about two minutes, them a person came on and of course I had to go though the identification process all over again.
 
Anyways, with all the formalities done, I explained the reason for my call.  As the associate from the bank pulled up my account on his system, he began going down the list until he got to the reason for my call – the “$6 service fee” that I was charged for my “free” checking account.
 
He checked, and checked, and checked some more and could not come up with a reason why I was charged the $6 service fee, then finally after about ten minutes he said “oooooh, mam, I think I saw what happened.”  Anxiously awaiting a response and an apology with the comforting words that my $6 will be refunded immediately, I said “I knew you’d eventually figure it out!” 
 
Now folks, what do you all think this crazy man told me was the reason for this charge?  (I wish I could have kept you all guessing for a while before you get the answer).  But anyways, would you all believe that he told me that I was charged the $6 service fee because I only used my debit card to make purchases three times for the month!?!?!?!  He then went on to explain, that with the type of “free” checking account that I have, it is mandatory that I use my debit card to make purchases, four times per month, even if it to just spend one dollar!  Of course I was furious, but very cautious about ripping into his flesh, because I knew at the end of it all I’d have to ask him to waive the stupid fee!!!
 
So as camly as possible, I said to him, “so you mean to tell me that I must go about spending my hard earned money like a mad woman without a reason just to avoid this $6 fee?” 
His response?  “Yes mam, even if it’s one dollar, you must make four debit card purchases per months to avoid this fee.”  
My response?  “You joking right?”  
His response?  “No mam, that’s what this account requires.” 
I am now extremely irritated, but maintaining my composure, I said to him, “sir, no one accepts an ATM card for a one dollar purchase.  At most stores, there are signs posted at the register stating that your purchase has to be $5 or more in order to use a debit or credit card.” 
His response?  “mam, what state are you in?”  At this time I wanted to say “I’m in a blasted state of anger and I want to choak you for my money!!”  But again, I maintained my composure, less I end up with a charge for making “terroristic threats”, and I said “sir, I’m in Georgia.”
His response?  You could go to a 7-11.  Now, I really wanted to put down my salvation and cuss like a sailor!!  But calmly, I said to him, “sir, there is no 7-11 in Georgia.  I have never seen one anywhere in the metro area or anywhere that I frequent.”
His response?  “really, no 7-11 in Georgia?  Wow!”  “Well mam, you have to make four purchases or more per month with you card or this will happen every month.”
 
Completely frustrated at this point, and ready to loose it on him, I said “is it possible that I can have this fee waived?”
His response?  “Sure mam, let me see what I can do to help you with that.”
A few seconds and some key strokes later, he says to me “mam, I’m so sorry, but the system is not allowing me to waive this fee for you, because it is a legit, bank charge.”  Now furious as furious can be, I started laughing instead of using the expletives that I really and so badly wanted to use.  He then said to me, “well mam, it was my goal to provide you with excellent service today, would you say I did?”
 
My response?  “I don’t think that deserves an answer – goodbye!”
 
Oh, by the way, in all of this, did I mention that Bank Of America charged me an $8 “teller transaction fee” because someone deposited money via a teller into my “free” ebanking account?   Their reason is that, because it’s an ebanking account, I can only make deposits and withdrawals at the ATM machine.    Once a teller has to get involved, I will be charged $8 per transaction!! 
 
Yes, the banks sure did get me this month.  I’m waiting for a “suprise fee” from the other banks now.